Tuesday, December 11, 2012

ATTENTION: EMI and fans of the RIAA

False accusations, petition for reform
Sign This. YOUR freedom's at stake
as well!
...This one's for you.

Over three years ago, I created a fan video for one of my favorite songs to come out of the 1980's contemporary Christian music scene: Bad News For Modern Man by Steve Camp.  I attributed the song to Steve, and took absolutely no credit for anything but making the video itself.  I also edited the description to show that I had searched for a place to buy the album, Shake Me To Wake Me, and could only find it for resale.

Last year, I received a complaint against me for the use of copyrighted material.  Oddly enough, according to current US Law, the video I made meets the guidelines for fair use.  The subsequent note I made in the video description is as follows:
NOTE: EMI, the production company that Steve Camp originally put this song out under, has apparently filed a complaint against this video. (Was it better than yours. EMI?) With this in mind, please feel free to visit this link for proof that this album is no longer available to purchase in any way but resale: http://www.amazon.com/Shake-Me-Wake-Steve-Camp/dp/B000AA5Z82/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1355208009 )
Universal Music corruption
Jawohl Mein Fuhrer!
Obviously frustrated at such a low act by a company which is making no profit from the originating album to begin with, I did make a snide remark.  To this day, I do not regret making that comment, because that is what this looks like: A temper tantrum thrown by an angry and spoiled child.

About one month ago, I received notice that my video was STILL being contested.  It is my belief that once a company or artist stops making money on a product, it's about time to quit pretending that they do: In this case, the one acting hurt is the company, EMI.
I posted this second edit in the description of the video:
SECOND EDIT: EMI has continued to press this claim.  I will be contacting Steve Camp directly.  To the fool label, I say this: If you're selling this album, I'll happily supply the space to advertise it.  If you're not, then this claim is frivolous; your grievance is fraudulent; and looking over the entirety of YouTube, you've got no case.  Prove your damage, EMI, or back down entirely.
Again, I stand beside what I've said here.  I've already shown that EMI is making no money on this album, nor has this song been featured on anything since the early 90's.  I stand by my caricature of them as a "fool label," since they've obviously not studied anything, including their own holdings.  If they had done so, they would have found that they've made no money on this album for over fifteen years; that they've not had this song featured on anything for over ten years; and that they've much bigger problems to worry about, if stock prices mean anything.
However, I may be blaming EMI here, when I should be blaming some agent of theirs.  Regardless, I find their lack of investigation disturbing: There are over 30,000 videos using songs by Steve Camp on YouTube alone.  If they sent notices to all 30k, I'll be deeply impressed.  Moreover, had there been any investigation, it would have been discovered that Shake Me To Wake Me is now a substantial collector's item, going for more than $80 in new condition- The least expensive copy is $35, plus shipping and handling.  That is impressive for an album originally costing $12.

When I logged onto my YouTube account just now, I discovered yet another statement- The claim against me for this fan-made music video is still being pressed.  I am now at the point where I invite everyone to view what I have been going through; and if you share my anger over this 'fool's game' as it were, I invite you to inform the parties involved of your opinions.
This is what I have written to YouTube regarding this latest claim notice:
Quite Simply, all proper attribution has been made. The heading declares the song and who it is by, and the description informs everyone that this is a fan-made video and that I own nothing. Moreover, I have supplied a link to Amazon showing that said album is no longer for sale from the original distributor; instead, all copies found are resale items, with new copies starting at over $80, making this album "Shake Me To Wake Me" a collector's item.  This proves that EMI has suffered no financial loss at the hands of this single fan-made music video, as they have had no financial gain on this album for some time. 
Furthermore, I have made no financial gains off of this video, nor have I made this album available to any viewer through link or direct. This video was made purely out of respect for Steve Camp, the message of the song, and its relevance to today.
Beyond this, a brief search of YouTube shows about 30,900 video results for Steve Camp, and the majority of these are fan-made videos.  If EMI desires so greatly to press this claim, I require official, public notification of their request to remove said material.  At that point, this video will be made unavailable to all.
Be it known: Until such time as EMI, or its official agents, contacts me directly; places an official, PUBLIC request to remove their content online; or shows proof that they have suffered financial loss as a DIRECT RESULT of this fan-made video, this work will remain public and active.
Finally, be it known that this unwarranted dispute IS being made public, and all involved WILL be named. 
So, to fans of the video; to fans of personal freedom; to fans of fair use rights- Please use the following contact information to show that you are joining me in declaring this sort of witch hunt to be illegal, unfounded, unwarranted, and wrong in every sense of the word.

First, I ask that you sign this petition, then share it with everyone you can, via any media you can:
Force companies filing copyright complaints to prove their grievance.

Secondly, I ask that you share this blog entry.  Feel free to leave a comment, so your friends can see your thoughts echoed here and be more apt to share it themselves.  Please help me make this viral.

Third, I'm requesting those who are willing to email YouTube here with the subject ATTN: Salar Kamangar and inform YouTube of your disgust regarding their current copyright claim practices.

Fourth, please go to the video itself, linked to within this entry as well as below, and leave a comment; favorite it; add it to playlists; or any combination of these.  Let YouTube see the support in their numbers.

Finally, if you have any connections to anyone mentioned herein, feel free to share this with them directly.  Please also feel free to contact me directly using my contact information found in this blog's "About Me" box.  Also, if you are a member of the press, or know members of the press, feel free to reprint this entry and/or contact me.  When quoting this entry, I ask only that you provide a link to the entry itself.

Thank you for your time and partnership.
Fair Use, Warner Bros.
Do you need it defined?

Here is the video in question.  If it has disappeared, the corrupt corporate clowns have won.