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Goliath Never Learns: Tone Deaf Google Takes Down a True Parody by Content Creators Coalition

October 31, 2017 1 comment

If you’ve ever heard some of the truly muddled gibberish from YouTubers or Facebookers justifying counternotifications after being hit with a copyright claim, you’ll know that what seems like 99.9% of them have no idea what a parody is (thanks in part to the unholy alliance of Google and its too close for comfort marriage to the Electronic Frontier Foundation).  So it’s particularly galling when YouTube actually takes down a real parody, and gall goes supernova when YouTube takes down a parody of…YouTube.  Yes, that’s right…dumb, dumber AND dumbest in the same place at the same time, a veritable threefer of dumbassery, or stupidity cubed.

Recall that the Content Creators Coalition produced a couple videos that parodied the main two issues that the creative community has with YouTube:  YouTube’s absurdly low royalties and YouTube’s absurd abuse of the DMCA safe harbor.  The videos are also a bit of an homage to Apple’s classic Mac. vs. PC ad campaign from 2006.

According to Richard Morgan writing in the New York Post, YouTube responded by unilaterally taking down the C3 videos because it violated YouTube’s terms of service.  MTP readers will recall that the fastest way to get a video of illegal drugs for sale, jihadi recruiters, pimp apps, war porn and a host of other nasty stuff is for me to post the video on MTP.  Little did I know that the same would happen to C3!

While videos of ISIS beheadings somehow slipped past YouTube censors, the video streaming site didn’t have any problems finding a playful ad campaign by some indie musicians — and promptly pulling the plug on it.

The campaign, called “YouTube Can Do Better,” featuring a “square” businessman as “YouTube,” was created by the Content Creators Coalition as an attempt to get the Google property to increase the ad revenue split with musicians.

The campaign’s lead spot, “Pennies vs. Dollars,” was uploaded to YouTube on Oct. 25 around 11:30 a.m. — and was pulled from the video-sharing site less than 48 hours later, the group, known as
c3, told The Post. YouTube said it pulled the video “due to violation of terms & conditions.”

The artist-led coalition, whose members include David Byrne, Roseanne Cash and T Bone Burnett, fired back at the Google unit within an hour.

“After two days of widespread press coverage of our artist-driven campaign to pressure Google into treating artists more fairly,” c3 complained, “you suspended and are now censoring our account.”

It really is true–Goliath NEVER learns.

 

Successes in Artist and Songwriter Advocacy Show the Importance of Fighting Back

October 22, 2017 3 comments

“Why does Rice play Texas?”

President John F. Kennedy, Sept. 12, 1962, Rice University

Google White House Meetings

It should be clear by now that when it comes to sheer lobbying power expressed in terms of money and access, Big Tech has put the creative community up against it.  And not only has Big Tech put their collective boots on our necks, they have joined in the MIC Coalition cartel for the express purpose of crushing any opposition.

We must properly and grimly assess the opposition and our resources.  I would not say that the odds are in our favor, but the odds are what they are and I don’t think any of us are ready to roll over and show the belly in surrender.

We actually have made significant progress over the last few years with both legacy types of lobbying as well as grassroots organizing.  Both are absolutely essential.

The music community’s “value gap” campaign in Europe started when Google had a lock on the White House and Congress.  It should not be surprising that the value gap campaign has gained traction with these countries that historically support their culture and independence from American multinational neo-colonialism and are not afraid to strike back against Google’s monopoly.

Blake Morgan and the #irespectmusic campaign was the foremost grassroots organizing effort in the music industry and has become a case study for doing it right.  As Blake told me for this post, “Again and again, when we music makers––and our representative organizations––take action by rolling up our sleeves instead of wringing our hands, we win. Individually and together, when we continue to stand up and speak out, we demonstrate how powerful we really are.”

Another example of creators fighting back is the Recording Academy’s recent “District Advocacy Day” in which more than 1,000 performers in all 50 states visited their Congressional and Senate offices to advocate on the Fair Play Fair Pay Act (artist pay for radio play), the CLASSICs Act (pay artists on digital royalties for pre-72 recordings), the AMP Act (pay producers for digital royalties) and other legislation.

#irespectmusic and District Advocacy Day should put to rest forever the myth that the music industry only exists in New York, Nashville and Los Angeles.  This is a common trope that our opponents use against us.  Leveraging the grass roots is a long term process.  Members of Congress outside of the “centers” are discovering for the first time that songwriters and musicians actually live in their districts.  Creators are discovering, some for the first time, that they will be heard if they show up.

The Content Creators Coalition is still another example of artists joining together and working to make their voices heard in Washington.  C3 President Melvin Gibbs articulates the artist and songwriter perspective to defend the encroachment by the massive multinational corporations in the MIC Coalition specifically and Big Tech in general.

 

I’ve also been impressed with how artists rally to each other’s aid when attacked, the most recent example being the artists who came to the defense of Miranda Mulholland after she was gratuitously slimed by Google in Canada.

Artists and songwriters have made great strides in getting their voices heard over the corporate insiders and crony capitalists in the connected class.

This is not the time to give up.  It’s the time to dig in.

IRMAIV Large

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