In case you were scratching your head about why Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse decided to stick his beak into trying to continue discrimination against recording artists who had the misfortune to record before 1972–here’s a possible explanation. Maybe he was just getting his beak wet?
Remember, Senator Sasse introduced an amendment to the Music Modernization Act in the dead of night the day before the markup of MMA in the Senate Judiciary Committee. While Senator Ron Wyden–another data center beneficiary of Amazon, Facebook and Google–was at least trying to dress up his complicity in a Chanel suit and Louboutin shoes. Senator Sasse went the more direct route:
Now why might Senator Sasse be so interested, particularly given Nebraska’s musical history? It turns out that there is quite the competition between Nebraska and Iowa for Silicon Valley’s data center business, particularly given the renewable energy profile of each state (wind is 37% of Iowa’s electricity production and about 20% of Nebraska (including hydro). That checks the box for Silicon Valley.
Of course, as we see from Senator Sasse’s tone deaf foray into copyright lobbying, Silicon Valley thinks they can play the rubes in return for building data centers in their state, just like they did with Senator Ron Wyden and the people of Oregon. What does stiffing pre-72 artists have to do with data centers? Nothing. What does it have to do with playing footsie with royalty deadbeats like Google and Facebook?
And rumor has it that there is a deal in the wings for a new Google data center in Nebraska. Which also explains a lot.
But somehow, Facebook knows that its Silicon Valleyness may not be that popular with the rubes.
According to the Data Center Dynamics site, Facebook has been going to great lengths to hide its involvement in massive data centers being built in Nebraska, which gives “Cornhusker Kickback” (or Facebook Fakeout) a whole new meaning:
Operating under the alias Raven Northbrook, Facebook has its eyes on Nebraska, DCD can exclusively reveal.
Late last year, local council officials granted approval for a large data center project in Sarpy County, Nebraska, but the company behind the huge facility was kept a secret.
Now, DCD can confirm that the corporation hoping to build four 610,000 square foot (56,670 sq m) data center halls at the Sarpy Power Park is Facebook.
You can run servers, but you cannot hide them
Source: Nebraska Secretary of State
Sarpy County documents reveal that the company, which is publicly represented by infrastructure engineering and design solutions company Olsson Associates, goes by the name Raven Northbrook.
So maybe the Sasse sledgehammer amendment to discriminate against pre-72 artists is easily explained–just another swamp dweller swamping up the cash.