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Google .. It just gets Worse ..
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ray_subsonic
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#1
1st May 2012
Old 1st May 2012
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Google .. It just gets Worse ..

I may be Preaching to The Choir here .. Has anyone actually Read The Terms of Service for Google Drive (Google's Cloud Drive) ??

Having dealt with a reasonable amount of Copyright Law since the 1980's (both as a musician/producer, and working at EMI Publishing), I know what I'm reading in regards to Contract Law when I see it. Here is a little sample that may be of interest to us all in the music world ..

"When you upload or otherwise submit content to our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content".

Now I know there are going to be some Naysayers, who will claim :

Google is just doing as they say, they're trying to make their "Service Work Better"
They're right to indemnify themselves from the possibility of any kind of future Copyright Claim.
Relax .. Don't Worry about it ..

I would strongly contest this.

As far as Contracts go, the Terms of Service bears remarkable similarities to an Artist/ Music Licensing Agreement. Huh? Google might well Now be your Record Label.

Scary . .

The Right of Reproduction, Publishing and Distribution have been the central pillars within Copyright Law that have allowed artists to negotiate with 3rd party companies (previously Record Labels) to monetize their work, and recoup the investment spent on creating their art/creations.

Well you've just signed that away. But you didn't sign anything.

Correct. It's Tacit. You have agreed to THEIR Terms of Service.

But Wait ... There's more ...

When you add Public Performance and Display Rights, you've now come ominously close to a 360 degree content License.

So .. In a Google future, when Google is perhaps Hosting an Event or Symposium, or maybe a Google branded Music Festival, Google is Legally entitled to project, play, distribute, reproduce and even perform your content. Maybe they might Project your Performance as a Hologram (Tupac at Coachella?????), or even invite others to make a Parody Version of your content (Under Fair Use Provisions of Copyright Law).

No mention of Renumeration. There is None. Meet The New Boss . . .

This is The Google Business Model. They're making all THEIR Money from Advertising (Which they're not Sharing with You or I mind you) once Your Content (The Bait) has Driven Traffic to THEIR Site.

To me this is quite unbelievable, yet I can't say I'm surprised. If pushed, I'm arguing that Google can and will claim a legitimate right to Legal ownership of your content, based on it's physical location on their servers. By using their services, you have tacitly agreed to their Terms Of Service. No contest. Lock Stock and Barrel.

If their Track record is anything to go by, Google have aggressively refused to hold to account, many of these 3rd party partners/users of their services for multiple major breaches of copyright law. They have freely allowed piracy to run rampant in their Domain, all the while monetizing the extra traffic that "Free Content" brings.

To me this is perhaps the clearest indication yet of Google's attitude to Copyright. It exists solely for to benefit their pockets only.

Vote with your Feet. I'm planning on finishing up with Google, archiving my emails off Gmail, and cancelling my Gmail account. I'll also be looking for a new Search engine.

I'm not pretending for a minute that this won't be hard. Any post would be appreciated to suggest how one by one, those who choose can collectively find substitute's for Google services.

I'd be interested to hear Google's Legal Counsel Fully Define these Terms in Detail : -

" .. those we work with .. "
" .. host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content".

I'll be curious to hear what anyone else might add or have to say ..
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1st May 2012
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So if I upload a short film I've made to YouTube , Google basically own it and can do what they like with it?
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#3
1st May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
So if I upload a short film I've made to YouTube , Google basically own it and can do what they like with it?
It would seem this is correct. Here's something else from their terms...

"Some of our Services allow you to submit content. You retain ownership of any intellectual property rights that you hold in that content. In short, what belongs to you stays yours."

It says you retain ownership, but the way I read the rest of the agreement, they are now essentially equal partner in that ownership, with rights to use your content to promote and improve their services.

If they use your video to make money, and then put that money back into the services (what else would they do with it), they are improving their services, and therefore within their legal rights to use your content.

I'm no attorney, but this verbiage seems fairly cut and dry in favor of Google. You upload; Google grabs fairly unlimited usage rights.
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1st May 2012
Old 1st May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
It would seem this is correct. Here's something else from their terms...

"Some of our Services allow you to submit content. You retain ownership of any intellectual property rights that you hold in that content. In short, what belongs to you stays yours."

It says you retain ownership, but the way I read the rest of the agreement, they are now essentially equal partner in that ownership, with rights to use your content to promote and improve their services.

If they use your video to make money, and then put that money back into the services (what else would they do with it), they are improving their services, and therefore within their legal rights to use your content.

I'm no attorney, but this verbiage seems fairly cut and dry in favor of Google. You upload; Google grabs fairly unlimited usage rights.
That's how I Read it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
"You retain ownership of any intellectual property rights that you hold in that content. In short, what belongs to you stays yours."
There is something about this statement that rings Hollow. Google controls majority share of the highway, regulates traffic on that highway, and owns the Tollways. Google is in the position to exploit copyright here. Notice the complete absence of the word Copyright. Deny that copyright exists. The "incredibly important" IP Rights that YOU Retain are essentially token, worthless and empty.

Maybe this clarifies why Google has been championing Creative Commons. There always seems to be a Double Side to every action Google takes. I'm wondering if anyone wants to confirm some of the stories I've heard about "Altruistic" Google employee's (with Their Stock Options) and paid shills flooding forums with posts about how great "The Brave New World" will be when we are all Freed from the "Tyranny" of Copyright/Major Record Companies/Film Studios .. YadaYada.

I believe Creative Commons is an essential part of the future landscape of cultural development, art and content creation.

I also believe that the existing Body of Copyright Law, that has existed for Centuries, and been central to Cultural Development, should also be an essential part of the future landscape of cultural development, art and content creation.

I would not support any Government or Congress or Parliament that would allow a Corporation the Right to Junk a Major Pillar of Constitutional Law, while that same Corporation would so Cynically and Hypocritically Claim that Very Right BACK IN LAW for ITSELF.

I am Hoping that Anyone Reading this will understand the Implications of the Campaign that Google has been Waging over the Years.

If you doubt any of this, click this Link for some Hard Data. Just be Clear about how they are doing Business.

Meet The New Boss, Worse Than The Old Boss? -Full Post | The Trichordist
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1st May 2012
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uh guys, youtube has to have a license to distribute your content if you want them to... you know.. distribute your content.

The important point is that you can remove your content and terminate the agreement at any time.

Quote:
The above licenses granted by you in video Content you submit to the Service terminate within a commercially reasonable time after you remove or delete your videos from the Service. You understand and agree, however, that YouTube may retain, but not display, distribute, or perform, server copies of your videos that have been removed or deleted.
#6
1st May 2012
Old 1st May 2012
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Well shoot. Going to have check dropbox... hopefully I didn't agree to the same thing because I have most of my work on there
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1st May 2012
Old 1st May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by initialsBB View Post
uh guys, youtube has to have a license to distribute your content if you want them to... you know.. distribute your content.

The important point is that you can remove your content and terminate the agreement at any time.
BB. Gotcha. Youtube only though ??

So which Terms of Service Agreement do we think would take precedence, if say you backed up some of your Youtube clips or some other songs or data on Google's Cloud Drive ??
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1st May 2012
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Quote:
"The Electronic Frontier Foundation's digital rights analyst Rebecca Jeschke, and many other privacy lawyers say "derivitive works" is a standard line giving Google the right to manipulate your data and run its services. Dropbox, Microsoft SkyDrive, and Apple iCloud all use similar legalese.

Like any cloud service provider, Google has to copy your data to its servers to process, and then deliver your requests. Google Translate is an easy example: once you enter words in a Google Translate box, it gets sent to Google's servers (located around the world), copied, processed, and sent to you in Azerbaijani or whatever language you requested. And to do this without violating copyright laws, Google needs licenses to copy your data. Now-archaic copyright law simply dubs this "derivative works."
Google Drive's Terms of Use: Lazy People Should Worry

In order for any kind of cloud storage to work, they need to copy your data which means you need to assign them a license to your copyrights. Imagine if I didn't like the quality of their youtube compression, I could theoretically sue google for creating a lower quality "derivative work" based on my video and compromising its artistic integrity. These services inherently need to copy your content and make "derivative works" of them and they wouldn't work without having the license to do those things legally assigned to them.
#9
1st May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by initialsBB View Post
The important point is that you can remove your content and terminate the agreement at any time.
Cool. I was under the impression that uploading gave YouTube rights even after you removed content.

This provision keeps general control in the hands of the creator.
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Realistically I can't see how or why they would ever do that. In terms of the text of the agreement, you can terminate your use of their services at any time, in which case they lose their license to your content (except in the case of things like comments on youtube videos which they own forever).

But the bottom line is, just don't use it!
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1st May 2012
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Anybody who "backs up" their stuff to a cloud drive is an idiot anyway. Why would you possibly want to "back up" to a virtual (non-physical) medium over which you have no direct control, owned by a capricious corporate entity that could conceivably deny you access at any time or possibly access and use your data in ways beyond your control? And accessed over a network connection that could fail at any time for any of a myriad of reasons ranging from a beef with your ISP to failure of remote equipment to a solar storm causing a massive failure of infrastructure.

The internet is not a secure medium, people. And it's certainly not reliable storage.

What happens when your "cloud drive" company decides to change their terms of service and holds your data hostage if you don't pay them some greatly increased fee for access?

Most people are lemmings.

The only true and secure backup is hard copy (i.e. disks) under your control. And preferably with a secure physical copy stored off site. Anything else is smoke and mirrors.
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#12
1st May 2012
Old 1st May 2012
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Google's Drive does not have the greatest terms of use, but initialsBB already outlined in several of his responses why it's not as intrusive or reaching as it might seem to someone unfamiliar with the technologies in use. For instance, the right you grant to the Drive service to create derivative works is required for the service to even provide to you a thumbnail preview of an image you've uploaded.

The original post in this thread commits a fairly grevious error of omission, in that it quotes only the first half of the paragraph he is objecting to. Here is the full paragraph.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Google Drive's terms of service
When you upload or otherwise submit content to our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content. The rights you grant in this license are for the limited purpose of operating, promoting, and improving our Services, and to develop new ones. This license continues even if you stop using our Services (for example, for a business listing you have added to Google Maps). Some Services may offer you ways to access and remove content that has been provided to that Service. Also, in some of our Services, there are terms or settings that narrow the scope of our use of the content submitted in those Services. Make sure you have the necessary rights to grant us this license for any content that you submit to our Services.
I bolded a very important limitation which was omitted from the original post.

Now, I'm generally with John Eppstein directly above as it relates to this subject (though I stop short of calling the users lemmings; there are perfectly reasonable uses for cloud storage, but one should always be aware of their limitations and risks for this kind of service and only use it where appropriate). There are severe privacy and security concerns with any form of third-party-controlled remote storage, and Google's Drive is no exception. But it's also not an exception in uniquely invasive terms of service; any other service you can name will have functionally identical terms (Dropbox, Microsoft's Skydrive, et al.).
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1st May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
Most people are lemmings.
Or sheep.

Why people fervently worship (and vehemently defend!) google as their trusted search engine baffles me. They've already repeatedly proven themselves unworthy of trust.

Here's a search engine that doesn't spy on everything you do: http://www.ixquick.com
...and if it really HAS to be google, then here's an interface to google's search that at least prevents them storing data about you: http://www.startpage.com

No doubt this will fall on deaf ears as usual though...
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1st May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
Anybody who "backs up" their stuff to a cloud drive is an idiot anyway. Why would you possibly want to "back up" to a virtual (non-physical) medium over which you have no direct control, ...
The only true and secure backup is hard copy (i.e. disks) under your control. And preferably with a secure physical copy stored off site. Anything else is smoke and mirrors.
LOL, ok. First of all, let's distinguish between storage and backup. Things like a problem with your network connection are not really an issue for a redundant backup.

And your data is not truly backed up if you don't have a copy stored offsite. So how do you regularly maintain secure offsite backups without an automated online service!? The security and reliability of any of these companies is miles beyond what I could manage to provide for myself in terms of fire and theft prevention, redundancy, etc.

I really don't get your whole physical vs "virtual" thing either. Where do you think this stuff is being stored? (hint: it's on disks).
#15
1st May 2012
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Google has always had this stance - we the 'users' are actually their product. Their customers are actually the advertisers they sell all the data they mine from us the users. Lots of people also write and sell slick front ends that just use google anyway - such as Apple's Siri which uses Google by default although you can change it.
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1st May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by initialsBB View Post
LOL, ok. First of all, let's distinguish between storage and backup. Things like a problem with your network connection are not really an issue for a redundant backup.
It sure would be if you happened to lose your internet connection for some reason. Or a problem with your backup provider made your account inaccessible.

Quote:
And your data is not truly backed up if you don't have a copy stored offsite. So how do you regularly maintain secure offsite backups without an automated online service!? The security and reliability of any of these companies is miles beyond what I could manage to provide for myself in terms of fire and theft prevention, redundancy, etc.
Safe Deposit box? Tape vault? Home and office copies? There are many ways to approach the problem that are effective. Cloud storage is for lazy people who are insufficiently paranoid.

My attitude is partly informed by the fact that I spent several years working as a service tech. Service techs, if they're any good, have a different way of looking at systems than other people. The average person looks at a system and says "Oh, GOODY! What cool things will this do for me? What are the FEATURES?" and so on. A service tech doesn't do that. A service tech looks at a system and says "HMMmph! What are the weak points? How is this thing going to fail? What design errors were made? What corners were cut? What are the unintended effects of the design?"

Service techs also take Murphy's Law to the level of a minor religion.

Most people only remember the first half of Murphy's Law, "If something can go wrong it will". They forget the second half: "And at the least opportune moment."

Quote:
I really don't get your whole physical vs "virtual" thing either. Where do you think this stuff is being stored? (hint: it's on disks).
It's on disks THAT ARE POWERED UP. Being powered up makes them vulnerable to failure. A proper backup should be either on passive media or on hard drives that are unpowered. Which means they can't be part of a cloud system and may not be used for any other purposes. And a proper backup should be periodically checked for degradation. That implies investing a bit more effort into maintaining your backup than most people are willing to expend. It also means maintaining the necessary hardware to keep your backup readable.
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1st May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
It sure would be if you happened to lose your internet connection for some reason. Or a problem with your backup provider made your account inaccessible.
If I lose my internet connection, that's an internet connectivity problem. My data is still there in the cloud. If I happen to lose my locally stored data and lost my internet connection at the same time then that would certainly be inconvenient, but the data is still there backed up in the cloud and once I restore my connection I can access it. I don't see the problem there. The chances that I'll lose my local data and the cloud service will lose my remote data on the same day are pretty slim.


Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
Safe Deposit box? Tape vault? Home and office copies?
I create multiple gigabytes of data on a daily basis (and work at home). So yeah it may be "lazy" of me to use an automatic service like backblaze rather than driving a physical hard drive to the bank to put in a safe deposit box every day after work. But I guess that just makes me a stupid lemming.

But seriously, you take drives to a secure offsite location at the end of every work day? I find that very hard to believe. If not, then you're not really backed up.


Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
It's on disks THAT ARE POWERED UP. Being powered up makes them vulnerable to failure.
I guarantee that all of the cloud backup services are hosted on servers that feature at least some level of redundancy. At least more redundancy than the typical user has in place. The disks being powered up is a non-issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
a proper backup should be periodically checked for degradation. That implies investing a bit more effort into maintaining your backup than most people are willing to expend. It also means maintaining the necessary hardware to keep your backup readable.
haha, indeed. And that's maintenance that these big companies are much better equipped to carry out than I am at home. Just because these services are a great convenience doesn't make their users "lazy" any more than any other such service. I'm sure there are recording and mixing engineers who make way too much money to waste time soldering cables anymore so they pay other people to do maintenance for them. That's not lazy, it's just smart.
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1st May 2012
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Also note that a local safe deposit box is not actually sufficiently "offsite" in some circumstances. If a natural disaster affects your entire region then it doesn't matter that your stuff was stored a mile away, it could be affected too.

The same could be true of cloud services who have their servers all in one geographic location, particularly if you happen to live in the same location. For example, a major earthquake could potentially be a serious problem for Californians whose data is backed up to servers also located in the same city.
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2nd May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by initialsBB View Post
Realistically I can't see how or why they would ever do that.
I can think of several.
One: They can use your content as a promo for their service.
Two: If you become newsworthy, they can sell on your content for profit.
Like if you are a Norwegian mass murderer, or even if you find yourself run over by a bus. The press go on the hunt looking for pictures and footage they can shoehorn into their story.
Why wouldn't Google want a piece of that financial action?
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2nd May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Why wouldn't Google want a piece of that financial action?
Because the outcry would destroy their corporate image. Their whole business is founded on gathering massive amounts of private information about us while keeping up a benign facade. They're not going to compromise the entire company to steal somebody's song to put in an ad. And anyway why would they have to when people make their content publicly available through google's services? If you suddenly become infamous, they're going to sell ads on the youtube videos you publicly posted, they're not going to publicly release private content that you stored on their cloud service.
#21
2nd May 2012
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I would think most musicians and songwriters would be much more concerned about record companies or publishers and their "terms of service" more so than when they use Google for backup. But if you're paranoid that Google is going to steal your files, there's always the option of not using Google, isn't there?
#22
2nd May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
I can think of several.
One: They can use your content as a promo for their service.
Two: If you become newsworthy, they can sell on your content for profit.
Like if you are a Norwegian mass murderer, or even if you find yourself run over by a bus. The press go on the hunt looking for pictures and footage they can shoehorn into their story.
Why wouldn't Google want a piece of that financial action?
Agreed. As long as your content is active on their services, they can use it as they please, although 99.9% of the time, they'd have no interest in the individual post.

It's the .1% of content that goes viral or becomes a marketable product for any number of reasons, that they can legally exploit under the agreement; until you remove it from their system that is, if that information is correct.

I can see how that would work in favor of both the poster and Google, depending on how the poster uses the 15 minutes of fame. Mostly works in Google's favor, but wouldn't it be bad business to operate differently?
#23
2nd May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frednurk View Post
I would think most musicians and songwriters would be much more concerned about record companies or publishers and their "terms of service" more so than when they use Google for backup.
Why, when you have detailed contracts that you can agree to or not?
Please don't keep promoting this myth that artists sign to record companies in some clueless, unplanned fashion.
Google however take advantage of fine print and vagueness.
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2nd May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by initialsBB View Post
Because the outcry would destroy their corporate image.
I disagree. People just accept it as a modern reality unfortunately. The victims relatives are usually too distraught to think about who's giving out what kind of information.
Facebook accounts are already plundered daily for pictures and background on average citizens who unfortunately find themselves in the news.
#25
2nd May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Why, when you have detailed contracts that you can agree to or not?
Please don't keep promoting this myth that artists sign to record companies in some clueless, unplanned fashion.
Google however take advantage of fine print and vagueness.
I said I think most musicians would be more concerned. If artists are savvy enough to sign a detailed contract, then certainly they should be savvy enough to deal with storing their files. If you don't like Google's TOS then don't use them to store your files.


What do you think about the "Revolution" commercial? (12/88)

George Harrison: "Well, that’s something that is a problem, inasmuch as they, whoever wanted it... see, you’ve got these people who own copyrights of things. How they obtained them is a different business. Talking personally about the songs I wrote when I was very young, this guy came up to me and said, "Well, you’ve got to have your music published." I go, "What’s that?" "So that when it goes out you can get some money for it. So, here, why don’t you sign this form and I’ll publish your music for you." They forget to say, "And, incidentally, I’m gonna steal your song and I will own it for the rest of my life, and you don’t own that song even though you just wrote it."

I was more fortunate than John and Paul because I only wrote a few songs in the early days, compared to them. Did you ever see the Rutles? Well, there was a thing in there where it says, "Dick Jaws, an out-of-work publisher of no fixed ability, signed them up for the rest of their lives." And it cuts to him saying, "Lucky, really." So that’s what happened. Fortunately, when that first agreement expired with me, Neil Aspinall, who was our friend and went to school with Paul and I, and who still runs Apple, said, "Hey, I don’t think you should sign with these people." I was in the Himalayas at the time and I thought, OK, and I just formed my own publishing company. So since then I own my own songs, whereas John and Paul’s went on, and this guy Dick Jaws (George is talking about Dick James here) sold them to someone else, and then Paul was trying to get them back and then Paul’s good friend Michael Jackson went and bought them.

So these people who think they own the rights never had anything to do with the promotion of them or the writing of them or the recording of them, but obtained them because of all this devious stuff that happened in the past. (Here George makes a gesture using his middle finger) That’s what happened, so they think they own all our songs. EMI and Capitol thinks they own all our songs on record and, according to contracts, maybe they do. But they have a contract to put out our records and promote our records–they don’t have a contract saying "We can sell you to sausage manufacturers." And if we don’t do anything about it, every Beatles song in the world is going to be a TV commercial.
#26
2nd May 2012
Old 2nd May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frednurk View Post
I would think most musicians and songwriters would be much more concerned about record companies or publishers and their "terms of service" more so than when they use Google for backup. But if you're paranoid that Google is going to steal your files, there's always the option of not using Google, isn't there?
it's larger than that. it's all a one way conversation. do you really think any indie artist is ever going to be able to audit itunes or tunecore or spotify. audit clauses have gone out the window in the digital age. you take what you can get.

no matter how bad it was prior to the internet, the cyber-economy is worse on all counts for professional creatives.

this sums it up - this is essential reading for all musicians:
Meet The New Boss, Worse Than The Old Boss? -Full Post | The Trichordist
#27
2nd May 2012
Old 2nd May 2012
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#28
2nd May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rack gear View Post
it's larger than that. it's all a one way conversation. do you really think any indie artist is ever going to be able to audit itunes or tunecore or spotify. audit clauses have gone out the window in the digital age. you take what you can get.
I wasn't excluding them from concern. But, as you know, most musicians who are not hobbyists first have to sign with somebody to get to the point where any of these other things become a concern. That seem like a much bigger deal to me than backing up files.
#30
2nd May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frednurk View Post
I wasn't excluding them from concern. But, as you know, most musicians who are not hobbyists first have to sign with somebody to get to the point where any of these other things become a concern. That seem like a much bigger deal to me than backing up files.
I just think you are conflating two completely different circumstances.
Musicians are 100% aware they are entering into a business agreement when they sign a contract with a label.
When musicians sign an agreement with Google, or even to use a piece of music software, they tend to do it in a hurry, at whatever time of day or night. They're thinking "cool" as they click on the 'agree' button and virtually no one reads the 'terms and conditions'.
So instead of actually discussing real world issues, you're trying to drag it back to your hobby horse of hating labels.

Fact is, just about everyone understands they need to go through a business contract (record label or publishing) with a fine tooth comb. Just about no one reads terms and conditions or license agreements for online services or software purchases.
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