Biting The Hand That Feeds YouTube

Recently Xenoboy linked to a YouTube mashup which paired a SnowPatrol song (Run) with some haunting and dramatically edited scenes from Final Fantasy VIII or IX or some other set of Roman numerals.

I had never heard of Snow Patrol before. OK, I don't get out much. So they were No1 un UK at one stage last year - the days I hovered at the newsstand waiting for the latest edition of NME to arrive are long gone. Like with new novelists, I figure if there is someone REALLY good out there I will hear about them soon enough.

But the mashup was excellent and I couldn't get the song out of my head. I wanted to hear the song more often, without having to keep pressuring YouTube's bandwidth and really, I wouldn't be miffed if the video wasn't there. I just wanted the song in my headphones as I sat on the train to work. I wanted to hear if the rest of Snow Patrol's songs were as addictive, simple to play on my guitar and hum-along-able (I wouldn't sing, you've done nothing the hurt me so why would I want to hurt you? If their songs were good, I also wanted to blast them out of my $3,000 Hi-Fi system at maximum audio quality, annoying the neighbours and generally bringing my apartment into (further) disrepute.

I once would have Kazaaed them and downloaded a lot of pirate versions in varying degrees of quality and authenticity but these days I don't do that: with the death of my iRiver, I don't have an MP3 input to my stereo, and frankly MP3s sound like shit compared to a real CD on a discerning system. But also Kazaa bloats my computer with spyware. I found that a lot of the popular songs have been tampered with. Many of the songs I want are not there, such as Dylan's live version of "It's Alright Ma (I'm only Bleeding)" from his 30th anniversary tribute album. Ah fuck it. It's not like I'm poor.

I liked the song so much I bought the company.

OK, bullshit, I bought 2 Snow Patrol CDs. They're quite good, not as consistently good as I would have liked, but I listen to them. I spent REAL money on them and the artists and the production company and the retailer and everybody else involved made money from my purchase and so the world unto itself which is the music industry continues to turn.

But I read last week in the Asia Wall Street Journal (I think, or IHT, or NYT, while somewhere on the road) that many music companies have been attacking YouTube and its non-screening for and removal of mashup videos that use copyrighted songs. Here is something from the Sydney Morning Herald blog on this.

Well if they had been policing that policy and preventing kids (and me) from being creative and making lots of attractive mashups I for one would not have discovered the talents of a new band and purchased some legitimate CDs.

If they had been successful in trying to prevent me from hearing the music in the first place, I would never have purchased those CDs.

I guess I am not alone and that many thousands of CD sales have been made because of the innovative and attractive way that many brilliant mashups use copyrighted songs.

Conclusion: The music companies are made up of clueless faceless useless people who have NO FUCKING IDEA. This internet business model will not work.

Cory Doctorow's excellent run-down on Digital Right Management and why it is bad idea to limit creativity is available in many formats - here is one nicely formatted for easy reading on-line. Here is he is giving a similar lecture live on Google-Video.

"If your internet business model involves criminalizing the majority of internet users, then it's not a good internet business model."

Cory was at the Singapore Writer's Festival last year, and he was/is brilliant.

DRM and all the companies trying to make money by making me a criminal can go get fucked. However, that doesn't mean I won't go the mall and buy CD's ever again. It just means I'll grumble over it.



Posted by: expat@large on Nov 07, 06 | 10:10 am | Profile


You are becoming Singaporean!!! ~grin~

A mate the other day told me the first step being assimilated here is constant grumbling. ~lol~

Posted by: Indiana on Nov 07, 06 | 11:07 am

If that is the case, I was BORN to be a Singaporean!

Posted by: expat@large on Nov 07, 06 | 6:02 pm

No mention of the 50th Birthday Party!

A non-event?

Posted by: Sister on Nov 07, 06 | 11:09 pm


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