Saturday, February 21, 2009

The cancer of modern culture

The relationship between the traditional music industry and the new technologies (i.e. internet) is outrageous. The last chapter that I've experienced happened last night. After the whole friday evening carefully editing a series of home videos of my baby twins playing at a fairground in Shanghai, putting them together with the Windows Movie Maker, adding transitions, editing an opening sequence, subtitling, crediting, and so on, I decided to give a homage to one of my all-time favourite bands: Dire Straits. So I added the intro of their song Tunnel of Love to my video, in the opening scene where the babies enjoy a merry go round, and also the guitar solo at the end of the song so conclude the 8:40 minute video.

I left the video uploading on Youtube during the whole night. And this morning I found to my surprise and frustration that because the video contains material belonging to WMG (i.e. Warner), the sound has been eliminated from the video.

WMG? WTF!!! First of all, they don't tell me which material rights the own (Knopfler's Tunnel of Love, or Rodgers & Hammerstein's The Carousel Waltz, song used for the intro of the former?) but regardless of this detail, why are they screwing the image of their artists with this senseless policies? I am frustrated not so much for their banning me off using an excerpt of one of my favourite artists ever, but more importantly for the senseless use of their outdated rights in banning innocent home videos where the material is only used to praise the artist, that will eventually damage the image that the fans have of artists such as Mark Knopfler.

Anybody who knows me will confirm that I have all Dire Straits albums, in vinyl, CD and even some in the late DCC format, and I had my teenage bedroom walls and college folders filled with Mark Knopfler's posters and pictures, I have been to all their concerts in Madrid since 1986 and I even keep a drum stick of the drummer from their On Every Street tour. I indeed feel entitled to use their songs in my home videos, because I am one of their biggest fans, that always bought their music and merchandising for my own, and not to make any profit. And I am pretty sure that if Mr. Knopfler watched my babies video, he would grant me the use of his song. But until the obsolete music industry that we know adapts to the new times, we will have to suffer this irrational banning and censoring of everything that does not gives them any immediate profit.

Fair enough. My video in Youtube will remain censored, no sound. I will make it clear everywhere that it was due to WMG, and at the same time I will have the same video, with the full audio track, placed on my blog directly, and also in Facebook. Basically in case anyone thought this behaviour by Warner was going to succeed in anyway. As for Youtube, it is really a pity that such an amazing servicehas to put up with these conditions by obsolete business models that can't find their place in modern times...

As for the video in question, the original (with the audio track including the excerpts of Dire Straits' Tunnel of Love) can be found in my previous post http://hoolioh.blogspot.com/2009/02/day-at-toddlers-fairground.html

The censored one in Youtube is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMIDvjH7ZD8

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