Thursday, January 21, 2010

YouTube World

OK Go's lead singer Damian Kulash published a letter explaining why they can't allow their YouTube video's to be embedded in fan's pages. It's a long piece that talks about how it's unfortunate fans can't embed - or in some countries even view - their new video.

In the first part he explains that labels are losing money and looking for any way to make it up, and that it used to be that videos on YouTube were regarded as promotional items, but then the labels looked at the revenue YouTube was making from the ads they have and:

[the labels] got all huffy a couple years ago and threatened all sorts of legal terror and eventually all four majors struck deals with YouTube which pay them tiny, tiny sums of money every time one of their videos gets played.
[...] The catch: the software that pays out those tiny sums doesn't pay if a video is embedded.

Curiously, he goes on to write that: the only thing OK Go can do is to upload our videos to sites that allow for embedding, like MySpace and Vimeo.

Umm...okay, I think I lost the plot. The labels won't allow them to embed the video from YouTube, but it's okay to put the same video on Vimeo and link that? I'm confused, I really am!

And what side is Damian on? His letter clearly outlines the issues the labels are having, and implies that they appreciate the money that the label gave them to record the album in the first place, but then he posts the Vimeo code for embedding the video at the end of his post. It seems he's stuck in the middle, or at least trying to play the middle. Here's how it concludes:

So, for now, here's the bottom line: EMI won't let us let you embed our YouTube videos. It's a decision that bums us out. We've argued with them a lot about it, but we also understand why they're doing it. They’re aware that their rules make it harder for people to watch and share our videos, but, while our duty is to our music and our fans, theirs is to their shareholders, and they believe they’re doing the right thing.

Here’s the embed code for the Vimeo posting:
Go forth and put it everywhere, please.

YouTube to Sundance: Independent Filmmakers Wanted
YouTube has announced it has partnered with Sundance Film Festival to make five films from the 2010 and 2009 festivals available for rent for U.S. users starting this Friday and running through Sunday January 31st. A "small collection" of other films will also be made available.

YouTube says that they are putting out the call for more independent filmmakers to join the rental programs as part of their "Filmmakers Wanted" campaign. But there's no information on how they are doing this, or who they are trying to involve.

At the moment, renters must have a Google Checkout account to rent movies.

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