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RIAA challenges YouTube and GoogleVideo over video distribut

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stupid is as stupid does....

RIAA challenges YouTube and GoogleVideo over video distribution

Submitted by Stephen Abbott on Wed, 2006-06-14 02:12.

The recent trend of amateur dancers hamming it up to popular songs on video and then playing them for the world to see has piqued the interest of the RIAA. Obviously, most of these videos didn't secure proper clearances ahead of time, and that is starting to ruffle some feathers. Once again trouble is brewing between a technology, the old rules, and a market that moves quickly around an industry that moves slowly.

Until lately, videos were always seen as a promotional tool for the song, and therefore the industry didn't see sharing of videos as any sort of threat. The viral aspect of videos was encouraged to help promote the sales of the songs themselves. Recently, though, the videos have found value, mostly proven with Apple selling digital music videos at $1.99 as part of the larger move which also includes TV shows.

So when there is money to be made, you can bet the RIAA and their friends are there to challenge anyone who tries something new. Instead of embracing the opportunity, UMG (Universal Music Group) has pushed for "an agressive stance against amateur video using commerical songs."

Some YouTube users have reportedly received cease and desist letters from the RIAA, demanding that the posted video be taken down. YouTube, however, is confident in its copyright policy because it warns people about violation, and pulls material upon request of the copyright holder.

In the RIAA's defence, people are using copyrighted songs without permission. If the RIAA doesn't pursue it, they set a nasty precendent that will haunt every other case moving forward. This situation is just one more clear example of how radically different the music/entertainment industry has become, and those who used to hold control have let it slip way too far away to ever get it back.


Posted : 15/06/2006 3:22 am
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RIAA - the Microsoft of the music world. Anthem - "I want it all and I want it now".

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Posted : 15/06/2006 6:56 am
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A more perfect analogy for them I have yet to see. - Guitar Chord/Scale Finder/Viewer

Posted : 15/06/2006 8:12 am
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There's a really fine line here.

Many of us (myself included) have posted links to some online videos. And all the ones I've seen posted here to GN are not at risk from the RIAA's actions.

That's not to say they don't infringe on someone's rights. Harry Fox might be interested in performances of cover songs, various songwriters and publishers might have a thought or two on performances of their songs, etc.

But the RIAA's rights are pretty narrow. They own (more specifically, thier members own) rights to specific recordings released by their artists. So if I post a video of myself performing a cover tune, the RIAA has no involvement. Only if I post a video that includes background music from one of their protected recordings can they get involved.

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Posted : 15/06/2006 1:21 pm
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This is ridiculous. The RIAA cannot seem to grasp that things such as this is GOOD PUBLICITY! Case in point, this link was posted in another forum a while back.

It's two chicks dancing to "Hey" by the Pixies. I never listened to the pixies at all, but after seeing this, I went out to iTunes and bought the stinking song.

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Posted : 15/06/2006 1:34 pm
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This is ridiculous. The RIAA cannot seem to grasp that things such as this is GOOD PUBLICITY! Case in point, this link was posted in another forum a while back.

It's two chicks dancing to "Hey" by the Pixies. I never listened to the pixies at all, but after seeing this, I went out to iTunes and bought the stinking song.

while i agree with what NB said as far as them walking a fine line, this is really more to my take on this. when are the artists going to get organised and set these idiots straight? it seems to me that this type of publicity is obviously helping to generate exposure /sales (but what am i thinking, that would only benefit the artists)


Posted : 15/06/2006 1:44 pm
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Chuck D from Public Enemy had the whole issue figured out in April of 2000. This was during the Napster days and all the behavior we see from the RIAA is just a further extension of what Chuck D was talking about:

The following is the text of his OP-ED article of April 29, 2000. I think he's got it dead on. Brilliant in fact.

"First I like to get directly to the points…

1. The day of the one –dimensional naïve artist is over… 2. 95% of all music will be free, at least for a period… 3. The whole financial structure of the entertainment business is in the process of getting redefined 4. NAPSTER has turned music into baseball cards and the consumer base of kids are leading the pack, ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT MUSIC. 5. With a million artists joining a new way of getting music across the world via the MP-3 & internet, new ways of artists making money will eventually be discovered or rediscovered 6. As in kindergarten everyone will be re-taught how to share… 7. NAPSTER, MP3, downloaded music and sharing is the ‘new radio for the O-DEC'…old school artists, get over the fact and adapt…

I'm in support of the sharing of music files. I believe that truly another parallel music industry will be created alongside the one that presently exists, and that's the bottom line stake that traditionalists fear. Having been connected to the genre of hiphop and rap music for 22 years, I've witnessed the lack of proper service areas to fully support the majority of artists, songwriters, producers and labels in getting the music to it's fanbase. Although there's this talk about rap/hiphop growth and power, we are still only talking about a sliver of selected artists that participate on a major level. As far as the major labels go, the artists, producers, songwriters, etc concerned most about sharing music for free are those select few who are signed to that structure. Long ago the majors upped the ante on what it took to promote and market a song, thus totally squeezing the small, independent entrepreneur out of the distribution game. With radio choosing the more traditional popular favorites, the skyrocketed video costs, and even college jocks on the take, getting a record to the fans was becoming impossible. I believe this structure has hurt the artist more over the past 50 years than the thought of someone passing the song around for free. Thus the emergence of the internet and its non-bias way can introduce new ideas, options, and solutions to the excess of waste the companies push out in their promotional campaigns.

What about the artists? Well with the music business trying to adapt and reluctantly adopting the facts of digital distribution, this is a prime opportunity for artists to understand that they can operate beyond the naïve slave or limited employment positions of the old music business templates. In the past, most artists had little say over how their product would be marketed and sold anyhow. A contract would guarantee they would get a few cents on a dollar, usually in the limited territory of their signed region. And if it didn't work out, the label would cease selling the art but owning it forever. And, thus looking back over the last 50 years, this has been the major cause of frustration amongst artists. Right now, companies like NAPSTER are creating new fan interest in the acquisition of music, as well as establishing an infrastructure that previously was non-existent for unknown artists. In fact, if the flexibility in the ownership of the master rights were also in the artist's domain, milking a song for a smart artist would always be a possibility. For years now the major labels have enjoyed a boom period by being a step ahead on the technologies that allowed the listener to hear and keep the music, eventually even merging with the hardware manufacturers. Since the 1920s with the RCA upgraded, Thomas Edison created phonograph, through the stereo hi-fis, 8 track, cassettes and eventually CD players, the music lover was subjected to turn into a consumer by every account on getting an artist to his/her ears. The last straw was the CD period where labels charged the marketplace (that means you) a whopping 250% increase and continues to get it even today, while barely adjusting artist contracts and leading the record company exec's into the world of 7 and 8 figure salaries. At the same time, a method of disposability was employed on the artistry; making the jacked up marketing and promotional costs the only way to get an artist to superstar status. The "no more time for artist development, screw the art" aspect thus eliminates the area of re-negotiation, while maintaining the same budgets but fattening the profit area by flipping a small batch of artists in and out. That is today's music industry.

Well, the MP3 has been a thorn in that bulls side, downloadable distribution has become a case of ‘the chickens coming home to roost," while allowing the global audience who were only previously thought as consumers, the ability to interact as participants. MP3 was the first impact hitting the ‘old way'. The second impact as in the case of NAPSTER, is gonna revolutionize music and redefine what a song can and should do. What artists or labels probably will do is a value added system of giving away 3 songs selling 4 and seeing shorter albums for a much more affordable price like say $5 for a 7-song disc. Secured formats are coming but will the companies maintain their crazy cost factor, much of which avoids the artist anyway. Think of it, 95% of music is free anyway, with one song usually driving folks to kick out $16.99 for the whole CD. It's the 5% that will drive the commerce anyway. Look at the MP3/NAPSTER music sharing phase as the "new radio" in the 0-dec (the first decade of 2000, what else are you gonna call this decade?). These areas have become attention-grabbing zones to attract fans who'll truly be fanatics about something in music as opposed to wrestling, video games, or POKEMON. Still, one shouldn't have much faith in the mass consumers of North America rebelling, given the blinking VCR recorders vs. BLOCKBUSTER rentals add in a late fee or two, people still want to support the most convenient processes, and will still go to the stores. The cream of artists will eventually rise to the top and still get advanced deals. But the question remains will the corporations that dominate concede to sharing the musical marketplace with another industry parasiting out of its side? We'll see, until then we will slowly see formations of new rules, regulations, templates, securities, etc that will eventually support a much greater amount of artists as opposed to the limited record companies of yesterday.

As far as the lawsuits from METALLICA and DR.DRE are concerned, they're nothing but cases used to support yet another lawyer looking to preserve the prehistoric existence of contracts past. They are the exception to the rule, almost adopting the principals of the masters that pay them. Of course in this revolution and transition the public can't expect the superstars to fight the powers that be, 1. They're too comfortable 2. They don't have a clue to the bigger picture other than receiving a check from that same power, 3. It's like the slaves who were fortunate or (unfortunate) to work in the big house, they'll do anything to stay in the house while never noticing the effects of slavery in the rest of the field. I ask, with the major labels looking to own every artist website without negotiation, who can trust them?

This is purely a case of the chickens coming home to shoot, the fans are getting back, so this fight is beyond my good friend DRE and METALLICA. I've seen a lot of cats try to be on both sides and you can't do that in this war. Its funny seeing rebellious cats eventually asking the government for help in this case. Some artists are led by their lawyers, I wonder what made Ms A. Morrisette flip to support MP-3.Com after she blasted ‘downloadable distribution' only months before. The fact is that the old financial picture of flooding artist would be dollars into a promotional vacuum is in jeopardy.

There's a planet to musically explore and interact with, and I'm with that.



Posted : 16/06/2006 2:39 am
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Just quickly read the posts, but if I am understanding it that is complete crap. So some guys get together and post a video of them performing a song. Big deal. It's exposure.

So I guess in the RIAA's eye that if I sing a "popular" song while I am in the shower or cleaning the house, then I am breaking the law. Jeez.... get a grip.

Posted : 22/06/2006 8:19 pm
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Your right Chuck D is right on about the whole music scene.

I think all this RIAA stuff is all BS. It's a bunch of lawyers looking to cash in on someone else's talents.

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Posted : 22/06/2006 9:01 pm
Ignar Hillström
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On the other hand: you can find practically the entire SRV - Live at the el mocambo DVD, among many others, up for grabs. That's just lame and should be dealt with. As for taking action against people 'covering' a song, I'm somewhat lost to what their goal could be. It certainly won't help their reputation a whole lot...

Posted : 23/06/2006 1:52 pm
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The RIAA can't sue anybody for covering a song - they don't own those rights. (But the music publishing companies could)

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Posted : 23/06/2006 2:15 pm
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No matter how we look at the issue, it's a problem to be dealt with. While I have no direct dealings with the RIAA (living in Poland), I find myself rather offended at their attitude towards the whole deal. They do have a point however - lots of money was invested by their member companies in order for the recordings in question to be produced. It's only natural they want to get that money back and earn a profit. Wouldn't we all?

Nowadays I keep hearing from my friends about the extensive discographies they own - all downloaded off the P2P networks. It seems wrong to me, no matter how corrupt and larcenous the music industry has become. Robbing the record companies seems like a good deed (given that they rob both consumers and the artists who record for them), but it cannot be done without robbing the artists as well. Royalties aside - if nobody buys the record, because they prefer to download it, the artist isn't likely to record anything else.

I personally feel that we need a new model of the music industry and that it should be a joint initiative of artists and consumers. The internet has made direct-to-consumer distribution of music possible, the problem now is getting consumers interested in purchasing music in this way (and getting through to them with the music in the first place :D ). It requires a change of thinking on both sides of the counter. What worries me, is that the major industry players will get there first and nothing will change much. What do you think?

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Posted : 24/06/2006 1:04 pm
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Post edited (Someone , please delete ) - I don't want to lose my peace of mind.From now on i would keep myself out of the copyright debates.

Posted : 24/06/2006 1:22 pm
Ignar Hillström
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[...] the record companies [...] rob both consumers and the artists who record for them)

How's that?

Posted : 24/06/2006 1:51 pm
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