Sunday, October 16, 2011

Out Of Control Infringement

So my son is at his school's talent show.  I'm taking pictures and my wife is taking a video.  My son is 11 at the time and he really knows how to rock on a guitar!  Taught himself how to play he did!  It was awesome!  On of the best acts of the night!

So we go home after the show and then my wife decides post the video to Youtube.  No problem right?  Wrong!  Within a day or two I get a letter from Youtube that the video of MY son playing HIS guitar in a video that WE took, might have might violate copyright laws and therefore be copyright infringement!  But how?  This is a personal video!  We took it ourselves!  

So I got in contact with Youtube and asked how this could possibly be copyright infringement if we took the video ourselves!  I didn't add any type of other stuff into the video that would make it infringement!  The answer I got was this.  The video constituted copyright infringement because he was playing to a song that was copyrighted.  Because the song is in the video, even though I didn't add the song to the video personally, it still constitutes infringement!  I was thinking that this certainly couldn't be right!  So I decided to write to a copyright forum and see what they had to say.

I wrote to the forum and told them my situation.  I gave them another scenario that I was taking video around my house and went into my sons room where he was listening to the radio and then I posted the video to youtube and got an infringement letter.  The forums response was the same as Youtube.  They said that as soon as I posted the video with the song in it as public, that it became infringement even if I did not add the song to the video myself!  Simply that the song is in the video alone constitutes infringement.  

So in a nutshell, if you have ever posted a video to Youtube and it has music in it, chances are that you have broken the law, no matter how the music got there.  Unless of coarse you wrote the song yourself!  But is this the best thing for the music industry to be doing?  I mean, do they really need to pursue these copyright claims the way that they are?  Are not the people posting the videos with music in them in a sense promoting someone else's music?

Personally I think that big corporations like Sony and others should just stop heckling us peons about copyright infringement simply because there are way too many videos out there with music on them!  Every minute on Youtube, there is 24 hours worth of video uploaded.   You couldn't hire enough people to go through all that video footage just to see if there if copyrighted material or music on them!  Why even keep trying?  By posting YOUR music in OUR videos we are just helping promote YOUR music!  Essentially we are advertising for them and who doesn't want free advertising?  Corporate America I guess!

Look, when we go buy shoes at a store, no matter how cheap or expensive they are, we are promoting for that company.  Every shoe has at least two ways to identify it.  One is the name of the shoe, and the other is their logo that is incorporated onto the shoe, usually on either side of the shoe!  Same thing for cars.  When you buy a car, not only is the name of the car on the car but that company's logo is also on the car so people will know one way or another what type of car you are driving!  Clothing companies too!  Old Navy does it more than any other company I know of!  I would go as far as to challenge you to go into an Old Navy store and find something that doesn't have the words Old Navy blatantly obvious on their stuff!  It's all over it!  No matter what you buy from Old Navy, people won't even have to ask you where you got it from because it will be so obvious!  

But what if we didn't want to promote their product?  Do we have a choice?  Can I take these companies to court and demand that I don't want their logo or name on their stuff that I wear of theirs?  Probably not!  In most cases I would figure that I would be told to go shop somewhere else!  Not that it bothers me because it doesn't, but if it did then would I have a case?  Why when I don't want to promote a product, I'm forced too, but when I want to promote a song in a video I make, I can't!  That doesn't make a whole lot of sense!  Big companies every year save millions in advertising by making their customers the promoters of their product, yet big music companies get mad at their customers when they post music to homemade videos that might make them more sales in the long run!  Some of the best music I have in my music library is from videos that I saw on Youtube!  I watched a video, heard a song that sounded cool, got that song info and bought a rocking new CD!  And that's how Corporate America should view this!  People want to promote your music!  Why?  Because they like it and they want others to like it too!  They wouldn't post it to their video if they thought that it was trash and not worth listening too!  

Copyright infringement has gotten out of control.  It's so nit picky!  Most people who copyright infringe, don't even know that they are doing so!  If they did, would they really do it?  Highly doubtful!    Give your customers a break!  Look at it from our view!  People are not intending to break the law, but rather they want to promote the music that they love into their videos!  What's wrong with that?  Customers make or break companies.  When companies stab their customers in the back for petty things, that's when you may lose customers!  And you don't want negative customers!  While a happy customer might tell one person about their good experience, an angry customer will tell every person that they come in contact with about their bad experience!  So Corporate America, keep your customers happy and stop being so legalistic! 

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