Is Google taking us back to high school?

I remember high school. The socialites — the "soshes" or soc's or however you would spell the nickname (I never learned) — were the in crowd. The cheerleaders, the football players, the glamorous crowd who looked down on the rest of us. Something like Heathers, only moreso and without the violence. When it came to who mattered in school, they were the arbiters. The rest of us, no matter how many friends we had, no matter how talented we were, no matter how smart we were (or should I rather say because of being smart) amounted to anything in the dominant high school culture. I hated it. I turned away from it. My friends and I would scorn the soc's in some lame attempt at payback, as if they cared. But it hurt to be disregarded so. Even though I didn't even really like them.

We outgrew it, of course. Some more quickly than others.

No, Google is not a monopoly

First, some context

Henry Porter, an opinionator granted a regular podium by the Guardian, has written a bit of a rant claiming that we're victims of Google, a "monopoly."

Google presents a far greater threat to the livelihood of individuals and the future of commercial institutions important to the community. One case emerged last week when a letter from Billy Bragg, Robin Gibb and other songwriters was published in the Times explaining that Google was playing very rough with those who appeared on its subsidiary, YouTube. When the Performing Rights Society demanded more money for music videos streamed from the website, Google reacted by refusing to pay the requested 0.22p per play and took down the videos of the artists concerned.

It does this with impunity because it is dominant worldwide and knows the songwriters have nowhere else to go. Google is the portal to a massive audience: you comply with its terms or feel the weight of its boot on your windpipe.


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