Brandon Strader

OCR monetizing mixes on YouTube

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2 minutes ago, zircon said:

https://wiki.creativecommons.org/wiki/Defining_Noncommercial

Creative Commons commissioned a professional market research study to determine people's views on this matter. What they found was that:

  • Both creators and users generally consider uses that earn users money or involve online advertising to be commercial. My take: Based on this, as far as OCR is concerned, it wouldn't make a difference whether the "online advertising" is on a website or on YouTube.

I agree with you. Both on OCR and YouTube this behaviour would be classified by both creators and users as commercial.

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Will: Check out my response on the previous page. The available information and evidence suggests that YouTube ads aren't any worse than what we have now (web ads). Either way, it's online advertising. If I were a copyright holder, I would be much more concerned with downloadable MP3s than streams.

Actually, I would strongly argue that YouTube is a better platform to be shielded from liability, since it has multiple pre-existing systems in place for copyright holders to address infringement: content ID and takedowns. Any developer or publisher will use these tools instead of going to court, since even if they are sure to win, it's time, money & hassle for them to pursue it in the courts. Hence why it's extraordinarily rare to hear of anyone on YouTube being sued, but relatively common to hear about content ID and (to a lesser extent) takedowns.

Those extra shields from personal liability are made even stronger by MCNs, like I mentioned, which would help protect ALL remixers whose music is uploaded by OCR.

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5 minutes ago, WillRock said:

Well yeah, I think we're all aware that "technically" its all illegal. However, as you say, as a general rule, its left alone, because companies are generally cool with it, its free exposure for game music after all, it does no harm. My concern is that a line is being crossed. One day, website ads go up. Then a Patreon is made. Then youtube videos are monitised. Whats next? Spotify? Maybe you'll sell ocr CDs unlicensed! Hell you might as well since it is all illegal anyway right. I kid but you see my point? My issue isn't that I think its illegal, I know its illegal and i'm worried about how far it can go before they try and shut it all down. We have a good thing I reckon, no one has complained - YET - but this has always been a slightly risky game. Now, I feel this is playing with fire. Just because you think something won't happen doesn't mean it won't. Murphy's law. 

If youtube ads are illegal then our page ads on the mix pages are also illegal.  They are virtually the same, companies know the same, yet ocr has been getting ad revenue directly from individual remixes pages for years and nobody complains.  How is this playing with fire since this is virtually the same by fair use statures and just by common sense?  The only difference is the intrusive nature of youtube ads.  Nobody can download a mix without visiting the mix page(unless torrents, irrelevant), same as when nobody can listen to a remix without visiting the specific youtube video.  There's no more "far" we can go when both are the same thing.

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If the best argument for whether it's legally viable is that OCR hasn't been sued yet, is the only answer we can get that will satisfy us is for OCR to be sued? Do we need to start contacting publishers telling them what OCR is doing just so we can get closure on the issue? Since when is the MO of OCR to push as far as possible without getting sued to see how far it can go towards profiting? I remember when the site used to be about vgm. 

There's a distinct lack of respect for the remixers, who are the bread and butter, who made OCR what it is and allowed you to weasel your money out of the site and community. Without the remixers OCR is nothing and is worth NOTHING. Do not forget that. 

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"If I were a copyright holder, I would be much more concerned with downloadable MP3s than streams" - so would I if you had put monitised ads on the download pages.

So... to put it simply, you're telling us you think you can get away with it? Like... Thats fine. I appreciate your optimism, even if it is researched... I'd recommend caution. Maybe you can get away with it in court but do you really want to tempt it is what I'm saying. 

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Just now, WillRock said:

"If I were a copyright holder, I would be much more concerned with downloadable MP3s than streams" - so would I if you had put monitised ads on the download pages.

So... to put it simply, you're telling us you think you can get away with it? Like... Thats fine. I appreciate your optimism, even if it is researched... I'd recommend caution. Maybe you can get away with it in court but do you really want to tempt it is what I'm saying. 

We are currently tempting it and the other new way of tempting it is virtually the same.

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Again. OCR has been using monetized ads (on all pages, including remix pages) for.. I think 10 years now...? So it's not as if this would be pushing the line somehow further. Especially since offering downloadable MP3s has traditionally been viewed more harshly than non-downloadable streams.

There is absolutely no reason to think that YouTube would be any worse, or put OCR in a position of great liability. Again, let me go over this:

1. YouTube has tools for content creators to take down (or claim) infringing content via content ID/claiming and takedowns. These are always the first tools used and a copyright holder will use them as opposed to pursuing legal action outside of YouTube. Happens every day.

2. OCR itself is more shielded on YouTube by being part of a multi-channel network with greater resources and connections.

3. If what OCR does is infringing, then it is infringing with or without YouTube. There are tons of developers + publishers (not to mention composers) whose works have been arranged on OCR. Many of them have offered their explicit approval and endorsement, and nobody has taken any legal action in all this time.

Since Fair Use is a defense, it's true that the only way to be 100% certain is to be brought to court. But Dave has been doing this for a long time and not without legal counsel. He believes (and I agree) that if it EVER came to that, OCR would have a strong case for Fair Use. That case has not changed since day 1. The material is highly transformative, it's offered free of charge, it adds to the original works, etc. 

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So legally OCR has to be sued for us to find out... ok, now what about the other side of the argument, remixers who didn't want their remixes put up for profit? The fact that it was done 2 months ago against anyone's consent and in private, and enough money has already been made that you've been mailed a check. How does OCR intend to address or fix that situation? How many complaints exactly is it going to take before you guys realize you've hurt your reputation and trust, and step back from doing this?

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Will a staff member please justify going ahead with monetization without notifying remixers who may or may not have agreed to it? And repeating that "OCR has been monetizing with ads on the site from the beginning, the possibility of legal action is minimal, etc." is not sufficient. The remixers agreed to the submission policy regarding the ads on the site. They did not agree, nor did they have any knowledge of, their mixes being monetized on YouTube. It doesn't matter if it's "any worse". You did something with someone else's work that can potentially put them in a possible legal tangle, however likely or unlikely, without consent or even basic knowledge. Why did you do that and why didn't you post an announcement? Also, downplaying it's significance as something similar to or as minimally impacting as the already in-place ads, or reiterating that it is "even less infringing" is beside the point that you actively involved someone in something potentially illegal without their knowledge or consent.

Note that I am not arguing whether monetizing is legal or illegal. Rather, I am simply baffled as to why OCR went ahead and did something with other people's work without their permission. And the fact that OCR might not think it's a big deal, or even a small deal, or even a completely insignificant deal, doesn't automatically mean that other people don't.

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I'm sure this will get deleted, but I've just got to know why @Brandon Strader still visits the site if it's as bad as he's been complaining it is for MONTHS now. Literally everything done by OCR is leading to it's downfall according to this guy. Every post I've seen by him in the past six months (or longer) has been him trying to stir up controversy. If you don't like it, pull your mixes and leave, man. This place has been gracious enough host your mixes in a very prominent public setting at no cost to you. Many remixers have been given HUGE exposure in the field they might not otherwise have had if they weren't so active in this community. Would you be happier if they turned off ads and just required any submissions to be accompanied by a hosting and/or maintenance fee? A yearly "bandwidth" subscription to keep your mixes active? From the sound of it, though, you'd be much happier if they just disabled all ads completely and eventually collapsed under the weight of hosting fees. At least then, the big bad staff members who are OBVIOUSLY lining their own pockets off of YOUR work wouldn't be able to do that anymore.

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I'm sure this will get deleted, but I've just got to know why Brandon Strader still visits the site if its as bad as he's been complaining it is for MONTHS now.

Probably the same reason artists pissed off about missing out on $0.17 worth of royalties and saying Ocremix is suddenly NOW doing something illegal and immoral are staying to argue it and the moral tenements of OCR instead of leaving.

If you can call that a "reason".

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1 hour ago, IForgotMyPassword said:

I'm sure this will get deleted, but I've just got to know why @Brandon Strader still visits the site if it's as bad as he's been complaining it is for MONTHS now. Literally everything done by OCR is leading to it's downfall according to this guy.

You know, I agree he's tinfoilin' way too much, but I'm watching this thread eagle-eyed because we are witnessing history.

It will be interesting to see what becomes of the community no matter how this plays out because I've never seen an issue as divisive, even among staff and other prominent mixers as this.

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4 minutes ago, AngelCityOutlaw said:

You know, I agree he's tinfoilin' way too much, but I'm watching this thread eagle-eyed because we are witnessing history.

It will be interesting to see what becomes of the community no matter how this plays out because I've never seen an issue as divisive, even among staff and other prominent mixers as this.

You haven't been around for long, as this is quite tame and civil and hardly community breaking.

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18 minutes ago, IForgotMyPassword said:

I'm sure this will get deleted, but I've just got to know why @Brandon Strader still visits the site if it's as bad as he's been complaining it is for MONTHS now. Literally everything done by OCR is leading to it's downfall according to this guy.

Why do people who dislike President Trump refuse to move to Mexico? I guess we'll never know. 

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14 minutes ago, Brandon Strader said:

If the best argument for whether it's legally viable is that OCR hasn't been sued yet, is the only answer we can get that will satisfy us is for OCR to be sued? Do we need to start contacting publishers telling them what OCR is doing just so we can get closure on the issue? Since when is the MO of OCR to push as far as possible without getting sued to see how far it can go towards profiting? I remember when the site used to be about vgm.

You. Satisfy you. Literally no one else on the site would want to see everything burn. The site is also not profiting off of the revenue, though saying that probably won't matter to you. Here's something that does matter:

You're making things up about the site (claiming it's both profiting AND that the staff is sharing that profit are completely fabricated - the fact that you don't know the difference between revenue and profit doesn't matter here) with the intent of damaging both it and those involved with it. This is suspiciously close to libel, if I'm not mistaken. Regardless of its legality, it certainly isn't productive.

Cool it with the accusations, they're not funny.

---

As for the (legitimate) question on why OCR can do what they're doing, it's a part of the submission agreement. If you plan to submit music to OCR, the submission agreement shows that OCR will likely use advertising to create revenue, and that OCR, in fact, does have the right to distribute your material as they see fit.

Quote

1. By submitting material YOU are granting OverClocked ReMix a non-exclusive, sub-licensable, perpetual and universal license to use, distribute, perform, and/or to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology.

...

5. This license explicitly prohibits OverClocked ReMix from distributing submitted materials for for-profit endeavors. All revenue generated by advertising presented in the context of submitted materials will be used for costs directly associated with the operation and promotion of OverClocked ReMix.

Now, @Neifion makes a decent point in that those reading it are not aware that Youtube ads could be included in this, but there isn't anything that precludes their use, either. I completely understand (and agree) that the ads that have been done over the past two months probably should've been done only with the approval of the affected artists, if we were merely testing to see if it would affect the user experience overall. As they say, though, hindsight is 20/20. As there isn't anything to be done about that now (other than perhaps an apology from Dave for it), it's more beneficial to discuss the Youtube ads moving forward.

I absolutely agree that even more clarity in this policy would be beneficial, and I also agree that we should be discussing this in good faith. I believe that a consensus that satisfies most in this discussion can be reached, but it has to be done with the trust that the staff will do everything in their power to comply with this.

@IForgotMyPassword While I'm quite upset at the simple accusations of lying from Brandon (that's actually far worse than normal, in my book), his opinions do tend to be heated - they have been for a long time. Don't worry about him.

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Prove that it's libel and I'll concede the point. I don't care how offended you get. It's only a false statement if anyone proves it's false. It's speculation based on past evidence. 

While OCR's content policy say it has the right to release the content on other sites, it does not specify what is allowed to happen to our content after they put it on another site. There's nothing in there about adding advertisements to the music on other websites. The content policy is only binding between us and OCR, not us and youtube. I made no agreement with youtube via ocr. 

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1 hour ago, Gario said:

Now, @Neifion makes a decent point in that those reading it are not aware that Youtube ads could be included in this, but there isn't anything that precludes their use, either. I completely understand (and agree) that the ads that have been done over the past two months probably should've been done only with the approval of the affected artists, if we were merely testing to see if it would affect the user experience overall. As they say, though, hindsight is 20/20. As there isn't anything to be done about that now (other than perhaps an apology from Dave for it), it's more beneficial to discuss the Youtube ads moving forward.

I absolutely agree that even more clarity in this policy would be beneficial, and I also agree that we should be discussing this in good faith. I believe that a consensus that satisfies most in this discussion can be reached, but it has to be done with the trust that the staff will do everything in their power to comply with this.

Great, see, that's acceptable and I would agree that since the statement does state "all revenue generated by advertising presented in the context of submitted material", that would include YouTube (at least in my view). Although it should be worded to explicitly require agreement from the remixer that they are giving consent to have their song monetized through ads (right now it is only implicit with the whole "all revenue generated...".) I also agree that, from this point on, perhaps a specification to include YouTube and any other distributors of internet video content would be helpful.

Moving forward, I do think that there should be an official announcement regarding this, reminding those who disagree with the monetization or the assocation of their submitted material with any ad revenue, that they should go through the proper procedure of having their mix removed. And I do agree that a personal apology would be appropriate, since even though ad revenue is addressed in the agreement, the push to do it on YouTube is (clearly) a very polarizing and not always clear issue and was nonetheless done without so much as a peep.

 

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24 minutes ago, Brandon Strader said:

It's only a false statement if anyone proves it's false.

I'd explain this isn't how logic works, but I'd have to use logic to do so, and that doesn't really work if you don't understand how logic works in the first place. :<

Quote

It's speculation based on past evidence.

Right, the evidence which is...

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5 minutes ago, Neblix said:

I'd explain this isn't how logic works, but I'd have to use logic to do so, and that doesn't really work if you don't understand how logic works in the first place. :<

Yeah we dove off Cape Rational in this topic some time ago. When it comes to VGM composers and $0.37 being owed, you just can't fuckin' reason with'em.

#truth

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46 minutes ago, Gario said:

claiming it's both profiting AND that the staff is sharing that profit are completely fabricated

djp actually did say that revenue is currently exceeding expenses, so technically OCR is profiting at the moment.  I'm confident that this amount is small and is not being distributed to individuals, though, and will probably balance out before long.

When OCR files for nonprofit status, it'll involve an extensive financial audit.  If they pass, then all the fears about that should be allayed.

My concern is that the game companies won't stand for this.  If Square Enix wasn't happy about Balance and Ruin, I can't see how they'd be any happier about this.  I do believe that from their perspective and a legal one, there's a difference between monetizing visits to a site that serves many functions and monetizing views of specific remixes.

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They didn't even want pictures of characters used as mascots. I think Square needs to wander around these parts again to keep people in line, because they clearly didn't learn from the mistakes of the past. 

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44 minutes ago, MindWanderer said:

djp actually did say that revenue is currently exceeding expenses, so technically OCR is profiting at the moment.  I'm confident that this amount is small and is not being distributed to individuals, though, and will probably balance out before long.

It's also been stated that the revenue that exceeds expenses are re-invested into OCR. There is nothing left at the end of the day that staff or Dave can take home, so it is not in fact profit. You're correct that a non-profit status would tremendously help OCR make this very clear, though. I look forward to it, as it takes away most of the ambiguity present, here.

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I don't mind ads... (thanks, AdBlock Plus!).

Keep the pennies you made with the 120k views I got with OCR (if any) ... it's only gonna help keep stuff on the servers or something.
Why such a drama ? (No, I haven't read the 6 pages here lol).

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