The internet has a wonderful way of complicating things, doesn’t it?
Recently, I’ve been trying to overcome my “red light syndrome.” This is the phenomenon that occurs when you have nailed a song and can play it perfectly until you press record and all of a sudden it feels like you are playing with somebody else’s hands.
The only way to overcome it, I’ve been told, is to keep recording until having the video camera on no longer bothers you.
So, I’ve been making videos and posting them (or trying to post them) on Facebook. Sometimes Facebook blocks them or mutes them for copyright infringement.
It’s kind of frustrating.
Now, I’m pretty sure the intent of copyright law is not to stop amateur musicians from sharing their progress with their friends on social media.
Of course, covering a song, any song, is fair game in a live situation. But I can kind of see how playing along with the original version and then posting it could be one of those grey areas.
Ultimately, though, the law is to stop people from making money from the intellectual property of somebody else.
I suspect Facebook is actually covering its own butt because technically my content on Facebook is not mine.
As the popular meme goes: “If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product.”
I’m not making any money from my content, but Facebook is, so if anyone is infringing copyright, it’s Facebook.
In fact, what is interesting, and I did not know this before, is that Facebook has actually entered into agreements with some large music companies (for example, Sony/ATV) that allow users to safely use copyrighted music in video clips. Perhaps that is why some of my videos get tagged while others don’t.
When a Sony/ATV copyrighted piece of music gets tagged, instead of blocking it, Facebook pays royalties to the original artists.
You’re welcome, Queen.
This is also what YouTube does.
Hopefully, this is a model that will expand so those of us who do these things for fun can do it freely and maybe even profit from it ourselves.
All of us who are on these social media platforms are content creators, but our only payment for it is being able to use the service for free while Facebook and YouTube rake in billions every year.