While the debate over copyrighted music is heating up, a new wrinkle appeared last week in the form of a takedown notice issued by Universal Music Group to YouTube. Now, getting a takedown notice from UMG is probably nothing new for YouTube, but this story has a twist. The music UMG was upset about wasn’t even their own. A rap duo called After The Smoke recorded and uploaded one of their own rap beats over a song called “One in a Million” to YouTube.
That’s when the funky stuff started. UMG notified YouTube that a copyright infringement had taken place and YouTube blocked ATS’ song. Only ATS isn’t signed to Universal and the song was completely original by ATS.
As it turns out ATS had opened for Yelawolf, who is now a Universal artist – but wasn’t at the time ATS opened for him. Yelawolf heard the rap beats behind One in a Million and liked them enough to record his own track over it. Yelawolf said he wanted to license the material, but apparently never did. Then he signed with Universal.
At some point, the Yelawolf track, which used ATS’ beats – and was never intended for release – got leaked. UMG took down the leaked tracks, but when ATS put up its own stuff using their own beats, UMG took that down too, saying they owned the copyright for the beats.
If you’re confused at this point, so is everyone else! ATS filed a dispute against the takedown by UMG and was told that UMG asserted its rights as the copyright holder and ATS had no claim. Enter the lawyers. Now, allegedly everything is worked out, but ATS – and many other artists – are concerned about how carefully YouTube (which is a major distribution channel for independent music) checks on copyright claims before acting on them.
At this point, I should mention that for artists who use royalty-free beats, this isn’t an issue. Sonic Producer has a huge library of royalty-free beats that are guaranteed never to get you into a takedown argument after you’ve published your own music. With Sonic Producer’s library of royalty-free beats, you get your music published, plain and simple.
You can use, mix, remix, alter, publish and republish Sonic Producer beats however, whenever and how often you want to. Ahh – the joy of simplicity! Download your copy of Sonic Producer today and start publishing your own music.
Photo Credit: bixentro, via Flickr
Ice-T, Chuck D and Grandmaster Caz will perform at the Celebration of Music in Film. The performance is related to Ice-T’s documentary film, Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap, which will also be featured at the film festival. The film will also showcase music from some of rap and hip-hop’s most enduring acts, including Afrika Bambaataa, Chuck D, Dr. Dre, Eminem, Ice Cube, KRS-One, Mos Def, Nas, and Snoop Dogg.
The festival will also feature live musical performances from artists whose music appears in films shown at the festival. This is the first year organized musical performances will be included. In the past, musicians performed at private parties that were related to, but not sponsored by, the Sundance Institute. This year, musical performances will be incorporated into the official festival program, with live performances from at least two artists per night.
Ice-T produced Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap to examine the musical genre. The film features interviews conducted by Ice-T with more than 50 rap and hip-hop artists who try to define what rap music is today and where it came from. The film tries to capture rap’s roots and share some musical history with a generation of rappers who may not understand the forces that brought rap music into the forefront.
In the film, Ice-T says that he had to make the film because rap made his life. Ice-T is just one more in a growing line of old-school rap artists who are concerned about the genre and where it’s headed. Dr. Dre, Eminem, Jay-Z and others have all expressed concern that today’s up and coming rap stars don’t understand what rap music is all about.
Ice-T is expected to perform in Park City, UT at the festival on January 21, and indicated in at least one interview that he may be joined by other rappers who are interested both in promoting the film and supporting Ice-T in his effort to preserve a bit of rap music’s history.
Ice-T had a significant career as a rap artist, beginning in the 1980′s. He also began his acting career at that time. In 2000, he appeared as a regular character on Law and Order, and has since concentrated primarily on acting. His most recent album, Gangsta Rap, was released in 2006.
Photo Credit: nan palmero, via Flickr