Lockdown 2021: Day 19

Hello and good morning from 0438 am. I woke up about an hour ago, lay in bed with nothing but my thoughts for company and one persisted for so long that I was gripped by an overwhelming desire to share it.

Just a quick recap before though. For all of this year, I’ve been averaging roughly 3 hours sleep a night, and when I write roughly, I mean roughly. When I wake up, that’s it, I never go back to sleep, just lay there thinking until I fitfully drowse some time later. For the last few nights, being determined to break the cycle, I’ve forced myself to get up at 10am and tough it out until midnight and then go to bed. Sadly, while the mind may well be willing, the flesh is weak and wakes up at what-the-fuck-o’clock. So now you’re up to speed.

Yesterday I saw a headline on the BBC that was as inevitable as it was indicative of the times in which we live in now.

Google has threatened to remove its search engine from Australia over the nation’s attempt to make the tech giant share royalties with news publishers.

Australia is introducing a world-first law to make Google, Facebook and potentially other tech companies pay media outlets for their news content.

But the US firms have fought back, warning the law would make them withdraw some of their services.

Tech firms have faced increasing pressure to pay for news content in other countries, including France, where Google struck a landmark deal with media outlets on Thursday.

In Australia, the proposed news code would tie Google and Facebook to mediated negotiations with publishers over the value of news content, if no agreement could be reached first.

The article then goes on to point out blah, blah and blah, with Google bleating on about this that. It occurred to me that google are nothing more than the digital worlds equivalent of tobacco firms; they get people hooked on their product, make money hand over fist, but when lawmakers threaten regulatory action, get all stroppy and threaten to take their ball away.

Google believes in free speech all right, but free as in free to make money from the content that others have paid to generate in the first place. The irony that I’ve copied and pasted from a BBC news article about paying for content that I haven’t, isn’t lost on me.