My Muted Tech Frustrations

If you read Kerith's post last week on the smoke taint update, you may have noticed a little disclosure under the video we posted.  You see, YouTube decided recently to start automatically muting all videos containing music owned by Warner Music Group.  Apparently they are in some sort of copyright spat and we're all getting dragged into it too.  The original audio that we had planned for the video was, unbeknownst to us, owned by Warner and, as such, we had a very rude awakening a few minutes before the post was about to publish that all of the audio (i.e., the 30 seconds of music and the 5+ minutes of the interview with our winemaker) had been muted. Now, don't get me wrong.  I have nothing against protecting and enforcing intellectual property rights.  Sagient is built almost entirely on intellectual property and nothing pisses me off more than learning that someone has co-opted our data without paying for it (in case you're wondering, yes we do have the means to check and yes we have had to enforce our IP rights in the past).

That said, there is something incredibly annoying about spending 10-15 minutes uploading a video onto YouTube and waiting 30 or more minutes for it to process before being informed that the audio has been muted out due to copyright issues.  Isn't there some way for them to detect the issue before wasting 45 minutes of my time?  Or how about giving me the ability to pay some fee to use the music rather than just muting the whole video.  Wouldn't YouTube, Warner Music, and the musician actually like to make a couple of bucks from our usage (speaking of IP, I'm calling dibs on that idea).  And, frankly, who the hell else is using Tom Paxton's 1963 masterpiece Bottle of Wine - I'm pretty sure Mr. Paxton would be happy to make a couple of dollars from our videos.

Out of immense frustration, I spent some time searching around last week on Google and YouTube trying to make heads or tails out of this new ridiculous muting policy.  Somehow or another I stumbled upon a video which pretty much shut me right up (it's at the bottom of the post).

There are so many great moments in this news report from 1981, but two of my favorite are:  1) at about the halfway point they interview a guy and under his name it actually says "Owns Home Computer" just like it might read "Senator", "Astronaut", or "NFL Linebacker" - that's how unusual this guy was back then; and 2) at the very end of the report, the anchor comes back on screen to talk about the download times.  I'll let you listen all the way through to get to that punch line.

So, in the midst of all of my frustrated blogging about digital music rights and video upload times (while using one of three computers I have access to), I'm reminded at how far we've come in a very short period of time and how Bruliam Wines wouldn't even exist were it not for the technological advances of the past 25+ years.

Bottom line:  I'm going to stop griping about YouTube and just enjoy the fact that such things now exist.  At least for a few days...

Enjoy the video - it is a blast!  If you can't see it, please click here.




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