Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Editing Tricks for Amateur Vacation Video #145 - Pisac, Peru

Peru 1999: #3 of 5   PISAC  (edited in 2012):

This is a short video montage of a days' travels in the Peruvian Highlands.  There are some interesting shots of "walking haystacks", Shirley MacLaine's extraterrestrial lake, and a traditional marketplace.  Opening music is live recorded Andean harp, finishing off with some royalty-free comic music from SmartSound.

There is no real story here, or explanatory narration.  It's less than two minutes; nothing compelling, but nothing repulsive either.  Not likely to go "viral" unless I add some cat video to it!  

So what we have here is a pleasant memory for those who joined us on the trip.  It's of marginal interest to other friends, but there's not much here for people who don't know us.

  • I'm disappointed that YouTube seems to have trouble playing my soundtrack for the second half of this video.  In fact I am becoming quite disillusioned with YouTube, and beginning to regret that I have used them to host the media for this blog.  In particular, YouTube is allowing a company named "The Orchard" (owned by Sony) to place improper copyright claims against much of the royalty-free music that you hear in my videos.  Seems like a reversal of constitutionally guaranteed due process since when The Orchard/Sony places a claim there is no audit for correctness.  The Orchard is the accuser, judge, and jury!  The Orchard steals the monetization rights to my video; I have to prove to them  that I have the rights to use the music.  If they reject my claim, I can appeal to The Orchard.  YouTube has a vague final appeal process that carries a stiff warning:  my account may be suspended if the final appeal is not upheld.  
  • Dozens of my productions have been saddled with Sony's incorrect and unproven copyright claims.  SmartSound seems unable to enforce our rights as licensed users.  The giant corporation can unilaterally accuse and convict me of violation.  Since my honesty is blatantly disrespected, should I feel guilty if I use unlicensed music?  Perhaps someday I can participate in a class-action lawsuit, and recover the hundreds of dollars I have ethically wasted by purchasing "Royalty Free" music.


Lessons Learned:
Know your audience.  If the video is of little public interest don't expect a great Internet response form strangers.

Tough ethical questions are posed regarding copyrighted music.  No suggestion offered.


Copyright Considerations:
I do not encourage improper use of copyrighted material.  I often use Royalty-Free music with license that I purchased from SmartSound.  
Yet major corporations like "The Orchard" (Sony) often abuse the Millennium Copyright Act, by falsely claiming that I do not have rights to use this music.  YouTube (Google) is implicit in this fraud; they assume that Sony is always correct and assign the burden of proof to me.  If I appeal, guess who is the judge?  SONY!  Wow, I'm not a lawyer but that sure sounds unconstitutional.
I am in favor of protecting the artists' rights, but this nonsense is all about corporate greed.  If I had to do it again:
(1) I would not put my videos on YouTube; I would consider other options like Vimeo which has a more reasonable appeals process.
(2) I might do what most other non-commercial video makers do … use whatever music I want and not worry about copyrights. 
I am not offering advice here.  If you are editing home video you will certainly reach a point where you want to put some music on the soundtrack.  Make your own decision, based on your own sense of ethics,morality, and frustration.

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