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Auto cd tracks on YT. OK or notw/Artist

Janie 15 Nov 14 - 01:08 PM
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Subject: Auto cd tracks on YT. OK or notw/Artist
From: Janie
Date: 15 Nov 14 - 01:08 PM

I spend too much time on youtube listening to music, usually looking for videos of music of independent artists. Starting last weekend when I searched folks I had searched before, looking to see if anything else had been put up since I last searched and listened, I received auto-generated tracks from a number of CD's that had never appeared before. Two examples are tracks from CD's by Polecat Creek and Alice Gerrard. Noticed they were "atuomatically generated by 'Topic.' Wondered what was going on.

Then, a musician posted on Facebook about it after having received an e-mail from Google.    He provided an explanation of how it is possible for this to happen, having to do with contracts regarding distributors of digital music (I guess like CD Baby.) Don't have his permission to copy his explanation here, even unattributed, but hoping some of you who have contracted to sell your music digitally will know something about this.

This particular person was surprised and not happy this is happening. While royalties are apparently paid they are tiny, something like .001 cent per play. He believes making this on-demand streaming available for free to consumers will hurt sales of CD's and sales of digital downloads of his CD's or individual tracks from the CD's. Plus, there are particular ways he wants his music presented on Youtube and does not like the loss of control, or the lack of credit for songwriters or others on these auto generated youtube links. Also, while the option to buy the music is available under the track if viewed from a computer (links to iTunes, emusic, Amazon, etc) that option is apparently not available if the video is viewed on a smartphone - at least not on iPhones.

Other folks seemed to think it was either a neutral or positive thing for musicians, i.e. give the possibility of more exposure. They think most people who go to youtube to listen to music do so to research and explore or to find examples of an artist's music they want to share with others, to turn them on to the artist or the song. I know that is how I use Youtube. Have no idea if a lot of people create and/or stream playlists of youtube videos as they go about their day with music playing or not.

I tend to agree with the folks who think it is more of a good than a bad thing, but mostly I think the artist needs to decide. Apparently a lot of artists don't know this is happening, and if they have recently learned their CD tracks are coming up on Youtube, were not aware their distribution agreements and contracts would allow this to happen. If agreements are already signed, apparently can't stop it for those CD's. Maybe could in future contracts. I don't know.

So Mudcat musicians who sell digital recordings of your music on-line, what do you think? Were you aware of this? Would you rather folks like me not share links to these auto generated tracks?

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