Matthew Yglesias » Disabling Embedding

February 20, 2010 at 3:02 pm Leave a comment

Disabling Embedding


Obviously I have various views about intellectual property policy that are genuinely at odds with the interests of incumbent record companies, so it doesn%u2019t surprise me that those companies take positions that I think are wrong. But I%u2019ve been puzzled for a while now by record labels%u2019 habit of disabling the %u201Cembedding%u201D function from music videos posted on YouTube. As a blogger, this is annoying for me because sometimes I want to embed videos. But for the labels, it seems like a losing proposition%u2014basically preventing me from giving their artists free advertising.

Damian Kulash from Ok Go has an op-ed in today%u2019s Times in which he lays out the record companies thinking%u2014apparently they get a small slice of money from YouTube when people visit the main YouTube site and watch the video%u2014but also offers his view that the policy is self-defeating, making it harder for his band to publicize itself and attract fans.

I assume that in the longer run, you%u2019re going to see more and more bands basically bypassing the whole record label concept. A band with a ton of fans is going to have plenty of ways it can make money%u2014concerts, t-shirts, posters, licensing of its songs, etc. Being famous and popular is inherently lucrative and it%u2019s appealing in other ways as well. The idea of middlemen is that they get a cut of your earnings but in exchange do a lot to help you become famous and popular. If middlemen insist on business models that make it harder to become famous and popular, then they%u2019re not providing much value.

Anybody want to start a record label? Seems there is a lot of space for someone to offer real value to bands, without all the BS the current labels make them go through.


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