BLOG: Digital Rights in the Age of Google
As the copyright wars between technology and art they distribute continue to rage , the government is making sure that absolutely nothing effectively is accomplished. Well, sort of.
Two weeks ago The Wall Street Journal reported a breakthrough in the rights deals made between artist and distributor. Major music labels and movie houses relented and allowed a slew of sample songs and movie trailers to be previewed by the consumer for free before offering the entire commodity for sale. Even the ubiquitous songsmith-masters themselves, The Beatles, allowed some of their catalogue to be used in a video game. Hopefully the shift in legal weather predicates a general sea change in the way the RIAA approaches illegal downloading. Now they are scheming on how to facilitate what many hackers can already accomplish, but beat them at their own game by offering free loaded samples and other ear goodies. The largest bust occurred between writers and publishers and the major internet distributor Google. $125 million dollars was paid out to artists by the big G for miscellaneous books and digitized print yet unaccounted for.
Even more intriguing a contract was signed where by consumers can find out-of-print books through the search engine and view 20 percent of the piece for free. This is the first time a somewhat concrete percentage has been reached through regulatory legal proceedings. The number might linger in the halls of the ongoing debate between the RIAA and major sellers like Apple. Who knows, maybe the lawyers and corporate fat cats might say frig-it altogether and bestow a free-for-all music extravaganza on the feenin’ artistic masses. Stay tuned.