"Guess I'll have to buy the White Album again"

One hundred and ninety eight years ago, this month, a group of men, incensed and intimidated by the use of new technology and unskilled workers, destroyed hundreds of machines in the hope of keeping themselves in work. They did not stop there, and sent threats to the owners of these machines. It inevitably ended in fatalities, one prominent owner was killed and several wreckers were executed, not only for the killing but because of an act of Parliament that had been passed to prevent them from destroying machines, on pain of death.

This was no minor skirmish. It was the clash of culture; the dissonance between what has gone before and what must inevitably come after. They were known as "Luddites".

Today, YouTube the video hosting website has lost a battle with modern Luddites - those who seek to prevent the sharing of music videos.

The Telegraph has reported:

Thousands of music videos featuring some of the world’s most popular artists will be deleted from YouTube this evening, after the video-sharing website failed to strike a licensing agreement with the governing body that collects royalty payments for songwriters and composers.

This is only one, in hundreds of blocking moves the music industry has attempted in the face of information exchange that now moves in megabits per second and not the penny post. Remember DRM? A blatant attempt to prevent you making a compilation CD for your girlfriend! Sooner or later, these moves get the bum's rush they deserve, on the basis that for years, punters paid outrageous prices for music, on vinyl, on mini disc, on cartridge, on cassette, on CD, etc, and may have paid (like me) several times over for the same album.

Tonight's announcement should be read with the disgust it deserves, and those fuzzy naff old vids should be allowed back on You Tube, where they belong, for the benefit of everybody.

1 comment:

Jim Baxter said...

I'm buying nothing from them ever again, supposing I my 78's wear smooth. I've only one thing to say to the baskets.

Ever pull the wings off a fly? Care to see the fly get even?