Saturday, September 16, 2006

Universal Bonkers

Universal Music Group, which I'm told is the world's largest record company is now saying that the popular Web sites YouTube and MySpace are violating copyright laws. Why? Beceause they allow users to post music videos and other content involving Universal artists. "We believe these new businesses are copyright infringers and owe us tens of millions of dollars," said Universal Music CEO Doug Morris last Wednesday at an investors conference in Pasadena. "How we deal with these companies will be revealed shortly."

Universal is apparently deadlocked with its talks with YouTube, so the record giant is set to file a copyright infringement lawsuit against the video-sharing company if no agreement is reached by the end of the month, according to a person familiar with the talks who spoke to AP. Universal's talks with News Corp.'s MySpace have been progressing.

This smacks of the crazy situation in the radio biz, where record pluggers send free CDs to DJ's to get the record on the air and then demand payment for playing the same song on the air from the radio station.

So how about a "NO UNIVERSAL STARS" music day on the radio and a complete boycott of Universal promo material on Youtube? Record labels big and small have created Web pages on the social networking site for their bands, typically allowing visitors to listen to the artists' music for free. Youtube should send these jokers a bill for all the free promotion they have given them on their "broadcast" platform.

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