December 29, 2016

Record labels and Social Media, negotiate copyright issues among you, but please don’t endanger our heartfelt covers

Sir, Anna Nicolaou writes: “The big record labels are pressing the world’s largest social media network… to tackle copyright for cover songs and other content that fans post to their newsfeeds” “Record labels press Facebook to face the music over breaches of copyright” December 29.

That saddens me. On my 60th birthday, thinking about what I could give myself, I came up with the idea of recording and posting on YouTube one cover of a song I have liked in my life, for each day during the whole next year, and so I did, 365 songs! Phew, was I relieved it was not a leap year! Can you imagine how I would feel seeing all that effort and memories just vanishing?

If my modest covers generate some ad-revenues, the record labels and the social media should come to an agreement on how to share these… but under no circumstances should it affect all of us who want to express admiration in this way for the songs in our life.

By the way I can’t imagine how any of my covers would impede a single sale of a record containing it; in fact, by reminding people of its existence, it could even generate some new sales. I was indeed moved when one of my covers received the following comment: “Thank you for interpreting so well the song of my grandfather…. I am proud that the memory of his work is not erased over time, and that by disseminating it, do not let it die, an affectionate greeting from….”

If there were one reason I could though understand for the owner of a copyright to take down my YouTube cover, it would be that the song’s original composer expressed horror over how I might be murdering it. Sir, I pray not too many will. 

PS. On my, with respect to copyrights I actually wrote:

“One is always worried about issues such as copyrights, as one does not want to end up in a slammer at any age, even if voicing some of these beautiful songs could perhaps be worth it.

What I will try to do is to check out on the web if someone else has been doing a cover of the song or any other one by I believe is of the same composer and, if so, I will presume it is ok for me to do it too.

Of course if someone protests loudly, not only for a copyright infringement but also because the composer feels I am destroying or in any other sense behaving disrespectfully towards his baby, I will ipso facto take it down and replace it with another song.”