Friday, January 29, 2010

Youtube has infringed on my anger policy

Copyright laws & Youtube shutdowns seem to be the hot topics this week. We have seen Sebi/Monsterbazz's account suspended, and now we all wait in fear that Deach's may also be.

I'm not sure I quite understand why the record labels give a shit that I record a crappy version of a song by their artist in my living room & a few people watch it on the internet. I understand copyright infringement, and yes- it is... but why does the record label care?

A while back I covered a song written by the artist formerly known as Prince (and currently known as Douchenozzle) & it was pulled due to copyright infringement. After some research, I figured out that it was Prince- HE doesn't allow covers of his songs anywhere. In fact the song I covered was a song by The Bangles that he wrote but never even performed. Now, while I don't agree with it- I accept it. Fine. Prince is a douchenozzle. He has the right to be. He wrote the song. He can take his song & run home & not play with us anymore if that's the way he wants it.

But why does Warner Brothers care?

There is no way that a Youtube cover is going to cause a major record label to lose money. Do they think someone is going to take the time to sift through videos to find decent covers of an entire album & then download them all as opposed to just buying the CD by the original artist? If anything Youtube covers will stir interest & expose people to bands they might not otherwise have been.

I can completely understand pulling videos that include the original recording of a song, whether as placed background music or just accidentally recorded background noise. But covers? Why? Yes- it is copyright infringement... but geez don't you guys have bigger fish to fry? Aren't there a whole bunch of people illegally downloaded your actual product that you should worry about?

Record labels should have gotten in on this stuff a long time ago, and they could have helped put rules in place & everyone would be happy. But they didn't. They sat around & then said "Oh wait! Youtube is making money? We want some of that money!!" & started (what appears to be) randomly pulling videos & closing accounts. See I know I said a couple times just now I don't understand why they care, but I really do. It's about money.

On Tuesday I pulled up Youtube as an average Joe, not logged into my account- saw what the general public sees. And do you know what was featured at the top of the page? It was Music Tuesday & all the featured videos were covers of a song by Lady GaGa. This is where I get so confused. We can cover songs- we can't cover songs? Julia Nunes can have millions of hits on a cover but a few hundred on someone elses isn't okay? Youtube is sending mixed signals.

If they would just tell us what they want- what's acceptable & what isn't, I'm pretty sure that most of us would comply. If they gave us a list of what artists were off limits... maybe we'd stop covering them. Ever think of that, assholes? Because if you're featuring cover songs on Music Tuesdays- and it was entirely cover songs this week- then you're telling me it's okay to post cover songs. Stop pulling my videos without making the rules clear.

Everything else aside, I still see a silver lining to the situation that I haven't seen brought up yet... this is some serious motivation to write original material. Yes, it all sucks & it's all stupid & trust me, I could bitch about it for weeks... but it won't change anything. Instead of worrying, we should all post more things that we KNOW won't get us in trouble with the man. Our own stuff. Instead of saying "screw you record company I'm gonna play your song anyway" how about "screw you record company we don't need you at all".


Grumpy Coyote said...

I do some of this crap for a living (as a marketer, and an intellectual property developer in games and software). While I don’t condone the practice, I can offer an explanation.

U.S. IP rights owners pursue infringement for two reasons only...

1) Threat (mostly for patent cases) - either to revenue or to future products/market position. For example, they will not pursue a perceived patent infringement case unless the company that is doing so suddenly starts elbowing in on my market. No threat, no suit. It’s usually not worth it.

2) Precedent (particularly with trademarks and sometimes even copyright) – If you ever REALLY need to go after someone for stealing your stuff, and they can prove that you haven’t bothered to protect the use of the property under most circumstances, it can torpedo your case. Lack of enforcement of a copyright or trademark on the rights holders part can actually imply abandonment of the property and tacit return of said property to the public domain. It’s rare, but it has happened (Kleenex fought this, and IIRC lost for a while and had to re-engineer the trademark).

So right or wrong, the legal departments are trying to cover their asses and say “We fought for this copyright when we could” in case some real money is ever on the line.

It doesn’t make it any less douche-y, but that’s the bullshit justification…

I’m spinning up a new YT channel for my originals this weekend. That way they can do what-ever the fuck they want with my covers, and I can keep posting them until they hit me in the face with the ban-hammer. Fuck them.

RussBuss said...

adelle, that's a great point you bring up about how youtube features cover songs on their homepage and then turns around to slap you on the wrist when you do it. lame, lame, lame.

if youtube had balls, i would kick them hard, repeatedly. YTCSI.

Boozelele said...


DeG said...

I agree with the mixed signal and YTCSI.

Until this fevor blows over or the rules are clearly defined, I have one suggestion. If your worried about doing a cover, make a parody of the song. Google "Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music" and read up on the Supreme Court's ruling on the issue. You could do a parody of Little Red Corvette (Little Red Chevette perhaps) and TAFKAPCSI.

Anonymous said...

For added effect, I read that in Adelle's voice. It just doesn't have as much hate in it if I don't haha.
I've been slapped with the YT hammer a bunch of times as well. Mostly because I used to use mp3's for bg music. YT blows. We all have a love/hate relationship with it. In which case, I agree with you. YTCSI


a comment after Aldrine! *squeee!*

Adelle hits on my big question here: Why not set up a clear rule about covering songs? Let's see every artist abide by the same rules, be it JN or Uki the idiot.

Oh, and for some reason, Prince is allowing most covers of "Noone compares 2 U" to stay on YT uncensored. So he can suck it, too.

RussBuss said...



ukeyermind said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
HumbleUker said...

YouTube has been a great source for an aspiring musician. Most of the covers are experimental -- people working on improving their skills to match some sort of standard they can relate to. I do like the silver lining aspect. I have appreciated many of Deach's and Ukisociety's originals. Hey Russ seen u in Berk. WTFIUWTCC

Baron said...

Adelle - you express everything I felt but couldn't express myself. I just got so angry I wanted to reach out and punch somebody in the snout. Your way is clearly better.

I don't understand all the cool internet abbreviations you all use, but I guess CSI stands for Cunt Sucking Inbreds. But that is just a wild guess of course.

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