Joe Rogan Knows Profiting Off Theft from Creators is Wrong
It’s Good to See Doing the Right Thing Be Rewarded
Joe Rogan is a really interesting guy - who has had a really interesting career:
“(C)omedian, podcaster, actor, television host, and mixed martial arts color commentator. He is best known for his podcast The Joe Rogan Experience.”
Rogan’s podcast is HUGE:
“On May 19, 2020, Rogan announced that from September 2020, The Joe Rogan Experience would be available on Spotify in an exclusive licensing deal worth an estimated $100 million.”
That ain’t chump change. Because Rogan ain’t no chump.
One of Rogan’s very many interesting moments in his life was his takedown of fellow comedian Carlos Mencia.
Mencia was at the time a huge star making huge coin. But much of his material - was stolen from other comedians.
Mencia’s Intellectual Property (IP) larceny was notorious in the Comedy World - but not as well known more broadly.
Joe Rogan had had a small part on NBC’s News Radio, but at the time of his Mencia takedown was a comparatively lesser show biz light. So it took real…guts to publicly challenge Mencia’s thefts.
But challenge them he did….
“in 2005 Joe posted in his blog about how Carlos was a ‘weak-minded joke thief’. Remember, that this was when Mencia was the well-known comic and Joe still fairly unknown:
“‘I’ve seen you steal over and over again. I’ve seen you Steal from Paul Mooney, I’ve seen you steal from Dave Chappelle, I’ve seen you steal from old Richard Pryor albums, I’ve seen you steal from Jeff (expletive deleted) Foxworthy.’…
“In 2007, Joe went all out and confronted Mencia in front of a live crowd at the Comedy Store. To this day, the whole comedy scene heavily respects Joe for what he did that day….
“In an extremely heated debate, which would later be called the Carlos Mencia Incident, Joe lists numerous times Mencia stole jokes from other comedians….
“(T)he video of the Carlos Mencia incident went viral instantly….The incident turned out to be a massive moment in Joe’s career. More importantly, it shaped the whole comedy scene in general. This is why it keeps coming up on the podcast every now and then.”
Here’s video of the Rogan-Mencia Incident. (It’s REALLY Not Safe For Work.) And it REALLY destroyed Mencia’s career.
Rogan’s vociferous defense of IP does keep coming up. Because it was such a cool thing for Rogan to do. And because it so completely encompasses everything that is wrong with IP theft.
“I stopped going (to the Comedy Store - he was banned) for seven years after I had that dispute with Carlos Mencia. That was when he was way more popular than me - especially as a comic. (So) the Comedy Store took his side….
“Do you guys (at the Comedy Store) understand what this is? You’re having a little battle for whether or not you’re going to let people profit off of crime. This is really what’s happening.
“You’re having thought crime. You have intellectual crime. You have plagiarism. And you’re knowingly allowing one person to profit off of it. And no one’s doing anything about it.
“So when one of us does something about it? Then you’re going to punish that person. You’re basically highlighting everything everyone was afraid of….
“You (the Comedy Store) weren’t protecting us. No one was protecting us.
“My (expletive deleted) agents dumped me…over that. They dropped me….They said I either had to apologize (to Mencia) or they couldn’t work with me anymore. (Rogan’s agents - also represented Mencia.)
“(So I said) ‘Well, we’re done. There’s no apology - and we’re never going to work together….
“‘You have to understand, you guys are making a choice that’s going to impact the rest of your life. This isn’t just a small thing.’…(Mencia) made way more money than me. He was way more valuable to them.
“‘You (the agents) sell art. That’s what you guys do. You’re not making anything….You make money off of art. Now here you know a guy is stealing other people’s art - and your answer to that is…we gotta stop people who are exposing it.’”
Rogan was and is a hero for doing this.
And despite his initial punishments and banishments for doing the right thing - he has ultimately been richly rewarded by God, karma and life for so doing. Again, $100 million ain’t chump change.
Now - a thought experiment.
Imagine Joe Rogan is computer software company Oracle - and Carlos Mencia is all-everything Big Tech monster Google.
“(A)n ongoing legal case within the United States related to the nature of computer code and copyright law. The dispute centers on the use of parts of the Java programming language's application programming interfaces (APIs), which are owned by Oracle (through subsidiary, Oracle America, Inc., originating from Sun Microsystems), within early versions of the Android operating system by Google. Google has admitted to using the APIs….”
Like Mencia, Google is notorious for its incessant IP theft.
Like Mencia was, Google is HUGE (Google Market Cap: $1.2 trillion). And like Mencia, lots of people make LOTS of money off of Google. Both in larcenous profits - and straight out bribes. And the bribes go to EVERYONE.
So Google has been with impunity allowed to steal over and over and over again. And their larcenously profited cohorts have either defended Google’s heists - or remained shamefully silent.
Until Oracle decided to channel their inner Joe Rogan.
Like Rogan, Oracle is minuscule when compared with Google (Oracle Market Cap: $170 billion). But they didn’t allow that to stop them from waging a now-decade-long court battle against the leviathan - which has now just been heard by the Supreme Court.
Because it was and is the right thing to do.
Like Rogan, Oracle is fundamentally and quite clearly in the right.
“How do we know Google knows they stole Android from Oracle-Java?
'The E-Mail That Google Really Doesn’t Want A Jury To See:
“‘Lawyers defending Google against a patent and copyright lawsuit brought by Oracle are trying desperately to keep a particular engineer’s e-mail out of the public eye-but it looks like they’re unlikely to succeed.
“‘The e-mail, from Google engineer Tim Lindholm to the head of Google’s Android division, Andy Rubin, recommends that Google negotiate for a license to Java rather than pick an alternative system….
“‘The second paragraph of the email reads:
“‘'What we’ve actually been asked to do by Larry [Page] and Sergey [Brin] (Google’s founders) is to investigate what technical alternatives exist to Java for Android and Chrome.
“‘'We’ve been over a bunch of these and think they all suck. We conclude that we need to negotiate a license for Java under the terms we need.'’
“‘Except Google never did negotiate for Android “a license for Java under the terms we need.”’”
“But they released Android anyway.
“That’s not legal.”
Like Rogan, Oracle has unfairly spent a lot of time and lost a lot of money in the wilderness - for doing the right thing. Court case after court case after court case, after all, cost a LOT of time and money.
It now comes down to the Supreme Court. They can rule properly - and reward Oracle for doing the right thing. The way Rogan has been rewarded for doing the right thing. And punish Google for doing the wrong thing.
Of course, nine billion dollars won’t break Google the way Rogan broke Mencia. Google has more than that in its petty cash drawer.
But it’s a start. And it’s the right thing to do.
The Supreme Court should rule in favor of Oracle - and deliver a righting of the nation’s IP ship.
The way Rogan did.
This first appeared in Red State.