Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was passed almost twenty years ago, in 1998. At the time, it was mainly intended to protect ISPs and telecom companies from being legally liable in case infringing materials found their way onto their equipment or cables. Telecom companies were in dire need of such legislation because they were putting a lot of money into very expensive infrastructure, and needed traffic to justify the expenses.
When YouTube came into existence, its success depended on the ability to attract massive amounts of viewers. Providing access to infringing materials helped their cause greatly, and YouTube gladly took advantage of the DMCA’s Safe Harbor provisions. As Sam Gustin writes, ‘YouTube founders knew illegal content was driving explosive growth.’ (See also, Viacom vs. YouTube/Google: A Piracy Case in Their Own Words.) Legal or moral aspects of copyright seemed to matter very little to the excited businessmen who were in it for the big prize.
Google (um, Alphabet) who owns YouTube today is no stranger to profiting from copyright infringement, either….
To accomplish its business and existential goals, Google absolutely needs to lie and trick people. Not only they spend massive amounts of money on lobbying, they also fund and support various organizations that smell like freedom on paper but in reality, are only there to push the anti-copyright and anti-culture agenda.
Enter Fight for the Future.
Last month, I jumped on my chair with surprise after seeing this tweet:
The #TPP is the epitome of the machine we need to rage against. Join @tmorello & more to https://t.co/uqHT8Kguir pic.twitter.com/lbXns9GWVl
— Fight for the Future (@fightfortheftr) June 17, 2016
Thing is, TPP is horrible. But so is Fight for the Future. I can’t possibly blame the musicians for jumping on this tour. FFTF’s rhethoric would confuse anybody who is not very familiar with what their seamy anti-artist and copyleft side. But it needs to be said. Fight for the Future IS the machine! It is a machine fighting against another machine over money, simple and cynical. Fight for the Future vs. TPP is like Monsters vs. Aliens.
The depth of human indecency permeating this particular case of “righteous” rebranding is astounding, and I think it’s important to set the record straight. It’s a matter of principle and existential truth.