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.

READ THE FULL STORY AT MUSIC ALLY:
http://musically.com/2014/06/18/youtube-steps-up-row-with-indie-labels-by-confirming-imminent-video-blocks/

“It’s Madness” Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich on LSE Piracy Report

We’re not sure how The London School Of Economics (LSE) could get something so basic so wrong as to suggest that because a some contemporary major label and heritage artists may be making more money from live shows (arena concert grosses) that somehow basic artists rights are not important for protection.

The New Music Express reports that Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich get’s it right in response the the LSE’s shortsighted misunderstanding about artists revenue streams.

“T-shirts and tickets are nothing to do with ‘copyright and creation’, which is the supposed subject of this document.

I hope the government sees how ridiculous this document seems to people who make records.

The authors are ‘pro piracy’ and they wish to influence the UK government’s upcoming review of digital copyright law.

It’s madness.”

Indeed.

It appears that the LSE report would be suggesting that artists never should have been paid royalties from the distribution of recorded music because there have always been other ways to make money from music.

If one were to truly let this logic sink in, it would appear that the LSE is making a general argument against all copyright because the distribution of copyrighted works is only a loss leader to live performances, synchronization fees or endorsement deals. This is of course absurd on every level.

This lopsided logic from LSE seems to favor illegally operating internet corporations distributing music without consent or licenses. We know that there is a lot of money being made in the illegal distribution of music online and the LSE’s report seems aligned with the economic interests of those who knowingly exploit artists for profit.

We expect better from such a respected institution then to ignore the economic interests by companies and corporations that are profiting illegally from advertising supported music piracy.

Perhaps it’s this report in DigiDay (parent company The Economist) that says it best.

Visit the top torrent search engines, and you’ll find ad calls from Yahoo, Google, Turn, Zedo, RocketFuel, AdRoll, CPX Interactive and others.

According to AppNexus CEO Brian O’Kelley, it’s an easy problem to fix, but ad companies are attracted by the revenue torrent sites can generate for them. Kelley said his company refuses to serve ads to torrent sites and other sites facilitating the distribution of pirated content. It’s easy to do technically, he said, but others refuse to do it.

“We want everyone to technically stop their customers from advertising on these sites, but there’s a financial incentive to keep doing so,” he said. “Companies that aren’t taking a stand against this are making a lot of money.”

Thankfully Jonathan Taplin and the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab did some fantastic work earlier this year researching and studying how Ad Networks profit from piracy.

RELATED:

Over 50 Major Brands Supporting Music Piracy, It’s Big Business!

Thom Yorke, Trent Reznor and a Chorus of Artists Speak Out For An Ethical and Sustainable Internet

Perhaps 2013 will be the year that we see as the tipping point in artists rights advocacy for an ethical and sustainable internet. There have been more artists speaking up vocally this year than we can remember over the last decade. The hangover from an excess of hope that the internet would empower musicians has begun to set in as the evidence of more, and worse exploitation becomes increasingly obvious every day.

Radiohead’s Thom Yorke noted his realization about Google and other big tech companies.

“[Big Tech] have to keep commodifying things to keep the share price up, but in doing so they have made all content, including music and newspapers, worthless, in order to make their billions. And this is what we want?

“We were so into the net around the time of Kid A,” he says. “Really thought it might be an amazing way of connecting and communicating. And then very quickly we started having meetings where people started talking about what we did as ‘content’. They would show us letters from big media companies offering us millions in some mobile phone deal or whatever it was, and they would say all they need is some content. I was like, what is this ‘content’ which you describe? Just a filling of time and space with stuff, emotion, so you can sell it?”

Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor has also been outspoken this year commenting first on streaming services, and then later on the value of music.

“I know that what we’re doing flies in the face of the Kickstarter Amanda-Palmer-Start-a-Revolution thing, which is fine for her, but I’m not super-comfortable with the idea of Ziggy Stardust shaking his cup for scraps. I’m not saying offering things for free or pay-what-you-can is wrong. I’m saying my personal feeling is that my album’s not a dime. It’s not a buck. I made it as well as I could, and it costs 10 bucks, or go fuck yourself.”

Jerry Cantrell of Alice In Chains refused to play new songs in the bands live set until the new album is released to protect the integrity of the bands work.

“Well, in the old days – if you start out with ‘in the old days,’ you’re totally an old f–k – you were able to play a lot more stuff live,” Cantrell tells Spin magazine. “But with the advent of the Internet and sharing and shit going everywhere, you can’t do that anymore. We really haven’t been playing anything off the new record that’s not out yet. We’ve been playing ‘Hollow‘ and ‘Stone,’ and now that it’s going to be released, we’re thinking about whipping out ‘Phantom Limb‘ and maybe a few more.”

Quincy Jones discussed his legacy and the challenges presented for new artists in an environment of unprecedented piracy.

What’s sad is that there is 98 percent music piracy everywhere on the planet. It’s just terrible. What if these kids (who download music illegally) worked for me for two months and then I said, “I’m not going to pay you.” That’s just not right.

Aimee Mann brought a lawsuit against a digital distributor.

Guy Marchais of the band Suffocation showed fans how to buy a CD and explained the importance of supporting artists with legal purchases.

Marc Ribot of Ceramic Dog (and sideman for Tom Waits) took up the battle against Ad Funded Piracy.

We don’t know what the ultimate solution is — but we know it isn’t the impoverishment of musicians and defunding music. And we know it isn’t pretending that no-one is being hurt. Corporations are making huge profits from the ads on ‘free’ sites, from selling the hard and software that make illegal downloading possible.

Austin band Quiet Company noted their disappointment after an internet marketing partnership experiment.

““After everything, I’m not sure there is a new model. The old model is still the model, it’s just that the Internet made it way worse.”

East Bay Ray of the Dead Kennedys noted who is making money and who is not at SF Music Tech.

“There’s opportunists on the Internet that have taken advantage of the artists, [they’re] giving a free ride on a carnival horse, but they’re starving the horse.”

Zoe Keating spoke to the NY Times about how artists in certain genre’s such as classic and jazz maybe condemmed to poverty in the new digital economy without better mechanisms in place.

“In certain types of music, like classical or jazz, we are condemning them to poverty if this is going to be the only way people consume music.”

Blake Morgan went public with an email exchange between him and Tim Westergren over Pandora’s attempts to reduced already low royalties to artists.

I hear you when you say you’re “seeking a balanced structure that allows musicians to generously participate in the business.” But respectfully –– and this is quite important –– musicians are what your business is built on.

Without us, you don’t have a business.

Victoria Aitken wrote about the effects of piracy on EDM artists.

“The Internet pirates have made me, and thousands of other musicians, walk the plank. We now have to swim in shark-infested waters where the big fish gobble up our dues and the pirates laugh their way to the bank.

I believe this basic injustice must be remedied – Internet pirates are white-collar criminals. They should pay the royalties they have stolen or be answerable to the law, like looters, burglars, and fraudsters.”

Pink Floyd expressed their feelings about Pandora and digital royalty rates for the next generation of musicians.

It’s a matter of principle for us. We hope that many online and mobile music services can give fans and artists the music they want, when they want it, at price points that work. But those same services should fairly pay the artists and creators who make the music at the core of their businesses.

Martha Reeves also explained the importance to continue to work towards fair royalties for artists in the new digital economy.

Musicians should be paid a fair value for their work and all digital services should play by the same rules. These are just common sense ideas, and once Congress adopts them as law, future generations will wonder why we ever struggled over them. But that’s why we must keep struggling – until justice is done.

Shawn Drover drummer for Megadeth responded to a question asking if the band had been effected by piracy.

Of course it is. We are certainly thrilled to have a #6 record on Billboard in America and #4 in Canada, but sales are way down for the entire music industry right across the board, which is a real drag. Internet piracy, torrent sites and all that are the reason why. Concert attendance for us is still great around the world, so we are definitely happy about that.

Thom Yorke Vs Spotify : Why Doesn’t Spotify Speak Out Against Ad Funded Piracy?

Thom Yorke’s announcement to boycott Spotify is just the latest public acknowledgement that the pay rates and business models of streaming services need to adapt and evolve to pay sustainable rates to artists and rights holders. We’ve previously offered our own point of view on Spotify whereby we believe that current streaming based models are fundamentally flawed at the level of their pay rates and are especially devastating to developing artists.

Both Thom Yorke of Radiohead and Trent Rezenor of Nine Inch Nails were two of the first artists to explore and experiment with potentially new music business models on the internet. However, the realities of those experiments have become apparent this year as Thom Yorke spoke out about Google and Trent Reznor against music streaming services being unfair to artists.

But it’s also important to remember that despite our disagreements over the revenue distribution models of Spotify and Pandora these are legal and licensed services. The primary reason that these streaming businesses even exist is in response to a decade plus of infringing and illegally operating business who pay nothing at all, zero, zilch, nada.

Let’s get really real for one second… One of the primary reasons Spotify pays so little is because so many more pay nothing at all. Google alone is tracking millions and millions of infringement notices to over 200,000 known illegally operating businesses.

For those who unaware, Ad Sponsored Piracy is the mechanism by which illegal and infringing online businesses get paid to display advertising on their sites. These sites do not license any of the music they distribute nor do they share any of this revenue with artists or rights holders. In other words Silicon Valley corporate interests pocket 100% of the money and pay artists nothing.

Simply put, ad supported piracy is the practice whereby ad networks like Google’s Adsense profit by placing ads on pirate sites like www mp3skull com.

Brand $$$-> Ad Agency $$$-> On Line Ad Services $$$-> Ad Exchanges $$$-> Illegal and Infringing Sites Profit from Ad Placements.

Any legally licensed, legitimate internet music business has to acknowledge that mass scale, enterprise level, commercial infringement of music only harms their business. The devaluation of advertising inventory on infringing sites harms both the legitimate businesses ability to grow, and the ability to pay sustainable rates to musicians.

So why doesn’t Spotify join with artists by insisting on better controls and regulation of online advertising? Spotify’s existence alone is not the solution as the payments to artists and rights holders simply do not scale as we have previously pointed out (also note how much less YouTube pays than Spotify – more on this later).

Music Streaming Math, Can It All Add Up?

Maybe we’re missing something. If streaming is the future how does $2.5b in revenue from a massively successful Spotify replace the loss of $8.3b in annual earnings?

Solutions for Artist Rights must include the acknowledgement that the mathematical facts of streaming services is that they are unsustainable at current rates (see chart above). Therefore, there must be regulatory enforcement to protect artists and other creators (authors, filmmakers, etc) from Ad Sponsored Piracy.

We have previous identified over 50 Major Brands Supporting Illegal and Infringing online businesses here:

Over 50 Major Brands Supporting Music Piracy, It’s Big Business!

See more Corporate Advertising Funded Exploitation of Artists:
Tom Waits * Neil Young * Aimee Mann * Neko Case * U2 * Ben Gibbard/Death Cab For Cutie * East Bay Ray / Dead Kennedy’s * Billy Corgan/Smashing Pumpkins