Zoë Keating Ponders YouTube Service

I have to direct readers’ attention to this blog post by composer and cellist Zoë Keating.  It is the clearest articulation I have yet read about the rock-and-hard-place terms demanded of artists who are considering participation in YouTube’s paid streaming service Music Key.  Keating outlines some of the non-negotiable terms she doesn’t like, for instance that her entire catalog becomes fair game anywhere on YouTube and that she must release new work on Music Key simultaneous with any other release. And if Keating or any other artist does not wish to participate in Music Key, no problem, Google will simply throw your work to the wolves.

What does that mean?

Presently, Keating and other artists participate in YouTube’s Content ID program. The way it works is when someone uploads a video with Keating’s music on it, robots identify the track and send her a notice giving her options, including an option to monetize the video.  Many artists, Keating included, choose either to let the video remain without ads, or choose to monetize it with ads; and they typically only seek removal of offensive or unlicensed commercial uses.  But for all the noise people like to make about “new business models,” the Content ID program cannot generally be called an opportunity for artists, so much as it is a band-aid applied long after the bleeding of music’s value had begun.  It’s YouTube saying, “Well, people are going to use your music online and we’re going to monetize that, and there’s not much you can do about it, so here’s a slice of the pie.”  But nobody should think for a minute that Content ID is a revenue stream that most artists consider a portion of sustainable income. Still, it does provide artists a view of where their music is being used on the service, and this certainly has value.

But along comes Music Key with terms artists don’t like — last year there were several reports about the meager revenue shares in the offer — but an artist who declines to participate in Music Key will automatically lose his/her Content ID account.  As Zoë Keating describes, this puts her in the unfortunate position of potentially removing almost 10,000 videos and upsetting thousands of fans, or gritting her teeth and accepting YouTube’s exploitative terms for Music Key. But, the implication here is actually worse…

If an artist were to decline the Music Key deal, and next month there were 40,000 videos using her music, she could neither participate in the revenue nor very effectively remove those videos due to the slow and cumbersome DMCA notice-and-takedown process. Plus, Google’s bots are no longer identifying her music for her because she’s had that account revoked.  And if she did avail herself of DMCA for removal of any videos, YouTube will show users its frowny face icon, and the EFF will catalog the removal with the Chilling Effects database, making the artist look like she’s being a greedy, mean, censor.  See, it’s not so much a new model as it is a very old model coming back into vogue.

But Zoë Keating makes a very important point in her article about copyright itself.  If you pay attention to the facts she lays out — and she’s much friendlier about it than others, including me — you will notice that the central conflict she has with the YouTube predicament is the limiting of her choices as an artist.  This is something people continue to overlook:  that in most cases, what the artist wants is to retain his or her right to decide how works are used — by whom, for compensation or not, the timing and manner of presentation and distribution, etc.  People talk about copyright as though its last remaining use is for big media corporations to scrape every nickel out of a property it bought forty years ago. And they like to make generalizations like, “the labels have screwed artists for years.” But no label was ever able to say, “Hey, take this deal, or I’ll just give your music away and sell ads to the crowds I draw.” Here’s Keating on the comparison between the old boss and the new boss:

“But I want to decide what to do when. That is a major reason why I decided in 2005 to self-publish rather than chase after a record deal. I am independent because I didn’t want a bunch of men in suits deciding how I should release my music. For 10 years I have managed to bushwhack a circuitous path around them but now I’ve got to find a away around the men in hoodies and crocs . . .”

Others have said it before, and Keating is saying it again. The new boss wears a new uniform, but he’s just another boss. Only this time he has a worse deal in one pocket and a rock in the other.  Or as Keating puts it, having been an early evangelist of the Internet’s cultural potential, “the revolution has been corporatized.”

© 2015, David Newhoff. All rights reserved.

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158 comments

  • This is just one more case showing clearly that the safe harbor provision of the DMCA is in compatible with the copyright clause in the constitution that says creators are entitled to “exclusive rights” over what they produce. For any market to function, there are two things that must exist. One is property rights, and the other is the concept of contract. Property rights mean the creator must have exclusive rights over what they produce. For a contract to exist, both parties must come to an agreement. The way You Tube works is essentially to say; “We will give you something for your work that is so low you would not in your right mind agree to it. If you choose not to take our offer, we will take it and give you nothing, and hide behind a poorly written law that lets us get away with that millions of times each day.” So a creators property rights and right to contract are violated on a massive scale. It is nonsense to suggest there can be a functioning business model where property rights and the right to contract are non existent. Considering that Google now contributes more money than any other entity to politicians and pacs as part of their right to “free speech” hope for justice is bleak.

    • nikkokkola–
      “This is just one more case showing clearly that the safe harbor provision of the DMCA is in compatible with the copyright clause in the constitution that says creators are entitled to ‘exclusive rights’ over what they produce.”

      Not at all.

      First, there is no clause in the Constitution which says that creators are entitled to exclusive rights. The copyright clause only says that Congress has the power to promote the progress of science, by granting, for a limited time, an exclusive right to authors, in their writings.

      The exercise of this power by Congress is optional. Authors aren’t entitled to copyrights at all, and if Congress does deign to grant rights, while they do initially have to vest in authors, the authors aren’t entitled to a more expansive grant of copyright than Congress gives them.

      So Congress can choose to grant less than the greatest possible extent of copyright. It can attach strings. It can carve out exceptions. It can ignore treaty obligations.

      Congress has decided that section 512 can reduce the scope of copyright protection, and no one but another Congress can change that. Feel free to bring a court case seeking to overturn the safe harbor on the grounds that it is unconstitutional. It will assuredly fail.

      Secondly, the safe harbor is intended to protect third parties from liability due to the actions of another. It’s not at all implemented as well as it might be (for example, the DMCA ought to include a penalty for sending incorrect notices due to negligence) but making sure that infringers can’t cause harm to either copyright holders or third parties is entirely in keeping with the aims of copyright law. Similar limits on third party liability can be seen in the similar (though unrelated) field of tort law (e.g. proximate causation).

      “For any market to function, there are two things that must exist. One is property rights, and the other is the concept of contract.”

      That’s not true. A market for services could exist easily in the absence of property rights. And any sort of market could exist in the absence of contract law, which is not about agreements, but about disagreements. That is, contracts only become relevant when parties are at odds; so long as everyone is happy, contracts don’t matter, much to the consternation of lawyers such as myself who write a lot of contracts and are pessimistic about how long and how well people can stay happy.

      “Property rights mean the creator must have exclusive rights over what they produce.”

      They often don’t. Even now, copyright doesn’t cover everything an author creates. In fact, constitutionally, it can’t. This obviously isn’t true for real property. And it’s not quite true for personal property either.

      “For a contract to exist, both parties must come to an agreement. The way You Tube works is essentially to say; ‘We will give you something for your work that is so low you would not in your right mind agree to it. If you choose not to take our offer, we will take it and give you nothing, and hide behind a poorly written law that lets us get away with that millions of times each day.'”

      Of course, that is not what they’re saying. They’re saying that if the offer is rejected, they’ll comply with the law as much as they’re required to, but no more. Authors may like it when YouTube goes above and beyond by offering tools like ContentID, but YouTube is not legally obligated to do that. If it’s okay for authors to demand that YouTube do more than it has to, wouldn’t it be equally okay for YouTube to demand that authors just grant it licenses for free?

      YouTube may have a good general idea of what’s going to happen in the absence of an agreement, but they’re no more to blame for it than an airline is for weather delays at an airport with perpetually bad weather.

      “So a creators property rights and right to contract are violated on a massive scale.”

      The right to contract is a right to form contracts, not a right to compel contracts. Authors’ right of contract remains inviolate; their choice to agree or not is respected. They can propose other terms or not, and if they do, YouTube also can accept or reject them.

      As for their property rights, not only is copyright not a property right, precisely, but if anyone is infringing on copyrights here, it’s not YouTube, it’s third parties that merely use YouTube.

      “It is nonsense to suggest there can be a functioning business model where property rights and the right to contract are non existent.”

      There may not be a functional business model anyway.

      “Considering that Google now contributes more money than any other entity to politicians and pacs as part of their right to ‘free speech’ hope for justice is bleak.”

      Justice is not the same thing as always getting everything you want, all the time. And note that there are plenty of groups that have serious political muscle who are in favor of strong copyright and who are opposed to Google.

      • The Congressional Subcommittee is already looking at revising Section 512. It will happen unless Google and others find a way to derail it.

        We’re proposing a ‘stay down’ provision that gives the creators and copyright holders the power to use a more effective law, to fight back.

        We’re not talking about forming a committee ala SOPA and taking away the censorship / Free Speech card the EFF and others played last time around.

        Stop the insanity of ‘Safe Harbor’ that protects the criminals and punishes the creators.

      • …,”empowers the United States Congress To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.” So what you are saying is that although the founding fathers said the congress COULD act on this and write laws to provide creators rights, they really don’t have to. Well then I do wonder why they suggested this in the first place? And why has law acted to protect creators well until the disastrous DMCA was written with the Safe Harbor?

        As an Economic major I can tell you that there is no market without contract. And that applies to services. Even services have some form of contract. If I hire someone to paint my fence and I find only half of it painted, I have grounds to take legal recourse. Because they violated some form of contract.

        Yes, there can be a market for services without property rights. But a song or a book is not a service. It is an item of intellectual property. The rights assigned to a creator of intellectual property are man made rights, but property law is always about man made rights. If you buy a piece of land your rights of use of that land are man made. And you place value on that land based on the rights and limits you are entitled. Certainly now many in the tech sector are saying that we have been wrong these last several hundred years by treating intellectual property as property. But despite what the techies want, we have not formally dismissed the concept of rights assigned to intellectual property. Believe me, if I tried starting a business selling a duplicated version of a patented drug without paying for the rights I would be in big trouble.

        No justice is not getting everything you want. Let me tell you what justice is. If you spend time and money creating a song, a film, or a book that has value to other people, justice is allowing you to set terms of how you want it distributed and collecting revenue from it’s distribution. That is plain common sense and basic ethics. Let me also tell you what justice is not. If I take something of value that someone else created without their permission, and without providing compensation, that is not justice. And this what You Tube does. When they allow users to upload infringing content, make money off of that – when they can easily prevent it, that is NOT justice.

        Would a court case challenging section 512C fail? Possibly. But not for the reasons you might suggest. Any rational person would have to agree that section 512C is unconstitutional. However, a court that decides that spending unlimited amounts of money to buy legislation is the right of “free speech” is made up of anything but rational people.

      • “Justice is not the same thing as always getting everything you want, all the time.”

        Funny, because Google seems to get everything it wants, all the time.

      • FarePlay–
        “We’re proposing a ‘stay down’ provision that gives the creators and copyright holders the power to use a more effective law, to fight back.”

        Unfortunately, there’s no real way for that to work without shifting the burden of identifying infringements from copyright holders to third parties, which is ineffective (the third parties cannot be very good at doing it), inefficient (the third parties are not as well-positioned or incentivized to do it), and egregiously unfair (because copyright holders are trying to externalize their costs on unrelated persons). Such a measure should be and must be opposed.

        Sorry if copyright holders are too lazy and/or cheap to act to protect themselves, but that is no excuse for abusing the law to force someone else to do it for them. If the complaint is that infringement is occurring on previously unimagined scales, beyond the ability of copyright holders to cope, well, that suggests that we’ve defined too many things as infringing, or that our entire approach to copyright is wrong. Not that someone else must be forced into service for the benefit of copyright holders.

        ***

        Nikkokkola–
        “So what you are saying is that although the founding fathers said the congress COULD act on this and write laws to provide creators rights, they really don’t have to.”

        Basically.

        “Well then I do wonder why they suggested this in the first place?”

        The Constitution, and the powers of the federal government it created, all basically were created because the states could not effectively govern in the absence of a superior government. We tried it, under our first national government, formed under the Articles of Confederation, and it was a mess.

        “As an Economic major I can tell you that there is no market without contract.”

        As a lawyer, I can tell you that there can be, so long as no one gets into disagreements. Contracts are a response to broken promises; unless and until they’re broken, whether deliberately or by honest misunderstanding, etc., they’re moot. God knows that businesspeople often try to get by without actual contracts. I’ve seen the sorts of messes that result. So while I’d certainly hope that a market would have contracts, it is not technically required.

        “But a song or a book is not a service. It is an item of intellectual property.”

        No, there’s no such thing as ‘intellectual property.’ If there were, then in this case it would refer to the copyright on the song or the book, but not the song or the book themselves, which are not property of any kind. Likewise, a songwriter or an author do not create the property — the government does, by creating and granting a copyright. Yours is a common mistake made by lay people.

        “property law is always about man made rights”

        Exactly. And the rights are always granted by someone other than the claimant. A self-created property right is meaningless, as if I claimed I owned the Brooklyn Bridge. The rights only mean something when there is widespread agreement by others.

        “Certainly now many in the tech sector are saying that we have been wrong these last several hundred years by treating intellectual property as property.”

        We’ve never done that. Even the recent trend of propoganda along those lines (e.g. the use of the incorrect and misleading term ‘intellectual property’) is fairly recent.

        “If you spend time and money creating a song, a film, or a book that has value to other people, justice is allowing you to set terms of how you want it distributed and collecting revenue from it’s distribution.”

        Absolutely wrong. First, it is unconstitutional in the US to grant copyrights merely on the basis of the author’s investment of time and money; that is the Sweat of the Brow theory of copyright, and it has been totally discredited at the highest level. Copyright is granted for other reasons, based in the value of works to the public. Second, note that the law as it stands is both the only source of any authority of an author to set such terms, and is itself rife with limits to the authority granted to the author. Just the other year, we had a very interesting case, Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley, in which the Supreme Court determined that the copyright holder of a book, who had set terms of how it was to be distributed, had no authority to do so, and that an unauthorized third party could distribute certain copies of the book at will, without passing any revenue from doing so to the copyright holder in the process.

        “If I take something of value that someone else created without their permission, and without providing compensation, that is not justice.”

        Well, the ultimate goal of copyright is to facilitate exactly that.

        “Any rational person would have to agree that section 512C is unconstitutional.”

        Anyone who is familiar with the rational basis test would have to agree that it is perfectly constitutional, and that in fact the courts will bend over backwards in order to find it constitutional, in keeping with long-standing precedents. If they’ve read Eldred, they’d feel even more confident in this conclusion.

  • I agree with Nikkokkola in that issue here is what lawyers call a “contract of adhesion,” which is a contract authored by one party that applies to another party who has no negotiating power. Your cell-phone contract is one of those too, as is the iTunes Terms of Service, the PhotoShop subscription license, and so on. It’s a shitty outcome of the increasingly corporatized market environment in which we find ourselves. What Google should do is to provide the ContentID service free of charge–notifying registered users of detected infringements and stopping there. That would be fair, if not very equitable. That would still put the onus of pursuing copyright claims against infringers on the artist, but that is how the law was written – it’s the artist’s responsibility to pursue those claims. It has been that way since the first copyright law was written. While I think Google is being awful in this situation, I still don’t agree that it’s YouTube/Google’s responsibility to enforce the copyrights of others (by paying out or taking down) unless they directly infringe on the material. I am sure you disagree, Dave, but my beef with the DMCA is that it shifts responsibility for copyright infringement onto parties that are not directly to blame–like suing a corkboard manufacturer for someone tacking up an illegal scan of an artwork on it. I know that’s an oversimplification of the issue, but the parallel is valid.

    Setting aside the Music Key issue, I wish to take issue with implied criticism of the Chilling Effects database. The fact that the database has problems, and is probably being abused by people looking for pirated material, the stated purpose of the database remains legitimate. Given that Google’s own research suggest that over half of the DMCA “takedown” notices are from business rivals of the purported violator, and that at least one third are not legitimate infringements at all, but simply bullying, a database to track how the DMCA is being abused is a necessary tool in achieving workable, fair, copyright rules, by demonstrating the cudgel-like qualities of that set of laws, where it is abused. Interestingly, it seems that Google is intentionally including the database in it’s notification and “transparency” model in an attempt to delegitimize it. It certainly looks like they are exploiting the CE database, either to intimidate artists (as you suggest), or to render it contradictory to its stated intent. Either way, Google is certainly behaving badly. I argue that this is a case of “don’t blame the tool, blame the user.”

    • The comparison of a cell phone or Photoshop agreement is way off. With either of those, a person has a right to decline on the whole matter. An artist has no such right with You Tube. Yes they can decline the official offer that You Tube presents. But if they do then if You Tube allows their users to upload the artists work essentially the result is the same as if the artist uploaded it themselves. So they have no real right to decline. Every single stream is a profit gain to You Tube while at the same time the artist looses their right and ability to offer their work for any kind of market price. If people can hear an artists’ song at no charge from You Tube, the artist can’t expect anyone to pay for it anywhere else, can they ? If someone says to you “I will give you 20 cents for something that costs you $5 to make , otherwise I will steal it and there is nothing you can do to stop it.” – that is hardly a contract!

      And I also disagree with your statement that this is the way copyright has always been. What is significantly different now is that with the safe harbor provision in the DMCA, an artist cannot claim any compensation for all user views of their work that occurred before a take down. By the time a take down is acted on, there could have been a million or more views. On top of that, even if a take down does occur other users can upload the same work and the process starts over once again. So the take down process is futile. Also in the past copyright law not only required the violator to compensate the artist for lost revenue, they had to pay a penalty as a deterrent. So the DMCA is really unprecedented in its’ lack or protection and compensation to artists.

      And one more point. In the Viacom – You Tube suit, internal emails showed that You Tube was aware that 90 % of material uploaded was infringing. Emails also showed they encouraged it! Why? Cause it is profitable and they could get a way with it!! I mean how can you beat a “business model” where others provide all the labor and investment for work you have no permission to use while you take all the profit?! Yes Google should be held responsible for a couple reasons. 1) They profit from every single stream of work no matter who uploads it 2.) They have the means using Content ID to easily prevent a single infringing stream.

      • Let also recall that the Viacom case was essentially the same as this. Google said that they would only apply Content ID to Viacom content if Viacom licensed the material to Google at favourable rates. Viacom objected to the shakedown, I think it was described as equivalent to a Mafia Protection Racket.

      • Nikkokkola–

        “The comparison of a cell phone or Photoshop agreement is way off. With either of those, a person has a right to decline on the whole matter. An artist has no such right with You Tube. Yes they can decline the official offer that You Tube presents. But if they do then if You Tube allows their users to upload the artists work essentially the result is the same as if the artist uploaded it themselves. So they have no real right to decline. … If someone says to you “I will give you 20 cents for something that costs you $5 to make , otherwise I will steal it and there is nothing you can do to stop it.” – that is hardly a contract!”

        Except that YouTube isn’t the one that is ‘stealing’ it. By your logic, home security alarm and fencing companies should be required to offer their goods and services for free. Every car ought to get an alarm and a LoJack and a Club at no cost to the owner. After all, if you don’t buy their stuff, someone might steal your car or rob your house.

        YouTube has no obligation to police third parties at their own expense in the manner you appear to want. And why should they?

        “And I also disagree with your statement that this is the way copyright has always been. What is significantly different now is that with the safe harbor provision in the DMCA, an artist cannot claim any compensation for all user views of their work that occurred before a take down.”

        Yes they can. Section 512 doesn’t protect infringers from liability at all. If a work was infringed on prior to a take down request taking effect, the copyright holder can simply sue the individual who put the material online. If copyright holders fail to exercise this right, they have no one to blame but themselves.

        “Also in the past copyright law not only required the violator to compensate the artist for lost revenue, they had to pay a penalty as a deterrent.”

        No, I don’t believe that punitive damages have ever been a feature of copyright law. Certainly they haven’t been in the 1976 Act, and I’m fairly confident that they weren’t under the 1909 Act. Could you please cite the statute you’re using to support your claim? The way that infringement damages normally work, however, is that the plaintiff chooses between either statutory damages as compensation, or for their actual damages plus the profits of the infringer which are attributable to the infringement.

    • Mikekatell —

      DMCA does not actually shift responsibility to the site owner at all. To the contrary, the copyright owner still has to do the research and send the notices, and the site owner still has the option to not comply, is protected by safe harbors, and if they’re an offshore pirate site, they will not comply because the rights holder has no recourse. I believe YouTube or Google’s own TOS currently has language about rejecting a DMCA notice if they consider the use to be “fair,” which is astonishing since Google has no authority to adjudicate a fair use claim. As a “neutral” party, it has a responsibility to fulfill the request and let the parties sort out their dispute through a legal process if they choose. Google cannot claim to be agnostic host and simultaneously judge and jury, but they seem to want to.

      If DMCA abuse is as bad as EFF and Google claim, the examples they highlight and attempt to make federal cases about, would be stronger. Lenz is weak case predicated on an error and a temporary takedown, and the EFF points to “abuses” that are absurd, like a temporary takedown in Saudi Arabia where free speech does not exist.

      So, if there are millions of abusive DMCA notices, I should think they could come up with a Top Ten list that reveals real abuse. Meanwhile, the DMCA is functionally useless for a rights holder with a legitimate claim, which brings us to Chilling Effects. All takedowns are registered with this database and all removed links or content is replaced with a notice that the request has been so listed. There is no way to argue that the name alone is not propagandist and does not communicate a message that the rights holder is a censor of sorts, even if her claim is both legal and justified.

      • To add something here – it is important to note that the EFF is not a “grass roots” freedom fighter as they suggest. Their largest donor is Google, and other donors are similar businesses that thrive in an environment of destruction of creators rights. In a free country the rights of minorities – in this case creators – are protected against mob oppression. Also, a part of freedom is one’s right to privacy. Which is why there are strict laws against reading someone’s mail or entering one’s premises without cause. Yet tech companies like Google follow you on the web and even read your emails. So if EFF is really a freedom fighter – why are they not worried about the protection of minority rights? And for the many people who do not believe creators’ rights deserve protection – why are they not discussing the massive privacy violations the tech companies commit on a massive scale?

      • David–

        “DMCA does not actually shift responsibility to the site owner at all. To the contrary, the copyright owner still has to do the research and send the notices”

        Which is appropriate, of course, since the copyright holder is in a better position than the site to 1) recognize works; 2) know whether works are being used lawfully or not (e.g. whether a user is using a work pursuant to a license); and 3) care about infringements. Courts routinely allocate burdens according to which party can best carry them. The same sort of logic goes into the requirement of prove that accused persons are guilty of crimes, rather than the other way around.

        “if they’re an offshore pirate site, they will not comply because the rights holder has no recourse”

        Sites not in the US are not subject to US copyright law unless they take action to expose themselves to US jurisdiction. The DMCA offers them no protection and Title 17 subjects them to no liability. Why should they care any more than you care about the laws of countries you don’t do business in? If the site is offshore, either show that they’re somehow within our jurisdiction or sue them in the country they’re actually operating in.

        “I believe YouTube or Google’s own TOS currently has language about rejecting a DMCA notice if they consider the use to be “fair,” which is astonishing since Google has no authority to adjudicate a fair use claim.”

        This suggests that you have a deeply flawed misunderstanding of the DMCA. No site is obligated to adhere to it; rather, it provides a special safe harbor to sites which choose to. In fact, special action must be taken by a site for to apply. Normally it does not. Google is apparently deciding, as they’re free to do, that they will not honor certain requests. This exposes them to potential liability if the copyright holder chooses to sue them. Google is gambling that in such cases, the holder will lose an infringement suit on the merits, meaning that Google will not suffer anything more than legal costs, which as the prevailing party, it could seek to recover from the plaintiff.

        The idea that someone must be a court with power to adjudicate an infringement suit in order to hold an opinion about whether a use is a fair use is simply appalling and amazing.

        “As a ‘neutral’ party, it has a responsibility to fulfill the request”

        The law says no such thing. You may wish to review it.

        “There is no way to argue that the name alone is not propagandist and does not communicate a message that the rights holder is a censor of sorts, even if her claim is both legal and justified.”

        Even if that’s true, there is such a thing as free speech in this country, and that protects the right to call copyright holders censors.

      • “Even if that’s true, there is such a thing as free speech in this country, and that protects the right to call copyright holders censors.”

        You spend a lot of time setting me straight on so many things and then conclude with that? Yes, free speech gives people the right to be total fucking liars and me the right to call them on it.

        As for DMCA, I stated that sites do not have to honor requests, which is one reason it does not put the burden on sites. With regard to the fair use thing, I get that’s Google’s strategy, and they may even be right in some cases, but they’re still not entitled to define a use as “fair” as though there isn’t a legal framework for such cases. They’re fundamentally being a bully. That’s another thing I get to say thanks to free speech.

      • “Even if that’s true, there is such a thing as free speech in this country, and that protects the right to call copyright holders censors.”

        Watch out how you casually throw around that ‘free speech’ canard. It has meaning to some us and is not just a license for abuse. Just whose free speech are you talking about?

        Also, if you’re going to claim the authority card, at least have the courage to use your name.

      • The other thing. Take Down > Stay Down starts the clock running on legal action as opposed to this BS about not knowing whether it is happening at your website.

        False claims? Thats a joke. In one of the Congressional Hearings last year Google and WordPress were able to name four instances of ‘take down’ abuse. 4, Four, 4 vs 345 million take down notices.

        Do you know what the definition of insanity is? Doing the same thing over and over 345 million times and expecting a different result.

      • David–

        “Yes, free speech gives people the right to be total fucking liars and me the right to call them on it.”

        Yes, absolutely. Also, the right to call them liars even if it turns out that they’re not.

        “[T]hey’re still not entitled to define a use as ‘fair’ as though there isn’t a legal framework for such cases.”

        Well I don’t think that they’re claiming that their decision would be binding on a court or anything. They’re just saying that when they decide that a use is lawful, albeit unauthorized, they may go all-in and refuse to honor take down requests. The ultimate decision is left to the courts, obviously, but Google is taking a position and by exposing themselves to potential liability, they’re putting their money where their mouth is.

        Frankly I find a decision to act responsibly in protecting lawful uses in the face of legal risk to be refreshing and noble. Whether they’re right or wrong about particular examples (and they are leaning toward right, because they’re not stupid) it’s good to see an insistence on insisting that claims of infringement be proved. I don’t much respect knuckling under at the slightest provocation.

        “They’re fundamentally being a bully. That’s another thing I get to say thanks to free speech.”

        Go for it.

      • Calling the database “Chilling Effects” and automatically placing all takedowns under that banner is misleading. As a communications professional, I can’t claim it isn’t effective, but let’s not pretend it isn’t what it is. I used strong language in response to your invoking free speech in this context, which is surprisingly irrelevant for you.

        And in a similar vein, Google’s invoking the term fair use is a bit of PR serving its broader anti-IP agenda. Behind that may be attorneys who feel they can make a strong case for fair use, though this raises other questions that make Google look typically bipolar. On the one hand, they “can’t police the Internet and track every video uploaded to YouTube,” but despite the nuance and scope of actual litigation in any fair use claim, they have confidence to say that perhaps thousands or tens of thousands of requests can be denied on the grounds that they would be judged fair. All the attorneys I know avoid having opinions without knowing specifics of a prospective case, so exactly what is Google’s capacity for policing content?

        In another hypocrisy, is YouTube a neutral pipeline that is not responsible for everything placed on the site or isn’t it? Because if the site is neutral and well insulated by safe harbors, what business would it have getting involved in a case between a copyright holder and an infringing uploader at all? If Party A uploads Party B’s music and Party B considers the use an infringement, then neutral YouTube should honor the takedown, leaving Party A to dispute the claim and argue fair use if he wants to. Of course Google, Inc. it isn’t neutral, is it? Because Party A might be some kid who has naively violated copyright with an unlicensed synch and Party B simply wants the video removed, but Google sees the video getting lots of traffic against which it sells advertising.

      • David–
        “I used strong language in response to your invoking free speech in this context, which is surprisingly irrelevant for you.”

        It was an allusion to someone’s comment that a takedown in Saudi Arabia was not abusive because that is a place “where free speech does not exist.”

        “Calling the database “Chilling Effects” and automatically placing all takedowns under that banner is misleading.”

        That depends on how strongly you feel about free speech, I suppose. There are absolutists who feel that any restriction, whether based in censorship for moral reasons, copyright, libel, state secrets, or what have you, is always an infringement on free speech. It’s an attractive position. And at the very least, it is a good starting point: any restriction on speech, no matter how well-intentioned, allegedly harmless, etc. should have to prove its value. We cannot afford to be credulous about anything of that ilk.

        “All the attorneys I know avoid having opinions without knowing specifics of a prospective case”

        It’s a skill.

        “On the one hand, they “can’t police the Internet and track every video uploaded to YouTube,” but despite the nuance and scope of actual litigation in any fair use claim, they have confidence to say that perhaps thousands or tens of thousands of requests can be denied on the grounds that they would be judged fair.”

        I would guess that they audit some of them. Maybe at random. Maybe by some sort of relevant criteria (e.g. certain copyright holders routinely make spurious claims, certain users are very likely to be fair). I don’t know what their procedure is. But I can make a good bet that the they don’t have the resources to have a qualified human being make these decisions for every notice, and so only a small subset can even be looked at to see if the takedown notice is worth ignoring. I don’t think Google’s legal department would allow automated analysis to make final decisions that could expose them to so much liability.

        As a result, I expect that Google challenging takedowns is 1) a way for them to assuage their own feelings of guilt at allowing what they may feel to be a large number of innocent people to be trampled on (cf. the problem of people wrongfully convicted of crimes), and 2) a PR tool, playing on the fact that the sorts of people likely to use their service in one way or another are probably unhappy about the takedown system, whether used properly or not.

        “In another hypocrisy, is YouTube a neutral pipeline that is not responsible for everything placed on the site or isn’t it?”

        Does it matter? Neutrality a requirement for the safe harbor. It’s not in the statute, and I don’t think that they’ve claimed otherwise. In fact, I don’t think I’ve heard anyone raise this point until now. I think you’ve got a straw man on your hands there.

  • It’s probably worth mentioning that YouTube are denying Keating’s claims- http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/permalink/2015/01/23/breaking-youtube-says-zoe-keatings-claims-patently-false I don’t believe them for a second, but there it is.

    It would be interesting to know what the terms are for the major labels and Merlin, mind. Do we have those yet?

    • From the link:
      After discovering that Keating was taking detailed notes of her conversation with a YouTube representative, YouTube appears to be re-grouping

      More like: Retreating back to their Sicilian mountain lair.

  • Great post, David…

    At the risk of sounding redundant, I’ll say it once more. Keep your music off of YouTube. If you license your music for broadcast, the TV station has an entire department that clears rights. They make sure that you are who you represent yourself as (the owner of the copyright), that you have the authority to make a deal for the use of that piece of music, and that you can legally sign the paperwork.

    Why do they have this department? Because in the past, they have gotten sued and lost when they have used content they do not own or licensed for use.

    The real question is, “Why doesn’t YouTube have a similar department?”

    And the answer is that…it’s the Internet, and not really considered broadcast, where there are a century’s worth of laws governing how one can do business when it comes to using content you do not own and must license. But the two roads of Internet and Broadcast are quickly converging. I would suggest that it’s time to denude YouTube of product, and demand a change in their business model. It;s the only way they’ll listen. As long as they can use your content and pay you a few cents, they will.

    But, just like “Selma” and “American Sniper” the public will have the final say. Both movies nominated for Best Picture, both directors NOT nominated…huge to do in the press, cries of “Racism!”…at the end of the day, the public got off their duffs to buy tickets to one movie and not the other. Imagine YouTube without quality musical content. How quickly will the public tune out? How quickly will something come along to replace it that will make a better deal with the content creators?

    With apologies to William Butler Yeats…

    “The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are filled with passionate intensity…”

    If you, as a rights holder, can demand that YouTube take down your content (and they must do this – it’s already been legislated)…the answer is obvious…starve them of content, and they will go away. There is the possibility that what will follow will be worse, but there is also the possibility that the new master will be better than the old.

    Zoe Keating has it exactly right…

    • Overviper–

      “The real question is, ‘Why doesn’t YouTube have a similar department?'”

      Because the Internet is treated as being more like a community Xerox machine — the owner of the equipment is not obligated to monitor its use. Instead, liability lies with the individual user.

      If this were not the case, this blog, and virtually all others would not exist. Telecommunications providers like AT&T or Verizon would not allow David to write articles that crossed their networks if they could be held liable for his infringements. They’re certainly not going to dedicate human beings to check everything, and wouldn’t always be right even if they did, and would still get sued.

      For a similar issue, I suggest looking at Stratton Oakmont v. Prodigy. Someone on a message board accused the trading firm of being rotten (this is the same rotten firm that was in The Wolf of Wall Street) and the board was sued for allowing it. Criticism of this holding from other courts and Congress led to a massive backlash in favor of ISPs.

      Perhaps you don’t like the Internet much, but imposing greater liability on providers would be perhaps the best way to destroy it, and given that it is more valuable to our economy as a whole than the movie industry, record industry, etc. I would not hold my breath. Give people a choice between the Internet and publishers, and they’ll choose the net. In fact, that appears to be what’s been happening.

      “If you, as a rights holder, can demand that YouTube take down your content (and they must do this – it’s already been legislated)”

      False. Feel free to cite the precise language in the statute you think indicates the contrary, though. The only sure way to accomplish this if they don’t want to comply is to go to court, win a lawsuit, and get a permanent injunction. A mere demand is not enough without their agreement.

      • anon says. “Give people a choice between the Internet and publishers, and they’ll choose the net. In fact, that appears to be what’s been happening.”

        Lol, you can’t make a point without throwing around all kinds of strawmen, can you?

        Fact is, people seem to be choosing content. All day everyday people are consuming valuable content, just that a very large portion happen to not be paying for that content, all while giant corporations are profiting off of this abuse. Of course an ethical company wouldn’t need to be sued to see this sort of behavior is… well… “evil”… but we aren’t dealing with ethically inclined corporations are we..

      • Anonymous — “Give people a choice between the Internet and publishers, and they’ll choose the net. In fact, that appears to be what’s been happening.”

        Where did you get that information? There are certainly millions of people “publishing” on the Web, but that’s just obvious math. Out of every thousand creators, only so many are going to break through no matter what the business paradigm is. But I don’t believe you for one second that everyone with a manuscript out there would not like a published novel and perhaps an advance on a second one. There is NOBODY with a spec screenplay who does not want to sell it to a production company with a goal to making it into a movie. And for all the musicians out there putting stuff on Bandcamp and hustling their existence on social media, they’d all like that attention to lead to a deal with a label, except for the fact that labels are dwindling. Given the choice between a path toward a career creating works and just making them as a hobby, people will choose career.

      • Audionomics–

        “Fact is, people seem to be choosing content. All day everyday people are consuming valuable content, just that a very large portion happen to not be paying for that content”

        Yes, that’s what I meant by siding with the net. But by all means claim that modern Asculum as a victory for publishers.

      • I’m quitesurprised at AudioNomics and Mr. Newhoff’s objection to Anonymous’ phrase: “Give people a choice between the Internet and publishers, and they’ll choose the net. In fact, that appears to be what’s been happening.”

        It seems he is obviously correct to me. Perhaps there is a misunderstanding of terms here? The “people” are the general public, the content consumers, not creators. Consumers of whatever product, it doesn’t matter if it’s oil or radishes or music, always want the most for the least. Anonymous is right that the Internet is giving it to them by bypassing the rules that businesses used to have to follow.

        I think this is awful and destructive in the long term. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a completely correct summation of reality.

      • If the club owner “KNOWS” there is active heroine use going on at his establishment, he’s an accomplice.

      • Will, I think you meant to respond to my below post on youtube and I agree with you completely. My post was a little unclear. YouTube is indeed like the owner of an establishment actively encouraging and profiting from illegal activity taking place at her establishment. She should be treated accordingly.

      • David–
        “Where did you get that information? There are certainly millions of people ‘publishing’ on the Web, but that’s just obvious math.”

        You’ve misunderstood me, as sf46 has noted; the more that conflict between the publishing industries and, for lack of a better term, the Internet industry, comes to a head, the more people will tend to side with the latter. People like good service, good availability, and low prices, and the publishing industries are not known for any of those things.

        It may indeed be a bad choice in the long term, but it is the way things are going.

        Now what’s interesting is that I think that YouTube — which is widely loved — has made a mistake here. It’s not that their practices are bad for the music industry; the general public is at best indifferent to the music industry, and more commonly hates them for interfering with what are seen to be useful services like Napster. It’s that YouTube is bullying a specific, individually sympathetic, musician.

        If they’re smart, they’ll change their terms just a bit to appease Ms. Keating and similarly situated persons, and get nearly all of what they want while not jeopardizing their public image.

        But they certainly don’t care about what your or I or other people who are immersed in the issue think. There are too few people with serious opinions on copyright beyond ‘I want stuff’ to matter in this way.

  • The question becomes one we’ve been asking for years. Do musicians and songwriters have the courage to fight this battle or will they cave, as many of them have in the past, and opt out of their futures?

    We’ve seen some authors stand up to Amazon and win a costly battle, where Amazon played hardball effectively reducing the earnings of the authors signed to Hachette Book Group by 50 to 90% for nearly nine months. Even as indie authors led by people like Joe Konrath rained down criticism, accusing the Hachette authors of being greedy and praising Amazon for allowing them to sell their e-books.

    I come from a generation where people fought for the individual, we now have a generation that supports big business. They don’t even realize they are rooting for the BIG bad guys.

    • I’ll post the links again.

      What Google (the internet) looks like without content:
      https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=site:professor-moriarty.com&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&source=lnms&tbm=isch

      What it looks like with content:
      http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=site%3Aprofessor-moriarty.com

      Make no mistake if content flees from their site they have no recourse. By threatening as they have with Zoe Keating they run the risk of destroying their DMCA immunity. Effectively they are saying we know your content is being uploaded illegally to our site, we have the red flags to show that it is, but we chose to voluntarily ‘blind’ ourselves to that face. Jedgements havce already been handed down that the DMCA does not mean that willful blindness is an excuse.

    • In talking to other musicians I have found that many have simply bought the arguments the technology companies have been selling – like everyone else. That is that musicians are better off because of the “exposure” and they can make their money in live shows. And that the nature of the internet is such that it cannot be any other way. Well those are all lies. What is really missing is a highly organized effort to educate and mobilize musicians. Personally it saddens me that musicians have not stepped up to support the protection of the profession and culture they are (or were) a part of it. I give authors credit for doing it!

  • At what point would I lose the ability to dictate terms of my service in your eyes David? How big of a company do I need to be before you take the position that my users get to tell me how to run my business?

    If the vast majority of content creators using youTube agreed with Keating, then the “bullying” she is claiming would be non-existent. But the reality is that her problem is not Google. It is instead the multitudes of artists and creators who either think the new deals are just fine, or that they are good enough. Doesn’t matter if they are or not. Doesn’t matter if they are fair, doesn’t matter one bit. Why? Because most of the people who are affected, have agreed to the new terms. That is what ties the hands of the people who don’t like it, not Google. What you are suggesting is that she should get to dictate terms to a service she chose to use. That what she wants should trump what they want. So I ask you again, how large would a company need to be before their ability to dictate the terms of their service is placed in the hands of their users?

    No one is forced to use their service. “buh-but people are using my work on youTube…” yup, and you are more than welcome to track them down and take legal action. The idea that youTube should be responsible for policing content is silly. Their terms are clear. As a service to people who partner with them(thus keeping their content in the legit system) they have mechanisms that go after infringing content. Not because they have to, but as part of their service. What you seem to want is access to that service on whatever terms YOU deem to be fair. I am not saying their terms are just, or fair, not at all. But it is their prerogative to set whatever terms they like. Just as it is Keatings prerogative to not use the service and police youTube for people using her work illegally. Which, due to something known as fair use and all of the grey areas that go with it may prove difficult.

    @nikkokkola “In talking to other musicians I have found that many have simply bought the arguments the technology companies have been selling – like everyone else. That is that musicians are better off because of the “exposure” and they can make their money in live shows. And that the nature of the internet is such that it cannot be any other way. Well those are all lies. What is really missing is a highly organized effort to educate and mobilize musicians.”

    To do what? What is it you want to mobilize musicians to do? Stop digital distribution? Create a recorded format that cannot be duplicated? How exactly do you propose they “fight back”? It is presumptuous to assume that people who do not agree with your thought process, musicians that don’t agree are somehow less informed than you are in regards to what is and is not beneficial to them. A lot, and I mean a LOT of independent artists value exposure a great deal. They do not see it as a direct revenue stream, but they also aren’t creating art with the sole purpose of turning a profit either. How do you convince them, that they should give up that exposure so that people who want to use their work as a revenue stream should have an easier time? See, you can’t stop content creation. You can’t force people to monetize their work. And that is the only way for you to get what you want. EVERYONE needs to be on board. Then the artists could dictate any terms they like. Good luck with that…

    • AV, this is sort of your standard answer to all things in this context: “Nobody forces you.” You’re right, of course, though in the big picture, as these companies become increasingly monopolistic, the opt-out argument becomes increasingly absurd. Google cannot not force Ms. Keating to participate in Music Key. They’ll simply cut off the modicum of control she had with the free-for-all that is YouTube. The fact that you have invoked the “labels have screwed artists” cliche in your comments but are defending YT here is remarkable. Moreover, I don’t think you can speak for the “vast majority” of content creators. Most of the majors labels have done deals with Music Key, but several independents have held out or refused. If nothing else, this ought to be a clue that the whole “control your destiny through the democratization of the Internet” line is hogwash. That was Keating’s central point. She avoided big labels so nobody could dictate terms to her, and now she needs to navigate around a new corporate power trying to dictate terms. BUT no label ever had this free and massive and virtually unrestricted pipeline full of consumers “sharing” your work without your permission. See how that’s different? To be honest, I don’t actually care if you don’t see it. As you say, nobody forces you to see the obvious.

      • 95% of the people who youTube approached signed their new deal, including the major labels. That is the VAST MAJORITY…

        “They’ll simply cut off the modicum of control she had with the free-for-all that is YouTube.”

        Answer my question. How large does my company need to be before a USER dictates the terms of MY service?

        “To be honest, I don’t actually care if you don’t see it. As you say, nobody forces you to see the obvious.”

        Of course you don’t. Because you don’t like facing the fact that youTube is a FREE service, that she USED to promote her work. She got all the benefit she wanted from them and now that they want to change the terms of THEIR service. They are the bad guy because she doesn’t like it. It really is as simple as, “if you are afraid of your work being shared, then how about YOU don’t share it in the first place”.

        Some small time artist making a stink about something that will have no ultimate effect on youTube or the consumer. She is completely free to start her own site, render her own videos and control every penny that comes through. She is perfectly capable of scouring youTube for her work, can’t imagine there are THAT many infringement. Hell even top artists only have so many with enough views to matter.

        youTube is not “unrestricted”. That is a lie told by people pushing an agenda. It is actually quite restrictive, a service they have decided is worth a different deal.

        It’s ironic. They literally created the thing you claim should be the norm, contentID. It does most of the work for the artist, I have seen it first hand having to prove that my no-name band video belonged to me. And I am literally no one, got a content match before I could even post.

        So they created the thing you claim should be the norm, and now they are bad because they want people to sign with them to use it?

        Seriously, are you just complaining to complain? THEY created the service. They are content creators, whether you like it or not. They are setting the terms of use.

        Google is not USING created works for profit. You might think they are, but that is not what they sell. That is not what youTube is selling. They are not promoting youTube as a place to see Katy Perry or Kanye. They are promoting it as a place to find EVERYTHING. To post anything. Oh, and now you can monetize your work.

        I seriously don’t get you at all.

      • David, well put. Commenters like this guy, you refer to him as, AV, are pragmatic and lack any kind of real overview of the challenges artists face from digital distribution.

        For example, the major record labels never forced anyone to sign, but that’s just a small part of the dynamic. They weren’t the most powerful direct to consumer delivery service, either. The most popular distribution service, owned by the dominate search engine.

        If you can’t understand that, you are either an idiot or so embedded in your point of view that your comments have little value. Besides they’re a distraction and add nothing to an important conversation about the survivabilty of the independent musician and songwriter.

        Which may not matter to you anyway.

      • “if you are afraid of your work being shared, then how about YOU don’t share it in the first place”.

        I love how ‘share’ has become a slipshod extension for “post on a website” which seems in the minds of the moronic to be equivalent to allowing a friend to play with a toy, pass around a box or chocolates, or eat some of your birthday cake. In effect they have turned it into a charter fir gatecrashers,

        Google have a site which allows people to post videos. That is fair enough I post a video I’ve made or a picture to accompany a soundtrack I’ve created and we have a quid pro quo, I post the video Google runs ads against it, I may get a fraction of a penny of the ad revenue. Straight forward relationship between me and Google. However, my videos aren’t going to pull in 1000s of punters for Google ads. Even if there are 1000s like me, the audience is small. To make big bucks you need to get videos made by people that already have a large audience, such as TV shows, or popular musicians. But these people want a cut of the action. You can’t simply host their content when they didn’t upload it themselves and run ads against it. They bitch and moan and they have some financial clout to take legal action.

        So you devise a scheme whereby no matter who uploads the material the creator gets a cut of any revenue that is being made. You also have to have some sort of compensation scheme in place because at some point legislators are going to wake up and say WTF all this content is employing 1,000,000s of our votes and paying $100,000,000s in taxes, and some sleezeballs are undermining the industry whilst skimming off the top. The less blatant the skimming the longer the legislators are going to remain asleep. That is what ContentID is all about, it isn’t some benevolence fund, it is a soporific.

      • David–
        “Google cannot not force Ms. Keating to participate in Music Key. They’ll simply cut off the modicum of control she had with the free-for-all that is YouTube. … She avoided big labels so nobody could dictate terms to her, and now she needs to navigate around a new corporate power trying to dictate terms.”

        I think it’s worth taking a look at Cory Doctorow’s post on the subject: http://boingboing.net/2015/01/26/google-strong-arms-indie-music.html

      • Cory has always been an arsehole, bitched like mad when some corporate twonks used his flickr photos without credit or compensation. But that is something else.

        The thing is that Zoe Keating doesn’t need YT. No one (well maybe a handful) is discovering Zoe Keating because of YT. In the 9 years or so its been running I don’t think I’ve ever ‘discovered’ new music because of YT. There have been three occasions when someone has pointed out an artist with a YT video, but if YT was not their they could equally have pointed it out by a link to the artists website, or the label’s website. In the last year I’ve bought albums by the following musicians that I’d not heard before Grace Petrie, Kim Kashkashian, Ketil Bjornstadt, Ambrose Field, David Darling, David Torn, Stephan Micus, Toumani Diabate, Maria de Vito, Amina Alaoui, Nils Petter Molvær, Benedicte Maurseth, Joe Driscoll & Sekou Kouyate, Shook Twins. Only the last two of which was via YT, and even then it was because the person posting had seen the acts at some venue. In the other cases I was tracing through artists that appeared on other CDs via allmusic, or I was directly random sampling from the ECM catalog.

        The only people that actually need Zoe and others to be on YT are Google.

    • “No one is forced to use their service. “buh-but people are using my work on youTube…” yup, and you are more than welcome to track them down and take legal action. The idea that youTube should be responsible for policing content is silly.”

      I take issue with this. On one hand I think one should give reasonable immunity to the owner of a public-ish space (YouTube, in this case) for any illegal activities that go on in that space. If a heroin* deal goes down the bathroom of a club, I don’t think the owner should go to jail. But there is a difference between an allowance for the fact that bad elements will show up to your space and a tacit acceptance by management to look the other way whenever confronted by illegal activity. YouTube, IMHO, has stepped wayyyy beyond the tacit acceptance level. In my smallish (20 employee) white collar workplace alone I see what appear to be multiple YouTube facilitated copyright violations every single day – songs, TV clips, whatever. Some of them certainly are up there legally, most are not. This does not appear to me to be an organization working in good faith on a best efforts basis. It’s an organization monetizing a product it doesn’t own and has no reasonable claim to. Now, maybe you think no one should have claim to IP, yadda,yadda yadda. Fine. That’s a separate argument. But until we get rid of the general current conception of IP that’s been in place for many decades, it seems quite clear that YouTube is a bad actor. i think they should get called on it.

      • I think one should give reasonable immunity to the owner of a public-ish space (YouTube, in this case) for any illegal activities that go on in that space. If a heroin* deal goes down the bathroom of a club, I don’t think the owner should go to jail.

        I’m inclined to agree with the general premise, but not its application to the case at hand.

        If the club owner advertises his venue as the place to score smack and takes a cut of the profits, he should be put away quicker than you can say “Dr Feelgood”.

        This is a matter that really deserves examination in greater detail, so I really should take it to my own place, but the big fib about YouTube and a lot of contemporary services that claim safe harbour under the DMCA is that they aren’t publishers. This claim falls apart under any measure of scrutiny.

        In short, YouTube (Google) not only retains complete discretion of what gets published on its properties and how, but they also monetize it in the first instance and only thereafter pay a cut to any third parties. There’s absolutely no good reason not to hold them to the same standards as other publishers, including – but not limited to – demanding due dilligence in clearing the rights to anything they publish online, before it goes online.

        SCOTUS has already shown that they aren’t necessarily prepared to fall for techno-woo smokescreens in Aero – deciding, essentially, that if a service looks like CATV/cable it needs to secure licensing like CATV/cable. There’s no real reason not to extend the reasoning to hold that if YouTube looks like TV (disseminating audiovisual content and displaying ads around it) it should be subject to the same licensing requirements as regular TV.

        There is no fundamental reason why YouTube needs to operate the way it does now – other than that it’s good business for Google. Unlike M & M Enterprises*, however, what’s good for Google is not necessarily good for your country.

        * Not to be confused with M & M Limited.

      • Faza-
        “If the club owner advertises his venue as the place to score smack and takes a cut of the profits, he should be put away quicker than you can say ‘Dr Feelgood’.”

        Agreed one hundred percent.

  • AV: I can’t speak for either David or Zoe, but I think the frustration is that Zoe is someone who did everything right, who bought into the idea that if you did good work, put things online and followed the rules, that you will succeed. YouTube is shitting all over that.

    • How exactly? Are you suggesting she has gotten nothing out of the relationship to this point?

      Consider this article:

      http://stratechery.com/2015/niches-problem-subscription-services/

      “Keating’s biggest source of income last year was Apple’s iTunes Store, where sales of 32,170 single tracks and 3,862 albums netted her just over $38,195. Meanwhile, 185 tracks and 2,899 albums sold through her profile on direct-to-fan site Bandcamp earned a further $25,575, while a mixture of physical and MP3 sales on Amazon earned her a further $11,571.

      403,035 Spotify streams earned Keating $1,764, while more than 1.9m views of videos on YouTube – mostly those uploaded by other people featuring her music – earned her $1,248. US personal radio service Pandora generated $3,258 of royalties – but from an undisclosed number of streams.”

      Now, what those numbers do not tell us is where those iTunes/Bandcamp/Amazon came from. No she did not make a lot of money from streaming or videos, but did those things contribute to actual sales? It is easy to dismiss them and say, nope, people found her through iTunes and Bandcamp. And I am sure that is definitely part of the story. But 400k streams is a lot of exposure. Same thing with youTube/Pandora. Is she suggesting that it has little or no impact on her actual sales?

      To me I think the summation of the article says it best:

      “To be sure, downloads are dying broadly, but that’s my entire point: the mistake YouTube and Spotify and nearly everyone else makes when considering media of all types is to put everyone in the same boat. In fact, it’s the middle that is doomed but things are looking up for the truly differentiated. There are more ways to reach more fans who really care and who will relish the opportunity to pay.2

      So there’s your answer Zoë: tell YouTube to take a hike (but hey, keep it for marketing).”

      Clearly for HER, not signing the deal with youTube for performance rights makes sense, the numbers indicate that monetization via youTube is pretty much pointless. But continued exposure, something she could easily do without posting a single note of music will remain 100% available via the free service, and the kicker?

      Say she just uses her channel as a Vlog, no music, just a means of connecting with the fans, she could at some point STILL monetize those videos and never expose her work to the evils of youTube or Google.

      • Actually, the point is that she can’t monetize it without agreeing to Music Key. Basically, they are saying “sign with our service, or lose contentID.” How is that not extortion?

        And you claim that “even major artists don’t have to worry that much.” Just type in “full album” and see how many you find hiding behind a “I don’t own the rights” message. And the sad thing is that these people probably are “fans.”

        Keating has also written about asking spotify for data on where she is most streamed so she can arrange her tour around it – the kind of forward thinking actions are “supposed” to do if they are to succeed these days. Spotify said no.

        The point is that Keating, while a niche artist, has built a following exactly in the way you claim is possible, and she is still struggling.

        I’m tired of this idea that the Internet has somehow made things *more* of a meritocracy. In 1984 there were 31 number one hits by 29 different artists, and the top 40 was dominated by artists from very diverse backgrounds. Springsteen and cyndi lauper were working class. Prince’s father was a jazz musician. The cars were a working band that made good. In the last few years the top of the charts have been dominated by A handful of artists, mostly under 30 and many from privileged backgrounds. Even indie Rock has become a purview of the comfortably wealthy.

        This is getting tiresome, because I have no idea why you keep posting here other than to argue and belittle artists.

      • How is nearly 80k in sales struggling?

      • “This is getting tiresome, because I have no idea why you keep posting here other than to argue and belittle artists.”

        Nonsense. I am the only one posting here thinking of real solutions for artists, you are the one making baseless claims about both the internet and “artists”.

        What you mention about diversity in the top artists has nothing to do with Google, or the internet and everything to do with the major labels mass producing whatever they think will sell the most units.

      • 80K gross is pretty lean actually. Even as a solo artist they’ll be at least 1 if not 2 others on the payrole. Take away the cost of sales and you’re below average wage.

      • MAKING MUSIC… Don’t act like recording music is digging ditches, or you have the same overhead as the guy running a convenience store. Especially for a solo artist.

        You guys are being ridiculous. No folks, being an artist should not be a guaranteed means of supporting yourself any more than writing poetry or basket weaving. You are acting like she deserves to make a living at being an artist, which is complete bullshit.

      • “MAKING MUSIC… Don’t act like recording music is digging ditches, or you have the same overhead as the guy running a convenience store. Especially for a solo artist.”

        The resentment and contempt for creators just rolls off your fingers so easily. I would love to know what you do for living, given your contempt for anyone who doesn’t do hard physical labor; like the guys who work at Google.

        “You guys are being ridiculous. No folks, being an artist should not be a guaranteed means of supporting yourself any more than writing poetry or basket weaving. You are acting like she deserves to make a living at being an artist, which is complete bullshit.”

        Now your throwing up this old cliche, did you use the $17.95 for one song bit yet? Of course we are referring to and defending those artists whose work merits pay. Not the joe blow hobbyist musicians who echoes your point.

        “I just like hanging with my buds and swilling monster drink at $3 bucks a can. Nobody should expect to get paid for making music.” I don’t.

      • “The resentment and contempt for creators just rolls off your fingers so easily. I would love to know what you do for living, given your contempt for anyone who doesn’t do hard physical labor; like the guys who work at Google.”

        I have no contempt at all. That again, is your assessment. I have stated many times that I work in the tech industry, I have no issue stating it again. As such, and having worked for many years, in a multitude of jobs, also having self produced multiple albums, played shows on a sem-regular basis, written or co-wrote about 30 tunes, built multiple server based application, done part time remodeling and just about any other freaking thing you can think of, I have a pretty good grasp on what goes in to doing MANY, MANY things. Including recording, mixing editing, marketing, layout, you name it. I do it on the side. I do not have the time to beat the streets and promote. I stand 100% behind the music we make and should I ever be so inclined I would make a much more focused run at growing our fanbase. In short, I know EXACTLY what it takes to do this stuff for a living.

        So there is no resentment, but recording is not akin to programming. Online promotion is not the same a putting up drywall. Playing shows can be a pain in the ass, and I mainly do that stuff for fun, so I get the expense of fuel, food, lodging etc… But just like anything else, you grow and you move up slowly. Which is EXACTLY what she has done. But this ain’t about that. She is ignoring the impact of youTubes service and trying to equate it directly to a sales number. That is the old school way of thinking. And it just isn’t going to fly. These are promotional tools, just like giving away discs to radio stations, except in this case you still get some royalty. But you people seem to think a youTube play is worth something more than it is worth. That a stream of a song is equal to a single sale. It isn’t. And that is driven by the consumer, not the big companies.

        15 years ago you could get a job doing wed development with no experience. Full on the job training. Well above average salary, benefits, etc. Today? Experience is king. Fancy degrees don’t mean shit. It is all about what you know and what you bring to the table. I went from building fully custom applications to supprting third party apps in less than a year. Don’t talk to me about how technology changes things. Get used to it. No matter what industry you are in.

        “Now your throwing up this old cliche, did you use the $17.95 for one song bit yet? Of course we are referring to and defending those artists whose work merits pay. Not the joe blow hobbyist musicians who echoes your point.”

        To heck with you and that “hobbyist” bullcrap. There are “hobbyists” who make Keatings numbers look like chump change, and ALL they do is make youTube video with their OWN content. Welcome to the 21st century.

        She makes a living. That is all anyone can reasonably expect, no matter what job you do. When your industry changes, adapt or get out. JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. That’s it.

      • AV. “How is nearly 80k in sales struggling?”

        You have obviously never ran a business, or have been self-employed…

        ” I am the only one posting here thinking of real solutions for artists”

        LoL, like ‘don’t post anything on the internet’ ? or everything is “exposure”?

        Wow, thanks, but your ‘advice’ would lead to even more artists literally starving.
        I know you may think you have answers, but really… com’on now..

      • You are being ridiculous. Did you honestly just make the claim, in the world that we live in, that an independent artist making WELL above the national average from MUSIC sales is equivalent to other small businesses? Understand that those numbers are from sales/royalties alone.

        What that means is that once her music was created/marketed, all she had to do was WHATEVER the hell she wanted to do. Tour, play small shows, sell t-shirts.

        LOL, you guys are seriously crazy if you think an unknown(to most of the world) artist, with that kind of sales volume is struggling. You are a bunch of elitists.

        You honestly believe artists are special… LOL. If it is a job, then it is a job, and you take your wins and your losses like everyone else LOL. If you are popular enough to make a living just from sales you aren’t freaking struggling.

        I swear you must be crazy.

      • “Did you honestly just make the claim, in the world that we live in, that an independent artist making WELL above the national average from MUSIC sales is equivalent to other small businesses? ” V.I.

        First Ms Keating isn’t average and has probably has well over 10 years into her business, But it begs the bigger question. Why the intense contempt for artists making money?

        ““Basically, they are saying “sign with our service, or lose contentID.” How is that not extortion?” A.A.

        ContentID will certainly come in handy for ‘take down > stay down.’ On a more puzzling note, not puzzling really, as the worlds most prominent and visited search engine in the universe, why isn’t Google using this to identify, de-list, block websites with abnormally high levels of infringing content?

        And why are you defending a massively powerful corporation against an individual, ‘small businesses’ who just want a fair playing field to earn a living. Ms Keating not asking for help, she’s calling out unfair practices.

        What happened to the belief that the Internet was going to be the game changer that was going to deliver equal access to everyone.

      • “First Ms Keating isn’t average and has probably has well over 10 years into her business, But it begs the bigger question. Why the intense contempt for artists making money?”

        One, I know lots of people with decades in “the business” Keating is not special in that regard. Two, who said anything about having an issue with artists making money. That is your assessment. My assessment is that an “artist” is no more important or special than a plumber, or a secretary. So the implication being made by the people here that she is entitled to something more than what she gets is silly.

        “On a more puzzling note, not puzzling really, as the worlds most prominent and visited search engine in the universe, why isn’t Google using this to identify, de-list, block websites with abnormally high levels of infringing content?”

        How many times do I have to explain this to you people. GOOGLE DOES NOT CONTROL THE INTERNET. They have an index, the best way for that index to work is with as little manipulation as possible. They allow users to create perferences, they do have predicitve results, etc. But ultimately it is a big directory. But they, themselves do not check every site for content infingement. They don’t even do that on youTube. An automatic service sends a message to the creator, and the creator decides what to do. They possibly COULD do this online, though it would be like pulling needles from a haystack, but that would make no sense for them from a business standpoint UNLESS they charged people who registered with the service a hefty fee. Which brings up another thing you guys seem to not get. ContentID only works on things that have actually been claimed. Google has no way of knowing who owns what, THAT is why they don’t go hunting for shit themselves…

        “And why are you defending a massively powerful corporation against an individual, ‘small businesses’ who just want a fair playing field to earn a living. Ms Keating not asking for help, she’s calling out unfair practices.”

        No, she is kind of full of crap. She is not struggling by any definition of the term and working in a career of her choosing, a lot more than most people in the world can say. Google is a service company. As I asked earlier, at what size of company do I loose my ability to dictate the terms of my creation? Because that is exactly what you are saying google should do.

        “What happened to the belief that the Internet was going to be the game changer that was going to deliver equal access to everyone.”

        It exists, but you seem to think equal means that artists are more valuable than tech companies. You sir, are mistaken…

      • “It exists, but you seem to think equal means that artists are more valuable than tech companies. You sir, are mistaken…”

      • Monkey–
        “Basically, they are saying “sign with our service, or lose contentID.” How is that not extortion?”

        Because she’s not entitled to use ContentID, I’d imagine. YouTube isn’t obligated to provide it, they just happen to do so. If Google Maps became a paid subscription service, it would greatly inconvenience a lot of people, and might be a bad business decision, but no one’s going to get anywhere suing Google over it. They can decide what services to offer, and for how much, and for what terms.

        “And the sad thing is that these people probably are ‘fans.'”

        No need for quotes. People who post music online are absolutely fans. Non-fans simply wouldn’t bother. They may not be the sorts of fans one wants (with fans like these, who needs enemies), but they are fans.

      • “If Google Maps became a paid subscription service, it would greatly inconvenience a lot of people, and might be a bad business decision, but no one’s going to get anywhere suing Google over it. ”

        I would say a better example in the case would be if Google made being listed on the map or showing up in the predictive results a paid service for businesses.

        As you stated, Google can/should run their service any way they choose. The idea that a minority of the user base should dictate terms is preposterous.

      • AV-
        you seem to think she “made” 80k… I was simply pointing out you don’t have a clue. After expense of running a self-employed business, your NET is NOWHERE near the gross.
        As a invester once said, sales are vanity while net is sanity…

        As for the rest of your apeshit nonsense, go ahead and argue with yourself.

      • Again, you have no valid response so you are dismissive. Gotcha. And what I said was that her sales were not the only factor. She made money from her music. Part of making money is spending money. If she does not see the value in Google’s service, as a business owner, she is more than capable of not using that service and limiting her works usage.

        You are no where near as savvy as you think you are when it comes to this discussion.

        And for those questioning why I post. This is the comment section of a small blog. What we say here has no bearing on what David writes above. If anything the discussion creates more exposure, no matter who agrees with who. This all started with the ASCAP emails sent to anyone who is a member. As much as I disagree and think some of you are loopy, I at the very least respect Davids passion to write about such things. My passion to think he is off base has no bearing on what he creates. So yeah, I’ll post if I want to.

      • AV, the reason my responses to you are short thrift, is simply because you bore me and aren’t worth my time. Thank you have a nice day.

      • The reason you responses are short, is primarily because you don’t know what you are talking about.

        I “bore” you? What bores me is the incessant whining of people who believe they are special with their lack of success seeming to prove otherwise.

        It is the arrogance(as evidenced by this type of asinine response) that is the biggest hurdle for artists to overcome.

        You all seem to be under the impression that effort should equal reward. That the rules of regular business should not apply to content creators. As stated, and as evidenced by the market at hand, YOU ARE MISTAKEN.

        You bitch and moan about big companies. You whine about how unfair the world is, how shitty things will be if you are forced out of “business”, how no one understands your plight.

        Bull.

        You want to talk about business? Fine. Art as business.

        How does one determine value? Effort/Cost that goes into production of said product.
        How does one determine price? Factor both effort/cost along with the price of comparable products. How does one determine scope? Based on the assigned value and a competative market price release the product to a wide an audience as the value/price model above will support.

        If your cost is higher than the price you are able to set, you should not be selling that product. If the demand is lower than what would be needed to justify the cost of production. You should not be selling that product. If theft has an impact such as it makes profitabilty near impossible in a selected market. Limit the scope of a products release to more tightly control access.

        You are not splitting atoms. Business has rules. There are MANY factors that affect success, but at the core, there are rules that make market viability pretty straightforward.

        youTube is not a sales platform. It isn’t. Streaming services are not a sales platform. But both have been utilized as such, or at least people have attempted to do so. That is not the answer.

        In both cases, limited exposure designed to drive consumers towards the artist is one of the simplest and least costly ways of having the system work for everyone. Rather than a scorched earth approach like Miley Cyrus or the share my shit with the world approach of independents. Both of those venues should be used as funnels towards the actual artists work. I bore you? You are an arrogant ass who has never said ONE contructive thing in regards to actually helping artists. I bore you?

        LOL, that’s cute.

      • “What bores me is the incessant whining of people who believe they are special with their lack of success seeming to prove otherwise.”

        Thanks for all these great quotes. You’re a piece of work, intent on obfuscating the real conversation. In some circles you might be referred to as a ‘troll”.

      • Have any of you actually suggested a technical solution? Have any of you done anything other than complain? Yeah, I am definitely trolling by, you know, trying to actually solve the problem…

      • AV, tell it to someone who cares what you have to say… I’m just informing you that person is not me…
        Have a nice day… do come out from under that bridge at some point, for all our sakes.

      • Again, good luck with that.

  • That’s 80k with no benefits, no health plan, and having to pay for your own recording and touring costs. Plus, her husband is not working due to illness and she has a new kid, which tends to put a damper on touring.

    “What you mention about diversity in the top artists has nothing to do with Google, or the internet and everything to do with the major labels mass producing whatever they think will sell the most units.”

    Ah, but as you’ve said repeatedly, we are at a time when more stuff is available – in fact your theory was that the fact that artists weren’t making it was because there was a glut of artists and music out there.

    The major labels had a much stronger hold in 1984 – they were the only game in town. And yet we had a shitload of memorable acts and albums. Now… We have Katy perry.

    • “That’s 80k with no benefits, no health plan, and having to pay for your own recording and touring costs. Plus, her husband is not working due to illness and she has a new kid, which tends to put a damper on touring.”

      Do you read what you write? I mean do you not see how ridiculous you sound? So what you are saying is that someone who has chosen a career and a family with kids has to work on making ends meet? Oh the humanity… LOL.

      “Ah, but as you’ve said repeatedly, we are at a time when more stuff is available – in fact your theory was that the fact that artists weren’t making it was because there was a glut of artists and music out there.”

      And the major labels do just that. So in addition to corporate suites deciding who the next Miley Cyrus is going to be, there are millions of talented independents competing for the same niche markets. C’mon folks, this is not all that complicated.

      • Someone who has been working steadily for a decade, has made work that people like, and has popularized an instrument that people don’t usually associate with pop music should, IMHO, maybe not have to struggle. And you know who makes a lot more than $80,000 a year? pretty much every Google employee.

        I’ve been holding back on saying this, but it’s becoming more and more clear to me that your “music” is little more than an expensive hobby. At one point maybe you had possibly thought of making a career at it, but you couldn’t cut it. So you lash out at everybody who tries to do it.

        That’s the only explanation here, because Keating has done almost everything you claim that artists need to do. She has avoided the Evil Major Labels. She tours. She reaches out to her fans. (One of the things that artists have used the internet for in a positive way – offering exclusives to fans – is directly threatened by this agreement) In other words, she is the very model of what an artist is “supposed” to do in web 2.0. She has “adapted,” and yet you can’t see that maybe, just maybe, Google hasn’t. to you, “Adapt” seems to be “shut up and take it.”

        “And the major labels do just that. So in addition to corporate suites deciding who the next Miley Cyrus is going to be, there are millions of talented independents competing for the same niche markets. C’mon folks, this is not all that complicated.”

        Ah, but the internet is supposed to be a democracy of sound, where indies can bypass the major labels and get their stuff directly to their audience! It’s a true meritocracy, where the best will succeed if they do it right!

        At the very least, some of those “talented independents” should have made it to the top of the charts sooner or later. (and except for the live market, bands don’t really “compete” like that. If you liked the Beatles, you bought The Stones, too. If you liked The Sex Pistols, you bought The Clash and The Ramones.)

        So somehow, a less diverse top 40 is a sign of *too much* competition, not less. Got it. Seriously, do you understand anything about economics?

      • “Someone who has been working steadily for a decade, has made work that people like, and has popularized an instrument that people don’t usually associate with pop music should, IMHO, maybe not have to struggle. And you know who makes a lot more than $80,000 a year? pretty much every Google employee.”

        If her work was even more popular than it is, then she wouldn’t “struggle” at all. She is doing better than a lot of people, doing something of her own choosing. My bad if I don’t feel sorry for her success, limited as it may or may not be.

        “I’ve been holding back on saying this, but it’s becoming more and more clear to me that your “music” is little more than an expensive hobby. At one point maybe you had possibly thought of making a career at it, but you couldn’t cut it. So you lash out at everybody who tries to do it.”

        That’s kind of funny. No Monkey, I did not ever consider doing it for a living, I make music because I like creating, not to pay my electric bill. And I think you would be quite surprised by OUR music as I am in a band and do not consider it something that belongs to me. heh, seriously this gave me a chuckle.

        “That’s the only explanation here, because Keating has done almost everything you claim that artists need to do. She has avoided the Evil Major Labels. She tours. She reaches out to her fans. (One of the things that artists have used the internet for in a positive way – offering exclusives to fans – is directly threatened by this agreement) In other words, she is the very model of what an artist is “supposed” to do in web 2.0. She has “adapted,” and yet you can’t see that maybe, just maybe, Google hasn’t. to you, “Adapt” seems to be “shut up and take it.”

        And she is able to make a living at it, with more money in sales last year than a lot of people make as a salary. I am not sure what else you expect, but it seems a tad unrealistic…

        “At the very least, some of those “talented independents” should have made it to the top of the charts sooner or later.”

        That is your metric for success? Charts? I guess Tool is a failure having no real mainstream audience yet somehow managing to remain viable for the past 25 years. Or the Jesus Lizard. Or any number of not quite “independent” artists. The music is out there as are the fans, what you consider success does not appear to be in line with actually making a living as a musician.

  • AV: I realize this may sound cruel, but I’m becoming more and more convinced that your music career is nothing more than an expensive hobby, and only because one day you realized you couldn’t cut it and had to take a “real” – sorry, “regular” – job. That’s the only way I can understand your hostility towards Keating.

    As Keating explains it, the majority of the uploads are people using her work as incidental music, something for which an actual commercial video would have to arrange a sync license.

    What she is doing – not issuing takedowns but instead accepting less and keeping the video up – is the type of thing you have repeatedly claimed she should be doing.she realizes the benefit of exclusives to her fans – another thing that artists are “supposed” to do with web 2.0 -and google wants to screw her on that. She has “adapted” in an honourable way. Google has not. Forget not being evil, google needs to grow up.

    And she is working hard for that $80,000. She is her own record label, her own agent, and she tours.

    (And she *should* have the right to not have her music run under stuff she doesn’t endorse. She should have the right to not be published if she wants)

    This isn’t really even about money; it’s about having control of her own work. Google is acting like one of those big labels you hate.

    As an aside, I’ve noticed that nearly every major Internet company has started to invest in content – yahoo, hulu, Netflix and amazon are all making original tv shows, and some of them are quite good. Hell, even bittorrent and pirate bay are getting into this. That is, every major Internet company but two – Facebook and google. Why is that?

    • I apologize for the (more or less) double post.I posted without loggin in and didn’t see it up so I thought it might have been deleted,

    • “And she is working hard for that $80,000. She is her own record label, her own agent, and she tours.”

      So are a lot of people. Regardless of industry. Here is a news flash, the world is not a fair place, just working hard does not mean you will be well successful. It sure as heck helps, but it is no guarantee.

      As with any business, she has to manage costs/expenses with her profitability. Yes, she probably could be making more money, but there could be any number of things that would have to change for that to occur. The claim that what essentially amounts to free advertising is the culprit seems ridiculously short sighted.

      • Here is another news flash its not about working hard. Its about people circumventing the proper rate for the job.

        Freetards are keen on talking about technology and how the motor car put buggy whip makers out of business because no one needed them any more. This is like putting buggy whip makers out of business in the mid 19th century, not because technology had made them dispensable but because no one was prepared to pay an economic price for them.

      • What is the proper rate for the job? How is it determined? Sales? Years of experience? Training? Consumer response?

        Even if you apply all of the things that make non creative products viable, you still end up with small artists struggling to survive, and big companies running the show. How that is a third party service providers fault, I do not know…

      • She is not turning up her nose at “free advertising.” She is asserting her right to refuse the use of her work in ways she doesn’t approve of.

      • Then don’t use youTube… No one is forcing her to do so. There are other video streaming sites. Oh, but you think they should somehow let people who are not part of their system use contentID and monetize, right?

        How exactly do you propose they do that?

        Say someone posts one of her songs. Something she has posted as well. ContentID would generally try to match the two and notify whomever was deemed the owner as to the options. That is a service. Now that service is going to be reserved for artists who join Music Key. Leaving the free for all area behind. The claim(true or not) being that by creating a paid service, they will be filtering out some of the noise. Focusing on legitimate works BY THE ARTIST.

        She doesn’t want to be behind the wall. Um, ok, don’t go behind the wall. Scan youTube yourself for stuff you don’t like in regards to your own work. They are just no longer going to do that for free.

        Is that NOT what this new service is about? Putting protected content behind a pay wall? Please if I am wrong about their music service, enlighten me. Because it seems pretty clear as to what their goal is and screwing the little guy does not seem to be part of their plan.

  • “As you stated, Google can/should run their service any way they choose. The idea that a minority of the user base should dictate terms is preposterous.As you stated, Google can/should run their service any way they choose. The idea that a minority of the user base should dictate terms is preposterous.”

    And how many of that “majority” is simply going on to get along? What Keating is doing is tough – she’s expressing a contrary opinion that I imagine others have but feel intimidated not to say. They don’t want to be seen as the next Lars.

    And you point out that the major labels signed the agreement… you realize that your whole argument has been that the major labels are evil and don’t look out for their artists, right? Capitol Record can afford to sign this for Katy Perry, because they know that it won’t affect them as much as it does small artist.

    • What does that have to do with Google? You are implying that it is their job to support the independents. Why? Why should they care one way or another? Because it is “fair”?

      The point is that every play is not a sale. Every download is not going to be legit. Every artist is not going to be able to make a living, for whatever reason(they suck, they are great but don’t know how to market, there are 10000 others who are just as good). The fact that she is as successful as she is, that’s awesome. Good on her. But you are implying there is a set amount of money she should be making at X level of success… In what business is that the case?

      • “What does that have to do with Google? You are implying that it is their job to support the independents. Why? Why should they care one way or another? Because it is “fair”?”

        Because they are getting rich off the content. Google’s ads are worthless if there’s no content.
        If they want people’s work, they should compensate for it.

        What’s happening now is that creators. are essentially subsidizing google with no compensation.

        And you seem to miss is that in the case of keating THIS IS NOT ABOUT LOST SALES.
        She has not mentioned piracy once. What it’s about is her desire to control how her work is used, a right that would be hers in any other medium.

        She wants the right to be able to sell her music to her fans before YouTube gets its hands on it., and be able to say “no” in the rare cases where someone wants to user her music in a way she doesn’t like.

      • “What’s happening now is that creators. are essentially subsidizing google with no compensation.”

        Um, no they aren’t. First google is making money from ads, and I can point you at a lot more popular channels than those run by independent artists, where both the creator and google are making money.

        “And you seem to miss is that in the case of keating THIS IS NOT ABOUT LOST SALES.
        She has not mentioned piracy once. What it’s about is her desire to control how her work is used, a right that would be hers in any other medium.
        She wants the right to be able to sell her music to her fans before YouTube gets its hands on it., and be able to say “no” in the rare cases where someone wants to user her music in a way she doesn’t like.”

        All of which is possible should she use their service, or go after infringement on her own. You seem to think they are stealing her work. They aren’t. What they are doing is charging for a service that they created, no one is forced to use it. She can still report infringement, she just has to go through a longer process. Hence the service they created to make that easier.

        Google has improved a platform for sharing videos. They have pretty upfront rules as to what is and is not allowed. They allow people to monetize original content. They have a mechanism to make sure(as much as is possible) that people own what they post. Nope, it is not perfect, but that is not akin to them “stealing” from the artists. Google is not, as a company, posting copyrighted material as part of their business model.

        Does Google have the right to charge for their service or not? Yes or no?

  • “And she is able to make a living at it, with more money in sales last year than a lot of people make as a salary. I am not sure what else you expect, but it seems a tad unrealistic…”

    Again, with all health care, touring and recording expense coming out of her pocket. SO my guess is her net is a lot less than that.

    “That’s kind of funny. No Monkey, I did not ever consider doing it for a living, I make music because I like creating, not to pay my electric bill. And I think you would be quite surprised by OUR music as I am in a band and do not consider it something that belongs to me. heh, seriously this gave me a chuckle.”

    So then frankliy I don”t see why you feel ready to give advice to those who do try to make a living out of it.

    And again, the subtle point about “because I like creatimg, not to pay my electric bill” is that somehow creating “for the love of it” is more pure and holy than doing it for a living.

    As well, part of this is about her ability to have a say in where her music goes and who gets to put it on their videos. She’s actually pretty democratic and lenient about that, but she should still have the say.

    Your two examples, Tool and Jesus Lizard, both formed in the 80s or 90s, at a time when they could benefit from label support (indie, if not majors). So where is the next one?

    The charts as a “metric for success” is mainly of interest because 30 years ago, when major labels had their tighttest control on the industry,the charts were actually more diverse. That’s not a value judgement: there were more hits by more artists. Now, songs remain on the charts for much longer and fewer artists hit the charts. Even indie artists are coming from privileged backgrounds (although apparently you’re not supposed to call Mumford and Sons “posh” or they get mad) And more people are giving it up because they just can’t make a go at it.

    Now tell me how the internet is supposed to be “better” for musicians and other artists?

  • “So then frankliy I don”t see why you feel ready to give advice to those who do try to make a living out of it.”

    Because Monkey, unlike you, David, Audionomics, I actually work in the “evil” tech world and I have a pretty good grasp on how that whole “interwebs” thing works. I am also well versed in music production. I CHOOSE to not make music a career. But like a lot of other people, I have in fact struggled to get by while working a job. Not sure what you think is so different with making music for a living and anything else.

    You have expenses, you have a productservice/skill. You need to sell that productservice/skill enough times and for enough money to pay those expenses. Again, this is not complicated.

    “And again, the subtle point about “because I like creatimg, not to pay my electric bill” is that somehow creating “for the love of it” is more pure and holy than doing it for a living.”

    Not at all. That is YOUR insecurity talking. When I started making music, I had bills to pay. The music I wanted to make was not something that could be shit out and instantly turn a profit for me. Seeing as I went to school for technical shit, I got a job doing technical shit to pay the bills. So even though I decided it was EASIER at the time to do technical shit as opposed to make music, I did not stop enjoying making music, so I continued and still do to this day. The end.

    I have been producing music for nearly as long as I have been working in the tech field. And I don’t take kindly to the “holier than thou” attitude of people who from what I can tell are barely successful at something I decided to due out of enjoyment rather than as a job.

    “As well, part of this is about her ability to have a say in where her music goes and who gets to put it on their videos. She’s actually pretty democratic and lenient about that, but she should still have the say.”

    She retains that ability. No one is forcing her to use their service. What they are essentially saying is that they aren’t going to pursue contentID matches with artists who aren’t in the club. That in no way stops her from pursuing infringement. It is not Google who is posting her stuff, anymore than it is Amazon making glass dildos or any number of products some people might find questionable. They are both middle men.

    “Your two examples, Tool and Jesus Lizard, both formed in the 80s or 90s, at a time when they could benefit from label support (indie, if not majors). So where is the next one?”

    Probably buried in a sea of other content on Spotify, youTube, or iTunes.

    You don’t think I have faith in the quality of MY music? Of course I do. But I also know that playing shitty VFW shows and spending more money in gas to get to a place that we make playing is not realistic. That even the local bands who play every week, with a pretty decent following, they still aren’t going anywhere, they may have more “likes” that I do, but are the people more engaged? In general, no. That is the challenge of the digital age. Not how what fraction of a penny is better as a royalty. She made her money from sales, she got her exposure from streams. That is what the numbers say. That is the reality of her business. Spend/sacrifice money to make money.

    “Now tell me how the internet is supposed to be “better” for musicians and other artists?”

    Because despite all of the noise. Despite all of the difficulty in being heard/seen. Creating and sharing your music, collaborating, experimenting is easier than ever before. I will repeat this, and I hope you take this to heart. FOCUS YOUR CONTENT.

    Work towards rotating libraries of work that is available to stream. Have ALL external sources funnel back to YOUR own site/hub. take control of your work and USE/ABUSE the services that are out there for exposure.

    The internet is VERY much consumer driven. That is hard on any business. Small artists very well may not be able to make a living going forward. But that does not mean that they are not still able to create.

  • “She retains that ability. No one is forcing her to use their service. What they are essentially saying is that they aren’t going to pursue contentID matches with artists who aren’t in the club. That in no way stops her from pursuing infringement. It is not Google who is posting her stuff, anymore than it is Amazon making glass dildos or any number of products some people might find questionable. They are both middle men.”

    On the streets, “middle men” are called “fences.” And they go to jail. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fence_(criminal)#Legal_aspects

    “Not at all. That is YOUR insecurity talking. When I started making music, I had bills to pay. The music I wanted to make was not something that could be shit out and instantly turn a profit for me.”

    Yeah, that’s not elitist at all.

    “You don’t think I have faith in the quality of MY music? Of course I do.”

    And yet you never seem mention

    “Work towards rotating libraries of work that is available to stream. Have ALL external sources funnel back to YOUR own site/hub. take control of your work and USE/ABUSE the services that are out there for exposure.”

    Guess what? Keating is trying to do that. And Youtube is fucking with that.

    I keep hearing how artists are whiny entitled babies, and frankly I see one adult in this situation, and it’s Keating. Note that she’s not *demanding* anything. She’s simply using the internet to say “this doesn’t seem fair to me, what do you think?” Google needs to act like grownups and take responsibility sometimes,

    I feel I’m repeating myself here, but you don’t seem to be getting it. You have endlessly repeated the “make something people want, put it out at a fair price, make it freely available” trope, basically saying the market will sort things out. Keating has done *all of that*. And all she really wants is the ability to put her “content” out the way she wants, and youtube is jeopardizing that.

    (David, if this is out of line, I apologize and you can delete this)

    I’m calling this now: you have repeatedly said how you make your music for love, and how you’ve done it for a long time and you’re a grownup who realized that you had a more lucrative way to make a living, and yet we have seen no evidence of this. You are a blank slate with a smug avatar who somehow claims authority on this. I see no reason why anyone should pay attention to you at all.

    • “Yeah, that’s not elitist at all.”

      Um, it wasn’t. The songwriting process for me was not something that I could rely on to make money. I did not think I could produce enough content to sell/perform and pay the rent. How is that elitist? I know lots of bands that played 90% covers and made a shitload of money doing it. That was not for me.

      ““You don’t think I have faith in the quality of MY music? Of course I do.”

      And yet you never seem mention”

      I don’t know what that means. If you are suggesting I use these discussions as an opportunity to pimp my work, um, pass.

      “Guess what? Keating is trying to do that. And Youtube is fucking with that.”

      No. Keating is trying to play the victim because she doesn’t want to join the pay service. Ironically, I just read that there are no plans to eliminate contentID access to artists, even if they don’t sign up. If that is true, her whole argument is bullshit.

      “You have endlessly repeated the “make something people want, put it out at a fair price, make it freely available” trope, basically saying the market will sort things out. Keating has done *all of that*. And all she really wants is the ability to put her “content” out the way she wants, and youtube is jeopardizing that.”

      No, they aren’t. Period. No one is dictating anything to her or any other artist. Like any other form of marketing there are risks and rewards. Costs etc…

      http://www.savingcountrymusic.com/look-heres-the-deal-with-independent-music-getting-pulled-from-youtube

      That is another good article, here is a summation(BTW this guy agrees with you all that Google and the like are not all that great for artists).

      “As much as we want to blame companies like Spotify and YouTube for screwing our favorite artists, not all the blame is upon them. Many of these new digital music companies aren’t even pulling a profit themselves. That’s why they’re trying to pay out as little as possible to labels and artists. Why is the money so tight in streaming? Because consumers are demanding these services for cheap or free. You can’t charge more than $9.99 to get unlimited access to every single damn song that was ever recorded in the history of planet Earth when many consumers already feel it is their right to listen to music for free, and there’s services that already offer that. Where does music come from? Do the people who make it have to eat? How about the engineers and producers of it, or the distributors and sellers? Consumers will put hours of time into the endeavor of procuring free music, even if it would be more efficient for them to purchase it in the first place. They will hop fences and commit felonies to obtain free music. In the last few years, for some reason, music consumers have decided that free music is an inalienable right.

      Price points killed music. When iTunes pegged the value of someone’s deep artistic expression at .99 cents, we were doomed.

      We devalued music with price points. No wonder it sounds like crap. Why do all songs sounds the same? Why are songs written by committee? Why do you only hear the same dozen artists on the radio? Because the music-making process has been automated and streamlined to meet the efficiencies necessitated by consumer’s price point demands. Meanwhile many of the same people complaining about what major corporations are doing to our country are also vested heavily in these same corporations through retirement accounts, 401K’s, or other investments, and by proxy, demand these companies show increasing profits each quarter, putting pressure on executive heads to be bean counters first, and conscious leaders of their respective industries second.”

      Hmmm, who here has mentioned this as part of the problem before? Read that line about price points. Did iTunes really do that? I am pretty sure CD’s got to be pretty uniform in price before starting to die out. Who set those price points? Who really sold the artists down the river to sell as much music as possible? Who Monkey? I know you know the answer…

      “I’m calling this now: you have repeatedly said how you make your music for love, and how you’ve done it for a long time and you’re a grownup who realized that you had a more lucrative way to make a living, and yet we have seen no evidence of this. You are a blank slate with a smug avatar who somehow claims authority on this.”

      And you are claiming to be some unsung struggling artist. Just like Audionomics, etc. What exactly are you asking for? A show and tell? I have no problem pointing YOU in the direction of my bands work. I won’t be using Davids blog as an advertising spot. That is not why I post. I know the quality of my work, I sure as hell don’t need to prove anything to you. We are not some random garage band LOL, if that is what you are implying. We went to a real live grown up studio and used an engineer and everything. And when I was working multiple jobs to pay rent, I was not spending cash pumping out records. No one handed my life or the ability to produce my own material to me or my band mates. We earned that shit, just like anyone else.

      Frankly, I am not sure what your problem is in all this. I don’t hate artists. Never claimed to. I think people get what they put in when it comes to the internet. If you let your stuff roam free, guess what it will be copied and downloaded. What else do you expect? No artists should not work for free. Never claimed that either. But all this “woe is me” crap got old a long time ago. If this is your job, your business, then act like it. Deal with changing market conditions, unfair competition, fair competition, whatever.

      Instead all you guys do is complain about third party companies who made their money from tech, not by infringement. You can claim they did, and that is a dead end street. Google and Apple did not rise up on the backs of the common man LOL.

      And even if everything you say were true. If these tech companies did all the work and stopped all infringement tomorrow. That would not limit the number of artists. It would not change consumer perception of value. No one is suddenly going to spend $5 a song. That is reality.

  • The conversation never seems to substantially change…
    Back in the late 60’s, I landed my first record deal. I was 18 years old. Obviously I was very excited and thought that my career was assured.

    We were handed a contract that was about 80 pages long, written in legalese. The other people in the band were only too eager to sign it, and the guy who was supposed to be OUR attorney encouraged us to do so. I was the only person who took it home and read it. I didn’t understand a lot of it, but what I was able to glean from it was very simple…that contract was all about how THEY got paid. Not us…not the band. It was how the label got their money, how they stood first in line at the spigot….No doubt most of the people here have either heard the horror stories or experienced them first hand.

    When I had the nerve to question some of the terms of the contract (mostly why we were getting 8 or 9 cents a record – I forget…it was long ago), I was told by the suits that – and I quote – “You shouldn’t expect to make money from record sales. Records are mostly for promotion. Most of your money will come from touring.”

    Well…if you’re paying 8 cents on an album that cost $6.99 (that’s what they cost then)…of course I’m not going to make any money. If you’re taking the publishing away from me, of course I’m not going to make any money. If you’re saying that I have to pay you back for every dime you put out before I can get a check…the point is, that at every turn…they stacked the deck in their favor.

    What YouTube seems to be doing is not very different in my view. Back then, it was very hard to release your own record and get anyone to hear it. You needed the labels to get your music to the public. The common perception is that today, you need YouTube. Stop and think…YouTube is nothing more than just another website. The history of the web is filled with sites that were immensely popular…and then became dust. AOL? MySpace? Remember them?…Barely…AOL had so much money that it bought Time Warner.

    Once artists pull their content from YouTube, it will turn into the place people go to watch cat videos.

    We are the one’s with the power…we just don’t realize it.

    • I don’t doubt you got a shitty deal but… I can think of a lot of people who made quite a bit of money off recordings and very little off touring.

      • No…What I was saying is that, until I got a little smarter about the business, people took advantage of me. But in my view, the music business has always been structured so the artist/performer/writer gets the small piece of the pie, and I don’t see that it has changed in this brave new world of online.

        The business people usually get the biggest piece, and I don’t see that as having changed either. As to how much someone made from recordings vs. touring, how would you know that? It may not be that simple…

      • overviper: my example has always been the Beatles, who made more money after they stopped touring. They also had to deal with bad deals from promoters and a ton of pirated merchandise (in fact, the whole “sell merch” idea rankles me as much or more than the touring thing, because merch was the FIRST thing people pirated)

        I’ve been told that The Beatles are bad example because they were so big, but there were other bands like Steely Dan or XTC who did not perform much live in their heydey and still managed to succeed.

        But really, all you have to do is look at the many, many, prerock songwriters who were non-performers and managed to make a good living into their final years. Sure, some got screwed, but at the very least the old system had mechanical royalties they could rely on.

        And I want to say a word for the maligned record executive. the vast majority may be sleazy, but without Norman Granz we wouldn’t have heard Oscar Peterson, Ella Fitzgerald or Stan Getz, without John Hammond we wouldn’t have Dylan and Springsteen, and without Seymour Stein we wouldn’t have Madonna, Talking Heads or even The Ramones.

    • “We are the one’s with the power…we just don’t realize it.”

      Exactly. None of these companies have value beyond the user, any more than coke is valuable in and of itself without people who like to drink coke.

      • Monkey…
        You’re citing the exceptions that prove the rule. If you want to use the Beatles as an example, I won’t argue with it…but if you look at the percentages, bands like that are a fraction of one percent. They are not representative of the way the business works. The Rolling Stones, on the other hand, make much more money from touring than records and have for some time. But the world today is very different, and people don’t buy music the same way they used to…and you would be hard pressed to find a current musician who makes more money from sales as opposed to going on the road.

        As for songwriters, I’ve said many times in this blog that the structure is still in place for writers and composers to make money. ASCAP, BMI, etc. all collect worldwide royalties for composers who are able to get their music into broadcast media. In fact, I believe that this part of the business has become even more lucrative…and this is why labels, managers, etc. have become even more insistent on getting a piece (or all) of the publishing rights. I would like to see this expanded and streaming entities included. You could use the existing rights organizations to collect and pay out. It’s a pretty efficient system.

        As for the Norman Granz’s and John Hammond’s of the world, they are the true heroes…and they’re as few and far between now as they ever were. The corporate entities in control of the business today are at odds with their type of thinking and their model is to always, at every juncture, discourage risk taking…so will we see less innovation, and more American Idol clones, and that’s sad.

        The real value of YouTube for me has been to find music from around the world that I’ve never heard of and be able to listen to it. I’m in favor of many more sites like it (remember that it’s only a website) that might specialize in providing (and promoting, and giving a platform to) the types of musical experiences that the mainstream does not give us.

        This is the real value of the Internet. I hope they don’t take it away.

      • “‘m in favor of many more sites like it (remember that it’s only a website) that might specialize in providing (and promoting, and giving a platform to) the types of musical experiences that the mainstream does not give us.”

        I love sites like Soundcloud/Bandcamp etc. But exposure is still driven by popularity. I think a better method would be to have the main “charts” simply be time based. Only present so many in each genre/category every day. Allow likes and other ratings to exist along side a truly constant stream of new music. Also allow things to be submitted multiple times, just have it be limitied to X amount of submissions over Y amount of time.

  • “And you are claiming to be some unsung struggling artist. Just like Audionomics, etc. What exactly are you asking for? A show and tell? I have no problem pointing YOU in the direction of my bands work. I won’t be using Davids blog as an advertising spot. That is not why I post. I know the quality of my work, I sure as hell don’t need to prove anything to you. ”

    I’m not making claims of anything. I have never recorded anything, never will. I’m just someone with an opinion, and I’ve observed a lot about this. I’m not the one claiming I know how the music business works. I’m just going by own observations.

    But you are claiming that you are The All-Knowing Musician And Tech Expert Who Is Schooling All Us Poor Luddites On How The World Works.

    Unless you can somehow back that up, I see no need to pay attention to you at all. Put up or shut up.

    “Frankly, I am not sure what your problem is in all this. I don’t hate artists. Never claimed to. I think people get what they put in when it comes to the internet. If you let your stuff roam free, guess what it will be copied and downloaded.”

    When Napster grew unchecked, there was no way of actually getting most music online. Music somehow finds a way online regardless of whether the artist put it there. It’s saying “of course i’m going to break into your garage and steal your car! You didn’t make it available to me,” and then, if I take it out of the garage “what do you expect? you left it out there in the open for everyone to see.”

    “Google and Apple did not rise up on the backs of the common man LOL.”

    More than a few workers in China might take issue with that.

    • “I’m not making claims of anything. I have never recorded anything, never will. I’m just someone with an opinion, and I’ve observed a lot about this. I’m not the one claiming I know how the music business works. I’m just going by own observations.”

      So let me get this straight. You are not an artist. You do not work in the tech industry. Yet I am the one making baseless claims? I assure you, I have written, recorded and produced multiple albums. They are available for sale on iTunes/Amazon via distribution deals through the production service we used. I am a member of ASCAP(that is how I found this blog). I have in fact worked in the tech industry for more than 15 years. I have in fact written multiple applications in a wide variety of languages. I work for a company that does business with small companies as well as large corporations. My job is to know tech and the industry that surrounds it. Not sure what proof you need, but I see no need to explain myself any further to someone who just admitted they have no insight other than what appears to be a relatively biased opinion. No, I am not an expert in all things interwebs or music, but I sure as hell know enough to debate this issue with the people posting here.

      Post a junk email address and I will send you all the “proof” you need. Or private message me, whatever. LOL, I have nothing to hide in regards to my work. It’s kind of funny that you think I would be this passionate without having some stake in the game…

      • I care about this because this attitude will soon affect *everybody*. You keep using the refrain of “get a regular job” without acknowledging that the “regular jobs” will be affected. Drive a cab? First Uber, then driverless cars. Wait tables? There are already restaurants that use tablets so that people don’t have to actually talk to another human.

        Your answer? People faced this in the past and adapted. The thing is, though, that for the most part the ones who survived fought back, and made the system adapt *to them*. Employers didn’t concede to child labor laws, unions and even weekends out of the goodness of their hearts. It took government and labor action to make those changes.

        I sell books. Every day I get the message that this is foolish, that eventually Amazon will swallow everything. But humans do provide services that algorithms can’t. Few mourned Borders books, but the loss of Tower Records and several big local bookstores is a tragedy.

        And the internet is flooding the market with crap. Check this out:
        http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/jesse-russell

        An awful lot of books for one author, right? Well, it turns out that this “author” is just printing wikipedia stuff. Legal, I guess, but helping the culture in no measurable way, and clogging up legitimate searches for pretty much anything.

        You say you have “nothing to hide,” so why do you? You keep telling people to get the word out about their work, so where is it?

      • ” There are already restaurants that use tablets so that people don’t have to actually talk to another human.”

        Yes, and there will almost always be a need/desire for a more personal experience. You sell books, there is nothing crazy or wrong about wanting to keep within the analog tradition. I know lots of people who still love the feel of a book, who like the scratch of vinyl and think that the best way to watch a movie is on a giant screen in a theater. Never have I suggested a preference for the “new” over the old. But Monkey, all of these things are consumer driven. Yes, companies step in and capitalize on new technology, but very few hang their asses out into the wind trying to create something new. And not all of them succeed, no matter how innovative the idea may be. We live in a world that is dominated by consumer choice, that is a fact. It is not a slight on artists, or waitresses, or cab drivers, it is simply a statement of reality. The consumer will use what they prefer and they will do so regardless of how it impacts the people who may or may not rely on them to make a living.

        When I say “adapt”, that is not a condemnation of artistic endeavor. It is not a preference for one way of doing things over another, it is an assessment of the world as it changes around us. Who can predict what people will latch on to, surely not any of us. Hell, there are many things that are not only popular, but profitable that make no sense to me, but I am just one person. You may want the world to be “fair” to people like Keating. But what about the guy who is making money in the system as it stands? The truly independent creator who built his business on things like youTube, facebook, etc. Doesn’t his voice matter? Hence my question, why should her voice be louder than the people who have no issue? She is not forced to do anything she does not want to. Yes, she will lose out on whatever benefit she thinks she was getting from youTube(again, something you guys seem to think is irrelevant), but to her it seems a big enough to warrant a complaint. But that is the part I don’t get. Nothing I have read, except her own opinion as to what is happening suggests they will be stealing her work. All I have seen is a lot of talk about losing access and control, which doesn’t make sense to me. If your cable company decides to raise the price on HBO, are you really suggesting they are mistreating you because you won’t be able to watch Game of Thrones?

        There are other methods of veiwing, not as convenient or as up to date. Just like there are other streaming sites, just not as popular or with as much content protection. It very well may suck to get caught in a change to terms of use, but that does not in and of itself mean the service provider owes us anything. Where are they removing her choice? By making the service less desirable in her OPINION? Her claim is a loss of choice. I say that is BS. What is happening is a change of service, which happens all the time. Fair? Again, that all depends on user perspective.

        “You say you have “nothing to hide,” so why do you? You keep telling people to get the word out about their work, so where is it?”

        I am not going to link to my work on this blog. If you have another means of private messaging me through wordpress, I will have no problem linking you to my music.

      • When did Google become a service provider for content creators? They provide a service for free content consumers, but they don’t provide any thing approaching a service for creators.

        The uploader of a photo snagged from the web, a mp3 file snagged from a torrent site, the news article copy and pasted from a news service, or the video recorded from the TV, all are given equal billing as the creators of those works. Further Google says that in order to get anything in recompense for your content bringing viewers to our site,m you must agree to a crap deal where the commercial rates are devalued by a factor of 100 or more. And if you don’t agree to this will there are a 1000 others that will upload your content to our site for free, so you’d better take the penny o9n the dollar.

      • Google is not. Google is an index. youTube is a service and provides a great deal of functionality for content creators.

        You assume X content brought Y number of people to something like youTube. What about the access granted via youTube or image search bringing people to the creator? Are you saying that doesn’t happen? Or are you saying that because some content is propagated by non creators it doesn’t matter?

      • Do you really think that the YT money is in funny pet videos. Google tried that with Google Video, they got bitch slapped by some punks running a copy-violation farm called YT. Google bought the farm, and made it barely legal, by getting some major content creators to buy in. However, the bulk of the content that attracts eyeballs is the the copyright violations. Its a one stop shop for content uploaded by non-content creators. You want to link to some latest comedy sketch it will be on YT. Want to post your current favourite song it will be on YT. No need to go looking elsewhere. Google gets the eye balls, get the IP address and username of the viewers, runs ads against the content.

        At no point did someone just stumble upon a YT video or song out-of-the-blue. Someone went looking for what they already knew about. Perhaps there is an audience for how to solder a new plug onto a pair of headphones, but that isn’t what is driving the viewers to YT. It is the big name content. Now remove all the Zoe Keating’s and the like from YT and its no more than pet videos, monty python videos, and pop idol songs.

        No doubt there is something of a market for that, but its not where the cool kids are, its not where the big ad bucks are, and its not where the marketing demographics is at.

        Google need the Keating’s, the Garage bands, and the underground experimental video makers. Because their viewers are more valuable to profile then some 13yo boy band fans. Everyone knows how to reach that group. These artists will never make much out of Google as they’ll never get the number of streams, but profiling 1000 Keating fans is much more valuable than profiling a million Bieber fans.

        At some point content people are going to wake up to the fact that what Google provides them is nothing but smoke and mirrors. Hosting costs are fuck all these days. A band could get their own web site for what per year?

      • “Do you really think that the YT money is in funny pet videos. Google tried that with Google Video, they got bitch slapped by some punks running a copy-violation farm called YT. Google bought the farm, and made it barely legal, by getting some major content creators to buy in. However, the bulk of the content that attracts eyeballs is the the copyright violations.”

        Yeah, no. Pretty much any independent source will verify the same thing. The largest and most popular(i.e. profitable) youTube channels are from legitimate sources. The most popular channel BY a HUGE margin is pretty much nothing but the equivalent of “funny pet videos”. Of the top 20, 12 are from legitimate artists and record companies.

        http://vidstatsx.com/youtube-top-100-most-viewed

        So we are going to call that aspect of this conversation done. You are wrong, you don’t know what you are talking about, let it go.

        “Now remove all the Zoe Keating’s and the like from YT and its no more than pet videos, monty python videos, and pop idol songs.”

        Not even close. More people watch gaming videos than just about anything else, and other than a few select companies, develpers pretty much embrace the free publicity they get from youTube and gamers, probably why the game undustry dwarfs both movies and music in terms of growth over the past few years.

        “Google need the Keating’s, the Garage bands, and the underground experimental video makers. Because their viewers are more valuable to profile then some 13yo boy band fans. Everyone knows how to reach that group. These artists will never make much out of Google as they’ll never get the number of streams, but profiling 1000 Keating fans is much more valuable than profiling a million Bieber fans.”

        No, they don’t. One because there will always be new artists, and two because the numbers tell a completely different story. Those who embrace tech are thriving, while those who don’t are not.

        “At some point content people are going to wake up to the fact that what Google provides them is nothing but smoke and mirrors. Hosting costs are fuck all these days. A band could get their own web site for what per year?”

        LOL. Yeah they could. And how do you prpose they get people to find that site? Trust me I know first hand, it is not as easy as you seem to think it is. Please stop. Everything you are saying is either completely off base in regards to the real world numbers or nothing more than opinionated conjecture.

        Artists need to be selective in how they approach technology, no doubt, but they also cannot ignore the way that consumers are looking for and consuming media. Listening to anything you guys are suggesting is a really bad idea when it comes to making money from your art. The HARDEST part is getting noticed. Period. Solve that problem and no one will have to “struggle” at all.

      • Its not in the ads, it is in the demographics. The Keating’s viewers are a more valuable demographic then GTA gamers. Why? Because you can target ads to a much m,ore select audience. Knowing who the opera fans in the mid west are is more valuable than knowing who the Katy Perry fans are. That isn’t solely because of elitism because the same holds true for cult indie bands too. Knowing who they are is more valuable than knowing who the Bieber fans are. Rhianna may get way more ad placements than Zoe but Zoe’s viewers are more valuable to the admen. simply because the target audience is smaller. Your product may be of interest to 10% of Zoe viewers but only 0.0001% interest to Rhianna viewers. Zoe’s demographic becomes more valuable when you can cross reference them with the types of restaurant they frequent. Its not the amount of views its what the views tell you. You probably don’t want to advertise Lambrusco sparking wine to opera fans. but a Armand de Brignac Brut.

      • What did I ask about talking out of your butt? Moving the goal post is not going to validate your assumptions any better than when you first made them.

        You made a patently false statement, I provided you with the actual data. Let it go.

      • And how do you prpose they get people to find that site?

        In your favourite search engine “ambrose field”, “trio mediaeval”, “ketil bjornstad”. Sure you need to know the name, but you are never going to find them by chance on YT. You will almost always have come across them by some other means. YT isn’t the thing providing exposure. It will almost always be some other vector that brought you to the YT video. Many sites have forum threads where people are linking to YT videos simply because that is where they are. You might have got your first encounter with an STD in the back streets of Birmingham, but it wasn’t Birmingham city hall that gave it to you.

      • Yeah, that vector is Google, because I know how to use it, just like the vast majority of the planet. Or facebook, which was probably found on Google first then posted to facebook, then sends someone to youTube.

      • Don’t be daft. We are talking about whether Google, YT, facebook, or any of the others bring new consumers to a work that would not be brought to the work otherwise. If you’ve used Google’s search engine to find some music or video you already knew that you were looking for. That is the point and some of us knew well how to find stuff we were looking for long before Google came into being.

        None of these tech companies or solutions independently bring us to stuff we didn’t already know. What they do is provide a mechanism whereby our friends, family, and contacts can point us to stuff THEY think might interest us.

        30-40 years ago they’d have come around with an LP or VHS tape, now they email you a link. To claim that it is Google, YT, or Facebook that brought some new music to one’s attention is like saying that 40 years ago it was the bus company that your mate got on to bring you round the LP.

        FFS.

      • Are you suggesting people don’t find new works from facebook or youTube? Um, ok…

        I stand by the point that you really don’t know how any of this works. I will definitely look for metrics on this, but based on, well pretty much everyone I know who uses FB or youTube, I can say that these avenues are the PRIMARY method for a lot of people finding new products and services.

        If you aren’t using them in that manner, you are doing it wrong.

      • No they are not how people are finding bew stuff. You are confusing the paper with the message.

        Last year an old friend of mine posted a link to a YT video of facebook that they thought I might like. In the past they might have sent me a letter saying hey I saw this great band XXX the other night check them out, and I might have gone downtown and listened to a somg or two at one of the record stores. According to you it wasn’t my friend that brought the band to my attention, but the postman and the record store. Way back in the early 1970s this friend and the guy she was going out with turned up one day with an album. In your warped view of things it was the Ford motor company that introduced us to Bette Midler.

      • What are you talking about? Your one example that is personal to you is somehow representative of how the system works?

        How people initially find something is not really as important when talking about how it propagates. No one said there was one way to “find” music. What you suggested was that youTube and FB don’t contribute, which is silly. FB by means of your personal connection is a perfect conduit for people to find new things, not just music. And youTube actively promotes LIKE material along side of just about every video.

      • Some sites do make recommendations of music to check out based on the profile of your music taste that you’ve given them. Guess what?

        They mostly recommend me albums from the ECM catalog. But hey I’ve had ECM catalogs sat on my shelf for the last 25 years. Other than that they tend to recommend LPs by artists I’ve told them I have music by. I’ve been able to lookup an artists discography myself for the last 45 years. Amazon keeps sending me emails about CDs I’ve already bought. None of them recommend the obscure folk artists, and iTunes finds it impossible to build a ‘genius mix’ of that stuff. In short non of these technology outlets are facilitating your discovery of new music.

      • “Get off my lawn…” Seriously, what the hell.

  • I’m sorry,… what? Keating is somehow not “trully indepedent?” Seriously, WTF?

    “the consumer will use what they prefer and they will do so regardless of how it impacts the people who may or may not rely on them to make a living.”

    then frankly, we are all fucked, as it will be an eventual race to the bottom.

    Simply “letting the market decide” is the last thing we need right now.

    • Right now? That is how the market works LOL. If you are suggesting everyone should get paid the same regardless of demand then yeah, you are indeed screwed.

      I am not even going to address whatever issue you have with my phrasing in regards to independent artists/creators. You latch on to things that do not mean or imply what you think they do. There are people, who built a business in the new system, that create content with no external influence. There are a few, that are making a lot of money, and there are a lot, that are making a living doing it as well.

      You want to paint me as some artist hating, um, artist, which is silly. It would be like someone calling me racist for saying the black people at my local grocery store are abusing the system buying steaks and booze with EBT cards, seeing as I am both black and a guy who works hard to pay my bills/taxes/etc and have witnessed this behavior time and time again. I can’t always buy steaks and I make a good living LOL.

      I am in fact an artist. I don’t care if she makes money one way or another. I am glad she is able to sell her music and make a living. What I don’t get is your implication that there is a set level of income she deserves for choosing this as a career. EVERY business has obsticles, some fair, some not so much. She is no different than anyone else in THAT regard.

      • Yes, businesses have obstacles. And she is dealing with them in a sensible way. Notice that she never said “youtube is screwing me.” She went to the public and asked “is this fair? I’m not sure it is.”

        The trouble with saying that everything is “consumer-driven” is that consumers don’t always act in the best interest of other or even themselves. Wal-Mart, with its Low Prices Above All mentality, has been disastrous to middle America (not to mention the people who actually manufacture the things.) If consumers continue to press for everything to be cheaper, then soon everybody will be either out of work or in sweatshops.

        For someone who continuously claims that everyone else has outdated ideas, you seem to be regurgitating the same nonsense about The Wisdom Of Crowds and Touring And T-Shirts.

      • That isn’t youTubes fault, or Googles. And I NEVER, not even once said it was a good thing that consumers have so much choice, what I said, repeatedly is that going after tech companies, WHO DO NOT SET THE PRICE OF MEDIA, is a dead end street.

  • This is all about a pre-emptive strike by Google / Youtube over the impending changes to Section 512 of the DMCA in the US and the elimination of the Safe Harbor provision that youtube and other alleged pirate sites have been hiding behind since 1999.

    The transparency report that Google eventually had to publish confirms that over 345 million take down notices were filed just last year and just to Google. The absurdity and ineffectiveness of the simple ‘take down’ notice is inescapable.

    Now the question becomes, how much of this is understood and filters down to musicians and if musicians and songwriters have the courage to finally say no to devastatingly bad deal.

    The book guys did it and won a temporary victory over Amazon. Are musicians brave enough to say “we want and deserve a future.”.

    • Absolutely, Will.
      The fact is, the DMCA was written pre-Napster, pre-iTunes, pre-Youtube. It was structured in a way to streamline internet uptake, giving (temporary) immunity to companies (ie, an attractive inventive) to speed up the process. Now that the railroad/highway/err… internet is established and here to stay, there is no reason for the safe-harbor to exist in its current form. It served its purpose, and to let it linger any longer just plays favorites with businesses that don’t need an artificial edge anymore.
      And while I wish people like AV the best of luck as a human being, I simply don’t have the free time to convince one of the hard-core “belivers” of essentially a new religion.. that the time of the dodo-bird is not written in stone. I only have so many hours in a day and id rather raise my blood pressure talking to someone who can do something about the issue (ever talk to your congressmen/woman? ill need all the extra patience I can muster!)

    • “The transparency report that Google eventually had to publish confirms that over 345 million take down notices were filed just last year and just to Google. The absurdity and ineffectiveness of the simple ‘take down’ notice is inescapable.”

      Do you know how much video is watched on youTube?

      Based on pretty much any stat reporting source youTube has thousands of YEARS of video uploaded EVERY year. Thousands of YEARS, that means that even if all of those claims was legit, which a vast majority aren’t, the percentage of take down notices to video content does not even register. Your claims that they “make a living” off of stolen content is complete horse shit. Proven by every metric or stat available.

      • *facepalm*

        like I said … “religious”…

      • Damn those pesky facts and data. Always getting in the way of opinion…

      • As I stated earlier, Google and WordPress at the Congressional Hearing on DMCA last March, 13 reported only four, 4, documented cases of filing abuse, when asked.

        Also, the 345 million filings did not include, Yahoo, Bing or any other search engine. So, it’s only another 30 to 50 million. The top 3 pirate sites each had over 5 million claims.

        The number is far too big to merely shrug off as a survey inaccuracy. You’re getting careless with your responses.

      • Ignoring the volume of content available doesn’t help your cause either.

        Oh and I thought we were talking about youTube? Because now you are referencing the entire internet in regards to take down notices and also talking about links, not necessarily sites. So yeah, moving the goalpost again to bolster your claims.

        Ironically, everything I can find in regards to this highlights Googles efforts to do whatever they can to push legitimate copyright holders to the top of their results lists. And, you know, this still does not actually stop the site from existing. But yeah, Google’s business is built on infringement…

      • I moved “the goal post” because you were minimizing the number you were provided with. Note; in the attach clip Congressman Nadler refers to 320 million take down notices. That was for 213.

        https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=872861952724851&set=vb.219298874747832&type=2&theater

        Youtube is considered the number one site for illegal downloads in the US. Obviously, Google has no interest in limiting access.

        Search on Google: “free download software for you tube”: http://goo.gl/waaXma

        While I’ll be interested in reading your response. I’m now complete with our conversation. Goodbye

      • You can’t “download” anything from youTube directly. They do not make such software. You are once again changing the argument to suit your agenda.

        Google actively works to limit infringement. BASED ON THE NUMBERS YOU PROVIDED. Saying they have no interest is silly. Why bother if they have no interest? Fear of legal action? LOL. Um, ok.

      • I’m actually not responding to you anymore, because when confronted with reality you choose to make up your own story. You seem to have a fetish with corporations not taking responsibility for their actions or accountability.

        Google displaying in search software designed specifically designed to illegally download content from their site, Youtube, is criminal collusion and given the limited number of vendors, easily eradicated.

        Then there’s chilling effects, which is indirectly underwritten in part by Google: http://voxindie.org/chilling-effects-mocks-dmca

        But just to spell it all out in greater detail here’s what Stephen Carlisle Esq. wrote about it: http://copyright.nova.edu/google-dmca-takedown-process/

      • No, you are right, we are done here. You might as well be posting stuff about the GOP from huffington post or liberal bashing via fox news. As always reality is a lot simpler than the biased opinions of bloggers.

      • I’d hardly call someone being responsible, a conservative. But the blogger / commenter part is true. We’re both guilty of that.

        Have you ever fancied yourself an anarchist?

      • Not at all. I am not being combative in saying that BTW. I am not against order, or against rightful compensation. My only real gripe is with the oversimplified view of how the internet and something like youTube works. I don’t state my position as being in the industry to talk down to anyone, it is simply a matter of fact. I see this all the time, it is what I get paid to do. My job is understanding the pro’s and con’s of living in a constantly connected world.

      • Oh and one final thing. What both articles fail to mention, GOOGLE DOES NOT CONTROL THE INTERNET. The sites don’t go away just because Google de lists them.

        It should be up to the content creators to use the information available to file legal action against the infringing sites not try to railroad a search engine into policing the internet for them.

  • I love how, when faced with, you know, actual data and numbers, the responses become “I don’t have time to argue, you are a troll, let’s talk about something else unrelated.”

    You are never going to get more money into the pockets of artists by sticking your head in the sand. Where did Keatings original problem start? youTube? Apple?

    Nope, it started with a record industry designed around making as much profit as possible with as little effort as possible. THAT is not artistry. She didn’t want any part of that and did it on her own. Good for her. Google/youTube/Itunes are tools. Just like her DAW or the strings she uses, they are all part of the business of making music. Her success is FAR more dependent on her following in a niche market because of the business model of the big labels and publishers. THEY set the price on digital media. THEY realized that an MP3 was an endless revenue stream with the right material. And they set music free.

    Guess what, genius, it is time to start reigning that shit in. But that starts with the artists themselves not freaking Google. CONTROL YOUR WORK. And yes, she is still in control of her work, nothing stated by Google implies she is not, that is some PR sour grape nonsense.

    youTube taking her work and doing what they want with it(not what is happening), is not the same as HER not wanting to agree to their terms and CHOOSING to not use the service. Yeah it might suck, but no one is dictating anything as apparently contentID will still be applied to her work…

    • “Guess what, genius, it is time to start reigning that shit in. But that starts with the artists themselves not freaking Google. CONTROL YOUR WORK. And yes, she is still in control of her work, nothing stated by Google implies she is not, that is some PR sour grape nonsense.”

      So who exactly is Google responsible to, if they can flout law (the drug example) or get them changed to their will?

      Seriously, you slam record companies as profit driven and reject any criticism of a billion dollar company?

      • Do you have any, and I mean ANY idea of the cost of not just storing, but also serving out the amount of content youTube has available?

        Let me answer that for you, no you don’t.

      • What does that have to do with anything?

      • Because they created the service, they run the service, they pay for those videos to exist. Are you suggesting they should do that out of the goodness of their hearts? The ad model is a tit-for tat system. saying that youTube brings nothing to the table in all of this is preposterous.

      • And it has nothing to do with google just deciding that they’d rather not obey the laws they don’t like.

        My point was that you have recited the Evil Record Company line since you’ve been here, and yet you seem to believe that Google should be beholden to nobody.

    • “I love how, when faced with, you know, actual data and numbers, the responses become “I don’t have time to argue, you are a troll, let’s talk about something else unrelated.”

      A. where is all this “data”?
      you mean the data we’ve talked past each other to death for the last few months on end? because I dont see it here…and certainly not by you.

      B. if you stuck to the issues instead of constant personal attacks people might be less inclined to call you a troll, M…. I mean AV…you just want a rise, and I wont oblige. sorry if I won’t play with you, but I have business to attend to.
      thank you, have a nice day…

      • Are you drunk? Show me one personal attack. If you mean my reference to your lack of knowledge on the subject at hand, that is not an attack. It doesn’t work the way you think it does, sorry.

        Otherwise. youTube did not get big on infringed content, it got big by working with content providers to produce legit content. Keating is not being barred from ContentID or any other method of protecting her work. She just can’t monetize using their service unless she signs the agreement. Again, I have seen information that suggests she would continue to get royalties from works she allowed others to use.

        Google actively works with content providers to remove infringing content. The problem here is that the definition of infringement is pretty vague and it is used at times to stifle free expression and criticism. That said, Google ACTIVELY works to avoid these types of conflict. Everything you guys have said about profiteering is opinion with no real basis in reality.

        Believe what you will, the internets is not going anywhere, maybe you guys should all become buskers…

  • “That isn’t youTubes fault, or Googles. And I NEVER, not even once said it was a good thing that consumers have so much choice, what I said, repeatedly is that going after tech companies, WHO DO NOT SET THE PRICE OF MEDIA, is a dead end street.”

    even when they sell it themselves?

    Why is it not “youtube’s” fault when.. it’s their policy.
    What you said was “The consumer will use what they prefer and they will do so regardless of how it impacts the people who may or may not rely on them to make a living.’

    You stated in a way that you didn’t endorse it, but you didn’t criticize it, either. You stated it as an immutable fact, tough luck, have to work around it. I’m saying that needs to change. If we can have fair trade for coffee, we should have it for culture, too.

    And that means admitting that, yes, if you consume an artistic work, you should compensate the artist for it

    And no one is saying that Keating deserves a certain standard of living. But she has every right to question a contract That’s all this is, nothing more.

    • “You stated in a way that you didn’t endorse it, but you didn’t criticize it, either. You stated it as an immutable fact, tough luck, have to work around it. I’m saying that needs to change. If we can have fair trade for coffee, we should have it for culture, too.”

      And do you know what people are paying for coffee? $30+ dollars a gallon when they buy it from a place like Starbucks. More than 10 times what they pay for gas.

      You know what youTube charges artists to post videos? ZERO… What they are doing is linking legitimate license deals to youTube via a paid service, so that more money is going to the people producing work in a much more protected eco system. That’s why most companies are just fine with the new model. Not because Google has them over the barrel, but rather because the numbers add up for them.

      You guys said it yourselves, remove content and these sites go away. EMI didn’t sign a deal to lose money, the signed it because they see even more potential profit.

      “And that means admitting that, yes, if you consume an artistic work, you should compensate the artist for it”

      So should Keating pay royalties to the guys who created MP3? You know why artists don’t do that? Because the companies that distribute them pay that shit. And that all gets worked into the royalties and payouts for sales. That has to be licensed as well.

      She has a right to question anything. She also has the right to not use the service. What she is not entitled to is a claim that a service provider is responsible for her ultimate viability. There are other video services. There are other avenues available. You all implied that she was being forced into something, that is simply not the case.

      • Zoe Keating has demanded that YouTube take down her product…and they haven’t. Not all of it, anyway. She IS trying to control her work.

        I think the main point here is that YouTube makes a shit ton of money from ad revenues and they don’t really believe in sharing that cash flow. Not with the artist, anyway. They will pay labels, who have the clout to demand it, but then you, as the artist, have to fight with the label to get paid…but the artist has historically been at the ass-end of the pipe.

        The model for the distribution business (and I don’t see these new-fangled online whippersnappers as any different) has always been that you needed a second product behind the first to get your money. The number of one-hit indy record labels that have gone down in flames is a large number…because you are at heart a music person and not in the collection business. This, by the way, is the primary reason that there are only four large record distributors left, and it’s very hard for anyone not in business with them to survive.

        I don’t think that situation is healthy for music.

        Perhaps I’m misreading what you’ve said, but I get the impression that you believe in an Ayn Rand inspired model of everyone out for themselves and just accept the situation for what it is and suck it up.

        I’m trying to put out there the idea that artists (or content creators – or call them whatever you want) can implement some control just by putting their content in places that treat them more fairly. The fact that everyone now uses YouTube to break their music can quickly change if people perceive that there are other places that will do that. There is a kind of power in the collective consciousness that we were aware of in the 60’s (showing my age now) that I think has gotten lost.

        Remember that YouTube is only a website…

      • “Zoe Keating has demanded that YouTube take down her product…and they haven’t. Not all of it, anyway. She IS trying to control her work.”

        And there has to be more to the story than that. Why? Because the numbers just don’t add up. Her work is not nearly important enough to affect the bottom line of youTube. She simply does not have the numbers to warrant any resistance based on money alone. The top 20 channels generate a lot of revenue, let alone the top 100. All the Zoe Keatings in the world wouldn’t change that fact. And, let’s be honest, there will always be someone else to take her place.

        “I think the main point here is that YouTube makes a shit ton of money from ad revenues and they don’t really believe in sharing that cash flow. ”

        Independent creators make money all the time via youTube. The most profitable channel on youTube is some Finnish guy who does nothing but act silly. The claim that they are nickle and diming small artists just doesn’t hold water. Also, hosting and serving out those videos costs a LOT of money. Development of new technology, LOTS of money. If the numbers listed in the article I referenced are even close she generated less than 10k in monetization last year. There would be no financial reason to bother fighting her(if they are in fact fighting).

        “Perhaps I’m misreading what you’ve said, but I get the impression that you believe in an Ayn Rand inspired model of everyone out for themselves and just accept the situation for what it is and suck it up.”

        Not at all. I think artists should work together and that is in fact one of the best things about youTube, collaboration, something no one here seems to take much stock in. But the fact remains, youTube is a service. A FREE service who is continuously refining the way in which people can make money from their work. They actively support creator writes and even created an automated system to hunt for infringement. But from what I have read in this blog, you would think they were sending people into artists homes and stealing shit from their hard drives…

        “I’m trying to put out there the idea that artists (or content creators – or call them whatever you want) can implement some control just by putting their content in places that treat them more fairly. The fact that everyone now uses YouTube to break their music can quickly change if people perceive that there are other places that will do that. There is a kind of power in the collective consciousness that we were aware of in the 60’s (showing my age now) that I think has gotten lost.”

        Define fairly? Because I don’t see much unfair about being able to upload your work FOR FREE to the most popular video site ever to have existed. The new service, the pay wall. Designed to focus views on legit content. How is that unfair? ContentID? That unfair as well? Yes infringement happens, but that is not the core of their business. Anyone who says it is has another agenda or is simply misinformed. Yes artists need to work together to keep things fair, but they have a lot bigger fish to fry in regards to “fair” when it comes to the major/minor labels than youTube or Google.

      • “But from what I have read in this blog, you would think they were sending people into artists homes and stealing shit from their hard drives…”

        Pretty much you’ve hit the DMCA business model.

      • ““But from what I have read in this blog, you would think they were sending people into artists homes and stealing shit from their hard drives…”

        Exactly.

    • What is really interesting is that 5 years ago Google could do no wrong. Then if Andrew Orlowski wrote an article like this:

      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/01/29/oops_google_somebody_left_a_tape_running/

      The comment sectio9n would have been so full of anti-Andrew posts that theregister rarely turned them on for his articles. Today I see many of those that would have been arguing for Google have turned against them. Posts that would have go tens of negative reactions get positive reactions. Whatever support Google once had started to seep away shortly after SOPA, until today there is almost a torrent of negativity against the company.

      • “What is really interesting is that 5 years ago Google could do no wrong.”

        John, actually it is people like David Newhoff, David Lowery, Chris Castle, Ellen Seidler, Jonathan Bailey and others that have been continually presenting these issues on a daily basis. Some, like Chris Castle, since 2007.

        Chipping away at the misperceptions that permeate any discussion about artists’ rights and the Internet.

  • “Are you drunk? Show me one personal attack”
    .
    No comment

  • “The Rolling Stones, on the other hand, make much more money from touring than records and have for some time”

    …and that’s because they haven’t had a hit record since the early 90s. You can’t really compare The Stones of today with The Beatles of 62-70.

    I mentioned Steely Dan, but there were many others, and there were people involved who were not performers at all who still managed to make a decent living. There are tons of songwriters who benefited from record sales and get nothing from the current “system.”

  • Overviper: the thing is, I’ve heard a lot of testimonials from songwriters who say that they are hurting, that ASCAP/BMI rates aren’t enough. And even in terms of sync licensing, there have been companies who have tried “creative” ways of getting around asking permission or paying people, saying that something’s a parody (while parodies have some protection for performers, it’s different for advertising use).

    The thing is that in many ways online businesses are making it very difficult for nonperformers to get any compensation anymore. I’m a writer, and I don’t want to be a performer.

    • I’ve been an ASCAP member for many years, and can speak directly to that. The real money is in the publishing rights and the control of the copyright, something that record labels, agents, managers, etc. have known about for many years. Even though the writer’s share is supposed to be the same, it’s the copyright holder that gets to make the deal.

      That being said, who wouldn’t like more money? I would, but overall I think the rights organizations look out for their members. ASCAP, in fact is owned by the membership. The cost of legitimate music use has been steadily increasing over time driven by cost of rights, union fees…there are a lot of people in line for a bigger piece of a smaller pie. Film scores are largely done in Eastern Europe now, due to the demands of unions here and in England.

      No one can turn the clock back. To sit and whine that the business is not what it used to be is futile. No one “deserves” a career in the arts. It’s always been a tough racket. Maybe the brave new world will not allow you to merely be a writer. Maybe you’ll have to put on clown makeup and chant your screeds to an audience…your guess is as good as mine. Maybe you should have gone to law school…except every lawyer I know hates what they do. The only reason to do this is because you love doing it. If you’re very lucky, you’ll make some money.

      In my view, it’s entirely possible that what we know as “the arts” business model will cease to exist in a few years. Hopefully it will be replaced again by the old model of universal participation…where everyone in the village plays an instrument, writes poetry, puts on puppet shows for the kiddies. Viewing art is good, but doing art enriches your life in many more ways. The money people who exert so much control over, and make so much money from the arts will not go quietly. They’ll kick and scream and fight for every last nickel…

      But go they will. At the end of the day, they can create nothing…and we are the ones with that power…and Youtube is only a website. Anyway, that’s my 2 cents. And I love what David is trying to do. I think this blog is really important.

      • But the thing is this will start to affect everyone. What do we do when this starts to affect cab drivers, shippers, even lawyers and doctors? I’ve heard some stuff about a guaranteed income but I don’t see how it could work with capitalism in place – and big tech REALLY likes capitalism.

        And from everything I’ve seen, the Internet does not so much represent a global village but a global version of a gossip-riddled small town. Mass Connection has made some people richer, mosr people poorer and many unhappier. We cannot have the digital Wild West forever.

      • overviper-
        ” To sit and whine that the business is not what it used to be is futile. No one “deserves” a career in the arts..”

        …Which literally -no one- is arguing.
        And we don’t want to ‘turn back the clock’, we simply would like to move forward in a more equitable and fair manner. simple.

  • nice revisionist history. good luck with that, have a nice day

  • I’m not sure how we get to a more fair and equitable manner. There are companies that invested heavily in the ownership of rights to exploit music, movies, etc. Do we suddenly tell them their rights are worth less because they have to shell out more to the creator of the work? It works for me…I’ll get more money, but there are actual small companies that will get hurt. Warner Bros. (even tho I’m a shareholder) and YouTube, I couldn’t care less about…they’ll be OK. What I’d like to see is other platforms being developed that work in a similar manner to an ASCAP or BMI and allow for creators to post work directly to that platform and get paid directly. My experience has been that the more people are in the money chain, the more weasels you have trying to slice off a piece for themselves.

    I think Spotify is also a good idea…and even tho they don’t like to pay either, something down the road may work better. The membership idea is one that has resonance with a large segment of the public. One thing is for sure, and that’s that the way we consume media is radically changing.

    As far as putting artists on the dole, or guaranteed income…I don’t like it on principal, because it inevitably leads to some committee having to grant approval to what one can do. And then there’s the more basic problem of human nature…people will be lazy if they can. You can’t have more people riding in the cart than pushing the cart…and if you look at some of the European countries, that’s what’s been going on for a few generations, and it looks ready to implode. A lot of countries have been propped up by the money from North Sea oil, but we know what’s happened to the price of it, plus I’ve heard that they pumped out most of it already. So I don’t know…We saw China have a bright moment in the sun, and without the US buying their stuff, they’re having a rough time right now.

    I recently interviewed some people for a documentary that predicted that in the near future, people will only be needed to work 20 hours a week. Well, how do you pay your bills if you need a 40 hour salary? And like you say, everyone is likely to be affected by this, not just artists. One thing I can say with a fair amount of certainty is that the government won’t do very much. We’ll have to do it for ourselves. They’ll just keep telling us lies, keep saying that everything’s OK, that there are more jobs, the economy is better…I call bullshit. I drive around Los Angeles and see more stores for rent, more businesses boarded up every day. I see malls abandoned…it’s pretty scary. You can blame Republicans, or Democrats…To me, they’re all guilty of living in a bubble.If they had to have the same healthcare as the rest of us, it would all get fixed pretty quickly.

    So I have no answers, but I have been around long enough to see that the more things seem different, the more they stay the same. I can point to a couple of things that really rile me lately, one of them being do-nothing politicians and the all-or-nothing attitude of political debate. Then of course, there’s cultural identity politics that will be the ruin of this country. And banks taking money out of circulation by not making loans…so the rate that money moves through the economy has drastically slowed. When money flows faster, more people have a chance to get some of it.

    I guess I could go on, but I feel myself starting to rant…no point to that at all…

    • Hi overviper,
      “I’m not sure how we get to a more fair and equitable manner”

      In my my mind, everything starts with mainstream, unadulterated piracy. No business can stay in business for long unfairly competing with free. And, yes..it (the piracy rate) will never go to zero, but that doesn’t mean we throw up our hands and concede the fight (which is what it looks like out there right now). The market will correct over a period of time once this is dealt with in a meaningful way… sadly there’s been a lot of casualties along the way, so the sooner we can deal with this the better… everything else, low rates, unfavourable terms ,etc is propped up by this law-enforcement vacuum.

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