YouTube Squeeze on Indies Instructive | Illusion Of More

Very insightful and accurate analysis of our digital life and the online ecosystem which devalues the rights of the individual in favor of unprecedented corporate power against citizens.

Tube, yes. You, not so much.

If there has been one consistent theme in everything I’ve written since diving into the morass we call the digital age, it’s that the Internet is not ours despite all appearances to the contrary. Like it or not, all the populist, free-speech rhetoric that’s been spoon-fed to the public by the chief propellorheads of the land is just a gateway drug meant to dull our senses so we don’t notice the monopolistic power grab that’s been taking place. No, the Internet is not ours so much as it belongs to a very small consortium players, most especially Google, which controls nearly all search and nearly all advertising worldwide.

As I argued during the heated squabble over SOPA, these companies don’t really give a damn about free speech or about liberating creators and consumers of content from the media elite gatekeepers; they simply want to be the new media elite, and have the potential to be far more ruthless gatekeepers. Instead of an oligopoly of studios, labels, and publishers we’re gleefully handing over absolute power to a couple of companies, not only calling it progress but even more shockingly calling it democratic.

READ THE FULL STORY AT THE ILLUSION OF MORE:
http://illusionofmore.com/youtube-indies/

Google Can Bite Me | The Illusion of More

Never wanting to lose an opportunity to be bizarrely two-faced, Google is sending around a little graphic today to all you GMail users implying that stopping SOPA in January of 2012 actually enabled creativity to continue to thrive on the Web. Never mind that nothing in SOPA could have stopped you or me or any other would-be creator from uploading our works, ideas, or captured events to the Web; that’s just pesky reality.

But Google isn’t satisfied just to effect public policy in its own interests, it also wants to behave like the abusive and negligent father, who creepily shows up with a smile and a hug when his kid wins an award or becomes famous.

After all, this week isn’t just the anniversary of SOPA Blackout Day, it’s also the week Google received its 100 millionth takedown notice from recording artists who would rather not have their works exploited without permission or compensation. So, the whole, “we protected creativity together” message just kinda makes the skin crawl. Y’know?

READ THE FULL POST AT THE ILLUSION OF MORE:
http://illusionofmore.com/google-bite-me/

Want to Protect Speech? Strengthen Copyright | The Illusion Of More

If we want to strengthen free speech; if we want a hedge against invasions of civil liberty; if we want to speak truth to power, then we must continue to empower those who speak the truth and do so openly and professionally. To put it whimsically, a great bulwark against tyranny would be a class of unusually wealthy poets. As Congress resumes the process of copyright review in 2014, we should seek not to weaken these laws on an assumption of their irrelevance in the digital age, but to strengthen them on the grounds that they are more important than ever.

READ THE FULL POST AT:
http://illusionofmore.com/speech_strengthen_copyright/

The Lie is Falling – Dr. Price sizes the Piracy Universe | Illusion Of More

In Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Butch (Paul Newman) sits astride his horse outside the same boxcar of the same train he’s successfully robbed over and over.  Frustrated by the railroad owner’s ceaseless but futile attempts to thwart the hold-ups, Butch proclaims, “If he’d just pay me what he’s spending to make me stop robbing him, I’d stop robbing him!”  Of course it isn’t true, is it?  Neither the character nor probably the real Butch Cassidy would likely have given up the life he knew for something as boring as just money.

If you wanted to watch this classic film directed by George Roy Hill right now, you could do so on Netflix or Amazon Prime or rent it from iTunes for four bucks. None of these innovations existed just a few years ago, and those who have repeatedly insisted that they “only use pirate sites because affordable, flexible, online alternatives don’t exist” are starting to sound a little dumb.  This is especially true as of yesterday, with the release of a new report by Dr. David Price of London-based NetNames, entitled Sizing the piracy universe.

READ THE FULL POST AT THE ILLUSION OF MORE:
http://illusionofmore.com/piracy_universe/

Lessig Mixes it Up | The Illusion Of More

David Newhoff at The Illusion Of More challenges Lawrence Lessig’s “Laws That Choke Creativity.”

So, as a legal layman but active observer of these things, it seems to me Mr. Lessig’s presentation, though charming, contains at least two fallacious premises.  The first is that the positive aspects of remix culture are actually threatened by the copyright system; and the second is that remix culture is universally positive.  I don’t know of any cases in which rights holders are stopping “the kids” from singing the songs of the day on YouTube.  But there are plenty of cases in which adults are profiting from remixing culture in ways that benefit neither fans nor creators. While it’s almost rote these days to call everyone a shill, I don’t think this is very helpful. I prefer to assume intelligent people mean what they say and believe in their positions, and Lawrence Lessig is certainly an intelligent man.  Of course, that might be why his ideas are ultimately so dangerous.

READ THE FULL POST AT THE ILLUSION OF MORE:
http://illusionofmore.com/mixing_lessig/