Lynne Publishing: Because you suck. And we hate you.

Recently, one of my videos was taken down from YouTube due to copyright violations. I understand the reasoning- I don’t agree with it, and I think the current system is a) horribly broken and b) basically trolling, but that’s a rant for another day. I (correctly) assumed that the issue was with the background music- I doubt HBO would make a claim over the fifteen seconds of Generation Kill I used. Lynne Publishing… hmm, let’s Google that. It’s the parent company of Shockwave Sound and a few others. Hey, they have a copyright warning on their website. You can read it here.

Firearms enthusiasts will immediately understand where I’m going with this. Needless to say, I won’t be using any Shockwave Sound tracks in the future, and it’s not because of copyright.

At first, their warning seems like standard fare. Don’t steal our music because it’s copyrighted and it’s how our artists make a living, please buy it or we will do bad things. But if you read between the lines, you’ll quickly realize they’re basically being elitist dicks. A few paragraphs immediately stick out. Hopefully they won’t take down my WordPress over copying them.

If you had your video taken down and you did not have a license to use our music, but you really need to have your video reinstated, then we can offer you a retrospective license for three times the normal license price. Once that is paid, we will retract the copyright claim on your video and you will be licensed going forward, and “forgiven” for the copyright infringement that already happened.

Let me rephrase that a bit. We don’t care if you didn’t know, if you are just a pirate, if your video is good or if you suck. We’re going to charge you a ridiculous insult fee, and we only want you to do this if you really need to have your video back up, because we’d rather not have it up at all. That’s the message it sends. That they really don’t want you to use their music at all- they’d rather have you go somewhere else. But it gets better.

It’s not OK for you to take our livelyhoods and move it into your hobby/student/fun non-profit domain. We do not expect everybody to be able to pay $30 for a license to use our music. But if you can’t afford to pay us for the use of our music, then don’t use it. We want our music to be used only by those who pay for it. By allowing others / students / hobbyists / kids etc. to use the same music, it takes away the value in our music and it erodes the value for those people who did choose to pay us.

Read this once. Then read it again. This blatant elitism actually has my brain somewhat locked up and it’s making it hard to write.

Okay, I’ve rebooted my brain.

The message I get from this is that they don’t want you to use their music unless you’re a professional. If you’re a poor student just having some fun, fuck you. If you’re a dumb kid who doesn’t know better, fuck you. If you’re a rabid fan that makes trailers, fuck you. Our music is only for professionals.

People who will pay will pay anyway and those who won’t simply won’t. Your average YouTuber is not going to pay $30-$120 for a license. An advertiser or corporate entity will, but a YouTuber won’t. They’ll either go elsewhere or do it anyway. Accept that. But no, if a bunch of amateurs use our music, it devalues it, and we can’t have that. Forget brand awareness or simply getting our music out there. If a bunch of amateurs make fanmade trailers then none of our potential customers will take us seriously and buy our music.

Oh wait- that’s not how it works at all. Probably half the fanmade trailers on YouTube have Two Steps from Hell in the background, and now everybody knows about them. Real customers haven’t stopped buying- there are a ton of official trailers with (sometimes exactly) the same music. But now I’m bordering on another, different rant. I’ll close it with one last quote.

There are other places where you can get completely free music to use for free in your videos, or just in return for a credit. Please use that music. Maybe the composer is a hobby composer too and he makes his music just in return for on-screen credits. That’s fine. It’s a good match for your hobby / fun / non-profit video. But our music is not for hobby, not for free, and not for on-screen credits only.

Lynne Publishing: Because you suck. And we hate you.


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