New Law Might Put Amateur YouTube Singers In Prison???
A new bill is being introduced to Congress that, if passed, would make it a felony to stream any unauthorized copyrighted material and could get you five years in prison. Many suspect this would include posting videos of yourself singing pop songs on YouTube.
"Yo man, what you in for?"
"Edge of Glory"
So, are our favorite artists losing out on iTunes sales because a ten year old plays a ukulele cover of their songs? The law would only be used to prosecute those who would benefit financially from such videos, but does trying to get super god damn famous count as an attempt to benefit financially? Since it's so unclear where fair use ends and straight-up music stealin' begins, I suggest we just stop covering songs for the internet all together. I mean, it's not like anyone's ever benefitted from posting themselves up on YouTube. Can you think of any cases? Those people who got married to Chris Brown's "Forever"? Chocolate Rain Guy? Right. Basically no one.
Well. Maybe there was one.
Some people seem to like this guy. I think his name is Jason Breather?
So yes, YouTube was instrumental in the career of Justin Bieber, as he was discovered from a video that went up in 2006 singing Chris Brown's "With You" and went on to make infinity money and have just the best career of all time. Because of that, a campaign has begun opposing the bill, arguing that, if this law were in effect, instead of repeating the word "Baby" more times than any other human being and Never Saying Never, Justin Bieber would be- Heaven help us- in prison.
This isn't right. It's not RIGHT.
So let's talk about the plusses and minuses of this bill. Granted, if it were in effect in 2006, we wouldn't have our dear dear Justin Bieber. And who knows how many shining talents would be afraid to put themselves out there, and potentially be discovered, because a five year prison sentence looms over their YouTube accounts? But musicians are definitely losing sales because someone else is essentially doing their act for free on YouTube. Speaking from my own experience, I know I didn't buy the new Blink 182 album because I found a YouTube video of a cat getting its tail caught in a door.
"You seemed so sweet at the start/ but the start's all wrong"
What do you think? Are you worried a clamp-down on copyrighted songs hurt your chances of being discovered? Or are you more concerned about the musicians who could lose money if their songs are sung by less-that-talented people from the internet? There's even a website for people who think the bill is terrible at freebieber.org. What do YOU think? Speak your mind in the comments!