Do you remember Google ( GOOGL )?
It was an Internet company with a search engine that was supposed to work better than the others. Most of us tried it, found that, yes, it did work better than the others, and have been using it ever since. Google had an unofficial motto, "Don't be Evil ," which was a nice, humanizing touch. It also underscored the company's savvy when it came to media relations.
The world has had numerous occasions to miss that company over the past decade or so, but never more than on June 17, when Google announced that it would offer a new music subscription service through YouTube.com , a site Google owns. The announcement should have been cause for celebration, since more options for streaming music can only be in the consumers favor. Only it wasn't a cause for celebration, and it most definitely wasn't in the consumers favor, because Google spoiled the announcement by adding that music by artists on independent labels (read: the ones that won't be writing checks to Google to distribute their music through the new service) will be removed from YouTube.
Google is removing from YouTube what has for myself, and millions of others, always been its most useful function: playing the obscure old music that can't be found anywhere else. As a consumer, I have been told that I can't use YouTube as I always have, since back before it was owned by Google, but not to worry, for a modest fee, I'll still be able to use it to watch the newest Miley Cyrus video.
For those inclined toward paranoia, Google is already the world's creepiest company. With practice, we can will ourselves to forget that they know too much about us (you know it's true), but how creepy is it that they regularly drive by my house, take pictures of my cats, and post them online? Still, creepiness is just creepiness, not evil. Evil requires not merely the acquisition of knowledge, but its active misuse. It requires not merely the acquisition of services built by other hands, but their destruction for private gain. It requires what Google is doing now.
And so I add my voice to the chorus of those crying out thus to Google: don't do it. It isn't worth it. You will sully your name by this act. Say you made a mistake; there's nothing more human than that, after all.
I'm assuming these cries will be ignored, so if there's any music you want to hear on YouTube from a non-major record label, you'd best hurry. Music will likely begin to be taken down from the site within just a few days.
Julian Close has been a business writer since the first day of the twenty-first century, having written for PRA International and the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping. He graduated from Davidson College in 1993 and received a Master of Arts in Teaching from Mary Baldwin College in 2011. He became a stockbroker in 1993, but now works for Fresh Brewed Media and uses his powers only for good. You can see closing trades for all Julian's long and short positions and track his long term performance via twitter: @JulianClose_MIC .
This article was originally published on MarketIntelligeneCenter.com