Last week, the dispute spilled out into the streets of New York. On Saturday afternoon, a few dozen supporters of the Content Creators Coalition, an artists’ advocacy group, picketed Google’s office in Chelsea, playing New Orleans-style marches on horns and carrying signs like “Economic justice in the digital domain” and “What YouTube pays? Nothing.”
Marc Ribot, a guitarist who has played with stars like Tom Waits and Elvis Costello, summarized how the larger conflict over streaming revenue affected artists’ careers.
“If we can’t make enough from digital media to pay for the record that we’ve just made,” Mr. Ribot said, “then we can’t make another one.”
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Posted in Ad Sponsored Piracy, artist revenue streams, Artists Rights Watch, the future of music
Tagged #stopartistexplitation, artist revenue streams, CCC, Content Creators Coalition, google, Marc Ribot, the future of music, youtube
Google’s Poor Track Record on Piracy
We reported on the 100 million takedown request milestone that Google sheepishly pushed past earlier this year. Compared with the rapid action the company has taken on European privacy rights, the earlier figure and the lack of action that it represents is even more astonishing.
And it’s not only privacy where Google flexes its significant muscle to disrupt illicit operations.
Since becoming the world’s most popular search engine, accounting for roughly 70% of North American searches and as much as 90% of those in Europe, the company has worked tirelessly to upgrade its algorithm to destroy low quality sites that aim to game Google’s system.
Those sites, it says, devalue its search product and leave users frustrated from a sub par experience. Sounds a lot like poor quality piracy sites that are riddled with malware, doesn’t it? So those sites should really receive similar punishment in the form of demotion or even being stripped from Google’s results. Instead, the company maintains a double standard that now stretches back more than a decade.
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The decision made several important findings related to enforcing rights online including that:
* the court had territorial jurisdiction over Google
* the court had the jurisdictional competence to make a blocking order under its broad equitable jurisdiction even if it would have extra-territorial effects
* URL blocking was not as effective as website blocking
* the balance of convenience favored granting a blocking order to assist the plaintiffs in enforcing their judgment against defendants who continued to violate their intellectual property rights
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This story is taking on a lot of dimensions of what it might be and what it might mean, Music Ally tries to get some late breaking insight. Of particular note is the comment by Radiohead manager Brian Message, read on…
“YouTube executives argue that they cannot offer music on the free service without it also being available on the paid service as this would disappoint its subscribers,” as Billboard puts it.
Meanwhile, you had the BBC suggesting that indie videos uploaded to YouTube via Vevo would still be available, while only “videos which are exclusively licensed by independent record labels, such as acoustic sets or live performances” will be taken down.
Clear as mud, then. Radiohead manager Brian Message was asked at Music Ally’s transparency event last night whether he thinks YouTube will follow through on the threats: “I quite hope that they do! It would be quite interesting to see what happens next!” – not as flippant as it reads in print, but more an admission that it’s only once blocking start happening that the industry will know exactly what YouTube is threatening.
This dispute is bad for everyone: for labels and artists, for fans, and particularly for YouTube, for whom accusations of bullying indie labels will be hard to brush off.
READ THE FULL STORY AT MUSIC ALLY:
Posted in artist revenue streams, Music Streaming, Royalty Rates, Songwriter Rights, the future of music, YouTube
Tagged artist revenue streams, Bully, Censorship, google, Indie Labels, Radiohead, the future of music
This just in from Gizmodo regarding the YouTube Music Pass for which the major labels have already made a deal with Google. Indie labels however are being bullied by the tech giant with the threat of Censorship if the artists and indie labels do not submit to sub-standard royalties. Wow. Just wow.
The problem is Google’s plans for the other 10 percent. The company’s head of content Robert Kyncl told the FT that it plans to start blocking videos from indie labels that haven’t signed licensing deals “in a matter of days.” The FT says that these labels include XL Recordings and Domino records, whose rosters include Adele, Animal Collective, Arctic Monkeys, and loads of other popular artists. In a statement to Gizmodo, Google confirmed the FT story as well as its intentions to launch a subscription-based service.
Some labels are refusing to sign up because they say they’re getting a raw deal from Google. They say that while the major labels have negotiated lucrative contracts, Google is offering indies comparatively bad terms. It’s their right to say they don’t want to sign up if they don’t like the deal Google is offering them. In response, Google is drawing a line in the sand: If your label won’t sign on to Google’s crappy licensing deal for a new streaming service, you can’t host videos on YouTube at all.
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Posted in Ad Sponsored Piracy, artist revenue streams, Royalty Rates, the future of music, Video, YouTube
Tagged artists revenue streams, artists rights, Censorship, Freedom Of Speech, future of music, google
The cops were getting lots of calls. Drivers were worried. There was a woman walking down the road — the narrow part of Highway 1, just north of L.A. And she was pushing a baby carriage.
When the cops found her, it turned out she was not a crazy person. She wasn’t even a mother.
She was a musician on a mission.
The woman was Suzana Barbosa, a longtime Toronto singer and leader of the band Lumanova, who had lately become fed up with the state of the music industry. She’d had it with the paltry amounts paid to songwriters and performers by streaming services like Spotify. She’d had it with our culture’s preference for glamorizing starving artists instead of paying them decently.
Barbosa was so fed up with the music business that she decided to walk some 400 miles, from Los Angeles to the Google campus in Mountain View, to publicize what she sees as an existential threat to the world’s independent musicians.
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Posted in artist revenue streams, Artist Rights, Music Streaming, Musician's POV, Royalty Rates, the future of music
Tagged artist revenue streams, future of music, google, musicians, Rip Off, SF Weekly, streaming, Suzana Barbosa
Discussing piracy, McGuinness suggested Google isn’t dealing with illegal links because “they don’t want to”.
“There are some vested interests that could help a lot more than they are doing,” he explained. “Google is the greatest theft enabler on the internet, when I Google YouTube music there are multiple opportunities to steal it.
“I don’t think the industry takes [Google's] promises to take things down when they get a notice sincerely. They take it down but the bots replace them immediately. I don’t thinks it’s beyond the ingenuity of those clever people at Google to deal with that, but I don’t think they don’t want to.”
READ THE FULL STORY AT MUSIC WEEK:
There is an interesting story breaking in the UK’s Guardian about negotiations between indie labels rights organization Worldwide Independent Network (WIN) and Google’s YouTube.
“Music industry trade association the Worldwide Independent Network (WIN) has accused YouTube of strong-arm negotiating tactics trying to force indie labels to sign up to the new service.
WIN, which represents independent labels worldwide, claims that YouTube is approaching labels directly with a “template contract” and threatening that if they do not sign it, all their music videos will be blocked on YouTube.”
Bring on the black out? How ironic would it be that Google would resort to content blocking as the champions of an open internet and freedom of speech online.
We can see it now…
This video has been removed by Google who chose not to compensate the creator fairly for their work. Sorry about that ;-(
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Google’s True Colors as Lobbying Goliath Revealed
Sunday’s Washington Post featured a story, “Google, once disdainful of lobbying, now a master of Washington influence” that examined the company’s rise to become a top dog among Washington influence peddlers. For Google watchers revelations in the piece, authored by Tom Hamburger and Matea Gold, come as no surprise. However, for those who continue to regard Google as the web’s guardian angel of “free speech,” the story should add a bit of tarnish to its halo, illuminating the company’s extensive back-door maneuverings — the new normal in DC’s world of political puppeteering.
READ THE FULL POST AT VOXINDIE:
Posted in artist revenue streams, Artist Rights, Copyright, Copyright Policy, Google Diaries, Magic Beaver, Silly Con Valley Insight, the future of music
Tagged artist revenue streams, Censorship, google, Lobbying, the future of music, Vox Indie