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Google: Indie Musicians Must Join Streaming Service Or Be Removed 364

Posted by Soulskill
from the our-way-or-the-highway dept.
Sockatume writes: In a statement to the Financial Times and reported by the BBC, Google has confirmed that it will remove the music videos of independent artists unless they sign up to its upcoming subscription music service. Many independent musicians and labels have refused to do so, claiming that the contracts offer significantly worse deals than the likes of Spotify and Pandora, and that Google is unwilling to negotiate on the rates it offers artists. A Google spokesperson indicated that the company could start removing videos within days.
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Google: Indie Musicians Must Join Streaming Service Or Be Removed

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  • by zAPPzAPP (1207370) on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @01:30PM (#47255751)

    Read the arcticle so you don't have to:
    This is about removing artists from Youtube, not from the Google search engine.

  • by sribe (304414) on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @01:31PM (#47255757)

    I suppose you mean "or be removed FROM YOUTUBE"???

  • Flaimbate (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @01:31PM (#47255761)

    TFS does not match TFA. Google is going to remove a number of videos of artists whose "independent labels" have refused permission for them to be on YouTube.
    Trying to make this about Google's upcoming subscription service is a complete misrepresentation of TFA.

  • Re:Flaimbate (Score:5, Informative)

    by mythosaz (572040) on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @02:02PM (#47256081)

    Google is now saying that anybody who has a song up on YouTube that Google would like to include in their (for pay) streaming services (at a crappy rate of compensation) will have it removed from YouTube unless the artist signs up for these terms.

    That's not what they're saying, despite people trying to interpret it that way.

    They're saying that record labels who use YouTube as the distribution (and revenue) channel for their artists need to deal with them.

    You, an independent artist, can upload whatever you want, just like you always could.

  • Re:Ummm (Score:4, Informative)

    by matbury (3458347) on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @02:08PM (#47256151) Homepage

    Yep, they're evil. No doubt in my mind. If anyone still has any doubts, I recommend looking at where Google spends its money, rather than listening to their PR and marketing departments, PR agencies (They hire A LOT of those), and generally spineless, fawning, sycophantic, advertising dependent mass media. The following list of recipients of substantial amounts of Google's money reads like a who's who of evil in the USA. Quoting from

    "Support for Conservative Groups

    Google funds "politically-engaged trade associations and other tax-exempt groups" and "a number of independent third-party organizations whose federally-focused work intersects in some way with technology and Internet policy" that include:

            American Action Forum

            American Conservative Union

            American Enterprise Institute

            American Legislative Exchange Council

            Federalist Society

            Mercatus Center

            Heritage Foundation

            National Taxpayers Union

            Texas Public Policy Foundation

            U.S. Chamber of Commerce

            U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

            Washington Legal Foundation

    Support for Conservative Politicians

    In 2012 and 2013, Google Washington hosted fundraisers exclusively for conservative Republican U.S. Senators: John Barrasso, John Thune, Rand Paul, and James Inhofe."

    Source: []

  • Re:Flaimbate (Score:5, Informative)

    by AthanasiusKircher (1333179) on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @02:44PM (#47256517)

    YouTube is a free to anybody video site.

    Yep. And if you -- as an independent artist -- still want to post up a video and let them play it to whomever for free, you're welcome to do so.

    Google is now saying that anybody who has a song up on YouTube that Google would like to include in their (for pay) streaming services (at a crappy rate of compensation) will have it removed from YouTube unless the artist signs up for these terms.

    NO, it's NOT. Read TFA:

    The BBC understands that even if blocks do go ahead, content from artists signed to independent labels will remain available on YouTube via channels such as Vevo.

    Videos which are exclusively licensed by independent record labels, such as acoustic sets or live performances, may be taken down.

    Read that again -- videos that are EXCLUSIVELY *LICENSED* by independent LABELS will be taken down.

    In other words, the LABELS that these "independent" artists have signed with have refused to agree to Google's new terms. Therefore, the LICENSES that the LABELS agreed to are no longer valid.

    Unless I'm reading this wrong, there's nothing here that implies that a TRULY "independent" artist couldn't post whatever he/she wants. But if that artist has signed with a label (even an "independent label" rather than one of the big ones), and that company manages the rights to the videos, then Youtube won't allow those videos to be shown in violation of licensing agreements made by those labels.

    Google may be strong-arming labels to accept deals, but they aren't actually removing "independent" artists' videos -- only those videos which had been previously licensed by a label which refuses to agree to Google's terms.

    The labels may in fact be in the right here, and maybe they should be holding out for a better deal. But let's not pretend that Google is arbitrarily taking down videos of random musicians -- it's removing commercial content that had been previously licensed, but now won't be because of a failure between the parties to agree.

    If they're going to apply this uniformly, the video of your child dancing is now something they can use for their own profit.

    I don't know about you, but if I were to post a video or other media on a website that serves up ads, I'm going to assume that that site is making money off of the ads. If you consider that using your materials for "commercial gain," then maybe you shouldn't post to a free hosting site that serves up ads.

    On the other hand, if you want to get a share in that ad revenue, you're going to have to negotiate with the site owner. And if you don't think you're going to get a good enough deal, then you can pull your videos or media -- just as these labels are doing. Both sides here are making choices.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @03:44PM (#47257149)

    Ads? What ads? There are ads in YouTube?

  • by AthanasiusKircher (1333179) on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @04:52PM (#47257875)

    How would YouTube go about determining whether a particular video is a "music video" by a "music label"? If I compose and record original music to accompany a video that I have produced, and I upload the video to YouTube, does that make me a "label" and make the video a "music video", thus requiring me to formally release its soundtrack?

    You're making this too complicated. This has nothing to do with definitions of "music videos" or "labels."

    IF you want to upload a video of whatever to YouTube and show it for free, you are still free to do so. Nothing about that has changed.

    IF, on the other hand, you want YouTube to pay you money from ad revenue it makes, you need to negotiate a license with Google/YouTube. Some labels and Google can't agree on terms, so Google has simply decided to walk away from the old licenses.

    The old license terms gave the labels some ad revenue in exchange for YouTube having permission to show the (commercial) videos. If Google no longer agrees to the payment scheme, if can no longer show the videos, according to the old licenses. Therefore, it must take them down.

    Nothing is preventing the independent labels (or artists themselves) from posting anything they want to for free. It's only if they are restricting the playing of videos so that they must receive shares in YouTube's profits in exchange that this matters.

"Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company." -- Mark Twain