of diet-right-in-the-program department
Last week we wrote about the ridiculous suggestion by the former Newspaper Association of America (now called the News Media Alliance) that President Donald Trump should cut fair dealing because newspapers still don’t like Google. As we have noted, at a time when Trump strongly supported newspaper censorship, it was absolutely ridiculous that those same newspapers were telling Trump to undermine a key cog in protecting free speech.
And, of course, we can now add the legacy record industry to that same shoot foot squad. After hearing about Trump’s meeting with executives from a group of leading technology companies, the RIAA and a group of music industry associations (including ASCAP, BMI, A2IM, NMPA, SoundExchange and more… sent a letter to Trump (find via variety), asking him to force internet companies to work harder to find better ways to censor the internet. It’s pretty amazing, considering the mainstream record industry wasn’t exactly a big supporter of Trump. That they are now contacting Trump and urging him to increase internet censorship is quite astonishing and sickening. Basically, for the RIAA and its friends, hatred of Google and the Internet is more important than concepts like free speech or the empowerment of our elected officials.
Of course, the old recording industry doesn’t directly say “censor the internet,” but that’s exactly what it’s asking here (although watch the industry advocates’ blog posts yell at me, making this intention obvious):
The world’s most sophisticated tech companies can certainly do better – by helping prevent illegal access and paying fair market value for music with prices set by or based on the open market.
Strong intellectual property rights protection will ensure the growth of both creativity and technology, for the benefit of the US economy as a whole.
We hope you will lead the effort to ensure that American creativity is nurtured, invested, protected, and fairly remunerated in a way that exercises the exclusive rights guaranteed by the Constitution to those who, with the genius of their mind, form the cultural identity of our great nation.
The censorship call is to “prevent access”, which means blocking what you can do online. The hilarious part is the “free market prices” because it is exactly what the industry is protesting. All the “value gap” bullshit is basically the industry saying “we don’t like the price set by the free market, so we need the government artificially inflate prices through monopolies.
Just to be clear, if you are complaining about not getting “fair compensation” you are clearly saying “I am upset with the price the free market has set.”
But the biggest problem here is censorship. I shouldn’t have to detail here how many times we have shown that copyright is abused for censorship purposes (including by governments). The call to hold platforms more accountable and give them the responsibility of “nerd tougher” is a call to strengthen the tools of censorship through copyright. That’s pretty ridiculous – and one hopes the musicians who have spoken out against Trump will also speak out against this demand to give him and his friends more power to censor parts of the internet.
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Filed Under: Copyright, Donald Trump, Tough Nerd, Record Industry, Value Gap
Companies: a2im, ascap, bmi, google, nmpa, riaa, soundexchange