Dutch Collection Society Looks To Charge Bloggers For Embedding YouTube Videos
from the pay-up...-again dept
Over the past year, we’ve noticed an explosion in ridiculous attempts by music collection societies (often totally clueless about technology) to extend their ability to collect for positively ridiculous things (while also looking to significantly increase their collection rates). The latest, sent in by Dennis Laumen, is that the Dutch collection society, Buma/Stemra, is claiming that it’s going to start charging bloggers 130 euros for every 6 videos they embed. This is, of course, technologically clueless. The embedding of a video doesn’t change the fact that it’s actually playing from and hosted at the original site (such as YouTube). All embedding does is allow the video to appear via the other page, even though, technically, it’s all still happening at its original location. Claiming that this is somehow a “new” publication of the content is technologically incorrect.
This is somewhat similar to ASCAP’s recent technologically clueless claim that embedding YouTube videos should count as a public performance (along with its other recent claims that iTunes 30-second previews and your mobile phone ringtones should also be counted as public performances). You sort of get the feeling that many of these collection societies came to the conclusion about two years ago that they’re functionally obsolete, and rather than adapt to the times, they’ve all agreed to the same basic principle of going out in a blaze of glory. They’re trying to vastly increase rates while covering any and ever attempt to use music in any way, bleeding everyone dry while making it that much more difficult for up-and-coming acts to get heard (since venues that promote them can’t pay the crazy rates) and (even better) setting up their payout mechanisms to massively favor the top acts.
For the most part, these collection societies are simply being greedy, without putting a single thought towards actually helping composers and songwriters. They’re looking for every single penny they could possibly collect today, and ignoring the medium and long-term impact of trying to charge for any sort of promotional behavior.