Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Who Needs Big Music on YouTube? The Best Video of 2009 Is Homegrown.

kutiman-videoYouTube and the big music labels are spending a lot of time and effort trying to figure out how make money off of music videos. If only they were as inventive as Kutiman.

Who? I hadn’t heard of Kutiman until today, either. But turns out he’s an Israeli musician who’s getting lots of praise this week for creating the best video of the year–using other people’s YouTube clips.

Check out “Mother Of All Funk Chords”–the first of seven songs Kutiman has made using audio and video he found on Google’s (GOOG) video site. If you’re one of the people who puts great stock in the promise of user-generated content, here’s your best-case scenario:

And here’s Kutiman himself, explaining (sort of) how he does it.

How cool is that? Also, how legal? Not sure about the second question.

I’m pretty sure that Kutiman didn’t get permission from anyone he sampled, and I’m assuming that anyone whom Kutiman sampled could complain to Google and try to get the clip edited or taken down.

Perhaps that’s already happened. Kutiman provides an extensive list of links explaining where he found the stuff on YouTube, and one of those links already leads to a dead clip (see complete list at the end of this post).

On the other hand, it’s not as if he’s sampling stuff owned by the big labels. I’m pretty sure most of the folks he’s included in this mashup and the others he made are going to be ecstatic.

Like “stringquartet,” who left this comment on Kutiman’s video after learning his guitar solo is featured: “I just found out about this tonight. Thank you for making this video! (I’m the guy soloing at 1:38) THANK YOU! this was done so creatively.”

Agreed! More, please.

Here’s the source material list:

miquelsi, theremin

TheHitman1990 (Bernard “Pretty” Purdie clip), drums

MarloweDK,bass, bass2

rockongoodpeople, funk guitar

stringquartet (Eric), guitar solo

meewsic (Brian Fox), blues harp and vocals

originalguitarlesson (BJ Cunningham), rock guitar

shellman1982 (Eric Budd), contrabass trombone

expertvillage, trombone, baritone horn,rhodes piano

melbookermusic, mute guitar

guille432, tenor saxophone

[removed], guitar bridge

haho01, guitar band

Matyooo, hammond

miracleministries, orange team cheer

Csuperjo1 (Jimmy Persad clip), crazy sax

JeffEdwards, theremin sex

Imitationn*gger (Richard Barret clip), guitar licks

huwdann (Leon), trumpet kid


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work