Monday, July 13, 2009

Why I Hate the World of 'Business'

YouTube is a place where ordinary individuals of every age in every country can share their interests and their creativity by making videos about any subject under the sun. Some people are musicians but others are not.

Most of the videos I have made for YouTube have been game tutorials for Harvest Moon, Rune Factory and Animal Crossing. I made a couple of personal videos about cats.

In three cases now, my videos have been challenged for 'copyright' on the basis of the music I chose. Note that NONE of the artists who actually wrote or performed the songs took exception to the use. In fact, I consider it simply as a tribute to the artist if his/her music is used for a video for which I receive absolutely no financial benefit.

In the case of the cat video below, the music actually has been MUTED at the order of WMG, a huge conglomerate. It was one of my favourite songs by Iggy Pop, actually. The little cat video does not represent any threat to the interests either of Iggy or of WMG. As a matter of fact, individuals have contacted me on numerous occasions to ask for the name of the song used so that they could purchase it elsewhere!

In the other two cases, the copyright claim was made by UMG. They took a more commercially sound approach and rather than muting the music, added an advertisement to the page giving a link to a download of the song.

Apparently, there actually are people employed by these companies to creep on YouTube searching for music to which they can lay claim. Yes, WMG, you successfully disabled my little video tribute. I hope you are proud of yourselves. I could understand if I were attempting to MARKET this little amateur piece but really!!! It was only a little video about two cats who are NOT for sale at any price!

I have no idea if I kept a copy of the original video. The amount of time and energy that would be required to create a NEW video with different music would not be worth the effort. After all, I am not getting paid for this, nor do I derive ANY financial benefit from any video I ever made.

I'm afraid that I have a profound contempt for the business world based on practices such as this. I am a staunch defender of copyright where games are concerned, and have been very vocal about my utter disapproval of emulators that take income from the people who actually MADE the games. Where videos that are not made nor shown for profit are concerned, however, I cannot see any justification for an action such as that taken by WMG. In fact, if I can summon the energy and time, I may contact them directly to ask them to reconsider their policy. Perhaps I should start a petition... Or perhaps I should have a word with Iggy himself...

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