OK Go Explains YouTube Embedding Policy

In an Open Letter posted on his band’s forums, OK Go‘s Damian Kulash explains why you cannot embed their latest YouTube video :

The recordings and the videos we make are owned by a record label, EMI. The label fronts the money for us to make recordings – for this album they paid for us to spend a few months with one of the world’s best producers in a converted barn in Amish country wringing our souls and playing tympani and twiddling knobs – and they put up most of the cash that it takes to distribute and promote our albums, including the costs of pressing CDs, advertising, and making videos. We make our videos ourselves, and we keep them dirt cheap, but still, it all adds up, and it adds up to a great deal more than we have in our bank account, which is why we have a record label in the first place.

Fifteen years ago, when the terms of contracts like ours were dreamt up, a major label could record two cats fighting in a bag and three months later they’d have a hit. No more. People of the world, there has been a revolution. You no longer give a shit what major labels want you to listen to (good job, world!), and you no longer spend money actually buying the music you listen to (perhaps not so good job, world). So the money that used to flow through the music business has slowed to a trickle, and every label, large or small, is scrambling to catch every last drop. You can’t blame them; they need new shoes, just like everybody else. And musicians need them to survive so we can use them as banks. Even bands like us who do most of our own promotion still need them to write checks every once in a while.

And YouTube doesn’t pay the label for embedded plays. So EMI let people embed their YouTube videos despite the fact that nobody in the entire world have ever heard of OK Go had their first videos not gone viral via embedding (outside of my friend Andy from college who went to high school with the bald guy).

Fortunately for bloggaz who want to post the band’s latest quirky video (featuring a marching band!), EMI allows embedding from Vimeo and MySpace. Lucky us! And lucky you: check it out after the jump…

OK Go: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki

Video: OK Go – “This Too Shall Pass”

OK Go – This Too Shall Pass from OK Go on Vimeo.

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