Saturday, 16 January 2010

LipDub videos and stupid record companies


I made a Barenaked Ladies LipDub movie with some friends in Dundee over Christmas as a wedding present for a friend. It was inspired by a fantastic LipDub movie of the Black Eyed Peas' song "I Gotta Feeling." It's such a fantastic clip, I think I've probably watched it more than a dozen times (also see the follow-up 'making of' video). It's impossible to watch without it putting a smile on your face.

I tried to upload our movie to YouTube. OK, the video has the Barenaked Ladies' song "If I had $1000000" playing throughout, but I just assumed that YouTube would automatically add a "buy this from iTunes" link that you often see on videos with music in them.

Nope, YouTube just blocked the video as soon as it was uploaded.

I knew that most of the major record companies had been getting their knickers in a twist about arranging licensing deals with YouTube so that their music could be posted. Turns out Warner Music Group has thrown a major hissy fit and now all their music is blocked. There are amusing/annoying stories about of people's videos being blocked because some copyrighted music is playing in the background i.e. on the radio or something!

Wonderfully, YouTube gives you the option of uploading the video with a) no audio, or b) audio from YouTube's library of available music. Me thinks that might somewhat spoil a LipDub movie. For example.

I don't really have a problem with record companies protecting their music per se. I've always been against file-sharing as it just feels like stealing. However, I do think that the record companies are being quite short-sighted with the opportunity that YouTube presents to them. When I listened to the I Gotta Feeling LipDub, I immediately bought the tune on iTunes. A few months later I bought the whole Black Eyed Peas album (should I really be admitting this?!).

I didn't buy them through YouTube, so Google gets no money from this - just Apple, the record company and the band. However, I bought them because of the video on YouTube. I wouldn't have bought it otherwise.

Warner Music Group apparently don't get this. I therefore presume they are run by thickos and I fart in their general direction. Black Eyed Peas' record label, Interscope (part of Universal Media Group) are clearly much more enlightened.

Of course everyone wants to get their video on YouTube so they can have their 5-minutes of fame! Instead I have uploaded the video to Vimeo, which is a really beautiful video website. They've actually been encouraging people to make LipDub movies (and even claim to have coined the term). Sadly though, they're getting sued for their efforts.

Anyway, here is the video we made. I expect the morons from WMG will come along eventually and issue a takedown notice, but in the meantime please enjoy:




$1000000 LipDub from Steven Renwick on Vimeo.

A LipDub movie we made to Barenaked Ladies' "If I had $1000000" for Kev and Hilary's Wedding (8th Jan 2010). Filmed at various locations in Dundee and Carnoustie.



Image from Flickr user Tracy Russo used under a Creative Commons licence.
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