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.”


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.


YouTube steps up row with indie labels by confirming imminent video blocks | Music Ally

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.


!! Gizmodo Reports Google to Censor Videos By XL Recordings, Domino Records, Adele, Animal Collective, Arctic Monkeys and More !!

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.




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 ;-(


Google’s plea against web censorship rings hollow | VOX INDIE

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.


Real Censorship | nycRUEN

During the protests against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), critics of the legislation portrayed its process of identifying foreign black market domains and then blocking them from gaining easy profits from, and access to, the US online audience, as “censorship” — full stop.

It bothers me that representatives from Google or the EFF, Reddit, etc. are so quick to lump in the attempt to protect artists rights with the political censorship of China or Iran. It is entitlement of the privileged at its worst and demonstrates to me how desperate some people are to excuse freeloading by any means necessary. But, the wonders of technology simply do not excuse clear cases of exploitation.


Google and YouTube want “Transparency and Openess” except when it applies to Google and YouTube!

Censorship anyone? Hmmmmm…

Because information wants to be free, as long as it’s your information. Which brings us to this: YouTube is now threatening to completely sever its relationship with digital distributor ONErpm, thanks to some ‘over-sharing’ of information in a recent guest post on Digital Music News. According to ONErpm founder Emmanuel Zunz, YouTube is unhappy that certain payout details and percentages were disclosed, with a complete blacklisting being threatened.

According to ONErpm, YouTube has demanded that the entire guest post – here – be ripped down, which would obliterate nearly 100 comments and the knowledgebase that comes with that (not to mention the detailed information in the post itself).

“Yt is threatening to cancel our agreement,” Zunz emailed. “It’s a very serious issue for us.”

YouTube Demands the Removal of a Digital Music News Guest Post…

The idea that Google is an open and transparent company is simply laughable to anyone who has actually dealt with the company and given Google’s monopoly over video search, when it makes threats about cutting someone off from YouTube, those threats are amplified with what is called a “force multiplier” in some circles (or an “A-hole multiplier” in others).  An amplification that varies directly with the effectiveness of YouTube’s monopoly over online search, a monopoly perfected for years by Google subsidizing YouTube with profits from its other monopoly businesses.

More Stupid New Boss Tricks: Google’s YouTube Artist Relations Debacle

So Much For Innovation, YouTuber’s Meet The New Boss…

Free Pussy Riot Now! This is what Real CENSORSHIP Looks Like.

This is what Real Censorship looks like for those who confuse easily. This is sad breaking news.

(Reuters) – Three women from Russian punk band Pussy Riot were sentenced to two years in jail on Friday for their protest against President Vladimir Putin in a church, an outcome supporters described as the Kremlin leader’s “personal revenge”.


For those who remain confused about the difference between FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION and FREE BEER (er uhm music) please read this report from Amnesty International regarding  Pussy Riot and do take action.

Freedom of Expression is truly a right to be protected and preserved, as ARTISTS RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS:




Artists, Know Thy Enemy – Who’s Ripping You Off and How…

Musicians have been getting the short end of the stick for a long time. There are no shortage of stories about the wrong doings of managers, booking agents, etc and of course record labels.

But today we find ourselves in a battle with an enemy few of us understand. If we were to believe the writings and ramblings of the tech blogosphere, than they would have us believe that our enemy is our fans. This is simply not true.

The enemy are the for profit businesses making money from our recordings and songwriting illegally. Let’s be clear about this, our battle is with businesses ripping us off by illegally exploiting our work for profit. This is not about our fans. It is about commercial companies in the businesses of profiting from our work, paying us nothing and then telling us to blame our fans. That is the ultimate in cowardice and dishonesty.

Who are these companies? You know some of them, the ones that have been prosecuted and are no longer operating, Napster, Limewire, Grokster and Kazaa to name a few. Some have been convicted of operating illegally and are running from the law, switching servers to jurisdictions outside the reach of justice, such as The Pirate Bay. And, there are other still others who have yet to go to trial like Megaupload who alone made a billion for it’s owner Kim Dotcom who paid artists nothing, nadda, zero, zilch, zippo…

Our friends over at Ethical Fan recently published a Wall of Shame showing not only the sites who are profiting, but also who is paying for the advertising. This is no different than your music being used in a TV Commercial by AT&T, Time Warner, Verizon, State Farm Insurance, etc. Virtually all of these Artist Exploitation sites such as The Pirate Bay, Demonoid, Iso Hunt and others are operating for profit. Again, this is not about fans sharing, this is about illegally operating businesses making millions (and more likely Billions collectively) of dollars a year from the exploitation of artists work and not sharing any of the revenue with artists.

To the uninitiated, it might seem odd that what seems like a simple question of right or wrong is even being debated, but these sites that exploit artists are supported and promoted by faux civil liberty groups opposed to protecting creators rights — and internet giants are happy to throw their support behind them. Together, they have crafted a narrative of creator rights as quaint and outdated, offering artists a brave new online world where they can throw off the shackles of labels (or publishers, or studios, etc.) and give away their work to find fame and fortune. However, after a decade of half baked ideas, faulty business models, and outright lies, we know this is simply untrue. If the internet is working for musicians, why aren’t more musicians working professionally?

We may not always be fans of record labels, but at least the labels negotiate contracts, pay advances, market and promote artists, and are contractually accountable for wrong doing. However, the Artist Exploitation sites who are operating illegally and completely above the law are making 100% of the money from work created by musicians and artists. We would love to see the day when these sites license music legally, governed by fairly negotiated contracts.

Being able to collect 100% of the money from exploiting the work of artists is no doubt profitable when these companies don’t have to share any of that money with the artists themselves. This is expressly why copyright exists, specifically to protect artists and musicians from corporate interests who would illegally exploit the artist for profit. This is why record labels, publishing companies as well as the producers of films and television must negotiate with artists for the use of their work. And the artist has the free agency to decline. The artist has no such enforceable rights online today in the Exploitation Economy.

In other words, artists, creators and musicians have become road kill on the information super highway.

Opponents of the enforcement of Artists Rights online often cite what a powerful tool the internet is for distributing music cheaply. We are encouraged by many new and promising services to musicians that are being developed. But is absolutely false to assert that an artist’s work must be exploited illegally for the artists to enjoy the benefits of the internet.

Nothing is stopping any artist from sharing or giving away their work online through legitimate sites such as Soundcloud and Bandcamp.  Artists have the full right and capability to distribute their work freely, and by choice without having to be exploited illegally to the benefit and profit of an exploitative  company or corporation.

This is not about being for, or against technology or the internet, this is about being opposed to illegally operating businesses on the internet exploiting artists for commercial gain. It’s really just that simple. 

Those attacking Artists Rights also want you to believe that if you want to be paid you must be against technology and for censorship. Nothing could be more wrong. The internet is a amazing tool and most musicians we know are also early adopters of new technology (especially of the musical variety!). More so, it was artists and record labels who have historically fought against censorship and for freedom of expression. No where was this been more evident than in the 90’s battles against the PMRC in regards to record labeling with “Explicit Lyrics” stickers. Many artists have been on the front line of the battle for freedom of expression such as ICE-T, Jane’s Addiction and many others.

Let’s be clear, there is a difference between protecting the right to the freedom of expression, and profiting from the illegal exploitation of that expression itself.

In other words, artists and musicians are champions of freedom of expression and new technology. The only question that we ask is, is the use of the technology legal and does it respect artists rights as expressed in copyright. Copyright serves as the foundation that enables an artist the free agency to make the choices for themselves that are meaningful to them. Without the enforcement of copyright artists are bullied into forced collectivism by the new gate keepers who control the access to distribution revenues of music exploited illegally.

An economy built on the illegal exploitation of artists, is very simply an Exploitation Economy.

Any wrong doing of illegally operating businesses ripping off artists and illegally exploiting their work should be held accountable, even if they are on the internet.