An issue that came up a couple of years ago had to do with copyrighted music that is found on YouTube. Prince Rogers Nelson, aka Prince, died in April 2016. Before he passed away, you might have been able to find only a few videos of his songs on YouTube that were not authorized by him or his company. They might have been videos from concerts that people uploaded to YouTube, but in most cases, you would not have been able to watch many Prince videos. Prince had 2,000 videos removed from YouTube because he wanted to be in control of his image and his music. (Eckstein, 2016)
Prince also did not want his music to be available for free or for low costs on any service including Spotify, YouTube, or Apple Music because he did not feel he was properly compensated. He only had his music streaming on a platform called Tidal because the compensation was higher. (Parr, 2016)
After Prince died, I noticed that many of the shorter videos that were uploaded by fans were no longer available. I think that the estate for Prince filed suits for the removal of his copyrighted material from YouTube. A year later, it looks like the only YouTube videos of Prince are generated from the Prince Estate. (Fu, 2017) Even though the estate cannot control everything Prince-related on YouTube, they do have some control over what they want to broadcast. There is now a Prince Channel on YouTube that users can subscribe to. (Morris, 2017)
As a rule, I think artists should be fairly compensated for their work. Their work is often pirated so they need to be able to control how their art is accessed and profited from. In the case of Prince, I think the estate for Prince did the right thing by limiting the unauthorized videos of Prince songs that were uploaded by fans. However, I disagree with users not being uploading content from a concert that they attended. Sometimes the “bootleg” versions of the song performed live showcase something not seen or heard in the studio version. As long as the user is not profiting from the video, I think this should be allowed. Listening to an alternative or live version of a performance does not take away from the original, and it actually might drive more listeners to the original.
Eckstein, D. (2016, April 21). Can’t find Prince videos on YouTube? You’re not alone. Retrieved January 26, 2018, from UPROXX: http://uproxx.com/hitfix/cant-find-prince-videos-on-youtube-youre-not-alone/
Fu, E. (2017, July 7). Legendary Prince videos finally made available on YouTube: Watch. Retrieved January 26, 2018, from Consequence of Sound: https://consequenceofsound.net/2017/07/legendary-prince-videos-finally-made-available-on-youtube-watch/
Morris, C. (2017, July 10). Prince’s Music Videos Hit YouTube. Retrieved January 26, 2018, from Fortune: http://fortune.com/2017/07/10/princes-music-videos-hit-youtube/
Parr, S. (2016, April 21). Here’s Why You Can’t Find Any Prince Music Online. Retrieved January 26, 2018, from the Hustle: https://thehustle.co/listen-prince-music-online