|Posted by Ratin8tor on July 15, 2012 at 5:15 PM|
Hello and Welcome to In Too Deep, where I over-analyse a certain section of pop culture.
For those not in the know, this is my 99th blog on this site. And it gives me great pleasure to welcome a man that needs no introduction (so I won't waste time with one), Les. I approached him with the idea of doing a crossover blog about internet piracy and this is what we came up with. Enjoy.
R8:Firstly, lets look at why people put music online. If I upload the latest Lady Gaga song onto Youtube for zero profit, I'm only doing it because I want people to hear this great new song. Sure they could see it on the official Lady Gaga Youtube page, but what if my video has the lyrics on screen. I don't plan to make a profit from it, I just want people to be able to read along to the lyrics as the song plays. Furthermore if I put clips to the music (in a term I call 'amv' on my Youtube page) for no profit, can it be said that I'm stealing money? I like Doctor Who, and I like the soundtrack off Glee. Is it really that bad to combine the two of them just to show my appreciation?
Les: I’d say, if anything, you are actually making the original artist money doing this. By posting their song on a public forum like YouTube, it’s free advertisement for them. People might hear the song that they would, otherwise not have. Furthermore, they may decide they like it enough to want to go out and buy the album themselves. They question might better be: Why aren’t the copyright holders paying us to advertise their songs for them?
R8: Secondly, lets say you put the song on blip and you earn a bit of money off it. Should we really pay the person that owns the property? What if I put the song as a theme song for my video series. Many reviewers on this site use clips of a song as their 'theme tune', for example Film Brain using "Ready to Roll" by Jet Black Stare. Now I don't know if he does pay royalties to the band, but lets say he doesn't. He's using their song without giving them any money for compensation, even though he's been using it for three years.
Les: Well, as I understand it(and my knowledge may be dated as it’s been 10 years since I copyrighted a song....) When you own a song copyright, you’re owed 6 cents every time somebody plays it. As I further understand it, for every full viewing on Blip of your video, you earn something like....6 CENTS!...there’s no profit from that deal, my friend. So they essentially want you to pay them a 100% of your earnings for the right to use their song? While I agree it’s proper to pay the royalty holder for using their song, I believe there should be an adjustment done for songs used for so little profit.
R8: If I may, I'd like to turn this topic onto SOPA and why it isn't a bad thing. Every time the Nostalgia Critic reviews a movie, does the company that made the film get any money out of it? Doug Walker clearly makes a profit on these videos. However at least half of his content is made by someone else, yet he earns money off it. Perhaps the people for SOPA have the right idea. If someone stole clips of the Nostalgia Critic and made their own reviews of his review, he wouldn't see a cent of it if it made tons of money. Wouldn't it be hypocritical for him to try and ban a video that uses footage he made, when he in turn does the same thing with the various movies he reviews.
Les: First of all, like my music example from above....If Doug uses a clip in his show it immediately becomes of interest to whomever is seeing it(sometimes for the first time) This can generate a greater profit when that someone goes out and purchases the source of the clip to see the whole thing. For example, Doug’s review of “The Room.” This film by Tommy Wiseau is utter crap...bad story...bad acting...bad writing...bad editing....there’s no reason this film should’ve ever become popular-except for the internet reviewers like Doug, Brad and Obscurus Lupa who’s reviews of it turned it into an internet Meme. That film should have died a quick death at the box office and then faded into obscurity to never rise again. Thanks to TGWTG, and other internet reviewers, the film has achieved a cult status that probably has netted the producers millions of dollars they otherwise would never have seen. Where’s the reviewers cut of the profits there-except for what they make from their own review shows?
R8: As for trying to stop online piracy, they don't seem to be going round it the right way. In New Zealand they passed a law banning file sharing. Now ignoring the fact that file sharing, under the bill, includes online videos (and because of this site alone I should now be the number one criminal in New Zealand) it failed to make an impact whatsoever. Since it's inception in September it's caught a grand total of zero (yes, that's 0) people. However it does try and solve the big problem that is happening. What movie companies don't seem to realize is that I'm not going to fork over $30 for a DVD of a film I can download for free. Yet I still buy DVDs, especially that of classic Doctor Who episodes. Why? Because although I could download the episodes, the bonus content included on it easily pays for the cost of the $30. So perhaps if media companies made their DVDs worth the price other then what was just the movie, perhaps people would be more inclined to buy the special features.
Les: Not to mention the quality of the films are always better on DVD or Blu-Ray...do continue, my friend....
R8: Or, on the flip-side, put their movies and TV shows online for everyone to watch. Now I can't say much on this topic, since sites like 'Hulu' are blocked in New Zealand and everywhere else that's not as important as America. But if they're wiling to put the episodes online for free, then why should it be illegal if I obtain a free copy via other means. If you were more forthcoming with your product, I'd be more willing to try and find legal means of obtaining it rather the waiting it for to come on TV. And if advertisements are really as essential as you claim (despite the fact that the BBC can have channels devoid of ads in turn for a TV license, something they should look at spreading to other parts of the world), why not include the ads into the show? Just put an ad at the beginning like they do on blip TV. Sure it'll be annoying, but if one ad is all it'll cost for a free copy of the latest Family Guy episode, then I'd be happy to pay for it.
Les: Actually, I wouldn’t be willing to do this for Family Guy episodes, as they suck, but I digress.......sorry, you were saying?
R8: But getting back to this SOPA bill, I do support it. I don't think it's aimed at the right direction, but I do support it. Doug Walker would be upset if someone posted Suburban Knights over Youtube for free and would no doubt want it removed. This is what SOPA is trying to do. It's trying to eliminate online piracy, not banning every man and his dog from posting anything online. I think that this 'oh it'll destroy the internet' fear is going too far. People said the same thing in New Zealand; and people either bypassed the law or ignored it outright. Or, the more likely option, the police knew it was better to target those that were making a profit off counterfeit DVDs then those that posted a clip or two onto Youtube. Yes the wording can be pretty vague, but that's to try and stop people from worming out of it and avoiding the justice they deserve. I support SOPA, in the sense that I can see what it's trying to do and support its goals.
Les: OK, here’s where I must respectfully disagree with you completely, my friend. SOPA, as written, isn’t about banning piracy. It’s designed, since it’s so poorly defined, to make it interpretatively legal to arrest somebody for posting clips of music or films under the Fair Use Act in a public forum like YouTube, Blip, TGWTG, Reviewers Unknown, etc. If it passes, the Government could legally shut down every site from YouTube and Blip to Facebook, Twitter and TGWTG for there are millions of instances where clips are posted in them. If you posted a poster of a film you love-your site shut down and you in jail. It’s a stupid bill, stupidly written, designed as a potential weapon to promote censorship and control over the freedoms we enjoy in cyberspace. While I think combating piracy is a good idea, this isn’t the way to go about it. Peace.
So there you have it. Two different viewpoints on what can be quite a touchy subject. I'd like to thank Les again for taking the time to talk to me and allowing me to publish our discussion. If you have anything to add, or anything you disagree with, feel free to post a comment. See you next time with my 100th In Too Deep blog on this site.