2019 Artist Enemy Countdown: #5 Derek Slater Google Public Policy

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Derek Slater is ready to run through Chinese walls!!

Despite the fact you’ve never heard of this guy, he has had a profoundly negative effect on the market value of your works.

As a senior public policy executive at Google his fingerprints are all over every proxy driven campaign against any meaningful copyright reform. You see the status quo is very good for the legacy internet monopolies like Google.  They are not liable for their users/customers infringing activity yet are still happy to monetize infringing activities through advertising and data mining.  Whether it’s an offshore pirate site with an Adsense account or unlicensed videos on YouTube, Google efficiently converts copyright infringement to cash.

But the ripoff doesn’t stop there.  Google’s willful blindness to infringement in turn drives the price of music down across the board.  For example the only reason Spotify must keep its royalty deficient ad-supported free tier is cause they must compete with YouTube and Google monetized piracy.  Without all that free music out there, Spotify could conceivably jettison the free tier and a substantial portion of those spins would thereafter be on the subscription tier. The subscription tier pays approximately 8 times as much per spin as the free tier.  Economist call this distortion a “market failure.”  That’s a fancy way of saying Google with a market cap of $730 billion USD is taking money directly out of your pocket and food from your kids mouths.

So it’s no surprise that any proposed legislation, court case, trade treaty or pro-copyright news article that remotely threatens Googles obscene profits (31 billion last year) is met with a cloud of misleading talking points and out and out disinformation.  Usually disseminated by Google funded bloggers, academics and astroturf groups.

But this year we saw the disinformation from Google go out in a particularly disturbing way.  Google used its YouTube platform to feed disinformation about EU article 13 to our children to help lobby parents. “Mommy the EU is gonna ban YouTube.”  Political advertising to children?

FTC? FTC? Hello? Hello?  Is this thing on?

Derek Slater, Senior Public Policy & Government Affairs Manager at Google, we believe the buck stops with him. 2019’s Artist enemy #5.