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To Monetize or Not to Monetize… It’s Not Even a Question!

money_fallingA question we’re often asked in the YouTube realm is whether it’s better to block or monetize user-generated content (UGC) in order to optimize an official music video. When UGC is being monetized, it means that a claim has been applied on behalf of a copyright holder who can now see stats and collect revenue on that video, while a block would make that video unviewable. In the vast majority of cases, our answer is “monetize,” and here’s why:

UGC videos help people discover new music. A viewer might see a random cat video, hear your song in the background, and just like that — you’ve got a new fan! If the only option for a viewer is an official video on an artist’s YouTube channel, he is far less likely to stumble upon your awesome track. Consider UGC like free promotion, which can have a positive impact not only on your YouTube business, but on your sales as well.

UGC can be incredibly entertaining and provides viewers a greater variety of videos to watch. We know the official music video is awesome, but viewers will only watch it so many times. UGC can offer a new and refreshing option to hear that same song time and time again.

Let users express their fandom. Users often use the audio of bands and artists they love in their videos. It’s only natural! Encourage them to share their love for you by allowing their videos to remain viewable. It’ll mean both a wider presence and a happy fan — win/win.

UGC and official videos can coexist to result in more revenue than one video alone. In most cases, a UGC video is a supplement to an official video, not a replacement. The likelihood of UGC detracting from your views is generally higher only when there’s an exact replica of your video — and these can always be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

Next time you’re weighing the pros and cons of monetizing UGC using your audio, think about that song or artist you discovered while watching a YouTube Fails compilation, or that guilty pleasure proposal video you sent to all of your friends and coworkers on Monday morning.

Explore YouTube’s New Copyright Claims Troubleshooter

YouTube_CopyrightHave you recently received a notification from YouTube regarding a copyright claim but are unsure of what it means? Well, have no fear, YouTube user! YouTube’s launched a new Copyright Claims Troubleshooter in their Help Center, making it easier than ever to pinpoint specific copyright issues related to your YouTube videos. The troubleshooter takes you step by step through multiple scenarios, such as receiving a notification that your video was removed, and outlines the actions you can take to resolve the issue.

Start by looking up the status of your video in the Copyright Notices section of your channel’s account, then choose the option that best applies to your video. The Troubleshooter provides seven common options to choose from, including “Removed (copyright strike)” or “Video blocked worldwide.” You’ll then learn what this notification means and what steps you need to take, if any. For example, if you’ve received a notification that your video “Matched third-party content,” it could mean that you’ve uploaded a video featuring music that is owned by another copyright owner. Your video is still viewable, but the copyright owner may be running ads or tracking viewership statistics. You have the option to replace the music,  dispute the claim, or allow the copyright owner to claim the video.

Next time you receive a copyright notification on your video, keep in mind that YouTube’s Help Center has a ton of helpful information! Better yet, play around with the troubleshooter now to educate yourself and prepare for future copyright troubleshooter

Making Dollars and Sense of Copyright on YouTube

YouTube Content ID

YouTube is becoming more important to the music community both in terms of marketing and revenue as well as sharing and engagement. The platform is often confused as being solely a video player. However, as YouTube grows and channel creators become more ambitious, relationships are becoming the driving force of this video machine. The traffic controller in this system is YouTube’s Content ID.

Content ID is what dictates copyright ownership and monetization around YouTube. For bands, this is what turns YouTube into a store. YouTube differs from every other digital retailers in that its core functionality depends on user generated content (UGC). This is excellent for sharing and community around the platform, but also opens the flood gates to copyrighted material and piracy (songs, music videos, movies, etc.). Without rightful ownership, the proper owner doesn’t get credit and compensation for the work. That’s where Content ID comes in.

Content ID uses technology similar to Shazam. The system takes pre-loaded audio files from bands and labels and compares them with other videos in the system. If there is a video on YouTube that has audio or visual content that matches this reference, Content ID makes a claim. This gives the copyright owner a chance to claim the content as theirs and monetize if they choose. Here’s how it works for both players in the Content ID loop:


Sharing is a powerful tool in the music community. New bands rely on people sharing their music to expand the potential audience. However, they would prefer to get paid for unofficial uses of their music (if users can hear your songs on YouTube for free, why would they buy the album?). Content ID provides the best of both worlds in that it still allows YouTubers to use your music in their videos, but your band makes money from the ads that Content ID places on this video. Win win!

Official Video:


Fans use popular copyrighted material in their YouTube videos for many reasons (and it’s not necessarily malicious pirating). In most cases, these users are legitimate, diehard fans that love the music their using. These are the best kinds of fans for bands. You have passionate, genuinely engaged users creating content for you (for free!). Why not keep it coming? By using Content ID to find these UGC videos, you can automatically track who is using your material and monetize it if you choose. Win win… win!

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Jason Pascal and Josh Builder Tackle Copyright and Cloud Technology This Month

March 14, 2012 Orchard News No Comments

If you weren’t able to make it down to SXSW this week for the four panels we’re participating in, here are two you can catch nearby at the end of the month:

Right here in New York, Jason Pascal – VP, Licensing & Associate General of The Orchard – will be at the Institute for Information Law & Policy to talk about international approaches to copyright reform. The date is March 27; RSVP to this address by 3/20.

If copyright isn’t your thing, head down South (though not as far as Austin!) to Philadelphia for March 28, when The Orchard’s CTO Josh Builder will be attending Phorum, a technology conference for business and IT professionals. There, he will participate in a panel entitled “Views from the Enterprise,” where he and other industry experts will discuss the impact of cloud technology on their business and how it could help benefit them in the future.

Here’s all the information you need to catch Jason and Josh this month:

Panel Discussion: International Perspectives on Copyright Reform
with Jason Pascal
6:00pm – 8:00 pm
Faculty Commons, W201 (185 W. Broadway – New York, NY)

Is current U.S. copyright law effectively dealing with online piracy? What laws have countries such as France, United Kingdom, and Spain implemented to address the piracy issue? Has anyone found the solution? Our program will address various international approaches to copyright law regulation as a means to combat piracy. Our discussion will focus on recent legislation such as HADOPI (three strikes) in France, the now-abandoned PIPA/SOPA in the United States, Sinde Law in Spain, and international treaties such as ACTAe. Panelists will compare the effectiveness of these approaches and the impact that it has on curbing online piracy.

Panel Discussion: Views from the Enterprise (Track 2)
with Josh Builder
2:45pm – 3:30pm
World Café Live (3025 Walnut Street – Philadelphia, PA)

A panel of enterprise users discuss how cloud technology is impacting their business models and enabling them to disrupt competition, create new economic models and gain market share. Panelists include Josh Builder of The Orchard, Robert Butler of the Hay Group, Simon Moss of Pneuron Corporation and a representative from JPMorgan Chase. Moderated by Rob Kelley.

Jason Pascal @ The Copyright Society of the South Luncheon

September 20, 2011 Orchard News No Comments

This Thursday, September 22nd, The Copyright Society of the South is hosting one of their monthly luncheons in Nashville, TN. I have the privilege of being the featured speaker at the event, and will be addressing the topic of Copyright Issues Facing The Modern Distributor, covering various issues such as cloud licensing, sound recording performance, sample clearances, “inspired by” releases and the business opportunities presented by upcoming termination rights.

Please join me at the event, which will take place from 11:30AM until 1PM at Events, 1418 Church Street.

To sign up, RSVP to or by calling 615-424-3014.  If you RSVP and are unable to attend, please let Janice know 24 hours prior to the event to avoid being charged a no show fee for you and/or your guest(s).

See information below:

Copyright Issues Facing The Modern Distributor
by Jason Pascal, VP & Associate General Counsel at The Orchard

The Copyright Society of the South Luncheon
Events @ 1418 Church Street
11:30AM – 1:00PM


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