Will Copyright Kill the Video Star?

I'm a big fan of YouTube. Who isn't? It's friggin' genius. Its a "why didn't I think of that?" invention, sort of like PayPal or bottled water. And just like the wonderful decadence that was the original Napster, YouTube is being damned by the man, and the man is totally preparing to take it's ass down and I don't know about you but I'm PISSED. I'm not, however, just pissed because I won't be able to watch any music video or SNL clip I could ever have wanted. I'm not just pissed that I won't be able to see the intro to Fraggle Rock or a My Pet Monster commercial on a whim.

I'm pissed because after over 2 decades of integrating computers into our lives, and the constant changing and upgrading of technology in general, people still haven't figured out the fact that nature is taking itself back from commercialism. I lost you there, didn't I? Stay with me here.

How many times have you found a band, a really great band, and within 5 years of hearing their first song they have released 3 albums, gone from playing clubs to selling out stadiums, and their t-shirts are on everyone from thirteen year old girls to forty year old men with ponytails. Suddenly their music is just a mishmash of all the bands they liked in high school, and the drummer won't stay out of rehab long enough to do a new video. Commercialism sucks. Do you ever wonder what the world was like before the radio? When music really WAS about people who loved it. When your audience was huge because so many people talked about your music, not because your label payed to have your name dropped in the new Verizon ringtone commercial. The words "pop princess" wouldn't apply to someone whose singing is her weakest talent. Do you ever wonder what movies might be if there weren't accompanying Slurpee cups and Happy Meals and backpacks? Would we have been spared from the likes of White Chicks and Rush Hour 2 if the advertising demons hadn't been coughing up spin from the fiery pits of hell?

Technology is changing every day, and the entertainment industry across the board believes it is far too important and wealthy to be forced to come to terms with the fact that its business is changing too. DVDs can be uploaded to computers, and immediately burned onto blank discs. Borrow your buddy's copy and you won't spend more than the 4 cents that single blank DVD cost. They tried to stop this by encrypting the DVDs, to which people replied, "Yah, that's gonna work." and immediately created decryptors. Disney recently changed the encoding on theirs and within 3 months, there were programs to get around it. This isn't counterfeiting money, or stealing a car. This is something that never has to leave the light of our homes, and as such, you can do very little to stop it. Bit Torrents share entire albums for free, in case you can't borrow one of those from your friend and upload that. The entertainment industry is furious, because it is being FORCED back to its roots. It is being FORCED to earn its money through quality, by giving people something they want badly enough to hear or see. You can't fake seeing a band live. At long last a natural course is coming about where the jesters are not going to be wealthier than the kings.

You don't see the government throwing a fit because computers have made paper practically obsolete. You didn't see them getting involved because typewriter companies were going out of business. Do you think they intervened when electricity came about and nobody was buying candles anymore? Did chamber pot makers throw a fit? What about the poor personal check makers? Should the plight of John Henry have caused an uprising?!

Suing YouTube is like a child throwing a temper tantrum. Kick and scream all you like, but this is the direction things are going, and you can't do anything to stop it. Metallica, and especially that whining little bitch Lars Ulrich, have lost the respect their fans once had for them when they sued people for downloading their album without paying for it. They forget the days when they were playing grimy clubs and WISHING that someone would leave their show and tell their buddies, and pass around their tape. They're too important and wealthy to need that anymore. They're too important and wealthy for us, forgetting that they're important and wealthy BECAUSE of us. Watching a Natalie Portman sketch on YouTube made me go back to watching SNL. Watching a My Chemical Romance video (that the band placed themselves) made me download the CD, and the next CD, and next month I'll be going to their show and probably buying a t-shirt and I talk about their music to other people who might do the same. YouTube has brought back nostalgia and word of mouth to a world where everything is smashed into our faces in commercial breaks. Where nostalgia is packaged and sold to us in flashing leaderboards at the top of webpages and we can buy it on t-shirts with overnight shipping.

So they can take down YouTube. Hell, they probably will, but the technology that has begun will not be stopped. Once again you can bite the hand that feeds, but you're fucking with the wrong people. Our mother's milk was Guns 'n' Roses, and Public Enemy. The hormones that shot us through puberty were laced with Nirvana and Nine Inch Nails. And the foundation we now build our families on is the understanding that we have been sold to our entire lives, and we are fucking over it. We weren't raised on hearty servings of Debbie Boone and the Age of Aquarius. Our generation is bringing down the rich bitch mentality you have that makes you think we're too stupid to see it. We're bringing America's entertainment industry to its knees, and if you want to throw the YouTube tantrum, then go right ahead. Just don't expect any support when you come knocking on my door. I won't even be home. I'll be in Pirate Bay.


Karin said...

You go girl! A really articluate stance on what the reality of the entertainment world is right now. You know, I still maintain that seven years ago when I was downloading like mad on (free) Napster, it was also the time in my life when I was also *purchasing* more music than ever. It had that kind of momentum in my life.

Here's to giving it to the man (up the ass, I mean. LOL)

Chops said...

I love me some Planet Joon!

(hey, you should make t-shirts!)

Joon said...

should i make t-shirts that say "i hate capitalism but i love planet joon!" and sell them for $25?!

A Mean Sucka said...

you know, I think commercialism is responsible for the sad state of affairs in the entertainment industry, but I think the Internet is the great equalizer. It has allowed us to take back our entertainment (both legaly and illegally). Of course it's also contributed to the reality TV craze, but that's another story.

I don't really see this as such a big problem EXCEPT when entertainment companies lobby for freedom-capping laws when it comes to technology. Taxes on ipods, email guaranteed delivery fees, content restrictions, censorship, etc. It's all rubbish. If and when the freedom smackdown comes, I'm sure we'll find something else.

mame said...

Holy crap! A virtual feast of Joony goodness to read! Where tyhe hell have I been?