[We’re thrilled to have a chance to publish an important Twitter thread by composer Kerry Muzzey that crystalizes a number of phenomena: How Kerry caught YouTube using Content ID as a tool to extend the period of time that they can profit from infringement (or the “piracy profit window”)…
To all the world it looked as if Google—one of the most powerful, pro-immigrant, and ostensibly progressive corporations in the United States—was taking a unified stand. But that appearance of unanimity masked a welter of executive-level indecision and anxiety. It probably would have been more apt if Pichai had said that, over the previous 48 hours, he had been backed into a corner by thousands of his employees.
The head of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said he’s prepared to break up major technology platforms if necessary by undoing their past mergers as his agency investigates whether companies including Facebook Inc. are harming competition.
FTC Chairman Joe Simons, who is leading a broad review of the technology sector, said in an interview Tuesday that breaking up a company is challenging, but could be the right remedy to rein in dominant companies and restore competition.
“If you have to, you do it,” Simons said about breaking up tech companies. “It’s not ideal because it’s very messy. But if you have to you have to.”
Snapstreaks, YouTube autoplay, and endless scrolling are all coming under fire from a new bill, which is sponsored by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), targeting the tech industry’s “addictive” design.
Hawley’s Social Media Addiction Reduction Technology Act, or the SMART Act, would ban these features that work to keep users on platforms longer, along with others, like Snapstreaks, that incentivize the continued use of these products. If approved, the Federal Trade Commission and Health and Human Services could create similar rules that would expire after three years unless Congress codified them into law.
“Big tech has embraced a business model of addiction,” Hawley said. “Too much of the ‘innovation’ in this space is designed not to create better products, but to capture more attention by using psychological tricks that make it difficult to look away.”
[Editor Charlie sez: Remember “Nicotine is not Addictive” Senator Wyden? Here’s your chance to reprise your role in the consumer protection movie.]
[Editor Charlie sez: Google is funneling money to Public Knowledge in this settlement in the same cy pres scam they have run countless times and that is the very money funnel recently discredited by the U.S. Supreme Court.]
Google is poised to pay a modest $13 million to end a 2010 privacy lawsuit that was once called the biggest U.S. wiretap case ever and threatened the internet giant with billions of dollars in damages. [Read the settlement court filing here.]
The settlement would close the books on a scandal that was touched off by vehicles used by Google for its Street View mapping project. Cars and trucks scooped up emails, passwords and other personal information from unencrypted household Wi-Fi networks belonging to tens of millions of people all over the world.
Editors note #1 – Over the last year, this blog has been reporting on Google’s apparent use of proxies in an attempt to intimidate members of the EU parliament into voting against the proposed EU Copyright Directive. The Copyright Directive requires social media platforms above a certain size to do more to counter copyright infringement […]
Editor Charlie sez: You have to love this:
In other news, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, [D-Google]., wants the Copyright Office to study if the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees should be modernized. Lofgren noted that the Department of Justice had reviewed the decrees just a couple of years ago and wondered, “What has changed since the last time?”
Aside from the DOJ dreaming up the insanity of 100% licensing and ignoring all other recommendations from songwriters as they did in the last review under a former Google lawyer working for the Antitrust Division, you mean?
And aside from the fact that the DOJ is reviewing 1,200 legacy consent decrees but only the songwriters get attention from Congress?