Digital Music News: The Year End Capitulation Issue

Every now and then you see “stories” in the Digital Music News email newsletter that make you wonder what kind of group think is going on in the office. 

For example, two stories in today’s issue spring to mind.  One knocks Universal for spending money on lobbying, the other compares Google’s market cap with the music industry and ends with this sentence: “Now, how much are the labels losing to Google on a daily basis?  That’s a scary question…”

These two stories are actually related, although you would never know it from DMN.  “The labels” are losing money to Google on a daily basis, but not because there is some kind of competition between the two and not because “resistance is futile” which is sort of that sensationalist undertone so often springing from DMN.

One reason “the labels”–how about “the artists” or “artists and songwriters” which would be more accurate–but, OK, “the labels”–are losing to Google is because Google–among others–profits from selling advertising on rogue websites that trade in pirated works by artists and songwriters.

Due to lobbying by “the labels” as well as AFTRA, AFM, IA, DGA, SAG, the Songwriters Guild, A2IM–and Universal among others, the Congress is addressing this rampant theft supported by public companies.  And that effort produced a bill that was passed out of Senate Judiciary 19-0 and–perhaps equally importantly–has already produced public statements by Google and Mastercard acknowledging the error of their ways.

Actually, that’s a much better lead for an article on the subject if for no other reason that it is grounded in reality as opposed to the bORG. 

And by the way, if you wanted to compare apples to apples, you might want to compare the amount of money that Google has spent lobbying against the rogue sites bill–reprehensible and wasteful.