Technology Apologist Complex : Steven Johnson Strikes Again | Jonathan Taplin @ Medium

This week’s apology episode from Johnson is entitled The Creative Apocalypse That Wasn’t — and its one of the most brain dead pieces that the New York Times Magazine has ever published. I’m shocked the Public Editor has not already taken Johnson to task. I won’t go into all the details because David Newhoff has already destroyed most of Johnson’s argument that the Internet monopolies have actually been a boon to the average artist. This is total nonsense as this chart shows.

READ THE FULL POST AT MEDIUM:
https://medium.com/@jonathantaplin/technology-apologist-complex-eafcf14df530

The Technology Revolution Impacts and Reduces the Workforce | Jon Taplin @ USC

The Technology Revolution Impacts and Reduces the Workforce

Read The Blog Post Here:
https://medium.com/@jonathantaplin/sleeping-through-a-revolution-8c4b147463e5

Watch the Full Lecture Here:

Essential Reading on the Internet’s Emerging Exploitation Economy.

We write a lot about the issues facing creators, but we’re only just the first to be effected by the Exploitation Economy.


Uber and the Lawlessness of ‘Sharing Economy’ Corporates | The Guardian

It’s not only about musicians and creators, we are just the first to be effected.  The same Silicon Valley scam is going to exploit more and more people. Read on…

“Nullification is a wilful flouting of regulation, based on some nebulous idea of a higher good only scofflaws can deliver. It can be an invitation to escalate a conflict, of course, as Arkansas governor Orville Faubus did in 1957 when he refused to desegregate public schools and president Eisenhower sent federal troops to enforce the law. But when companies such as Uber, Airbnb, and Google engage in a nullification effort, it’s a libertarian-inspired attempt to establish their services as popular well before regulators can get around to confronting them. Then, when officials push back, they can appeal to their consumer-following to push regulators to surrender.”

READ THE FULL STORY AT THE GUARDIAN:
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/jul/28/uber-lawlessness-sharing-economy-corporates-airbnb-google

 


Stop calling it the “Sharing Economy.” That isn’t what it is. | Olivier Blanchard

What it is, is the Exploitation Economy…

“Disruption rocks though!”

No, it doesn’t. The right kind of disruption rocks. The kind that has value, that solves a problem, that improves an imperfect system. But disruption for the sake of disruption is just noise. It can even be destructive, and that doesn’t rock. It doesn’t rock at all.

Because Apple was “disruptive,” anything deemed disruptive now somehow borrows from Apple’s cachet. “Disruption” has become another meaningless buzzword appropriated by overzealous cheerleaders of the entrepreneurial clique they aspire to someday belong to. And look… every once in a while, someone does come up with a really cool and radical game-changing idea: Vaccines, the motorcar, radio, television, HBO, the internet, laptops, smart phones, Netflix, carbon fiber bicycles, drought-resistant corn, overpriced laptops that don’t burn your thighs in crowded coffee shops… Most of the time though, “disruption” isn’t that. It’s a mirage. It’s a case of The Emperor’s New Clothes, episode twenty-seven thousand, and the same army of early first-adopter fanboys that also claimed that Google Plus and Quora and Jelly were going to revolutionize everything have now jumped on the next desperate bandwagon. What will it be next week? Your guess is as good as mine.”

READ THE FULL POST AT OLIVIER BLANCHARD:
http://olivierblanchard.net/stop-calling-it-the-sharing-economy-that-isnt-what-it-is/

 


The Crowdsourcing Scam | The Baffler

It’s all the same Silicon Valley scam. Whether you are a musician or a cab driver, this about labor, and you could be next…

Silicon Valley calls this arrangement “crowdsourcing,” a label that’s been extended to include contests, online volunteerism, fundraising, and more. Crowdsourced work is supposed to be a new, more casual, and more liberating form of work, but it is anything but. When companies use the word “crowdsourcing”—a coinage that suggests voluntary democratic participation—they are performing a neat ideological inversion.

The kind of tentative employment that we might have scoffed at a decade or two ago, in which individuals provide intellectual labor to a corporation for free or for sub-market wages, has been gussied up with the trappings of technological sophistication, populist appeal, and, in rare cases, the possibility of viral fame.

But in reality, this labor regime is just another variation on the age-old practice of exploiting ordinary workers and restructuring industrial relations to benefit large corporations and owners of the platforms serving them. The lies and rhetorical obfuscations of crowdsourcing have helped tech companies devalue work, and a long-term, reasonably secure, decently paying job has increasingly become a MacGuffin—something we ardently chase after but will likely never capture, since it’s there only to distract us from the main action of the script.

READ THE FULL POST AT THE BAFFLER:
http://thebaffler.com/salvos/crowdsourcing-scam

 


Silicon Valley Is Not a Force for Good | The Atlantic

We don’t need to throw the baby out with the bath water, what we need is fair and ethical businesses.

It’s been a long journey from Google to Snapchat—or to apps that enable drivers to auction off the public street-parking spot they’re about to leave in San Francisco. With a few exceptions, the Valley’s innovations have become smaller, and smaller-minded. Many turn on concepts (network effects, regulatory arbitrage, price discrimination) that economists would say are double-edged, if not pernicious. And while the Web was touted as a great democratizing force, recent tech innovations have created lots of profits at the top of the ladder and lots of job losses lower down. The tech sector itself has proved disappointing as a jobs engine and at times hostile to women.

READ THE FULL POST AT THE ATLANTIC:
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/07/silicon-valley-shrinking-vision/395309/

 


Jaron Lanier: The Internet destroyed the middle class | Salon

Jaron Lanier was the first to identify and speak about this issue. We’re glad to see others catching up to him. Here’s a refresher…

“Here’s a current example of the challenge we face,” he writes in the book’s prelude: “At the height of its power, the photography company Kodak employed more than 140,000 people and was worth $28 billion. They even invented the first digital camera. But today Kodak is bankrupt, and the new face of digital photography has become Instagram. When Instagram was sold to Facebook for a billion dollars in 2012, it employed only 13 people. Where did all those jobs disappear? And what happened to the wealth that all those middle-class jobs created?”

“Future” also looks at the way the creative class – especially musicians, journalists and photographers — has borne the brunt of disruptive technology.

READ THE FULL STORY AT SALON:
http://www.salon.com/2013/05/12/jaron_lanier_the_internet_destroyed_the_middle_class/

 


 

Sleeping Through a Revolution | Jonathan Taplin @ USC

This presentation by Jonathan Taplin at the Annenberg Innovation Lab breaks it all down. Required Viewing.


 

USC Studies How Online Piracy Profits from Advertising Revenues

Some great work has been done this year by Jonathan Taplin and the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab in studying the relationship between online ad networks and media piracy for profit.

Large Pirate sites distribute illegal content and continue to steal trademarked, copyrighted content and siphon millions of dollars away from the creative community, making it much harder for artists to make a living. We do not believe that government regulation alone is the answer to the Piracy problem, but rather that the self-regulation of major sectors like the online advertising industry could make it harder for the “Kim Dotcom’s” of the world to unfairly exploit artists.

A fantastic round up of media coverage from the universities research can be found here:
http://www.annenberglab.com/category/tags/ad-transparency-report

Artists Rights Watch – Sunday Jan 6, 2013

Happy New Year! Grab the coffee!

Recent posts from The Trichordist:
* First USC-Annenberg Brand Supported Piracy Report and Google Response
* Trojan Horse: Orphan Works and the War on Authors by Brad Holland, Part 2
* Trojan Horse: Orphan Works and the War on Authors by Brad Holland, Part 3
* Trojan Horse: Orphan Works and the War on Authors by Brad Holland, Part 4
* What the FTC Should Know About Brand Sponsored Piracy and Google’s “Pinto Problem”

FROM AROUND THE WEB:

THE SMITHSONIAN :
* What Turned Jaron Lanier Against the Web?

“I’d had a career as a professional musician and what I started to see is that once we made information free, it wasn’t that we consigned all the big stars to the bread lines.” (They still had mega-concert tour profits.)

“Instead, it was the middle-class people who were consigned to the bread lines. And that was a very large body of people. And all of a sudden there was this weekly ritual, sometimes even daily: ‘Oh, we need to organize a benefit because so and so who’d been a manager of this big studio that closed its doors has cancer and doesn’t have insurance. We need to raise money so he can have his operation.’

“And I realized this was a hopeless, stupid design of society and that it was our fault. It really hit on a personal level—this isn’t working. And I think you can draw an analogy to what happened with communism, where at some point you just have to say there’s too much wrong with these experiments.”

THE NEW YORK TIMES:
* Copyright Rules and the Art They Inspire

PITCHFORK:
* The Year in News 2012

THE REGISTER UK:
* The ‘Digital Economy’ in 2012: A big noisy hole where money should be

“Privacy and copyright are two things nobody cares about,” Mark Bide told us, “unless it’s their own privacy, and their own copyright.” How true.”

THE LOS ANGELES TIMES:
* Report links Google, Yahoo to Internet piracy sites

COPYRIGHT ALLIANCE:
* Instagram Still Has the Right to Commercialize Your Work (or Why You Should Read Terms of Service Carefully)

CNET:
* Google, Yahoo accused of funding piracy

TECHCRUNCH:
* Keen On… Piracy: How Online Ad Networks Are Supporting The Major Pirate Movie And Music Sites [TCTV]

Annenberg’s Advertising Transparency Report should be seen as a wake-up call to brands to invest their advertising dollars in legal networks like Spotify or YouTube rather than pirate sites. Pretty simple, eh? Let’s hope that Madison Avenue wakes up to the troubling implications of Taplin’s report and shifts all its online advertising dollars to movie and music sites which actually pay artists for their content.

VOX INDIE:
* More Evidence Ad Dollars Fuel Web Piracy

HUFFINGTON POST:
* Towards a Bill of Rights for Online Advertisers

THE MUSICAL DISCONNECT:
* The Takedown-Why the DMCA has failed

AD LAND:
* David Lowery makes list of people who changed the music industry.
* Collateral Damage: How Free Culture destroys advertising.

STOP FILE LOCKERS:
* Crocko.com lose Paypal. Resellers to follow.
* UltraMegaBit: A Crime Committed on American Soil
* Avangate forced to drop file sharing sites. More sites poised to lose Avangate payment processing.

DIGITAL MUSIC NEWS:
* Abject Looting Continues at Pandora…
* In France, 92% of Pirates Never Receive a Second Warning Letter…
* Growth of Paid Downloads vs. Streaming, 2012 vs. 2011…

TORRENT FREAK:
* Top 10 Most Popular Torrent Sites of 2013
* Music Biz Wants To Block Pirate Bay….Plus 260 Additional Sites
* IMAGiNE BitTorrent Group Leader Sentenced To Five Years in Prison
* Identifying Pirates Now Easier Following Swedish Supreme Court Decisions

COPYHYPE:
* A look ahead to 2013

BARRY SOOKMAN:
* Most popular intellectual property and technology law blogs

First USC-Annenberg Brand Supported Piracy Report and Google Response

Professor Jonathan Taplin of the USC-Annenberg Innovation Lab released the first monthly report on brand supported piracy that demonstrates how major brands make pirates rich (not to mention the ad networks that take a cut–or some might say a vigorish–along the way.

[The USC Annenberg Lab Advertising Transparency Report details] the Online Ad Networks support of the major pirate movie and music sites around the world. The top ten ad networks placing the most ads to Pirate sites are:

  1. Openx
  2. Google (including Double Click)
  3. Exoclick
  4. Sumotorrent
  5. Propellerads
  6. Yahoo (including Right Media)
  7. Quantcast
  8. Media Shakers
  9. Yesads
  10. Infolinks

The list of top infringing sites was compiled using the Google Transparency Report (http://www.google.com/transparencyreport/removals/copyright/domains/?r=last-month) of domains with the most DMCA Takedown requests.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Levi’s is one brand that responded immediately:

Jeans maker Levi’s took swift action when Taplin presented evidence that the clothing company’s ads had appeared on file-sharing sites.

“When our ads were running unbeknownst to us on these pirate sites, we had a serious problem with that,” said Gareth Hornberger, senior manager of global digital marketing for Levi’s. “We reached out to our global ad agency of record, OMD, and immediately had them remove them…. We made a point, moving forward, that we really need to take steps to avoid having these problems again.”

Google, of course, had a carefully parsed response to the Times:

“To the extent [the study] suggests that Google ads are a major source of funds for major pirate sites, we believe it is mistaken,” a Google spokesperson said. “Over the past several years, we’ve taken a leadership role in this fight. The complexity of online advertising has led some to conclude, incorrectly, that the mere presence of any Google code on a site means financial support from Google.” (emphasis added)

Right.  Of course, this may well be a true statement–except the issue isn’t only about “Google ads”, that is, ads for Google products like this ad for Google Play on a pirate lyric site.

google ads sponsored links 2

And even if they meant any ad served by Google for any product, what if Google ads are a minor source of funds for major pirate sites?  Or are a major source of funds for minor pirate sites?

And what if the “mere presence of Google code” includes the Google ad publisher account number for the pirate?  Does that still count as “mere”?

Isn’t this called a nondenial denial?

Lyrics007 Google Ads Code 1

The Trichordist Random Reader Weekly News & Links Sun Jul 22nd

Grab the coffee!

Recent posts on The Trichordist:
* The DMCA is Broken…
* Artist! : Be The Change, Send A Letter – JULY 25th Deadline <- We’re not Kidding, Do it if you haven’t!

For those who remain confused about the difference between FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION and FREE BEER (er uhm music) please read this report from Amnesty International regarding the band Pussy Riot and do take action. Freedom of Expression is truly a right to be protected and preserved, as ARTISTS RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS:
http://www.amnestyusa.org/news/news-item/russia-urged-to-release-pussy-riot-group-as-court-prolongs-detention
SIGN YOUR NAME:
http://amnestyusa.org/pussyriot

We’ve been alerted to a couple of websites (and organizations?) that are fighting against illegal artist exploitation on the front of cyberlockers and payment processors (Visa, Master Card, Pay Pal, Etc). Read more here:
http://coldcopy.com.au/
http://stopfilelockers.com/

Thanks to Copyhype for noticing this one, an epic and essential read “How Free Is Ruining Everything” from Eamonn Forde at qthemusic.com:
http://news.qthemusic.com/2012/07/column_-_how_free_is_ruining_e.html#post

Kim Dotcom is not Robbin Hood. The billionaire and alleged mass scale media pirate is awaiting trial and created a video this week that has been described as a pirates “Triumph of the Will” or even perhaps in it’s absurdity, “A Burns for all Seasons.” Prof Jonathan Taplin from the USC Annenberg School of Innovation muses in this blog post, “The Big Lie”:
http://jontaplin.com/2012/07/22/the-big-lie/

Speaking of Kim Dotcom, Billboard reports that the Judge that ruled the raid on the compound was illegal has now stepped down and out of the case for bias regarding a comment made at an EFF event… wow, just wow… Maybe he should have stepped down before making a ruling?
http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/industry/legal-and-management/kim-dotcom-extradition-judge-steps-down-1007605352.story#kYXZKhHOvmTYoFIi.99

Ok, ok, ok… last one… it’s a Kim Dotcom-athon… Indie filmmaker Ellen Seidler writes an open letter to Kim in response to his “Letter To Hollywood”, read more from this guest post at Copyright Alliance:
http://blog.copyrightalliance.org/2012/07/guest-post-dear-kim-dotcom/

So now that Coke A Cola can legally use music from any band on Spotify to sell it’s drinks, doesn’t this imply some kind of endorsement? If for example a playlist by Coldplay is embeded on a Coke A Cola website, the previous cost of licensing that music for that application would have been very expensive. Whereas this could be very good for developing artists, it could also be exploitative of established ones. We’re not really sure what this means, but we’re interested to see how it actually is implemented. Read more on the Coke A Cola website:
http://www.thecoca-colacompany.com/dynamic/press_center/2012/04/spotify-and-coca-cola-partnership.html

Here’s a way to bring attention to the issues of artists rights and illegal online exploitation. Woman strips in public to protest e-book pirates, ZDNet reports:
http://www.zdnet.com/woman-strips-in-public-to-protest-e-book-pirates-nsfw-video-7000001329/

Digital Music News reports on absurdity at it’s best from Richard Stallman. Perhaps a future Nyan Cat Award Winner?
http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/permalink/2012/120716stallman
and a response here from the cynical musician:
http://thecynicalmusician.com/2012/07/two-inane-suggestions-for-compensating-artists-online/

Pirates want to go legit? Well… not so fast, Torrent Freak reports:
http://torrentfreak.com/pirates-want-to-go-legal-but-convenience-choice-availability-come-first-120719/

Who is the internet anyway? We’re always kinda amazed when a singular entity or point of view “speaks for the internet” as if there is no social, economic, geographic or political diversity. Is the “Internet’ a demographic onto it’s own, and if so, what defines that demographic? Which begs the question, does “the internet” speak for you (as an artist, as an individual)? Though this entry is somewhat cute, it is also disturbing to see “the internet” as a single block with a Borg like hive mind… TechDirt reports:
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120718/18350719751/internet-wins-again-writer-gets-rapper-pitbull-exiled-to-alaskan-walmart.shtml

The French Supreme Court May Order Google to block unlicensed, infringing, illegal sites, ‘Torrent,’ ‘RapidShare’ and ‘Megaupload’. Again, Torrent Freak reports:
http://torrentfreak.com/court-may-order-google-to-censor-torrent-rapidshare-and-megaupload-120718/

Last but not least, several of our friends report success using Google’s DMCA Search Link De-Listing tool for infringing links, try it for yourself! Up until recently the only way to send infringing link DMCA notices to Google was via MAIL or FAX (not kidding). More on this to follow…
http://support.google.com/bin/static.py?hl=en&ts=1114905&page=ts.cs

The Trichordist Random Reader News & Links Sun May 6

Grab the Coffee!

Probably the biggest story of the week is the UK has ordered it’s ISP’s to block access to The Pirate Bay, the BBC reports:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-17894176

You may recall that The Pirate Bay lost their final appeal back in February and are headed to jail, Time reports:
http://techland.time.com/2012/02/01/pirate-bay-founders-lose-supreme-court-appeal-going-to-jail/

Here is an insightful editorial from the Boston Phoenix on the new music “Super PAC” model and asks some very interesting questions about Amanda Palmer’s record Kickstarter campaign while giving a shout out to David Lowery’s, “New Boss / Old Boss”. Highly Recommended Reading.
http://blog.thephoenix.com/BLOGS/onthedownload/archive/2012/05/03/the-problem-with-the-future-of-music-amanda-palmer-and-the-rise-of-the-music-biz-super-pac.aspx

Digital Rights Corp will track and remove your titles from Torrent File Sharing sites, Contact them from more info:
http://digitalrightscorp.com/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=74&Itemid=466

Remix without Romance How Free Culture Get’s It Wrong, from Copyhype:
http://www.copyhype.com/2012/04/remix-without-romance-what-free-culture-gets-wrong/

Hypebot reports that Reddit is attempting to “Crowdsource” a hit song… isn’t that what labels have been doing for decades? Bookmark this one…
http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2012/04/redditors-seek-to-create-a-top-10-pop-hit.html#comment-6a00d83451b36c69e2016765e67f23970b

Tech contradicts itself (again), “Freemium” no longer viable, must give away valued content, HypeBot reports:
http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2012/04/the-problem-with-false-content.html

There was a major dust up this week as Prof. Jonathan Taplin of the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab challenged the tech establishment on artists rights. The tech community’s hatred of artists seems to have come to boiling point. The situation is both disappointing and disrespectful, Fast Company and Tech Dirt report:
http://www.fastcompany.com/1834866/the-bands-ex-tour-manager-blasts-reddit-founder-alexis-ohanian-kim-dotcom-the-kickstarter-be
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120423/01452218599/bands-ex-manager-accuses-reddit-profiting-piracy-debate-with-co-founder.shtml

More evidence that Touring is NOT the solution for musicians in the digital age, Digital Music News reports:
http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/permalink/2012/120504easier#fq6yeUXeS0y6-QMrtd6f1Q

Google is watching you, believe it. While Google is spending record amounts of money lobbying, and trying to convince you that the protection of artists rights is a “censorship” issue, they continue to challenge the law by invading your privacy, Ars Technica reports:
http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2012/05/google-may-face-massive-fine-from-ftc-for-bypassing-safari-privacy-controls.ars