Some cold analysis of the YouTube-Indie labels story, and some long term reflections | Wildcat Blog

So what’s going on with Google, YouTube and Indie labels?

There’s been so much fuss, indies tearing their hair, lawyers trying to tone it down: I try to sum up the whole thing here for your delight and delectation.

Alright, this is not a music law blog. It is, however, a blog where law and music meet. So, here we go. If you don’t know the ante-fact, have a read here or here.

And there’s also this update that Google may be revising its position now.

Why is the contract so bad? Wait, is it really bad?

READ THE FULL POST AT WILDCAT BLOG:
http://blog.thewildcat.co.uk/post/91151130569/some-cold-analysis-of-the-youtube-indie-labels-story

Artists Take To The Streets to Protest Google/YouTube in NYC | NY Times

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.”

READ THE FULL STORY AT THE NEW YORK TIMES:
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/25/business/media/small-music-labels-see-youtube-battle-as-part-of-war-for-revenue.html

YouTube’s Ultimatum and The Economic Survival Of Musicians | Hypebot

By copyright and intellectual property attorney Wallace E. J. Collins III, Esq..

The most serious problem facing the artist community is that, at some point, it becomes economically unfeasible to pursue a career as an artist, songwriter or musician. Of course, as has been the case for many decades, most musicians barely survived without the dreaded day job. However, this extreme downward pressure on the creators of original audio and audio/visual content may force matters to a breaking point the likes of which the creative community has never seen.

No kidding.

READ THE FULL STORY AT HYPEBOT:
http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2014/06/youtubes-ultimatum-and-the-economic-survival-of-musicians.html

Will YouTube really block indie labels if they snub its new music service? | The Guardian UK

Ugly dispute with indie labels is provoking anger online, so what are the facts – and rumours – about YouTube’s streaming plans?

The accusation from WIN, representing its independent label members, is clear: if labels don’t sign up for YouTube’s new paid music service at the (non-negotiable) terms, their entire catalogues will be blocked on YouTube – all of YouTube, not just the new premium bit.

Note too the “significantly inferior” terms reference in Wenham’s letter. At WIN’s press conference, songwriter (and Guardian journalist) Helienne Lindvall said that “We’re hearing that a billion dollars has been paid by YouTube to the major labels” in advances for its new service.

Some of the anger in this dispute is the perception by indie labels that their major rivals have inked lucrative deals with YouTube while leaving them with the crumbs.

That billion-dollar figure is hearsay, of course. But note that YouTube said in February that it had paid $1bn out to music rightsholders in royalties so far, and then consider Kyncl’s quote in the FT interview: “That number is going to double soon.”

READ THE FULL STORY AT THE GUARDIAN UK:
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jun/18/youtube-indie-labels-music-service

YouTube’s Attack On Indies Gets Strong Response From WIN, But It’s Time For Artists To Take Action | Hypebot

YouTube/Google and Amazon Are Using Their Power Against Creatives

If you’ve been watching the last 15 years or so of web development, you’ve seen a relatively wide open field of entrepreneurial potential gradually get taken over by major corporations in a manner similar to what occurred in industrial societies beginning in the late 1800s. They may be dropping fewer bodies than did the industrial giants but close-to-monopoly digital land grabs by companies like Google and Amazon have put them in a situation where they seem to feel that any terms they name are acceptable if they have the power to force compliance.

Amazon’s current battle with Hachette is but one example of how they’ve used their dominating position in book and ebook retail on the web to have their way with companies that are often struggling to survive.

YouTube’s dominance of the web video space sets up a similar near-monopoly situation in which they’re willing to use their position to behave in monopolistic fashion and force non-compliant entities into line.

READ THE FULL STORY AT HYPEBOT:
http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2014/06/youtubes-attack-on-indies-gets-strong-response-from-win-but-its-time-for-artists-to-take-action.html

YouTube’s DMCA Abuse and Indie Labels: How Google is Blowing it for the Honest People

Trichordist Editor:

* * MUST READ * * From Music Tech Daily

Originally posted on MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY:

In a speech at Canadian Music Week, Beggars Group Chairman Martin Mills was not only right, he was prescient:

Google, the parent of YouTube, [is] one of the companies that have made billions on the back of [the DMCA notice and takedown,] a statutory provision intended to protect ordinary people acting innocently.

Google has now refined the DMCA to a tool to leverage its anticompetitive activities.  Here’s how it works.

1.  Google opens the YouTube platform to unauthorized “user generated content” and says to artists (literally in this case) “Does yuse wants to play whack a mole or make some dough?”  This is called the notice and shakedown.

2.  Google then jams a settlement down the throats of major labels and sticks it to everyone else.  Publishers are next.

3.  Google pays the lowest royalty online with a big advance to majors and spaghetti statements to everyone else that probably…

View original 326 more words

YouTube Monetizes Philippines Sex Tourism Videos, Music by Jack White, Song by U2 ads by @greatwolflodge @prudentialbyc @spices4life | MTP

Google always stays classy. Despite the fact that the Philippines is suffering one of the worst natural disasters of all time, YouTube continues to exploit sex tourism with videos, this time music by Jack White:

Note the Ads by Google to “chat now” or “send gift” for asian girls in Thailand and China as well as filipinocupid.com.

READ THE FULL POST HERE AT MUSIC TECH POLICY:

http://musictechpolicy.wordpress.com/2013/11/19/millions-are-homeless-but-youtube-monetizes-philippines-sex-tourism-videos-music-by-jack-white/

Merlin on YouTube music payouts: ‘Their figures are by far the worst’ | Music Ally

“The ironic thing is that the service that pays the least is the service that’s the most well funded and run by the biggest company in the world: their figures are by far the worst, whether you measure them on a per-stream basis or a per-user basis. I tend to get myself in trouble when I talk about that company…”

Hence his desire not to name them directly, but quote instead from an interview with Billy Bragg conducted by Music Ally earlier this year. “If we’re pissed off at Spotify, we should be marching to YouTube central with flaming pitchforks,” said Bragg – Caldas read this quote out before delivering his own pointed follow-up. “I can’t say Billy’s right, but I can say that he’s not wrong,” said Caldas.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE AT MUSIC ALLY:
http://musically.com/2014/04/30/merlin-youtube-music-payouts-charles-caldas/

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Google/YouTube Said to Be Threatening Censorship Of Artists Videos | The Guardian UK

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 ;-(

READ THE FULL STORY AT THE GUARDIAN UK:
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/may/22/indie-labels-youtube-subscription-music

Billy Bragg and Beggars Group Rethink YouTube & Streaming… | MusicAlly

We wonder if this is the future of music and artist revenue streams?

While Wheeler was positive about subscription streaming services, he opened both barrels on YouTube. “If YouTube launches a subscription service and it eats Spotify and Rdio, you’ll look back at these times as great days,” he cautioned. “They want to eat all the other music services and our business. That’s their plan.” He said the record industry was “caught out” in the early days of YouTube and didn’t realise the video site would become so big, initially thinking it was just about licensing music for a video of “a cat on a skateboard and then it became the biggest music service in the world”.

Bragg backed him up by saying, “If you want to talk about artists getting angry about the use of their music, YouTube is the place we should be looking at.”

Wheeler concluded, “We got caught out and that needs addressing. Otherwise they will eat our dinner.”

READ THE FULL STORY AT MUSICALLY:
http://musically.com/2014/04/07/beggars-group-recalibrates-50-streaming-payment-to-artists-and-attacks-youtube/

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Exclusive: ‘YouTube Music’ Is Launching This Summer… | Digital Music News

#SXSW REWIND : Venture Capitalist Admits Artists Can Not Make A Living On Streaming Royalties…

What YouTube Really Pays… Makes Spotify Look Good! #sxsw