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Sons of Anarchy Creator On Google Copyright Anarchy 381

theodp writes "Over at Slate, Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter argues that Google's anti-copyright stance is just a way to devalue content, which is bad for artists and bad for consumers. The screed is Sutter's response to an earlier anti-copyright rant in Slate penned by a lawyer who represents Google and is a Fellow at the New America Foundation, a public policy institute chaired by Google Chairman Eric Schmidt that receives funding from Schmidt and Google. 'Everyone is aware that Google has done amazing things to revolutionize our Internet experience,' writes Sutter. 'And I'm sure Mr. and Mrs. Google are very nice people. But the big G doesn't contribute anything to the work of creatives. Not a minute of effort or a dime of financing. Yet Google wants to take our content, devalue it, and make it available for criminals to pirate for profit. Convicted felons like Kim Dotcom generate millions of dollars in illegal revenue off our stolen creative work. People access Kim through Google. And then, when Hollywood tries to impede that thievery, it's presented to the masses as a desperate attempt to hold on to antiquated copyright laws that will kill your digital buzz. It's so absurd that Google is still presenting itself as the lovable geek who's the friend of the young everyman. Don't kid yourself, kids: Google is the establishment. It is a multibillion-dollar information portal that makes dough off of every click on its page and every data byte it streams. Do you really think Google gives a s**t about free speech or your inalienable right to access unfettered content? Nope. You're just another revenue resource Google can access to create more traffic and more data streams. Unfortunately, those streams are now pristine, digital ones of our work, which all flow into a huge watershed of semi-dirty cash. If you want to know more about how this works, just Google the word "parasite."'"
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Sons of Anarchy Creator On Google Copyright Anarchy

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  • Uhhh... no (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 16, 2014 @02:50PM (#46499859)

    The artist is not the one being gored by the presence of Google.... the impact is not to artists themselves but to the the antiquated business models of labels and studios.

    The labels and studios are the whale oil salesmen at the dawn of the age of electricity. How well did the campaign's against electricity work for them? Adapt... or die in a Darwinian spiral.

  • by amaurea ( 2900163 ) on Sunday March 16, 2014 @02:58PM (#46499915) Homepage

    This book [] argues quite convincingly, based on current and historical examples, that copyrights and patents are a net negative to society.

  • Re:Sour grapes (Score:5, Informative)

    by ATMAvatar ( 648864 ) on Sunday March 16, 2014 @02:58PM (#46499919) Journal
    Devalued content helps the consumer all the way up until the flow of new content stops, and there is no indication that it would, even in a world where all content was distributed for free. I might have more sympathy for the guy if the big content producers didn't also bribe Congress to extend copyright duration to a point where something produced in an average person's lifetime will not enter the public domain until after they're long dead.
  • Re:Sour grapes (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jane Q. Public ( 1010737 ) on Sunday March 16, 2014 @02:59PM (#46499923)

    "Anti-copyright does work for the consumer. It works against content creators that want a stranglehold on their so-called IP. Sounds like hes scared his gravy train might derail and have to start working again and create new content for people.."


    Contrary to what OP and TFA say, the Google-lawyer article wasn't "anti-copyright" at all. It was anti-copyright-ABUSE, and anti-copyright-TROLLING. There is a pretty damned big difference. Leaving off those last parts is disingenuous to the point of lying.

  • by Fringe ( 6096 ) on Sunday March 16, 2014 @03:10PM (#46499999)

    The problem is Disney. The last Copyright Extension Act increased copyrights to 120 years. The original U.S. copyright length, in the Copyright Act of 1790, was for 14 years with the potential for one renewal for another 14, and only if the author was still alive.

    Corporations have taken over copyright, and it's not currently fixable due to their power. We can destroy copyright and then rebuild more easily than we can wrestle the monied interests into compromise.

    Google is a problem for both sides, but that isn't a bad thing... having two enemies duke it out, weakening each other without impacting you, is a good thing.

  • by casings ( 257363 ) on Sunday March 16, 2014 @03:11PM (#46500007)

    Allow me to post the wikipedia article you were too lazy to search: []

    In 1994, he was arrested by German police for trafficking in stolen phone calling card numbers. He was held in custody for a month, released and arrested again on additional hacking charges shortly afterwards. He was eventually convicted of 11 counts of computer fraud, 10 counts of data espionage, and an assortment of other charges. He received a two-year suspended sentence – because he was under age at the time the crimes were committed.[29] The judge in the case said the court viewed his actions as "youthful foolishness."[30]
    In 2001, Schmitz bought €375,000 worth of shares of the nearly bankrupt company (de) and subsequently announced his intention to invest €50 million in the company.[31] The announcement caused the share value of to jump[32] and Schmitz cashed out, making a profit of €1.5 million. One commentator suggested that Schmitz may have been ignorant of the legal ramifications of what he had done, since insider trading was not made a crime in Germany until 1995,[29] and until 2002 prosecutors also had to prove the accused had criminal intent.[33]
    Schmitz moved to Thailand to avoid investigation[12] where he was subsequently arrested on behalf of German authorities.[30] In response, he allegedly pretended to kill himself online, posting a message on his website that from now on he wished to be known as "His Royal Highness King Kimble the First, Ruler of the Kimpire".[30][34] He was deported back to Germany where he pleaded guilty to embezzlement in November 2003 and, after five months in jail awaiting trial, again received a suspended sentence (of 20 months).[33] After avoiding a prison sentence for a second time, he left Germany and moved to Hong Kong in late 2003.[12]

  • Re:Sour grapes (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 16, 2014 @04:00PM (#46500313)

    Sigh - such sheep - don't even understand how you are being abused by Google.

    First and foremost - there is NOTHING SUCH AS FREE. It doesn't exist. People have to be paid for whatever it is that they provide or they cannot afford to provide it. Google's idea of "free" is "we'll sucker you in and then mine you for every piece of personal data we can get and sell it off whether you like it or not". Google figures they will just suck other people dry, making a buck themselves along the way, and when the original content developers go bust and stop producing content, Google thinks they will just move on to suck other content providers dry. They are a parasite in the truest form of the word - trying to profit from other people's work without providing them any compensation for it.

    Have no delusions, Google's revenue model is based on forcing people to deliver advertisements and reselling people's personal information. So Google is completely self-interested in trying to argue that they should be able to give away anyone else's work in order to sucker in people and make money off their naivete.

    And sadly, all Google has to do is say "Free" (with a smirk) and watch the sheep start clamoring for more with no thought as to the consequences. The only people who benefit is Google and someday folks will wake up and find that the content developers have stopped. One can already see this happening now. How much of the "content" on the Internet is really new? Regurgitation of someone else's content is becoming endemic and the quality of much of that content is dropping rapidly. This is why paywalls are going up - because the people creating content need ways to ensure they are compensated for the work.

    Unless, of course, you like the endless deluge of advertisements, SPAM and the inevitable wave of viruses/malware/trojans/phishing that comes with that...

I've finally learned what "upward compatible" means. It means we get to keep all our old mistakes. -- Dennie van Tassel