Thoughts

YouTube and music publishers: a model for revenue sharing

One of the videos I uploaded to YouTube recently was identified as using copyrighted music. I’d used a song from the 50s, thinking that after 60 years, no one would give a hoot whether that song was being used as a track in a YouTube video. Still, it was identified by YouTube’s content ID program and pointed out to me.

Leaving aside the discussion of music copyrights in the US, which is absolutely insane, given that even 70-year old songs still aren’t public domain, I’d like to propose a model for revenue sharing among YouTube users and music publishers. It’s quite simple, and allows for easy licensing and monetization of music tracks. If implemented, I dare say it would also increase the revenues of music publishers quite a bit.

Here’s how it would work:

  1. Music publishers use YouTube’s content ID program to identify potential matches between their catalogs and YouTube videos, same as they’re already doing.
  2. Potential copyright issues will continue to be identified, same as they are right now.
  3. Videos won’t be restricted, as they are now, but will continue to play in all geographical locations, for every YouTube user, accumulating views.
  4. If the videos are successful and accumulate over 10,000 views, they will be invited into YouTube’s revenue sharing program.
  5. Once they start making money through that program, a portion of that money will go to the music publishers who own the licensing rights for that particular song or piece of music. I wouldn’t mind paying up to 25% of the profits from a video to a music publisher if I chose a particular song I loved for my video, and my video was successful. Besides, I wouldn’t have to actually “pay” myself. YouTube would automatically distribute the revenues accordingly.

The best part of this is that the process is fair, doesn’t punish anyone, and benefits all involved. If a video is successful, then it pays, and if it only gets a few hundred views, who cares if uses a song that should be licensed? If a tree falls in the forest and no one’s around to hear it, does it still make a sound? Does it matter?

Prosecuting individuals in this day and age, when the practice of adding songs to videos is so widespread, is terribly inefficient, and fosters ill-will. Why not use existing technology and platforms to add value, make money and foster goodwill?

The two areas where I see some tweaking will be needed are in the correct identification of music tracks, where the dispute/review process will need to be made easier and faster, and in the use of a sliding scale to calculate the percentage due to the publishers for the user of their songs, based on the song’s popularity and relevance. But those are minor things given the immense potential of this model to revolutionize the way we look at music copyright disputes on YouTube.

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Thoughts

Music with veggie instruments

YouTube user heita3 from Japan has been making wind instruments from vegetables and eggs, and he’s been posting videos of himself playing those instruments online. So far, he made 50 videos, most of which are quite popular, having garnered well over 10 million total views.

In addition to playing the instruments, he shows people how to make them. Here are just a few videos that show the results of his interesting hobby.


(Carrot pan-flute, “Moon on the Ruined Castle”)


(Carrot ocarina, “The Legend of Zelda”)


(Apple ocarina, “Mary Had a Little Lamb”)


(How to make egg ocarinas)


(Butterbur oboe, “Lightly Row”)


(Radish slide whistle, “Grandfather’s clock”)


(The piece-de-resistance, Carrot ocarina trio, “Lightly Row”)

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Events

Charity Christmas concert at Sala Traube, Medias

Yesterday, the Seventh-day Adventist Church of Medias gave a charity Christmas concert at Sala Traube. The entry was free, but a call for donations was made halfway through the concert. All proceeds went to U.A.M.S. (Unitatea de Asistenta Medico-Sociala), a charitable institution run by City Hall, which provides medical and living assistance to the poor and the needy.

A large, 54-person choir, in which my wife participated, sang Christmas carols accompanied by piano and violin. The repertoire was as follows:

  • O, ce veste minunata
  • Crestini din toata zarea
  • Noaptea de vis
  • Spre Betleem treceau pastori
  • O, Betleem din tinutul Iuda
  • Intr-o iesle colo jos
  • Dinspre stele
  • Niste soapte
  • Pentru noi veni
  • O, Betleem
  • Musical Bells
  • Azi avem Mantuitor
  • S-a nascut azi Domnul Sfant
  • Cantati-I popoarelor
  • Tatal nostru

I am happy to announce that over 200 people were in attendance, and over 5,000 RON were raised for UAMS. (That’s about $1,700 USD at the current exchange rate.) That’s a really good sum considering it was raised in a small city, and in Romania.

You can watch the entire concert below, on blip.tv, or on YouTube in five parts (part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5). Merry Christmas!

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Events

Christmas program at church

There was a nice little Christmas program at our church this past Saturday, December 19, 2009, and you can watch a video of the three groups which sang in it below. My wife planned the program, in-between planning her own art show, directing our church’s choir, and taking part in two separate choirs that each gave Christmas concerts this past week. Can you tell she’s had a busy agenda lately?

A children’s choir sang first, followed by the church choir. Then she read a short story, which she wrote the night before, and handed out Christmas sweets, prepared from her own recipe following raw food methods, with the aid of a friend. After that, it was a mix of carols from the church choir and a women’s group, plus a musical bells group (which I didn’t record, but which you can watch in action here).

http://blip.tv/file/2997419
Watch this video on blip.tv

You can also see me singing in the video, as part of the church choir. Given how different the photo on my about page is from the way I look now, I wonder how many people can spot me. Should be fun to know that.

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Events

Ecumenical Christmas concert at Margarethenkirche, Medias

This past week, churches of several religious denominations from the city of Medias got together and gave a wonderful Christmas concert, as they’ve done every year since 1989, at Margarethenkirche (Church of St. Margaret). It took place on Wednesday evening, December 16, 2009. I recorded video sequences from the concert, which you can see below. While I couldn’t record it in its entirety, I know a professional video team was on site with two cameras, and they’ll make their edited video available to the public in the near future, possibly even this week.

I need to apologize for the quality of the video… At the time, I had a cold, and was literally shivering up there in the drafty upper level, trying to hold the camera steady. It didn’t work very well, so the video sequences are quite shaky. I had to leave early, too, as I felt a fever coming on and didn’t want to make things worse. At least I stuck around until the choir in which my wife participated sang their carols (Seventh-day Adventist Church of Medias).

http://blip.tv/file/2997380
Watch this video on blip.tv

At the end of the concert, selected choristers from each church choir sang together in a unified, ecumenical choir. Unfortunately, I wasn’t around for that, but my wife sang in that choir, and she said it sounded heavenly. By the way, in the video, my wife is the very pretty, curly-headed girl on whom I kept focusing my camera. 🙂

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Events

Paula Seling in concert, Medias

Paula Seling, a very well-known Romanian pop star, gave a Christmas concert yesterday evening, December 14, at Sala Traube, a venue in Medias, Romania. We were in attendance, and I recorded most of the songs she sang on my cameraphone. You can watch the video below.

Paula is my wife’s favorite singer. Ligia has followed her progress from the start of her solo career, and has always told me that Paula is the most talented singer in Romania. After tonight’s performance, I agree.

The concert began with a few Christmas carols, after which Paula launched into a great mix of new and old music, including a few songs from her newest album, “Believe“, which came out earlier this year. The show was great. Paula’s performance was consistent, and she established a wonderful rapport with the audience. She got a standing ovation at the end, and she sang a beautiful song for an encore — I’ll let you watch it for yourselves in the videos.

Watch the videos on YouTube in five parts (part 1part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5)

If you’d like more information about Paula Seling, then her website is definitely the place to go. She has both English and Romanian versions of her site, each loaded with tons of goodies. In a move I found unusual but very welcome, she has posted her entire discography online, and each song is recorded in both English and Romanian. In other words, you can listen to samples from each of her songs in both languages. That must have taken a significant, sustained long-term effort, and I applaud her for that.

Paula also deserves applause for being so gracious and welcoming after the show. My wife wanted to meet her and give her one of her quilling pieces, as a way of saying thank you for her wonderful music. Adrian Matei facilitated the meeting, and we are very grateful to him for doing so. Paula agreed, and was thrilled when she saw what Ligia had prepared for her. I took this photo of the two of them together as we said our goodbyes and wished her the best for the future.

Ligia and Paula Seling, on December 14, 2009, Sala Traube, Medias, Romania.
Ligia and Paula Seling, on December 14, 2009, Sala Traube, Medias, Romania.
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Events

Acapella at Margarethenkirche, Medias

Acapella, a Romanian choral group, gave a Christmas concert at Margarethenkirche (St. Margaret’s Church) in Medias, Romania, on December 12, 2009. They were accompanied on the organ by Remus Henning, an organist of international renown.

I recorded most of the songs on my cameraphone and embedded the video below.

You can also watch this video on YouTube in three parts (part 1, part 2, part 3).

The songs/carol selections were as follows:

  • Ave Maria
  • Vestea Nasterii
  • O, Ce Veste Minunata
  • Stille Nacht
  • Joy to the World
  • Steaua Sus Rasare
  • Noi in Seara de Craciun
  • Mos Craciun
  • Panis Angelicus
  • Trei Crai de la Rasarit
  • Sus Boieri
  • O, Tannenbaum
  • Hark the Herald Angels Sing
  • Cantec Bavarez
  • Colo-n Susu
  • Deck the Halls
  • O, Du Froliche
  • Adeste Fideles

Other concerts I attended at St. Margaret’s church this year were:

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The Toy Train
Video Log

The toy train

Updated 11/02/2018: This video now has over 25,000,000 views. Thank you!

My wife gave me this great little train set as a Christmas present a couple of years ago. I thought it’d be fun to film it in action one day, and when I edited the video, I looked for the right kind of music for some time. The end result was worth it though, and it sets the mood for the upcoming holiday season. Enjoy!

You can watch the video here or on YouTube. The soundtrack for the video is called “Choo Choo Train” by Daffy Dave.

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Thoughts

New album from Chris Isaak

2002 GQ Men of The Year Awards - Show

I saw a new video from Chris Isaak this morning, for a song entitled “We Let Her Down”. The album is called “Mr. Lucky” and was released this year. You can listen to clips from all of the songs on his album at Recordnet or at Amazon.

We Let Her Down” by Chris Isaak

Chris Isaak was/is one of my favorite singers, though I forgot about him these past few years. Back in college, in the mid 90s, I loved his songs. That whole melancholy jive of his resonated with my less than successful romantic life back then…

I visited Chris’ website afterward, where I watched videos for some my favorite songs, such as “Wicked Games”, “Blue Spanish Sky”, “Think of Tomorrow” and “Dark Moon” (the list goes on, but not all of the songs were made into videos).

Wicked Games” by Chris Isaak

Blue Spanish Sky” by Chris Isaak

Think of Tomorrow” by Chris Isaak

Dark Moon” by Chris Isaak

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Events

Brasov Opera Orchestra concert at Sighisoara

We attended a wonderful concert last night, given by the Brasov Opera Orchestra in Sighisoara (Schassburg), at Casa de Cultura Mihai Eminescu, an old venue at the foot of the Sighisoara Castle. Sighisoara is a medieval city in the province of Transilvania, Romania.

There were two soloists: Cristian Braica, a wonderful Romanian contrabassist now based in Frankfurt, and Felicia Filip, a famous Romanian soprano of international renown. As the Opera Director aptly put it, the concert was an early Christmas celebration. The pieces were fantastic — classical hits imbued with solid rhythm, practiced to perfection. We were strongly impressed with the quality of the performance. In my opinion, this is a world class orchestra.

I recorded highlights of the 1 ½ hour concert with my N95 and uploaded the edited video clips (in two parts) to my SmugMug video log. They’re also available on YouTube in twoparts, and on blip.tv. Enjoy.

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