Brandon Strader

OCR monetizing mixes on YouTube

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I might have been more open to this after an audit, but since it was hidden from us for 2 months, there is no way I will ever support this regardless of an audit. 

It's really really hard to recruit for projects, one of the "selling points" i make is that it's a not-for-profit fan album that wont make any money, and sometimes that makes people comfortable about contributing.

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5 hours ago, zircon said:

 OCR would likely fare well in court (if it came to that) with a Fair Use defense.

Quote

OverClocked ReMix in no way indemnifies YOU from legal action on the part of third party copyright holders.

 

My question is who is going to be listed as a defendant if Nintendo decided to sue for Copyright Infringement? If the content is being (has been) monetized who is the one who is going to court, the person gaining from the monetization? The person who created the content? Both? Ive picked up nothing has changed, with regards to utilizing moneys from ads, but if you yell OCR to the internet everyone says " OC-What?" If you yell "YOUTUBE" people know YouTube and its making something already done, more prominent, its inviting more notice from the world and specifically the legal world. In so many words, what is a remixers liability in this matter?

 

On a side note, I use OCR at a measurement for excellence.  Type in Pokemon, Mario or Sonic Remix it's all over the place in terms of quality and what some would call " ______, but with drums" OCR, for me, is just a filter that exposes me to new music, while setting a standard that is substantive, not predicated on view counts or Likes. So this is a good thread and I'll be following this one.

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Nintendo is not going to sue for copyright infringement. There is no pattern of behavior on their part to support thinking that way. They do C&Ds and takedowns, as do basically all other publishers and developers. Nobody wants to go to court. Legal proceedings are costly, both in terms of time and money, for all parties. Again that's not to say publishers do nothing to protect their IP... But they do it using tools like cease & desist letters for fan projects, content ID on YouTube, or DMCA takedowns.

I'll reiterate also that YouTube in particular gives more tools to copyright holders to deal with infringement, by allowing them to automatically claim or take down videos through Google's system. It's actually very friendly to big companies with lots of IP for that very reason, and further reduces the chance that any legal action would happen. At the same time, YouTube also offers creators unique ways of defending and protection uses which might be fair. For OCR specifically, working with a MCN would give us even more shielding from liability.

All in all, it's far better for a copyright claim to happen on YouTube than off.

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I get that you think you're solid from a legal standpoint, but you haven't said much about the ethical standpoint, or how this will affect visibility.. as well I feel that the explanation of how much will actually be monetized has not been touched upon and people have been left flailing in the wind just making assumptions. For example, are projects never going to be monetized nor the youtube upload associated with them? And trailers? If albums and trailers didn't get monetized at any point I'd still be comfortable recruiting for albums and not have to worry about trying to explain to people from outside OCR how their music would be used to generate income. This comment shouldn't be taken as acceptance of course, just seeking information, trying to pick up the pieces after this TRAGEDY that has been unleashed... :) 

Furthermore nobody has said whether we will be able to opt out of monetization. 

I don't think any number of complaints would change your minds, so I'm looking towards the future now. 

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13 hours ago, zircon said:

All in all, it's far better for a copyright claim to happen on YouTube than off.

Just to play Devil's Advocate for a moment, if a company were to start slapping copyright claims on OCR's YouTube channel, couldn't that then lead to issues with the site that's hosting the remixes that got flagged? You know, kind of point the lawyer dogs to OCR and raise questions?

 

 

Anyway, I personally don't really care, to be honest. For all of the years I've been coming here, if my four old remixes help pay for the site's upkeep, that's fine. Just don't get me sued, OK? :-P

However, I can understand why others would get upset about suddenly having their remixes be directly attached to someone else's income, especially with the secretive manner in which it was done. That can rub some people the wrong way (as we've seen thus far in this thread) and I feel it should have been handled in a better, more open manner. I also want to say that I too see a difference in the "ads on the site" vs "ads in the remix video" methods of monetizing. One is on the paid-for site you're in the middle of using that has costs to cover, while the other is directly on the song someone else made that's being hosted for free outside of said site (unless I'm mistaken, OCR doesn't pay for their YouTube channel). That is a sizeable difference in my eyes when it comes to the source of the revenue, so I don't agree with the "they're the same" assessment others have put forth.

All that said, if the OCR staff want to put ads on the versions of my remixes that OCR hosts, feel free. Helping out this site after some 14-plus years of being here is peachy. I just hope that future monetization changes will actually be discussed openly, rather than slipped in until someone catches it. Less drama that way... potentially.

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2 minutes ago, Brandon Strader said:

I don't think any number of complaints would change your minds, so I'm looking towards the future now. 

Yep. I can't believe I'm saying it, but I do agree with Brandon on this.

Based on what we've seen so far in this thread, it's obvious that the majority of the staff have made their decision unless DJP throws down the word of god otherwise. There is nothing more to discuss - it's starting to go in circles because pertinent questions go unanswered because we simply don't have answers to them - only flat-out speculation on what might happen at worst and informed, but debatable plausibility at best

Legal discussions aside, the ethical factor remains and on that subject especially, some posters have just too much loyalty to the community to remove themselves from it and see another perspective - in their minds, OCR can do no wrong. That being said, I'm really glad to see some longstanding members of the community have no bias to the site.

So I'd say the only thing we can do for sure is make the personal decision about whether or not you want to continue submitting remixes. If you don't like the YouTube ads, then don't; if you don't care or are all for it, go right ahead.

Just don't blame anyone but yourselves if it goes bad.

 

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Much of this has been stated, but I thought it be helpful to have the ethics spoken to by another remixer who isn't on staff.

Regarding whether remixers should trust the staff --- the fact that 501c3 status is being voluntarily pursued by the staff should be enough to inspire trust. If you didn't know, it would mean that OCR would have to report publicly a lot of financial information, including revenues, expenses, and information on whether/how it compensates staff. And it would be a federal offense to intentionally misreport that information. 

Regarding profit --- as has been pointed out, it appears that many of us here are unaware of what profit means. Both for-profit and non-profit companies would love to grow. Both would love to generate more money than they spend. The difference comes in what happens to that extra money. Both can chose to pour that extra money back into the company for it to grow (marketing, research and development, staffing, etc.), but only the for-profit has the option of distributing the profits to the owners/shareholders. That's the difference. Non-profits generate profit... they just have to pour that money back into the organization's stated purpose. And we have no reason to believe the OCR staff has done anything other than this, especially in light of them wanting to attain a certain legal status that requires them to publicly report exactly how they're doing this.

Regarding paying remixers --- that is immediately a for-profit situation, as zircon stated, and that immediately endangers fair use issues. "But wait, why is it legally OK for OCR to do it for themselves but not OK for them to pay Patrick Burns?" Because OCR is an organization with a stated public/artistic mission, no shareholders who profit from dividends or the sale of the organization, and uses the money in a certain fashion (soon-to-be legally obligated to use that money in a certain fashion, as the staff voluntarily desires). Patrick Burns has no binding, stated purpose for the greater good, and can use the money however he pleases---most likely a burrito bowl that will contribute to his BMI and increase the public healthcare burden (but even if I used it for my kids, it's still for-profit). In other words, the money going to OCR is fair-use because that gathered money has no other outlet than the further promotion of OCR's fair-use mission. I, on the other hand, can take the money anywhere.

Regarding testing the monetization quietly --- the entire idea "that someone should've asked us" is based on the unfounded assumption that OCR is doing something selfish. On the contrary, we have no reason to believe the money isn't going precisely back into the function which inspired every single remixer here to submit to OCR in the first place: visibility and community. (And soon we might have public documents to verify this, as the staff obviously desires.) Give me proof that anyone on staff is using the monetization for personal gain, and then I would agree that we should have been asked.

My feelings: OCR provides a platform which isn't within my skill set---a platform which would not exist through my own self-promotion, nor through the collective, individual self promotion of all remixers here. Even if you assume that the homepage's value is minimal, social media buoyancy doesn't come easy. I have been given no reason to distrust the staff, and the staff seems proactive in making their non-profit status official, thus providing some transparency.

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5 hours ago, Neifion said:

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.

Yep. I would just want that clarified, but I think that's a fair interpretation...

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17 minutes ago, Patrick Burns said:

Patrick Burns has no binding, stated purpose for the greater good, and can use the money however he pleases---most likely a burrito bowl that will contribute to his BMI and increase the public healthcare burden

Burrito bowls were an option? Now I'm mad

A lot of your points hinge on them getting 501c3 status, and that's fine.. you said they were thinking of doing it a couple years ago--I don't know how long it takes to actually do it, but I think doing it first would have been the more ethical option here. Rather than trying to do it after stuff was already monetized. Reminds me a lot of the FF6 kickstarter situation.... 

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DJP knows he's in the wrong he's just looking for a scapegoat to try and deflect on.

 

I am surprised that thread didn't get locked.

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28 minutes ago, Patrick Burns said:

Regarding testing the monetization quietly --- the entire idea "that someone should've asked us" is based on the unfounded assumption that OCR is doing something selfish. On the contrary, we have no reason to believe the money isn't going precisely back into the function which inspired every single remixer here to submit to OCR in the first place: visibility and community. (And soon we might have public documents to verify this, as the staff obviously desires.) Give me proof that anyone on staff is using the monetization for personal gain, and then I would agree that we should have been asked.

OCR has a history of sizeable changes being discussed to get the opinions of users and remixers. From the legalese form, to website changes/additions, many times the staff has touched base with the users. At times, the users even helped shape aspects of the changes as a result. The YouTube monetization however, was done with no discussion, using the remixes themselves. If it was important to seek our opinions and thoughts over the OCR submission agreement, I believe talking directly to patrons of the site (especially those with remixes on it) over monetizing the individual remix videos is a valid point to address.

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13 minutes ago, Brandon Strader said:

Burrito bowls were an option? Now I'm mad

A lot of your points hinge on them getting 501c3 status, and that's fine.. you said they were thinking of doing it a couple years ago--I don't know how long it takes to actually do it, but I think doing it first would have been the more ethical option here. Rather than trying to do it after stuff was already monetized. Reminds me a lot of the FF6 kickstarter situation.... 

It hinges on trusting that the staff is acting in good faith. The pursuit of 501c3 status is one leg of my trust, and I offered it up in my post as something that those less trusting could get behind. My own trust is based primarily on what I've observed on the site over past 12+ years, but I recognize that this is not enough for everyone.

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59 minutes ago, Patrick Burns said:

Regarding testing the monetization quietly --- the entire idea "that someone should've asked us" is based on the unfounded assumption that OCR is doing something selfish.

No, it's based on the founded assumption that you ask someone first if you want to involve them in something. Particularly if you're involving them in something that may not be legal or, at the very least, that they may not have agreed to.

But, you're a little late as I already learned via Gario that the terms do, in fact, state OCR's right to collect all ad revenue. In other words, I acknowledge that everybody who has submitted and gotten posted since the very first posted remix has already given their permission to embark in said potentially illegal activity and share the consequences, if any.

If, however, the terms had only specified revenue collected from the website banner ads, not YouTube, and OCR did what they did and started monetizing on YouTube without anyone's permission, that would be bad. Why? Again, because you simply ask someone before doing something with their work or involving them in something. Or at least let them know about it.

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6 minutes ago, The Coop said:

OCR has a history of sizeable changes being discussed to get the opinions of users and remixers. From the legalese form, to website changes/additions, many times the staff has touched base with the users. At times, the users even helped shape aspects of the changes as a result. The YouTube monetization however, was done with no discussion, using the remixes themselves. If it was important to seek our opinions and thoughts over the OCR submission agreement, I believe talking directly to patrons of the site (especially those with remixes on it) over monetizing the individual remix videos is a valid point to address.

I agree that communication like that goes a long way---and it's important that OCR remain communally-determined in many respects. But I also don't feel my voice diminished by them deciding to test it on part of the catalog before announcing it. Once it's announced, your ability to neutrally observe its obtrusiveness is diminished.

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I'd like to point out that they never announced it, and they aren't testing it on "part of the catalog". They enabled monetizing on June 13th and  it has applied to every new remix that has been uploaded. Apparently if I hadn't have noticed, they might not have ever told anyone or questioned it. And probably the reason I didn't find it sooner is because I was banned for over a month due to questioning OTHER shady stuff that occurred and staff behavior from the past. So from my perspective this is really fucked up and so far hasn't been getting any better. 

I'm even dissatisfied at them suggesting this thread should be used for conversation about the topic. Nobody checks the forums, this is not a valid way to have this discussion. The most regular 20 people who still use the site is not at all a valid or reasonable statistic to base such a change on. 

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11 minutes ago, Neifion said:

No, it's based on the founded assumption that you ask someone first if you want to involve them in something. Particularly if you're involving them in something that may not be legal or, at the very least, that they may not have agreed to.

But, you're a little late as I already conceded that the terms do, in fact, state OCR's right to collect all ad revenue. In other words, I acknowledge that everybody who has submitted and gotten posted since the very first posted remix has already given their permission to embark in said potentially illegal activity and share the consequences, if any.

If, however, the terms had only specified revenue collected from the website banner ads, not YouTube, and OCR did what they did and started monetizing on YouTube without anyone's permission, that is bad. Why? Again, because you simply ask someone before doing something with their work or involving them in something.

The point of contention here is precisely that---whether we're being involved in something new or not. I recognize that it seems new because we associate YouTube monetization with the everyman who builds a successful, lucrative channel for themselves... but YouTube is just a platform for revenue. It's how that revenue is used that makes the difference. So you shouldn't be afraid... not of legitimate ethical or legal implications.

Of course, that doesn't mean that organizations don't use the legal system to bully other organizations, and in that sense anything is possible (as it always has been). But OCR isn't antagonizing any publishers, not by a long shot. OCR is not giving anyone a reason to cause us trouble. In fact, part of the value that OCR provides all of us is the industry respect that is nurtured through some projects and contacts.

The main idea, in my assessment, is that remixes are generating revenue to promote more listening and more remixes, etc. etc... same as it ever was, same as it ever was.

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I don't think "remixes are generating revenue to promote more listening and more remixes" has ever been or ever will be accurate. OCR making money from remixes is not going to inspire artists to make more remixes, if anything it might do the opposite. Do you know what might have promoted more listening and more remixes? Improving the site. Improving the stock youtube video. Refreshing the site staff. Improving the quality and usability of the site and making the download button less convoluted. Having better relations with the public and having the humility to admit when you have wronged them, and try to make it right. A lot of things would go farther in promoting the site and the music than sneaking ads onto the music. 

Give people a reason to come to OCR and visit or share the youtube channel. This is the same thing I say every time you guys hatch your latest money-making scheme, but you never listen. Focus on the artists and site first.

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30 minutes ago, Patrick Burns said:

The point of contention here is precisely that---whether we're being involved in something new or not. I recognize that it seems new because we associate YouTube monetization with the everyman who builds a successful, lucrative channel for themselves... but YouTube is just a platform for revenue. It's how that revenue is used that makes the difference. So you shouldn't be afraid... not of legitimate ethical or legal implications.

Of course, that doesn't mean that organizations don't use the legal system to bully other organizations, and in that sense anything is possible (as it always has been). But OCR isn't antagonizing any publishers, not by a long shot. OCR is not giving anyone a reason to cause us trouble. In fact, part of the value that OCR provides all of us is the industry respect that is nurtured through some projects and contacts.

The main idea, in my assessment, is that remixes are generating revenue to promote more listening and more remixes, etc. etc... same as it ever was, same as it ever was.

Dude, you're not even listening to what I said. I simply stated that if you're going to do something with someone else's work, inform them. But then I mentioned that Gario informed me that the terms specified ad revenue all along. So I agreed that it's nothing new and they didn't need to ask to do it in the first place.

As for the copyright stuff, still, it's the publishers/rights holders that determine whether or not to take action against a copyright claim. Maybe they won't care. Maybe they'll just ask YouTube to flag the video for matched content. Maybe they'll decide to let the video remain and share revenue with OCR. Maybe they'll try to take it to court.

It's all "maybe"s. And for some people, that's okay. Just me personally, I don't like "maybe" when it comes to legal situations. I try to avoid it as much as possible. But others might think it's so little of a risk that it's completely worth it. More power to them. OCR has lasted this long without any legal issues whatsoever, right? So perhaps there is indeed very little to worry about.

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1 hour ago, Patrick Burns said:

Once it's announced, your ability to neutrally observe its obtrusiveness is diminished.

I don't think it's so much how obtrusive the ads are, as it is that they're present on the remix videos in the first place. That seems to be the biggest contention. Plus, if neutrality was as important as you seem to be potentially suggesting, I can't see announcing it and discussing possible advertisements and ad styles providing any less or more neutrality than slipping it in and waiting to see the reaction. The people who are fine with it are still going to be fine with it. And those who are against it, will still hate it. Frankly, if anything, sneaking it in could stand a better chance at adversely affecting peoples' thoughts about doing it. But at least bringing it up first would have possibly avoided some of what's going on in this thread.

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1 minute ago, Neifion said:

Dude, you're not even listening to what I said. I simply stated that if you're going to do something with someone else's work, inform them. But then I mentioned that Gario informed me that the terms specified ad revenue all along. So I agreed that it's nothing new and they didn't need to ask to do it in the first place.

We don't seem to be on the same page. I'm not asserting that YouTube monetization is OK because its in the terms, so there's no need to keep referencing the terms (the terms were never really of much concern to me, personally). I'm saying that YouTube monetization is OK because its functionally, legally, and ethically indistinguishable from what the site has always done. So when you say "inform people when you do things with their work" then I agree. It's just that I don't anything "has been done" with our work that's at all different from before, and that's why I think a few people are getting upset unnecessarily.

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17 minutes ago, The Coop said:

I don't think it's so much how obtrusive the ads are, as it is that they're present on the remix videos in the first place. That seems to be the biggest contention. Plus, if neutrality was as important as you seem to be potentially suggesting, I can't see announcing it and discussing possible advertisements and ad styles providing any less or more neutrality than slipping it in and waiting to see the reaction. The people who are fine with it are still going to be fine with it. And those who are against it, will still hate it. But at least bringing it up first would have possibly avoided some of what's going on in this thread.

The obtrusiveness, of course, is not the issue at hand in this thread. You're right--it's the idea of ads there in the first place.

My point on obtrusiveness is that obtrusiveness is one of the many things that OCR must consider as the designer of this OCR product. The obtrusiveness was a factor in certain banner ad decisions, and it's reasonable to want to assess the obtrusiveness of ads on YouTube. My use of the word "neutral" was not neutrality in a political sense regarding the issues raised in this thread. I mean neutral from that observational standpoint when trying to assess the obtrusiveness of YouTube monetization. Once something becomes a conscious issue that people are aware of---that people take sides on---you've lost some ability to observe how it would have impacted the delivery of your product in a purely practical sense.

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41 minutes ago, Patrick Burns said:

We don't seem to be on the same page. I'm not asserting that YouTube monetization is OK because its in the terms, so there's no need to keep referencing the terms (the terms were never really of much concern to me, personally). I'm saying that YouTube monetization is OK because its functionally, legally, and ethically indistinguishable from what the site has always done. So when you say "inform people when you do things with their work" then I agree. It's just that I don't anything "has been done" with our work that's at all different from before, and that's why I think a few people are getting upset unnecessarily.

Except YouTube monetization is not OK simply because its functionally, legally, and ethically indistinguishable from what the site has always done. It's OK because it's stated in the terms. Just as "what the site has always done" was always stated in the terms.

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7 minutes ago, Neifion said:

Except YouTube monetization is not OK simply because its functionally, legally, and ethically indistinguishable from what the site has always done. It's OK because it's stated in the terms. Just as "what the site has always done" was always stated in the terms.

If the terms were your main concern, you can disregard my responses. I mistakenly gathered that you were concerned about being unfairly involved in something new or risky, which were the concerns I was addressing.

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 Do the terms say that advertisements can be placed on the music, or that the music can be used in advertisements? I posit that it's not clear, and therefore a lot of this conversation happening right now is kind of moot

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