*** Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, and I don’t claim to know the law. The following is just my personal experience in one area of copyright… Reader discretion is advised! ***
How is a major record label making money off of my song?
Well, if you do parodies, sooner or later someone’s gonna notice and claim copyright.
For me, that happened with a parody I did of Brad Paisley’s “Mr. Policeman”, and posted it on YouTube. Ironically, my parody is about Legal Disclaimers:
Copyright is a thorny issue, to be sure. I can understand both sides.
As an artist, I’d want to make sure that any of my original work was rightly attributed to me, and that any profits made from such work found their way back to my pocket.
But as a comedian, heck, everything should be fair game, right?
Well, kinda sorta.
Here’s what happened:
Shortly after I posted the above video, YouTube flagged it with “Matched third party content“, and I was given the opportunity to dispute the copyright holder’s claim.
I submitted my dispute with one of their stock answers – it’s a parody of their song, not the original. So… as a parody it should be protected as free speech.
Strange as it sounds, they ruled against me – but they left the video in place.
Huh? Why would they do that?
Well, in a word: MONEY!
Since their copyright claim was considered valid, rather than take down my video they chose to monetize it.
They put ads on my parody video and the money goes to them.
Ok. Since I wasn’t making money off it anyway, where’s the harm?
Maybe only comedy was hurt.
Or maybe free speech is the victim.
I still have the choice to dispute again, but then they may take the song down all together. And I’d like it to stay up, even if they are the only ones making money from it.
Either way it’s fine with me. (that’s my personal philosophy and it gets me out of a lot of mental jams)
So, to WAMA Inc., The Harry Fox Agency Inc., and Sony ATV Publishing… I say “Enjoy! Have a latte on me.”
I’m moving on to the next thing.
Adapt, Adopt, and Improve!
All content written and voiced by Joe J Thomas online at: JoeActor.com