Recent comments

Bestseller

Tech 101: Don't use hit music in your videos, it's not cool.

Tech 101: Don't use hit music in your videos, it's not cool.

Tech 101: Don't use hit music in your videos, it's not cool.CLOSE

Ed Sheeran was awarded an MBE from Prince Charles at the Buckingham Palace.

If you have an online business and you post online videos, don’t use licensed music. It could really get you into trouble.

My friend David Medill just got the shock of his life this week when he got banned from the Vimeo video service for copyright violation. His sin: He makes wedding videos, and he sets them to the tune of Ed Sheeran, Marvin Gaye and Father John Misty.

Those could be considered fine for sharing one-on-one with the client. But it's not legal when it comes to posting them online. And certainly not for posting on your website.

I’m sure you’re thinking,"Wait a minute. Everyon e does it." Yes, until they are caught and the copyright holder files a complaint. The rules are that the music publisher and songwriter need to be compensated.

Once a complaint is made, the website either takes it down automatically, asks you to do it or to come to terms with the rights holders.

Some websites are diligent about copyrighted music. Facebook is very strict. Good luck getting a video posted on the social network with a recognizable song on the soundtrack.

Many folks have complained about getting banned from Facebook for performing and posting cover versions of songs by, most notably, Ed Sheeran.

On YouTube, making cover songs is considered an art form. Pop star Ariana Grande, in fact, started off with a cover of a song by Adele.

But YouTube takes a different approach to copyrights and claims.

While entities can complain and ask to have the video withdrawn, they have another option as well: Making money on the video, by splittin g ad revenues with YouTube. Most opt for that. That’s why you hear so much recognizable music in videos on YouTube.

In terms of Medill, he set out to make great videos for his brides and grooms and share them on social media and the web via Vimeo, the YouTube alternative. The site, which charges monthly hosting fees to showcase the work in an ad-free format, sent him several e-mails about his copyright violations. He's allowed to use the music if he has permission. Medill didn't have it.

Medill ignored the e-mails, as many of us do with the onslaught of daily e-mail, and awoke to find his 400 videos taken down and his Vimeo account canceled. He was given three days to download them all. Vimeo tells me that anyone with three strikes can't get their account back. Medill adds that Vimeo told him he can never re-apply for an account again as well.

"How is it that a young person isn’t aware that it’s illegal to post licensed music?" asks Nancy Prager, an Atlanta based copyright lawyer. "That's a sad commentary about the state of the music business."

To hear her tell it, labels should make it as easy to license a song as they made it to download a tune. There should be a self-service website, where, if you wanted to license "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" for a wedding video, you'd click a button, put in your credit card and become legal.

That's not how it works. A person interested in doing so would need to hunt for the music publisher and record label, and after getting frustrated with no quick results, give up and look for another solution.

The really bad news for Medill is that he now has to redo his website as well, since he had hosted clips from Vimeo on it. And he needs to find a new video host, which, for businesses, is not cheap. Vimeo is about $20 monthly, a popular alternative, Wistia, is $100 monthly. And YouTube isn't a great option, becau se it puts ads in front of every video, which isn't cool for display on a business website.

Royalty-free music is abundant online. You can pick up free stuff on YouTube and SoundCloud from start-up musicians who just ask for credit in the video, or go to a subscription service like Triple Scoop Music or BenSound that might cost $175 monthly or more.

It’s a lot of money, but look at the alternative. If you’re a business owner reading this, and you plan on posting your videos online, friendly words of advice from USA TODAY: Don’t be a chump. Keep your favorite songs for listening at home and your website humming with bland, royalty-free music. It won’t sound as great, but you’ll still be in business.

In other tech news this week

â€"Facebook: The social network had lower than expected earnings and a warning of lower sales growth, sending Wall Street into a tailspin. Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO, lost $15 billion in stock value in ju st one day, on Thursday.

â€"Alex Jones' InfoWars channel was given a strike by YouTube, warning the conspiracy laden website that two more strikes would result in being banned from the network. YouTube took down four videos by Jones, and wouldn't state how he violated the community standards, but said in a statement, "We have longstanding policies against child endangerment and hate speech."

â€"Kuri, we barely knew you. The cute little robot that debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2016 got shelved this week, a victim of poor sales. Perhaps the public just isn't keen on having cute little droids running around the house on wheels, basically doing what a stationary Alexa speaker does in the kitchen.

This week's Talking Tech podcasts

â€"Flippy's got a brand new gig @Dodger Stadium. The hamburger flipping robot is set to make chicken tenders and tater tots.

â€"What's on Netflix in August? USA TODAY's Carly Mallenbaum sits in with us to preview new shows on the streaming service.

â€"Move over scooters, e-Skates are here.

â€"Tech 101: Don't use licensed music in your videos. Today's newsletter.

â€"Nine startups Amazon enlisted to help with Alexa.

â€"Would you buy a product that expired in 12 months? Tile's bluetooth problem.

â€"1-star reviews for the Amazon Echo? The e-tailer's shoppers are brutal.

â€"Inside Fortnite, Inc. USA TODAY's Eli Blumenthal joins guest host Laura Mandaro to discuss the money generated from 2018's hottest game.

Follow USA TODAY's Jefferson Graham (@jeffersongraham) on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Read or Share this story: https://usat.ly/2NRfgfTSource: Google News Music

No comments