When it comes to fighting for content creators' rights, Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter, whom we've written about before is with very, very few exceptions, the content creator with the biggest cojones.
In an open letter to the creative community in today's Variety Magazine, Sutter lays in to Google in no uncertain terms. He paints them as being the largest tech company currently working to destroy copyright, and devalue content, while making sure to profit handsomely for it themselves. Sutter has connected the dots so thoroughly his letter bears quoting but you should read the whole thing for yourself.
From Sutter's open letter:
Google is in the process of systematically destroying our artistic future, and more importantly, the future of our children and grandchildren. They’re spending tens of millions of dollars each year on eroding creative copyright laws. I believe that if the creative community doesn’t intervene now, and by now, I mean, fucking now — we will be bound to a multigenerational clusterfuck that will take 40 to 50 years to unravel.
The last time this happened was in the 1950s, when the tobacco industry spent millions to hide the truth, and convince everyone that smoking cigarettes wasn’t really dangerous to your health.
In other words, Google’s manipulation of public opinion (read: lies) and their proxy campaign for a free Internet and the dissolution of copyright protection (read: criminal tactics) will become so codified in law and will dominate the debate to such a degree that it will be mindlessly accepted on every level. Then, unfortunately, it will be the back half of this century by the time people realize what’s been done, how it was done and that they’ve been thoroughly fucked.
Remember kids it's only alarmist if it isn't true. Two years ago I pointed out that Google was attempting to shape global politics, so it really isn't a stretch. On the contrary.
As Sutter continues:
When you’re worth over $200 billion, a couple hundred mil to buy legislation and good PR is an easy check to write. That’s what is happening before our eyes. And the reason why this information may seem startling is that they’re doing it so well; it just looks like business as usual.
Business, indeed. And they're quite consistent about it. For instance, they banned Adland from using Adsense (i.e. making a living) due to ads it supposedly deemed a violation of its terms of service. Since they don't own adland, they can't monetize our content, so it's easy to ban, whether there's a real reason or not. Remember this is Adland, and we post ads. And these ads are legal in the same countries google is trying to influence.
And yet The Trichordist points out, google has no trouble hosting Jihadi recruitment videos and executions on its site we know and love called Youtube. Is this really not considered a violation of terms of service? Not if they can monetize it.
Don't believe me? Try this one on for size. In yesterday's Independent an article appeared in which google users are calling on Google Play to remove games called "Bomb Gaza." and "Iron Dome", “Gaza Assault: Code Red.” I'll leave you to fill in the blanks on what these games entail. But I will remind you that google makes money from these apps. And that these games have been up since the end of last month.
As for Sutter, he ends his letter by saying it's not his own pocketbook he's worried about, but the future of content creators everywhere, including his own kids. This is a guy who is looking into the future and fearing what he sees. Can't blame him.
He also points to two great reference sources. One, by the digital citizens alliance, exposes Google for the evil doers they are. And the second is an organization that advocates a proper and sustainable creative economy called CreativeFuture.
Now look, Adland readers: if you're still having trouble processing this information, read Kurt Sutter's piece in full. Read the backlogs here that I've linked to as well as The Trichordist. Get informed about how horrible Google actually is.
And then try this: start looking at Big Tech companies like Google as being no different from the lying Big Tobacco companies from days of yore. They use the same tactics behind the curtain while in front, they use the same smiling faces (or doodles) to fool you. But the intent is the same: One takes your lungs, and profits from it. The other takes your content, and rights to protect your content, and profits from it.
Who's evil now?