Remember when the Librarian of Congress issued a press release about how Maria Pallante was being promoted from the Register of Copyrights to something that sounded awfully functionary–and not a promotion. I don’t know how the Librarian runs things, but it’s not exactly industry standard to lock someone out of their email account when you’re […]
In a move with no historical precedent Dr. Carla Hayden the newly appointed Librarian of Congress has removed Maria Pallante the Register of Copyrights. (Hayden testifying before Senate at confirmation hearing). The New Librarian and Soros anti-copyright money: The new Librarian of Congress, Dr Carla Hayden is the former CEO of The Open Society Institute […]
[Editor Charlie sez: Don’t forget that the Copyright Office under former Register Maria Pallante proposed giving creators the right to remove personally identifiable information from the Library of Congress data feed that is sold to Google and Amazon and used to stiff songwriters on royalties. Comments were due the week that Register Pallante was fired by Carla Hayden, the Obama Librarian of Congress. The proposed rule received significant negative comments from data resellers, including Music Reports]
When Google bought the advertising network DoubleClick in 2007, Google founder Sergey Brin said that privacy would be the company’s “number one priority when we contemplate new kinds of advertising products.”
The change is enabled by default for new Google accounts. Existing users were prompted to opt-in to the change this summer.
Gary Shapiro, the long-time head of the Consumer Electronics Association (now called the Consumer Technology Association), posted a comment to an Artist Rights Watch post about Maria Pallante’s sacking at the Copyright Office. The consensus of the editors here is that we’re both flattered and concerned that Mr. Shapiro is posting comments on ARW on a Sunday night. That effort deserves to be taken seriously and replied to.
First of all–it should be noted that Mr. Shapiro’s post falls into that category of public statements that I’d call a “non-denial denial”.
It’s also important to note that Mr. Shapiro’s comment is all about Washington, lobbyists, who did what to whom, settling old scores among the coastal elites, who owns who, who paid off who to do what, and so on. The funniest line in his post was that Google isn’t a bully. Now that is hysterical for those who have dealt with YouTube or tried to get anything from a jihadi recruitment video to “Banging Up for Dummies” taken down from any Google property. Almost as funny as blaming the Sony hack on North Korea.
I fear that it is necessary to point out to Mr. Shapiro that this blog is Artist Rights Watch, not Lobbyist Rights Watch, or Let’s Watch the Lobbyists. This may come as a shock to someone like Mr. Shapiro who’s been at this for so long, but it is very, very likely that anyone who reads this blog neither has any idea who he is nor cares very much.
If our readers know of the Consumer Electronics Association, it’s likely that they know the organization from its membership in the MIC Coalition.
The MIC Coalition is, of course, the multi-trillion dollar lobbyists who are trying to screw what’s left of the songwriting community and stop artists from being paid fairly for radio airplay.
Or they might know the Consumer Electronics Association from its funding of the group Fight for the Future, which conducted a rather shadowy campaign against the Copyright Office, including making statements at odds with the facts in fundraising emails.
That statement in the box? It never happened.
Here’s an excerpt from Schedule B of the 2014 tax return for Center for Rights in Action which is parent to Fight for the Future:
And then there was the classic line from David Lowery addressed to Michael Petricone (Mr. Shapiro’s right hand at CEA) when both were on a panel at the Future of Music Coalition Summit Poobahery in Washington regarding CEA’s support of the ill-fated Internet Radio Fairness Act: “Stop making shit up, man!”
Those are probably the ways that the vast majority of people who read this blog would know of the Consumer Electronics Association.
It would be well for Mr. Shapiro to observe that 2016 has seen the future–more artists have stopped looking to lobbyists to solve their problems. Those lawsuits against Spotify, Rhapsody, Sirius XM, Pandora and even the U.S. Department of Justice? All brought by individual creators with some courageous lawyers who are willing to take a chance–because of the statutory damages and attorneys fees provisions of the Copyright Act without which those creators would have to take yet more bullying from Mr. Shapiro and his members, Google or otherwise.
So hopefully Mr. Shapiro will understand my reaction to this statement in his comment:
[T]hankfully we won many battles as new forms of technology created huge new opportunities for our members…and for content creators.
If the last 15 years of Mr. Shapiro’s travails are what constitutes his “help” in fighting “battles”, if what we have to show for his “winning” these “battles” is the absolute skewering of songwriters, artists, authors, record producers, film makers, and everyone who works in these endeavors–not to mention the biggest income transfer in commercial history from creators to new boss tech companies as well as the commoditization of art and artists. I have one reaction that I think will be shared by “content creators” who read this blog.
Please stop helping us.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) today issued the following joint statement after the announcement that Maria Pallante, the former Register of Copyrights, will be leaving the U.S. Copyright Office:
“We are saddened to learn that Maria Pallante, who served with distinction as only the 12th Register of Copyrights and the Director of the Copyright Office for the last five years, will be leaving the Copyright Office. This will be a tremendous loss for the Copyright Office and for America’s creators, innovators, and users of copyrighted works.
“We have had the pleasure of working closely with Maria over the last few years as the House Judiciary Committee conducted a comprehensive review of U.S. copyright law to determine whether the law is still working in the digital age to reward creativity and innovation. Maria has played an instrumental role in the Committee’s efforts. We have welcomed her thoughtful testimony on copyright law and policy a number of times and closely studied the reports produced by her office.
“As Maria transitions from the Copyright Office, it is the perfect opportunity to examine the selection process for the new Register. America’s creativity is the envy of the world and the Copyright Office is at the center of it. We must ensure that any new Register is fully qualified to lead this important office as it continues to directly advise Congress on copyright policy and law. The new Register of Copyrights should be dedicated to protecting creative rights and modernizing the Copyright Office.”
The US Copyright Office has been given a brutal Silicon Valley-style sacking, the first time the Copyright Register has been dismissed in 119 years.
Maria A Pallante was locked out of her computer on Friday, according to Billboard, on the instructions of her boss, a new Obama appointee, Carla Hayden, the Librarian of Congress.
“Officially, Pallante has been appointed as a senior adviser for digital strategy for the Library of Congress, although it’s clear she was asked to step down,” Billboard’s Robert Levine notes.
Critics see the move as in line with Silicon Valley asserting its influence over the US Government via its agencies in the dog days of the Obama Administration. Just last month, as Hayden started the post, the Google-funded group Public Knowledge attacked the Copyright Office for upholding the copyright laws.
“Pallante was the only one standing between Google and what is left of the copyright system,” wrote David Lowery on the Trichordist blog, which campaigns for better deals for songwriters and musicians.
Controversial decisions by the Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Federal Communications Commission have all resulted in proposals or decisions that advanced the business interests of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies.
For example, after an investigation of Google for anti-competitive practices, FTC staff concluded there was sufficient evidence to indict – but the Obama-appointed trade commissioners abandoned this for a voluntary deal instead.
In a typically backstabbing lame duck kabuki dance, Google has fired Maria Pallante, the head of the U.S. Copyright Office. This is a real tragedy because Register Pallante was even handed and concerned about treating everyone involved with copyright fairly–consumers as well as creators, not to mention cooperating with Google and Amazon in permitting the filing of millions of NOIs to the great detriment of songwriters.
Pallante was locked out of her computer this morning, according to two sources who spoke with Library employees. Earlier, [the nominal head of the Library of Congress] had called several members of Congress to tell them about her decision. Later, she called the heads of several media business trade organizations to give them the news, according to one who received such a call.
It is hard to believe that the nominal head of the Library of Congress would fire Register Pallante without top cover from the White House–of course, that’s a little odd since the Copyright Office is in the Library of Congress.
These lines get a bit blurry for Google who doesn’t really care much about who needs to be bought off. The White House may very well have been instructed to fire Pallante by Google lobbyist Johanna Shelton or Google’s White House fixer Ginny Hunt. Time will tell.
And then there’s the close relationship between Public Knowledge and Google–Google was ordered to disclose its funding of Public Knowledge by a federal judge:
Public Knowledge recently dropped a hit piece on Pallante, claiming that the Copyright Office was captured by creators. Right, that’s why the Copyright Office allowed the mass filing of millions of NOIs to the great detriment of songwriters and to the great benefit of Google and Amazon.
In a bizarre example of Washington corruption, songwriters recently withstood an assault by the Google Department of Justice Antitrust Division on 100% licensing that supposedly emanated from Renata B. Hesse, who formerly represented Google in antitrust cases. Of course, the current CEO of Public Knowledge was formerly the Chief Counsel of the Antitrust Division (read his Revolving Door profile on Open Secrets here).
Make no mistake, this is Google flexing its considerable pay-to-play muscle. The timing is predictable–Google fires Pallante days before a general election, in the waning days of the Obama Administration. They don’t give a good goddamn about whether it’s the Library of Congress or the Vulcan Science Academy. They control the players and they’ll do what they want especially when they think no one is looking.