If You Take Sides On Copyright, Don’t Take Kurt Sutter’s

Kurt Sutter
With all the attention swirling around the recent leak of The Expendables 3, I’m reminded of a rather prescient article from Kurt Sutter – creator and showrunner for Sons of Anarchy. I consider him eloquent, interesting, entertaining, and somewhat crazy. But he’s also as wrong as, well, everything Gene Simmons says. The early August article for Variety went after Google and its apparent love of piracy. In this piece, he’s attacking Google for “systematically destroying [our] artistic future”. Yes, Sutter is attacking a search index for destroying the future of his children, and their children too. And possibly, Armageddon. Seriously?

More to the point, are guys like Sutter, Prince, and Gene Simmons in a poker group that meets in fancy hotels so they can compare notes on the evils of all things digital? Seriously, these guys are so far out of touch with reality that they’d be the first to dream up a way to charge people for talking about something they’ve created. Perhaps that would be possible today if there were no Internet, and no means of people doing what they’ve always done: Share what they like with others. Google is a search engine. It index the Internet, not destroy civilizations, Kurt.

Yes, before Kurt Sutter was sperm, people entertained each other and longed to share it with friends and family. That was probably much harder when those creatives had their hands wrapped so tightly around our collective balls – that all we could do is share the description of what we enjoyed, be it a great painting, or the visage of a squashed frog on the interstate. Those who create and distributed the creative have always worked to maintain as much control as possible. Control for them, equals profits.

But, as humans we created technology to make buttons that gave Sutter the ability to spout this garbage; we were also given better ways of sharing what we loved. We were able to record audio, create mix tapes: like Awesome Mix: Vol 1 – Sutter probably thinks that bit of piracy in one of this summer’s biggest movies will destroy the universe, right? Now, more than ever and before we’re able to mix change, share, talk about and generally be excited about what we love. It’s kind of a revolution of giving the people what creativity was intended for. Some of that does include piracy, but you can’t choose how the water hits you when the wave crashes.

And this is it. The metaphoric water is simply indexed by Google. Sure Google may be working to better to give people what they want (which gets them more clicks), but they are still simply indexing what’s on the Internet. For better or worse this has nothing to do with evil. Do we make the phone companies filter out bad people from its index? Most rational people wouldn’t think the phone company is destroying the fabric of our society by listing criminals. They simply index phone numbers attached to people. That’s it.

The shame here is that Sutter has become so popular that he has a platform for this bullshit. I enjoy Sons of Anarchy, it’s a great show, but more and more I wonder how such a well-crafted show like that could be created by someone so devoid of real sense. The irony here is that his vitriol will be indexed and clicked on Google just the same as any pirated episode of his show. Maybe more often. And, even before (and after) major events in piracy, we’ll always have guys like this to let us know the sky is falling.

Let’s just hope the real cure for all things inane – obscurity – calls on Sutter’s point of view and files it exactly where is belongs (uhm, under “G”).