Friday, December 5, 2008

Pissed Off at YouTube, Music Labels

I don't know if others have been experiencing this lately, but recently YouTube has been a real bitch about copyright, more specifically, audio copyright. In the last 2 weeks I have had four of my videos removed from my channel: three montages and one remix I worked really hard on. Some that were favortied by the very dancers who I made them of! :-/ Now it has gotten to the point where I cannot even upload music from certain bands at all. And all because I used music from artists who happen to belong to one company: Universal Music Group.

This is the notice that I get:

"A copyright owner has claimed it owns some or all of the audio content in your video. The audio content identified in your video is Come Around by Timbaland. We regret to inform you that your video has been blocked from playback due to a music rights issue."

I'm so pissed about this. I'm not making profit off these videos. I'm not making fun of the band or anything like that. If anything, I am doing the bands a favor by using their music. I can't tell you how many times people comment on my videos with "Who is this band?" or "I like that song!" etc etc. UMG is not losing anything from me using their music. They only have fans and customers to gain. So tell me: what the eff is the point?

Anyway, what is really perplexing is that it used to not be like this. Not long ago, whenever I got a copyright notice from YouTube and UMG they would keep the video up but put advertising on the page, with all the revenue going towards the copyright holder. In fact, in some instances on my video I would see links to buy the song I was using on iTunes or Amazon MP3. I don't know about you, but I think this is a much better option. Now UMG can be making money from the video I uploaded! This was the notice I used to get:

"UMG has claimed some or all audio content in your video. This claim was made as part of the YouTube Content Identification program. Your video is still live because UMG has authorized the use of this content on YouTube.

Your video is still available because UMG does not object to this content appearing on YouTube at this time. As long as UMG has a claim on your video, they will receive public statistics about your video, such as number of views. Viewers may also see advertising on your video's page."

Why the change UMG? In my opinion the second option works out much better for you. And for me of course.

So where do I go from here? Not YouTube, that's for sure. Or, I should say, not only YouTube. There are definitely a lot of video sites out there where I can upload, sites where the copyright issues are not quite as stringent: Yahoo!, Veoh, Dailymotion, Metacafe etc etc etc. The problem used to be that uploading to all these sites was a real hassle, requiring you to create accounts and painstakingly upload each and every vid, including writing the description and properly tagging.

Well, that isn't a problem anymore, thanks to the site TubeMogul, which lets you upload a video once and then broadcast it to many video sites, including all the ones I mentioned above. You still have to create an account at each site, but TubeMogul saves your account info (or not, if you prefer) so anytime you upload directly to TM all you have to do is write the description and the tags once and they get exported to each site you tell it to broadcast to. Sounds simple to me! I'll do a more comprehensive review of the whole process later once I upload more videos.

Anywayyy, I'm still annoyed about this. I hope somehow YouTube and UMG (and the rest of the labels) come to some sort of conclusion where fan videos like mine aren't removed because of the audio content. Until then, I will be very wary of what I upload to the Tube.

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