New drum cover and more YouTube problems

It’s been nearly a month since I posted my last drum cover, and the busyness of work and life interfered with my goal of posting one drum cover per week.  I was definitely anxious to get another one out there and build momentum, but with the YouTube copyright troubles this one has given me, my momentum is all but dead.

I went and covered one of my favorite Muse songs, “Time Is Running Out”. I nailed it in the third take and am now to the point where editing the video has become the easy part.  I started the upload to YouTube only to find that my version got blocked in some countries – actually one country – the United States.

Confused, I searched for other drum covers of “Time” and found quite a few of them out there.  On one of the more successful ones, I noticed that he raised the pitch of the recording. I went ahead and tried the same thing and made Muse’s Matt Ballamy sound like a woman, but I was hopeful that I’d be able to get my video posted.  No such luck, it got blocked in the US again.

Frustrated, I was about to delete my video, but found that it was already getting a few views and even a comment from users in other countries, so I decided to leave it be.  I’m trying to dispute the blocking on the video, on the grounds that this video is for educational purposes for other drummers, but I’m not too helpful that my dispute will be successful.  We’ll see.

Look, I get that Muse’s record label and publisher is acting within their designated rights here, and that these drum covers are on pretty shaky ground.  What sucks here is that there’s some kind of double-standard with the same freakin’ song.  After already being burned by my Kanye cover, I’m pretty leery about putting in the work of practicing and recover a song, only to have it immediately flushed.  Seeing the number of “Time” drum covers that I can see, I assumed that the labels saw this as a promotional vehicle for their music and were happy to collect ad revenue from the videos. It looks like I was wrong.

I guess for now I’ll stick to the more obscure songs or spend some time which researching which labels are cool about covers.  However in the meantime, this process is royally broken.  By the time you discover the end result, it’s too late and you’ve already wasted your time.

Luckily my original video has found a home on Vimeo:

Vimeo has a really nice platform and some great tools, and my video may still be up because of their “security through obscurity” model – but YouTube is where I’ve been trying to grow my channel.  However, with half of my videos now crippled by these blockings – I don’t have much to show for it.

Apparently Germany hates our cat

Our kitten Logan provides hours of entertainment at our house, and when we’re lucky we’re able to capture it on video: Kitteh going after balloon

Entertaining? Yes, but apparently Germany doesn’t like the video and has banned YouTube from showing it in that country.

I’m joking about the Germans not liking Logan, but the reality of it is that apparently this video is in violation of German copyright law, because our video has music “licensed and owned by Sony Music Entertainment.”

This just goes to show how asinine copyright law can be in some countries.  We didn’t intend to have this music playing as a soundtrack to Logan’s balloon hunting, it just happened to be on.  If I were to edit the audio out, I pretty much would be forced to eliminate Logan’s talking (or at least need to spend more time than anyone should editing a cat video). 

Last month I submitted a dispute with YouTube, albeit citing US law (which probably won’t be effective for a German takedown), but it has yet to be reviewed.

Taking Hitler Down (Again)

I never thought I’d be writing a blog post where I would be protesting the removal of Hitler videos, but stranger things have happened.

I’m actually angry that Constantin Film, producer of Downfall (a great German movie that depicts Hitler’s madness during the last hours of his life – worth seeing if you like history) has idiotically ordered the takedown of all of the parody videos that have basically been free advertising for them.

I’ve actually referenced these parodies in previous posts – recently with Conan and Michael Jackson. You can’t view them anymore though, because YouTube had to comply with the DMCA takedown notices. See the story here.

This is stupid on so many levels. First off, this should be Fair Use under Parody – YouTube admits as much and is encouraging users to fight back on these takedown.  It’s stupid that YouTube can’t fight on your behalf, but they have no choice but to comply with the studio – thank you DMCA!  Secondly, these videos have been free advertising for your movie. I can’t tell you how many people have watched these parodies and then asked “What is this movie, I should actually check it out”.  Lastly, the Movie’s Own Director loves the parodies, saying “you can’t get a better compliment as a director”.

Of course, this situation wouldn’t be complete, if it didn’t have its own parody-a pretty classic one at that (warning: offensive language).

These videos will be back up soon enough. As much as these studios would like think they control all of this, you can’t stop fair use.