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In YouTube Purge, Warner Shutters Own Musicians' Videos

Warner Music Group's month-old licensing dispute with YouTube has spread far beyond company executives. It's now disrupting a host of musicians -- including the label's own artists.

 Consider, Death Cab for Cutie embedded YouTube clips of its videos on its own site, but they were taken down as part of the overall Warner purge. One result was that fans who visited the band's official site and tried to view its clips were greeted with the message that the clips had been taken down due to a Warner Music copyright claim.

Meanwhile, individuals like Corey Vidal, Frank Stallone, and Will Chatham, who created clips that used portions of Warner's music, saw their work purged from the site. Stallone used 45 seconds from Patrice Rushen's "Forget Me Nots," Cnet reports. Vidal had paid tribute in a video to "Star Wars" composer John Williams. Will Chatham, another fan of "Star Wars" music, posted a video of himself playing the movie's theme on his banjo. That clip garnered 1.5 million visits, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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These clips arguably made fair use of the music and, therefore, didn't infringe on copyright. But -- as the presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain discovered last year -- the Digital Millennium Copyright Act encourages Google to delete clips as soon as someone complains and only review them later, if the uploaders push back.

2 comments about "In YouTube Purge, Warner Shutters Own Musicians' Videos".
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  1. Craig Peters, January 27, 2009 at 5:52 p.m.

    Too bad Warner missed the part where free content generates sales ... to the tune of 23,000 percent:

    http://www.lohad.com/?p=2571

  2. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, January 28, 2009 at 8:36 a.m.

    If the concept of copyright puzzles you with regard to illegal downloading, then the same concept must totally baffle you with regard to unfair use. Since when is 45 seconds "arguable"? On Mars?

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