YouTube copyright issues  

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Look around on YouTube, how many Prince clips do you find? That's right, none. Prince feelst that if you want to be entertained by him, you have to pay him. He is right of course, even if it does not make him very likable.

Why is he right?

Companies such as YouTube (a Google owned company) are making millions of dollars on the backs of "minor" artists (the long tail) who do not have the funds to employ an army of lawyers to police YouTube in search of their content.

These minor artists should be paid for their work. Tafkap may set a precedent for this to happen.

Take an artist such as Loleatta Holloway[1] (who may be a bad example since she didn't actually write many compositions herself, but it will do for the sake of the argument). About 124 clips with her voice are featured on YouTube, providing thousands of pageviews for YouTube. Pageviews generate ad revenue. Does Loleatta or her estate get paid? No. Does she gain in extra record sales? No, record sales are virtually non-existent since the advent of the internet, everyone downloads1.

The solution: Micropayments, subscription based YouTubes (one for the the big four, the major record companies who control 70% of the world music market; one for all the independents who control the other 30%); and YouTube setting up a fund for the artists who are missing out on revenue right now.

P.S. It may sound contradictory (especially in regard to my post on The Cult of the Amateur [2], but I enjoy YouTube and its ability to bring unknown artists to my attention immensely, it's just that I would not mind paying an annual fee to be able to discover them (and not pay to view the majors' work). I wouldn't even subscribe to TAFKAP, for that matter, he's become to MSM to me.

1) For the record, I never download. I did it for a period of a month back in 2003/2004, lost the 200 songs I had gathered (I hadn't burned them on cd, in fact I've yet to burn my first cd) and have not repeated the experience since I find YouTube satisfactory.

--JWG, 2008

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "YouTube copyright issues" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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