The IOC owns Boris and Google is on their side

“International Olympic Committee has reviewed your dispute and reinstated its copyright claim on your video, “Boris dancing to the Spice Girls”. – LatentExistence

It’s a remarkable best of times, worst of times situation in terms of information and media. On one level you have this unbelievable democratization of platforms that’s happened. Thought experiment: Say I’m a tenured professor at Princeton in 1980. I’m in humanities, so I’m not yet on email. And I want to tell 500 people about something. It’s a massive logistical problem, even for someone with a lot of social capital. You put up a sign in the faculty break room? You knock on doors? You flyer cars? Every teenager in Harlem now has that reach. Instantaneously. – Chris Hayes

The founders of the Internet and the World Wide Web created a platform that potentially, anyone can use. Quite deliberately, I don’t use GooglePlus. I do use Gmail (who doesn’t?) but if WordPress is ever bought by Google I will switch to some other blogging platform extremely fast.

WordPress.com, which I use, is a service owned and operated by Automattic, which uses WordPress.org, an open source project which is owned by nobody. WordPress is trademarked to the WordPress Foundation. Automattic is a web development corporation founded August 2005, and employees include Matthew Mullenweg, a founding developer of WordPress open source. Mullenweg frankly seems quite happy being a multi-millionaire who gets to write code a lot, and I’m hoping that doesn’t change.

I will never stop learning. I won’t just work on things that are assigned to me. I know there’s no such thing as a status quo. I will build our business sustainably through passionate and loyal customers. I will never pass up an opportunity to help out a colleague, and I’ll remember the days before I knew everything. I am more motivated by impact than money, and I know that Open Source is one of the most powerful ideas of our generation. I will communicate as much as possible, because it’s the oxygen of a distributed company. I am in a marathon, not a sprint, and no matter how far away the goal is, the only way to get there is by putting one foot in front of another every day. Given time, there is no problem that’s insurmountable. – Mullenweg via WPtavern

Why am I telling you this? Because as Amber Elliot noted in Total Politics:

If you missed the closing ceremony last night, there are only two moments that really deserve your attention.

The first was some spectacular dad-dancing from Boris Johnson (to the Spice Girls, of course). If you look carefully, you can spot Ed Miliband clapping along as well.

Except you can’t see that.

Boris didn’t have someone take that down because it was embarrassing. The International Olympic Committee ordered Youtube to remove these videos, and Youtube complied, from great to small.

If you buy in to Google – and oh do they want you to – you can live your whole life in the Google cloud. Until you say or do something that the powers that be do not like, and then it can be taken away from you.

Make no mistake, piracy law isn’t about “protecting artists”, though that is the justification always touted. It’s about ownership and profit. The IOC own those images of Boris dad-dancing to the Spice Girls. No one else is allowed to profit from them: no one else is allowed to share them unless the IOC takes a profit.

PS: Now on Vimeo!

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2 Comments

Filed under Blog Housekeeping, In The Media, Internet, Olympics

2 responses to “The IOC owns Boris and Google is on their side

  1. Excellent article. Really highlights just how tightly Google’s grip on your short and curlies is. No need for laws and stuff to get you to do what you’re told, just threaten that you’ll get your Gmail switched off, blocked from your Google Apps calendar, have your Adsense revenue withheld, your Blogger account suspended, not able to access your Picasa photo albums or YouTube videos. What else? Brick your Android phone?

    I’ll be a good boy, I promise.

  2. McFood™ for thought EE. Thanks.

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