Let me first say that I respect copyright laws. I do not believe in piracy – in fact, I’m a proponent of commerce and finding innovative ways to market. It’s for this reason I question if the laws/rules of media distribution are outdated in the sense that they are actually impeding commerce to happen.
I had heard about YouTube’s move to mute videos that were found to have copyrighted audio tracks and then I became a victim of it. Back in 2001, I had a created a video montage for a college student government reunion I’d helped to organize. Headlines from our school newspaper flashed by synced to period-specific music clips as the years progressed.
In preparation for a 30th reunion of that same student government in a few weeks, I uploaded the 8 year old video to YouTube in order to share it with people that hadn’t seen it. I got this error from YouTube:
Your video, UNH Student Senate - Retrospect Part 2: The Headlines, may have content that is owned or licensed by WMG.
It specifically called out just one of my track samples: “New Radicals – You get what you give”.
Why this is a missed opportunity for WMG is because of a mis-calculation of human behavior. How many times have you heard a clip of a song at a club, on TV, in a store, in your car, or through a friend and said, “What song is this? I want to download it when I get home.”
Because of the retrospective nature of the montage I put together it, inevitably, sparks good memories and, hence, associates music with them. For those watching they are inclined to think: “I forgot how much I loved that song” -- in effect, I’m helping to facilitate sales for record companies by informally marketing their songs on their behalf and not asking anything in return. I would have been happy to provide a link to where the music could be purchased online as I’m a big fan of adding instant gratification to the purchase consideration lifecycle.
Unfortunately, regulations aren’t keeping up with the marketing power of the social web and Warner Music Group is missing out.