There’s something happening here, but what it is ain’t exactly clear and neither is what YouTube decides to take down and continues to keep on its site.
There is a very Orwellian Big Brother Is Watching You side to the channel- and it’s an even bigger turn-off.
Recently, a number of people without recording contracts and who recorded covers for fun and their friends, have had these videos taken down by YouTube for, apparently, infringement of copyright- meaning not having their renditions cleared by the respective music publishers.
Now, this opens up a stinking mess and a Pandora’s Box of questions where the peasants will storm the YouTube Bastille with lawyers- good ones- in tow.
Perhaps they’re wrong, perhaps they have no idea of music publishing, but many entertainment lawyers have given speeches at music conferences and charged money for their expertise where they have said that as long as a song is covered- and even recorded and released as a track with the original songwriters and music publishing houses credited, let alone some kids uploading a home recording of, let’s say, a Katy Perry song, without changing the lyrics or the melody, it’s “no problem”
Apparently it is as YouTube is now taking down cover versions of songs.
Why and how extensive is this new purge?
Has anyone seen how many covers there are of Dylan songs or the entire Beatles songbook?
Have ANY of these been cleared for uploading?
Oh, come on- give me a fucking break.
What about the millions of YouTube channels opened by amateurs where all they do are cover versions?
Are these going to be closed?
Visit YouTube and look at covers of Michael Geyson Chance doing a Lady Gaga song or even a band like Coldplay covering a Beatles song in concert or the Beatles themselves recording demos of other people’s songs.
Are we supposed to believe that these videos will be “muted” as the songs have not been cleared by music publishers?
They sure as hell are still up there on YouTube and living happily ever after.
Still, some videos of covers- note for note covers of the originals- HOME RECORDINGS- and not for sale- are being muted by YouTube as someone, somewhere with, perhaps, nothing better to do or some axe to grind with a kid who has uploaded his version of a hit, has complained that there is an infringement of copyright- and BOOM- their work is removed.
Where? How? Why and where will this madness and stupidity end?
If so, wouldn’t President Obama singing even one line of an Al Green song constitute an infringement of copyright?
At a time when, to these ears, we have real PLAGIARISM like the total rip-off by Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams of the great Marvin Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up”, YouTube, by bending over backwards to bully boy tactics of music publishers- and the major ones have always played blind man’s bluff- is starting to reek of musical McCarthyism.
YouTube is becoming the enemy and a channel that seems to be making its laws as it goes in the online world where, even today, it’s lonely as hell out there, Rocket Man, and copyright laws remain extremely grey.