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

From The Trichordist:

As a senior public policy executive at Google [Derek Slater’s] 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.

Link to the rest at The Trichordist

A reminder that PG doesn’t always agree with everything he posts on TPV.

While he is strongly in favor of creators being well-compensated for their work, PG doesn’t think Google and every other indexer of internet content around the world is responsible for the piracy of intellectual property, especially in countries where copyright is not well-enforced by government authorities.

PG suggests that Google is a fat and available target for corporate copyright owners and licensees when the perpetrators of infringement are located in places beyond the reach of legal process originating in Western nations.

For both good and ill, the internet is a worldwide network. It permits creators to monetize their creations to a world-wide audience. An indie author or artist in Montana may find a market for her works in Italy where none exists in the United States.

OTOH, if Google is prevented from providing its users around the world information they are seeking, Alibaba will be happy to take over that part of Google’s business. Unless you are willing to pay the price of geofencing access to information and chopping the internet into nation-sized pieces, you’re going to be dealing with both the good and bad aspects of connecting to the rest of the world.

In the words of an unknown creator, “When you pick up one end of the stick, you pick up the other end.”

2 thoughts on “2019 Artist Enemy Countdown: #5 Derek Slater – Google Public Policy”

  1. So, authors should just give up and let Google and friends make the money off our books because better them than someone else. Yeah, right.

    For years, eBay has had vendors offering CDs full of copyrighted works. The vendors claim that Nora Roberts, Stephen King, and every other author trying to make a living at writing have given the reader their rights so that, not only can they read them for free, on this CD, they can also make their own CDs for sale, too.

    None of the authors are listed on the CD’s contents list by the buyer so authors banded in groups, and each would buy a CD from a different vendor then share the contents with their friends and various author organizations. When these authors would contact eBay about the copyright theft, eBay would ban THEM, not the sellers of the illegal material.

    Pardon me if I don’t trust corporations like eBay and Google to do the right thing.

  2. So set up a subsidiary in Vientiane and hand off all the digital sales operations to it. Last I knew, Laos had no copyright law and did not recognize copyright of any other nation.

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