Saturday, September 13, 2008

Izea, Part Three, Last Post

I saved this for last because the presenter really irked me today with his flippant answer. He gave HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE advice to someone who asked a great, legitimate question. (Here is the video, and the remark was at around 45:40)

It was about copyright.

The speaker was Loren Feldman, and he was speaking on Video Blogs. The question was about where to find music that is copyright friendly. He gave the young lady permission to use whatever she wanted for her YouTube Video because basically YouTube has given permission or has come to an agreement with the artists on the use of the music.

He tells them to "go for it." Do not take this advice. You tarnish your reputation if you have to backtrack work because of a violation notice.

Yes it is hard to police this, and no one wants to be seen as a bad guy for doing so. At the same time when other presenters were asked what to do if someone copied part of your blog, there was irate and passion over send a cease and desist letter and how wrong that was. Hello! These artists are also being wronged when you use their music without their permission to make a profit.

YouTube has several mentions of this topic in their Help Section. I personally liked this entry from rewboss: "As a general rule of thumb, if it's a commercial piece, you'll only be allowed to use the music for your own personal use -- typically, you will not be allowed to "distribute" or "broadcast" it. Uploading to YouTube counts as "broadcasting". If you cannot find any information, you should assume that the music is protected under copyright and you can't broadcast it. It's only in the public domain if the author or the performer (whichever is appropriate) actually declares it to be in the public domain. "

And YouTube does have an agreement with Sony BMG and Universal. They do not cover EVERY musical artist out there, nor does that agreement give final say so.

As a matter of fact, if your music is used in a video that links back to your site and says that this video is sponsored by and gives a link - you are in violation no matter what. No longer are you using the music for personal use and expression, but you just gave PROOF that you are making money off that video. For instance, the video on Loren's blog is hosted on YouTube. If you go to his website, the video is there with YouTube in the corner of the video. UNDER the video it says "Today’s show brought to you by" Why did he need someone to bring you a show? Because he's getting some money from it.

Now let's pretend (I haven't watched the video yet) that there's a song used in the background that really enhances the video. And let's pretend the artist who recorded that song either is being sponsored by Payoneer's competitor or totally disagree's with their company philosophy. If the song was used as part of the video, it's misleading. And the average person is going to think they are linked. Big Snaffu issue!

Safest bet, don't use music that can be questioned. Instead either create your own using GarageBand and the special software they have to mix in different band sounds (watched a seminar on this at International Mall, but did not buy into it since I am musically declined), create your own music using Microsoft PhotoStory's music generator, find public domain music, or royalty free music (which you may have to purchase once, but at least you have it).

By the way, Creative Commons does not say that anything can be used creatively - you still have to follow copyright law. Creative Commons is a right that an artist can place on their art if they chose to.

We are really trying to encourage students to be conscience of the copyright law. It would be great if they could realize well respected bloggers, vloggers, and business people in general are also following the law that protects YOU!

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