Warner Music Taking Its Music Off YouTube And Going Home

from the still-not-getting-it dept

Warner Music desperately wants people to believe that it's not the evil record label that people make it out to be, but it's going to have a very difficult time proving that's true when it keeps doing strategically braindead things like pulling all its music off of YouTube because it's upset Google won't pay more money. This is classic Warner Music. The company almost always overvalues its music, compared to the services that help promote that music, and is always demanding a larger cut. Last summer, it did a similar thing and pulled its music off of Last.fm. With plenty of other startups, the company has a history of suing until they agree to cough up a huge chunk of equity. This, of course, is the same company whose boss, Edgar Bronfman Jr. just a year ago declared that the industry had made a mistake in going to war against consumers, ignoring the fact that it was his own speech back in 2000 that basically kicked off that war.

To be honest, Warner Music should be hugely thankful that Google is paying the company anything for music on YouTube. Legally, Google has no reason to pay a dime. Thanks to the DMCA safe harbor provisions, if Warner wants to go after anyone, it should be going after those who upload the videos, but Google worked out a totally unnecessary (and somewhat questionable) deal to pay the labels for a promise not to sue users. However, it looks like Warner Music is getting excessively greedy again. Perhaps it's the recent reports that Warner's larger competitor, Universal Music is bringing in significant cash from YouTube that got Bronfman and crew angry, but it's doing exactly the wrong thing in pulling its videos.

Pulling the videos off of YouTube doesn't punish Google. It punishes fans: the folks who Warner desperately needs on its side, though it's been failing at that for a long, long time. Google's response should be "good riddance." Let's see how Warner Music copes with angry musicians who want fans to promote their music on YouTube, while seeing plenty of other bands build up larger audiences that way.

Filed Under: copyright, music, videos
Companies: google, warner music group, youtube

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  1. identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, 23 Dec 2008 @ 1:16pm

    Amusing Quote

    From the 2000 Bronfman speech:

    What would the Internet be without "content?" It would be a valueless collection of silent machines with gray screens. It would be the electronic equivalent of a marine desert - lovely elements, nice colors, no life. It would be nothing.

    The main challenge for you in continuing the growth of the Internet at this time is not taxation; it is not government regulation; it is not in any way technical. It is, rather, to manage, preserve and protect the sun around which all these planets make their stately circles.

    That sun is not an operating system or even the greater-than-the-sum-of-its-parts Internet itself: It is the content, without which the Internet would die in a day.

    Completely missing the point, that the Internet is built, not on content, but on connectivity. What drew people to the Internet--and led them to abandon the proprietary alternatives like CompuServe, the original AOL, and the original MSN--was that it let them connect to all the other people also going on the Internet. The "premium content" that the proprietary services tried to offer was never enough to offset this. In the end those services could not get the Internet to come to them, they had to go to the Internet.

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