NY Times Op-Ed Blasts Political Favoritism in Antitrust Enforcement at Expense of Creators

In today’s NY Times,  Jon Taplin of USC notes the continuing lopsided antitrust enforcement by Obama administration (and previous Bush administration).   Traditional media companies (and also songwriters)  are held to much higher standards while politically connected Silicon Valley monopolies like Google and Facebook get a free pass.   This drives down revenues to creators while pumping billions of dollars into the pockets of the billionaires in Silicon Valley.   Facebook doesn’t even have  public performance licenses for music and is operating completely illegally in this regard. Meanwhile traditional media companies do have licenses.  It doesn’t get any more anti-competitive than that.  Does the DOJ antitrust division give a shit?  No.  This is blatant crony capitalism.  It is a form of economic warfare on creative workers and the middle class. If you scratch just below the surface you often find “revolving door” Silicon Valley lawyers leading the charge at DOJ.

“Google and Facebook can achieve huge net profit margins because they dominate the content made available on the web while making very little of it themselves. Instead, they both have built their advertising businesses as “free riders” on content made by others, some of it from Time Warner. The rise of these digital giants is directly connected to the fall of the creative industries of our country…

Every pirated music video or song posted on YouTube or Facebook robs the creators of income, and YouTube in particular is dominated by unlicensed content…

In the past decade, an enormous reallocation of revenue of perhaps $50 billion a year has taken place, with economic value moving from creators of content to owners of monopoly platforms.”

 

About Dr. David C Lowery

Platinum selling singer songwriter for the bands Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven; platinum selling producer; founder of pitch-a-tent records; founder Sound of Music Studios; platinum selling music publisher; angel investor; digital skeptic; college lecturer and founder of the University of Georgia Terry College Artists' Rights Symposium.