Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Warner Music Videos Back on YouTube, if You Know Where to Look

green-day-videoIn a post I wrote yesterday about Warner Music Group’s debt offering, I noted that the music label was still sparring with Google’s (GOOG) YouTube, which meant that its videos aren’t available on the world’s biggest video site.

No way, says reader Joy Sherman, who insists that they’re “all over” YouTube, and pointed me to a clip from WMG’s new Green Day album.

And sure enough, there’s the video for “Know Your Enemy,” the new single from one of the label’s biggest acts.

But I’m not sure about the “all over” part. I can find one live version that’s pretty good. But the other clips I’ve found with the same label are either bait and switches or appear to be disabled in some way.

So. You can find some Warner’s stuff on YouTube, some of the time. But aren’t all of  Warner’s videos–and songs–supposed to be off of YouTube altogether, the result of a licensing dispute that flared up in December?

No official comment from either the label or the video site. But the unofficial story seems to be this: YouTube has variety of methods to take down content that’s not supposed to be on the site, including its ContentID system, which can automate the process for copyright owners that use it–that’s why YouTube wasn’t completely overrun with clips from NBC’s Olympics coverage last summer and why very little footage from ABC’s Oscars coverage made it onto the site earlier this year.

And Warner Music Group (WMG) is a ContentID user. But the system isn’t foolproof, and it’s bound to work much better when YouTube and the content owner are working together instead of fighting over royalties and revenue splits.

So here’s the Green Day video that’s not supposed to be on YouTube, and may not be for much longer once I post it. So enjoy while you can:

And, per MTV VP’s John Loscalzo’s request, I’ll note that Viacom’s video site has a perfectly legally version of the song that won’t get taken down. You can see it here.


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