Tag Archives: Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga song is still ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

A little more than two years ago I wrote on this topic. Back then it was related to Shakira, trying to promote herself (or rather her managers I suppose) by releasing a song free of charge. I.e. not free download, as you’re still obliged to follow the strict laws of copyright. No other licensing (such as either CC type) was mentioned and every part of the site yelled “ALL RIGHTS RESERVED”.

This time it’s Lady Gaga releasing a song on Soundcloud. Yet again, I can’t see any licenses on the release page. The Youtube copy lists it as default YouTube license. At least you don’t have to supply an e-mail and be automatically signed up to a mailing list with this release, or read a “privacy policy” by rootkit makers Sony – like you had to with Shakira – but my main question still stands:

What am I allowed to do with the file and its content?

This is why I emphasize that the file is downloadable free of charge rather than as a free download. Had it been a free download, I’d be allowed to do everything you’re allowed to do with physical objects someone gives you: use, distribute, modify and distribute the modifications. Or in short:

Is this a copyright infringement?

Btw, I added sane ID3 tag info. There wasn’t even an artist assigned to the metadata, so I went ahead and modified the file. Does that mean I just broke another part of copyright law? Or not? I don’t know. Please, music industry and its people with lots of money, please spend 10 more seconds in spelling out licenses and adding metadata. So the community doesn’t have to fix your errors while breaking the law.

YouTube now has at least one illegal music video

Ha-haw! Really good timing, I must say, that a new video site has been launched to stop illegal music videos. This just after I’ve published an illegal music video myself [Swedish post with reasoning]. On Google’s YouTube.

EMI, Sony och Universal have teamed up with Google. Together they have launched the site Vevo, which offers music videos.

However, my music video upload is illegal in a much more interesting fashion than random culturally unbothered kids who upload music videos with Lady Gaga and Kanye West respectively. Let me present what I’ve actually (not) done by sharing the previously linked music video to YouTube:

  • I’m not infringing the founding rights of the creator (Swedish: upphovsrätt) on a random video track with half-naked hoes, bitches and hoes.
  • I’m not infringing copyright to the recording of artist Donovan’s song and guitar.
  • I’m not infringing the right to attribution either (Swedish: ideell upphovsrätt).

So what’s the problem? Well, one must remember that also text and melody are protected by the founding rights (which in Sweden incorporates copyright). Besides, these two elements are what most YouTubers are looking for, right? The video track itself is merely a tool for creating a broader experience – not something you’re specifically looking for in most cases. Granted, people are looking for the original rather than some garage cover – but that’s beside the point considering what’s copyrighted is the immaterial text and melody.

Please note also that Donovan – the poor artist (Swedes: kortföretag får mer än låtskrivare) who’s the victim of my infringement, does not have founding rights to anything other than just text and melody. So the only illegality which could possibly generate arguments of morals for Donovan is that “illegal music videos” contain his text and melody. Thus my filesharing is just as “bad” as the music videos Vevo “must stop” (Swedes: DN tycker att deltagarkulturen “måste stoppas”).

The interest for music has shown to be great on YouTube […] and users often upload prohibited versions of popular songs. Most are removed nowadays.

Tee-hee-hee! I feel like a cigarette-shoplifting 13-year old right now. I’m like the big criminal, like you know, yeah. Generation Gratis ftw. I mean, this self-recorded (static camera movement) clip with music performed by a singer-songwriter “is theft, pure and simple” too, if one listens to the debate noise. Would you like to see my illegal upload by the way? Here, have a look – just make sure you don’t break the law yourself by downloading it (streaming doesn’t exist):

[youtube v10oDeQDzZo]

Well anyway. I hope you enjoyed the illegal music upload. Being a member of Piratpartiet in Sweden, I feel it is important to discuss these small, in the general population often overlooked, consequences of a law which is supposed to increase creativity. Now allow me to finish off this post with a self-explanatory (according to me) quote which explains the media industry our world has to deal with. To a great extent because of the copyright dilemma:

Vevo does not work in Sweden yet. When it comes here is uncertain.

Kortföretag får mer än låtskrivare