Friday, January 13, 2012

YouTube Copyright Infringement and Average People

It's not easy explaining to people why you refuse to upload videos to YouTube of a local musician doing cover songs. Here I am, protecting the musician from lawsuits -- in addition to protecting myself from lawsuits and having my YouTube account terminated -- but they think I'm the bad guy.

They see copyright infringement videos on YouTube. They think or assume or feel that you once recorded some cover songs by a musician friend. They are now angry at you for not uploading these video sessions to YouTube, and -- forgetting about, and not appreciating the legally displayable and distributable material that you have uploaded -- you are attacked for not uploading everything.

They want you to do what the law says you cannot do.

Mainly because they've seen other people violate the law and seem to get away with it.

It's similar to drunk driving. They know other people who drive intoxicated and never get busted for DUI. So, it's not fair, in their minds, that they should be arrested for drunk driving, or even be warned by concerned friends to not drive drunk.

Sure, they may see some unknown person in a kitchen doing a Beatles song on a YouTube video. "How come it's okay for him to do it?" they ask. "You're just depriving us of seeing our friend do Beatles and Bob Dylan songs on video. You're on the side of the censorship forces."

They don't realize that if they look for that video in 6 weeks, 6 months, or 3 years, it will probably have disappeared. Chances are, it won't stay on YouTube very long, I don't care how many cover song videos they find.

I tell them: "You yourself do a video of a cover song and upload it to YouTube, then see what happens. You don't even have to play guitar. Just sing or quote the lyrics in a video. It may be 6 months or 3 years, but eventually, they'll find it and demand you take it down, or pay for permission, or sue you."

I'm trying to comply with the harsh laws out there.

I try to explain that it's not my fault, these are not my own invented rules. This is federal law. Obama's Justice Department is involved. I tell them that DOJ is taking down entire websites, deemed to be infringing on recording industry copyright, and exact this punishment without warning, notice, or legal recourse on the part of the uploader or the provider of streaming material online.

You must own the rights to every tiny second of every video you upload, every nano-image, every flash of content. You must be the legally recognized composer and originator of each bit of sound or visual contained in your end product, your video presentation or film.

It is even getting risky using public domain music or film. Some big corporations are claiming ownership rights of film and music material that they don't legally have a right to, including what was generated by federal agencies with taxpayer money, according to some reports.

The average person doesn't understand any of this, and cares less. They have a desire. You almost fulfilled it entirely, and where you leave gaps in gratification, you are just being a jerk, and probably inconsistent about it, too.

In the average person's way of thinking, people should be able to upload videos of cover songs.

Why? Because they want to drink a lot of beer and watch their musician friend play music, anybody's music, his own or the Beatles and Bob Dylan, and nobody should prevent that from happening. It's what they want, it must be delivered to them.

They're not interested in the facts or the law. They're often the same people who do many questionable things, without fear or guilt, due to thinking they'll never get caught.

I'm depriving them of some enjoyment.

I'm the "bad guy".


Read more about what YouTube has to say about uploading videos and the copyright laws:

YouTube Copyright Tips

YouTube: What Happens if You Upload Infringing Content?

YouTube: Resources for YouTube Users

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