You probably use it every day, find it useful for searches, email, or random easter egg humor, but beware: Google is actually the enemy of all things good in the world. Or at least that’s what a writer for the increasingly ridiculous British newspaper Daily Mail would have you to believe.
In a piece actually headlined “Google threatens to destroy not only pop sensation Adele, but Britain’s film and music industries,” writer Alex Brummer argues that current British Prime Minister David Cameron’s belief that luring Google to the UK will apparently destroy art as we know it, because Google doesn’t care about ownership:
Google is alien to much that Britain holds dear. It has no respect for private property.
Our Englishman’s Castle has been turned into public property by Google Earth — which offers aerial views — and Street View, created when an army of Google cars travelled the length and breadth of the country taking pictures of our streets and our homes to put on the internet… So dominant has [Google] become that it has helped to destroy great swathes of other media in its wake, from regional newspapers in Britain and the United States to business directory companies.
Brummer accuses Google of “running roughshod over UK copyright and intellectual property” and threatening “some of our premier creative industries.” But it’s entirely possible Brummer thinks this because he lives in some kind of parallel reality–he certainly doesn’t seem to be living in this one.
One only has to switch on the computer, call up the Google search engine and type in the name of a star like Adele to understand why the digital channel is such a threat to the UK’s performers, and for that matter our whole creative industry.
Nine out of the first ten websites which pop up on Google’s search engine are run by pirates who have downloaded Adele’s output and offer it online far more cheaply than official copyrighted sites and High Street retailers.
In effect, Google has granted these piracy sites a licence to steal. Instead of the proceeds going into future investment in artists, it ends up in the hands of internet buccaneers.
Admittedly, that would a bad thing–were it true. But when I Google “Adele,” the first links are for her official website, her official MySpace page, her Wikipedia entry, three links to buy tickets for a live performance in June, her IMDB page, her Facebook page and some YouTube videos. Perhaps multiple Googles exist that I don’t know about? But wait, Brummer’s not finished:
Google may have won over the hearts and minds of the Prime Minister and his aides, but all over the world it is increasingly recognised that the search engine is like a giant vacuum cleaner parasitically sucking up content from media companies, publishers, film makers and musicians without paying anything back into the creative process that produces such high cost entertainment.
Yes, I must have imagined YouTube investing $100 million in original content and paying $4000 for premium content from select partners. Google clearly is a parasite destroying everything good about creativity.
Don’t misread that as Google-worship: I don’t think Google’s squeaky-clean or always has the world’s best interests at heart, but this piece veers beyond sensationalism towards outright paranoia and poor research. If only Brummer had used a search engine to check his own “facts.”
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