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Songwriter Claims He Was Exploited By Google... But A Few Seconds Of Logical Thinking Disproves That

from the ok,-let's-work-this-through dept

A bunch of folks have sent in the latest PR attempt by some musicians in the recording industry to force Google to pay unsustainable rates to keep their music on YouTube. Pete Waterman, who apparently co-wrote the Rick Astley "Rick Roll" song Never Gonna Give You Up has come out saying that Google "exploited" him, because he earned a grand total of £11 last year, even while the video was a hit on YouTube.

There are probably more details here, because no one actually says how much Google paid overall. For example, part of the problem may simply be the deal that Waterman himself signed concerning his royalties. But, more to the point, it's not Google that's doing any exploiting at all. Here's the simple logic process to run through (which Waterman and all the folks supporting this PR stunt failed to do):
  • How much attention did Waterman's song get last year thanks to YouTube?
  • Fine, take away YouTube. How much attention would Waterman and his song have received last year
Yup. No one would be talking about Waterman or his song at all in the absence of YouTube and the rickrolling phenomenon. The only "exploiting" being done is now, by Waterman, because he got totally lucky in that a bunch of internet jokesters happened to pick his song (mainly for how bad it is) to use as part of an internet joke. He deserves to get paid for that? It could have just as easily been any other ridiculous pop hit in the 80s. And, if it had been, then no one would be talking or caring about Waterman at all.

Furthermore, it was never YouTube making use of the music, but it was all these people on the internet, adopting the meme. YouTube was just the platform they used for it. So, no, Waterman wasn't exploited by YouTube in the slightest, though he seems to have no trouble at all trying to exploit the fact that he got lucky and whine about it -- even though it's the only reason his name is now in the news again.

Filed Under: exploit, pete waterman, rickroll, videos
Companies: google


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  1. identicon
    RD, 10 Apr 2009 @ 9:12pm

    FUWH

    "Imagine if you wrote a song - doubtful as that may be - and then some group of Internet Kiddies decided to just run roughshod over your creation. You wouldn't like it.

    The Internet Kiddies I'm referring to are the miscreants at Google, who seem to think that the whole world is their personal Good Ship LollyFree.

    Well, it isn't."

    Hey, YOU STUPID FUCKTARD, listen up. GOOGLE didnt put the videos online. YOUTUBE IS A PLATFORM, people USE it, they dont place the content THEMSELVES you dumbshit corporate lapdog SHILL.

    Do you blame the car manufacturer for what people do with the cars?

    Do you blame the gun manufacturers for how people use guns?

    Do you blame newspapers, or craigslist for the ads that people list?

    Do you blame COMCAST when Janet displays her breast during halftime of the superbowl?

    When people comment here on techdirt, do you blame TECHDIRT for the CONTENT of the comments?

    Get it through your industry-ass-filled-shit-for-brains-lapdog-HEAD that a PLATFORM is just a TOOL. The USERS are the ones putting the content out there, not GOOGLE. GOOGLE just owns youtube and provides a SERVICE, not the CONTENT.

    Worthless piece of garbage.

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