Resistance is Futile: Google Says Don’t Fetishize Royalties

If I worked for a company like Google that got slammed by Members of Congress for promoting “sex club” apps on Android and YouTube, I’d be a bit careful about using the word “fetish” to describe anything, even metaphorically.

But Google spends hundreds of millions in legal fees annually to try to force creators into submission and induce a state of learned helplessness so using “fetish” to describe a business that Google wants to compete with shouldn’t surprise anyone.  Evidence?  Here’s a few recent examples, backing an appeal by the adjudicated thief Isohunt, receiving well over 19 million takedown notices a month for links to infringing sites that Google drives traffic to in their monopoly search engine, supporting brand sponsored piracy, trying to disallow the authors ability to sue as a class in the Google Books case so that authors would have to individually bring millions of separate lawsuits…shall I go on?  This doesn’t even count their profit from illegal drugs for which Google paid $500,000,000 of the stockholders money to keep their senior executive team from being indicted, that they continue to promote on YouTube and that is the subject of several ongoing stockholder lawsuits against the Google board of directors and senior executives (including Sheryl Sandberg).

So you will not be surprised that Google and their shills are out there promoting learned helplessness in Nashville.  According to the Nashville Business Journal (“Google to Nashville’s music biz: Don’t fetishize the past“):

Tim Quirk, head of Android global content programming, had two takeaways for a room filled with people from Nashville’s music business at today’s Google for Creators event: Don’t fetishize the past, and music is priceless….[Quirk said:] “We are here to help you through that maelstrom of musical choice,” he said today at Anthem. “We don’t do it the old-fashioned way, by annointing a handful of artists as geniuses and declaring selected albums as masterpieces. We do it by building services that let thousands of potential masterpieces find their ideal audiences.”

I suppose Quirk means “investing in” when he says “annointing” and “selling records” by “declaring selected albums as masterpieces.” And of course Google doesn’t like the star system–stars have commercial power.  Why should Adele be able to keep her records off of Spotify?  Resistance is futile.

Here’s the reality–at the same time as Google pays extraordinarily low royalties on YouTube (as in about $0.0002 per play), the “multi channel networks” that has the most plays of all on YouTube (which is why they are “partners”) essentially do not license music at all.  Two MCNs–two–have announced deals with Universal Music Publishing.  One publisher.

YouTube does not allow independent publishers or songwriters to audit–such a common right in licensing that no record company on earth would ever dream of not allowing it.  They also love the statutory license–which has no audit right, either.  And as Google jams down royalties to artists, they also promote illegal sites through search–that Google profits from by selling advertising either directly or as an intermediary.  So the effective royalty rate on the legal side of Google’s business is essentially zero or less than zero.

And now Google are promoting Google Glass, the hidden camera device and voyeur’s…dream.  I’d be a little more careful about throwing that “fetish” word around–not to mention it’s an odd choice of words that may belie some underlying…shall we say “issues”.  But since he brought it up, maybe Quirk can explain why his Android programming unit included the “sex club” app on Android market in the first place and why it is still being promoted on YouTube?

One thought on “Resistance is Futile: Google Says Don’t Fetishize Royalties

  1. to Google:
    I don’t “Fetishize” royalties… i use them to eat and pay bills.
    Currently this “fetish” is over half of my income (and practically none of that comes from Google or YouTube btw)
    Of course, Google wacks-off to the idea of a world where there are no more working musicians or songwriters, so it’s no surprise as to their statement.


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