I just found my music was being offered up free of charge by YouTube in their AudioSwap program. This allows people to use music in their videos without paying royalties. I had no idea this was going on and have no idea where YouTube obtained my music to offer it. Some places my music is credited and some places it is not. One one particular video, there were more comments about my song being good than there were about the video, and yet I was not even credited! I emailed the poster to ask for credit, but haven't heard back yet. I also tried to leave a comment claiming credit for the song everyone liked and was blocked as a spammer! The thing that bothers me the most is that someone had used an instrumental mix of one of my songs. Since I don't have instrumental mixes posted anywhere for download, I really want to find out how this happened. Thankfully, this particular person at least credited me with the music, but one of her commenters "corrected" her and said the music was actually Flat and Scruggs, LOL (well, if you're going to be mistaken for someone, I guess you could do worse) Someone had used my song Dear Johnny (a tribute to Cash) in a video about John Denver! I guess, in a way, I am happy that so many people are enjoying my music, but I also feel pretty taken advantage of. I mean, I am an indie artist and trying my best to scrape to make a living playing music, and here's this huge corporation offering up the songs I have written, recorded and sung for free and sometimes without credit. I have contacted YouTube about this and am waiting for a response. I don't really want them to make the people stop using my music, but I would like to have the option to approve/disapprove, get credit, and maybe even get a dime or two from it. Ah, the joys of the modern music business!


Views: 13

Comment by David Shaw on March 18, 2009 at 10:41am
I've often wondered if the artists get any compensation from places like YouTube and your blog confirms my worst fear. And to get dismissed as a spammer for wanting to make a comment about the very thing they've stolen from you ... something is dreadfully wrong with this picture.
Comment by Ron Frankl on March 18, 2009 at 11:06am
I see that the John Denver tribute by Jardinami on You Tube gives you credit in the info section but lists the original Mary Travers song they were forced to remove in the "rolling" credits. Nowhere does it indicate that they have permission from the artist.

I think that You Tube's policy should be that if they receive an objection from the artist and/or copyright holder, they should remove the offending video at once.

By the way, Angela, I love your music ( I discovered you through Reverbnation). If I may, Angela has a new CD coming out this year, produced by the one and only Will Kimbrough. Her 2007 CD, Earning Her Wings , is terrific and well worth picking up.
Comment by Kim Ruehl on March 18, 2009 at 11:13am
I agree with Ron. If someone says "Hey I own the rights to that and you need to credit me," seems like that would be enough. I'm just listening to your MySpace now, Angela - sounds great! You deserve some credit, at least.
Comment by Angela Easterling on March 18, 2009 at 11:16am
Wow, thanks for the nice support!! I really appreciate it.
Comment by Shaun Belcher on March 18, 2009 at 11:31am
Hmm this seems to tie-in with the streaming 'good or bad' debate.....

I noticed a lot of tracks recently being dropped on youtube which basically MP3s with no video just an image ..try youtubing Gram Parsons or suchlike...this is just illegal breaking of copyright by stealth surely...does anyone care any more?

As for film rights..google video and you-tube not exactly defending rights there either...
Comment by Ron Frankl on March 18, 2009 at 12:02pm
It's not up to the on-line service to defend anyone's rights. The courts have already established that they are not obligated, and this dates back to the Napster era. The question today is the responsiveness to complaints from the rights holders, be they record companies, artists, television networks and country-rock pioneer's widows (or their agents and assignees) when they receive actual or contructive notice of unauthorized use.

Obviously You Tube pays attention when they get a call or letter from Universial Music Group. But do they offer the same response when the Angela Easterling's of the world contact them? I'm guessing, but probably not. Angela's not going to respond with a nine-figure lawsuit.
Comment by Angela Easterling on March 18, 2009 at 2:45pm
The main thing to me is that I would have liked to have a heads-up that my music was going to be used and how. Whether I get paid or not, I would like to know where my music is going. I still haven't heard any reply from YouTube...we'll see what happens.
Comment by Easy Ed on March 20, 2009 at 1:28pm
Certainly is hard to generate the old "word of mouth" marketing kick if you don't get credit for what you do and don't even know where you're at. (Reminds me of the Firesign Theater question of "how can you be two places at once when you're nowhere at all?". )

That aside, it sounds like the exposure is getting you some new fans here. I read your blog, went to Amazon, listened to the samples, really liked what I heard, checked out your website and then visited your MySpace page. Now I can't wait to hear your new release.
Comment by Angela Easterling on March 20, 2009 at 5:22pm
That is so wonderful to hear, thank you Ed!! I really appreciate the warm welcome I've gotten from the ND online community!
Comment by Daniel T on March 21, 2009 at 2:35am
The great thing about YOUTUBE is you can find a seemingly infinite number of videos and songs that would be almost impossible to find anywhere else. Louis Armstrong in Germany ca. 1930 for example.

The BAD thing about YOUTUBE, it is probably on there without the artists permission and the artists don't get paid.

There is a growing segment of the listening public that feels music should be free. I am not one of them. I've tried explaining to people I've met that hold this opinion the economic/moral principles involved. They just don't seem to get it. I've asked if they would work for free in their chosen profession. None would, but they don't make the connection to music being a profession.

If talented people can't make a living making music it won't be long before we lose the indy artists that I, and many others, treasure so much. Musicians have to eat and keep a roof over their heads like everyone else.

The myth of the tortured artist making music for it's own sake is just that, a myth. Well, maybe not quite. I'd bet you would still be making music even if you did'nt get paid, only not many people would get to hear it. There are the Blaze Foleys of this world. That man could write beautiful songs. An extraordinarily talented, troubled, homeless and ultimately tragic example of the tortured artist.

As for you being shut out as a spammer, that's just ridiculous. Not funny ridiculous, shameful ridiculous.

That said, I did take the opportunity to visit your MYSPACE page and listen to the samples. Really loved what I heard. If my local indy store does'nt have your CD when I go down there this weekend, you are already on my CDBABY wish list. One way or another I'm going to BUY your music.Your voice is enchanting. And since I'll be in NC for Merlefest I'm going to do my best to see you play in Asheville.

Good luck with your battle Angela. Keep plugging away. I'll be spreading your name around to my friends. Maybe we can get you a few more CD sales.


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Created by No Depression Feb 17, 2009 at 9:06pm. Last updated by No Depression Sep 24, 2012.