Monday, October 5, 2009

My brush with DMCA

Last week I went to Youtube to watch one of my new favorite videos:

Israel Kamakawiwo'Ole 'IZ' 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow'

To my surprise, it had a notification that WMG music issued a DMCA takedown notice for the lyrics in it. They still had the video there, but were forced to remove the sound. I did some research and found that WMG wasn't even his label. They simply owned the rights to the lyrics of "Over the Rainbow". I was disgusted with the thought process of music executives and went here:

and issued this complaint:

Taking down the audio from Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's video of Over the Rainbow only shows how greedy and selfish music production companies such as yourself are. He performed a beautiful rendition of the song and all your company cares about is profiting from his memoirs. I've never boycotted anything in my life, but from now on (no matter how much I want the music) if there is a WMG label on it, I will not purchase it.

with the title "Complaint". I posted it on Facebook and as far as I know only my girlfriend went and did the same thing.

This past weekend, I decided to hit up my iPhone and did a search for him again. I found the exact same video WITH sound! I'm not saying that my girlfriend's and my complaints got WMG to allow the sound back onto Youtube, as I'm sure there were many more people complaining about the matter since he had so many followers that loved his music. I do however, have to say that I am happy that WMG could take these sorts of complaints and consider how utterly useless their actions were.

My close friends know that I'm agnostic and generally don't believe much of anything unless there is proof of it somewhere. Since the most proven facts (that I've looked up) come from physics and one of the most basic facts of physics is "for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction", I decided to go back and send WMG this:

Last week I submitted a complaint with a threat to boycott WMG for their DMCA takedown notice to Youtube for Israel Kamakawiwo'Ole 'IZ' 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow'. I have recently gone back to Youtube and found that the sound has been restored. I felt the need to write back to your company and thank you for listening to all of your potential customers. I have a new found respect for WMG and will proudly purchase any music produced by your company.

with the subject "Thank you".

I'm sure we've all heard the saying "the squeaky wheel gets the grease". To be honest, it felt good to know that I took the time to write back to them in a favourable way instead of just to complain.

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