Your Daily Phil

Evil record companies

Posted by lozenp on July 25, 2007

Universal Music Group, who publishes music for the artist Prince, recently went through legal actions to petition YouTube to remove a video that it said infringed on it’s copyright. The video was removed, and let’s hope the hardened criminals are punished to the full extent of the law. Watch the video and come back for my take.

No jumping ahead now, really watch the video to get my sarcasm.

Back, ok. How amazingly ridiculous is that? 29 seconds of a 20-year-old Prince song playing in the background of a video of someone’s kid dancing that was probably only put on YouTube so they proud parents could send it to their family. And Universal demands it be removed.

Obviously, the video was put back up once sanity returned, but the fact that it was even a discussion is just stupid. If you noticed, as of about 3 p.m. today there were only 441 views (update, just two days later and following the publicity the story got, nearly 60,000 views). Universal decided this was big enough to take a legal swipe at? It just ticks me off so much to see how far entertainment companies are trying to force themselves into our lives.

If I pay 10 bucks for your CD, that likely has three good songs and seven crappy ones, I should be able to use it as I see fit. No, I don’t want to just give it to other people for free, or sell it myself. But if I want to put Aerosmith’s “Walk this Way” on while my kids takes his first steps and record it, I should be able to do so. I’m not selling the video, in this case it’s only like 20 percent of the song! And what if I have Comcast’s music channel on in the background when I’m taping something? Can I then sue Comcast for putting me in a position to break the law?

Here’s a link to the artists that form UMG, I’m not encouraging anyone to break the law, but if you’re making a home video to post on YouTube, maybe make sure that someone from this list is playing in the background. Jack seems to like Rap, so don’t be surprised to hear some 2pac in the next vid we post on his site. I’d also encourage you to forgo buying full CDs and just buy the songs you want from ITunes or something like it. Labels hate singles, so anything we can do as a consuming public to show them how fed up we are with their invasion of privacy, the better.

Oh, and for those of you who listen to Internet Radio, those days may be coming to an end. Recent moves are now in effect that is forcing Internet Radio stations to pay crippling amounts of money per song played, and we will likely see the amount of stations disappearing. Thanks RIAA.


2 Responses to “Evil record companies”

  1. I’ve been operating a licensed webcast for years. Yes, I pay royalties and licensing and I always have. The royalties may be increasing soon, as you noted, and a lot of stations could disappear. But I do not lay all of the blame at the feet of the RIAA. They’ve earned a big share of the blame, but there is plenty of blame to go around.

    The people who illegally download and share copyrighted music are part of the webcasting royalty problem too. Maybe not the biggest part of the problem, but it is silly to think that their actions have had no adverse affect upon others.

    I pay my royalties and licensing, and I’m probably going to have to pay even more soon – because the Library of Congress and the RIAA think that webcasters should help offset the loses (real, or perceived) caused by illegal usage. So the illegal downloaders continue to pay zilch, while law-abiding webcasters will end up dealing with a crippling fee increase.

  2. lozenp said

    I agree completely that the pirates are a big part of the problem. However, the RIAA is punishing law-abiding customers like you and I for what the pirates are doing. All the DRM, content flags, FBI warnings, and other painful copyright protections only serve to make our experience worse. The people who are stealing just blow right past it anyhow, so it’s obviously not stopping them. The system is flawed and, IMHO, is leading customers away from conventional media and straight into the arms of freelance and label-free music.

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