So YouTube is this huge mashup of completely unauthorized use of music and video clips. Even I am guilty of this, copyright cop that I am. But what is a little fan-boy supposed to do? Write to a big mega-corporation monolith of a record label and say, “Dear Mr. Sony, can I use your song on my video, please?” That’s for, like, important stuff. A movie producer wants to use a song. Or a TV Commercial producer. Not some dinky little nobody on YouTube. Besides, what if they say no?!
And then the big monolithic record labels go on a witch hunt all across YouTube, muting videos, banning accounts, etc etc. And, well, they have the right to do that.
As fans, we try to do right by the artists whose work we admire. I remember when YouTube’s recommendation when it recognizd a song/artist was to link to a playlist of more ‘unlawfully’ used music videos that had been posted. Now me, I always posted a link to the Amazon.com page where you could buy the song. Nowadays, of course, YouTube got wise and they have a link to their store or something.
But honestly… who doesn’t use YouTube as a sorta poor-man’s mp3 playlist? If I suddenly remember a song from years ago, where do I go to get a re-listen? YouTube! :X Do I go and buy the song from them? No…. Do I look at the advertisements they plaster on things? Can you say “AdBlock Plus”? :X
Yet… if it WERE simple for me to request usage rights to a song for a video, I would. Here’s how I visualize it….
I’m a “Music Video Fan” user. I surf this “Music Video Fan” (MVF) site, looking for cool tunes and music videos. I put together a playlist, and I listen to this playlist every morning while getting ready for work. Or I have a playlist of speed tunes to play while I’m racing horses. Etc, etc.
Let’s say I can listen to a particular song on these music fan videos ten times for free. If I want to listen to it more than that, I can buy the right to listen to it. Just like buying the MP3 for your iTunez or what have you. They cost like what? 99 cents per tune? So yes, I’ll buy the official Record Label MP3 Release of this song, and the website will register that I have permission to listen to it over and over and over.
Boom. Record Label gets money. I get to listen to the tunes.
Now I’m a MVF music-video maker. Say I want to use a tune on my fan video. I’ll go into the MVF library and let’s say, pay something like $2.99 to buy permission to make a fan video with it. Is that going to break anybody’s bank? Yeah, I’d be cool with paying two or three dollars to get this Holy Grail of Usage Permission. Then I upload my video or videos using this music to MVF, and it’s legal! And people can watch it — legally! (Of course, if they want to watch it more than ten times, or watch more than ten videos that use that song, they have to cough up the 99 cents.)
Video content — movie clips, etc — is another ballgame. Could it work for video content? Well, maybe. But people requesting permission to use clips for a music video would likely just use clips… for a music video! And not, say, post the entire smegging movie in 15 parts on YouTube. :X
Of course, there is no way this idea would float now. Why would anybody pay even 99 cents to access music videos, when they could get them for free on YouTube? It makes no sense. The only way it could work would be for YouTube to go on a massive global witch hunt and burn… what, like 80% of its database of files? Decimate its content. Alienate all those screaming users. Hey, if it DOES happen, do NOT blame me! All I can hope for is that the record labels give some of that money to the actual artists. :X