Rory Cellan-Jones

YouTube, Cat Stevens and me

  • Rory Cellan-Jones
  • 19 Sep 08, 09:34 GMT

Have you ever worried about whether the videos you upload onto YouTube or other video-sharing sites could be infringing someone's copyright? No? Me neither. After all, the pictures I use are mine, shot by me. Plus, there's the fact that my video has been dropped into a vast pool of content and surely nobody is going to comb through all of that?

Rory Cellan-Jones' dogBut then this week I got an e-mail with the heading "Copyrighted Content Identified in one of your YouTube videos". It was from YouTube's Content Identification Programme and it referred to one of my videos called "A Dog and a Kite". As this featured footage of my family and our dog playing around with a kite in the park I couldn't quite work out what the issue was. Then I remembered that I had cut the pictures to that classic Cat Stevens track "I Love My Dog".

YouTube's assiduous team pointed out that that this was copyrighted material belonging to UMG - Universal Music. It turns out that the site allows what it describes as "partners" to review YouTube videos for content to which they own the rights.

Luckily, the message continued, Universal Music "does not object to this content appearing on YouTube at this time." However, Universal will now receive statistics revealing how many people have viewed my video - 59 last time I looked. But, wait for it, they will also have the right to place adverts on my video's page. And when I went to the page there was a box with adverts for, believe it or not, kites.

Which raises a few questions. I'd already paid for that Cat Stevens track - yes I'm proud of my taste in 70s classics - so how come Universal is on my case at all? And my video was public - would they have spotted my use of their content if I'd set it to "private"? Oh, and do I get a share of that advertising revenue?

A phone-call to YouTube's owners Google provided some answers. I was fortunate, the PR man suggested, that under new arrangements content owners like Universal were more likely to choose to put adverts next to my video rather than demand it was taken down. Making it private rather than public would make no difference. And no, I won't get a share of the advertising revenue - it will be split between Universal and YouTube. Which seems a little unfair, considering that it's my excellent pictures, rather than the Cat Stevens soundtrack, which are at the creative heart of my video.

It all brings home just what a public place YouTube is. When Viacom won a court order giving it access to YouTube's logs of every video every user had ever watched, it was suggested there was no real danger of them sniffing through our individual videos and viewing habits. But it now appears that every content owner is crawling over every single YouTube video and examining it for the merest hint of copyright infringement.

Still, at least, I'm now in a business relationship with Cat Stevens. But what's worrying me now is another guilty secret in my YouTube closet. It's a video of the kids playing with a toy rocket launcher, and it's called "Rocket Men." i'm just hoping that Elton John doesn't listen to the soundtrack.


  • Comment number 1.

    "I'd already paid for that Cat Stevens track" - are you seriously suggesting that buying one copy of the track should allow you to broadcast it in a video without paying licensing fees? Or are you trying to be 'cool' by making out you are one of the many who believes you should be able to steal music with no consequences?

    I bet if you were a musician and someone used your track on a video you would expect to see a financial reward, and rightly so!

  • Comment number 2.

    MusicMan80 - Come on, this is beyond the joke now. Do you honestly believe that Cat Stevens will see a penny of that advertising revenue? Of course not, it's the greedy record companies that will profit from this.
    I firmly believe in paying for music, I will always buy CD albums or pay for single track downloads if that's all I want. But this is stupid, how is Rory profiting from using that track on his video? He's not, youtube is a site for showing others your videos. Had he been using that track in an advert to sell his dog then this would be different as he would be profiting from someone else's music.
    If anything he is promoting Cat Stevens on behalf of UMG and should be paid for it. I will often hear a track on youtube that accompanies a video and will seek out that track and buy it.
    Oh, and I am a musician and all I want is for people to appreciate my music, the money is a bonus, all good musicians will agree.

  • Comment number 3.

    Quite right mad_caesar.
    When I buy a CD it should belong to me, and not come with further cost implications unless I use the content it for gain (in which case I should be made aware of the likely costs at the time of purchase).
    My use of my music should not be liable to further profiteering unless I agree to this further charge.
    When music is sold it is not offered with a variety of ownership options, and if it is I pity the poor consumer who has to decide which version to take, and will then need to sign the licence agreement!

  • Comment number 4.

    Just a point, and not a criticism of Yusuf Islam (as he is now). How does all this stand with his position as a muslim on usury, seeing as the money being accrued in this way comes very close to it?

  • Comment number 5.

    Firstly, illuminatusmagister - this is nothing like usury in the slightest. Usury is lending money and receiving interest or getting a loan and paying interest. In what way is being paid for work you've done like either of those situations? Only very tenuously I would argue.

    Secondly, MusicMan80 is in the right here - just because you buy a CD doesn't mean that you can redistribute the music to anyone. That doesn't really come under the heading of "fair use".

    Universal seems to me to be taking a very sensible line; you can use the music without paying us for the rights, but we have the right to get royalties some other way such as adverts. Who loses out here? Um... well not the artist I would have thought. If they are taking this money in lieu of royalties then I would hope they are treated the same way in that the artist gets a cut. If not, then it's time to get up on your high horse.

  • Comment number 6.

    Hold on a minute, I think everyone is overlooking the best part of this post. Your dog is called Cabbage - that's brilliant!

  • Comment number 7.

    i bet if we just lifted the content from this blog and stuck it on our own, and sold advertising space, the writer would suddenly start whining about his intellectual property. what a hypocrite.

  • Comment number 8.


    That's my point. Usury is all about receiving income when nothing new has been created - no value added or work done. At which point does receiving a royalty for value not added directly or even indirectly by you begin to fall into that category is the point I was getting at. and, like I said this is not a criticism of Islam (quite the opposite, I actually think the concept is very sound and moral)

    I do agree with the wider point though, just because you buy a CD doesn't mean you have the right to use it in perpetuity. Indeed, you are only licensed to use the content in certain circumstances. Other rights are 'reserved' by the copyright owner.

  • Comment number 9.

    Have the media companies now implemented a new sustainable business model for themselves in this media age? Selling advertising against music uplaods? Certainly beats their old business model of cutting their nose off to spite their face!

  • Comment number 10.

    Could be worse. The adverts could be for dogs.

  • Comment number 11.

    So - what if you now go tell Youtube that there's a video infringing *your* copyright, and you want to be able to share in the advertising revenue?

    Perhaps you really can share the revenue from the videos you make... if you first become a YouTube 'partner,' and then submit a claim against your own creations for copyright infringement.

  • Comment number 12.

    I was about to suggest exactly what oldsaxon says. But, I bet the process is much harder for individuals rather than Big Evil Corporations...

  • Comment number 13.

    MusicMan80 you are of course correct. Buying a track does not give you the right to broadcast someone else's music without their permission (or their representatives permission). So if we were to contact these people with a simple request to allow music usage in lets say, a home video of a child kicking a ball, do you think these people have the time and resources to answer each and every single request?. The answer is NO, therefore what is missing is a clear proceedure for people to utilise, one that has been documented and outlined read and agreed by the owners and also the users. Perhaps the way to go here is to have a single internet licencing system which is beneficial to not only the owner but also the users. It has to be fair.
    mad_caesar.... there are organisations that do keep a lookout for usage of their members works. Al Mr Stevens has to do is contact them. I am thinking here of PAMRA.

  • Comment number 14.

    To be honest, I'm just happy that it's gone from a "shut down if you don't hold the copyright" model to a "copyright holder gets to place adverts" model. One of my videos on YouTube uses Dire Straits' "Industrial Disease" (actually, as it's a video of me playing Sonic the Hedgehog 2 very badly to the tune of Industrial Disease, that's probably *two* copyrights infringed), and I've always been worried that I'd get "cease-and-desist"ed over a bit of harmless fun. I'd never in a million years expect to earn advertising revenue from it. So I welcome this development.

    Although saying that, I have no idea if the record label that produced Industrial Disease would take a similar view to Universal :-/.

  • Comment number 15.

    Firstly, the musician receives very little in the way of royalties from recordings (the paragraph starting "A phone-call to YouTube's owners Google..." alludes to this) unless they own the rights to the recording of the music - most of the bigger stars make money from touring and endorsements. In general, record labels advance money to a recording artist who then, in theory, records the music. This is then distributed by the label at, hopefully for them, a profit. This is a very basic business model. The label repeats this process to turn bigger profits. The actual profiteers are the distributors - non-independent music shop chains that put the frankly ludicrous mark-ups on music and video.

    MusicMan80, re 'stealing'. Have you ever recorded music from the radio? Have you ever recorded at TV program/a film to watch again and again? Have you ever lent someone a DVD or CD? This is basically copyright theft. Just like sharing files. No different. It is not 'cool' to steal, but then again, it not 'cool' to con people out of money - just like music shop chains do. We all shared CD's and records as kids, file-sharing is no different. I'm not saying that it is right or wrong.

    Which brings us on to "Intellectual Property." (I REALLY hate that expression). Prove to me that the melodies in 'I Love My Dog' are entirely original. If as I understand, knowingly of otherwise, there is a bar of a melody that could be found in a piece, for instance by Mozart or Beethoven, then the recording should default to the public domain as the "original" piece is. Note to lawyers - I'm not accusing Mr Yusaf Islam of any form of plagiarism. To qualify my initial statement, IP is incredibly hard to prove as it suggest original thought - musically and artistically very difficult to prove - put easier to disprove (some people refer to influence - arguably that is infringing IP). Designers and architects go on about this too - but looking and listening around you how much original thought is evident?

  • Comment number 16.

    This is ridiculous. Nobody makes any money or has any other personal benefits from people viewing their videos. And if there's a chance that your videos will get you a job as a director or an actor or something else then you'd probably be thinking of these things.

    Bands and artists can perform cover versions of songs and so long as they don't sell their versions without consent from the copyright owner, they are not breaking any laws. Bands are even allowed to make a living touring pubs performing cover versions and no songwriter is every going to stop them. Even though their cover versions are invariably terrible.

  • Comment number 17.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 18.

    I got a small digital camera as a birthday present and discovered that it has a surprisingly good video mode. Not Cecil B de Mille, but quite fun for friends and family. When I was at Lord’s cricket ground earlier this year I took some photos and alos tried the video. The short bit of video I took (less than two minutes) included an England bowler taking the last New Zealand wicket. It was hardly broadcast quality but it was quite fun so I uploaded it to YouTube.

    Imagine my surprise when a couple of weeks later (after the snip had had over 1000 hits) I got an Email from YouTube saying that the English Cricket Board had complained that my mini video was an infringement of their copyright and that YouTube had to remove it. What utter nonsense! Are the 1000 viewers of my video likely to be more or less interested in cricket as a result of seeing it? Does any rights holder suffer at all from the fact that I took it and published it? Are the apparatchiks at the ECB able to distinguish between copyright theft and a very amateur person like me just having a bit of fun?

    Judge for yourself as I have managed to place the video on my own blog at:

  • Comment number 19.

    I had never heard of this song until reading this blog - Universal should be paying Rory for promoting their music!

    Often when you read the comments of a video you'll see someone saying "I really like that song, what's it called?". If Universal had any sense they could just add a button to purchase the mp3 or something, and pay Rory a commisison.

  • Comment number 20.

    I tried to put a video of my self onto You Tube marilyns plan for weight loss to promote the fact that I have cracked the weight loss code, which I have. Low and behold I had nothing but trouble when My Hubby told me that copyright was protecting the piece of music I was playing. Too bad. So now all I have is me talking nervously. I think I suffer from performance anxiety. But seriously, go to my website too.
    have a look it is sensational.
    Love marilyn

  • Comment number 21.

    Hey look! we've added nearly 200 views in the past 10 hours!

    seriously though, nice tune!

  • Comment number 22.

    RE: comment no.15 (SimonBanyard) on intellectual property, you are missing the point. Copyright infringement of this (albeit very minor) kind does not just hinge on whether the notes of a melody are the same within this song as within some earlier work, as we are talking about the unlicensed use of a recording in this case. It's a 'mechanical' copyright issue as well. For instance, even if you use a recording of a composition existing in the public domain (EG. a bit of Mozart) you are still infringing the owner of the recording of that particular rendition. This is why there are two types of organisation, charged with the collection of performance and mechanical royalties. In the UK these are the PRS and MCPS, respectively.

  • Comment number 23.

    Another point, re: how youtube spot the content. The process is probably pattern-based and automated. Meaning, they look for the signature of the track and compare to some catalogue or other. A bit like how Shazam works when you hold your mobile to some music and it tells you what it is. Of course there isn't someone sitting there going through millions of youtube posts one by one!

  • Comment number 24.

    Personally, as ideas go. This advertising one is very clever.

    Content makers could allow you to use their music for the right to advertise against your video. It makes sense for all parties involved. It allows users to use recognisable music when creating content, and also allows the company to make some revenue, though how a video with 60 viewings at the time of writing is going to generate much I'm not entirely sure.

    However, this is the kind of thinking that needs to be done in order to allow user created content to flourish.

  • Comment number 25.

    You should ask yourslef this - If I bought a newspaper which contained an article written by yourself and printed it in my college newspaper that had a circulation of say e.g 30,000 students, would you complain about it if I - 1. didn't ask your permission 2. didn't offer you a fee. 3. didn't credit you. I think you would.
    There is a belief that music is free. Artist/musicians work hard producing it - often living on the bread line for the sake of their art. Not every composer is rich, and while it may seem a little a little harsh that a huge rich record company should ask for money (or recompence in other ways) for use of their copyright material, copyright is copyright and protects the work of the struggling artist as well as the successful. Copyright should be adheared to and not winged about by the likes of you. I think you should write an article apologising to all the struggling artists, who rely on royalties to help pay the rent, for perpetuating the myth that music is free. Have some respect.


  • Comment number 26.

    In the words of Mr Winner, "Calm down, dears.."(I wonder if he's copyrighted that phrase?). I was amused rather than angered by the message from YouTube and I am not saying that music is free or that copyright should be ignored. What's more, with over 500 views to my video and its associated advertising, I'm now earning some serious money for Cat Stevens and his record label...

    I just thought it was interesting a) that media companies are now looking so closely at YouTube content b)that even if you were just using it as a private way of sharing videos with friends and family, you could still fall foul of copyright law.

    It begs the question, if I invite a few friends round to view my home movies, and listen to their ghastly 70s soundtracks, could I get into trouble?

    And James(25), my content is endlessly reproduced, mangled, and variously mucked about with all over the web, without a fee, and I've not seen any reason yet to complain.

  • Comment number 27.

    Delighted to see you state 'yes I'm proud of my taste in 70s classics'. So would it upset you too much if I told you that 'I love my dog' was first released in 1966? Your taste in music is better than you think!

  • Comment number 28.

    What happens if two companies claim video infringes on their copyright?

    For example, I take some Top Gear video (let's say BBC Worldwide own the rights to that) and cut said footage to that really great new Miley Cyrus song (hey, I didn't say that was going to be a good video).

    Surely both BBC Worldwide can get their cut of the ad revenue as well as Hollywood Records? I might give YouTube a call tomorrow and quiz them on this.

    If both companies do, you just need to head over to Companies House and start your own really cool production company to manage your intellectual property. Be sure to give it a funky name and hit up YouTube and tell them what's what!


    The system is a mess. You don’t get Sony BMG demanding all the box office revenue for songs used in movies, etc. I’m not quite so hot in YouTube right now, I’d rather it be a place for user generated content than the playground for rights holders that it is becoming. With more and more On-Demand services, I don’t see the need for commercial content.

    That said, with my marketing hat on, I can see exactly why the major rights holders want to be on YouTube - it is were millions of people are!

  • Comment number 29.

    > You don?t get Sony BMG demanding all the box office revenue for songs used in movies, etc.

    Yes you do, it's just not seen by most people as it's all handled pre-release in production, fees are negotiated for the use of those songs.

    And I wouldn't be in the least bit surprised if they didn't pay the artist a single penny - it's an obvious loophole. They pay a percentage of profits from sales of the songs, profits from adverts near the songs are not the same thing so in no way entitled to go to the artist.

  • Comment number 30.

    " At 12:07pm on 20 Sep 2008, Censura" Censura this is what you get when people who know nothing about copyright throw their weight around. The English cricket board is wrong. They do not own the copyright to something they did not make. If they were to licence a production of the match and then someone recorded it and then put that on you tube, that is infringement. They are trying to make it look like a pop concert where clearly the music being performed is copyrighted well in advance to the performance so even if you were to recorded it yourself, there is the infringement of copyright. Do you know (do we know) that in order to accuse someone of copyright infringement, you have to have previously registered, proved, that the work was yours in the first place before you can accuse someone of stealing it as an infringement?. That being the case, you cannot copyright a cricket match in advance the way you can a song. This is a fact.

    simonbanyard... you are wrong here, a lot of money is made from recordings that is what the advance payments to the recording artist from the record company are. These advance payments are not pennies, they go into hundreds and thousands of pounds and the artist agrees to record a certain amount of product for this advance sum.
    Also there is a difference in "making" a copy for oneself, "making" a copy to gain profit from somebody elses' copyright and then lending someone a cd. There is a copyright law which says, thou shalt not "copy" (regardless of if that copy is for yourself, your friend or anyone else for that matter). However, there is no such law in this country (UK) which says I cannot lend you my cd's. What "you" do with them afterwards is your problem in that if you copy them, you are breaking the law, not I. I have done nothing wrong in lending you my cd's, nor do I see that I have done anything wrong as far as the law of Copyright goes. Of course they would all like to change this understanding but as far as I know the law relates to the copying of and not lending of.
    There are many other aspects above we are all touching on, some correct and true whilst others inaccurate. This is exactly what the business wants us to become, chickens running around headless. There is a great book written by R.F.Whale called Copyright. It is simple, not too heavy yet explains the theory behind Copyright for the simple man. Hopefully it is still in print (revised no doubt).

  • Comment number 31.

    >>Yes you do, it's just not seen by most people as it's all handled pre-release in production, fees are negotiated for the use of those songs.

    Wait a second, no you don't! Perhaps my point is not particularly well expressed. The don't take *ALL* the box office revenue is what I meant.

    I'm well aware of the clearances etc agreed in movies, TV production etc.

  • Comment number 32.

    The same thing happened to me on facebook recently.

    I posted a video which was a compilation of shark video I shot in Costa Rica... married with a neat little ditty.

    They have removed it and informed me of my copyright infringment, I assumed it was because of the music.

    I await the same from YouTube..

  • Comment number 33.

  • Comment number 34.

    I had the same with a couple of mine which i removed reason is not that i worry about copyright, more that any ads i want the cash for. besides im not sure how legal it is under the data protection act passing user details to a third party.

  • Comment number 35.

    one thing i forgot wish i got paid for work i did 25 years ago.

  • Comment number 36.

    That's what I like to see - a nice lively discussion!

    I have a few more points to make:

    1: Copyright is law - we may not like all of it, but it's the law. If we don't like it, we should campaign to get it changed.

    2: Cat Stevens probably didn't get a massive record company advance (it was the 60's after all) and he may well have signed away his rights to the songs in his original record company contract. However, whether he did or didn't sign them away, or whether he did or didn't get a massive advance, whoever owns the copyright now has a right to receive any licensing payments earned through broadcasting or sales.

    3: A licence to use a copyrighted piece of music can be purchased from agencies who regulate their usage. The rates vary depending on the usage - mechanical, digital or public broadcasting etc.

    I don't disagree that sometimes the owners of copyright use a hammer to crack a nut, however, their excuse normally is that whilst it may be an 'inconsequential usage' (such as a video on YouTube), it could lead to much larger misuse. So where is the line to be drawn? The law says the line is right down at the bottom: broadcast once and a licence is due.

    As for record companies: After having spent many years ripping off many people with their 'cross collateralisation' contracts (which effectively mean they give you a nice advance but if your record sales over the next 3 or 5 albums aren't enough to pay back the advance with interest then you have to personally pay it back), I believe what we see now are the last death throes of a rapidly expiring industry. As someone once said in Congress: "The music industry is being ripped off by pirates, and the pirates are the record companies".

    Many artists now 'self-release' and make more money than they ever did with a record company. They deserve to have their work protected, as do any other copyright holders.

  • Comment number 37.

    It may sound daft, but don't publish videos of a well-known birthday song on YouTube...

    It is claimed that Warner/Chappell (the copyright holders) charge up to US$10,000 for the song to appear in a film.

    US Copyright doesn't expire until 2030, However, in jurisdictions where copyright lasts for life of the author plus 50 years, the lyrics and music are out of copyright. In jurisdictions where copyright lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years, the lyrics will come out of copyright at the end of 2008 and the music will come out of copyright at the end of 2016.
    (Above paragraph lifted from Wikipedia)

    YouTube is hosted in the US, therefore presumably videos posted on it come under US jurisdiction...

    There is one way to get hold of public domain recordings -
    However, as the score has to be public domain in order for a public domain recording to be made, don't expect any compositions to be more recent than the early 1900s...

  • Comment number 38. are correct that "birthday" ditty is very much till in Copyright so I guess we should all be locked up everytime we sing it! lol. As for how much they charge for it's usage, well, that's here nor there but whatever it is, they do have the right by law, a law passed not so much implemented with a view to making a "profit" but "protecting" the "rights" of the composers. Somehow, we all seem to be getting bombarded and side tracked about loss of revenue etc through tactless greed. :-)

  • Comment number 39.

    MusicMan80 - while I agree with almost everything you've said in this discussion, I have a real problem with this -

    > After having spent many years ripping off
    > many people with their 'cross
    > collateralisation' contracts (which effectively
    > mean they give you a nice advance but if
    > your record sales over the next 3 or 5
    > albums aren't enough to pay back the
    > advance with interest then you have to
    > personally pay it back)

    The concept of an advance is that you're getting royalties you will earn before you've actually earned them. It's common across all forms of publishing. If you don't earn those royalties, why should you keep the advance payment on them?

  • Comment number 40.

    It sounds as though a pretty reasonable agreement is being reached, with the millions of videos posted on YouTube, and from my experience, most of them have some-one else’s music on them.

    Advertising seems to be one of the most effective ways of making money on the web these days (ie Facebook and Google) so I’m glad to an extent that this is the route Universal Music has gone down, rather than trying to invoice individuals for copyright infringement with a claim for thousands (ie Corbis and Getty).

    Personally I'd always been concerned about adding any sort of content to my videos, without getting written authorisation from the copyright holder beforehand, and I have wandered how long it would take for the ‘industry’ to crack down harder.

    More recently though, I've been discovering a host of new local artists keen to put together simple musical accompaniments , and so have been able to commissioning some basic but effective tracks to accompany some short commercial videos, for less than a £100 a time (and at least this way.. all the money goes to the artist). They of course also get credited on the video, and they’re happy for the extra exposure!

    And at least, even if YouTube are posting adverts around your video.. you still have the option of posting adverts within your video, just please put any adverts at the end! :)

  • Comment number 41.

    (35) I know how you feel. The idea of my employer paying me a royalty 25 years later for some bit of ingenuity is quite ridiculous. I was paid to do the work at the time.

    I invented the strimmer c 1966 but never thought of patenting it. Someone else had the same idea later. But patents expire...

    Copyright should certainly not extend beyond the 100th birthday of the composer or performer(s) where no profit is made by copying.

  • Comment number 42.

    Vyle Hernia..."Copyright should certainly not extend beyond the 100th birthday of the composer or performer(s) where no profit is made by copying" we seem to be getting into a different way of thinking here with this. Thinking number one is, it is my song, so regardless of profit, if you use it in any way, you owe me money (which is the current thinking). Thinking number two is after my 100th Birthday, you can use it providing you gain no profit. I do not think the business is going to go for the latter of the two afterall why should they when they have everything working for them with the first option and they don't need to change (or think outside the box). Also they stand to lose a lot of income from implementing the second option which they don't need to anyway. Good idea though but I cannot see it happening. :-)

  • Comment number 43.

    Has anyone actually been put off BUYING a particular music album or track because they heard it broadcast on youtube? Like, oh yes, I like Cold Play but because there's a video on youtube with a low quality cold play track on it I'm just going to listen to that and not bother bother buying the album?

    Surely, the opposite is true in that people hear the music and are then encouraged to buy it for their own personal use. If it weren't so no radio station would be allowed to play music considering they pay relatively little for the broadcast rights compared to what the record company makes on music sales.

    Considering youtube is the probably the most popular sharing medium among young people, the record companies' objections strikes me as short sighted and self defeating.

    I once had one of my videos pulled by youtube because it was cut with "O Fortuna" from Carl Orf's Carmina Burana. Or the theme from the Omen movie, if you like. Apparantly the sheet music or the hymn is copyright.

    Ironically, I'd bought this track from Napster after I heard it on another youtube video! I even had comments about it from youngsters asking where the music was from. So what a missed opportunity for the owners of the copyright to introduce a whole new generation of music consumers to classical music.

  • Comment number 44.

    43. At 8:18pm on 02 Oct 2008, Parsim wrote:
    Has anyone actually been put off BUYING a particular music album or track because they heard it broadcast on youtube?....... Actually I nearly was and if it was not for the fact that I knew I had heard the particular track before somewhere, yes, I would have been put off if I was looking for the track by that artist.
    I personally think some of the videos uploaded on you tube are fan manufactured and the sound and picture quality is disgusting. These do no good for the artist, composers and authors of the work in question, particularly in a competitive business As an artist of any calibre, I would not like to see my music displayed in such a manner but then, this whole debate has been about about restricting people from putting originals on youtube. :-)

  • Comment number 45.

    I heard about this organisation, The Featured Artist Coalition on the radio the other day. Here is a brief snippet from their web site when you click on the our campaign tab.

    our campaign

    A Manifesto for Fair Play

    Why change is needed

    Featured Artists, those credited on recordings and who are the primary named performers, are responsible for the majority of income in the music industry. Their interests need to be properly represented.

    Now if you were to click on the contact us tab, you will see that the snail mail address is listed as 26 Berners Street in London . This is the address for The Performing Right Society, an organisation that has existed before many of us reading and entering into this debate were born!.

    I say, is it not about time that "we" the "users" of all these people's works, the "we" that at the end of it all, provide these artists with a generous way of living, should "we" and our views not be represented in any discussions taking place?. Afterall, if it is not the product buyer/ fans, who else will provide a platform for these people to display and sell their wares?.
    I guess not, our views do not count in the matter. We will just be "told", you cannot, because that's the law!.

  • Comment number 46.

    'gswarbrick': I agree with you on your statement of the concept of advances and yes, of course, by definition an advance is an upfront payment of some of the royalties the record company expects you to earn. However, you are not in control of the royalties that you will earn in the future:-

    If the first (or second) album doesn't do as well as the record company expected, they will more than likely pull most (if not all) of the advertising off the next album. The chances of then recouping the cost of the making of the album(s), the videos, press junkets, photo shoots etc are therefore drastically diminished. Unfortunately, the artist has no control of this and so can very easily end up owing the record company thousands with the likely prospect they will get shoved off the label anyway.

    By the way, at this juncture, the record company themselves have already made millions off the artist and couldn't really care less because they will have already moved on to the 'next best thing'.

    The idea of record companies norturing artists has long since stopped and it's now just about what will sell today. Name any of the big 60's and 70's artists - none of them would have made lasting careers in todays music world because they wouldn't have been given time to build their fan base. In those days, record companies invested in the artists; something that they just aren't interested in anymore.


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