back to article 'YOUTUBE is EVIL': Somebody had a tape running, Google...

It's not often a $450bn multinational is humbled by a single classical musician with a tape recorder. Yet that seems to be what happened this weekend. Google spends billions on marketing, paying lobbyists and buying influence. It funds over 150 organisations and overtook Goldman Sachs last year as the biggest corporate …

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  1. Jad

    "Don't be evil"

    Yet another reason that Google should abandon that motto ...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don%27t_be_evil

    1. ElNumbre
      Thumb Up

      Re: "Don't be evil"

      "Don't be Evil"*

      *We define what evil means.

    2. NoneSuch

      Re: "Don't be evil"

      According to her website her husband is sick with lung cancer.

      Dealing with that and the Google corporation must be horrific.

      1. keithpeter
        Pint

        Re: "Don't be evil"

        "According to her website her husband is sick with lung cancer.

        Dealing with that and the Google corporation must be horrific."

        Hence the comment on the transcript I imagine ("Youtube is not at the top of my priority list right now").

        So I just bought her most recent work as a 320 Kb/s mp3 download from the efficient and well organised bandcamp Web shop. I suggest we all do the same.

      2. keithpeter

        Re: "Don't be evil"

        "According to her website her husband is sick with lung cancer.

        Dealing with that and the Google corporation must be horrific."

        "YouTube is not at the top of my priority list right now" on the blog post linked in OA. One can understand why.

        Ms Keating's most recent bandcamp release is Into the Trees. Apocalyptica meets Helen Jane Long. It is growing on me. I'm doodling on the piano along with it. I think you should all drop the price of a coffee and bun on a copy.

    3. Shannon Jacobs
      Holmes

      "All your attentions are belonging to the google!" is today's motto

      If you believe in freedom, there is a simple solution. Just to be safe, I better clarify that I am talking about freedom as meaningful and unconstrained choice, not the Microsoft version of freedom (now adopted by Google et alia) where you are only free to choose the flavor of your cancer. The problem with cancer as an model of ideal growth is that it always kills the host, even if the cancer is smart enough to bribe legislators. (BtW, did you read the recent article about Google as #1 in lobbying among high-tech companies?)

      So the solution is to give us choice. Easiest to illustrate with Microsoft, but basically the same can be done with the google. The solution is LIFE as in reproduction on the model of an amoeba rather than a cancer.

      Cut Microsoft (or the google) into 2 to 4 pieces. Give each of the child companies a copy of the code, databases, and an equal share of the employees and facilities. Shareholders get equal shares in each of the child companies. Then they compete against each other. They can even exchange information about standards and interfaces, as long as it is shared in public and everyone else can see it, too. The children will naturally start to diverge, and we (the customers) have the freedom to make meaningful choices.

      Right now the customers of Microsoft (and the google) are treated with less respect than the fleas on a dog. If you're the only dog in the neighborhood, why should you care what the fleas think?

    4. cortland

      Re: "Don't be evil"

      Medi-evil, perhaps; [ ]irds in a Guilded cage.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The new man

    It always surprises me how enthusiastically the new 'man' in the shape of Google is greeted in comparison to the virtual monopolies we had in the 90s and early 2000s. Google is far worse. It used to just be you had one choice what OS to put on your computer, but nobody then really did much about what you actually did with it after that. Google wants to control your phone, your computer, where you find information and gradually virtually everything you do with a computer. The fact they use a variety of open source software is not necessarily a positive, as shown here, appropriating the work of others for free and then monetizing it is their primarily business model, they've just moved on from just doing it with software, they now want to do the same with music and video rights.

    1. GreggS

      Re: The new man

      Not just music & video rights. Images, documents, personal information and your first born.

      1. BillG Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: The new man

        Not just music & video rights. Images, documents, personal information and your first born.

        And more than that. Ever read the book 1984? Google wants control for control's sake. Power for the sale of power. People that think like that are the ultimate evil.

        It doesn't stop until they can decide who lives, and who dies. Or being banned from the internet - forever.

    2. auburnman

      Re: The new man

      The thing about Google at the minute is it's a dominant force in search - but it has very low lock-in for the average guy in the street. If they keep on this path of screwing content creators and burning goodwill they could be in for a massive disruptive shock.

      To take Youtube as an example, there is nothing stopping a rival video service gaining massive traction overnight. If my favourite Youtubers were to rebel en masse and defect to some new service started by Amazon or NetFlix for example I'd follow them in a heartbeat - beyond the content it hosts there is nothing keeping me loyal to Youtube.*

      *And even a fair few reasons that would push me to switch - the video player itself is good, but the rest of Youtube's layout can be a confusing PITA

      1. frank ly Silver badge

        @auburnman Re: The new man

        "... defect to some new service ..."

        What about Vimeo and similar services that I've noticed or read about? I don't keep up with these developments so I'm wondering if they are a viable alternative platform for people who want their work to be noticed and to make money for themselves.

        1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

          Re: @auburnman The new man

          I think it comes down to catch 22.

          Youtube was the main service, pretty much the only place to host video like this. So all the content was on there, and all the users go there.

          Content creators will not (unless forced somehow) move away from that massive user base. The users will not move to another service with less content.

          Google's new terms may be the tipping point, but there would need to be a huge leap by content creators away from Youtube, with the realisation that their viewership will be hurt in the short term. If this happens, the users will move too. But it's risky.

          As for Google retaining ownership of the content, that's definitely evil. It is likely that it was in the T&Cs, but I would like to see it go to court. Sounds like an unfair term to me, which could be quashed.

          1. John Lilburne Silver badge

            Re: @auburnman The new man

            There isn't a massive userbase on Google for any creator. No one 'finds' music or film on Google that they weren't already aware of, usually by some personal recommendation by way of a link. But the link can be anywhere. You like a song you want your friend to hear it, you look for it on YT and post the link. But you could just as well of looked for the musicians site and linked to there.

            YT currently holds the content not through the efforts of the creators but by fans putting it there, and a loophole in US copyright law which they use to plunder the Zoe Keating's of the world.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: John Lilburne @auburnman The new man

              Down vote for the piss poor and frankly, illiterate use of "of" instead of "have".

              1. e^iπ+1=0

                Re: John Lilburne @auburnman The new man

                Agree with your down vote.

                This usage of 'of' may well be founded in illiteracy.

                I'm not sure of the origins of this, but I can imagine, using spoken English for step two:

                Just as well have -> Just as well've -> Just as well of

                Step one to step two, have abbreviated to 've, followed by step two to step three, person who hears the 've abbreviation and attempts to write it as it sounds because they don't know how to append 've to well when they write.

                Why did I just write all of this guff? I might "just as well of" not bothered.

        2. SolidSquid

          Re: @auburnman The new man

          Vimeo is more geared towards people wanting to host videos on their own site and doesn't have the same account/channel/recommendation based system as Youtube does, making it more difficult to find interesting stuff on Vimeo itself

          1. Tom 35 Silver badge

            Re: @auburnman The new man

            So Vimeo is like using search with Yahoo or Bing. It works but Google is better?

        3. auburnman

          Re: @auburnman The new man

          Any competitor that has a UI that isn't total shit has a chance, but the tricky part is getting momentum. It would likely need marketing/backing from someone like Amazon or Facebook, or a load of content creators rebelling at once. I mention the last one as I can see it as a possibility in the not too distant future; many game reviewers have videos slamming Youtube's overreaching policies and automatic takedowns that assume guilt on the part of the Youtuber.

        4. kellerr13

          Re: @auburnman The new man

          Vimeo still has a sucky engine, and too much crap on the screen and control just like Youtube.

          The best option is to come up with one where we can keep 100% control if we like, but the more control people are willing to relinquish, the more features they get. Although,that has pitfalls also.

      2. RyokuMas Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: The new man

        "To take Youtube as an example, there is nothing stopping a rival video service gaining massive traction overnight"

        ... but...

        "The thing about Google at the minute is it's a dominant force in search"

        ... which is probably the single biggest obstacle to rival video services. These days, we don't "search the web" for stuff - we "google" it. So where is this hypothetical average man going to go to find the video he's looking for? Google.

        So all Google need to do is keep an eye to the competition and massage their search results so that anyone who looks like they're starting to erode YouTube's share by any significant margin slowly starts to slip down the search rankings... and the New World Order is restored.

        Until Google's effective stranglehold over web search is broken, they will be in a position to control what happens with competitors to their other services. And this breaking of the stranglehold is not a technological issue - rather, it needs to happen in people's minds. I had a rather depressing incident a while ago where someone I was explaining something to did not understand what I meant by "searching the web" until I actually used the phrase "google it"...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The new man

          "So all Google need to do is keep an eye to the competition and massage their search results so that anyone who looks like they're starting to erode YouTube's share by any significant margin slowly starts to slip down the search rankings... and the New World Order is restored."

          And you have absolutely no evidence that they've done that. Do you? It's just random spewings.

          Try searching for a video on vimeo through Google. Guess what, it works

          1. RyokuMas Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: The new man

            "And you have absolutely no evidence that they've done that. Do you?"

            Spoken like a good little Google sheep.

            I never said they were doing this - rather that it's all they would need to do. I'm saying that should Google deem that Vimeo was cutting too heavily into YouTube's share, it would be a simple matter for Google to tweak their search engine over time so that Vimeo slowly drops down the rankings and into obscurity - they have the power to do this, and have been accused of doing this before.

            But I never even claimed that this is what is happening now.

            Try reading the actual context of a comment before throwing knee-jerk reaction accusations in future.

            1. Daggerchild Silver badge

              Re: The new man

              "And you have absolutely no evidence that they've done that. Do you?"

              Spoken like a good little Google sheep.

              I never said they were doing this - rather that it's all they would need to do

              You do realise you're being a consistantly personally-insulting FUD spreader who wouldn't get their posts past a premoderator, don't you?

              1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

                Re: Re: The new man

                Stop misbehaving or the Big Moderatorial Hammer of Justice will descend.

                1. Daggerchild Silver badge

                  Re: The new man

                  *sighs* - if *I* called someone a 'good little ...'. Hennywaze..

                  Seems I accidentally subconsciously primed awareness of the moderatorial presence and penalties somewhere near the top of an increasingly emotional exchange where insults were beginning to fly. Tut. Careless.

                  Or.. maybe that's what I *want* you to think. People don't *do* that! Safer not to trust him. Simplifies everything. *MWUHAHAHAHAAA*

          2. veti Silver badge

            Re: The new man

            To the AC who believes that Google doesn't massage search results in its own favour: try the following experiment.

            Pick up a book by a well known author who died more than 75 years ago. (Charles Dickens is my go-to choice for this purpose, but there are plenty more.) Open the book at random. Find a phrase that's distinctive enough to be unique, but not profound enough to appear in anyone's collection of favourite quotes. (From Dickens:

            "'What a mooney godmother you are, after all!"

            "wiped his corrugated forehead from left to right several times"

            "Suddenly a very little counsel with a terrific bass voice arises")

            Then Google that phrase.

            For the above 3 examples, there are lots of complete, easily-readable texts on the web. Yet the second result, in each case (as tried by me just now), is the Google Books hit - which is ugly and unreadable, and doesn't even link to a complete version of the text. (For the last of these, nine of the top 10 results point to books.google.com, despite the fact that it's far and away the least useful and accessible version on the web.)

          3. sabroni Silver badge

            Re: Try searching for a video on vimeo through Google. Guess what, it works

            Missing the point a bit. Try searching for a video that's on vimeo through Google and see if it suggests it. They may show you vimeo results if you specifically ask for them, but for vimeo to become an alternative to youtube the search ranking needs to show no respect to the site hosting the video. Do Google favour youtube or does youtube's popularity put it at the top of the search results?

            This is the classic point, continually downvoted here but not rebuffed, that Google search can't be trusted to be fair when they have a product to promote.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The new man

          I think you overestimate the power of search. People go where their friends go, as relayed by IM, FB, word of mouth.

          If the content creators flee YouTube, the viewers will follow.

          1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

            Re: The new man

            People go where their friends go, as relayed by IM, FB, word of mouth.

            That's the truth of it. After all, that's how Google and YouTube got so big in the first place.

            One niche artist won't make much of a difference other than to highlight the problem but if some major artists - and particularly record labels - take a stand then their fans are very likely to go with them.

            The danger of being evil while pretending not to be is that, if you bite the hand that feeds too hard, those being milked just might realise and take exception to that.

            1. mittfh

              Re: The new man

              Warner Music Group once blocked anything on YouTube containing its music (or music published by its publishing arm Warner/Chappell Music) in a dispute over copyright / royalty payments, and even threatened to not license its work to any free streaming site or to any video game as they were getting peanuts.

              However, because no credible alternative streaming site exists (at least partially because in order to get up and running they'd need to implement something akin to Content ID to avoid annoying major record labels), they eventually brokered a deal with YouTube.

              It wouldn't surprise me if this new Google Music thingy is designed to keep the major record labels sweet and negotiated on their terms and conditions, which favour them and disfavour independent / unsigned artists.

        3. Cynic_999 Silver badge

          Re: The new man

          I wouldn't worry too much about the term "Google" being used. Many people will talk about using a "hoover" or "hoovering" the carpet etc., which does not suggest that they have ever bought a device actually made by Hoover.

        4. Suricou Raven

          Re: The new man

          You have it backwards.

          If I made a kick-ass video and post it on youtube, it's a chance of getting popular. People find it, views go up, which means it starts appearing on the recommended page and the related videos list, bringing in more people. Youtube isn't just a video host: It's a powerful recommendation engine. A person can spend hours just following the chain of videos youtube presents.

          If I put the same video on vimeo or blip.TV, it's not going to get even a fraction of the view count. Which means no-one bothers putting video up there unless they already have a high-traffic website in place on which to embed the video.

      3. The obvious

        About that 'low lock-in'

        If you think google is only a dominant force in search then you're in for a huge eye-opener. Set yourself a mission to *completely* de-google your life, to not give them any data at all and let me know how you get on...

        1. nematoad Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: About that 'low lock-in'

          OK.

          It works fine for me.

          I do not use Google, I use Duckduckgo instead, Vimeo instead of Youtube and Palemoon instead of Chrome. I block Googleanalytics and other Google spyware with Noscript and PrivacyBadger etc.

          I could go on but that would be tedious.

          It can be done though it takes a bit of thinking about and I wouldn't expect my granny or sister to have all the knowledge required but as an ex IT pro I can and do keep Google as far away from my data as possible.

        2. shaolin cookie

          Re: About that 'low lock-in'

          @The obvious

          Right you are. I was just in China recently and to my surprise they had blocked Google entirely, rather than just YouTube like earlier. I've already weaned my way out from Gmail and use StartPage for search so thought it wouldn't matter much. But the likes of StartPage and DuckDuckGo use Google results and are therefore also blocked, and no Play store on Android and no Google Maps were troublesome, and while Baidu works well in Chinese, in English it's even worse than Bing, and that's saying a lot. However, the main issue came from the many not Google-related sites including things like a small Google map to find them, as such pages then took forever and a day to open. Felt relieved returning and having Google back. Who would've thought?

      4. MSLiermann

        Re: The new man

        If any serious alternative to Youtube gains traction, Google will simply buy them out or otherwise sink them. Google needs to be hit with US anti-trust law and broken up, much like AT&T was.

        1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: The new man

          "Google needs to be hit with US anti-trust law and broken up, much like AT&T was." And how well did that work out? Funny, the new AT&T looks a lot like the old AT&T but worse.

      5. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

        Re: The new man

        Influencers are one of those social media thangs that I thought Google understood. It doesn't take much for one service to go from absolute success to (near) overnight failure as we've seen time and again. MySpace is just one example that comes immediately to mind.

        1. fearnothing

          Re: The new man

          What's MySpace?

          1. Sarah Balfour

            Re: The new man

            An abomination. I'm taking it that, by your comment, you've never actually attempted to use it, and I'm mystified as to why so many bands and artists still do. It actually wasn't too bad, until Murdoch got his hands on it, and destroyed it, as is his wont.

            I'm firmly in the Bandcamp, er, camp - or I would be if the search didn't suck. For example, I discovered a new - well new to me, at least, darkwave artist called Eduard Reik so, naturally, I search for him on Bandcamp. But, Bandcamp, instead of telling me 'no results found for your search string', or whatever, presents me with at least 20 pages of 'Edward', 'Ed', 'Eduardo', 'Eddy', 'Edd', 'Eddie', etc., all organised by surname, so I had to flick through around 15 pages to the 'Rs' to find he wasn't listed! I even tried enclosing his name in quotes, using Boolean operators, results were identical. Fuck you, Bandcamp, if he's not there, just tell me he's not there, FFS, DON'T make me wade through umpteen pages of results to FIND he's not there! Allmusic's search is just as bad, if not worse, because there you CAN specify genre, but it'll ignore it.

            I eventually tracked him down on Soundcloud and it transpired that, despite the unusual name, he's a London boy. I'm so outta touch with the homegrown industrial/EBM/synth-pop/goth/darkwave scene, because those genres don't get any airplay on UK radio (I heard this guy on a station based in Brooklyn).

            In short, Bandcamp would be brilliant if it weren't for the shittiness of its search. There's also ReverbNation, of course, but it's not iOS-friendly (causes every iOS browser I've tried to crash, and it's not like it's coz it uses Flash, coz it doesn't).

            Zoë's work really isn't my cup o' char, but I will buy her latest, perhaps it'll grow on me…

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The new man

      Ah yes, but Google gives the 'Natives' trinkets for their valubles, just like the British East India Company used to do. We know how BEIC are thought of now, the future view of Google will be the same.

      1. Frank Leonhardt

        Re: The new man

        You probably mean the English East India Company (or possibly the Dutch one)? It's proper name was "[Governor and | United] Company of Merchants of [London | England] Trading into the East Indies". There was nothing other than London or England in the name; that's a modern PC change made by other parts of the UK not wishing to be ignored.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Google wants to control your phone, your computer... and gradually virtually everything

      The medium might be new (Internet), but the model is essentially the same: you want to expand your business infinitely (greed is good, more greed is better) and one way which works, is by monopolizing the supply channel. You can call it roses, but it's still driving for monopoly by hook or by crook (depends on how much cash you have, and how much resistance there is). And while I hate Google as much as I used to champion for them in their infancy, I can't say they're are worse than any other bully, in the past or present, in any area where there's money to be made. This is not an excuse to pat them on their back and shrug it off, but honestly, they're no more evil than any other (near) monopolist, they're all scumbags.

    5. Jim 59

      Re: The new man

      Google should never have been allowed to buy YouTube and the other internet giants it bought in the early 2000s. It now lacks competitors in many areas and the internet has stagtated from Google and the loss of a free market.

      This Youtube debacle reminds me of Tesco fleecing milk farmers here in the UK. Like Google, Tesco generates no "content" but acts as a gatekeeper. It deals with suppliers sharply, and milk prices are forced so low many farmers go bankrupt or worse. The way Tesco talks to suppliers is similar to that conversation between Keating and Google (according to Panarama). We are happy to by the cheap milk. We won't be so happy when Farmer Giles sells out to a householder who will promptly put 1000 new "starter" homes on our doorstep.

      If you like to look at the cows out of your window, you have to pay for the milk. Maybe we are the ones bending the market, with our impossible expectations of free stuff.

    6. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: The new man

      And the parting on the left

      Is now a parting on the right

      1. Gannon (J.) Dick

        Re: The new man

        Re: The new man

        And the parting on the left

        Is now a parting on the right

        ----------------------------------------

        I'd venture a guess that the little wooden boys at Google do not need longer beards, but rather shorter noses.

    7. ppawel
      Big Brother

      Re: The new man

      The scariest thing in all of this is the fact that even though there are stories like this one, when you discuss with most of the "regular people" about Google, their opinion is always the same - it's the best thing ever. People love Google for GMail, Maps, Drive and you-name-whatever-service-they-provide-for-"free". Businesses love Google for Google Apps for Business. Because it all "just works" and is pretty and up-to-date etc. Hell, some people even donate their time and effort FOR FREE to Google - see Google Map Maker. Why the hell would you do that instead of contributing to OpenStreetMap, I will never know...

      Looks like we all have a love affair with Google. Nothing left but a happy ending, right?

      Boy, are we all in for a very very rude awakening some day.

  3. cs94njw

    Oh blimey... um... that's a bit evil.

    Much more of this from Google, and I'd be tempted to move away.

    1. Badvok

      Yeah, totally evil that is, wanting to continue to pay an artist for their music even when someone else uses it in their upload. The only thing they are actually saying is that unless the artist signs up to the new service terms then they'll stop paying the artist when someone else uses their content in an upload.

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