After listening to The Blues To The Bush‘s version of “After The Fire” earlier this evening I felt a tremendous urge to listen to the original recording (found on Roger Daltrey’s “Under A Raging Moon” album – the best he ever recorded). I was sitting in front of the computer, and I thought it would be faster to look the song up on YouTube and play it there than to go fishing for the CD. I remembered I once had watched it there, not that long ago.
Well, I managed to find it pretty quickly again. The video was still there.
But owing to a claim by the original record company, the audio had been taken away. Only the images remained, and the uploader thought it would be preferable to have some music playing along to the clip than leaving it mute. So, he used a song by Creed instead.
Leaving aside all the obvious (and delectably malicious) jokes that spring to mind, this just makes it clear that the way in which the rights of performers are being looked after isn’t really self-assuring.
A few might say that such a thing can’t be helped when we are talking about something as huge as YouTube – a portal with one of the largest databases of user-generated content ever. But that doesn’t alleviate the fears of performers one whit.
So, a deal like the one YouTube has just announced will be greeted more than enthusiastically. YouTube has just signed up with RightsFlow, a licensing and royalty service provider for artists, record labels, distributors and online music companies.
RightsFlow has over 12,000 clients (roughly 23 million songs), and it specializes in getting licenses from publishers and songwriters the world over. And that includes both major and independent performers.
Let’s see into how much of an advantage this really translates for users.
For the time being, I had to walk to my room and get my copy of “Under A Raging Moon” from the CD rack.