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Google Using YouTube Threat As Leverage For Cheaper Streaming Rights 197

Sockatume writes: "According to a press release issued by WIN, a group representing independent musicians, Google is threatening to de-list musicians' videos from YouTube if they do not agree to the terms for its unannounced streaming music service. The template contracts issued to musicians are described as 'undervalued' relative to other streaming services, and are not open for negotiation. The press release was issued by WIN but rescinded when Google agreed to further discussions; The Associated Free Press and The Guardian have published stories based on that original release."
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Google Using YouTube Threat As Leverage For Cheaper Streaming Rights

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  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @09:37AM (#47065281) Homepage
    Look, unless its an actual group of independent musicians, can we just assume WIN is a group of agents, managers, and lawyers suckling for cash? Its not as though the musicians couldnt form their own group, start up a listserv, and send a strongly worded email to google insisting they be paid fairly in order to stream content.
  • by alen ( 225700 ) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @09:43AM (#47065343)

    you can say google is evil,but spotify doesn't let anyone upload videos for free for the whole world to see

  • by Thud457 ( 234763 ) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @09:45AM (#47065371) Homepage Journal

    Where do I sign?

    Google strong-arming musicians like the worst of the music industry? I dunno, sounds pretty evil to me.

  • by StripedCow ( 776465 ) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @10:02AM (#47065561)

    ... and lock users into their platform by not allowing downloads of videos ... and suck personal info out of your users by coupling the platform to google+

  • Re:No Way (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jythie ( 914043 ) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @10:19AM (#47065729)
    Thing is, consumers like portals, at least in numbers significant enough that if you are hosted on a site that has a large user base you will get more attention then having your own custom site that people have to search for.

    For all of its problems, Youtube provides a consistent interface, relatively stable performance, and a linking system that encourages people to explore videos and artists that they are not already aware of or are aware of and seeing the 'suggestion' spurns interest in rewatching something.
  • by Yebyen ( 59663 ) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @10:21AM (#47065749) Homepage

    How much personal information are you really putting into Google+?

    Have you heard of youtube-dl? It is actually possible to download videos from YouTube.

  • Pish posh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by c0d3g33k ( 102699 ) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @10:38AM (#47065917)


    Google spends time, effort and resource to create the infrastructure for a music streaming service that requires daily, constant effort to maintain, and so gets to define the terms.

    Musicians spend a few hours/days/weeks/months/years creating songs, then look for ways to milk that brief period of productivity for a lifetime (and for their descendants or estates as well, because copyright).

    What musicians don't do: create their own music streaming service built on their own terms and funded by them, asking for the fees they sincerly believe they deserve. And then test it in the free marketplace and discover what the true value of their work actually is. And adjust their model until they have come up with a viable and sustainable business. That's what musicians don't do.

    Yet when someone else does all the work for them but actually wants to get something for THEIR effort that actually reflects the cost and effort involved, it's evil and exploitative.

    Strong arming? Threat? De-listing? Bullshit. Use the music service someone else created for you, find another that suits you better, or create your own. That should be how things work in a free market.

    I can't blame those who are actually doing the hard work for refusing to cater to the exaggerated sense of entitlement that pervades the culture of 'creatives'. For every artist that is sitting on their duff crying out about the unfairness of these services, there are probably a hundred hard working people that get up every single day to collect their tiny paycheck in order to make that service viable so the artists can reap the rich benefits they think they are due.

  • Re:Pish posh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bob9113 ( 14996 ) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @11:03AM (#47066267) Homepage

    Strong arming? Threat? De-listing? Bullshit. Use the music service someone else created for you, find another that suits you better, or create your own. That should be how things work in a free market.

    Yes, it should be, but surely you have noticed that YouTube doesn't compete like a stand-alone video distribution service in a free market. YouTube has a bunch of features that couple users to it. That coupling gives YouTube a partially closed market.

    You are right that in a free market there would be no problem here. But we don't have one. As you seem to be a fan of the free market, perhaps the next question on your mind should be what we can do to address the flaw in the market to create a closer practical approximation of the theoretical ideal.

    That is, of course, assuming you truly care about the free market, and are not just wielding the term to distract readers from a dogmatic and irrational belief in laissez faire.

  • by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Thursday May 22, 2014 @11:08AM (#47066351) Homepage Journal

    except they aren't doing that.

    Merlin is making a beg deal and trying to spin it because Youtube is going directly to the musician instead of using Merlin.

    This is BETTER for the musician because there are less, to no, middlemen between the musician and the money.

  • Re:Pish posh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by c0d3g33k ( 102699 ) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @11:26AM (#47066605)

    Greetings Bob9113.

    Please forgive me if I disregard all your academic arguments about economic philosophy that are based on one term I used ("free market") because that was the most concise term I could think of using the english language. There is no dogmatic and irrational belief in lassaiz faire at work here.

    I'm not sure what features YouTube has that couple users to it, because I've never had a YouTube account, yet I can go to YouTube and watch absolutely anything (with the exception of a few vexing restrictions when using a mobile device). I'm not forced to use YouTube for anything, and plenty of videos I watch are provided by services other than YouTube. Lots of stuff is on YouTube, but I don't feel particularly coupled to it. In fact, I'd classify YouTube as the most uncoupled service on the internet because I am not forced to be a YouTube user in any way, yet I can watch any YouTube video I wish on just about any device I own.

    More importantly, I can choose to NOT watch YouTube videos, and there is plenty of interesting information out there that does not use YouTube.

    I'm not seeing the closed market you are describing, at least with respect to YouTube. I DO see a closed market with other services that require me to use that service exclusively to see something, but YouTube has been pretty egalitarian in my experience.

    So what is your point exactly, and what service do you use that is more free than YouTube?

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling