Youtube

Good Morning or Happy Birthday ?

Say, did you know that you can’t sing “Happy Birthday To You” on Youtube ?

That’s right. The age old tune is still copyrighted and to use it you need to pay up.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s an adult or group of children that sings it. And when a film production company called Good Morning To You Productions Inc made a documentary about the songs history, they were required to pay a $1,500 synchronization license fee to use it on their film.

Had this company not paid they would have been liable up to $150,000 in damaged for copyright infringement so they paid up. But of course they also decided to launch a class action lawsuit in the United States District Court representing the Southern District of New York, on behalf of all who were forced to pay to use this song.

The composition was originally entitled “Good Morning To All” and composed in 1893 by Patty Smith Hill and her sister Mildred Hill. And the copyright to that song of course expired in 1921 in the States. But a change in lyrics in 1924 and a different arrangement in 1935 caused the copyright to linger.

Fast forward to 2013.

The plaintiffs claim that they have evidence dating the traditional lyrics to 1911. This would date both the composition and traditional lyrics to over 75 years, rendering both public domain.

They also dispute whether copyright was actually established in 1924 because Robert H. Coleman was only credited for compiling, editing and publishing “Harvest Hymns”, a songbook which featured the melody and lyrics to “Happy Birthday To You”.

The class action lawsuit also alleges that copyright for “Happy Birthday To You” had not been established in several subsequent publications and copyright registrations.

What’s annoying about this is that in Canada there’s no dispute whether this song is public domain with lyrics or not. But everything that is uploaded to Youtube is subject to American law so hold off uploading your birthday videos guys and gals until this is settled.

Did Video Truly Kill The Radio Star ?

In the 80’s there was this popular belief that music videos would eventually result in the demise of radio.

Experts had believed that the popularity of music television would cause radio to fade away. And this prediction was so popular that it resulted in two incredibly successful singles based on radio nostalgia ; One from Queen (“Radio Ga Ga“) and one from The Buggles (“Video Killed the Radio Star“).

But it appears that this prediction was premature.

According to Nielson’s “Music 360” study, 48% of the individuals they polled claimed they “discover music most often through the radio”.

Youtube has become a major source for music in teens, 64% of the respondents having stated they listen to music on the service. But 56% of the teens polled also listen to radio.

It appears that radio is adapting and remains one of the main sources for music in teens, over two decades after the predictions were made.

Also noteworthy are the findings that compact discs still remain popular in some circles, 55% of the music fans polled having “identified physical CDs as a very or fairly good value”.

Half of the teens polled also claim to listen to compact discs. And 36% have purchased at least one compact disc within the year.

Three thousand Americans responded this online survey.

iOS 6 Minus Youtube App

The Verge reported that the new iOS 6 operating system for Apple products will not include an app to view Youtube videos because their license expired.

Google is currently working on a standalone version so Apple users will be able to view Youtube videos on the new operating system.

Publishers Association Threatens Canada

A “coalition of international, regional and national publishers associations” has sent a letter to our government threatening retaliation for Bill C-11 with a WTO complaint.

Apparently they dislike several exemptions provided by the bill :

“As currently drafted, however, many provisions of C-11 may allow a broad group of public and private institutions and organizations to copy and distribute works under a vague and intentionally broad educational exception in ways that publishers and authors license, thereby promoting strife and litigation, and potentially violating all three elements of the three-step test.

Similar concerns also relate to the exceptions for non-commercial user generated content, the display exception and the tests and examination exception, the exception relating to publicly available material on the internet, and the inter-library loan exception.”

The International Publishers Association is comprised of about 60 international organizations from 50 nations and is based in Geneva.

Rogers Video Ends Renting Services

Rogers Video stores across Canada will no longer rent DVDs or Blu-ray discs tomorrow.

Starting this week this chain will offload their film stock at reduced prices leaving Canadian consumers with very limited options in regards to renting films.

Cable and satellite subscribers will continue being able to rent films on their digital boxes and Canadians with access to high speed connections have access to online film rental services like Cineplex, Cinemanow, iTunes, Netflix and Youtube. But it appears the mail services and kiosks are now the only viable options for people who do not have access to cable, satellite and high speed internet services.

Unfortunately the kiosk services offered by Zip and Best Buy are limited to major cities at the moment, though they will probably expand in response to the demand. And the cable, satellite and high speed internet options remain expensive.

The current rental fee for recent high definition releases on my digital cable service is $7.99. And if I were to rent these films online in 720p I would use an average of about 4 gigabytes worth of usage per film towards my usage limit.

I am hoping that the digital cable rental fee will be reduced in response to public demand. But at the moment I am also testing out The Movie Network and Moviepix as a cheaper alternative, though releases on The Movie Network still appear to be subjected to a considerable delay.

As it stands I appear to prefer Moviepix for the channel’s selection of classic films and will likely subscribe to this service until Bell’s Fibe TV service is introduced to my neighbourhood.

I will probably dabble in online film rentals, within strict limitations, and use Zip.ca‘s services as my main source for newer releases.

As previously reported on this blog, Zip will be expanding their kiosks. And I believe theater companies like Cineplex, Empire and AMC will eventually offer kiosk services in their locations in respond to the demand left by Roger Video‘s departure.

I am also hoping for a national expansion of the Best Buy branded kiosks to Best Buy and Mac’s locations through-out Canada.

The Forever Yours Charity Single

As you may or may not know, I’ve been a member of Youtube since 2006. And today I thought I’d bump a charity single entitled “Forever Yours” by fellow Youtuber Alex Day, also known as Nerimon.

I am particularly fond of the hilarious BillTV-Mickeleh Remix, having known BillTVMacon for a while, and the Stefan Chin Remix, which has already charted at #10 in the Electronic music charts here in Canada.