Prediction: Public Interest groups that are “married” to Google’s views on copyright will be used to stack the Shiv Act advisory panel in favor of Google and broadcasters. (Photo credit Cory Doctorow 2006 Creative Commons License Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic CC BY-SA 2.0)
Sen Sensenbrenner (R-WI) has introduced an extremely regressive bill that would essentially eliminate songwriters right to take legal action against services that use their works without a license. In effect this rewards infringing services like Spotify and Google while punishing the victims (songwriters). Read more here, here, here and here.
We just want to point out one more thing. The bill sets up an “advisory panel” appointed by the highly problematic Google backed Librarian of Congress. There is a curious clause that states that”public interest” groups will be members of this advisory group. The idea is that the panel is “balanced” by having technology companies, entities that represent songwriters and then groups that purport to represent the public.
The problem is, that everyone knows which kind of public interest groups will likely be picked. Our prediction is it will be EFF and Public Knowledge. Both of these groups have received significant funds from Google and methodically file amicus briefs in support of Google or Google’s legal positions, such as the EFF’s supporting Backpage in the well-known Jane Doe human trafficking of minors case.
These two groups have essentially become a crucial part of Google’s legal and lobbying efforts. You could even say they are “married” to Google’s positions on copyright 🙂 The appointment of these public interest groups or similar groups will tilt the advisory panel n favor of tech and against songwriters.