Updated: YouTube Sending Termination Notices to Uncooperative Indies…

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Updated: As of this morning (Thursday, July 3rd), the Financial Times is reporting that YouTube is staying the termination deadlines while allowing holdout independent labels to further negotiate terms.  But if agreements cannot be reached, YouTube will still yank content, according to a Times source.  The original story, published Wednesday, follows:

Earlier this week, YouTube indicated that they would not be ripping down videos if a label refused to sign its YouTube Music subscription service contract.  But according to information surfacing from multiple sources this morning, YouTube has been sending threatening termination letters to any label refusing to sign.

Digital Music News published a copy of the YouTube Music contract in its entirety last week.

We have not seen the termination letter (yet), but the basic message as described is this:

(1) The terms of the YouTube Music contract are non-negotiable.

(2) If not signed and submitted by deadline, the following will be ripped down:

(a) All official channel videos belonging to the non-signing label.

(b) All content tied to those videos, including ratings, comments, and playlists.

(3) None of the label’s content will be monetized, even if it exists outside the official channel.

(4) Of course, none of the label’s content will be available in the subscription service.

“That’s not just videos, but history, comments, everything,” one source relayed.  “It’s getting expunged.”

If you have this termination letter, please send the letter under complete anonymity to Digital Music News at news@digitalmusicnews.com.

This is no secret to negotiating indies.  In fact, the existence of these termination notices was briefly referenced by A2IM, which is one of the independent label organizations on the front lines of this debate.  In a recently-published update, A2IM stated:

 “The intent of the global independent press release was to stand in support of the digital services that are treating independent creators respectfully in their licensing practices and also to support the many independent labels who have not signed YouTube’s subscription service license and are subsequently being sent termination notices from YouTube.  These termination notices advise the independent labels that they must either sign the YouTube subscription service license or YouTube will take down the labels’ officially delivered content and cease monetizing all user uploaded content which would be attributable to those labels.”

33 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    Great initiative — I hope a lot people will share their Termination notices!

    I also hope that a lot of the “Happy 95%” will share their opinions on Google’s new contract.

    According to one of them here on DMN today, it’s actually not that popular. In fact, he called it a “lousy contract” and added that the escalating struggle against Google is “the fight of our time”.

    I think he was right. And I know that many of you agree.

    So maybe we should help Google understand a very important detail:

    Content is everything.

    This means that a service like YouTube will be dead tomorrow if content providers want it to be dead tomorrow.

    Why don’t we show Google how it works?

    It’s very easy: Just shut down YouTube!

    We can do it in 2 minutes. All it takes is a little bit of organization. Perhaps Paul would upload an article about the initiative?

    Just run a story in DMN and ask all content owners to change their YouTube video’s privacy setting to “Private” for a day.

    How to do it:
    1) Go to your Video Manager
    2) Find the video(s)
    3) Click Edit
    4) Select “Private”

    Later — after 24 hours, for instance — you repeat the procedure and select “Public”.

    • Anonymous

      How about Friday, August 1?

      If Paul would post a headline like TAKE DOWN YOUTUBE, it would reach the blogs at once and hit mainstream media the following week.

      People won’t forget it, and there’ll be plenty of time for the initiative to gain traction.

    • Versus

      Exactly. That’s what I was referring to by a Black-Out.
      The Internet oligarchy did it to defeat SOPA; the content community has no single voice, as essentially competitors, but should join together in this resistance.

    • Zac Shaw

      Wow, comparing a YouTube blackout to SOPA. Have you people completely lost your minds?

      “It’s very easy — just shut down YouTube” is easily the most ignorant comment I’ve seen on this site in a long time, and that’s a pretty high bar.

      • TuneHunter

        Not so easy to shut it down.

        You have VEEVOO traitor providing the biggest chunk of music dispensed from YouTube pirate boat.
        Labels need those advertising breadcrumbs earned by VEVO to support their state of total anesthesia.

        Do not expect bold moves from folks under the influence.

        • Anonymous

          “Not so easy to shut it down”

          I disagree.

          Most Indies will absolutely love it — and I’m sure we can convince the majors to take their channels down for maintenance on Friday, August 1, too. Don’t forget that all content owners will benefit from this.

          And there’s nothing to lose except about $1 per 1,000 clicks. So I think we’ll survive for a day or two. 🙂 People keep their comments, views, ratings, etc.

          • There is something

            Man, do you really believe that majors labels who just got millions in advance and a more lucrative contract than those protesting indies will follow you ? On what kind of drugs are you ? They’ll but too much happy to have their content pop up first because you removed yours ! And good luck to convince all the people uploading covers, mashups and so on who don’t give a f… about your indies issues.

          • Anonymous

            Like I said, there’s nothing to lose!

            And you’re naiive beyond belief if you think the majors appreciate the contract.

        • Anonymous

          It’s easy! Like taking candy from a baby!

          • Anonymous

            Well, I wouldn’t compare Google to a baby. There’s nothing sweet and innocent about it.

      • Anonymous

        It’s not a problem to shut down YouTube for a day — just remove the content…

      • Versus

        Ouch. It’s kinder (and more helpful to the cause of indies) to enlighten our ignorance rather than rain contempt down upon us. Let’s discuss seriously; how best to help the situation for indie labels and artists relative to the Powers of GoogTube?

        • Anonymous

          Indeed. And here’s the best part of a global anti-Google protest:

          It will unite YouTube users and artists for the first time! Because we all want the same:

          The original YouTube where everything is available for everybody — for FREE; where everybody can upload what they want because of Content ID, and where artists get paid.

          Nobody wants Google’s new pay walls and censorship.

          • Versus

            The concern (which was raised at A2IM and elsewhere) is that current anti-trust limit any kind of collective bargaining or advocation by organizations representing indies for a collective boycott or movement. In discussions with other label owners, I found many were afraid to make any moves for fears of accusations of anticompetitive collusion. The irony is that we indies are now the victims of the other kind of anticompetitive danger, namely, monopolistic practices.

            Those with legal knowledge may wish to weigh in: What can indies (labels, artists, publishers, everyone) legally do as a collective force to improve their situation?

          • Tom Oswald

            Even if every indie label/artist removed their content that is still only 32% of the platforms MUSIC content, Youtube don’t care about the indies that haven’t signed the contract and are going to remove or prevent monetisation on your videos anyway, so removing your content for the day (or more) just saves youtube an admin job. If they were bothered they would never have brought this contract forward.

            Give it 2 maybe 3 more weeks and our new platform should be up for beta testing, and our financial predictions point to the possibility of upto 0.5 cents per stream after running and ongoing development costs are covered.

      • Esol Esek

        Yeah, political rights (which we’re losing) are SO much more important than commercial rights? Want to tell that to the 1%. Quislings and whiners like you make me wretch. Help or get out of the way.

  2. you miss the point

    You all don’t understand what Google fears the most:

    DMCA notices for unofficial videos.

    • Fareplay

      Yes and if we get congress to eliminate the Safe Harbor loophole, as Google anticipates, the fireworks will begin, especially for any corporation operating on US Soil.

      • There is something...

        And how will get traffic to your very cool video site if casual user can’t post / see videos of covers, mashups and the like ? You don’t understand that what made Youtube so popular reside in this grey zone. If you kill this grey zone, you may kill Youtube but also any attempt at creating another video platform. You need happy users if you want a successful platform.

        • Versus

          There will always be demand for some kind of video platform, even if every platform actually properly played by the rules of copyright and intellectual property.

          • Anonymous

            Yes. And YouTube was fantastic.

            But let’s see what Tom Oswald is up to (i.e. YouTube replacement)…

        • GGG

          If it’s a platform that contains the vast majority of indie music videos, it will certainly have traffic regardless of user generated vids. (I agree those would be a huge boost, by the way). Especially if large blogs/sites link exclusively to it in press. It will also most certainly never reach probably even a quarter of the traffic YT gets, but 200-250M uniques ain’t too shabby.

        • what an amateur

          Any SEO pro worth their money will explain how stupid it is to send the traffic to platforms instead of your .com

        • FarePlay

          There is something. …. smart content owners understand that some user-generated video of their material is good for them.

          • Anonymous

            Yes — and YouTube’s approach to UGC monetization was perfect.

            Too bad Google chose to destroy it now.

          • Tater Johnson

            Stop living in the past. Why all the fussin’?

          • Anonymous

            Agree. YouTube was great, but now it’s over and we need to move on.

            Best of luck to Tom Oswald’s YouTube alternative!

  3. Anonymous


    “YouTube has postponed a controversial plan to block certain record labels from its video platform, following an outcry from the creative community and growing scrutiny from European regulators.

    Two weeks ago, the Google-owned company warned that “in a matter of days” it would start taking down videos from a number of record labels that had refused to sign its new licensing terms.

    But the uproar that followed the revelations has prompted YouTube to make a last-minute U-turn. The world’s largest video streaming company is allowing more time to negotiate a solution with labels, although it still intends to block them if they cannot reach agreement, according to people familiar with the matter.”

    SOURCE: Financial Times, today

  4. hippydog

    Slightly off topic ,
    After reading this topic I saw this on another site…

    Quote “Google Is About To Take Over Your Whole Life, And You Won’t Even Notice”

    This is just one example of MANY where it seems that everything I read about Google seems to be pointing to where they want to be the EVERYTHING for everybody..

    It seems the only thing stopping them is themselves (I’ve noticed over the years that Google seems to randomly implode things that seemed promising)

    • AnotherView

      “Google Is About To Take Over Your Whole Life, And You Won’t Even Notice” : They really are going to, as they are now building a massive private database containg everyone’s… DNA ! Learn about 23andme.com , a company that offers to analyze your DNA for 99$. Their whole website is built like a fun family oriented experience with cute colors. And behind it… Google, who owns it. They have over half a million DNA profiles already , and this info is being cross-profiled with your internet activity. Their aim is to build the biggest private DNA database in the world. Everything going on in your body and in your mind is being referenced by Google, right now.
      And for what purpose ? Well, in the words of Eric Schmidt : “”I actually think most people don’t want Google to answer their questions,” he elaborates. “They want Google to tell them what they should be doing next.”” ( from : http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/08/16/schmidt_wsj/ )
      That’s where Google is heading . This is not science-fiction, this is right now.

      If this doesn’t scare the hell out of you, you’re already dead.

    • AnotherView

      “Google Is About To Take Over Your Whole Life, And You Won’t Even Notice” That’s actually an understatement.

      They have moved to the next step : 23andme.com is a company that offers to analyze your DNA for a cheap 99$ ( you just have to send them some saliva ). They present it as a fun way to find out about your ancestors, the whoile website is cute. Behind it : Google who owns it. They are secretely assembling a massive DNA database that will be cross-referenced against your internet identity and activity . “23andme.com” claims to have already over half a million DNA profiles, and their aim ( or Google’s aim) is probably to own the biggest private DNA database in the world.

      They now know everything , from what you are thinking, to what is happening inside your body.
      And for what purposes ? In the words of Eric Schmidt : “I actually think most people don’t want Google to answer their questions,” he claims. “They want Google to tell them what they should be doing next.” ( http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/08/16/schmidt_wsj/ )

      Google sees themselves as the future overlords of humanity. Because they know what is “good for you”. Indie musicians ? Mere annoying insects that will be squashed along the way towards their “mission”.
      You have been warned.

  5. Anonymous

    Let them shut out the indies and once they lose a majority of the viewers of YouTube indies will be back and stronger than before