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sebi
01-20-2010, 07:53 AM
Yesterday, two of my ukulele cover videos on Youtube were removed as a result of a third-party notification from WMG claiming that the material is infringing their copyrights under Section 512(f) of the Copyright Act. The weird thing is that one of the videos was a REd Hot Chili Peppers cover for the Flea Bass Competition, which was initiated by Flea, the RHCP bass player himself, encouraging fans to cover a RHCP song and post it in the respective Youtube group. So, why was my video removed from Youtube?

Honestly, I'm now very afraid that they will shut down my channel because I have almost 100 ukulele covers. I quote Youtube, "Repeat incidents of copyright infringement will result in the deletion of your account and all videos uploaded to that account."

Has anyone here ever have the same problem with Youtube and WMG? If you were in my position, what would you do? Stop making covers? Fight it? I enjoy making music for all the great people who support me and I couldn't bear NOT doing what I do.

This is my cry out for help.

soccerward
01-20-2010, 08:19 AM
This is why a lot of people are looking for alternatives to GreedTube. If you don't like it, your options are to deal with it or delete your account. However, try posting some fair use clauses in the video description. By doing this you are telling them exactly what your intentions are so there is no confusion that you might be trying to profit from it. I've seen copyrighted material and broadcasts stay up because of this. You have the right to do covers for non-profit educational purposes and criticism.


FAIR USE NOTICE: This post may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this post is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to:

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If you wish to use copyrighted material from this post for purposes of your own that go beyond "fair use", you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.



DISCLAIMER: Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.


MATERIAL IS USED UNDER THE GUIDELINES OF "FAIR USE" IN TITLE 17 § 107 OF THE UNITED STATES CODE. SUCH MATERIAL REMAINS THE COPYRIGHT OF THE ORIGINAL HOLDER AND IS USED HERE FOR THE PURPOSES OF EDUCATION, COMPARISON, AND CRITICISM ONLY

sebi
01-20-2010, 08:34 AM
This is why a lot of people are looking for alternatives to GreedTube. If you don't like it, your options are to deal with it or delete your account. However, try posting some fair use clauses in the video description. By doing this you are telling them exactly what your intentions are so there is no confusion that you might be trying to profit from it. I've seen copyrighted material and broadcasts stay up because of this. You have the right to do covers for non-profit educational purposes and criticism.

Thank you very much for the great input. I'm aware that it's not right to take someone else's work and put it on my own channel, but I thought that covers don't infringe copyrights. I will for sure include a disclaimer from now on. Thanks again!

RevWill
01-20-2010, 08:51 AM
Check out this open letter from the band OK Go (http://okgo.forumsunlimited.com/index.php?showtopic=4169), who are famous because of YouTube. Their record company, EMI, won't allow you to embed OK Go's videos on message boards or blogs. You can link to 'em, you can watch 'em, but you can't post 'em here.

A little extra commentary from Boing Boing (http://www.boingboing.net/2010/01/20/ok-go-explains-the-s.html).

sebi
01-20-2010, 09:02 AM
Check out this open letter from the band OK Go (http://okgo.forumsunlimited.com/index.php?showtopic=4169), who are famous because of YouTube. Their record company, EMI, won't allow you to embed OK Go's videos on message boards or blogs. You can link to 'em, you can watch 'em, but you can't post 'em here.

A little extra commentary from Boing Boing (http://www.boingboing.net/2010/01/20/ok-go-explains-the-s.html).

WOW!! I had no clue that the music industry is THAT MESSED UP! (OoO) Thanks for the great link.

clayton56
01-20-2010, 09:04 AM
I figured it was a matter of time before this started happening. The material is copyrighred and you have to get permission first or pay a royalty on every impression. A disclaimer is not sufficient.

But it's interesting you are blaming YouTube. You just said they received third party notification of the infringement and are reacting. Sounds like they were being generous for allowing it up there in the first place, exposing themselves to risk. They're not making a dime off closing you down, how is that greed?

You are lucky that Warner is not suing you guys for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some record company did that to a parent whose kid was downloading MP3's illegally. The proof is all there, there's no question about it.

One thing I'm assuming, but haven't checked on, is the agreement you made with YouTube when you sign up, you probably agreed not to post copyrighted material, which you immediately did. So you can't blame them for deleting your videos, in fact, you're lucky if they haven't deleted your account.

Great opportunity to write your own stuff and give that away.

RevWill
01-20-2010, 09:16 AM
Never confuse morals or logic with the law. The law doesn't have to be moral, and it doesn't have to make sense.

Nobody is ever going to not buy Sleepwalk by Santo & Johnny because of my performance on YouTube. On the other hand, someone just might see "Santo & Johnny" in the sidebar and say, "I always wondered where that song came from. I need to go buy it!" But that has no bearing on the law. The law says I shouldn't have it up there in the first place.

sebi
01-20-2010, 09:20 AM
I figured it was a matter of time before this started happening. The material is copyrighred and you have to get permission first or pay a royalty on every impression. A disclaimer is not sufficient.

But it's interesting you are blaming YouTube. You just said they received third party notification of the infringement and are reacting. Sounds like they were being generous for allowing it up there in the first place, exposing themselves to risk. They're not making a dime off closing you down, how is that greed?

You are lucky that Warner is not suing you guys for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some record company did that to a parent whose kid was downloading MP3's illegally. The proof is all there, there's no question about it.

One thing I'm assuming, but haven't checked on, is the agreement you made with YouTube when you sign up, you probably agreed not to post copyrighted material, which you immediately did. So you can't blame them for deleting your videos, in fact, you're lucky if they haven't deleted your account.

Great opportunity to write your own stuff and give that away.

I see your point. Nonetheless, I wouldn't compare peer-to-peer piracy to covering a song. The content we create is first of all not for profit and secondly, produced entirely by ourself. We make the video and the music ourself. The record company does not invest one cent into our amateur productions. I also write my own songs and have been touring playing original songs. Still, I know many people who rather watch creative interpretations of popular songs than originals they don't know. And maybe I just suck at writing my originals. So, covering songs is all I got.

pulelehua
01-20-2010, 09:25 AM
Just about the Flea thing. Strangely, he likely wouldn't have the right to let people upload his songs for a competition. If Warner owns the rights, then it's their call.

And to the other poster, YES THE MUSIC INDUSTRY IS THAT MESSED UP! And worse. Anytime some technology comes along to which the reply is, "That will destroy the music industry," I usually think "Hurray!" They seem to believe that if the music industry is destroyed, people will stop making music. Human history tells us that is silly. People have written music when to do so would get them hated, ostracised or even killed. I don't think we as a community are going to stop playing because EMI isn't going to give one of us £1 million.

Of course, the Warner Music Group will likely find a way to get this post banned. Read it. Quick! :)

hoosierhiver
01-20-2010, 09:29 AM
If I remember correctly Irving John and Adelle went a few rounds with YT, I think you can appeal.

sebi
01-20-2010, 09:30 AM
Just about the Flea thing. Strangely, he likely wouldn't have the right to let people upload his songs for a competition. If Warner owns the rights, then it's their call.
That is a complete mystery to me, why they would hurt one of their major artists like that!


And to the other poster, YES THE MUSIC INDUSTRY IS THAT MESSED UP! And worse. Anytime some technology comes along to which the reply is, "That will destroy the music industry," I usually think "Hurray!" They seem to believe that if the music industry is destroyed, people will stop making music. Human history tells us that is silly. People have written music when to do so would get them hated, ostracised or even killed. I don't think we as a community are going to stop playing because EMI isn't going to give one of us £1 million.
Check out this link by RevWill on Boing Boing: http://www.boingboing.net/2010/01/20/ok-go-explains-the-s.html


Of course, the Warner Music Group will likely find a way to get this post banned. Read it. Quick! :)
I'm sure that will happen :-) So, be quick!!

Captain_Lovehandles
01-20-2010, 09:31 AM
Yes, I've had trouble with Warner Bros., but not with music. DC Comics, owned by WB wouldn't allow Cafe DNA (http://cafedna.icnetco.com/index.html) to do any projects based on their characters, even while we were still a part of Wizard Entertainment. Marvel, Image and all others encouraged us to use their characters. Marvel even hired three of our members. But DC would not budge.

homEsick
01-20-2010, 09:31 AM
in the ok go case, there are pretty easy work arounds to embed videos. download it from YouTube and reupload it somewhere else (not YouTube) easy peasy lemon squeezie.

in regard to alternatives to "greedtube" does vimeo have the same copyright restrictions as YouTube? I made a vimeo as I want to start using it instead of YouTube bc I like the format of the site better, but haven't checked into copyrights. all but two of my three videos on YouTube are covers, fortunately I haven't had any problems with copyrights so far.

sebi
01-20-2010, 09:34 AM
If I remember correctly Irving John and Adelle went a few rounds with YT, I think you can appeal.

I didn't know that. Thanks for the hint!

bbycrts
01-20-2010, 09:34 AM
YouTube is getting the heat from the record companies because they are the biggest, easiest target. They will allow your covers to stay up until they get a complaint from the record company - that's pretty cool. But once they start getting complaints we become major headaches, because once the record companies have complained and ID'd the material, YT has to take it down or be exposed to litigation.

The catch is - if we switch to one of the competitors, as the popularity grows so will the attention from the record companies on the new venue. It's kind of a cycle.

Anyway, YouTube isn't to blame for what's going on - if they don't take the stuff down once they've been made aware of an infringement claim by a copyright holder, then they can be in business-jeopardizing trouble.

sebi
01-20-2010, 09:36 AM
Yes, I've had trouble with Warner Bros., but not with music. DC Comics, owned by WB wouldn't allow Cafe DNA (http://cafedna.icnetco.com/index.html) to do any projects based on their characters, even while we were still a part of Wizard Entertainment. Marvel, Image and all others encouraged us to use their characters. Marvel even hired three of our members. But DC would not budge.

And I thought it only happens in music, but apparently this problem is omnipresent.

sebi
01-20-2010, 09:38 AM
Anyway, YouTube isn't to blame for what's going on - if they don't take the stuff down once they've been made aware of an infringement claim by a copyright holder, then they can be in business-jeopardizing trouble.

I agree with you. I don't mean to blame Youtube, even though I think they shouldn't let major record corporations dictate them how the new economy has to be managed.

sebi
01-20-2010, 09:40 AM
in the ok go case, there are pretty easy work arounds to embed videos. download it from YouTube and reupload it somewhere else (not YouTube) easy peasy lemon squeezie.

in regard to alternatives to "greedtube" does vimeo have the same copyright restrictions as YouTube? I made a vimeo as I want to start using it instead of YouTube bc I like the format of the site better, but haven't checked into copyrights. all but two of my three videos on YouTube are covers, fortunately I haven't had any problems with copyrights so far.

I'm really happy for you that you haven't had any trouble yet, and I hope you'll never have. Believe me, it gives me a bad headache!

always_ukulele
01-20-2010, 09:40 AM
lol, and i thaught goverment was bad. well thats a story for another post. :)

RevWill
01-20-2010, 09:49 AM
Another frightening link. (http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/01/obama-supports-filesharing-verdict/#ixzz0dBNEUgAt)

sebi
01-20-2010, 09:52 AM
Another frightening link. (http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/01/obama-supports-filesharing-verdict/#ixzz0dBNEUgAt)

I cannot believe this!! Apocalypse seems near.

Ahnko Honu
01-20-2010, 10:09 AM
If you give credit where credit's due, and not personally gaining monetarily then what's the problem? If anything it gives exposure to the song otherwise ignored. Not talking legally, just morally. Worth exactly 2 cents.

Melissa82
01-20-2010, 10:10 AM
I cannot believe this!! Apocalypse seems near.This supports my idea that the high up government workers have invested their dollars into the entertainment, pharmaceutical and car industry (I know, off topic but I feel they are related) market shares.

paraclete
01-20-2010, 10:17 AM
Yes, stoopid music industry. It really is totally retarded... just like politics in the US.... :p

I just hope they don't get so desperate as to require royalty payments for busking and clubbing.

clayton56
01-20-2010, 10:18 AM
a couple of details, one, it doesn't matter if you don't make money off it, it's still infringement, it reduces the possibility that the original copyright holder can sell his legal music. And it doesn't matter if you produce your own version of it, you still owe a royalty to the author.

People representing copyright holders have gone to bars and nightclubs, and hearing the bands playing copyrighted music, have then demanded payment from the clubs. Even stores that play radio stations in their store have been forced to subscribe to a muzak-style channel, because broadcast royalties only apply to the broadcaster, not secondary uses.

Check out the Harry Fox Agency for information on getting a mechanical license, or contact the copyright holder for a special deal. For example, some copyright holder might allow free impressions of his/her music if they got advertising income from it. It's easy to sign up with Google to put ads on your site which do generate income. Or you can upload stuff to Amazon.com and sell the downloads.

It's not as easy to go legit, but it's the right thing to do. A lot of people are very quick to give away other people's work without compensation or even the courtesy of asking. How would you like it is you were a professional musician and people were giving away your life's work for free? As a hobbyist, I might not care, but as a pro, I wouldn't respect those people very much. It's not your stuff, why would you think you have the right to do whatever you want with it?

Melissa82
01-20-2010, 10:20 AM
Check this out

Secret copyright treaty debated in DC: must-see video
http://www.boingboing.net/2010/01/15/secret-copyright-tre-2.html

phanzo
01-20-2010, 10:21 AM
If you give credit where credit's due, and not personally gaining monetarily then what's the problem? If anything it gives exposure to the song otherwise ignored. Not talking legally, just morally. Worth exactly 2 cents.

:agree: :agree: They should be thankful that people are covering songs. The more eyes and ears per song, the better chances someone will purchase the music. Not shocking though, bc year after the industry shoots itself in the foot. This is just another fine example of them seperating themselves from the consumer. By the time they "learn" they will have already burnt all the bridges. You can only screw us so many times before we walk away entirely.

buddhuu
01-20-2010, 10:34 AM
I hate this kind of short-sighted corporate bullying.

I understand the record companies hostility to p2p and other filesharing of copyright recordings. Like it or not, the chances are that such practice does hurt sales of CD and/or commercial download.

What I don't understand is the moronic, heavy handed approach to ukulele (and other) covers, and the posting of tabs.

To my mind, both covers and tabs help to build an interest in artists, their performances and recordings.

The thuggish, proprietory strong-arm behaviour just moves me to boycott the products of companies that behave in this way, and to encourage others to do so too.

Perhaps some artists will take this kind of thing into account when considering which companies they wish to work with.

The arrogant, disdainful stupidity of WB's attitude just makes me shake my head in near disbelief.

salukulady
01-20-2010, 10:39 AM
If you give credit where credit's due, and not personally gaining monetarily then what's the problem? If anything it gives exposure to the song otherwise ignored. Not talking legally, just morally. Worth exactly 2 cents.I understand its not just monetary gain that they are concerned with, it's if it "promotes you in any way". As far as playing gigs, it has been made clear to me and my band, most venues are responsible for paying royalties to ascap and BMI to cover the acts that play for them. For the most part buskers are left alone.

Doctroid
01-20-2010, 10:40 AM
Yes, stoopid music industry. It really is totally retarded... just like politics in the US.... :p
It IS politics in the US. You don't think the music industry could get away with all the crap it pulls if it didn't have friends in Congress obliterating any semblance of sanity from copyright law, do you?

This is what happens when government and corporations get in bed together -- this and the Senate's health care "reform" bill -- but I suppose that's not exactly on topic...

RevWill
01-20-2010, 10:41 AM
I hate this kind of short-sighted corporate bullying.

I understand the record companies hostility to p2p and other filesharing of copyright recordings. Like it or not, the chances are that such practice does hurt sales of CD and/or commercial download.

What I don't understand is the moronic, heavy handed approach to ukulele (and other) covers, and the posting of tabs.

To my mind, both covers and tabs help to build an interest in artists, their performances and recordings.

The thuggish, proprietory strong-arm behaviour just moves me to boycott the products of companies that behave in this way, and to encourage others to do so too.

Perhaps some artists will take this kind of thing into account when considering which companies they wish to work with.

The arrogant, disdainful stupidity of WB's attitude just makes me shake my head in near disbelief.

Agreed. Current copyright, fair-use, and intellectual property laws give you the right to purchase but not use the products. They want you to buy the CDs or digital downloads, but they're making it tougher than hell to even listen to them legally.

salukulady
01-20-2010, 10:43 AM
:agree: :agree: They should be thankful that people are covering songs.That's what Pat Boone said to Little Richard.

GrumpyCoyote
01-20-2010, 10:51 AM
The bottom line here is quite simple - if unpleasant to hear.

If you post covers on youtube without the express permission of the copyright holder, you are in violation of both the youtube terms of service, and international copyright law. There is no "grey area" here. It's just that clear, you are illegally recording and distributing someone else’s copyright. I know it - and expect that eventually I'll get called on it for the 60 some odd recordings of other peoples music I have up there. That's the way it works. Note – I’m not making a value judgment here as to whether this is right or wrong, just stating the facts.

The confusing part of the issue is that if no one complains, Youtube (usually) tends to ignore covers - and that makes some members believe that it's "ok" to post amateur covers - it's not. The key is in the complaint. In Sebi’s case, the actual copyright holders complained, and Youtube complied. It sucks, but that’s the risk we all take when we play someone else’s music and record it publicly. most copyright holders ignore covers, some don't. None of that changes who owns the song or the rights of the owners to remove illegal versions of thier property.
Moving to another site is useless and largley futile - as this has nothing to do with Youtube (in fact they are quite lenient on the issue in general). It has to do with recording music that you do not own.

The exceptions to the above are songs that are public domain (obviously) and tutorials. If you want to "legally" record a popular song for which you have no rights, just make the video a tutorial with chord charts. Otherwise it’s just a mater of time before the actual owner of the song asks Youtube (or Vimeo, or whatever) to remove your version.

RevWill
01-20-2010, 11:04 AM
I don't know where I got this impression, but I had been under the impression that YouTube had a financial arrangement with BMI & ASCAP that allowed covers to be posted. Again, my memory is fuzzy and I don't have any source whatsoever, and I probably read it on a forum where someone just pulled it out of their glutes.

It is crazy, though. Watching a bunch of Grace Potter videos made me head to iTunes and buy her music. Same with Jake. Same with a dozen others.

The other part is that, for the most part, artists consider it a compliment if someone covers their songs. I've had an internationally known artist tell me so. He would consider it a compliment for you or me to strum a guitar or uke while singing one of his songs on YouTube. The music publishers, however, have a fit. They claim to be protecting the artists, but they are not. They are protecting their own bottom line.

But again, what makes sense does not overlap with the boundaries of the law.

I would love to post up my video of my older son's first birthday, bopping around in his diaper while "Birthday" by the Beatles is playing on the stereo. It's a great piece of home vid. But EMI would be on it like vultures on a gut wagon.

Monkeyswithladders
01-20-2010, 11:07 AM
This sucks to hear Sebi-- I'm sorry this happened to you.

As for my :2cents:, I agree with what many others here have posted. This is the result of greedy corporations and capitalist government. Sure, the law may be clear, but if the people think it's unjust then it's about time the laws are changed. Most of us here can see how ridiculous it is to have a corporation "own" someone else's created material and decide who gets to use it, for what purposes, and for what price. That clearly isn't the way Flea feels it should be, and it isn't the way artists like Radiohead, Trent Reznor, or Weezer feel (given their attempts at finding alternate distribution methods).

Throughout time there have many unjust laws that didn't represent the wants of the citizens. As the public becomes enlightened, these laws are overturned and (usually) better ones are instated. Now all we have to learn to do as a species is accelerate the process in which we expose and overthrow unjustified authority.

mrUKETOBER
01-20-2010, 11:16 AM
I figured it was a matter of time before this started happening. The material is copyrighred and you have to get permission first or pay a royalty on every impression. A disclaimer is not sufficient.

But it's interesting you are blaming YouTube. You just said they received third party notification of the infringement and are reacting. Sounds like they were being generous for allowing it up there in the first place, exposing themselves to risk. They're not making a dime off closing you down, how is that greed?

You are lucky that Warner is not suing you guys for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some record company did that to a parent whose kid was downloading MP3's illegally. The proof is all there, there's no question about it.

One thing I'm assuming, but haven't checked on, is the agreement you made with YouTube when you sign up, you probably agreed not to post copyrighted material, which you immediately did. So you can't blame them for deleting your videos, in fact, you're lucky if they haven't deleted your account.

Great opportunity to write your own stuff and give that away.



downloading mps illegally is not at all the same as uploading a video of you playing a song for no profit of any kind..

salukulady
01-20-2010, 11:18 AM
downloading mps illegally is not at all the same as uploading a video of you playing a song for no profit of any kind..it's still considered "self promotion with someone else's material".

mrUKETOBER
01-20-2010, 11:23 AM
a couple of details, one, it doesn't matter if you don't make money off it, it's still infringement, it reduces the possibility that the original copyright holder can sell his legal music. And it doesn't matter if you produce your own version of it, you still owe a royalty to the author.

People representing copyright holders have gone to bars and nightclubs, and hearing the bands playing copyrighted music, have then demanded payment from the clubs. Even stores that play radio stations in their store have been forced to subscribe to a muzak-style channel, because broadcast royalties only apply to the broadcaster, not secondary uses.

Check out the Harry Fox Agency for information on getting a mechanical license, or contact the copyright holder for a special deal. For example, some copyright holder might allow free impressions of his/her music if they got advertising income from it. It's easy to sign up with Google to put ads on your site which do generate income. Or you can upload stuff to Amazon.com and sell the downloads.

It's not as easy to go legit, but it's the right thing to do. A lot of people are very quick to give away other people's work without compensation or even the courtesy of asking. How would you like it is you were a professional musician and people were giving away your life's work for free? As a hobbyist, I might not care, but as a pro, I wouldn't respect those people very much. It's not your stuff, why would you think you have the right to do whatever you want with it?




considering not all of us are giving anything away... we are actually advertising THEIR song .. so if i was a professional musician id be honored people would be doing so

Monkeyswithladders
01-20-2010, 11:26 AM
it's still considered "self promotion with someone else's material".

The question remains if the person complaining has a moral right to "own" said material?

Again, the law might clearly be on the side of the corporation. But if the public is clearly not on the side of the law, what authority should the law really have?

mrUKETOBER
01-20-2010, 11:31 AM
it's still considered "self promotion with someone else's material".



i know but its still not illegally downloading mp3s... that is actually stealing from the artist... this isnt .. this is just jamming a song and publicly letting everyone hear it.. so if im outside my house and i am playing my uke or guitar or whatever.. to sayyyy..... purple haze by hendrix and someone who "owns" the rights to the song happens to hear me playing it... they can come and tell me to shut up and that i cant ever play it again ? that is stupid id fight it.. if its not promoting anything it shouldnt be deleted...



but sebi look at it this way... your cover was good enough for them to see it :D .. theyre just jealous and dont want you to blow up huge and make more money then them


damn the man

GrumpyCoyote
01-20-2010, 11:32 AM
considering not all of us are giving anything away... we are actually advertising THEIR song .. so if i was a professional musician id be honored people would be doing so


And many are happy to ignore, or even encourage the covers. The issue is really about ownership. It's thier property, and some want to share - others are afraid of anyone "drinking thier milkshake".

Personally, I wish more bands would issue music under a simple public licence agreement that includes a "not for commerce" clause - That would solve most issues of ownership and avoid the lunacy of bands telling fans not to sing, record, or post the very songs they love the band for in the first place.

salukulady
01-20-2010, 11:35 AM
The question remains if the person complaining has a moral right to "own" said material?

Again, the law might clearly be on the side of the corporation. But if the public is clearly not on the side of the law, what authority should the law really have?Agreed, but originally these laws were put into effect to protect the original writer of the music. Most of us here are too young to remember all the music written and recorded by black artists back in the 50's that was covered by white artist with no royalties ever paid, they were basically stolen. Now corporations representing those original artists and have stretched the law to include anyones recordings on youtube.

RevWill
01-20-2010, 11:47 AM
The "self-promotion using the work of others" argument only holds up if the person performing the cover has something to promote. If you are a gigging band or artist then you have something to promote. If you have CDs or MP3s for sale then you have something to promote. OTOH, a living room player, a college student, a kid learning some songs and posting progress for the world to see - nothing to promote.

And while you make a great point, Salukulady, when white singers were covering black artists' songs (Yes, I'll call Little Richard an ARTIST and Pat Boone a singer), those covers were for sale for profit.

Monkeyswithladders
01-20-2010, 11:51 AM
Agreed, but originally these laws were put into effect to protect the original writer of the music. Most of us here are too young to remember all the music written and recorded by black artists back in the 50's that was covered by white artist with no royalties ever paid, they were basically stolen. Now corporations representing those original artists and have stretched the law to include anyones recordings on youtube.

Oh, I know-- Led Zeppelin I was almost entirely sued over. You're totally right as to what the original intention of the laws was. And it's a good thing that the public worked for way of protecting artists according to what their feelings on the subject were at the time. Right now however, both the laws and public opinion have changed. The laws and the status quo of the music industry (99% of the time you must sign a contract against your own self-interest in order to be distributed) now protect the coorporations and not the artists. The public opinion now is swaying toward the view that you're essentially giving free publicity rather than stealing. My point is that laws are not concrete morality, so when someone says "this isn't right", the response "yes it is, the law says so" isn't appropriate. The laws reflect the will of the people under them. If that isn't true, it should no longer be a law.

pulelehua
01-20-2010, 12:00 PM
Two quick thoughts:

1. At least no one can take "Shane Sings 5 Octaves" off of YT

2. All this talk of copyright legalise reminds of a quote a good friend told me years and years ago. "Logic is the means by which we come to the wrong conclusion with confidence."

whetu
01-20-2010, 12:11 PM
People representing copyright holders have gone to bars and nightclubs, and hearing the bands playing copyrighted music, have then demanded payment from the clubs. Even stores that play radio stations in their store have been forced to subscribe to a muzak-style channel, because broadcast royalties only apply to the broadcaster, not secondary uses.

I recall a news story here a while back where they (whoever 'they' are) were talking about gyms being required to pay a fee per song that they played over their gym sound systems because it counted as a public broadcast if there were over x (around 20?) number of people in the gym, and the gyms were talking about passing that on to the consumers. As I'm not a gym-goer I never followed up on it, but it did seem quite stupid. What if, for example, I went to a gym and listened to my ipod? Would I still have to pay the music fee? What if I went to a spin class or aerobics where I didn't opt-in to the music being played, couldn't opt-out, yet still had to pay for it? Extortion much? etc etc

Oh, and Warner owns the copyright to 'Happy Birthday', how long before they're sending cease and desists to every birthday party?

grammy
01-20-2010, 12:13 PM
Yes copyright sucks, no i am not surprised the internet nazis are on it like a nasty rash. Yes the way around it is to list everything as a tutorial, which to be honest in many cases is how we use the covers we see isnt it? to learn to play the tunes for ourselves? so just say so in the title.

One interesting example here is the song Moondance by Van Morrison. do a search for covers of it on you tube. In this case the copyright holder allows the covers to stay as long as the copyright is acknowledged in the description. they do not ask for a fee. As far as i know my partial bass cover of this is the only exception and i think they have not asked me cos it is a partial cover and incomplete.

Sorry they got to you Sebi....but look on the bight side it is time you made some originals isn't it?


oh one more thing, one of the entries who won a prize in the bushman competition used disney copyrighted footage in his video, i remember thinking at the time i watched that that had to be illegal, but apparently he got away with it.

salukulady
01-20-2010, 12:17 PM
Oh, and Warner owns the copyright to 'Happy Birthday', how long before they're sending cease and desists to every birthday party?That's why many restaurants no longer sing Happy Birthday to their patrons.

micromue
01-20-2010, 12:20 PM
@ sebi That´s a really sad situation. I would hate the idea of your channel being closed. Your regular covers have made my day many times. Keep ´em coming!

Regarding some former statements: Personally I am with you all, that the extensive use of copyright by the industry sucks by all means. But do you really think, the "public" declines the actual copyright? The "people", Joe America and Lieschen Mueller would raise their hand for allowing the use of another mans effort without even asking him for his permission? I really would like to believe so, but I am pretty sure, that this is not the consensus. The idea "hey, a cover is like free promotion for the original artist" and "urrgh, the law protects the industry, not the artist", is probably common under web-affine people, but not for the "public".

bbycrts
01-20-2010, 12:24 PM
So...we basically have two parallel issues here:

1) Legal, which GrumpyCoyote did a spectacular job of summing up. This is the description of what IS.

2) Philosophical, which I think most of us align with - that it is a tribute and an honor to a band to perform and post a cover and if anything should only enhance sales. This is the description of what many of us feel SHOULD BE.

Until number 2 becomes legislation or the record companies formally relent and issue blanket "noncommercial" clauses to all their copyrights, we can talk about the SHOULD BEs until we're blue in the face, but the internet media companies will still have to contend with what IS and the people who choose to enforce it.

salukulady
01-20-2010, 12:26 PM
Oh, I know-- Led Zeppelin I was almost entirely sued over. You're totally right as to what the original intention of the laws was. And it's a good thing that the public worked for way of protecting artists according to what their feelings on the subject were at the time. Right now however, both the laws and public opinion have changed. The laws and the status quo of the music industry (99% of the time you must sign a contract against your own self-interest in order to be distributed) now protect the coorporations and not the artists. The public opinion now is swaying toward the view that you're essentially giving free publicity rather than stealing. My point is that laws are not concrete morality, so when someone says "this isn't right", the response "yes it is, the law says so" isn't appropriate. The laws reflect the will of the people under them. If that isn't true, it should no longer be a law.Agreed, I'm just playing devils advocate here. In the long run, the artists themselves may have the most pull when signing those contracts. Once they start fighting the MAN, and rewording their own contracts, perhaps these corporations will draw in their claws and leave us amateurs alone.

A good example of a band that doesn't agree with the law is the Grateful Dead. They encourage their fans to record their live concerts and swap recordings, they want their music shared everywhere.

rogue_wave
01-20-2010, 12:28 PM
I should preface this post by saying that I enjoy (and rely) on the great work I have seen by members of this forum, both original work and the excellent and inventive covers. Like everyone else, I also enjoy getting something for nothing. I also think that sweeping reactions by the recording industry tend to be extremely stupid and poorly thought out.

I have been on both sides of this puzzle though. This is one of those places where each sides logic starts off sound and then gets mutated, like one giant telephone game. The argument that covers can spread the popularity of the original work and increase sales is valid. What if you start to become popular, get sponsorships, maybe cut an album, even of original material, what share of that success belongs to you, how much would you send to the original writer?

What if a star used one of your tracks without permission, drowning out your original work? Except maybe in the case of the well covered "Elephant Town", I can imagine a huge uproar. It is totally true that some bands/writers love and thrive on the fans use and manipulation of their work. Others hate it and either for artistic or commercial reasons don't want it messed with. Now add in the heavy corporate attorneys and the corporate economics, it gets nutty. What if someone took one of your songs and used it in a short film with content that offended you?

If you have a track that you would really like to cover for an album or download, I suggest getting permission. Even as an experiment. Before everyone jumps all over me, have you done it? Except in rare cases, most publishing rights are quite simple and in the likely case of someone not doing it for money, free or cheap.

An earlier poster mentioned the BMI ASCAP licensing agreements and YouTube. These agreements allow for YT to play tracks covered under these agreements. Ths means that the rights holders are compensated for play of their material. There are two components to music rights. The Publishing Rights cover the songwriting. The Master Rights cover an actual recording. A YT cover is violating the Publishing Rights (incidentally the cheapest of the two if you are seeking to legitimately create a cover) For example if you wanted to record a cover for a song and acquired the publishing rights, and submitted your new master to either BMI or ASCAP, you would be compensated for play on YT and any other signatory. The Publishing rightsholder would also be compensated. We do this all the time for films, as the original masters are often too expensive, or in the interest of the story we want to do a re-imagining.

In the case of the Flea contest, if Flea owns the publishing rights, he can grant every covering artist the right to do whatever they want. If he doesn't own them, he can't. At least not legally.

The wise and the calm can analyze which situation is harmful and which isn't and seek out the gray areas. In the corporate and legal worlds though, things seem a little more binary.

If you want to lead the change, when you create original work, utilize the available Creative Commons license which enables a user to immediately understand which rights you are granting and which you are witholding. The license travels with the work. This is free and standardized and you do not need lawyers to draft anything. http://creativecommons.org/

Thanks for the spirited and interesting discussion. I hope that the good energy of this forum holds and that this doesn't get mean spirited.

CountryMouse
01-20-2010, 12:35 PM
I don't know where I got this impression, but I had been under the impression that YouTube had a financial arrangement with BMI & ASCAP that allowed covers to be posted. Again, my memory is fuzzy and I don't have any source whatsoever, and I probably read it on a forum where someone just pulled it out of their glutes.

It is crazy, though. Watching a bunch of Grace Potter videos made me head to iTunes and buy her music. Same with Jake. Same with a dozen others.

The other part is that, for the most part, artists consider it a compliment if someone covers their songs. I've had an internationally known artist tell me so. He would consider it a compliment for you or me to strum a guitar or uke while singing one of his songs on YouTube. The music publishers, however, have a fit. They claim to be protecting the artists, but they are not. They are protecting their own bottom line.

But again, what makes sense does not overlap with the boundaries of the law.

I would love to post up my video of my older son's first birthday, bopping around in his diaper while "Birthday" by the Beatles is playing on the stereo. It's a great piece of home vid. But EMI would be on it like vultures on a gut wagon.

Well, this makes me worry: what about all of us who entered the "Play the Beatles--Win a New Uke!" contest??

CountryMouse

rogue_wave
01-20-2010, 12:58 PM
I meant to add that one of the craziest and most legendary tunes that the legal eagles watch out for is "Happy Birthday To You".

That is owned by Time Warner and is EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE if you want to buy it for use in a film or TV show. This is also why all of the big chain restaurants have those goofy birthday songs, because otherwise they would go broke paying "Happy Birthday" royalties all day. Crazy!

There is a spoof website that takes the extreme angle on this and offers tools to snitch on friends and relatives for copyright infringement. http://www.unhappybirthday.com/ Unfortunately, probably not as far off from truth as it seems.

Monkeyswithladders
01-20-2010, 01:11 PM
I am also very much enjoying this thread. A couple of quick comments since a lot has happened since I last posted that I want to respond to.

I think bbycrts did a great job of summing up the two parallel issues that are going. I personally am much more interested in the second issue of what "should be" and think that laws can be damned if they don't represent that.

To salukulady, I agree with your assessment of what will likely need to change. The big artists will need to pave the way for smaller acts to fight the record industry. Unfortunately as it is, small acts striving to be discovered don't have a bargaining chip and are forced to make a decision to become famous and not own their own material, or own their own material which no one will ever hear. Acts like the Grateful Dead, Radiohead, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Weezer are doing the right thing in my eyes by publicly fighting this status quo and trying to find a new, better way to distribute your music apart from the industry altogether.

and lastly to rogue_wave, I understand that there are issues dealing with who has how much a right to other's work. You're probably right that people will get upset under circumstances where their work is used without being credited, payed, or for a cause they don't support. My main contention derives from how I see society in general. Firstly, if anyone is going to be credited (monetarily or just in the credits) for a work of art, I think it should be the artist- no matter who a piece of paper says the material "belongs" to. The Beatles wrote their songs. No one else should have the ability to sell them to a private owner, provide publishing rights, or to deny them. I feel the same way for Flea not being able to choose what is done with his own music.

My second point is on a broader scope and is one of the reasons I am primarily against this kind of "ownership" for profit. I think the incessant need to be financially compensated for one's work wouldn't even exist in a better societal system. In a communal type system, one's work is meant to enhance his community. If someone uses that work build on and to further enhance the society, that's a good thing-- the society gets better. Everyone wins. I mean, can you imagine the first of our species who invented the wheel going around and demanding payment for everyone who began using one? It's ludicrous. I know we're far from a perfect system, but in a proper society where people's needs are already met, the drive for greed might not even exist-- only the need to improve. So while we aren't in a perfect system yet, I think we can strive for it by aiming for such ideals. The longer capitalism survives, the more we'll see greed as a part of human nature.

rubenken
01-20-2010, 01:40 PM
To use a biblical analogy, it all depends on whose ox has been gored. If my living depended on royalties from intellectual property, and I had invested my creativity, sweat, and money to make it successful, I might not feel quite so libertarian toward the free for all web. YouTube is great, but the web in general has created great dilemmas for music companies, newspaper publishers, and others who spend big bucks putting out a polished and refined product. Answers don't come easy.

whetu
01-20-2010, 02:00 PM
What if a star used one of your tracks without permission, drowning out your original work? Except maybe in the case of the well covered "Elephant Town", I can imagine a huge uproar.

Happened. Wasn't much of an uproar. Example. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4KX7SkDe4Q) :(

pdxuke
01-20-2010, 02:08 PM
I don't know where I got this impression, but I had been under the impression that YouTube had a financial arrangement with BMI & ASCAP that allowed covers to be posted.

THAT is EXACTLY the solution. Let's not forget that YouTube is making money off of what we post. As someone who made my living for years off of intellectual property, I'd like to be paid, thank you. But the answer is not for USERS to take down covers, the answer is for YOU TUBE to step up and negociate an ASCAP/BMI deal for users. They won't do it unless we start screaming. Write YouTube and insisit that they acquire a license for their users!

rogue_wave
01-20-2010, 02:26 PM
I agree that this has been a very interesting thread. I think that it shows a great deal about the kind of people who play 'ukulele, and the people who make this forum great.

I wanted to clarify a couple of things- One- I totally agree that nobody should be able to exploit an artists work except the artist. That in fact is one of the reasons for the two divisions of rights. The first generally covers the artist who wrote and composed the work. The second covers the artists who played the work. Either or both of those rights are sometimes sold off by the artists themselves and that is how giant corporations end up controlling the material.

As far as the need to create a better system without need for constant financial compensation, it is here and available. At least in its infancy. Methods such as that Creative Commons license allow for a simple selection of everything between free distribution through financial compensation.

I too wish it wasn't all about money, but practically, while I am no professional musician, from a film-maker perspective, I can't imagine a situation where one of my directors would want to have their film remade without some kind of personal gain- be it money or something else.

I think for the most part smart labels and smart bands like the fan culture and see the value in it. The shame is that it is impossible to tell who is litigious, and who gets it.

itsme
01-20-2010, 03:08 PM
I'd like to point out a few things because there are a lot of misconceptions about how the music industry works.

A record label has absolutely no say in regard to cover tunes. They can only go after you for using their exact sound recording. The song itself is copyrighted by the composer/publisher. In the OP's situation, I'm guessing that RHCP have their publishing thru WMG's Warner/Chappell publishing division and that they share a corporate legal department. Yes, I'm splitting hairs here, but it's important to note that, unlike filesharing of copyrighted sound recordings, the record labels aren't the ones going after you for covering one of their artist's songs on your uke.


I recall a news story here a while back where they (whoever 'they' are) were talking about gyms being required to pay a fee per song that they played over their gym sound systems because it counted as a public broadcast if there were over x (around 20?) number of people in the gym, and the gyms were talking about passing that on to the consumers.
BMI/ASCAP/SESAC have set criteria as to when a venue requires a license in order to play their music. It's not a "fee per song". Night clubs, concert halls, radio stations and the like pay for blanket licenses to the various performing rights organizations. Many businesses whose business isn't music (e.g., restaurants, supermarkets and other retailers) often opt to contract with outfits like Muzak, who handle all the licensing and supply them with various themed "feeds". As far as passing the cost on to consumers, it's all part of doing business, and yes, consumers ultimately pay for that. It chaps my hide every time I see a shopping cart abandoned in my neighborhood (several blocks from a major supermarket) because the going rate for "cart wranglers" is $5/cart, and I pay for that in the form of higher prices every time I buy groceries. :(

scottie
01-20-2010, 03:23 PM
At issue is revenue lost (or projected to be lost) by copyright holders. Also at issue is whether or not covering someone else's material without making a profit can even legitimately be called infringement at all. Perhaps attempting to prohibit public performance not for payment or to enforce royalty payments by non copyright holders for performing not expecting to make a profit is a free speech violation. Perhaps the copyright police should arrest drunken people for quoting "caddyshack" or "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" without paying the corporate owner for the privelege? Most people who cover other people's material (with the exception of "tribute bands" or impersonators) aren't even attemptiing to evoke a feeling or image of the original performer. Blues music, as well as other types, were, and still are, passed down in the musical equivalent of an oral tradition where people take a song written by someone and make it their own.

On the one hand, an artist writes/records/tours to promote a collection of songs. The record company and the artist (depending upon who the artist is) have an arrangement where each party gets money.

Traditionally the whole thing is dependent upon control of technology and use of the legal system.

Vinyl, CD, DVD are media the means with which to produce used to rest in the hands of the record companies and the bar to entry was very high. That effectively protected the record companies financial interest and stake. Now the technology exists for me or any other dood or doodette with a few thousand $ can produce a pretty good product. This takes control of the business model out of the hands of the record companies. They now control access to the pop culture music market through other economic means such as equating cultural legitimacy with expensive productions and 'success'. Sure, if you want fame and riches in the traditional sense you can certainly play that game.

Two artists that spring to mind are the Grateful Dead and Frank Zappa. . . for different reasons.

First, The Grateful Dead were perfectly happy to allow people to record their shows and facilitated this by allowing special areas where people with equipment were allowed do it with the band and crew's blessing. The Band and it's employees got their cut of the pie from ticket sales via arrangements with venue owners, and approved merchandise sales. Those "bootleg" dead recordings are not considered part of the pie. They raise consciousness, they are an intangible part of the whole GD phenomenon and contribute to an evolving musical journal of sorts which drew people to the shows. The GD retained rights to their trademarks. There were abuses but the band and affiliated people understood that there would be abuses but largely tolerated it because it all contributed to the viral success of the larger interest. The GD did, however, evolve into this because they started out in the traditional way under contract.

Frank Zappa, on the other hand, had a long standing dispute with Warner Bros. over their right to draw out his contract by not accepting material he wrote and recorded, yet refusing to allow the copyright of material they rejected to revert to him. Frank was perfectly happy with the onerous corporate legal structure as long as it protected him. I'm aware of this because I was a huge Zappa fan. Frank wanted to produce a 4 record set called Lather (pronounced Leather), which would have fulfilled his contractual obligation to WB. It would have been expensive to produce, as generally goes with multi record sets. WB didn't want to do this. That material was released on Studio Tan, Sleep Dirt, Live in New York, and Orchestral Favorites. Part of the problem with some of Frank's music was what WB considered 'niche appeal' equalling limited financial return, hence their attempt to rein him in until he produced product they deemed commercially acceptable which, Frank wasn't going to do as his music was evolving away from pop appeal though he did enjoy a loyal legion of fans. WB did eventually release him from his contract and FZ started Barking Pumpkin records.

GD and FZ differ greatly as concerns opinion concerning the issue of copyright. GD understood their grassroots appeal and benefitted from behavior over which FZ would have sued till he was blue in the face. . . yet they both sought to avoid their material being controlled by others. . . GD through their business model and FZ through his unwillingness to allow WB to prevent him from releasing his material by abusing their contractual rights.

GD is more relevant to what's going with the internet, though, and their business model attests both to how there's plenty of money in entertainment for savvy folks with a product people want and to how screwed up men in suits who think their "rights" are immune to the inexorable march of technology.

All the brouhaha aside, I wonder who made more money, the Grateful Dead or Metallica.

clayton56
01-20-2010, 03:27 PM
downloading mps illegally is not at all the same as uploading a video of you playing a song for no profit of any kind..


bank robbery is not the same as shoplifting but both are stealing.

If it was really beneficial for the artist, then what's the problem about getting permission first? At least that would be a courtesy, showing you respect the rights of the copyright holder.

scottie
01-20-2010, 03:28 PM
Your analogy is faulty.

pdxuke
01-20-2010, 03:30 PM
Question for Gigging Members: when you play a club or bar and cover songs, who picks up the ASCAP/BMI license fee? Your band, or the venue? I always thought the venue. When you record a cover, you pick up the fee, no? Maybe that could be a guideline for YouTube: if clubs pick up the fee, isn't YouTube one big club?

scottie
01-20-2010, 03:34 PM
I read reports that some club owners were being asked to pay some sort of blanket licenses over a loosely defined catalogue. Whether or not that was actually true is certainly open to question as rumors and reports of all sorts abound on the internet.

rogue_wave
01-20-2010, 04:02 PM
My understanding as far as live performances in BMI/ASCAP signatory venues is that the venue's blanket covers the royalties. I know that here in NYC, I have seen either BMI or ASCAP signs on the doors of the music bars for a long time.

The big difference between those performances and YT is that with YT you have created a recording and are in the act of distributing and marketing that recording.

As a total side note, anyone out there ASCAP members? It is totally easy and cheap. There are no dues, etc and in the event you ever want to license a song out to someone for a film, or to re-record, they will handle the collection of all royalties and more. You can join as an artist and as a publisher.

If you want to change the system, become a publisher, collect as many songs from like minded people as you can and provide a public use library to the world. I for one would try my damndest to get those tracks into as many film/tv projects as possible!

Melissa82
01-20-2010, 04:04 PM
Am I the only one who finds this site... hmm... I can't think of the word...

Anyways, they are using youtube videos that would be considered against copyrights. It's for the Grammy's.

http://wereallfans.com

GrumpyCoyote
01-20-2010, 04:28 PM
Your analogy is faulty.

How so?

Both relate to property that you do not own.

rogue_wave
01-20-2010, 04:29 PM
Thanks for sharing the http://wereallfans.com link.

The visualization of how fans are using and sharing the music is a very strong statement for sure. I think that this goes to that division of who understands/relies on the audience to actively spread their music. These are also likely not the folks who are doing the takedowns.

(If they are, it would be fun to make 'em wiggle out of the conflict)

pdxuke
01-20-2010, 04:37 PM
My understanding as far as live performances in BMI/ASCAP signatory venues is that the venue's blanket covers the royalties. I know that here in NYC, I have seen either BMI or ASCAP signs on the doors of the music bars for a long time.

The big difference between those performances and YT is that with YT you have created a recording and are in the act of distributing and marketing that recording.



That's a very good point. But isn't YouTube making the money here? So I would argue that YouTube should get a cover deal in place with ASCAP/BMI.

Or maybe ASCAP/BMI should start a "hobby" license especially for YouTube. Charge $10 a year and let us cover. $10 x users adds up to good royalties for artists, and I'd pay $10-25 a year.

Melissa82
01-20-2010, 04:41 PM
That's a very good point. But isn't YouTube making the money here? So I would argue that YouTube should get a cover deal in place with ASCAP/BMI.

Or maybe ASCAP/BMI should start a "hobby" license especially for YouTube. Charge $10 a year and let us cover. $10 x users adds up to good royalties for artists, and I'd pay $10-25 a year.But that is exactly what I see them trying to do. Only thing is, how do they distribute the money to the right labels? Next, they'd have to track our songs.

pdxuke
01-20-2010, 04:44 PM
But that is exactly what I see them trying to do. Only thing is, how do they distribute the money to the right labels? Next, they'd have to track our songs.

But with computer tech and data base and all of that, I'll bet YouTube could do a search based on title and calculate playlist to report to ASCAP/BMI. But I think a blanket license gets shared around to all ASCAP members, and might be a good place to start.

I don't think the issue is labels, it's publishing rights. But I may be wrong about that...

soccerward
01-20-2010, 05:05 PM
How so?

Both relate to property that you do not own.

Pretty sure he was referring to claytons bank robbery analogy..


bank robbery is not the same as shoplifting but both are stealing.

If it was really beneficial for the artist, then what's the problem about getting permission first? At least that would be a courtesy, showing you respect the rights of the copyright holder.

First of all the artist is not the person who you "get permission" from. You can send emails to Mariah Carey all you want asking for permission to cover her song, she can say yes but it doesn't mean SQUAT as she has signed away her rights through contract, and it is no longer up to her but up to "the industry"(the big publishers, producers..etc).

Second, bank robbery and shoplifting...comon man gimme a break... versus playing a melody on a ukulele as a creative expression of self FOR NON PROFIT/EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES....Clayton....seriously. Why do I feel like you are carrying personal baggage from some zealot copyright crusade. Have we forgotten we are HUMAN BEINGS with the innate right of self expression through music? Where is the Love? If it continues in this direction at this rate there will be no mainstream freedom of speech or self expression

salukulady
01-20-2010, 05:55 PM
But with computer tech and data base and all of that, I'll bet YouTube could do a search based on title and calculate playlist to report to ASCAP/BMI. But I think a blanket license gets shared around to all ASCAP members, and might be a good place to start.

I don't think the issue is labels, it's publishing rights. But I may be wrong about that...I used to belong to ascap. They didn't track how many times my group performed a certain song, it was just a yearly blanket fee. As long as the rights to the song was owned by ascap, I was allowed to use it in anyway I wanted.

GrumpyCoyote
01-20-2010, 07:14 PM
Pretty sure he was referring to claytons bank robbery analogy..



First of all the artist is not the person who you "get permission" from. You can send emails to Mariah Carey all you want asking for permission to cover her song, she can say yes but it doesn't mean SQUAT as she has signed away her rights through contract, and it is no longer up to her but up to "the industry"(the big publishers, producers..etc).

Second, bank robbery and shoplifting...comon man gimme a break... versus playing a melody on a ukulele as a creative expression of self FOR NON PROFIT/EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES....Clayton....seriously. Why do I feel like you are carrying personal baggage from some zealot copyright crusade. Have we forgotten we are HUMAN BEINGS with the innate right of self expression through music? Where is the Love? If it continues in this direction at this rate there will be no mainstream freedom of speech or self expression

No offense intended, but this is non-sense. Playing someone else's song without permission is stealing. It's their work, their money, not yours. The artist, or other copyright holder owns the song - not you.
Arguing the morality of that fact is romantic silliness. It's neither right nor wrong, but simply necessary in a world where intellectual property has value. The shoplifting analogy is a little harsh, but it works just fine.

Again, I prefer artists who allow covers, and honestly have no personal problem stealing that permission if I feel like it (it's the pirate in me). But let's be honest and very specific about what we are doing here. We are taking someone else's work.

salukulady
01-20-2010, 07:21 PM
Gotta agree with the coyote. Any of us would be pissed as hell if someone took a ditty we wrote and made a cover, especially if it involved making money or gaining fame.

sebi
01-20-2010, 08:13 PM
It's not your stuff, why would you think you have the right to do whatever you want with it?


They should be thankful that people are covering songs. phanzo said it all.

sebi
01-20-2010, 08:17 PM
By the way, my Youtube account has now definitely been suspended.

Note: I DID NOT MEAN TO STEAL ANYTHING, DID NOT WANT TO MAKE MONEY OUT OF IT, WAS JUST SHOWING MY APPRECIATION FOR GREAT MUSIC WITH MY CREATIVITY! I'm very sad that music industry doesn't see that.

argha
01-20-2010, 08:56 PM
By the way, my Youtube account has now definitely been suspended.

Note: I DID NOT MEAN TO STEAL ANYTHING, DID NOT WANT TO MAKE MONEY OUT OF IT, WAS JUST SHOWING MY APPRECIATION FOR GREAT MUSIC WITH MY CREATIVITY! I'm very sad that music industry doesn't see that.

im sorry to hear that :(
they just can handle your awesomeness

be tough be strong bro


sorry for my bad english

whetu
01-20-2010, 09:21 PM
By the way, my Youtube account has now definitely been suspended.

Note: I DID NOT MEAN TO STEAL ANYTHING, DID NOT WANT TO MAKE MONEY OUT OF IT, WAS JUST SHOWING MY APPRECIATION FOR GREAT MUSIC WITH MY CREATIVITY! I'm very sad that music industry doesn't see that.

wtf?! That sucks dude :(

GrumpyCoyote
01-20-2010, 09:25 PM
Dude - that sucks.


Youtube's enforcement on this issue is insane. There was absolutely no reason to suspend your acct. Pulling specific vids in response to complaints is one thing, but pulling an account for covers is inconsistently enforced and unfairly applied. Total crap. Drop a line to Adelle - she went through this same thing last year and had her acct. reinstated.

micromue
01-20-2010, 09:38 PM
The debate about "laws" and "morals" was interesting. But the reason, why covers of major label songs are not longer tolerated by the industry and youtube is less sophisticated: vevo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vevo).

Unholy alliance or great opportunity? What do you think?

whetu
01-20-2010, 10:00 PM
The debate about "laws" and "morals" was interesting. But the reason, why covers of major label songs are not longer tolerated by the industry and youtube is less sophisticated: vevo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vevo).

Unholy alliance or great opportunity? What do you think?

I think it's a sign that the music industry is finally waking up to consumer demand and embracing new business models. It may or may not be unholy, but I think that's a positive sign. Maybe they'll stop suing innocent grandmothers... wouldn't that be nice?

What Vevo really needs to do though is stop restricting other countries from viewing content - they shoot themselves in the foot and drive people towards copyright infringement. It's clear that they still haven't learnt that lesson, which is a shame.

Either way I don't think vevo is a problem, apart from vevo videos seeming to load slower than others (higher qual doesn't count for much on a 10" netbook guys.) I think a bigger problem is ACTA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Counterfeiting_Trade_Agreement). Just what the rest of the world needs from the States right now is "we'll open up trade with you if you yield to the RIAA/MPAA violating your privacy rights and suing YOUR innocent grandmothers. 1984 much, suckers?!" :(

buddhuu
01-20-2010, 10:38 PM
Sebi, I'm very sorry to hear that your account has been suspended.

I can understand why YT suspends accounts of people after a couple or three strikes - it's simply cheaper than the work involved in addressing videos one at a time. Doesn't mean I like it. Grrr.

With respect to Julia Nunes, and from a position of complete ignorance, I wonder if she got the appropriate permissions/licenses for the material used in all her brilliant 'ukulele covers. I also wonder if the copyright holders will object to her videos in the same way. Do you think she harmed sales of the original "Build Me Up, Buttercup"? Without researching it, my guess would be that downloads of the original benefited from the exposure the song got. I love Julia and her stuff: just wondering if everyone is treated the same.

Several members have posted excellent summaries of the objective legal position on recording and publishing copyright. No point in arguing any of that. It is what it is.

The moral/philosophical issues are, as always, where the discussion is mostly at. The discussion here has been conducted superbly, with conflicting opinions challenged with a good amount of tact, courtesy and diplomacy.

I don't dispute the legal rights of the copyright holders at all. I just wonder what, in pragmatic terms, they think they will gain.


Do they think the covers are hurting their revenue income?
Do they think that the volume of people that post YT covers are suddenly going to come and buy licences or seek permission?
Do they think that the companies who allow YT covers without issue are suffering as a result


None of that makes much sense to me. My own expectations would be that:


The covers stimulate interest in the artists and their songs.
Most people would simply stop posting covers because they do not know, and won't bother to research, how to do it the 'correct' way.
Companies and artists who allow the posting of covers are likely to benefit from the exposure and from the approval and loyalty fostered by their attitude.


I'm a big fan of Hayseed Dixie and of US multi-instrumentalist Tim O'Brien. Both of these artists actively encourage the not-for-profit recording and sharing of their live performances. They are well known for their tolerant attitude to issues such as the one under discussion here. I love these people almost as much for their attitudes as for the music they make. I buy their music out of loyaty and wouldn't hesitate to buy a ticket for a show.

What goes around, etc.

luvdat
01-21-2010, 12:23 AM
Most of the talk here...spoken like true non-songwriters. But yes, and here's how it works: the people up top do make most of the money.

BTW, most people don't consider signficant goofing off for hours at work stealing, but it is. No. I'm not a defender of corporate greed or lame management (most managers ARE lame).

With that said, the entire copywriting process has become more expensive and longer delayed. The companies DO own the song and it's that way unless you start your own publishing company.

What is NOT being said in this discussion is this: the number of people who post on You Tube and then are targeted by meanspirited LOW-LEVEL rivals, enemies and somewhat deranged individuals who then dump garbage, bad reviews, profanities, perverse talk etc...

scottie
01-21-2010, 12:31 AM
How so?

Both relate to property that you do not own.

Sorry for the delay, went to bed. . . all better now.

First let me state that I'm not talking about distributing other people's recorded work via peer to peer. In my opinion that is unethical by virtue of not having obtained permission to distribute which can be shown to mis appropriate value. The law has recognized this and it is also illegal. I agree with this position. People used peer to peer to download music they didn't want to pay for. I realize the problems created for both artists and record companies by posting someone's recorded catalog online for free download. The argument about degraded fidelity somehow making it okay doesn't hold for me. They either can't tell of will accept the degraded quality because they don't have to pop 50 bucks for 3 or 4 CDs worth of material.

===

I see the analogy as flawed because. . .

On the one hand:

Bank robbery and shoplifting both deprive an entity of real value by direct taking of something which can't be in two places at the same time. I take your money, ergo you don't have it. Provided that it was yours in the first place, I've taken something real from you and deprived you of realizing the benefit of its value.

On the other hand:

If I record or perform a version of an existing song even if rights are protected under copyright without the intention of realizing an income from it, it's legitimately debatable if a depriving has taken place due to mis appropriation of value.

I'll grant you that if you write, produce, and distribute a song or collection of songs they're yours by virtue of recognizing that you created it, expended energy, absorbed an opportunity cost and would like to realize a predictable revenue stream by way of it.

I also realize that performance rights exist as a legal manifestation to protect the interest outlined in the above paragraph and recognize the rights to a point. As far as the law applying to performance for income or profit I agree with it. If my theatre company stages a production of Cats, and charges admission, I understand the social value of requiring permission for the purpose of ensuring that a share of the gross is allocated to the creator. You tube vids, however, are not generally created with the intention of realizing any income. I do see the hole in the argunent. . . via 'generally' but I think that throwing the baby out with the bathwater is a mistake.

The question for me (and the reason why I believe your analogy fails) is where does the value in question lie. If you stake a claim to an idea does this mean that I ought to be prohibited from re-stating it? Why should that be, unless I would somehow be depriving you of real value by restating the idea? If I perform your song without intending to realize any income from it, how am I stealing from you? What have I taken? How have I deprived you of any value? How will you go about proving that I have taken value that should belong to you? Perhaps I have enhanced your value by performing your song for free distribution over You Tube.

One problem with this lies with reductio ad absurdum. If everyone who came up with an idea demanded a royalty payment we'd have the courts clogged with claims that would make Monty Python's Flying Circus seem serious by comparison. It's just not enforcable and it's just not practical. It's like, as mentioned in a previous thread, trying to enforce trespass laws to commercial flights flying over people's property and, in that case, the airlines ARE realizing tangible income from that activity.

As I stated in my previous post, the Grateful Dead understood the value created by allowing people to record, distribute, and perform their work without having to obtain special permission or pay royalty. In my estimation, the money grubbers see their nice little market for media threatened by technology and they're fighting, not for artists' rights but for control of media for increased profit.

buddhuu
01-21-2010, 12:55 AM
Most of the talk here...spoken like true non-songwriters.

Apologies, don't understand what you mean by that.


[...] What is NOT being said in this discussion is this: the number of people who post on You Tube and then are targeted by meanspirited LOW-LEVEL rivals, enemies and somewhat deranged individuals who then dump garbage, bad reviews, profanities, perverse talk etc...

That's certainly a problem but, unless I miss your point, I'm not sure it really falls within this specific topic - "Ukulele covers on Youtube being removed by Warner Music Group". The focus here is more on the relationship between YT posters and copyright holders rather than the relationship between YT members.

Maybe that issue is for another thread?

UkuLeLesReggAe
01-21-2010, 01:18 AM
deal with it. only because i have no video's

luvdat
01-21-2010, 01:34 AM
Apologies, don't understand what you mean by that.



That's certainly a problem but, unless I miss your point, I'm not sure it really falls within this specific topic - "Ukulele covers on Youtube being removed by Warner Music Group". The focus here is more on the relationship between YT posters and copyright holders rather than the relationship between YT members.

Maybe that issue is for another thread?

I do think some of these posts were the stuff of tip offs aside from corporate scrutiny.

Nonsongwriters: are most of the people doing these covers and commenting on them songwriters who make significant income off royalties? Where nonsongwriters think such moves are purely heavyhanded, I say this: it's easy to be generous, magnanimous with somebody else's cash.

Blrfl
01-21-2010, 01:57 AM
BTW, most people don't consider signficant goofing off for hours at work stealing, but it is.

It itsn't. That's fraud.


With that said, the entire copywriting process has become more expensive and longer delayed. The companies DO own the song and it's that way unless you start your own publishing company.

I'm not sure what you're getting at. There's no process; U.S. copyright law grants protection immediately when a work is created. I'd have to double check, but I believe that's a requirement of the Berne Convention, which all but a half-dozen countries have signed onto.

Companies that own songs got those rights as part of a contract between themselves and an artist. If you're working under a contract that requires you assign the rights to a specific publisher, that's just part of the terms. If both parties are agreeable, there's no reason contracts can't have other arrangements, like the artist keeps the rights and the label is licensed to publish performances in perpetuity or anything else you come up with.

--Mark

buddhuu
01-21-2010, 02:05 AM
I do think some of these posts were the stuff of tip offs aside from corporate scrutiny.

Nonsongwriters: are most of the people doing these covers and commenting on them songwriters who make significant income off royalties? Where nonsongwriters think such moves are purely heavyhanded, I say this: it's easy to be generous, magnanimous with somebody else's cash.

Thanks. I think I see what you mean now.

That said, I think you'll be surprised how many of your fellow UU members - responsible for many of the 'ukulele covers on YT - are also fine and experienced songwriters in their own right.

Personally, I don't accept that 'ukulele covers on YT are a threat to the royalty income of artists and songwriters. Just because a bunch of UU members who admire Jake S. post their own attempts at covering his version of "Weeps" doesn't mean that anyone is less likely to seek out Jake's version or George Harrison's original. If anything it is, IMHO, more likely to expand the audience for the artists to whom the covers are tribute.

One thing I will say: I wish people who post covers would make sure that they are thorough in crediting the original source of the piece being covered. Many are: many are not. If it were universal practice to include a credit for the songwriter, the recording artist, the publisher and the record company (where these are known) or a request for that information where it is not known, then I think we would have fewer problems.

Link
01-21-2010, 02:37 AM
This is lame, Sebi. WMG sucks. I think I've had about 10 videos removed, but never suspended. Can't believe they suspended one of the best channels on their whole damn site. Lame, lame, lame.

ogikloavailable
01-21-2010, 02:41 AM
Oh my god. I just got home,a real busy day,and i heard about this bad news. Damn....Sebi's vids is the main reason why i create multitrack video cover. :(

BlueInGreenUkulele
01-21-2010, 02:49 AM
You cannot copyright chord progressions. Use the chord progressions you like and change the melody and lyrics and you should be ok.

ukeshale
01-21-2010, 03:06 AM
The other part is that, for the most part, artists consider it a compliment if someone covers their songs. I've had an internationally known artist tell me so. He would consider it a compliment for you or me to strum a guitar or uke while singing one of his songs on YouTube.

I know for a fact that Evan Dando of The Lemonheads sifts through youtube covers of his songs and thanks most of the users for making the videos. He's even done so with one or two UU members.


This is lame, Sebi. WMG sucks. I think I've had about 10 videos removed, but never suspended. Can't believe they suspended one of the best channels on their whole damn site. Lame, lame, lame.

It's a great shame. Sebi's is also one of my favourite YT channels. I hope he can get it sorted.

RevWill
01-21-2010, 03:10 AM
Yeah, the artist I'm talking about has complete control over his music so there's no "the artist gave permission but the publisher didn't" issue.

I can believe that Sebi's channel got shut down. Warner is the most aggressive pursuer of perceived infringement.

Thumper
01-21-2010, 03:23 AM
I think we're going to see a lot of changes in copyright and intellectual property law in the coming years. Youtube and Google have been game-changers, taking an "easier to ask forgiveness than permission" approach that has gotten the general public accustomed to getting everything for free. After something has been free, anything less is NOT going to make people happy. On one hand it's created an unrealistic sense of entitlement on the part of the general public. But on the other, the general public is a freaking huge force to contend with, and you can't really unring that bell.

It's going to be interesting to watch, that's for sure....

Monkeyswithladders
01-21-2010, 03:33 AM
Sebi, I'm so sorry to hear your account is now suspended. I'm really hoping you can get it reinstated soon. Maybe you're one of the people targeted because of how many times your cover outshines the original? :D



If everyone who came up with an idea demanded a royalty payment we'd have the courts clogged with claims that would make Monty Python's Flying Circus seem serious by comparison. It's just not enforcable and it's just not practical. It's like, as mentioned in a previous thread, trying to enforce trespass laws to commercial flights flying over people's property and, in that case, the airlines ARE realizing tangible income from that activity.


This is very close to what I was arguing earlier with the invention of the wheel example. In a real community, ideas benefit everyone. Building on those ideas again benefits everyone. The private ownership of the means of production does not. It only benefits the person who owns them, and detracts from the community. In our present culture, many of us have accepted this injustice as something moral, but in some remaining fringe issues like this, it's much easier to see the inherent nonsense of the matter. Claiming you privately "own" an idea is debatable at best and I think it's perfectly legitimate to question the system that is in place regarding such laws.



Arguing the morality of that fact is romantic silliness
I respectfully disagree. Arguing the morality of current systems is how societies moves forward, and I think it's not just legitimate, but our duty to question the morality of the laws. It might seem implausible for these particular laws to change for the better now, but if that's what is right, it should and eventually will happen. I 'd like to put an example here of one of the many unjust laws that were once in place in history and point out that as people were attempting to change them other people were telling them it was romantic silliness. I just don't want to get on a tangent with an example that's too emotionally charged-- so there's the point, I'm sure everyone can think of an example.

Hastour
01-21-2010, 05:05 AM
Remember "United breaks guitars"? Why not make a song about Warner's absurd actions, and do our best to make it viral. We all know that those covers didn't harm anyone's income, moral rights or anything. Apparently it's just Warner's managers that can't see the obvious.

I suppose that those responsible for the whole situation are some anonymous employees charged with finding copyright infringements. They are happy to boost their statistics, and all the higher management gets is the number of evil pirates found...

agent61
01-21-2010, 05:13 AM
I write my own songs so I'm unaffected by all this really (although it would be nice to record a few favourites of mine without the threat of losing my Youtube account!).
I see both sides of the arguement but I do feel for those who just want to show their love of music by covering another artists song.

cpatch
01-21-2010, 06:04 AM
If Warner Music Group could be represented by a single human being:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zw-jTCNZSmY

Melissa82
01-21-2010, 06:12 AM
Question:

If a music group has a song that was first released on one label, then for another album they went to another label how do you give credit? For example, Wonderwall by Oasis was released on the Creative record label but now they are with Reprise.

geoffsuke
01-21-2010, 06:25 AM
This is why a lot of people are looking for alternatives to GreedTube. If you don't like it, your options are to deal with it or delete your account. However, try posting some fair use clauses in the video description. By doing this you are telling them exactly what your intentions are so there is no confusion that you might be trying to profit from it. I've seen copyrighted material and broadcasts stay up because of this. You have the right to do covers for non-profit educational purposes and criticism.

this is good advice, i think i'll be doing this from now on. it makes me so angry, the artists aren't going to care if there are people singing their songs on youtube, surely it's good publicity and a compliment. there is no harm whatsoever in what we are doing!!! grrrr

salukulady
01-21-2010, 06:26 AM
Question:

If a music group has a song that was first released on one label, then for another album they went to another label how do you give credit? For example, Wonderwall by Oasis was released on the Creative record label but now they are with Reprise.I would guess the most recent label probably owns the rights.

Monkeyswithladders
01-21-2010, 06:35 AM
someone had mentioned how providing chord progressions or tabs might allow you to argue that the video is for educational purposes more easily and considered under fair use. I wonder if adding annotations on your old videos that show when the chords change would work to the same effect...

I know if or when my covers start being taken down, I'll re-edit the videos to have the chords/tab in a corner and load it right back up.

austin1
01-21-2010, 06:49 AM
hey Sebi, I'm sorry, that's all sorts of lame :(. Any update on the situation?

I'm kind of torn on this argument: I guess I understand where the record companies are coming from, but I'm going to have to side with the "capitalist pigs" argument and say that not letting people cover songs is silly...but at the end of the day, the music industry is looking out for the music industry alone, and that's that. In middle school my music teacher used to put on Disney plays that he'd written, but using the original music, and Disney sued. It's certainly not like they were taking a financial beating from his productions, but they certainly don't care either. I think I actually read an article somewhere about someone getting sued because they borrowed the silence off another person's album, and used it on theirs.

Obviously the only functional solution here is to make me the supreme ruler of the universe, whereby I will allow covers of anything and everything. And I'll give Sebi his youtube account back :D

RevWill
01-21-2010, 07:00 AM
Here's a plan, and it would take a community effort to make it work.

I think we should all bombard each others' YouTube covers with comments like, "after hearing this cover I had to run immediately to Best Buy and pick up the original artist's CD. Great job!"

Rzr
01-21-2010, 07:08 AM
How do the Beatles become the Beatles become the beatles? Or Led Zepplin become Led Zepplin? Did they just wake up with the music? Or did they hone their skills and adapt their own style through playing other peoples music? The record companies should concentrate *more on* stopping the uploads of their original tracks & videos instead of discouraging the budding new artist who may one day sign with them.


*I'm not intentionally calling anyone a moron.

Skrik
01-21-2010, 07:12 AM
Here's another suggestion: refuse to pay for any content from corporations who represent no one except their shareholders. If we don't give them our money, the customer-unfriendly numbskulls will eventually go out of business. And good riddance to them all!

With sites like soundclick (http://www.soundclick.com/), legitimate artists still have the opportunity to make a living. Buy music directly from the artists.

RevWill
01-21-2010, 07:19 AM
If you're interested you can read this piece by Cory Doctorow (http://www.locusmag.com/Features/2008/11/cory-doctorow-why-i-copyfight.html).


There's a word for all the stuff we do with creative works — all the conversing, retelling, singing, acting out, drawing, and thinking: we call it culture.
Culture's old. It's older than copyright.
The existence of culture is why copyright is valuable. The fact that we have a bottomless appetite for songs to sing together, for stories to share, for art to see and add to our visual vocabulary is the reason that people will pay money for these things.
Let me say that again: the reason copyright exists is because culture creates a market for creative works. If there was no market for creative works, there'd be no reason to care about copyright.
Content isn't king: culture is. The reason we go to the movies is to have something to talk about.

Rzr
01-21-2010, 07:20 AM
Here's another suggestion: refuse to pay for any content from corporations who represent no one except their shareholders. If we don't give them our money, the customer-unfriendly numbskulls will eventually go out of business. And good riddance to them all!

With sites like soundclick (http://www.soundclick.com/), legitimate artists still have the opportunity to make a living. Buy music directly from the artists.

I'm sure this is what there scared of and are scrambling trying to prevent by getting governments to back them in their fight. Stop buying either product and they will listen or be gone.

whetu
01-21-2010, 07:30 AM
Remember "United breaks guitars"? Why not make a song about Warner's absurd actions, and do our best to make it viral. We all know that those covers didn't harm anyone's income, moral rights or anything. Apparently it's just Warner's managers that can't see the obvious.

I suppose that those responsible for the whole situation are some anonymous employees charged with finding copyright infringements. They are happy to boost their statistics, and all the higher management gets is the number of evil pirates found...

I like it, good idea :)

Melissa82
01-21-2010, 07:31 AM
This thread makes me angry. It makes me want to just take down all of my videos.

*sad face*

RevWill
01-21-2010, 07:59 AM
It makes me profoundly sad and scared too, Melissa. I am a songwriter and I have published some of my compositions on Soundclick in the past under a Creative Commons license.

Copyright, publishing and "intellectual property" laws like this make me deeply cynical about where our world is headed. I am utterly convinced that enforcement of the law is contingent upon whether you are making money, and whom you are making it for. (Rich white guys not named Scott Peterson don't get the death penalty, if you know what I mean. There are hundreds if not thousands of poor people, mostly black, waiting on the needle for every Scott Peterson.)

Julia Nunes will not run into this. She has become so popular that she will be signed and their lawyers will find a way to make her covers legal before making her take them down. Working stiffs with no chance of fighting the Man will be "made examples."

GrumpyCoyote
01-21-2010, 08:08 AM
...I respectfully disagree. Arguing the morality of current systems is how societies moves forward, and I think it's not just legitimate, but our duty to question the morality of the laws. It might seem implausible for these particular laws to change for the better now, but if that's what is right, it should and eventually will happen. I 'd like to put an example here of one of the many unjust laws that were once in place in history and point out that as people were attempting to change them other people were telling them it was romantic silliness. I just don't want to get on a tangent with an example that's too emotionally charged-- so there's the point, I'm sure everyone can think of an example.

Good discussion here – this is the kind of rational and respectful discourse I love to see on UU.

At the risk of hijacking Sebi’s thread - I actually agree with you on this in regards to unjust laws. My point was about arguing morality as a reasonable alternative to reality. The old "this shouldn't be this way, so I'm going to assume it's the way I want it" fallacy. If we want something to change we need to start from a clear-headed place. Acknowledging that the covers are taking someone else's work without permission is that first rational step to coming up with any solutions.

In general, I do think some basic reform is needed in intellectual property law - but there is nothing inherently immoral (remembering that morals are subjective and not absolute of course) or unfair in claiming personal property rights over a work of art. Art is work, and has value as such. In order to protect compensation to those responsible for the art, some structure must be in place to keep people from stealing it. That current structure calls our youtube cover videos theft. There is nothing “wrong” morally speaking with those facts. They just are. The law itself is neutral – neither right nor wrong. Particularly because you CAN get legal permission to cover songs if you wish under most circumstances.

However, you could argue that the enforcement of those laws is unbalanced and unjust – then you might have some “morality” claim. In particular, the Youtube policy seems unfair and nearly random – with very little recourse or options for those “accused”.

Again, my suggestion is simple – someone should write and encourage the use of an open source style of license - Like Creative Commons, but better. One that encourages the non-commercial use of the art for anyone to share, yet protects the value for those who need to make money. The software industry (and table-top games, among others) has been doing this for decades. Couple that with the GREAT idea about the viral video above, and you have a real movement. How are your legall-eese language skills mi amigo?

UkuleleHill
01-21-2010, 08:09 AM
This thread makes me angry. It makes me want to just take down all of my videos.

*sad face*

:agree:


Julia Nunes will not run into this. She has become so popular that she will be signed and their lawyers will find a way to make her covers legal before making her take them down. Working stiffs with no chance of fighting the Man will be "made examples."

:agree:

You can go to alot of starbucks (among other places) and find people doing covers of music for money ACTUAL MONEY and are they pulled out of the establishment and their guitar (or any other instrument) taken away? I think not... Just food for thought... I can see once you are partnered that the should be able to police what you make pay and what you don't, but I someone covering a song on youtube, for me anyway, makes me want to listen and most times buy the original artist's song more..

UkuleleHill
01-21-2010, 08:18 AM
Again, my suggestion is simple – someone should write and encourage the use of an open source style of license - Like Creative Commons, but better. One that encourages the non-commercial use of the art for anyone to share, yet protects the value for those who need to make money. The software industry (and table-top games, among others) has been doing this for decades. Couple that with the GREAT idea about the viral video above, and you have a real movement. How are your legall-eese language skills mi amigo?

I totally agree with this, without such laws for software, we wouldn't have things like Open Office, VLC Media Player, or Firefox! I am totally behind this!

RevWill
01-21-2010, 08:22 AM
I totally agree with this, without such laws for software, we wouldn't have things like Open Office, VLC Media Player, or Firefox! I am totally behind this!
:agree:

OpenOffice has made MS Office a better product. And OOo is a more-than-viable suite as it is. It got me through seminary without having to spend my money on MS.

Firefox has made IE a better product. (still not as good as Firefox, but better than it was).

To wildly paraphrase one of my heroes, "Copyright law was created to serve the culture; culture was not created to serve copyright law."

itsme
01-21-2010, 08:48 AM
You cannot copyright chord progressions. Use the chord progressions you like and change the melody and lyrics and you should be ok.
Well, George Harrison was successfully sued for copyright infringement over the three-note riff of "My Sweet Lord" because it was the same as the hook in the Chiffons' hit "He's So Fine".

http://abbeyrd.best.vwh.net/mysweet.htm


Question:

If a music group has a song that was first released on one label, then for another album they went to another label how do you give credit? For example, Wonderwall by Oasis was released on the Creative record label but now they are with Reprise.
You give credit to the songwriter/artist. The label doesn't own the song, only the sound recording.


I would guess the most recent label probably owns the rights.
No, as I said, the original label retains the rights to the sound recording. Although it is not unheard of that a label will sell or license the rights to another label. That was really how Rhino Records got their start. They would buy masters of older product that were no longer profitable for the majors to manufacture and distribute, and then put out re-issues.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhino_Entertainment

RevWill
01-21-2010, 09:01 AM
What's funny is that George admitted he should have been sued, but by the writers of Oh Happy Day from which he copped the chord progression.

pulelehua
01-21-2010, 09:02 AM
Surely checking YouTube to see if your songs are being used in a copyright infringing way is one of the great cat herding exercises in all of human history.

Melissa82
01-21-2010, 09:03 AM
I had a video on my YT of my dog and cat playing. The background noise, which was coming from the radio, was an artist signed to WMG. Well, they decided to mute the sound. Pretty lame if you ask me.

clayton56
01-21-2010, 09:03 AM
Sorry for the delay, went to bed. . . all better now.

First let me state that I'm not talking about distributing other people's recorded work via peer to peer. In my opinion that is unethical by virtue of not having obtained permission to distribute which can be shown to mis appropriate value. The law has recognized this and it is also illegal. I agree with this position. People used peer to peer to download music they didn't want to pay for. I realize the problems created for both artists and record companies by posting someone's recorded catalog online for free download. The argument about degraded fidelity somehow making it okay doesn't hold for me. They either can't tell of will accept the degraded quality because they don't have to pop 50 bucks for 3 or 4 CDs worth of material.

===

I see the analogy as flawed because. . .

On the one hand:

Bank robbery and shoplifting both deprive an entity of real value by direct taking of something which can't be in two places at the same time. I take your money, ergo you don't have it. Provided that it was yours in the first place, I've taken something real from you and deprived you of realizing the benefit of its value.

On the other hand:

If I record or perform a version of an existing song even if rights are protected under copyright without the intention of realizing an income from it, it's legitimately debatable if a depriving has taken place due to mis appropriation of value.

I'll grant you that if you write, produce, and distribute a song or collection of songs they're yours by virtue of recognizing that you created it, expended energy, absorbed an opportunity cost and would like to realize a predictable revenue stream by way of it.

I also realize that performance rights exist as a legal manifestation to protect the interest outlined in the above paragraph and recognize the rights to a point. As far as the law applying to performance for income or profit I agree with it. If my theatre company stages a production of Cats, and charges admission, I understand the social value of requiring permission for the purpose of ensuring that a share of the gross is allocated to the creator. You tube vids, however, are not generally created with the intention of realizing any income. I do see the hole in the argunent. . . via 'generally' but I think that throwing the baby out with the bathwater is a mistake.

The question for me (and the reason why I believe your analogy fails) is where does the value in question lie. If you stake a claim to an idea does this mean that I ought to be prohibited from re-stating it? Why should that be, unless I would somehow be depriving you of real value by restating the idea? If I perform your song without intending to realize any income from it, how am I stealing from you? What have I taken? How have I deprived you of any value? How will you go about proving that I have taken value that should belong to you? Perhaps I have enhanced your value by performing your song for free distribution over You Tube.

One problem with this lies with reductio ad absurdum. If everyone who came up with an idea demanded a royalty payment we'd have the courts clogged with claims that would make Monty Python's Flying Circus seem serious by comparison. It's just not enforcable and it's just not practical. It's like, as mentioned in a previous thread, trying to enforce trespass laws to commercial flights flying over people's property and, in that case, the airlines ARE realizing tangible income from that activity.

As I stated in my previous post, the Grateful Dead understood the value created by allowing people to record, distribute, and perform their work without having to obtain special permission or pay royalty. In my estimation, the money grubbers see their nice little market for media threatened by technology and they're fighting, not for artists' rights but for control of media for increased profit.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

All analogies are flawed, but their purpose is to clarify something that is being misunderstood. What I've been reading is attempts to justify one form of copyright infringement by saying it's different from another form of copyright infringement. My "analogy" points out that two types of stealing can differ, carry different penalties and circumstances, but both are still stealing.

The axe I have to grind is not copyright infringement against me, but the fact that so many people do not respect the rights of the artist/copyright owner. Most claim to be helping the orignal artist, but if that was really true, there would be no law against it. Either way, it doesn't negate your responsibility to comply with the law.

I run a music education website where I provide public domain music with play-along soundfiles for free, and I occasionally include some of my own tunes for free as well. Since it's true that chord changes can't be copyrighted (only melodies and lyrics - titles can't be copyrighted either) I often use standard chord progressions and create my own melodies. In other words, I stay within the law, because I respect the rights of the people who hold the copyrights.

So if I sound like I have an axe to grind, it's really to the attitude that "we can do whatever we want without worrying about the consequences for anyone else". And when you get caught, and closed down, the reaction sounds like pouting. If the response was "Hey, I got closed down, but I had a good run with other people's music" that would be one thing. Instead you're yelling like it's an infringement of YOUR rights. This lack of understanding of your responsibility as a citizen in society shows a lack of maturity and awareness that does frost me (I don't mean to single any one person out, it's more of an amalgam). Anyway, I comply with the laws, why can't you?

The answer is, of course you can, you just don't want to. There are centuries of great music in the public domain. It's easy to create chord progressions and write your own lyrics. It's also possible (and courteous) to get permission from an artist or copyright holder. And if they don't give you permission, respect that decision.

It's all about respecting other people, their rights, their work, whether it's convenient for you or not. I remember in 1995 many copyrights were due to expire, including all the Disney characters, and Congress jumped in and extended them. It would have opened up several decades of pop music to public domain, but it got squashed. Too bad, but the way to change it is to get elected to Congress and reverse it - not to scoff the law and whine when you get caught.

That's my point of view, I think there might be a generation gap - it's like having your grandmother yell at you to eat your peas and carrots. Now THAT's a flawed analogy.

By the way, I didn't realize it was legal to use a copyrighted tune for a tutorial or for learning purposes, I have been wanting to do exactly that. Does anyone have a link to that part of the code? Another thing to keep in mind is copyright law varies from country to country, and the web is worldwide - some people have run into issues with infringement in some areas vs. others.

Blrfl
01-21-2010, 09:10 AM
You can go to alot of starbucks (among other places) and find people doing covers of music for money ACTUAL MONEY and are they pulled out of the establishment and their guitar (or any other instrument) taken away? I think not...

Starbuck's probably has an ASCAP/BMI license to cover the music they play in their stores. If that license covers live performances, they're within their rights to have live music.

--Mark

whetu
01-21-2010, 09:25 AM
In general, I do think some basic reform is needed in intellectual property law

Sure, get rid of it altogether: http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/not-ipr.html :)


Again, my suggestion is simple – someone should write and encourage the use of an open source style of license - Like Creative Commons, but better. One that encourages the non-commercial use of the art for anyone to share, yet protects the value for those who need to make money. The software industry (and table-top games, among others) has been doing this for decades. Couple that with the GREAT idea about the viral video above, and you have a real movement. How are your legall-eese language skills mi amigo?

Creative Commons is actually a group of (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons_licenses) licences (http://creativecommons.org/about/licenses), you simply have to configure it to suit you: http://creativecommons.org/choose/, a lot of thought has already gone into it by Larry Lessig (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Lessig) and others.

And the problem with suggesting broadly "open source license" is that there is already quite a spectrum of open source licences. Here's the list (http://www.opensource.org/licenses/alphabetical) of those that are recognised by the OSI, I'm very sure that Richard Stallman will have his own list on the FSF or the GNU websites. While a lot of people blindly default to the GPL, for example, professionally I have always favoured BSD (which IMO is much more 'free'). I'm not wrong, but neither are GPL advocates. You'll also find people who find the Apache, Mozilla or derivitive licences to be a much fairer middle ground. Outside of my professional opinion, I favour the beerware licence (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beerware). This one (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WTFPL) looks like a good'un too :) The point I guess is that there's already a lot of licences out there, and probably a few of those cover your requirements. Creative Commons simplifies the process of choosing a licence.

The other problem is enforceability. You can create your own licences until the cows come home, but the sad reality is it won't be taken seriously until it's tested in court. GPL and BSD have both been tested and they work. As an aside you could maybe in theory release music under an open source software licence, provided you make freely available your chords/tabs in musical notation (i.e. the 'source code', where your original recording of the tune is the 'binary')

Anyway, have a look at this licence if none of the Creative Commons options appeal: http://artlibre.org/licence/lal/en


It's all about respecting other people, their rights, their work, whether it's convenient for you or not.
You're right, but it's also hard to respect a rights holder when that rights holder is a faceless corporation that either directly (e.g. WMG) or indirectly (e.g. members of RIAA) encourages scare tactics, extortion and bankruptive litigation against the innocent (yes, they do chase and sue the guilty too, but their relentless sue-them-into-the-ground tactics have caught and ruined the lives of completely innocent people.) Nobody likes a bully.


Too bad, but the way to change it is to get elected to Congress and reverse it - not to scoff the law and whine when you get caught.
I don't understand the American political system that well, it tends to give me a headache, and judging by the international response to the Obama build up, I'd say I'm not alone. I work with Americans who roll their eyes and say "seriously, it's not worth the waste of braincells, go drink whiskey instead" when I ask them to explain to me why the Democrats losing Massachusetts is such a big deal. After recovering from said whiskey I have to get these things explained to me through comedy (http://www.indecisionforever.com/2010/01/19/jon-stewart-on-the-massachusetts-senate-election/). With that background in mind, am I wrong to think that simply getting into congress doesn't automatically guarantee you'll get your way? You've still got to convince a majority of your misfit peers, each of whom likely have Scrooge McDuck style moneybins that are being filled every second by lobby groups, corporate interests etc... Am I way off? Too cynical?


By the way, I didn't realize it was legal to use a copyrighted tune for a tutorial or for learning purposes, I have been wanting to do exactly that. Does anyone have a link to that part of the code?
I too am interested here. I've seen chords/tabs around with a disclaimer saying that it's for educational purposes only, but on many of them I get the sense that it's being (ab)used as some kind of pseudo-loophole. So I'd like to see the facts too. Then there's mxtabs (http://www.mxtabs.net/about/).


Another thing to keep in mind is copyright law varies from country to country, and the web is worldwide - some people have run into issues with infringement in some areas vs. others.
thankyou! Finally someone else notes this fact :)

RevWill
01-21-2010, 09:45 AM
Most claim to be helping the orignal artist, but if that was really true, there would be no law against it.

I will take issue with that part of your argument. I get what you're trying to say but the logic doesn't hold up.

Further, this country has a long history of civil disobedience that eventually reforms unjust, unfair and unreasonable laws. In that light, I fully support anyone in staking a claim to what should be considered "fair use" in promoting art and artists for the betterment of the culture.

Rzr
01-21-2010, 09:52 AM
So is it or isn't ok to put up a cover if you add in that it was originally written by so and so and distriduted by such and such and that everyone who enjoyed my cover should go buy the original?

I'm guessing no, but was just wondering.

leftovermagic84
01-21-2010, 09:55 AM
You can go to alot of starbucks (among other places) and find people doing covers of music for money ACTUAL MONEY and are they pulled out of the establishment and their guitar (or any other instrument) taken away? I think not... Just food for thought...

I'm with you guys that our youtube stuff should be left alone, but I thought playing a cover live was different than recording one. I've been to tons of concerts where the bands were being paid, and along with their own stuff, threw in a cover or two.

UkuleleHill
01-21-2010, 10:04 AM
I'm with you guys that our youtube stuff should be left alone, but I thought playing a cover live was different than recording one. I've been to tons of concerts where the bands were being paid, and along with their own stuff, threw in a cover or two.

All I am trying to say is that if busking is allowed, then I think that covering a song on youtube and not makeing any money on it should be allowed as well. I understand that what I just said was very simple, and that there are all sorts of legalities to come with that.... But just wanted to say what was on my mind...

leftovermagic84
01-21-2010, 10:09 AM
All I am trying to say is that if busking is allowed, then I think that covering a song on youtube and not makeing any money on it should be allowed as well. I understand that what I just said was very simple, and that there are all sorts of legalities to come with that.... But just wanted to say what was on my mind...

I'm completely with you, I think its completely foolish to allow people to make money covering songs live, but disallow youtube covers where nobody makes a dime. It seems even more sensless considering how long that loophole has allowed people to play coversongs in concert without any real complaint by the recording industry, but they jump all over anything that has to do with the internet without thought or hesitation.

GrumpyCoyote
01-21-2010, 10:27 AM
Some of these posts are starting to tread into the shallow end of intentionally inflamatory. That will end in a locked thread... try to keep the more inflammatory comments to a minimum.

As for getting rid of intellectual property rights - it strikes me as a sure fire way to kill the arts (and most sciences). As an example, I make all of my money from my ideas. Both in the games industry and the software industry. I do not work for free. I work for money. If there is no money from my concepts, and no way to protect my income, I'll have to do something else for a living. Therefore all of the non-protectable work just stops. There is no financial incentive for it to continue. While I do what I do for many reasons, I still have to eat and pay my mortgage. So my lines of work become "hobbies" at best without IP law. As such no serious developments happen - no real investments are made. Imagine a world where no one can afford to make a new stage play, research a new medicine, or invent a new piece of software... It's not about what corporations do or don't do with it. It's about protecting the value of a human beings sweat and toil.

Copyright law shows that we as a society value arts and ideas. It protects the creators ability to feed their families. Without it, all artists are starving artists (as are most engineers and scientists). It can be - and is - abused, but disposing of it without first getting rid of the need to get paid is simply unfair and foolish.

I’m sure an existing Commons license could be adapted and advocated for the “cover song” problem – but most of the ones I’m familiar with do not do enough to protect the copyright holder. Not to mention that most of the Stallman style work is based on the concept of free exchange – that sends most companies running out of fear. Just my opinion, but it seems like a perfect case for a practical and simple new license approach. One that real companies and distributors will not shrink from – but will be eager to adopt.

buddhuu
01-21-2010, 10:28 AM
So is it or isn't ok to put up a cover if you add in that it was originally written by so and so and distriduted by such and such and that everyone who enjoyed my cover should go buy the original?

I'm guessing no, but was just wondering.

Your guess is technically correct. Unless you got the correct permissions/license to post the cover then you would be infringing the publisher's or songwriter's copyright.

Whether or not they would choose to take any action in such a case where correct credit was given and reference made to the original work remains to be seen and may well vary.

buddhuu
01-21-2010, 10:35 AM
[...] try to keep the more inflammatory comments to a minimum.
Yup. This thread is too important and too interesting to waste, and a lockdown isn't going to help Sebi any.

We need to keep ourselves calm while discussing something where strong opposing opinions exist. Not easy.

So far, fascinating stuff.

RevWill
01-21-2010, 10:54 AM
If I were to continue posting covers, I would include the disclaimer that no copyright infringement is intended, the video is presented for educational purposes - specifically critique of my playing, and that if the copyright holder believes their rights have been violated contact me and I will gladly remove the video. If you enjoy this cover, please purchase the original recording by the original artist.

I know that doesn't make it legal, but it does express a desire to cooperate with the proper authorities rather than set up a contentious or adverserial relationship to begin with. (ps, sorry grump. I can be a bit passionate at times).

rpeters
01-21-2010, 10:58 AM
As long as you don't sell those covers its not a copy right infringement. I have a feeling that companies have a bot that crawls through youtube videos looking for keywords that match with copy righted material, then it automatically requests that you take it down. If you just change the title of your youtube videos to something that is not recognized by the bot then it won't be taken down. They don't watch your videos, its all based on the information you provide.

So change your titles and keywords and you'll be safe, even though its a pain and then people can't search for your covers, but then it won't be mixed in with real copy right infringement.

itsme
01-21-2010, 10:58 AM
I'm completely with you, I think its completely foolish to allow people to make money covering songs live, but disallow youtube covers where nobody makes a dime. It seems even more sensless considering how long that loophole has allowed people to play coversongs in concert without any real complaint by the recording industry, but they jump all over anything that has to do with the internet without thought or hesitation.
Please do not blame the "recording industry" over the youtube covers issue. As I have said, the record companies only have a right as far as their exact sound recordings go, covers are a matter of rights belonging to the writer/publisher.

Under the DMCA, youtube operates under what's known as the "safe harbor" clause. They only have to remove copyrighted material at the request of the copyright holder. That is different from playing a cover tune in a venue like a nightclub where the club pays licensing fees to the various performing rights organizations, who in turn compensate the writers/publishers for the use of their IP. Record companies don't make a dime from covers being played at a nightclub, unless of course, you are inspired to rush out and buy their product after hearing said cover tune. ;)

So youtube has become the venue, but they aren't licensed by the PROs. If that were the case, covers would be a non-issue.

buddhuu
01-21-2010, 11:05 AM
As long as you don't sell those covers its not a copy right infringement. I have a feeling that companies have a bot that crawls through youtube videos looking for keywords that match with copy righted material, then it automatically requests that you take it down. If you just change the title of your youtube videos to something that is not recognized by the bot then it won't be taken down. They don't watch your videos, its all based on the information you provide.

So change your titles and keywords and you'll be safe, even though its a pain and then people can't search for your covers, but then it won't be mixed in with real copy right infringement.

With respect, you are not correct. See item 2 on this page: http://www.templetons.com/brad/copymyths.html

Whether you sell the material or not, you will have infringed the owner's copyright.

NatalieLin6
01-21-2010, 11:07 AM
I had a video on my YT of my dog and cat playing. The background noise, which was coming from the radio, was an artist signed to WMG. Well, they decided to mute the sound. Pretty lame if you ask me.

I agree that this is totally lame. When we were driving into Chicago the song Jammin came on the radio. I recorded it because I thought it was incredibly apprpriate seeing as how I was going to be jammin with everyone. Now I worry. Even though i thought it was so awesome and want to include it in the video when I upload it, I am afraid it might get blocked, muted whatever. Totally LAME!

itsme
01-21-2010, 11:10 AM
(I see our replies got posted at the same time, so I hadn't seen yours yet when I posted.)


As long as you don't sell those covers its not a copy right infringement.
That is incorrect. It is a matter of the venue (youtube) not being licensed to allow the copyright holder to be compensated, just like a nightclub pays fees to the PROs.

RevWill
01-21-2010, 11:15 AM
Even public domain songs are not safe to cover.

"This Is My Father's World" is an old hymn in the public domain and can be covered freely. Just make sure your version doesn't rely too heavily on a recorded and published arrangement of it. If your version sounds a little too much like Amy Grant's version you are in violation of copyright.

"The Midnight Special" is an old traditional folk song that may be in the public domain - I'm not sure. But your version can't sound too much like Creedence Clearwater Revival without violating copyright.

luvdat
01-21-2010, 11:25 AM
Thanks. I think I see what you mean now.

That said, I think you'll be surprised how many of your fellow UU members - responsible for many of the 'ukulele covers on YT - are also fine and experienced songwriters in their own right.

Personally, I don't accept that 'ukulele covers on YT are a threat to the royalty income of artists and songwriters. Just because a bunch of UU members who admire Jake S. post their own attempts at covering his version of "Weeps" doesn't mean that anyone is less likely to seek out Jake's version or George Harrison's original. If anything it is, IMHO, more likely to expand the audience for the artists to whom the covers are tribute.

One thing I will say: I wish people who post covers would make sure that they are thorough in crediting the original source of the piece being covered. Many are: many are not. If it were universal practice to include a credit for the songwriter, the recording artist, the publisher and the record company (where these are known) or a request for that information where it is not known, then I think we would have fewer problems.

But it's not THEIR songs we're talking about here.

salukulady
01-21-2010, 11:25 AM
Even public domain songs are not safe to cover.

"This Is My Father's World" is an old hymn in the public domain and can be covered freely. Just make sure your version doesn't rely too heavily on a recorded and published arrangement of it. If your version sounds a little too much like Amy Grant's version you are in violation of copyright.

"The Midnight Special" is an old traditional folk song that may be in the public domain - I'm not sure. But your version can't sound too much like Creedence Clearwater Revival without violating copyright.Rev Will is absolutely correct.

RevWill
01-21-2010, 11:30 AM
Rev Will is absolutely correct.

THAAAT'S what I like to hear!

buddhuu
01-21-2010, 11:33 AM
But it's not THEIR songs we're talking about here.

Sorry, luvdatuke. It seems that I'm not understanding some of your posts very clearly. The fault is probably mine. Seems we're talking at cross purposes.

seeso
01-21-2010, 12:02 PM
Buddhuu raised a question earlier in the thread that I'd like to address.


I love Julia and her stuff: just wondering if everyone is treated the same.

I can speak from direct experience. Everyone is NOT treated the same. I would go even farther and say that every video of a single YouTuber is not treated the same.

I have a Chili Peppers cover up on YouTube that hasn't raised an eyebrow from WMG. It's getting up to 100,000 views. It has been up since August 14, 2007.

I have had three copyright cases - one is a UMG violation claim on my 5 Facts video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3zMyhwKmP4). This claim is not valid. All the music I used in that video were made with GarageBand royalty-free loops. At any rate, they have chosen to let the video remain online. View count is modest - only less than 4,000 views and it has been up since January 10, 2008.

The other dispute I have is with EMI on my Jackson 5 cover (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_0zA-FnmDM). They have chosen to allow this video to remain online. It has been online since August 21, 2007. It also is nearing 100,000 views.

The last dispute was with an old video I had up before I started doing YouTube covers. It was just a video of me and my friends with "Natural Woman," by Aretha Franklin playing in the background. That video has been removed.

seeso
01-21-2010, 12:11 PM
By the way, here is a list of WMG artists (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Warner_Music_Group_artists) that you probably shouldn't cover.

Here is the legalese that might help you if you put it in the description area of your video:


Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

And Sebi - man that sucks. I feel for you, man. Let me know if there's something I can do for you.

RevWill
01-21-2010, 12:14 PM
"Johnny Lobo" sounds like a cartoon character. I like Seeso better.

Buddhu, I think (and I, like you, can't be sure) that he means we're not talking about our own songs being covered without our permission, and that our feelings on the issue might be different were the shoe on the other foot.

seeso
01-21-2010, 12:16 PM
To address the songwriter/non-songwriter thing - I'm a songwriter that has been covered more than a few times on YouTube. It's always awesome and completely flattering.

Pippin
01-21-2010, 12:28 PM
To address the songwriter/non-songwriter thing - I'm a songwriter that has been covered more than a few times on YouTube. It's always awesome and completely flattering.

I am with Seeso on this.

Folk singer-multi-instrumentalist Dave Sterenchok performed a cover of one of my songs at the International Folk Music Festival at Madison Square Garden and before he began he said that when he first heard "Typical Day" he said, "Now why didn't I write that song?"

Dave is a great performer and songwriter. Nobody ever paid me a finer compliment.

salukulady
01-21-2010, 12:40 PM
To address the songwriter/non-songwriter thing - I'm a songwriter that has been covered more than a few times on YouTube. It's always awesome and completely flattering.I know you'd still be flattered, but what if Pat Boone or The Beach Boys took your song or just the melody and made a few hundred thousand dollars on it? What would you do? Or if you were represented by a label, what would you expect the corporation to do on your behalf?

seeso
01-21-2010, 12:47 PM
I know you'd still be flattered, but what if Pat Boone or The Beach Boys took your song or just the melody and made a few hundred thousand dollars on it? What would you do? Or if you were represented by a label, what would you expect the corporation to do on your behalf?

That's completely different. If a major label artist wanted to put my song on an album, I'd expect royalties. I don't want anything from other YouTubers.

If I was represented by a label, I'd have the same feelings.

salukulady
01-21-2010, 12:52 PM
That's completely different. If a major label artist wanted to put my song on an album, I'd expect royalties. I don't want anything from other YouTubers.

If I was represented by a label, I'd have the same feelings.Agreed but where do they draw the line, when your song is recorded on an album and starts making money? Aren't there famous youtubers that are making money off their music? Not trying to be a pita, just curious.

seeso
01-21-2010, 01:00 PM
Agreed but where do they draw the line, when your song is recorded on an album and starts making money? Aren't there famous youtubers that are making money off their music? Not trying to be a pita, just curious.

Yes, that's where the line should be drawn. If an artist uses my song with commercial intent, I expect to be reimbursed.

ogikloavailable
01-21-2010, 01:01 PM
... Why not make a song about Warner's absurd actions, and do our best to make it viral. We all know that those covers didn't harm anyone's income....

Exactly :agree: cause i think it's more harm to re write the lyrics rather than just covering a song.
And that's a great idea,i think i'm goin to re-write the lyrics of soul to squeeze,make it as a vid. Dont care if my channel suspended :)

buddhuu
01-21-2010, 01:06 PM
[...] i think i'm goin to re-write the lyrics of soul to squeeze,make it as a vid. Dont care if my channel suspended :)

Prolly would be. Derivative works (work made by adapting the original) are also covered by the original copyright!

EDIT: Of course, in that case the parody defense under Fair Use may be applicable.

luvdat
01-21-2010, 01:08 PM
Sorry, luvdatuke. It seems that I'm not understanding some of your posts very clearly. The fault is probably mine. Seems we're talking at cross purposes.

"Cross purposes" is a good self-evaluation since I essentially see things more in line with Grumpy Coyote. And the fault is also mine. I'm too glued to my own view and assume?

To state it more bluntly: the fact that UU members write songs is one thing, but we're not talking about THEIR songs and their treatment as copyrighted materials. We're talking about the songs of others, yes, even famous songs/ songwriter's copyrighted materials, and yes, even renditions. They may be "fine songwriter's in their own right" but the issue at hand is the copyrighted materials of others. Are the "covers" being done THEIR songs? Not that I know of. Their own songwriting ability is irrelevant on one level and on another short-sighted.

Frankly, I think part of my style is to reveal the context of an issue even a question about buying a uke. In this thread, thoughout, there is a fair interplay between "perceived rights" and actual "legal rights" with among some contributors this notion that there is an imagined ethical highground that supercedes the law in this matter. While commendable in certain applications I think with respect to music many opinions feelings offered are ultimately shortsighted and I have no further need to debate this issue, or potentially offend anyone.

itsme
01-21-2010, 01:22 PM
I know you'd still be flattered, but what if Pat Boone or The Beach Boys took your song or just the melody and made a few hundred thousand dollars on it? What would you do? Or if you were represented by a label, what would you expect the corporation to do on your behalf?


That's completely different. If a major label artist wanted to put my song on an album, I'd expect royalties. I don't want anything from other YouTubers.

If I was represented by a label, I'd have the same feelings.
Again, a record label has nothing to do with someone else covering your song. You would be represented by your publisher, who collects royalties in the form of mechanicals (for copies sold), performance (for radio play, etc.) and disburses them to you.

salukulady, as long as the artist who wants to record your song goes thru the proper licensing channels (usually handled by the label), you cannot prevent an artist from recording your song.

The one exception is the right of first refusal. Say you're strictly a songwriter (not an artist yourself) and your publisher is shopping your brand new sure-to-be-a-hit song (that no one's recorded yet) and gets interest from a major artist that you personally can't stand, you could say no, you cannot record my song. However, once you allow someone else to record and release it, it becomes fair game and anyone can record it.

It's funny you should mention Pat Boone. Did you know he recorded an album of heavy metal tunes done lounge lizard style? Maybe Ozzy, Alice Cooper and Metallica didn't want him butchering their songs like he did, but they couldn't stop him. :p

whetu
01-21-2010, 01:23 PM
I'm sure an existing Commons license could be adapted and advocated for the “cover song” problem – but most of the ones I’m familiar with do not do enough to protect the copyright holder. Not to mention that most of the Stallman style work is based on the concept of free exchange – that sends most companies running out of fear. Just my opinion, but it seems like a perfect case for a practical and simple new license approach. One that real companies and distributors will not shrink from – but will be eager to adopt.

I agree with the sentiments about Stallman. I can certainly see where he's coming from and what he's trying to achieve, but his methods drive me away. Worse still are his followers, but that's a seperate rant that's going off track. Real companies and distributors have no such problems with BSD - a licence that lets them just get on with the job.

Anyway, if it were me, I'd probably be using this Creative Commons licence: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/nz/ (swap the nz for us to get the states version, they're the same.) I'd want people to build off my work, remix* it and re-release it under the same or a similar licence. That's just being part of, and embracing a community. But if it or a derivitive work are used commercially, I want my dues. Note that this is a bit more open than their Music Sharing (http://creativecommons.org/choose/music) Licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/). As I said though, there's plenty of licences already out there (i.e. don't duplicate), the problem is finding one to suit. Perhaps there's a web-based tool somewhere that helps narrow down the options? I wonder if one of the CC guys would be happy to answer any questions we have?

This may or may not be useful too: http://boomboxserenade.typepad.com/boombox_serenade/ebook.html

* I'd count a cover song as a remix. And you also have sites like remix.nin.com, Trent Reznor is an outspoken leader on one side of this debate.

whetu
01-21-2010, 01:51 PM
oh, and Sebi - keep your head high buddy. Along with other members who've been mentioned, Musicteacher2009 went through the same troubles:

http://ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?19650-musicteacher2009

You'll sort this out and be reinstated in no time :)

Nu Uke
01-21-2010, 03:01 PM
But if the public is clearly not on the side of the law, what authority should the law really have?[/QUOTE]

Hmmmmm .....that's what they asked about segregation, women's suffrage, etc, etc...... some laws were enacted to protect an individual's rights, and I'm glad of it.

rpeters
01-21-2010, 03:28 PM
With respect, you are not correct. See item 2 on this page: http://www.templetons.com/brad/copymyths.html

Whether you sell the material or not, you will have infringed the owner's copyright.

Thanks for clearing that up. I think I made that explanation up in my head so that I could convince myself that it wasn't copy right infringement. Makes me feel better I guess... haha. But still if you don't include the names of the songs in your youtube videos it makes it very hard for them to catch you. They aren't going to listen to every youtube video and decide if it was too close to the original or not. They are most likely going to look for titles and key words such as "Bob dylan cover" or something along those lines.

salukulady
01-21-2010, 03:36 PM
Again, a record label has nothing to do with someone else covering your song. You would be represented by your publisher, who collects royalties in the form of mechanicals (for copies sold), performance (for radio play, etc.) and disburses them to you.

salukulady, as long as the artist who wants to record your song goes thru the proper licensing channels (usually handled by the label), you cannot prevent an artist from recording your song.

The one exception is the right of first refusal. Say you're strictly a songwriter (not an artist yourself) and your publisher is shopping your brand new sure-to-be-a-hit song (that no one's recorded yet) and gets interest from a major artist that you personally can't stand, you could say no, you cannot record my song. However, once you allow someone else to record and release it, it becomes fair game and anyone can record it.

It's funny you should mention Pat Boone. Did you know he recorded an album of heavy metal tunes done lounge lizard style? Maybe Ozzy, Alice Cooper and Metallica didn't want him butchering their songs like he did, but they couldn't stop him. :pThank you, so once an artist records your song for profit, any other artist can record it provided they pay the piper. Interesting. Yes, I saw Mr. Boone in all his leather glory on TV with Alice Cooper once.....tsk, tsk, tsk.

salukulady
01-21-2010, 03:42 PM
Yes, that's where the line should be drawn. If an artist uses my song with commercial intent, I expect to be reimbursed.One more question seeso, then I'll let you be. Say Aldrine used your song for a lesson.....then put it on his album. The lesson would be gratis but you'd want $$ for the album? I was just wondering about his Colbie Caillat cover. It's a lesson, but also a damn good video. If he sells the vid, does Colbie get a cut?

Monkeyswithladders
01-21-2010, 03:54 PM
But if the public is clearly not on the side of the law, what authority should the law really have?


Hmmmmm .....that's what they asked about segregation, women's suffrage, etc, etc...... some laws were enacted to protect an individual's rights, and I'm glad of it.

That's actually my point, but you seem to have my meaning reversed. There were laws that were in favor of segregation among many other unjust ones in the US. They were repealed and replaced with better laws as a result of struggle and civil disobedience. This is still going on. There are still unjust laws that will continue to be struggled against and continue to be replaced with better laws. History has not ended.

Someone earlier pointed out how some of us believe in an "imaginary ethical highground" that supersedes the law.

Well, yes-- and unapologetically. Laws are nothing but words on paper that represent the wishes of the citizens. When the ethical level of a society outgrows a law, the law does not win. The people see the injustice of the law and by higher ethics they fight against and remove the law. Sometimes it's replaced with better laws, as in the segregation example. Sometimes it's just removed such as in the marriage laws being debated presently in the US. Some areas have in place, and some courts are enacting laws, against same-sex marriages. These too are being fought against and removed before our eyes. Ethics > law. It isn't imaginary.

smithpaul60
01-21-2010, 04:50 PM
I might regret posting this but please note that I am asking out of pure curiosity and not out of a desire to debate.

Question 1: How is a Youtube cover "harming" the labels bottom line? I have viewed many covers and then bought the originals off of I-tunes. I believe that most of the music I found that way.

Question 2: How is a Youtube cover any different that sitting around playing covers for a group of friends? I agree that with the new Youtube marketing tactics that could be an issue but most covers aren't involved in this and the decision rests solely on Youtube to decide which videos to market with.

SweetWaterBlue
01-21-2010, 05:19 PM
Paul - to answer your second question - YouTube is making money off the cover, which is different than you just sitting around a campfire singing. That's why they put all those adds on the page.

itsme
01-21-2010, 05:57 PM
I might regret posting this but please note that I am asking out of pure curiosity and not out of a desire to debate.

Question 1: How is a Youtube cover "harming" the labels bottom line? I have viewed many covers and then bought the originals off of I-tunes. I believe that most of the music I found that way.

Question 2: How is a Youtube cover any different that sitting around playing covers for a group of friends? I agree that with the new Youtube marketing tactics that could be an issue but most covers aren't involved in this and the decision rests solely on Youtube to decide which videos to market with.
Sigh. I feel like I'm beating my head against the wall here. It's not about record labels, they have nothing to do with cover tunes by anyone not under contract to them. It's about licensing. Please read my prior posts.

pdxuke
01-21-2010, 06:47 PM
Paul - to answer your second question - YouTube is making money off the cover, which is different than you just sitting around a campfire singing. That's why they put all those adds on the page.

And that's why it's YouTube's obligation to make this right with ASCAP/BMI. Right now they are really playing naughty. By "ignoring" covers, but then SUSPENDING accounts when rights holders complain, they are successfully pointing attention away from their obligations and getting all of us upset at the rights holders. Sooner or later YouTube must negotiate some kind of cover license. Believe me, they'd do it TODAY if every user pulled down their videos, or every rights holder threatened litigation. Right now they are playing cagey, and I believe it's a play for time.

seeso
01-21-2010, 07:27 PM
One more question seeso, then I'll let you be. Say Aldrine used your song for a lesson.....then put it on his album. The lesson would be gratis but you'd want $$ for the album?

Yes, the lesson would be free but I'd want $$ for the album.


I was just wondering about his Colbie Caillat cover. It's a lesson, but also a damn good video. If he sells the vid, does Colbie get a cut?

If Aldrine sells a video of himself playing a copy-written Colbie Caillat song, then he should expect to pay for it.

MisoHappy
01-21-2010, 08:23 PM
Dang, reading this thread almost made me lock music in the closet.

dominicfoundthemooon
01-21-2010, 09:29 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdXYWIlwqp8

Party in the U.S.A (Miley Cyrus Cover)

This thread seems to be kind of like arguing about religion... You can... But it is often futile... Some see the issue as black and white, others can see the gray... But what I am curious to see if peoples videos who get 10,000's of views get the hammer also... not that I want to see them get the hammer... not at all.. But I am curious... The video I posted is a GREAT.. and I MEAN BETTER THAN THE REAL SONG great cover of a Miley Cyrus song... DATS a friend of mine is amazing... She has SUBS galore.. and this video will hit 1,000 views tonight... and have 20,000 views before you know it.

The label that Ms. Cyrus is on is Hollywood Records... Do you know who owns them... That is right.. Disney... And if any of you know anything about Disney they do not slack off when it comes to going after people who use any of copyrighted material. As a teacher we get the "Disney Speach" DO NOT USE ANY DISNEY MOVIES OR PRINTOUTS IN YOUR CLASS... YOU and the DISTRICT CAN BE SUED.... Now I would never show any Disney movies in my class, in fact I often use them as an example of how mass media stereotypes both race and gender... But never the less we are told story after story about teachers that have been prosecuted...

I am curious to see how long this video is up... My guess (and hope) is that it STAYS UP FOREVER!! DATS is AMAZING... If anything she has now caused me to listen to a Cyrus song!! I even think that a cretin someone whose youtube did a parody of this song was just taken down..

I am not here to argue... Just post that question if you get big enough... Will youtube leave you alone... ie. Julia Nunes, SweetAfton23 (cover of toxic), DATS, Wade Johnson...

Truth be told... If music wants to win... Do what some labels are doing.. and SLAP an AD on that video to buy the song... Put an AD next to the video for the artist.. Just some random thoughts from me...

buddhuu
01-21-2010, 10:55 PM
I won't say I've lost sleep over this debate, but it's certainly been whizzing around my head.

I had a good discussion with a former bandmate who has fallen foul of the YT cover police in the past. I think that helped me to order my thoughts...

A few of those thoughts:

Thought 1.

Why does Google/YT not come to a commercial agreement with music publishers. Kind of a PRS license type thing. They'd have to pay to protect the rights of writers and publishers, but IMO it'd be worth it in the same way as the money they spend to be able to feature commercial music vids.

I believe that music covers are a very popular and significant fraction of Youtube's content and that they are the main reason for a huge volume of visits to Youtube. If they lose the cover vids, and the associated traffic, then Google/YT loses loads of PPC advertising revenue. How much ad click revenue do you think they have made from traffic to Julia Nunes's channel? How many revenue generating ad clicks have been performed during the millions of visits to YT by the 20,000 UU members?

If I owned YT I'd be knocking myself out trying to make an agreement with the music publishing industry so I could keep that content, the visitors it attracts and the revenue they generate. Not to mention the PR benefits of happy users over the headache of p*ssed off users.

Thought 2.

Helping Google/YT to counter threats from publishers, and covering your own butt.

Where 'ukulele covers feature songs that did not originally feature 'ukulele, I would suggest that Parody may be a more plausible defense than education/research. If you read through the copyright stuff, fair use for research/education seems to excuse using enough of the original work to achieve the desired result and no more. For most songs, in order to learn to play them on an 'ukulele it would be necessary to perform no more than one verse, one chorus and maybe a bridge or middle 8.

Parody is a valid reason for Fair Use and IMO it is a more plausible excuse in many videos I've seen.

A disclaimer like the following may a) outline a defense for Google/YT if they need one, b) reassure Google/YT so they feel less urgency to remove vids and c) dissuade copyright owners from taking action.

-----------

This 'ukulele cover version is intended as Parody as allowed under Fair Use in copyright law. Parody and tribute to the original work are the only intentions. No infringement or disrespect is intended to the copyright of the writer, artist or publisher. No payment or gain is sought from this Parody.

This song was written by XXXXX
The song is published by XXXX
This cover version is a Parody response to the recorded version by XXXX on the XXXX record label

All rights are hereby acknowledged.

I recommend that you check out the orginal recording and the original video which are available from your preferred music retailer.

If you intend to record or perform this song, please ensure that you obtain the appropriate permissions from the copyright owner(s).

--------------

I reckon something like that may help. But then of course, it may not. If I ever get my disorganised ar$e around to posting videos to my account then I'm going to try it.

YMMV, of course.

Blrfl
01-22-2010, 02:11 AM
Where 'ukulele covers feature songs that did not originally feature 'ukulele, I would suggest that Parody may be a more plausible defense than education/research.

Playing substantially the same song on another instrument is just another arrangement, so parody won't fly as a defense.

--Mark

buddhuu
01-22-2010, 03:03 AM
Playing substantially the same song on another instrument is just another arrangement, so parody won't fly as a defense.

--Mark

The fella who explained the possible problems with the Educational/Research defense to me suggested that the perceived nature of the 'ukulele as a novelty instrument* might assist the plausibility of the Parody defense. It clearly would be stretching credibility to apply it to a stony-faced, earnest and serious musical offering. The satirical/ridiculous aspect comes from the unexpected rendering of a song with such an instrument. I mean, Metallica, Rollins Band, Motorhead done on uke? I think a claim of parody would merit consideration.

But I accept that straight covers of acoustic material probably are just new arrangements. Doh.

So, Parody may not work in most cases. Educational/Research cannot reliably justify use of a whole song... What else do we have to try?

* his words, not mine!

smithpaul60
01-22-2010, 03:23 AM
Sigh. I feel like I'm beating my head against the wall here. It's not about record labels, they have nothing to do with cover tunes by anyone not under contract to them. It's about licensing. Please read my prior posts.

I read the entire thread as well as most of the links. maybe I misunderstood some of the explanation you've given. As i read through the legelese the most common phrase i found in explanation was "causing harm" to the "license holder" I thought the Label was the "licence holder." Sorry for any confusion.

Sweetwaterblue -- Thanks I had forgotten about the ads placed on the page, i was thinking only about the ads linked to in the videos them selves. I agree with most of the subsequent posts that it should be YouTubes Liability not ours.

SweetWaterBlue
01-22-2010, 03:34 AM
Sweetwaterblue -- Thanks I had forgotten about the ads placed on the page, i was thinking only about the ads linked to in the videos them selves. I agree with most of the subsequent posts that it should be YouTubes Liability not ours.

I'm even worse - I didn't even know there were ads on YouTube vids, since I almost always run Adblock on my Firefox browser. I kept wondering what everyone was talking about with the ads, so I turned Adblock off and there they were. I guess that is another whole kettle of fish for harm done.

johncaudrey
01-22-2010, 03:50 AM
Apologies for jumping into this thread so late!
Just a quick question has anybody asked DanielleAteThe Sandwich, Julia Nunes and any other Youtube musicians with massive subscriber numbers, whether they have actually had any hassle over copyright issues before with Youtube, Warner Bros or similar? I know Danielle has posted on here from time to time! They may be able to shed some light on how they manage to post a lot of covers on their channel without having them taken down.

Monkeyswithladders
01-22-2010, 04:08 AM
Apologies for jumping into this thread so late!
Just a quick question has anybody asked DanielleAteThe Sandwich, Julia Nunes and any other Youtube musicians with massive subscriber numbers, whether they have actually had any hassle over copyright issues before with Youtube, Warner Bros or similar? I know Danielle has posted on here from time to time! They may be able to shed some light on how they manage to post a lot of covers on their channel without having them taken down.

Because it really comes down to whether the label complains about it. Youtube benefits from having those videos up. They don't want to take them down because they create revenue from them through advertising. The only reason they take down videos is when they're threatened by the copywrite holders. As Seeso said, they're just playing both sides from the middle and trying to maximize their profit.

Maybe the copyright holders do have a small grasp of what we've been talking about in this thread-- that covers increase exposure increases sales. So maybe the holders purposely don't attack the videos with huge numbers of views because they think it will drive sales, but still attack smaller ones because they don't think they will. Or maybe they do attack anything they find and youtube privately covers the fees for only for the videos that are getting large attention because they see it as "worth it" financially since those are the ones bringing in more traffic...

salukulady
01-22-2010, 04:15 AM
Apologies for jumping into this thread so late!
Just a quick question has anybody asked DanielleAteThe Sandwich, Julia Nunes and any other Youtube musicians with massive subscriber numbers, whether they have actually had any hassle over copyright issues before with Youtube, Warner Bros or similar? I know Danielle has posted on here from time to time! They may be able to shed some light on how they manage to post a lot of covers on their channel without having them taken down.Ding, ding, ding! Good question. How did Aldrine get away with the Colbie Caillat video, not the lesson, the video?

ProfChris
01-22-2010, 07:36 AM
Why does Google/YT not come to a commercial agreement with music publishers. Kind of a PRS license type thing. They'd have to pay to protect the rights of writers and publishers, but IMO it'd be worth it in the same way as the money they spend to be able to feature commercial music vids.

YouTube may well do a deal at some point, but the economics aren't as you think. Last year there were long-running negotiations between the record companies and YouTube about licensing fees for commercial music videos. The negotiations deadlocked, the previous deal expired, and YouTube simply pulled all those music videos. Immediately the record companies were being quoted in the Press as saying how badly YouTube was behaving, and how dreadful it was for their business. Within a week or so a new deal was signed where the record companies essentially caved in to YouTube's major demand. They needed YouTube more than it needed their videos.

This is true for covers as well - there is no incentive for YouTube to negotiate a deal which gives away some of its revenue for no return.

The legalities of the problem have been pretty well summed up in earlier postings (though primarily from a US perspective - note, for example, that under UK law there is no general "fair use" exception but instead a defined set of "fair dealings", which are more limited, and other laws are also different). It's quite clear that copyright law is no longer fit for the internet age, and I don't know of anyone who seriously disputes that.

The tough part is making changes:

1. It's not obvious what the right solution is for re-use of someone else's work of authorship. The commercial/non-commercial distinction doesn't cut it - as an example, I don't receive payment for any of the journal articles I write, but I'd still want control over the way others use my writings, even non-commercially, for example to protect my academic reputation. Further, try defining "commercial". Is it commercial if I don't get any revenue from my YouTube videos, but I do use them as a showcase for my performing skills (as if!) and thereby get bookings for live performance for which I do get paid? These are only two of the dozens of questions for which there are no clear answers.

Working out the interests involved and walking the tightrope between them is a difficult process. I'm going to make an attempt sometime over the next year as part of my funded research project (http://profchrisreed.blogspot.com (http://profchrisreed.blogspot.com), for legal geeks only I'd suggest), but even if I come up with a brilliant answer the rest of the world needs to agree.

2. Copyright law is not a purely national system of law. It's based on international treaties which have developed over more than 100 years. Changing (say) US law unilaterally is not a realistic option. And changing the system by throwing away what we have and starting again, which I think is the only workable option, is even tougher. Don't expect change for decades.

So where we're going to be for the near future is fudging around trying to work within a set of rules which don't fit. Everyone is in this position, including the music industry (which is in utter turmoil as its business falls apart and has to be reinvented), writers and composer, players, intermediaries like YouTube, and the rest.

The best solution I saw proposed in this thread was some kind of "covers" licence, where players would pay YouTube X each year for the right to record and upload covers. That would work, as it gives an incentive to YouTube (which would take a percentage of the X) and provides income to rights owners. But how does such a negotiation get started? It probably needs a pressure group of YouTube uploaders to get together and push. Maybe some of those on this thread are the right people to start?

hoosierhiver
01-22-2010, 07:38 AM
I'm wondering how they find the videos. I presume no one from Warner actually wades thru the videos, so it is maybe from the tags or the title.

SweetWaterBlue
01-22-2010, 07:46 AM
I'm wondering how they find the videos. I presume no one from Warner actually wades thru the videos, so it is maybe from the tags or the title.

Probably so. Many make it easier by putting the word "cover" in the title, but I am sure they search by artist and song names too. That could be overcome by putting the titles and names in the first frame as a picture (not text), but then no one else would be able to search it either. Some spammers and eBay sellers get around both email spam filters and eBay's censors by putting their website name in as pictures, not text.

bunnyflower
01-22-2010, 08:04 AM
I have been reading all of this with sadness and fear, generally. I am so upset for you, Sebi; your channel is one of my super favorites. I am so glad you have been sharing your music with us, and I really hope it is reinstated soon.

All this also makes me afraid to post some other stuff I have done. (Though, me being SO under the radar, it likely won't be that noticeable... but, still worrisome in the end.)

Most of these deletions and hooplah from the corporate-types just defy common sense. Nobody patrols my town's street corner and slaps tape over the mouth of the guy singing there and playing his guitar. And he's out there making a few bucks.

I really hope that covers-not-for-gain-or-profit will somehow be written into copyright law, and sooner rather than 50 years down the road. I'm getting a terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach over things like, "being afraid to post "me singing my favorite song" online, so my family can see it overseas."

Monkeyswithladders
01-22-2010, 08:14 AM
ProfChris-- I really appreciate your post. It was really well thought out and informative. Here are just two snippets in response.


there is no incentive for YouTube to negotiate a deal which gives away some of its revenue for no return.

I wrote earlier that maybe the really well known covers (like how people suggested covers by Julia Nunes), are given notices by the record labels as well as everything else but maybe youtube sees such a video as bringing in enough revenue to make up for the fee and instead of passing down the notice to remove, steps in to pay on her behalf without publicizing it. Another video they might deem unprofitable in this regard and just remove the video, passing down the blame to the label. Like Seeso said, playing both sides for as much gain as possible. I think it's plausible anyway.



The tough part is making changes...

And changing the system by throwing away what we have and starting again, which I think is the only workable option, is even tougher.

I soooo agree. But instead of looking to more realistic views of the future fitting as-best-as-possible changes into pre-existing laws that don't fit anymore and getting poor results in decades, I think it's a better option to tear down and build back up. It's going to be a lot of effort either way, and the results from starting over would be far superior.

micromue
01-22-2010, 08:26 AM
I'm wondering how they find the videos. I presume no one from Warner actually wades thru the videos, so it is maybe from the tags or the title.

Youtube itself is using a softwaretool (http://www.google.com/support/youtube/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=83766) that identifies certain characteristics of uploaded and existing material. Warner may use a similar tool.

dominicfoundthemooon
01-22-2010, 10:05 AM
so does anyone know why Warner Music Group does what it does.... Here is why I asked... After reading this thread... I went back a took a look at my videos.. I went to my account and I saw this..

"You have videos that may contain content that is owned by someone else. Please review these videos."

i am not sure how long it has been there... but i clicked on the link and it took me to a screen that showed this video...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61OySxZ08mE <--- this was a old video i posted before my uking days... a stop motion of me shaving my beard.. i was into Belle & Sebastian a lot at the time... and i used part of one of there songs as the background... i posted it on one of my old accounts.. then when i started with ukulele... and UU.. i made my new account and posted it there.. it gets a few views..

but now the video has a copyright notice I can click... when i do.. this is what i see..

--------------------------------------------------
Your video, Bye Bye "homeless man" Beard Stop Motion To The Sound Of Music , may include content that is owned or licensed by these content owners:

* Content owner: WMG Type: Audio content

What should I do?

No action is required on your part. Your video is still available worldwide.
What can I do about my video's status?

Please note that the video's status can change, if the policies chosen by the content owners change. You may want to check back periodically to see if you have new options available to you.

Under certain circumstances, you may dispute this copyright claim. These are:

* if the content is mistakenly identified and is actually completely your original creation;
* if you believe your use does not infringe copyright (e.g. it is fair use under US law);
* if you are actually licensed by the owner to use this content.

I need more information. I want to learn more about the dispute process.

Please take a few minutes to visit our Help Center section on Policy and Copyright Guidelines, where you can learn more about copyright law and our Content Identification Service.
-----------------------------

i then went to the video... and i see that they have put an AD in the video.. an AD that links to the song i used.. and i think.. WOW!! YES!! this is what you should do... if they wanted they could have deleted the video.. i do understand that they have the right.. it is not even a cover... it is just the song in the background.. but they did not.. i have three other videos that use parts of songs behind photos.. one is by IZ.. and i think i use a few clips in another one also.. if an AD gets placed on these videos i would be happy with it.. if i could I WOULD PUT THE AD ON THE VIDEO!! i love the artist i use.. i love the artist i cover..

but i wonder... why do some videos get deleted.. and others get an AD put on them... i think i saw some ADs on one of seesos videos.. what about our somewhere over the rainbow??? is that a violation? hummm

again.. just thought i would share..

ProfChris
01-22-2010, 10:05 AM
I wrote earlier that maybe the really well known covers (like how people suggested covers by Julia Nunes), are given notices by the record labels as well as everything else but maybe youtube sees such a video as bringing in enough revenue to make up for the fee and instead of passing down the notice to remove, steps in to pay on her behalf without publicizing it.

It's possible, but you'd need to be a YouTube insider to know. Another possibility is that the automated systems that rights owners are using also looks at the number of downloads, and for popular videos there is a human check and assessment to see whether the rights owner thinks there is benefit in not complaining, or negotiating direct with the artist.

I'm certain, from a US court decision where a mother successfully challenged a take down notice for a video which had in the background a radio song (Prince) to which her toddler was dancing, that most of the notices come from software searching the YouTube site for song titles and other clues, and that no human ever reviews the video before the notice is sent to YouTube.


I think it's a better option to tear down and build back up. It's going to be a lot of effort either way, and the results from starting over would be far superior.

Agreed, but no government would do this without an agreement on what was to go in its place. So we have to work out (probably partial) solutions before the wrecking ball can swing.

ProfChris
01-22-2010, 10:15 AM
i see that they have put an AD in the video.. an AD that links to the song i used.. and i think.. WOW!! YES!! this is what you should do...

That's very interesting, because there is no text reference to the song title in your posting. I'd infer that someone is using software which looks for known sound forms that match commercial recordings. (In fact, if I were YouTube this is a service I'd sell to the rights owners).

Has anyone experienced this on a cover, because if so the software is identifying the song, not merely matching wave forms.

The info from YouTube suggests that this particular rights owner has a policy of linking ads to all or some of the videos which contain copyright material, as opposed to issuing takedown notices. Another possible way forward.

dominicfoundthemooon
01-22-2010, 10:23 AM
Has anyone experienced this on a cover, because if so the software is identifying the song, not merely matching wave forms.


prof

i didn't think of that.. but i bet they do have some software to find videos like mine.. there was not title info.. as for software that can find a cover.. i do not that this is as easy.. peoples covers sound so much different.. and when on UKE.. WAY different.. i have been at a loud bar with music playing and i used my iPhone to detect what song was playing.. the app works almost every time... but.. i have used it when BANDS are playing covers.. and it has NEVER worked.. even if they are attempting to play the song like the artist.. soooo... my guess is that software can't catch a cover in many cases..

seeso
01-22-2010, 10:32 AM
Has anyone experienced this on a cover, because if so the software is identifying the song, not merely matching wave forms.

I have experienced something similar both on a cover and on a video with the actual song in the background. The cover is owned by UMG (Universal) and they put an ad on it.

The one with the actual song was muted. I deleted it later. It was owned by WMG. There was no reference to the song in the title of the video.

buddhuu
01-22-2010, 10:40 AM
ProfChris: excellent contributions, thank you.

You've provided some input that is very interesting to me personally. I'm in the UK, but I've been trying to see this from a US POV as the majority of our members, and thus the majority of the uke covers, are probably from the US - as well as many of the corporations that wil be involved.

I've been writing (fiction and journalism) professionally for many years, so I'm reasonably up-to-speed with UK copyright law as it applies to my field, but less so with music - which I have never recorded commercially. And as my main profession now is search engine marketing, I'm also interested in the way that content is detected in order for contextual ads to be served (and, of course, for YT strikes for copyright infringement to be served).

Clearly tags, descriptions and titles are all parsed. I expect comments are as well. I have seen people try to disguise titles by the use of acronyms (ST TNG for Star Trek: The Next Generation, for example, or BSG for Battlestar Galactica), by substituting numbers for letters and vice versa, by inserting hyphens, underscores or spaces between letters etc etc. All of these would be algorithmically simple to address.

Where there are no obvious clues in the page's text content, videos of similar type could be found by analysing traffic trends - if a user views a lot of obvious music vids, it is reasonable to expect that many of the vids whose accompanying text content is ambiguous may also be music videos. However, this traffic/user behaviour data would only be available to Youtube/Google, not to Warner or other publishers or labels. Unless Google/YT and the other corporations are working together on detecting this, which seems unlikely, then it seems that they rely either on tip-offs, manual detective work (following links between users etc) or, indeed, some kind of audio or video analysis as I believe you have suggested.

I must say, the analysis thing sounds as if it might be expensive, but then so is a team of human employees dedicated to policing intellectual property...

micromue
01-22-2010, 11:41 AM
ProfChris: excellent contributions, thank you.
I must say, the analysis thing sounds as if it might be expensive, but then so is a team of human employees dedicated to policing intellectual property...

It is called Audible magic (http://www.audiblemagic.com/company/about.asp). Placing ads on uploaded material is a strategy of EMI, Sony and Universal which formed their alliance with Youtube in Dec 2009 to establish a joint video portal and share the revenues. Warner has a different approach by still trying to sell licenses. In 2009 Warner signed and resigned similar deals with youtube several times.

buddhuu
01-22-2010, 02:08 PM
It is called Audible magic (http://www.audiblemagic.com/company/about.asp). Placing ads on uploaded material is a strategy of EMI, Sony and Universal which formed their alliance with Youtube in Dec 2009 to establish a joint video portal and share the revenues. Warner has a different approach by still trying to sell licenses. In 2009 Warner signed and resigned similar deals with youtube several times.

MATE! I can't believe I didn't know about this.

Quite scary. But this is going to be very useful to me in the day job as well as in the context of this discussion. Thanks, micromue.

lukuleles
01-23-2010, 04:20 AM
Here is a link to a boycott warner brother's music group for facebook. Good luck Sebi! Please pass this around to your friends.


http://www.facebook.com/search/?q=boycott++++&init=quick#/group.php?gid=265364052333&ref=search&sid=780635359.4194721956..1



Yesterday, two of my ukulele cover videos on Youtube were removed as a result of a third-party notification from WMG claiming that the material is infringing their copyrights under Section 512(f) of the Copyright Act. The weird thing is that one of the videos was a REd Hot Chili Peppers cover for the Flea Bass Competition, which was initiated by Flea, the RHCP bass player himself, encouraging fans to cover a RHCP song and post it in the respective Youtube group. So, why was my video removed from Youtube?

Honestly, I'm now very afraid that they will shut down my channel because I have almost 100 ukulele covers. I quote Youtube, "Repeat incidents of copyright infringement will result in the deletion of your account and all videos uploaded to that account."

Has anyone here ever have the same problem with Youtube and WMG? If you were in my position, what would you do? Stop making covers? Fight it? I enjoy making music for all the great people who support me and I couldn't bear NOT doing what I do.

This is my cry out for help.

entfred
01-23-2010, 10:37 AM
If you look at the youtube cover thing with strictly dollars and cents, we would all be paying royalties to CD companies and bands for doing covers - this means if
you are busking outside or playing a band gig etc... I realize that many club owners pay royalties so bands can perform covers. But, I wonder is this taking the copyright
thing too far if someone is putting their amateur cover up on youtube for entertainment? I have spent quite a bit of money on CDs over the years buying music because
I originally saw either an alternative version of a band or musician's song up on youtube (i.e. bootleg concert tracks) or someone played an acoustic guitar version
of some song I liked. I have heard lots of rag time uke songs on youtube. Eventually, I hope you find some CDs/DVDs of higher quality sound that is on youtube. Another
thing about youtube - the quality is better when you purchase something more "high rez". So, I don't understand the paranoia of the CD companies, some bands and
musicians etc...

The band Phish and the Dead used to let people tape their concerts and I believe this probably made their earnings go up over the years.

I am interesting in other opinions on this stuff, since I would hate myself to get my youtube account ever canceled if I happened to play a cover!

whetu
01-23-2010, 11:50 AM
Another thing about youtube - the quality is better when you purchase something more "high rez". So, I don't understand the paranoia of the CD companies, some bands and musicians etc...

When mp3's came along, the music industry dismissed it as "people won't accept the poor quality vs CD, or one of the new formats we've got coming out, now let's light up cigars with burning 100 dollar bills muahaha!" Then we quietly had probably the last physical format (for music) war with SACD vs DVDA. The music industry quickly found out that the majority of consumers found mp3's far more convenient and that quality wise it was good enough, on top of that the mass penetration of CD players* left CD as a perfectly fine technology to keep using. All the disadvantages of cassette tapes and LP's had been overcome, and there was certainly no need to re-invent the wheel.

The movie industry recently found out that history repeats with HD-DVD vs Bluray. Bluray apparently won that war, but they can't figure out why sales aren't going as well as they'd expect. Without competition, overnight Bluray got more expensive, so that's one thing. But, surprise, Joe Average finds plain old DVD or some internet streaming (e.g. netflix, hulu) to be good enough. 3DTV may drive more Bluray sales in the future, but for now we're keeping to the pattern - all the disadvantages of VHS and Laserdisc have been overcome, DVD has solid market penetration and Joe Average isn't exactly compelled to cough up more for Bluray. Once the average internet connection gets faster and cheaper, you can consider Bluray an evolutionary dead end. People are going to go for convenience, and the smart money is in internet streaming. The only reason I'd personally move to Bluray is not the HD quality or 3DTV potential, it's just the massive capacity of the format - it's nice to have an entire season of a show on one disc.

So yeah, the paranoia you don't understand is justifiable, but what those paranoid companies/bands/etc need to do is wake up, realise that their old business model doesn't work with consumer demand and change it to suit. They missed the boat, big time, and instead of getting with the program they've knee jerked, blamed anyone with an internet connection and turned it all into a big litigious mess, which brings us full circle back to this thread.

* This was the advantage with SACD - it was a dual layer disc that had both the SACD layer and a normal CD layer, so SACD discs were backwards compatible with every plain old CD player. That feature still wasn't enough to save it. I personally think the last physical format to have a chance of replacing CD was Sony's minidisc format, but Sony more than shot themselves in the foot by forcing it to be ATRAC only, not readily opening up the format to other manufacturers, and not allowing recordable media until it was far too late.

HaileISela
01-23-2010, 02:41 PM
this is indeed a very interesting thread. And Sebi, I'm sorry to hear that you got suspended.

the whole story reminds me of such things as Monsanto "inventing" and patenting a gene for pigs to make them fatter and afterwards getting farmers in Germany, who cultivate centuries old types of pigs with those exact genes from natural mutation, into huge expensive trials, because they say those farmers stole those patented genes.

btw, not a single gene you or me have in our selves (basically everything that makes us ourselves) belongs to us, but to companies that patented those genes. I always have an awkward feeling about that.

ps: I really hope we won't have a bad awakening some day when google really uses all the power it collects nowadays. the internet is a nice place at the moment. I really hope it'll continue to be.

and I'd feel very much complimented if anyone decided to cover any of my songs/tunes.

RevWill
01-23-2010, 07:00 PM
I will say this:

I believe that the vast, vast majority of people who play instruments and sing into their webcams have no malicious intent toward the artists who wrote the songs or the publishing companies who hold the distribution rights. Most have no idea that it's not exactly legal.

WEA and other publishing companies who aggressively take down cover videos are not making any friends with the public by taking this adversarial stance. Music publishers need to find a way to redraw the boundaries of what can and can't be done legally in the changing internet age, as well as find ways of working with rather than against hobbyist musicians. Personally I believe that the advertisement angle is a really good one: I would be thrilled if someone went to Amazon or iTunes after hearing my covers of "Set Me Free," "Sleep Walk," or "A Simple Twist of Fate" to download the original versions, and an ad on my YouTube page to link them directly there is more than welcome in my book.

Aggression always begets aggression, and the publishers' stance of "Cease and Desist" at all costs is an aggressive stance. They should not be surprised that others see those actions and take a rebellious stance against them. There has to be a mutually agreeable way of making this right.

GrumpyCoyote
01-23-2010, 11:27 PM
This keeps coming back to the subject of intent... but that only muddies the water. It's not about intent - or even revenue. It's about ownership.

Picture this:

You own a car, your neighbor likes it. While you are on vacation he takes your car without asking. He doesn't harm it in any way, but he drives it around. He wasn't up to anything in particular, he just took it around the block. In fact he told everyone it was your car - and told them how cool you are to have such a nice car. When he was done, he gave the car back in perfect condition and filled the tank. He never asked permission. Regardless of motive, intent, or profit - he stole your car.

As much as it sucks, that's what we do when we post covers without permission. Intent to harm is irrelevant. Intent to profit is irrelevant. It simply isn't our property to do with as we please.

Again, I don't usually care when I do it - and I think labels need to encourage covers (and largely lighten the hell up), but the longer this thread goes on, the more confused some people seem to get. We need to make sure we all understand the reality.

If the song is not your property, and you didn't ask permission - you can't broadcast it any more than you can take a ride with your neighbors car. It's simply not yours. Do so at your own risk.

scottie
01-24-2010, 03:41 AM
Some people have a condition which causes them to, in effect, hear music in their head as if it were being played on a stereo or live performance. Let's say that Warner finds out that part of their catalogue is included in my condition. Does this violate copyright? What about intent? Should Warner be able to file suit such that I am compelled to undergo a procedure or take a drug to stop the symptoms?

What if I have a type of OCD which causes me to recite from books? Is that copyright violation? Would a copyright holder be able to sue to compel me to undergo treatment?

If not, the magic answer is. . . . . . drum roll. . . . . . intent.

To take that one step further, what if I can work out songs by ear? Have I violated publishing copyright by doing so?

Sound recordings are your car as in the analogy above. I am forbidden to drive around the block in your car without permission as I am forbidden to broadcast someone's recording or perform someone's work for monetary gain without permission and royalty payment. I am, however, permitted to purchase an identical vehicle and drive it around wearing clothes similar to yours with a woman who looks like your wife such that I could conceivably be mistaken for you. . . Should I owe you a royalty payment? If there is no monetary gain from my performance of a song how have I violated anything other than an abstraction?

What about busking? Is it a copyright violation? Would it even be enforcable? should we have ordinances against busking to prevent this sort of copyright violation? If we did how would that affect buskers performing their own material? How would any enforcement agency be able to tell the difference? Making a law to outlaw busking would ill serve the public even though it would neatly remove the problem of buskers performing other peoples' material.

The law needs to be changed in light of empirical evidence, because it ill serves the public, and one way of doing this is to appeal to that evidence as well as intent, and to appeal to notions of harms, both hypothetical and actual, and perform an educated moral calculus of sorts to arrive at a legal opinion which would become law until it's overturned in court setting a new precedent.

Is it NECESSARY that the legal opinion be based on a moral calculus? Perhaps we should be debating that? That's philosophy, not recitation of existing interpretations of law. Would it be relevant to the Ukulele? Would it be OT? This is a ukulele forum after all. Would someone apply that rule without exploring notions of intent to decide whether or not to lock the thread for inappropriateness?

Please understand, I am not trying to be a jerk. I just think a little post conventional reasoning is necessary to adequately do justice to this issue. I will likely evolve my opinion to align with the group licensing arrangement some have proposed if I can't find philosophical justification for remaining contrarian.

joezane
01-24-2010, 04:10 AM
actually..
it's more like this:

you see your neighbors car.
you think "dang.. nice car"
so you get the same car.

it looks like his car.. but it's not. it's yours. it smells like you... not him. it has your cd's in it.. not his. ...



i can't even count how many times i've seen a concert where the band i'm watching covers another bands tune. this is standard practice in the music business.
think back to the days of jazz... everybody played the same tunes and put their own spins on it.
downloading an album off the web... ok.. i can see that.
covering your favorite tune on your uke... give me a break.


it crushes creativity.
every band in every garage in the world has started out by playing cover tunes.. that's how you learn to play music. if you don't allow that..then you crushing creativity and everyone loses.



.. oh my... did i just rant?
sorry.

salukulady
01-24-2010, 06:45 AM
actually..
it's more like this:

you see your neighbors car.
you think "dang.. nice car"
so you get the same car.

it looks like his car.. but it's not. it's yours. it smells like you... not him. it has your cd's in it.. not his. ...



i can't even count how many times i've seen a concert where the band i'm watching covers another bands tune. this is standard practice in the music business.
think back to the days of jazz... everybody played the same tunes and put their own spins on it.
downloading an album off the web... ok.. i can see that.
covering your favorite tune on your uke... give me a break.


it crushes creativity.
every band in every garage in the world has started out by playing cover tunes.. that's how you learn to play music. if you don't allow that..then you crushing creativity and everyone loses.



.. oh my... did i just rant?
sorry.But when you went to that concert and watched that band play someone elses song, that band PAID for the opportunity to play it.

Question, in another lifetime, I belonged to ascap. I was part of a nationwide group that paid dues, so my payment was around $100 a year. We were allowed to perform/record/sell any song as long as it was owned by ascap. Has anyone looked into what it cost to belong to ascap and BMI? Can an individual belong?

ProfChris
01-24-2010, 07:02 AM
Some people have a condition which causes them to, in effect, hear music in their head as if it were being played on a stereo or live performance. Let's say that Warner finds out that part of their catalogue is included in my condition. Does this violate copyright? What about intent? Should Warner be able to file suit such that I am compelled to undergo a procedure or take a drug to stop the symptoms?

What if I have a type of OCD which causes me to recite from books? Is that copyright violation? Would a copyright holder be able to sue to compel me to undergo treatment?

If not, the magic answer is. . . . . . drum roll. . . . . . intent.

Afraid not. The difference is recording/fixation on some tangible medium (paper, disk, memory chip). That's the international agreement on what counts as infringement (if the other conditions are met), as set out in the Berne Convetion, WIPO Copyright Treaties, etc.



To take that one step further, what if I can work out songs by ear? Have I violated publishing copyright by doing so?

Not until you fixate the work, e.g. by writing down the lyrics, tune and chording. This might not be an infringement because it would probably be fair use (in the US) or private use (Civil Law European countries).


If there is no monetary gain from my performance of a song how have I violated anything other than an abstraction?

Because the law gives the rights owner the exclusive right to do this. If you own land you have the exclusive right to use it, and someone who uses your land with no intent to make gain is still a trespasser. This is the nature of property rights, the right to exclude others. Goverments over the last century and more have agreed together that copyright is a property right.


What about busking? Is it a copyright violation? Would it even be enforcable?

Yes it is, and in theory it could be enforced. Most rights owners wouldn't bother, because they don't see it causing them potential loss.


The law needs to be changed in light of empirical evidence, because it ill serves the public, and one way of doing this is to appeal to that evidence as well as intent, and to appeal to notions of harms, both hypothetical and actual, and perform an educated moral calculus of sorts to arrive at a legal opinion which would become law until it's overturned in court setting a new precedent.

Is it NECESSARY that the legal opinion be based on a moral calculus?

Agreed, to both statements. But you can't just arrive at a legal opinion which is counter to the law as it currently is and expect it to survive legal challenge. Changing the law in this area is ferociously difficult because almost every country in the world is entitlted to a say, and because there is as yet no consensus (moral or not) about what the replacement should be. See my earlier posts for why this is so hard.

As I've occasionally said at conferences, this is the 1920s all over again. Prior to World War I the music industry was the sheet music industry (with a sideline in painola rolls). Then along came gramophones, radio, films and TV and there was 40 years of law suits, piecemeal law reform, treaty revisions and the like. A new music industry grew up, based on selling sound recordings on physical media and licensing the use of music and recordings in recorded and broadcast entertainment. The internet has blown away the entire foundation for the industry, and it wouldn't surprise me if it took another 40 years for the new music industry to develop and the law to be revised to fit, though I suspect 20 is more likely.

Keep on talking about this though. The law does, eventually, follow the will of the people, so those who will rewite the laws need to understand that will.

Blrfl
01-24-2010, 07:49 AM
As I've occasionally said at conferences, this is the 1920s all over again.

And also don't forget the 1980s, when you had Jack Valenti declaring "I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone." Never mind that home video went on to be a tremendous money maker for the American film producer.


The internet has blown away the entire foundation for the industry, and it wouldn't surprise me if it took another 40 years for the new music industry to develop and the law to be revised to fit, though I suspect 20 is more likely.

I think it's going to depend a great deal on two things. The first is when the demographic that really embraced the Internet (which I say is people born after 1965) starts filtering into national legislatures. The U.S. is running a pretty old congress. The average member of the 111th was born in 1952, and the trend over the last several has been toward older. The second is when legislatures stop paying attention to lobbying by industries that are clinging to their old business models.

--Mark

GrumpyCoyote
01-24-2010, 10:49 AM
actually..
it's more like this:

you see your neighbors car.
you think "dang.. nice car"
so you get the same car.

it looks like his car.. but it's not. it's yours. it smells like you... not him. it has your cd's in it.. not his. ...

As much as we all want it to work this way, it doesn't. The copyright holders own the property. Period. They get to determine how it's used. Being a fan is irrelevant. Your analogy is flawed in that you legally purchase the car. When you cover a song without permission you do so in violation of copyright law. Thus my "harmlessly" borrowed car analogy. It's not your car, and unless you get permission - you can't buy one, using it is stealing it. I know it's counter intuitive, but those are the facts.

Again, I'm only stating this to clarify the facts - not to advocate one way or another. Many people get confused when reading analogies like yours - let's keep the facts straight for others and for the sake of clarity. Whether we like it or not, broadcasting someone else's song without permission brings risk. Legal and policy risk in the case of Youtube.

Covers can only be done WITH PERMISSION of the copyright holder.

rayan
01-24-2010, 10:57 AM
I haven't read through the whole thread, but similar things have happened before. This probably has all already been stated but the 2 major things at play here are the DMCA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Millennium_Copyright_Act) and what constitutes fair use (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use).

Youtube is taking down the videos in compliance with the DMCA. It allows them to host copyrighted material as long as they take down whatever is claimed by copyright owners.
WMG is the ones claiming copyright infringement stating that the videos do not fall under fair use.

I'm pretty sure there will be a lawsuit eventually to further clarify fair use on the internet, probably within the next 2-3 years but until then, these things are technically legal.

Does it suck and is it stupid and wrong? Yeah it is, but its the law.

RevWill
01-24-2010, 11:12 AM
Maybe instead of discussing our opinions re: the way thangs is vs. the way thangs oughtta be, one of us should contact BMI or ASCAP to find out what it would cost an individual to legally license or obtain permission to post non-profit covers of published songs.

SweetWaterBlue
01-24-2010, 11:29 AM
Maybe instead of discussing our opinions re: the way thangs is vs. the way thangs oughtta be, one of us should contact BMI or ASCAP to find out what it would cost an individual to legally license or obtain permission to post non-profit covers of published songs.

http://www.copyrightkids.org/permissioninformation.htm

http://www.ascap.com/licensing/licensingfaq.html

salukulady
01-24-2010, 11:31 AM
Maybe instead of discussing our opinions re: the way thangs is vs. the way thangs oughtta be, one of us should contact BMI or ASCAP to find out what it would cost an individual to legally license or obtain permission to post non-profit covers of published songs.Earlier today I looked at both sites. Most of their FAQ pages are directed at venues, not bands or individuals.....no where on the sites was I able to find, "I'm in a cover band and don't want to continue to break the law" answers. Perhaps I will call them this week.

SweetWaterBlue
01-24-2010, 11:45 AM
Apparently, for those of us that typically get less than 2,500 viewers the fees might be as follows on this page (about 1/3 of the way down), although this was for a cover CD that was going to be sold. About $85. Totally absurd for a non-profit amateur. Also, since these agencies are in business to make money, and it takes some paper work on their part, they are probably not into giving free advice (especially on many songs). So, we may not get anywhere contacting them. I hope I'm wrong on that.


http://www.cleverjoe.com/articles/music_copyright_law.html

whetu
01-25-2010, 10:28 AM
From Slashdot:


"The EFF is seeking over $400,000 in attorney's fees from Universal Music Group after Universal sent a DMCA takedown notice to YouTube, demanding the removal of a video posted by user Stephanie Lenz. Lenz had posted a video of her toddler dancing to a 30-second clip of the Prince song "Let's Go Crazy"; after Universal sent the takedown notice, the EFF sent YouTube a counter-notice on behalf of Lenz arguing that the video was fair use, and YouTube restored it. Now the EFF is asking the judge to award them attorney's fees for their work."

http://www.eff.org/wp/unsafe-harbors-abusive-dmca-subpoenas-and-takedown-demands

Melissa82
01-25-2010, 10:43 AM
From Slashdot:



http://www.eff.org/wp/unsafe-harbors-abusive-dmca-subpoenas-and-takedown-demandsThat's craziness, lol.

GrumpyCoyote
01-25-2010, 11:04 AM
Wow -


RIAA admitted that it does not routinely require its "Internet copyright enforcers" to listen to the song that is allegedly infringing...

Now that's not the way things should be done at all.

whetu
01-25-2010, 11:55 AM
I think pretty much everyone agrees that the DMCA is bad, ACTA is worse. The summary is that the States will open up trade with other nations if they agree to DMCA style legislation, effectively taking DMCA global and allowing litigious abuse to more freely expand outside America's borders. Though there are some other serious issues that attack the basis of the democratic system. So go and talk nicely with your local representatives and let them know that trade negotiations and any other deals should have no part of it. If they disagree, stab them. Or something. :)

e.g. http://creativefreedom.org.nz/story.html?id=460

Changing international copyright law is sorely needed, but ACTA is not the way to go about it.

AlanZ
01-25-2010, 11:57 AM
I'll weigh in here.

GrumpyCoyote is exactly right... it's all about ownership.
Copyright is just that, it's about the right to control who makes copies of the work.

Copyright is created along with the work... and copyright is infinitely divisible, at the discretion of the copyright holder.

The copyright holder can permit any level, and multiple levels of use.

You can assign exclusive rights, North American rights, west side of 5th avenue to the East River rights.... anything you want.

I recall a photographer friend who had a photo aboard the Voyager spacecraft. He sold NASA (it might have been for a dollar) InterGallactic rights to use the photo. NASA was granted rights to reproduce the photo in any way they wanted, as long as it was not used on earth.

So as much as folk want to talk about what the use of other folk's work should be... it's simply not up to anyone but the copyright holder (and those that they have assigned/contracted with to represent them and their work)

Using or reproducing works without the permission of the creator is stealing. You can take something from someone without permission, and never intend to sell it... it makes no difference, it's still stealing.

As for the 'I see your car, I like it and then I get one like it' idea, the key here is that you saw a car purchased from and then go BUY one from someone authorized by the maker/designer to sell it.

I've been a professional photographer, a book author and a software author. It seems that the only ones who are confused about the issue are those who have never tried to earn their living by selling the only thing of value for somewhat intangible items (music, photography, literature)... the right to reproduce those items.

Thanks for your ear, and the thoughtful discussion.

BarbaryBill
01-25-2010, 12:00 PM
This has been a fascinating thread. Sounds like the corporate suits and lawers have the whole lot stitched up. The whole thing is money driven - not neccessarily to the benefit of the copyright owner - but to the suits that say "I'll sue the butt off any benevolent mal-intent that breaches your intelectual property kind sir. That'll be $700 per hour thanks."

But as the Grumpy one said.....borrow my car with out my permission no matter how nicely you return it ......it's still technically theft. Shame the spirit of the law rarely produces a buck for the lawyers. Society would be a better place if it did.

And hey if you are a lawyer reading this ......just because you play uke don't make you a nice guy. OK?

AlanZ
01-25-2010, 01:29 PM
One thing I forgot to mention. Not only are folk making copies of works without the author's permission, they are then publishing the work in a venue where potentially millions of people will see the copy.

So this isn't for 'personal' or 'archival' use... this is a publishing venture, regardless of whether or not it is intended for profit.

People are depending on the popularity of the song titles (particularly in search results) to direct viewers to their youtube page... in effect using/leveraging the song title as advertising for their pages.

The original composers, lyricists, arrangers and others who created the original works, and have copyright control over them, have been infringed upon.

Once again, thanks for your ear, and your thoughts.

Tigeralum2001
01-25-2010, 02:15 PM
From Slashdot:
http://www.eff.org/wp/unsafe-harbors-abusive-dmca-subpoenas-and-takedown-demands
Everyone concerned with digital rights & privacy should join the EFF!

itsme
01-25-2010, 03:29 PM
One thing I forgot to mention. Not only are folk making copies of works without the author's permission, they are then publishing the work in a venue where potentially millions of people will see the copy.

So this isn't for 'personal' or 'archival' use... this is a publishing venture, regardless of whether or not it is intended for profit.

The original composers, lyricists, arrangers and others who created the original works, and have copyright control over them, have been infringed upon.
It's not just publishing, it's broadcasting. There have been numerous articles about online radio stations and the fees they have to pay to use copyrighted music, but youtube doesn't fall into that category. Maybe it should, because it really amounts to broadcast-on-demand. You choose what you want to watch/listen to, when you want, and youtube broadcasts it to you.

If youtube were to enter into deals with the PROs that compensated for copyrighted songs the way radio, night clubs and other venues do, then this whole thing would be a non-issue.

As it is, the copyright holders are standing up and saying they want a piece of the pie. youtube does receive advertising revenue, which is absolutely essential to provide a free service of that magnitude. I can't begin to imagine how much bandwidth they go through, and bandwidth ain't free.

The paradigm needs to change, and I'm sure eventually it will. Either with blanket licenses, or with the equivalent of pay-per-view. youtube has the "magic" to determine what vids involve copyrighted material and could opt to slap an extra ad or two on pages containing them to offset any license fees.

ogikloavailable
01-26-2010, 12:57 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjA1LF0vXgs

I hate WMG

buddhuu
01-26-2010, 01:12 AM
[...] And hey if you are a lawyer reading this ......just because you play uke don't make you a nice guy. OK?

No more than being a lawyer makes someone a bad person. Mohandas K Gandhi was a lawyer and, by most accounts, a very nice fella.

Let's think our comments through.

Thanks.

Monkeyswithladders
01-26-2010, 04:52 AM
It seems that the only ones who are confused about the issue are those who have never tried to earn their living by selling the only thing of value for somewhat intangible items (music, photography, literature)... the right to reproduce those items.

That is not true. My argument from the start has been that you're correct about what is considered ownership and what is considered stealing and what is considered publishing "right". But, these things are only correct under the current law, not for all of time. They are not some concrete highest authority-- they can be changed and should be changed. They're outdated and part of an overall heirarchal structure that humanity needs to break free of.

In another thread about this issue I made a post that would benefit here. My argument was that censorship on the claims of "intellectual property" makes sense only within the context of capitalism. From an external perspective, there is no reason anyone should be able to control what you say, when you say it, or to whom. Only when we start saying, "I own that idea" do people start agreeing that there should be limitations in the name of profit.

Take two examples of civilizations:
In the first, ideas can be "owned". When an idea is built upon, the person improving or working on the idea needs to seek out the original owner and ask permission and possibly buy the rights to do so. The end result is stifling the advancement of ideas, creativity, and leads to the funneling of resources. Additionally, beneficial ideas that aren't profitable rarely are put into production. Beneficial ideas that are anti-proft almost never do... but anyway, that's another argument.

In the second society, ideas are not "owned". When someone invents the wheel, it benefits all of society. When someone adds axles, that benefits all of society as well. Humans have always inherently worked in ways to be creative and productive for their groups without the need of profit looming over their heads. A system like this doesn't stifle, but encourages the advancement of ideas.

The biggest argument in support of the current laws is that we need intellectual property rights to protect the livelihoods of authors, musicians, inventors... whatever. To return to my point, this only makes sense within the scope of capitalism. Bosses have had to find more and more creative ideas to maintain the status quo as the modern world is producing less tangible items and more intellectual means of profit. To keep the status quo, new and plentiful means of generating a living must also be "owned" so that the general workforce is still coerced to rent themselves out to their bosses (when new independant career paths are accessible, that means there are less workers willing to be exploited-- so those in power have an interest in making them inaccessible).

If the means of production aren't owned by 1% of the population and instead are either collectively owned or not owned at all, there wouldn't be an overarching need to "own" the process of creating value (either in physical products or ideas) as a way of earning a living. Also, people wouldn't be effectively renting themselves out to the class above them, but instead would be realizing the full product of their labor. They wouldn't be in a dog-eat-dog society, fighting for every bone they can think of a way to claim ownership to.

Since I still have a lot I wanted to touch on and this post is already longer than I intended it to be, I'll just end here with a quick summary of my main point:

If your society respects the private ownership of the means of production, it will also enforce intellectual property rights-- which leads to stifling advancement and funneling more resources to the powerful minority. So ultimately, I see this not as only a small section of outdated law that needs to be voted out, but something that is inherently part of the capitalist system. Fighting one or two battles to change fair use or licensing, etc, without confronting the inherent problems with capitalism are just stalls. The issues will resurface with every new idea and technology unless the beast itself is killed.

AlanZ
01-26-2010, 05:10 AM
I should have said "It seems that most of those who are confused about the issue...", my mistake.

In our society, ideas can be owned, for a limited length of time. Although works can be copyrighted, ideas cannot.. they can be patented. When the patent expires, the idea and others' implementations based on the idea are fair game.

But in either case, it's up to the owner of the idea or work to decide whether or not to put it into the public domain, or assign rights at his/her discretion. In my opinion, it should not be the public who decides what I should or should not do with my work.

I have no particular problem with capitalism. Yes there are flaws in the system, but I do have a mortgage, kids to feed and put through school... and currently no one else is going to provide for me (and this is unlikely to change within my lifetime). So its up to me to provide for my family, and protect my income.

Besides, I'm going to have to use capitalism to fuel this newly acquired Ukulele Acquisition Syndome...

We can agree to disagree <s>

RevWill
01-26-2010, 05:19 AM
If youtube were to enter into deals with the PROs that compensated for copyrighted songs the way radio, night clubs and other venues do, then this whole thing would be a non-issue.



Upon doing further research, that is exactly what YouTube and WMG were trying to hammer out when this whole fracas started.

Monkeyswithladders
01-26-2010, 05:35 AM
I know that's how it works in our society. What I'm arguing is that isn't how it should be. It leads to limiting creative advancement and as a means to increase inequality-- which are staples of our society.


In my opinion, it should not be the public who decides what I should or should not do with my work.


I totally agree. It should be up to you how you conduct your work-- an uncoersed choice. Right now you have a "choice" how to do work, but it's a coerced choice as the means of production in our society are privately owned-- funnelling the majority of workers to only have a "choice" between bosses or starve.

In an open society you'd choose your own work. And another person also has the freedom to do their own. If you invent a new instrument and someone builds off of that idea and makes another new instrument inspired by yours, society wins as new ideas move forward with new and better inventions. What you're arguing isn't that the inventor should have a choice what he does with his own work-- you're arguing that the inventor has a right to choose what everyone else does or can't do with that work.

If everyone has their needs met, there isn't a need for bickering over who gets what share of profits (especially if the model of the new society doesn't have profits). The improvements can continue to flow without needlessly limiting inventions in the name of self-interest.

BarbaryBill
01-26-2010, 05:57 AM
Rick

You are right I should not be tarring corporate lawyers with a brush that should not even be considered to be present in a UU forum - we are meant to be nice guys after all. So I feel suitably chastised And your point about Gandhi is well taken he was indeed a righteous lawyer who centred on the greater good of his people. Very like a corporate lawyer in fact, who's people are few and are restricted to those who can pay the $700 an hour to have their freedoms protected to the cost of thsoe with no intention of profiting from them or removing them.. Yep Gandhi and the corporate media Lawyer ....but I do take your point because I'm a nice guy....well want to be!
Cheers
Stew

buddhuu
01-26-2010, 01:41 PM
Rick

You are right I should not be tarring corporate lawyers with a brush that should not even be considered to be present in a UU forum - we are meant to be nice guys after all. So I feel suitably chastised And your point about Gandhi is well taken he was indeed a righteous lawyer who centred on the greater good of his people. Very like a corporate lawyer in fact, who's people are few and are restricted to those who can pay the $700 an hour to have their freedoms protected to the cost of thsoe with no intention of profiting from them or removing them.. Yep Gandhi and the corporate media Lawyer ....but I do take your point because I'm a nice guy....well want to be!
Cheers
Stew

No probs. You're a nice guy! :)

bunnyflower
01-26-2010, 02:28 PM
I just read this article on CNN today, and I found it quite interesting, especially in view of this discussion here.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/SHOWBIZ/Music/01/25/dj.earworm/index.html

It's about a guy named DJ Earworm who has been making mashup songs of the "top 25" songs of the year for the past three years. From what I am reading (please correct me if I am misunderstanding this), he doesn't actually seek permission himself to use the actual songs. He just mixes them and puts them out there. He doesn't make any money from putting those songs out there, but he is getting lots of publicity for his work and also for the artists involved, and is getting hired by people as a result. The musicians love him for doing this. The article goes into the copyright issue a little bit. Here's a small snippet from the article:


A mashup is a song or compilation created by blending two or more songs. To do it seamlessly means overlaying the vocal track of one song with the music track of another. Mashup artists are usually able to skirt copyright laws under the "fair use" doctrine of copyright law.

Roseman's take on sampling other people's creative content is that you have to cooperate with an artist who feels that their copyright has been infringed upon. "I think if you transform it enough it's ok. I have always cooperated in the theoretical possibility that someone would want me to take it down," Roseman said. "But mostly people want me to help them so it is kind of the opposite of what you may think. People are for it."

Last year Grammy-winning musician Annie Lennox tapped Roseman to make a video retrospective of her career. "I wanted to sum it up into one cohesive mashup that all made sense," Roseman said.

When Roseman isn't contracted by artists or brought into nightclubs for spinning gigs, his product is free. Because he samples other people's work, he can't legally sell what he creates, so he truly is just creating mashups for the love of the music.

This CNN article goes on to praise his work, and how he is getting many high-profile paying jobs as a result. Yet, no one is talking about how he has to take all of the songs offline for copyright infringement. Where are the screaming copyright enforcers?

I am frustrated how arbitrary and nearly random it seems that people are getting "picked on" to get their music removed. I mean, ukulele covers?? Yes, they are awesome. But, come on. It's not even remotely like other musicians and "mixologists" who are using the actual songs, and are getting praise for it. The way these things are getting enforced defies common sense.

I have definitely been reading on this a lot lately. I hope we can find ways to force change on the laws that fly in the face of reason.

salukulady
01-26-2010, 02:33 PM
I just read this article on CNN today, and I found it quite interesting, especially in view of this discussion here.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/SHOWBIZ/Music/01/25/dj.earworm/index.html

It's about a guy named DJ Earworm who has been making mashup songs of the "top 25" songs of the year for the past three years. From what I am reading (please correct me if I am misunderstanding this), he doesn't actually seek permission himself to use the actual songs. He just mixes them and puts them out there. He doesn't make any money from putting those songs out there, but he is getting lots of publicity for his work and also for the artists involved, and is getting hired by people as a result. The musicians love him for doing this. The article goes into the copyright issue a little bit. Here's a small snippet from the article:



This CNN article goes on to praise his work, and how he is getting many high-profile paying jobs as a result. Yet, no one is talking about how he has to take all of the songs offline for copyright infringement. Where are the screaming copyright enforcers?

I am frustrated how arbitrary and nearly random it seems that people are getting "picked on" to get their music removed. I mean, ukulele covers?? Yes, they are awesome. But, come on. It's not even remotely like other musicians and "mixologists" who are using the actual songs, and are getting praise for it. The way these things are getting enforced defies common sense.

I have definitely been reading on this a lot lately. I hope we can find ways to force change on the laws that fly in the face of reason.Perhaps he pays dues to ascap and BMI freeing him to use the songs.

bunnyflower
01-26-2010, 02:59 PM
Perhaps he pays dues to ascap and BMI freeing him to use the songs.


Good question! I just dropped him an email. I hope he might have a moment to answer.

And:

I just noticed on his site he wrote a book on mixing music (http://www.amazon.com/Audio-Mashup-Construction-Kit-ExtremeTech/dp/0471771953/), and a good bit of stuff about copyright shows up in the table of contents and index:

Chapter 14: I Fought the Law and…. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 277
Copyright Basics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 277
Modern U.S. Law . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 277
Fair Use . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 278
Nature and Character of Use . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 279
Nature of the Original Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 279
Quantity and Quality of the Appropriated Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 280
The Effect the Use Has on the Original Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 280
Real World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 281
Public Domain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 282
Vintage Recordings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 283
Creative Commons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 283
Ethical Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 284
Breaking It Down . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 284

Index:
copyright, 277
effect of use, 280
fair use, 278–279
modern law, 277–278
nature and character of use, 279
nature of original work, 279
quantity and quality of appropriated work, 280
Creative Commons organization, 283

I am definitely curious to see how he talks about copyright issues. This book isn't available in my local library system, though. I may check at work tomorrow and see if it's available through inter-library loan.

bunnyflower
01-26-2010, 03:41 PM
Perhaps he pays dues to ascap and BMI freeing him to use the songs.

Well, remarkably, he replied to my email within 30 minutes. I asked him whether he paid dues to ascap and BMI, and I mentioned some of our friends' covers getting songs removed from YouTube (where he currently hosts his mashups), and whether he recommended paying dues to organizations like that for people who wanted to show tribute to artists by making covers. It turns out he does not pay dues to ascap and BMI.

And he adds:

"I can't really say why some are let to stand and others are taken down.
I really hope the music industry befriends this movement (mashups and covers) and soon! I think since my stuff is so chopped up, maybe it passes, I really don't know!!!!"

Melissa82
01-26-2010, 03:58 PM
I used be in the electronica scene I and never knew anyone that got in trouble for playing someone else's music. Sure, they paid for the vinyl but how does that make it legal for them to dj with it? These days though, many dj's use mp3's and new dj'ing software. You can buy many tracks online but I know that many people just trade them with each other or download them online for free through pirating.

I also want to add that Earworm does from a certain stand point make money from his mash ups by playing them publicly while dj'ing.

itsme
01-26-2010, 04:14 PM
I used be in the electronica scene I and never knew anyone that got in trouble for playing someone else's music. Sure, they paid for the vinyl but how does that make it legal for them to dj with it? These days though, many dj's use mp3's and new dj'ing software. You can buy many tracks online but I know that many people just trade them with each other or download them online for free through pirating.

I also want to add that Earworm does from a certain stand point make money from his mash ups by playing them publicly while dj'ing.
Again, the important part is that the venue likely already has licensing in place. That includes most night clubs and places were a DJ might perform. So it's not up to the DJ to pay royalties on what he/she plays in a club.

Would you hold a radio DJ responsible for paying royalties on the songs they played? Heavens no, it's up to the venue (radio station, night club or whatever) to pay that.

Melissa82
01-26-2010, 04:25 PM
Again, the important part is that the venue likely already has licensing in place. That includes most night clubs and places were a DJ might perform. So it's not up to the DJ to pay royalties on what he/she plays in a club.

Would you hold a radio DJ responsible for paying royalties on the songs they played? Heavens no, it's up to the venue (radio station, night club or whatever) to pay that.But can the venue get in trouble for the dj not acquiring their tracks legally because a lot of them don't.

itsme
01-26-2010, 04:30 PM
But can the venue get in trouble for the dj not acquiring their tracks legally because a lot of them don't.
Basically, no. Because the venue is paying for the use of the copyrighted material, not playing police about where it came from, not their job.

Melissa82
01-26-2010, 04:50 PM
Basically, no. Because the venue is paying for the use of the copyrighted material, not playing police about where it came from, not their job.So the dj's get away with playing pirated music since no one is watching out?

lochtessmonster
01-26-2010, 05:10 PM
Oh no, totally agreed. I mean, seriously look at where Cheneys interests were the whole time he was VP!

itsme
01-26-2010, 05:20 PM
So the dj's get away with playing pirated music since no one is watching out?
No, it's because the venue has paid the licensing fees to broadcast the tunes.

lochtessmonster
01-26-2010, 05:28 PM
Here's my question though. If someone is making music for profit and not because it's part of their soul, something they want to share with the human experience, they are effectively robbing themselves. If downloading MP3s "legally", unless it's though CDBaby and the like, more often than not, you're just putting more coin into the recording industry which has spawned all of the pop music over the last 10 years (for example) that sounds so much alike it's maddening. Regardless of what the RIAA says, no one is hurting the artists or songwriters by effectively sharing their art. If anything, we're keeping them pure.

Remember that just because the RIAA is some big bad entity that will come after you, it doesn't make them right. What is popular isn't always good, and what is right isn't always popular.

I work in radio. Granted, I am in a position of advertising, but the exposure I've had has shown me how JADED people in the music industry are. They don't care about orginality, or talent. Hell, trying to get one of the program directors to put some of the bands that come through that ARE original and talented is just heartbreaking.

The world just wants more of what they've been spoonfed already. I think that's what I appreciate about the folks who play uke. We're chocolate coating that spoon, we're drilling holes in the bottom and banging it on pots and pans. We're playing an instrument that way too many people are willing to just dismiss as a TOY for crying out loud.

I'm ashamed of what has happened to Sebi on YT. It's shameful. An interpretation is just that, as long as it's sighted, credit is given where due and made apparent, there is no reason any of these record companies should be pulling this crap.

By posting something to a contest that the artist HIMSELF promoted and posting it in response to that contest, you should have been under the protection of the same copywrite. Unless Flea just did this on his own without any permission whatsoever... in which case, he should have mentioned it to the label, or posted a place on his own site that these could be uploaded for his own personal benefit and use. And if anything, shame on FLEA for not taking that precaution and putting you at risk.

Melissa82
01-26-2010, 05:32 PM
No, it's because the venue has paid the licensing fees to broadcast the tunes.As far as I know and have been told by dj's, what they are doing by playing the pirated music is illegal.

GrumpyCoyote
01-26-2010, 07:59 PM
As far as I know and have been told by dj's, what they are doing by playing the pirated music is illegal.

Correct. Many venues steal rights and don't give a damn.

Here's little known fact... If you've ever been in a restaurant that plays the radio (a regular music station from the airwaves) in the public seating- they are in violation of copyright. Even though the station has rights to broadcast the song, those rights don't transfer to the restaurant. Thus the Musak system and the like.

Pippin
01-26-2010, 09:33 PM
a couple of details, one, it doesn't matter if you don't make money off it, it's still infringement, it reduces the possibility that the original copyright holder can sell his legal music. And it doesn't matter if you produce your own version of it, you still owe a royalty to the author.

People representing copyright holders have gone to bars and nightclubs, and hearing the bands playing copyrighted music, have then demanded payment from the clubs. Even stores that play radio stations in their store have been forced to subscribe to a muzak-style channel, because broadcast royalties only apply to the broadcaster, not secondary uses.

Check out the Harry Fox Agency for information on getting a mechanical license, or contact the copyright holder for a special deal. For example, some copyright holder might allow free impressions of his/her music if they got advertising income from it. It's easy to sign up with Google to put ads on your site which do generate income. Or you can upload stuff to Amazon.com and sell the downloads.

It's not as easy to go legit, but it's the right thing to do. A lot of people are very quick to give away other people's work without compensation or even the courtesy of asking. How would you like it is you were a professional musician and people were giving away your life's work for free? As a hobbyist, I might not care, but as a pro, I wouldn't respect those people very much. It's not your stuff, why would you think you have the right to do whatever you want with it?

Couldn't have said it better myself. Your insight into the Fox Agency is good, too. People confuse performance rights and mechanicals all the time.

salukulady
01-27-2010, 04:07 AM
Well, remarkably, he replied to my email within 30 minutes. I asked him whether he paid dues to ascap and BMI, and I mentioned some of our friends' covers getting songs removed from YouTube (where he currently hosts his mashups), and whether he recommended paying dues to organizations like that for people who wanted to show tribute to artists by making covers. It turns out he does not pay dues to ascap and BMI.

And he adds:

"I can't really say why some are let to stand and others are taken down.
I really hope the music industry befriends this movement (mashups and covers) and soon! I think since my stuff is so chopped up, maybe it passes, I really don't know!!!!"Thanks Bunny, that's a good point. Isn't it like 15 second of a song can be played before you have to pay royalties. I remember that from when my kids were competitively cheerleading and we were making mixed tapes, probably applies to DJ mixes, also.

BarbaryBill
01-27-2010, 11:52 AM
There are a couple of interesting points emerging. 1. Payment to professionals for the public playing/airing of their lifes work. 2 Corporates like WMG nailing unautharised covers. 3 Mash-ups and mixes that the corporates like WMG don't nail - perhaps because sometimes it's not in their interest.

My views ( after all this thread can only be about opinions - we won't change the laws!) is that point 1 - this whole piece is flawed. In my Cricket club we have a TV - we have to pay a TV licence ( UK legislation) and buy a music performance licence . This is just crazy - a private members club for god sake - not an music/entertainment destination. The TV companies already paid for the material and the rights to broadcast and now others have to pay to listen to background music. Hell next thing you know I'll have to pay a royalty to the plumber that installed the urinals every time I want to take a wazz.

Point 2 : Corporates have an army of people supposedly protecting their intellectual property. They take a blanket approach because they can't think creatively of a better way to do it - and these people need to be seen to be adding value to the ir businesses. Yep Nailing Sebi really adde value to WMG's balance sheet.

Point 3: Corporates wil let things slip if they think there is a benefit to not nailing mash-ups/covers. mixes et al. In other words they make it up as they go along particularly if it fills the coffers. Double standards yep - but hell they own both sides of that coin!

I as the proud writer of 3 crappy songs todate , my question how do I get a cut of all the fees being paid by shops, bars, clubs, schools, banks, community centres, holiday parkeks etc etc etc. Someone is making a fortune - it must be lucrative to be a "writer? yes Somehow I doubt it!

homEsick
01-28-2010, 12:09 PM
i think i jinxed myselef earlier in this thread when i said i haven't had any issues. just logged in and one of my videos is blocked from Stage 3 music for a Decemberists video. bleh. sure feels like a slap in the face.

SweetWaterBlue
01-29-2010, 12:14 PM
I haven't read through the whole thread, but similar things have happened before. This probably has all already been stated but the 2 major things at play here are the DMCA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Millennium_Copyright_Act) and what constitutes fair use (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use).

Youtube is taking down the videos in compliance with the DMCA. It allows them to host copyrighted material as long as they take down whatever is claimed by copyright owners.
WMG is the ones claiming copyright infringement stating that the videos do not fall under fair use.

I'm pretty sure there will be a lawsuit eventually to further clarify fair use on the internet, probably within the next 2-3 years but until then, these things are technically legal.

Does it suck and is it stupid and wrong? Yeah it is, but its the law.

Ryan - I think your post has captured the major legal question of all this. Thanks for the link to Fair Use. Contrary to what some have said the copyright laws do not give the song writer exclusive rights to determine how a song is used, once they publish it. Those rights are tempered by the Fair Use doctrines.

As the article in your link discusses, Fair Use is basocally a balancing act of four things:


1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

As the Supreme Court has said,
Yet the Supreme Court's more recent announcement in Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc.[16] that "all [four factors] are to be explored, and the results weighed together, in light of the purposes of copyright" has helped modulate this emphasis in interpretation.

While amateurs making covers for non-profit purposes are not making a profit, clearly YouTube is making a profit off their use. The covers generally use 100% of the melody and lyrics, so it would be pretty hard to say they are not substantial use of the original work, but often not the original recording. I think the effect on the original's market value is highly debatable, as has been said here many times. WMG is engaging in something called a Strategic Lawsuit, because the burden of proof that you have not damaged the copyright owners' value is on the person making a copy. They know it will cost you a lot of money to prove your case. It will take someone with deep pockets or a really pissed off lawyer to sucessfully bring much of a challenge, but it will be challenged, perhaps by the EFF.

I would say that clearly in my mind 2 of the 4 principles go to the amateurs posting these songs, and 2 to the copyright owners (YouTube is another story) I hope they resolve the balancing of the other 2 principles soon, as it is definitely having a chilling effect on people covering these songs.

There is often a difference between what is legal and what is right or advisable. When I first starting reading this thread and thinking about it, I thought the people saying that the copyright owners had an absolute right to the song were right. Clearly, that is nonsense though. If I hear a song on the radio and later start singing it to myself am I violating the copyright owners rights - common sense says, "No." If I sing to my wife later, common senses also says to me its fine - I haven't "stolen" anything by doing so. If I play it for money somewhere, common sense says, "Yes, I have stolen something." To me the whole legal and ethical argument would be more easily addressed if there were a venue where we could post covers, and the host did not make a profit, as YouTube does.

The copyright laws were written to encourage creativity by protecting the original work's commercial value. I do not believe they were ever intended to say someone could not read your book aloud, or sing your song for non-profit reasons. If a song writer doesn't want anyone else ever singing their songs, the best course of action is to just not publish it. Reading this thread has convinced me that it is virtually impossible for me to get through the wall of lawyers and agents to even ask permission to sing a WMG song, so as long as I am not making a profit off it, I say sing on. On that latter point, I am still trying to decide whether to ever post another WMG controlled cover on YouTube, rather than find a clearly non-profit venue.

Finally, I will not be buying any more WMG labels, or watching any of their official videos, until they stop the nonsense I believe they are currently engaged in.

itsme
01-29-2010, 01:24 PM
If I hear a song on the radio and later start singing it to myself am I violating the copyright owners rights - common sense says, "No." If I sing to my wife later, common senses also says to me its fine - I haven't "stolen" anything by doing so. If I play it for money somewhere, common sense says, "Yes, I have stolen something." To me the whole legal and ethical argument would be more easily addressed if there were a venue where we could post covers, and the host did not make a profit, as YouTube does.
If you play for pay at a night club, you haven't "stolen" anything, as the venue has already paid licensing fees to allow copyrighted music to be performed there.

I've heard nightmare stories about PRO reps getting "open mic" nights at coffee shops shut down because the venue couldn't afford the licensing fees since they're not charging admission (and the performers aren't even being paid).

hoosierhiver
01-30-2010, 05:19 AM
You can let Warner know how you feel. http://www.wmg.com/contact

SweetWaterBlue
01-30-2010, 05:33 AM
You can let Warner know how you feel. http://www.wmg.com/contact


Good idea Mike. I did just that. Here is my email note to them:


Please stop unfairly persecuting amateurs who post cover songs on YouTube.

I understand that YouTube is probably making a profit from your copyrights, through their advertising, and you deserve a cut of that. However, the small time amateurs simply having fun trying to sing or play a cover of their favorite song are not profiting. I am not a lawyer, but to me it seems to come under the Fair Use laws for these amateurs. It gives them a forum to show what little talent they may have. Please don't keep taking that from them.

The whole affair leaves such a bad taste in my mouth that when I see a Warner Music Label in a music shop or the iTunes store, I put it back..

Thanks.

moscar45
01-30-2010, 02:13 PM
How is it that small time bands can put out full cover albums of 80's hits, etc without running into the same issue? I think there was also a band called AC Dixie which was a country/southern rendition cover album of ac/dc songs. Maybe they paid up?