Posting Cover Tunes on YouTube and Other Social Media

Elliot Zimmerman

In light of the fact that many people are podcasting their own live performances of controlled compositions on YouTube and other social media, there seems to be a disconnect between the law and conduct. The thought of suing a fan who performs your or your client’s material is not as palatable to artists and companies today as it has been in the past, especially if there are other options…

YouTube has new platforms and monetization policies which may sidestep copyright infringement suits. If you don’t know about YouTube monetization, it’s worth a gander. Some owners and/or controllers of rights (including publishing, performance, synch, master use, etc.) will take what YouTube pays, rather than suing the infringer. In short, if the owner files a claim against a YouTube podcast/post, YouTube will pay the monetization to the owner if the owner so desires. Notwithstanding, the owner can also choose to leave the post public and continue to collect the $$$, have it taken down, and/or sue.

Some of my more prominent entertainment clients have in the past not cared whatsoever about YouTube posts, contending that they love their fans, and the conduct was just free advertising and a display of love in return. 

Because there may be no limitation on accepting the YouTube $$$ then filing suit (after a take down notice is sent), I find this exposure unacceptable and want to explore the creation of reasonably priced compulsory video/streaming synch licensing for We the “Common” People… I believe that Thomas Jefferson would have been offended by our current scheme even though he felt authors and inventors should be compensated for their works.

Here’s an interesting article from DIY entitled “Posting Cover Songs on YouTube” which embraces my foregoing thoughts. Simply fascinating!  https://diymusician.cdbaby.com/youtube/posting-cover-songs-on-youtube-music-licensing-law-explained/

During this pandemic, many of us have been podcasting away. I podcast @facebook.com/cyberlaw and on my YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAJRGktYPdsXt3N4VdnG_7A simultaneously, featuring the tunes and artists I promote as permitted by the license obtained as owner of www.Musicians.Exchange. I also discuss some legal issues and news o the podcasts.

Currently working on sites for live jamming with AI (like going to a club, watching a live band performing, and meeting avatars walking about). We almost have the latency issue solved. Beam me aboard Scottie and stay tuned.

We can all do it… but we could do it better with some relaxed rules for the common man. It would be nice to have more content for the podcasts without having to get a synch license the old school way. Way too difficult and expensive.

Stay safe, be well, and most of all, keep cool.