Copyrights ‘n wrongs

My latest upload to YouTube at the weekend got blocked for copyright infringement. Set me thinking, and not for the first time, about the inherent tension – in the online world in particular – between exposure and monetisation.

I remember reading somewhere that when they were making Doctor No they couldn’t afford the car they wanted to use so they had to borrow a Sunbeam Alpine – a car about as rorty as its name would suggest. Nowadays, far from charging for the use of their vehicles, brands like Aston Martin and BMW pay vast sums to have 007 put the pedal to their metal. Indeed, a Bond swig during Skyfall ‘is believed’ (© Daily Mail) to have cost Heineken £28m.

Where, I wonder, is the crossover between ‘you’ll have to pay’ and ‘how much do you want?’

Whoever owns the material I’ve tried to put on YouTube has clearly taken a business decision to prioritise immediate monetisation over ‘spreading the word’. I’m not paying for it so I can’t use it, end of. Others in their position seem to take a different stance: any exposure is good exposure. Anything that spreads awareness of the value of our property has to be good for us. I’m intrigued by the way two different third parties, in essentially identical positions, have adopted such diametrically contradictory approaches.

The annoying thing as a YT poster is that the only way to find out which stance applies for any given record is to turn it into a video, and upload it. Whereupon it might or might not get blocked. Which, if the latter, means a fair bit of time & effort down the pan. Most of the stuff I upload is old/obscure enough to get through, but maybe one in four gets blocked.

My clamouring fans will never now get to enjoy the dulcet tones of Johnny Hodges – Jazz Giant…not to mention the idly browsing producer who might otherwise have stumbled across a perfect backing track for their new movie…