Monday, October 20, 2008

Screw you, Sheryl Crow

I realize I haven't posted since the marathon report, and that's mostly because I've been in a pleasant kind of pseudo-hibernation, and even the subsequent posts I had been working on - recapping the season, thinking of next year, random thoughts here and there - were eventually relegated to the meh, I think I'll go see what D's up to pile of abandoned blog posts. So this one doesn't really count in the grand scheme, because I still have those other thoughts to get to.

Today I received an email from YouTube telling me that the video for The Run (part 1) of the Becoming Ironman video (I'd link to it, but it doesn't matter) has been frozen, because of a copyright issue. Because the video uses a song called Chances Are by Sheryl Crow.

First, how'd they find it? Is there some dude at the record company doing YouTube searches for Sheryl Crow songs so he can tell on me?

Second, how stupid. I get it - I get that you have to have rules and keep them for everybody and you can't have exceptions and blah blah blah, except you can and you should. It's like - one of my favorite television shows is Mad Men. Awhile ago fans of the show started keeping Twitter accounts as characters of the show. So, for instance, Don Draper has a Twitter account somewhere out there. At first AMC, who owns Mad Men, made Twitter pull them down. Then AMC's sensible ad agency said - yeah, no actually don't. Those people are called Brand Advocates and they're doing for you what you cannot do for yourselves, better than you'd be able to anyway.

The facts are that hundreds of thousands of people have watched the Becoming Ironman video series. Hundreds of those have commented to me throughout, and of those hundreds not an insignificant number are wondering who does the song for this or that part of the video - including inquiries about Chances Are. So it's likely that people have even purchased this song just because of the free commercial time I gave it. On the one hand - I'm all about the rules. Really. And I made that video for my friends and family who were part of Ironman with me, then put it on YouTube specifically so I could share it with you here on this blog. Whatever life it may have at YouTube was just an unintentional consequence - one I'm of course responsible for, but I'm saying I wasn't out to make any money or infringe on anybody's anything - it's tantamount to somebody slapping It's a Wonderful World on their publicly viewed wedding slideshow video. If somebody put a song of mine on a private video of theirs in the same context with which I use Chances Are, I'd have no problem at all with it. Hell, I think I'd find it pretty cool.

On the other hand, newsflash to the record company with whom I'm actually taking exception (Sheryl Crow does not own or administer the copyright to the song, so my beef isn't really with her), the old model is friggin' dead. Get your shit together already. With all the video, photo slideshow, social media, etc. resources out there that could potentially be using your music, you'd be wise to revise your "absolutely not" policy on things. This is the world you live in now. Give me a friggin' break on throwing the hammer down on me and my tiny little video.

So, there you go, Monday morning rant for you. I have no idea what, if anything, I'll do about this. Sometime I guess I'll out and put new music to the video - as though I didn't specifically choose that one - and repost it so that the experience isn't interrupted like it is now. I wonder if I'll start getting more letters from assholes who don't like that I'm using their music. Who has time for this?

I'm disappointed. Irritated. A little sad.

That is all. We return to regularly scheduled programming soon. Carry on.


Anonymous said...

Well screw you. And hey, my beef is not really with you either.

xt4 said...

Laughing out loud. Touche, anon!

Pharmie said...

Glad to see you're back! Can't wait to hear all about the 2009 season. Will you be making any trips back to MN?

Erin said...

omg is that ridiculous.

I agree with you on the playing by the rules and such, but really? Don't these execs look at the context at all? At the intent?

Rolling eyes over here. It's getting ridiculous, and the music industry is going to have to adapt. They just are. Things are changing much faster than they are willing to, and it's bound to come to a head eventually. Regardless, sorry to hear about this complete jackassery on the part of this Sheryl Crow-related company. So unnecessary. And, in my opinion, counter-productive. Instead of countless people watching your video, saying, "Hey, I really like that song...I'm going to go buy it on Itunes," they're cutting off access to it. Dumb. Just dumb.

Rainmaker said...

Hilarious post.

Anonymous said...


I have not read this blog since before the summer, so I have a bit of catching up to do. I am still on Post #1. However, I am already compelled to comment.

I am one of those people was inspired by your YouTube series and who "found" the blog b/c of it. I am also a person who listens to absolutely zero "rock" music. I am all about R&B- (Usher, Luda, Eminem, Li'l Wayne, that sort of thing). When I watched your YouTube, i had no idea what I was listening to, and I was amused and intrigued by the seemingly flat, white-bread , mainstream sounding guitar rock (sorry) you had chosen to inspire you.

Then....against my will....I found myself maddeningly inspired as well. WTF...? Who the heck was this , spitting out lyrics like "in a sky full of people only some want to fly" with the cliche guitar riffs?....It was postively viral. So I researched it. ALANIS MORISETTE???? huh....????

And guess what. I logged onto I tunes and Downloaded that damn song. And every time I listen to that damn song, I get a visual of the fabulously strong images in that youTube and the positive energy you put into it. Furthermore, the song is clean, (unlike most of the other stuff in my iPod) so I have passed it onto my son, who is also inpired by it.

Additionally, I have grown to recognize and appreciate Alanis Morisette. Who would have guessed it.

So, in fact, your usage of music created a fan and customer and helped to expore this disbeliever to an entirely new genre.

Just a counterpoint. I have actually only watched the one video in the series (guess I missed the Cheryl Crow one) but it is a good one and I have fallen back on it many times for inpsiration. It always makes me smile (as does your blog when I have time to read it). Thank you. I think whoever sent you the cease and desist has no clue what they are doing.

Now to read on and see how marathon and iron went....

Steve Stenzel said...

Boo. Damn music people.

...funny though...


Ironrav said...

You crack me up! Hello fellow Ironman!

SAQ - Speed • Agility • Quickness said...

Why are they busting yr balls? It's not like you are serous commercial about thngs. Darn it, you've inspired people with your actions and with your music selection. Why didn't they simply ask you to insert a copyright message...?

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richvans said...

Hoping you haven't slipped too far into a post season funk. I've extended my season a bit too far so I'm having the in season post season blues. I need a break and then I need to get going on my goals. Know the feeling?

Alili said...

Okay, really starting to miss your posts...hello?

Jennifer said...

I believe Seal and Adamski actually wrote and recorded the song twice before Sheryl, so she stole it first (though I'm sure she could afford to pay for the rights of it, but thats another story).

Thanks for the inspiration!!!