If the major record labels are to believed, they lose millions of dollars due to YouTube pirates. But is this really the case? While anti-piracy outfits try to have all infringing music taken offline or have the audio on pirated YouTube clips disabled, the band Barcelona responded with a video thanking a video uploader for using their song.
Every day hundreds of thousands of clips are uploaded to YouTube, some of which use copyrighted music. Of course the major record labels argue that these illegal uploads are killing their profits as people buy less music when YouTube users add a track to a home made video.
Not everyone in the music business agrees with this assessment though. When the indie rock band Barcelona saw one of its latest tracks featured in a viral video with nearly a million views, they responded quite differently. They claim that the clip below actually boosted their album sales and concert visits.
So, instead of demanding that YouTube pull the video, the band posted a response to the ‘Kuroshio Sea’ video on the site, thanking their new found fans and the uploader who posted the original video.
“We’re so flattered to learn that it features one of our songs called Please Don’t Go,” Barcelona’s lead singer Brian Fennell says in the video response.
“We want to let you know that it’s been affirming in the last week to watch in the iTunes store a correlation with the sales of our record ‘Absolutes’, growing in the rock charts as a result of having the song placed in the video,” drummer Rhett Stonelake added.
Aside from the boost in record sales, the band says that they’ve also met some new fans who came to their concerts after seeing the video on YouTube. It is a great way of promoting music online, especially when it’s coupled to a great video.
Unfortunately for most artists, anti-piracy outfits such as the RIAA, BPI and IFPI are increasingly policing YouTube to get all copyrighted music taken off the site. One such artist to suffer recently is the unfortunate Calvin Harris, who clashed with the music industry lobby group BPI.
“IT’S MY FUCKING SONG YOU ABSOLUTE BASTARDS,” Harris wrote on Twitter when he found out that YouTube had removed a clip he uploaded himself, following a copyright complaint from the BPI.
“FUCK YOU ‘The BPI’ what have you ever done for anybody you useless shower of cunts,” he added. As if that wasn’t enough Harris labeled the BPI the “worst organization to ever walk the earth” and their online employees “massive retards.”
Like many other artists, Harris just wants his music to be heard, and he believes that putting a clip on YouTube might in fact introduce new people to his music. If people like what they hear, they might even buy his album or visit his gigs, much like what happened with Barcelona.
YouTube is free promotion for bands and artists, it has the potential to drive revenue instead of killing it. It is time for the major labels and anti-piracy outfits to listen to the artists for once, and perhaps ask them if they actually want to have their content removed or not.