Warner Music Musicians Pissed Off About YouTube Dispute

from the as-they-should-be dept

Warner Music's dispute with YouTube, where Warner Music suddenly claims that YouTube needs to pay more has been pretty silly from the outset. We pointed out that Warner has almost no leverage here. Warner Music needs YouTube a hell of a lot more than Google needs Warner Music to allow its content on YouTube. As if to drive that point home, some Warner Music artists are up in arms over the latest moves. Amanda Palmer, an artist signed to Warner subsidiary Roadrunner, is not at all happy about where things stand:
in other words, roadrunner is a subsidiary of warner and i'm stuck in hell with madonna and the other poor bastards, because warner wants more money. even worse, warner has almost no bargaining power...they're not even in the top ten of labels who have huge artists with material streaming on youtube. they're just starving for cash right now and they're doing anything they can think of to come up with cash. it's abSURD. they are looking for money in a totally backwards way.

money that, i should point out, i would NEVER see as an artist. if they got their way and youtube decided to give them a larger revenue share of the videos, it's very unlikely it would ever make its way into the artists' bank accounts....

did i mention that being on a major label is starting to seem like.....not such a grand idea?
You can bet that there are many more musicians feeling similarly right now -- and it's only going to make it more difficult for Warner Music (or any of its subsidiaries) to sign new artists or to retain the ones (like Amanda) who feel screwed over by the latest move -- all of which Warner will surely claim were done in order to "protect the interests of the artists."


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Twinrova, Dec 29th, 2008 @ 9:40am

    Well, Amanda, you can always sell...

    ...T-shirts! Lots and lots of T-shirts!

    I don't know if I should feel pity for Amanda and others, or point and laugh for signing a contract with the devil in the first place.

    It seems to be the music industry relies on the recording industry to get them famous, then turns and realizes they really don't need to rely on them after the recording industry does something like this.

    And if Warner is "strapped for cash", as Amanda claims, this doesn't bode well at all for consumers, who will just shell out even more for a song/CD.

    It's time the final nail is driven into the coffins of these "greedy, stupid, and clueless" industries which can't seem to innovate at all, leaving it up to the artists to fend for themselves.

    AFTER they get famous, of course.

     

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  2.  
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    Nick Stamoulis, Dec 29th, 2008 @ 9:47am

    I think many are scrambling around right now to drum up some much needed cash. We will see more of this in 2009.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 29th, 2008 @ 9:50am

    I hope to see more and more artists complain and drop the large labels for their fans and them! Kudos, Screw the labels!

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 29th, 2008 @ 10:34am

    Re: Well, Amanda, you can always sell...

    I think that part of the point is that Amanda and others were getting exposure because they were on YouTube, and now Warner is denying them that because they want more money from Google for themselves (not for the artists). Since presumably they signed with the Lable to get exposure and promotion, this is pretty much the opposite of the service they should be providing.

     

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  5.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Dec 29th, 2008 @ 10:41am

    Re: Well, Amanda, you can always sell...

    "...T-shirts! Lots and lots of T-shirts!"

    Did you read the post? She's not going to see any of the money that's being argued about. She will indeed make money off of her T-shirts, but if youtube takes "her" stuff down (I'm assuming most of them are fan-vids) fewer people are going to stumble across her and be inclined to buy them in the first place.

     

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  6.  
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    interval, Dec 29th, 2008 @ 10:57am

    I'm with Amanda. She's 100% correct in her fears. She's also quite talented. She does a very poignant version of Radiohead's "Creep" on the ukulele. And I really don't give a crap if the labels are cash starved. You know what I do when I don't have any money? I go out and get a job. Maybe its time the people who make up these record labels go find something else to do.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 29th, 2008 @ 12:37pm

    The sooner the traditional labels buckle under the better.

    They are cultivating immense ill-will from their customers with lawsuits, and focusing their efforts on squeezing everyone to stay alive in the old model. Once they fail, new models will emerge. Perhaps they'll even share both risk and reward with the artists, and pay them fairly for the labor.

    Individual artists with enough cash are experimenting on their own for lack of support while the RIAA cultivates ill will making life harder on the artists they claim to help.

     

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  8.  
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    Just can't resist, Dec 29th, 2008 @ 1:12pm

    Re:

    Wait. Poignant and "Creep" in the same sentence, that I get. Now, you add 'ukulele' to that mix, and I'm totally lost. The closest I can get to imagining this is mashing Creep up with Brudda Iz's "Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World" medley, but now I have an image of this Amanda person as a 400+ lb. Hawaiian. It makes my head hurt.

    Warner Bros. crapped the bed with this one, pure and simple. I'm not surprised that their talent is angry, but they essentially agreed to ut the promotionof their music in WB's hands when they signed, so it's sadly a case of Caveat Emptor in my opinion.

     

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  9.  
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    interval, Dec 29th, 2008 @ 1:18pm

    Re: Re:

    Have you actually SEEN the performance yet? Don't be so quick to judge (or what the hell ever you were blathering about, I don't actually get how the song Creep and the word Poignant are mutually exlusive).

    All you have to do is youtube "creep" and "Amanda Palmer" and you can judge for yourself if my comment was so totally out of left field it makes your brain hurt. Whatever.

     

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  10.  
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    Valkor, Dec 29th, 2008 @ 1:25pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Woah, someone's sense of humour is a little impaired...
    Interval, if you'd actually read the post to which you are replying, you'd notice that "Creep" and "poignant" are ok together. It's "poignant" and "ukulele" that make the corners of my mouth twitch smilewards. The GP poster was thinking about a 400 lb. Hawaiian, and I'm thinking about Tiny Tim, and neither of those go well with "poignant".

    We aren't saying anything at all about the *actual* performance; we're just commenting on the initial mental images we get.

     

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  11.  
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    RF-1, Dec 29th, 2008 @ 2:03pm

    If you build it, they will come.

    Like Bernie Brillstein once said, "You have to be prepared to walk away from a big deal, to get the deal you want." I love a good standoff. Memo to WB, if you build it, they will come.

     

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  12.  
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    interval, Dec 29th, 2008 @ 3:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Well, I suppose if you're limited to interacting with us humans via online forums you're going to be a little quicker on the "subtle nuances" of conversational print. I think its a little much to expect everyone else to pick up on the entire spectrum of sarcasm possible via this medium though.

    In other words, maybe you should get a life and convey your message rather than expecting me to pick up every fine and clever point or repartee you aliens seem to be able to convey with your witty, online banter.

    (OR; Who gives a shit?)

     

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  13.  
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    Monarch, Dec 29th, 2008 @ 4:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Sorry Interval,
    I'm with Valkor and "Just can't resist" on this one. I caught the sarcasm first off, because my first impression when I read Ekulele was also Tiny Tim. And a smile began to form on my face also, thinking, "I wish I was special, but I'm a creep, for tiptoeing through the tulips, I don't belong here."

     

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  14.  
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    Goto Dengo, Dec 29th, 2008 @ 4:41pm

    The artist is at fault?

    The implications in these comments that Amanda is somehow at fault since she "signed with the devil" are ill informed. We hear about the precious few artists that manage to make it without signing a deal and we assume that it's a no-brainer. There are tens of thousands of artists trying the same thing who end up getting nowhere. Like it or not, if you want publicity and distribution and you are a young artist, signing a deal is one of the better options, even with all the pitfalls it comes with. Don't believe me? Do a little reading online about burgeoning artists and even artists that have made it who are looking back. The push you get can give you a career.

    Don't get me wrong, the labels are avaricious dinosaurs and are abusing artists by not acting in good faith and punishing consumers. The rules have to change, and hopefully they will. Just don't be so quick to judge an artist who tries to have some sort of career over obscurity and the need to have a day job while pursuing their music. Not everything is black and white.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 29th, 2008 @ 5:01pm

    Did anyone consider that the successful artists that Warner represents may have wanted their music removed from YouTube, but would ALSO want the newer struggling artists music removed? Having unknown artists music on YouTube could give them exposure that ultimately reduces a successful artist's market share. The labels obviously cater more to the interests of their successful artists, to keep them signed when they have less need for the label to promote them.

    What Warner did will definitely hurt lesser known artists, but not so much for the popular ones.

     

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  16.  
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    Mark Regan, Dec 30th, 2008 @ 1:48am

    Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch

    I went to my local Walmart and checked a sampling of the 5000 or so CDs and DVDs on their shelves. Guess what I found? About a quarter of them were counterfeits? Hardly any had the holograms or BMI or ASCAP or song author information listed, much of the artwork was not the original as released by the studios, hardly any showed US manufacturing facilities.

    Yet the music industry cannot go after Walmart, because they SUBCONTRACT all their music and video products in the stores to their agent, Anderson -- and Anderson has found out they can make more money by selling counterfeits rather than legitimate music. But the music industry has a "hands off" approach to Anderson, because of their clout. So they simply sue the users instead of the counterfeiters and their US distributors.

    What a deal. The big labels are mostly off-shore, and they off-shore their manufacturing, and the crooked manufacturers slip a few million "extras" out the back door and pocket the money, because the big label's auditors are "bought and paid for" by the manufacturers (or they don't know about the "back door."

    Meanwhile, I go on the web to order a half price CD from a major website, and when I get it, the thing is manufactured in China and there is NO evidence of it being legitimate, and when I go to the label's website there is no way to complain or send them an email or make a report. Because they USE this system to CHEAT their artists. Surprise, surprise.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2008 @ 7:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Settle down, no one's making fun of you for missing subtlties and sarcasm. You just seem a bit over-ready to snap at someone who (apparently) disagrees with you.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2008 @ 7:50am

    Customers

    [the traditional labels] are cultivating immense ill-will from their customers with lawsuits

    So this got me thinking: who is who's customer? I guess traditionally thinking you might assume that The People buy from Lables who buy from Bands (sort of...?), so the Bands' customers are the Lables and the Lables' customers are us. But if you look at it another way, I think it's really more of the Bands hire the Lables, and both the Lables and the Bands try to sell to us -- the Lables sell the Bands and the Bands sell their music. So the Bands are really the Lables' first customer, and We are the customers of both the Bands and (to a lesser extent) the Lables. And that kind of puts a different spin on the way things ought to go and who should be concerned about pleasing whom.

     

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  19.  
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    Matt Churchill, Dec 30th, 2008 @ 7:56pm

    re: customers

    I think that a take-over or partnership with someone like Hulu is the most feasible way for this whole idea to occur. It just depends on whether the video site would want to be swallowed up into the huge music industry machine coming their way, or if they want some of the money they see rolling in, which won't happen if the customers don't get what they want.

     

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  20.  
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    Goto Dengo, Dec 30th, 2008 @ 8:48pm

    Re: re: customers

    It is a good idea, except that hulu isn't available everywhere. I know we're a smaller market up here in Canada, but we're still a market. We need a solution that is really universal.

     

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  21.  
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    Rose M. Welch, Dec 30th, 2008 @ 11:32pm

    Yet another point about labels...

    ...I first heard the Dresden Dolls, in which she plays the piano and sings, in someone's dark bedroom years ago. They were, of course, pirated tracks.

    I had hell trying to by the CD in records stores including Sam Goody, Eargasm, and a smaller local place called the Melody Shop. I looked for over a year and finally found a used copy at Hastings.

    I had no idea she had any other albums until I followed the link from this post to her site. It seems to me like she would have done a helluva lot better on her own with just a website. I could have purchased the CD or downloaded tracks from her site instead of going through hell trying to find a CD and would have purchased more and more music.

    She would have made a much better profit from that she did otherwise, since my copy was used (zero revenue to Amanda Palmer) and I no longer buy new CDs at all. So Amanda, who is an awesome musician, makes little to no money from her label while Britney Spears makes millions.

    Someone please tell me what universe this make sense in and why people are always so angry when we talk about ways to ditch the labels!!!!!

     

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  22.  
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    Margriet, Feb 9th, 2009 @ 5:34am

    Warner Music Group

    Hi all,
    after reading the comments on this site, I would like to add my own. Please link to the above youtube video to see what us youtubers think of WMG. After myself, losing 9 top rated, long standing videos this year, it is time to make a stand. Let it be known to ALL that WMG is taking all music recorded by them down on youtube, that means all the 'OLDIES' too!! We promote old well loved songs, what are WMG? They should be better known as 'OSTRICH'S Whose eyes are a lot larger than their 'PEAS SIZED BRAINS' Incase the above url does not show, please copy and paste

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xdzaQKTdo0

    titled, 'WMG Protest Video' into your browser bar. The video, is an amusing, to the point view of what is happening on youtube.
    Thanks for reading, have a musical day :)
    Margriet.

     

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  23.  
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    Steven (profile), Jun 7th, 2009 @ 12:08pm

    The point.

    The record companies whole purpose is to spread music to make it where music of those musicians can be known world wide and enjoyed in much the same way. They are meant to be only temporary for the artist. Nothing more. They're meant to be used, and then kicked to the side after the contract is up. Now only if a Musician would bring a lawsuit to them that would change all the "Contractual" legal rights companies like wmg has over the music.

    #1: They didn't write nor make the song in any way shape or form. The individual artist or band did. All they did was advertising, merchandising, and planning to get concerts going, and to get a broader fan base for the band.

    #2: While perhaps the musician would be less known, the record companies wouldn't be able to exist without those musicians. This in and of itself should say, ok it's their music, not ours. After all the music isn't yours, the services you provide the Musician, artist, writer, etc. etc. is all you are entitled to, irregardless of the fact that you recorded them singing and playing for a rather large crowd.

    The band ultimately becomes your advertisement for up and coming bands, and you become the musicians advertising for their music to possible future fans.

    #3: I see a collapse of wmg and record companies that cannot realize this if they don't fix their F*ck up now.

    My suggestion to the record labels is this: just drop this nonsense now, or prepare to eventually be jobless. I imagine that'll happen within this year or sometime next year, but it'll happen if you don't drop it to fix the situations you've created for yourselves.

    After all, We (every last person on the face of this planet,) hold your fate in Our hands, not you, except for one thing. That thing is the choices you make here and now. Keep with the wrong choices, then bye bye. Make the right ones, than you get to continue on. It all revolves around choices of individuals, and it goes full circle.

    Also lets add that one helps the other, and vice versa, and when more are added to this loop, it only helps all parties, not just the one, or just the other. It might not fit a direct apparent need, but it still fulfills that need. It is that simple, and the sad thing is, few can see that truth.

     

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  24.  
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    Gill, Sep 6th, 2009 @ 7:43pm

    Amanda Palmer stinks

    The thing is, no one wants to retain Amanda Palmer because she doesn't sell records. Amanda Palmer is a mediocre performer at best and at worst she's a modern Tiny Tim and nobody is in the mood for the freak of the week. Palmer stinks out loud, can't sing, can't write a song. She is lame and Warners know it. There is a weird, stalwart contingent of Dresden Dolls fans that follow Palmer on the web and that's it, no one else cares.

     

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  25.  
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    Daryn, Oct 11th, 2009 @ 8:43pm

    Before a record company can support an artist, the artist has to be a good bet and Palmer is a bad bet. She's only good at cranking out stunts and stunts don't build a wider audience, she just doesn't have the talent. Palmer's circle of friends can't support a wider career so she'll end up continuing with her vanity projects that don't sell. Whatever.

     

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  26.  
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    Jill, Oct 13th, 2009 @ 1:40am

    I agree. Amanda Palmer sucks.

     

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  27.  
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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Dec 2nd, 2009 @ 8:55am

    Re: Well, Amanda, you can always sell...

    She made money from my T-shirt, but not from the songs that I downloaded from Amazon. You think that's okay?

     

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  28.  
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    wow, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 4:42pm

    Re:

    "And I really don't give a crap if the labels are cash starved. You know what I do when I don't have any money? I go out and get a job. Maybe its time the people who make up these record labels go find something else to do." -- that's retarded. do you even know how economies work?

     

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