Hang with me as I tell this little story about AC/DC, my love for their music, and how their record label Sony Music Entertainment is throwing a wrench in my enjoyment of making free triathlon videos for all of you.
“Highway to Hell” was one of my first album purchases. My friends and I would blast both sides over and over for hours in my basement while sneaking beer from the downstairs fridge. It was the first of many times I would buy that album in several formats.
After “Highway to Hell,” I went back in the AC/DC catalogue and bought “High Voltage,” “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap,” “Powerage,” “Let There Be Rock,” and “TNT.” Then lead singer Bon Scott died and we thought the ride was over, but there was greatness waiting in the wings.
It was a remarkably quick turnaround for a rock band as AC/DC replaced Scott with Brian Johnson and released “Back in Black” one year after “Highway to Hell.” We waited in line that day at the record store and rushed back to my basement once we secured the golden tracks, all encased behind this black, masterfully simplistic album cover.
We literally wrecked my Pioneer speakers with Back In Black. It has to be the best “comeback record” in the history of Rock n Roll. We loved AC/DC (I even dressed as Angus Young for Halloween) and supported them for the next several releases. I probably bought most of their releases on album, cassette, CD, and mp3.
Last year I made three Ironman Tribute videos and used popular music for the edits. A few days ago, I tried to play the Ironman Wisconsin Tribute and it wouldn’t load. Then I noticed a little note next to the video in my YouTube manager that said “Matched 3rd party content.” Essentially that means the publisher says you’re infringing copyright, in this case, Sony Music Entertainment and my use of “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC.
This happens all the time and I followed one of the more popular “disputing strategies,” based on the ground that my use was educational and non-profit. I have nearly 600 posts on Crushing Iron. I have traveled near and far to shoot 12-15 hours of video for these, paid for my hotel room, etc . . . all for the love of triathlon and the people in it.
Today I got this email from YouTube stating that Sony Music Entertainment thinks their claim against lowly old Crushing Iron is still valid.
Is it just me or does this reek of the music business’s regretful attempt to bulldoze Napster and mp3’s into oblivion? I live in Nashville and am all about musicians rights, etc., but I could have picked any song on the planet. I picked AC/DC (and others) because I’ve always loved the band(s) and believe using it under tastefully produced video from Ironman is more of an homage than theft.
Either way, the point is, this is happening hundreds of times a day and it appears the music industry is once again trying to “control” how people use the internet. I just think it’s lame and short-sighted. But, then again, we are talking about a company that once sued itself.
I have probably spent thousands of dollars on Sony artists throughout the years and haven’t made a penny from using “Thunderstruck.” If Sony was smart, they would come up with a non-profit/blogger, etc. licensing plan that charges, say $10 to use one of these songs in the way I did, but alas, they continually prefer to upset their fans and ignore new opportunities to make money.
Watch these videos while you can: