Won’t get fooled again, hard rock fans react to Warner/Universal takedowns
There are rock fans and then there are the Living Room Rock Gods. The LRRG is a community of multi-instrumentalists who use their home studios, webcams, and YouTube accounts to collaboratively create recordings of their favorite songs.
In some cases, the recordings produced by the LRRG are executed so accurately as to be registered as a positive match by YouTube/Google’s automated Content ID system. As with many of the communities using YouTube to share their work, the LRRG has been hit very hard by the recent deluge of brainless copyright claims by major media corporations. Zodiakironfist, founder of the LRRG, has already received six takedown notices for his home recordings.
Sad but true, few musicians have spoken out in defense of their fans.
Metallica, still unforgiven for their role in the Napster shutdown, encouraged their fans to upload covers back in September but said nothing when their label began taking them down. Notably, the damage extends to their own Official Music Videos playlist which has all but faded to black.
Unlike other fan communities that packed up and moved, the Living Room Rock Gods got angry and organized. They are now posting to a new blog titled, Tribute Is Not Theft and recording testimonial videos explaining their position.
Pook speaks for many of his fellow Rock Gods when he writes,
Please consider what these record companies are claiming copyright infringement on:
US playing OUR INSTRUMENTS…
using OUR CAMERAS…
in OUR HOMES…
sharing OUR SKILLS and OUR TECHNIQUE
with OUR FRIENDS…
We are not against Copyright Law
…we’re against the abuse of it
In its latest post, the EFF echoes many of the same sentiments expressed by the LRRG when it calls for a return to human-vetted copyright evaluation:
The best thing for Warner to do is to go back to how it treated videos before. The Content ID system should be set to flag possible infringing works and then Warner should have a human review those works before they are taken down.
To a piece of software, RushZappa2112′s one-man cover of ‘YYZ’ might appear startlingly similar to the original 1981 recording but to any human observer it is clearly the work of a dedicated fan.
Tribute is not theft. Where are the musicians to defend their fans?