YouTube Monetizing Piracy

On the YouTube blog, the company posted an announcement about a deal struck with many music publishers. Now, when users upload videos with background music that is copyrighted music, instead of begin taken down, if it belongs to certain publishers, an ad will play, and at least some of the revenue sent to that publisher to pay for the royalties that should be paid.

These new deals, along with the licenses from the many publishers who have opted in to last year’s deal with the NMPA / Harry Fox Agency, will allow us to monetize nearly all of the user generated videos with music on YouTube. Why is this important? When these publishers allow YouTube to run ads alongside user generated videos that incorporate their compositions, then the publishers, the songwriters they represent, and the record labels and artists using their compositions, all make money – so they can reinvest in their careers and keep making great music, and the music industry can thrive.

My problem with this is that it only further to cloud the layman YouTube user’s understand of proper copyright music use in videos. Google tried to educate users with a cute video. But you still see people upload full songs with nothing but a picture of the artist then post in the comments “COPYRIGHT NOTICE – I DONT OWN THIS MUSIC NOR CLAIM TO, DONT TAKE THIS DOWN OR SUE ME”. There is a terrible lack of understanding about what copyright protects with most users.

Now, some videos with music in them will be left up. But what about publishers who don’t agree to this scheme? Those videos will still be taken down. And users will not understand – but this video stayed up, why didn’t this one? I understand the benefit of this policy and business arrangement, but it is not serving to help users understand this is an exception to a violation (assuming whatever video did not have a valid fair use claim…. let’s not even attempt to try to get users to understand what constitutes fair use – “BUT IM NOT CHARGING FOR IT!?!”)

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2 thoughts on “YouTube Monetizing Piracy”

  1. Thanks for bringing attention to a confusing topic. Many people can’t wrap their heads around the music copyright industry. To be honest, I pay attention to the space and there are plenty of nuances that are not black and white to me. What does this mean for your average user? Epic FAIL for understanding! Education is a good start but it must become more effective

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