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#1993430 - 12/01/12 11:54 PM Re: Battling Goliath Again -- EMI this time [Re: Piano*Dad]  
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Blueston, this is not a cover. The "artist" is Beethoven or Mozart. The pianist is a boy. The piece of music is in the public domain, and the recording is my property.

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#1993432 - 12/01/12 11:58 PM Re: Battling Goliath Again -- EMI this time [Re: Piano*Dad]  
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For reasons that defy logic, EMI has reinstated its claim over these two works. Apparently this is automatic. I'm sure no human being has yet viewed the offending videos. I have appealed EMI's reinstated claim ...

Quote
This video was produced in my house, on my piano, with my recording equipment. This is a twelve year old boy playing the piano. If EMI would only have a human being listen to this recording, they would quickly back off. This is harassment on their part.


YouTube uses threatening language at this point, saying that I may be liable for legal penalties, and they offer to have me remove the offending portions of my audio track by replacing it with something from "their library."

OK, now I will send something to Daniel Barenboim.

And EMI, I will hire a lawyer if you persist! Maybe that's the only way I can get satisfaction. Hire a lawyer and spend $1,000 to defend a YouTube video. OK, they're on. Warpath.


#1993436 - 12/02/12 12:27 AM Re: Battling Goliath Again -- EMI this time [Re: Piano*Dad]  
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I have sent an email to the email on Daniel Barenboim's website.

.
.
.

An Open Letter to Daniel Barenboim

Quote
Dear Mr. Barenboim,

When my son was fourteen, we recorded a video of him playing Mozart's Sonata in B-Flat, K333. For a number of years, the video has sat happily and quietly on YouTube, earning thousands of views.

Unfortunately, the firm that represents you (EMI) has said that the audio is actually of your playing. They have now claimed ownership of the recording that I made of my son, in my house, on my piano, and with my recording equipment. The video was pulled down and YouTube has said I may be liable for legal penalties. I have appealed this twice, but EMI continues to claim that the audio portion of the recording is really your playing.

Sir, EMI clearly has not had a human being view the video. No one with an ear could confuse my young son's playing with yours. His interpretation is youthful, and he makes errors. Those mistakes are clearly audible. Some say we should be flattered at the comparison. I am not. I am stunned at the aggressive harassment from the firm that represents you.

Here is the offending video: Mozart Sonata in B-flat, K333

I am an outraged father at this point. I'm the little guy here, but I intend to fight back, and this is why I have notified you.

I am publishing this as an open letter on a well-viewed piano forum. Here is the link: Battling Goliath Again -- This Time EMI

And if EMI continues to harass me and my son, I will be forced to seek a legal remedy against EMI. This is absurd. I would deeply appreciate a moment of your time to view the video and communicate with EMI that my son's playing is indeed not yours.

Regards,

#1993438 - 12/02/12 12:31 AM Re: Battling Goliath Again -- EMI this time [Re: Piano*Dad]  
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What about calling them, or heading over to their office (EMI's office I mean)?

Or even more, I just feel the need to spread the word with this idiocy... I'm pretty sure that several high profile blogs will be interested.

So,

Who's got access (lives close) to EMI's headquarters please? Who knows a few blogs about classical music that can offer some insights and some promotion to this ugly story. I'd hate to see PD paying 1000$ to a lawyer in order to keep his sons videos on youtube! It's dead silly.

_________________

P*D what about small claims court? It's not about small claims either, though, unless you provide evidence that you've lost. Perhaps if you'd reached 100,000 views, you could get some money from youtube and claim that EMI is depriving you of that, thus dragging them to small claims court?

But I'm not in the US to know much more than this...

#1993441 - 12/02/12 12:47 AM Re: Battling Goliath Again -- EMI this time [Re: Piano*Dad]  
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Nikolas,

Indeed, I would appreciate spreading the word to blogs and other piano forums. Embarrassment is the best weapon here. That's why I sent the note to Barenboim. I also sent a piece of direct mail to EMI's New York headquarters, where I'm sure some secretary will laugh at it as s(he) throws it into the recycling bin.

There is no monetary issue here, for me at least. I'm just tired of the petty harassment from these "rights" societies. If I have to hire a lawyer, I will.

Firms like EMI do have a right to protect their intellectual property. People do use clips of music that they don't own. But someone has to distinguish between theft of prominent artists' work and young kids playing on their own piano.


#1993560 - 12/02/12 10:01 AM Re: Battling Goliath Again -- EMI this time [Re: Piano*Dad]  
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Call your local TV station, they love stories like this.


Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.
– Roald Dahl

#1993639 - 12/02/12 01:49 PM Re: Battling Goliath Again -- EMI this time [Re: Piano*Dad]  
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So being dragged to court would actually be the most desirable outcome here because then you'd come face to face with your accuser and have an impartial judge to adjudicate. They'd also be liable for all costs when they lose. Bring on the court case!

#1993642 - 12/02/12 01:55 PM Re: Battling Goliath Again -- EMI this time [Re: malkin]  
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Originally Posted by malkin
Call your local TV station, they love stories like this.


Great idea!

You'll also get a lot of hits on your sons video when it finally comes back up on youtube.

#1993644 - 12/02/12 01:56 PM Re: Battling Goliath Again -- EMI this time [Re: Piano*Dad]  
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Quote
Bring on the court case!

They're tempting me. REALLY tempting me.

#1993769 - 12/02/12 05:51 PM Re: Battling Goliath Again -- EMI this time [Re: Piano*Dad]  
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You could also contact Norman Lebrecht at his popular weblog. I believe he'd be interested in your story and may give it exposure or just even refer you to some EMI executive.

#1993777 - 12/02/12 06:17 PM Re: Battling Goliath Again -- EMI this time [Re: Piano*Dad]  
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Thank you. I have sent an email pointing him to this thread.

#1994253 - 12/03/12 06:54 PM Re: Battling Goliath Again -- EMI this time [Re: ando]  
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Originally Posted by ando
They'd also be liable for all costs when they lose.

Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way here.


piano teacher
#1994382 - 12/04/12 12:07 AM Re: Battling Goliath Again -- EMI this time [Re: Piano*Dad]  
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Originally Posted by Piano*Dad
And EMI, I will hire a lawyer if you persist! Maybe that's the only way I can get satisfaction. Hire a lawyer and spend $1,000 to defend a YouTube video. OK, they're on. Warpath.

Of course you know, this means war!



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#1994528 - 12/04/12 09:36 AM Re: Battling Goliath Again -- EMI this time [Re: Piano*Dad]  
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Thanks to maxmila! Norman Lebrecht took an interest in this issue!

The Slipped Disc: Norman Lebrecht's Blog

Now I have to hope that someone at EMI notices.

#1994548 - 12/04/12 10:34 AM Battling Goliath Again -- EMI this time [Re: Piano*Dad]  
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In the "old days", we did not wait for "someone" (especially an anonymous corporation) to notice something we did. We made a telephone call. If that did not get results, we went there in person, or sent a representative, in person.

If the issue is that important to you, do something real.


In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.
#1994551 - 12/04/12 10:41 AM Re: Battling Goliath Again -- EMI this time [Re: Piano*Dad]  
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You live in NY Ed. You can go there in person. I live in VA. It's quite a hike. I have sent a written piece of mail to EMI. That's a pretty old-fashioned remedy, don't you think? Perhaps you haven't read the thread very thoroughly. A phone call to an automated answering system is not particularly useful. In the olden days a real human being answered, but these aren't the olden days. These days email is a quicker route to nirvana. But EMI has done a good job of keeping those personal email addresses out of view. I suppose I could ask someone in NY to waste a day wandering over to EMI headquarters, but I'm trying other methods first.

I would have figured that interesting Lebrecht to post on the issue was "doing something real" in today's world, but apparently you disagree, and disagree enough to take a snarky attitude. Yet I may ultimately get through to EMI, and/or get an email address on the inside, via that very public blog post.

#1994574 - 12/04/12 11:36 AM Battling Goliath Again -- EMI this time [Re: Piano*Dad]  
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I am with you on the frustration end! If I finally understand this correctly, your main complaint is that EMI employs little automated software gadgets that search for infractions of their recording contracts. They are attempting to protect their revenue, and in so doing, “protecting” things that are not theirs..

So, the gadgets are MODERN, and ineffective. And so are your efforts, to date.

It seems everything done here is oblique, tangential, and impersonal. We make a general, written complaint on a forum of mostly strangers. We correspond with, and seek advice from, people who do not give their real names. We call 800 numbers. We push “3” if we would like to hear the message in Spanish. We leave voice messages on machines. Instead of seeking someone’s real address, we are preoccupied with eMail “addresses”. We compose eMail letters, and copy them to a public forum (of anonymous strangers). We send an electronic note, and consider that communication. We interest a third-party in our problem, and what does he do? He puts it on his “blog”. (Now. there is decisive action!) And then we HOPE that someone at EMI notices it. Seriously?

If the issue is really that important, do something real. You call it “snarky”, and I call it advice (from someone who does use his real name.)


In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.
#1994589 - 12/04/12 12:00 PM Re: Battling Goliath Again -- EMI this time [Re: Piano*Dad]  
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Just for the shake of clarity: It's not *exactly* EMI who's employing some dodgy automatic: It's youtube (ergo google actually, since youtube is owned by google).

So one should be careful how to word out any complaint, because the problem lies both at EMI for choosing how to fight copyright infringement and youtube/google for not putting out a better software.

Which, in fact, could be just a software judging names and titles and tags and nothing else (and that would be dead easy to do for a home computer, but for the zillion servers that youtube has?!?!? Yikes...). I wonder if contacting youtube/google would do a better job than contacting EMI?

#1994607 - 12/04/12 12:49 PM Re: Battling Goliath Again -- EMI this time [Re: Piano*Dad]  
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I have contacted Youtube mannnnnnnnny times over this matching software. I usually get a nice reply from the "youtube team" pointing me to some FAQ and wishing me a nice day.

On occasion, I have winkled a real response out of them, including an email address of someone at one of the firms.

I decided to go web nuclear on this one because the EMI complaint led immediately to the shutting down of the video, and because EMI reiterated its complaint (and shut the video down again) all without bothering to go beyond YouTube's automated matching juggernaut. Don't mess with an annoyed piano dad. smile

In fact, I don't think I have said anything scurrilous about EMI. I acknowledge their interest in protecting the intellectual property of their clients. But they should acknowledge the damage they do to innocent bystanders like my son.

#1994626 - 12/04/12 01:47 PM Re: Battling Goliath Again -- EMI this time [Re: Piano*Dad]  
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Give it up, PianoDad--- just retag the vid as "Daniel Barenboim Plays ______" and post it back up. Maybe it will do more for your blood pressure than by going at it the other way.

I think the cable or broadcast networks would be a better bet for the squib than your local station; they are always looking for fluff to fill out a segment or fill up a column end, especially if the content is cheap or free, eg you supply the video, sound, text, and make the fact-check easy for them. And if it fits in with a narrative familiar and dear (or not so dear, but well-known) to their viewers--- your chances are good with this story.

Do we not recall some similar capers of other musicians? [1] A guitarist whose instrument was killed by an airline (which blew off any responsibility); his song mocking them--- by name--- went viral in the millions, then the networks picked it up. The carrier came crawling in the end, but their name was already mud, and the guitarist got some ink. [2] The Starbucks guy who posted a vid of his song, mocking certain plumpish customers. Fired, of course, but it got some attention, which is gold to a performer. I think the worst of that one was that he pointed out that non-fat moccha frappucinos do not actually make you non-fat. I guess Starbucks has never heard of Randy Newman. [3] Not in the same category, but I can't resist: tone-deaf William Hung covering "She Bangs." Being a cult sensation may not be all that, but it's something--- and I'm sure your boy is better; anyone is.


Clef

#1995176 - 12/05/12 08:03 PM Re: Battling Goliath Again -- EMI this time [Re: Piano*Dad]  
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I had a very nice chat this afternoon with the Senior Director of Legal Affairs at EMI. He was quite apologetic about this episode. Apparently my two videos fell through the cracks as they were upgrading some systems. Usually, appeals get a personal review. Mine didn't. He said classical audio presents the biggest identification problem. The matching software is really bad at generating false matches. On the pop side of things, he said that most of their claims actually are solid. He gave the example of some parent who makes a video of their daughter dancing, and they use some pop tune as the background. The filters catch this. The parent appeals, not realizing that the use of a copyrighted song as background is a problem.

#1995184 - 12/05/12 08:30 PM Re: Battling Goliath Again -- EMI this time [Re: Piano*Dad]  
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So problem solved? Is the video back up?

#1995193 - 12/05/12 08:53 PM Re: Battling Goliath Again -- EMI this time [Re: Piano*Dad]  
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Originally Posted by Piano*Dad
I had a very nice chat this afternoon with the Senior Director of Legal Affairs at EMI. He was quite apologetic about this episode.

I am NOT trying to stir things up again, but I am very curious. Was this "nice chat", that apparently got some satisfaction, on the telephone, in person, or via electronic mail?

Ed


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#1995195 - 12/05/12 08:56 PM Re: Battling Goliath Again -- EMI this time [Re: Piano*Dad]  
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Dan,

Yes, yes. They were back up quite quickly after I sent him an email yesterday. And I only found that point of contact though the good offices of Norman Lebrecht's blog post on the subject. One of the comments contained leads for the legal team inside EMI.

Ed,

The email/Internet/blog approach worked in the modern world.

Yes, the final conversation was by phone, but I only discovered him via Lebrecht's rather long distance (UK) intervention, and that happened almost effortlessly because an email to him in Britain was easier than pie.

We had a very good conversation about the shifting legal, technological, and policy environment of the recording industry. I now have his email address, and his phone number, in case this thing happens in the future.

#1995198 - 12/05/12 08:59 PM Re: Battling Goliath Again -- EMI this time [Re: Piano*Dad]  
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P*D - <applause>

Cathy


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#1995199 - 12/05/12 09:01 PM Re: Battling Goliath Again -- EMI this time [Re: Piano*Dad]  
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Hooray for Piano*Dad and his Piano*kid!


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– Roald Dahl

#1995202 - 12/05/12 09:05 PM Re: Battling Goliath Again -- EMI this time [Re: Piano*Dad]  
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I have a flute*son as well as a piano*son, and both have had their videos tagged this way. Worming my way into these corporations is becoming a real sport. smile

#1995205 - 12/05/12 09:08 PM Re: Battling Goliath Again -- EMI this time [Re: Piano*Dad]  
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BTW, one suggestion I made to EMI is that they should encourage YouTube to build a small email address book so that YouTube users who run afoul of the matching software have a direct email address for each of the firms that uses google's automated system to initiate copyright claims. That email would be tagged to formal appeals, and using it would trigger a personal review. These reviews actually take very little time. Most are cut and dried.

#1995278 - 12/06/12 01:44 AM Re: Battling Goliath Again -- EMI this time [Re: Piano*Dad]  
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That is fantastic news! Congrats.

#1995293 - 12/06/12 02:46 AM Re: Battling Goliath Again -- EMI this time [Re: Piano*Dad]  
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Congrats dad!

The problem, though, still applies. I'm wondering what would happen if YOU had filled a complained that EMI was using your sons recording...

My point is that is it "whoever files the complaint has the last say", or is it "the strong firms have the last say"?

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