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There’s unlimited supply. And there is no reason why…

January 29, 2010, 16:31 -05 by chris
Filed Under: Rants [0] Comments

Well, I was going to riff on the elegant simplicity of the fisheye lens and mirrored bauble camera-work in the new Hot Chip video, and on trying to come up with cool low- or no-budget video ideas based on brainstorming up and sticking to a clever idea – using one’s imagination and working within limitations, rather than throwing huge production budgets around, or, worse, trying to look ‘big budget’ when you’re not, and ending up looking like a ‘student project’ in the process (out of politeness I’m not going to cite relevant examples of other bands’ videos here).

But it seems that since the major labels bullied a deal with Google in which they now get paid some pennies-or-fractions-thereof when their videos are played on YouTube (and only when they’re played on the actual YouTube.com site), these labels have taken the typically dumber-than-just-shortsighted approach of disabling embedding across the board.

This is true even for bands like OK Go that you’ve only actually ever heard of because of people embedding and reposting their YouTube videos all over the Web. Genius.

And you can just guess that the actual bands likely don’t see any of these pennies-or-fractions-thereof the majors are so desperate to cling to that they’ll actually hamper their own acts’ ability to find an audience.

…which is a whole ‘nother layer of extra-vinegar-y awesome sauce, since songwriters (typically members of the band, if you’re talking about actual ‘rock’) get (or got) a-few-pennies-here-a-few-there-and-if-you’re-lucky-they-start-to-add-up when songs they wrote are played on the radio, on television, or in movies, through “performing rights organizations” that were invented – ASCAP in 1914, BMI in 1939, etc. – when radio stations began playing recordings, instead of hiring musicians to perform live on the air, to screw musicians out of money at the beginning of the last century (and even then, record labels would call themselves the “publisher” and try to convince you to – or require you to as a condition of getting “signed” – sign over the “publishing” half of your royalties to “the label” as well.

I could literally write a book, but suffice it to say that record labels screwing over artists and listeners alike is as old as the Edison cylinder.

Now that MTV is a trainwreck reality-show network instead of “Music (And By Music We Mean Motley Crue’s Home Sweet Home On An Endless Loop 24 Hours A Day Seven Days A Week) Television” (paid for, natch, by money the major label takes out of the band’s cut of the never-gonna-recoup-your-advance loan-shark funny-money), you watch your videos on places like YouTube, if you bother turning off your Jersey Shore, X-Box or Wii to watch music videos (or, God forbid, go read a book or something) at all anymore. And if the band is on one of the “big four” (or however many it is this week) major labels, what would have been a broadcast performance royalty to the songwriter / publisher of the actual song back when MTV was still MTV (and radio and going to shows weren’t some sort of incestuous monopoly of Clear Channel Communications, House of Blues, and Ticketmaster) is now, apparently, replaced by some virtual chump change that Google gives directly to the label.

That’s what I was going to post about, but I can’t. So here’s an old YouTube clip that doesn’t have embedding disabled (yet).

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