Every day, every week, every month, music is taken down from people that has shared it illegally. Music that does not belong to them. Shared with just a push of some keyboard-buttons.
YouTube is a really great tool to reach listeners, and our label also publishes all our releases to YouTube. Either on our own channel or uploaded by our aggregator. Last one is known by having the band name with ‘topic’ behind it.
This gives the listeners the option to listen to our music for free. Sometimes one must endure a bit for commersials before or during the video, but this is how the artists and the labels make some of their money. It’s sometimes one of their major source of income.
How would you feel?
How would you feel if you made something and sold 1000 pcs of it, then went over to someone else just to see they’ve sold 5000 pcs of that product? How would you feel knowing they made more money out of your product, without spending a single dime making it? A product you spent a lot of time, money and effort to produce, and now someone else is cashing in on it, without having spent on dime on it. Without asking you if it’s ok. Without giving you any of the profit. Would you be ok with that?
This is called infingement of copyrights. It is selling something that you do not have the rights to sell. It is theft of someone elses property.
This is all too comon, done in broad daylight, and it’s done in large quantities. And least, but not last: it is done under the assumption that they are promoting the artist and the music, by leaving a link to the artist in the field or comments, recommending you to check them out. Or something like that. But in reality, they are not. They are making money of the artists hard worked product. They are making money of the labels promotion. Promotion labels like us use a lot of money to do.
How are they making money, you ask?
Well, we’ll have to go into YouTubes and google search’s algorithms to find that out. When we promote one of our albums, wether it’s released or upcoming, the receiver of that promotion often starts to google the band or album. And YouTube will pop up early on the search, based on subscibers and views. And with a large quantity of illegally uploaded albums in their channel, comes a large quantity of views and often subscribers.
A label like ours won’t stand a chance against a YouTube-channel that ‘promotes’ 50-500 albums. We are not yet that big, so we would be way down on that list of google search-results, ‘thus promoting our music, but on someone elses YouTube-channel, giving them the results, views and finally… the reward.
But why does YouTube allow this?
The system, time and money it would take to check all this work before it’s uploaded, with thousands of videos being uploaded to YouTube every day, YouTube wouldn’t have been what they are if they did this. It wouldn’t have been a great way for listeners to listen to the music for free, or for the artists and labels to reach out to listeners without listeners having to pay for a subscription each month. Not everyone can afford that. But YouTube have a good way of trying to fix this when the rightfull owner discovers the deed of someone illegally sharing their property.
And it’s really not that hard to discover. Not hard at all.
There are monitoring-systems that can be used to catch everything that is published on the internet. Some are free, like google alerts, and some costs a little. They all have the same effect; sending you a warning or message that someone’s mentioned you on the world wide web. And also provides you with a link to where you are mentioned, based on the words you would like it to monitor for you. Like YouTube for example. so, easy-peasy.
Once we get a notice like this, we of course checks it out. If it is a review, or something like that, we love to share it. But when it is our property being illagelly shared or sold by others, we react. We send a take-down request, along with legal documents that states that this is our property that someone else is selling, and that they do not have the rights to do so.
This also goes for YouTube. They have a form we fill out, to take it down. Once the form is filled out, there’s a box we can check, that asks YouTube to keep an open eye for similar uploads in the future. To monitor if someone else is trying to upload it. How well this works, we don’t know, but we do think it works rather ok, because we see less and less take-downs of music that we’ve allready taken down.
“So why has someone else uploaded your music, and why can’t I do it?”
Well, that question requires us to look at three things;
1. Has the music been published by another label or are we the first to publish it?
2. Is that channel owned by the band or one of it’s artists? Or even previous label?
3. Did they perhaps ask and get permission from us?
We do not only publish new music, but sometimes re-publish music that has been released before. And if a YouTube-‘promotuer’ has published the music before the artists signed with us, we must assume they have ask and gotten the rights to do so. Either from the previous label, or the artists themselves. Then we do not go thru the hassle of trying to take it down. Not even sure YouTube would allow us to do it, because the music was published before the agreement between our label and the artist was signed.
There DO exists some honest people, that sends us a request if it is ok for them to upload our music, before they do it. And those people are much appriciated. We try do meet them as best as we can. But when it comes to people that just uploads our music, without asking… They do not get the same treatment.
We usually give them the standard time to take the illegally shared property down. 7 days on YouTube, 21 days elsewhere. But there has been times that some channels have learned the hard way that uploading illegally gets your channel shut down immediatly. We do not of course wish to do this, so we always use 7 days on YouTube.
Don’t be a thief!
It is, like we said, very easy to find, download and share other artists music on YouTube. But it is not legal, unless you have gotten permission from the one holding the rights. That is usually the artist or the label. Sharing music you don’t have the rights for, IS stealing. No mather if you’re making money of it or not. Sharing, but not profiting also means that the artists are not profiting from their own work.
So think about that the next time you wish to “promote” others music. Or do it the right way: Create a playlist based on the allready uploaded music from the artists or labels own channel. You might still get the subscribes, but at least the owners of the music will get what is rightfully theirs.