Our Attorney-General George Brandis is attempting to reform our copyright law. Meanwhile Google, one of the multi-national companies attempting to avoid paying tax here, is lobbying in Canberra to stop this, by putting forward the following six fundamentally misconceived arguments:
This just in from Gizmodo regarding the YouTube Music Pass for which the major labels have already made a deal with Google. Indie labels however are being bullied by the tech giant with the threat of Censorship if the artists and indie labels do not submit to sub-standard royalties. Wow. Just wow.
The problem is Google’s plans for the other 10 percent. The company’s head of content Robert Kyncl told the FT that it plans to start blocking videos from indie labels that haven’t signed licensing deals “in a matter of days.” The FT says that these labels include XL Recordings and Domino records, whose rosters include Adele, Animal Collective, Arctic Monkeys, and loads of other popular artists. In a statement to Gizmodo, Google confirmed the FT story as well as its intentions to launch a subscription-based service.
Some labels are refusing to sign up because they say they’re getting a raw deal from Google. They say that while the major labels have negotiated lucrative contracts, Google is offering indies comparatively bad terms. It’s their right to say they don’t want to sign up if they don’t like the deal Google is offering them. In response, Google is drawing a line in the sand: If your label won’t sign on to Google’s crappy licensing deal for a new streaming service, you can’t host videos on YouTube at all.
READ THE FULL STORY AT GIZMODO:
The cops were getting lots of calls. Drivers were worried. There was a woman walking down the road — the narrow part of Highway 1, just north of L.A. And she was pushing a baby carriage.
When the cops found her, it turned out she was not a crazy person. She wasn’t even a mother.
She was a musician on a mission.
The woman was Suzana Barbosa, a longtime Toronto singer and leader of the band Lumanova, who had lately become fed up with the state of the music industry. She’d had it with the paltry amounts paid to songwriters and performers by streaming services like Spotify. She’d had it with our culture’s preference for glamorizing starving artists instead of paying them decently.
Barbosa was so fed up with the music business that she decided to walk some 400 miles, from Los Angeles to the Google campus in Mountain View, to publicize what she sees as an existential threat to the world’s independent musicians.
READ THE FULL STORY AT THE SF WEEKLY:
Discussing piracy, McGuinness suggested Google isn’t dealing with illegal links because “they don’t want to”.
“There are some vested interests that could help a lot more than they are doing,” he explained. “Google is the greatest theft enabler on the internet, when I Google YouTube music there are multiple opportunities to steal it.
“I don’t think the industry takes [Google’s] promises to take things down when they get a notice sincerely. They take it down but the bots replace them immediately. I don’t thinks it’s beyond the ingenuity of those clever people at Google to deal with that, but I don’t think they don’t want to.”
READ THE FULL STORY AT MUSIC WEEK:
There is an interesting story breaking in the UK’s Guardian about negotiations between indie labels rights organization Worldwide Independent Network (WIN) and Google’s YouTube.
“Music industry trade association the Worldwide Independent Network (WIN) has accused YouTube of strong-arm negotiating tactics trying to force indie labels to sign up to the new service.
WIN, which represents independent labels worldwide, claims that YouTube is approaching labels directly with a “template contract” and threatening that if they do not sign it, all their music videos will be blocked on YouTube.”
Bring on the black out? How ironic would it be that Google would resort to content blocking as the champions of an open internet and freedom of speech online.
We can see it now…
This video has been removed by Google who chose not to compensate the creator fairly for their work. Sorry about that ;-(
READ THE FULL STORY AT THE GUARDIAN UK:
Google’s True Colors as Lobbying Goliath Revealed
Sunday’s Washington Post featured a story, “Google, once disdainful of lobbying, now a master of Washington influence” that examined the company’s rise to become a top dog among Washington influence peddlers. For Google watchers revelations in the piece, authored by Tom Hamburger and Matea Gold, come as no surprise. However, for those who continue to regard Google as the web’s guardian angel of “free speech,” the story should add a bit of tarnish to its halo, illuminating the company’s extensive back-door maneuverings — the new normal in DC’s world of political puppeteering.
READ THE FULL POST AT VOXINDIE:
So Google shill Marvin Ammori wrote an Asperger’s ridden anti-copyright, anti-artist tirade on Slate. Of course in doing so Marvin failed to represent his past and current affiliations to Google. Slate, to their credit amended the rant with the following:
Update, March 11, 2014: Disclosure: The author represented Google and other companies fighting SOPA/PIPA in 2011 and 2012. He currently represents Google and other companies on several issues, including copyright reform. These views are his own.
Of course, this isn’t the first time that those with a political agenda haven’t disclosed their affiliations. Who can forget Timothy B. Lee’s Epic Fail in the Washington Post on Piracy?
And so, we present the brilliant rebuttal to Google’s disingenuous attack on the rights of individual creators and artists by Kurt Sutter.
Not-So-Zen and the Art of Voluntary Agreements
Google’s anti-copyright stance is just a way to devalue content. That’s bad for artists and bad for consumers. By Kurt Sutter
It’s so absurd that Google is still presenting itself as the lovable geek who’s the friend of the young everyman. Don’t kid yourself, kids: Google is the establishment. It is a multibillion-dollar information portal that makes dough off of every click on its page and every data byte it streams. Do you really think Google gives a shit about free speech or your inalienable right to access unfettered content? Nope. You’re just another revenue resource Google can access to create more traffic and more data streams. Unfortunately, those streams are now pristine, digital ones of our work, which all flow into a huge watershed of semi-dirty cash. If you want to know more about how this works, just Google the word “parasite.” And if you think I’m exaggerating, ask yourself why Google spends tens of millions of dollars each year to hire lawyers and lobbyists (like Marv) whose sole purpose is to erode creative copyright laws.
Do they do this because they hate artists? No. They do it because they love money.
The Government has been “seduced” by technology companies such as Google, and is “cosying up” to them, even though they keep their tax contributions to a minimum, leading music executive Martin Mills has warned.
Mr Mills, who founded Adele’s record label, Beggars Group, claimed his company pays more tax in Britain than Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon. But he said creative businesses like his receive less support from the Government.
READ THE FULL STORY AT THE TELEGRAPH UK:
A German court found that YouTube has to stop misleading the public by blocking certain content and publicly shaming GEMA for it (the German association of composers, lyricists and music publishers.) A first step in the right direction.
Heker referred to the decision as “an important and positive signal to the music authors,” because: “It is not the GEMA, which prevents music on the internet you only want to license YouTube, like all other music portals..” Heker sweeps out: “Our concern is that the authors participate in the economic exploitation of their works and can earn their livelihood in the future.”
READ THE FULL POST MEDIA BIZ (GERMAN):
IN ENGLISH VIA GOOGLE TRANSLATE:
It’s not the message, but the messenger–a hypocrite to its very corporate core. If Google as a company truly believed in “human rights” why does it continue to disregard the rights of artists at every turn? Perhaps those who doodle for Google might want to review the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 27, paragraph 2) which includes this passage:
(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.
Why is Google so keen on “fair play” and the rights of athletes to compete, but when it comes to artists, not so much?
READ THE FULL STORY AT VOX INDIE: