Is it Better With Filipina Rap?
When asked about YouTube in the Philippines, Filip Miuccin, one of its leading celebrities, mentioned a possible relation with the site. In a recent blog post, he mentioned that he used to upload videos on YouTube, and then uploaded them on his Facebook page. Apparently, he had used the social networking site as a means of promoting his music. “I think YouTube is a cool site. I can actually talk about my stuff on YouTube. It’s not only the video sites,” he said.
What do some music industry insiders have to say about this claim? Is there any truth to the claim? Do YouTube and Facebook actually share any affiliation or influence in promoting acts and artists? If so, how big is that influence?
Some industry reps believe that there is no relationship between the two sites. They maintain that they are free media outlets that anyone can use for whatever purposes they may. In a way, this is true. You can post your videos on YouTube and Facebook without worrying about copyright infringement. That said, some artists have been known to sell their recordings to these media outlets, so it remains to be seen if Miuccin is doing the same.
One reason why YouTube may have been promoted by Filip Miuccin is because it reaches a worldwide audience. The site has millions of active users who log in and out every day. With that said, there is still some potential legal risk associated with using the site as a way to promote your music. Just as you would not upload a video of yourself performing at your home and then perform in front of an empty house full of people, you should similarly not perform videos at sites such as YouTube and Facebook without receiving prior permission from the owners or copyright holders.
What exactly does the law say? The Song Division of the Intellectual Property Office of the US Copyright Office, US does not own the exclusive right to use Miuccin’s videos. As per the law, once you register your name in the United States Register of Copyrights, you are considered the author or owner of the material and can perform free speech. However, you cannot simply pass along copies of your videos to friends and post them on social networking sites.
Can you perform with them? Miuccin has not signed an exclusive agreement with Facebook or YouTube. He can, however, post music videos for free as long as he does not sell them. If he does sell them, he is not breaking any laws. For example, it is possible to post a commercial video on YouTube with the given warnings in place, as long as they are not blatant commercial ads.
Is Miuccin alone to combat his piracy problems? No. Several other Filipina musicians have come out with their own projects, most notably Paco Pena and Alina duet. They have also begun working with well-known recording labels.
While Miuccin’s legal battles with YouTube and Facebook continue, both sides appear to be willing to reach some sort of accommodation. In the meantime, he continues to provide free music for download. With the rise of YouTube and Facebook, this could only mean good things for the independent music industry. Watch how the struggle continues, especially now that Miuccin has gotten a handle on the situation.
As people continue to download his music, many will likely do so for free. Perhaps they will like what they hear. Or perhaps they will want more. Who knows? What is for sure is that the man is definitely keeping up with the times. There is no denying that his music is phenomenal.
Of course, not everyone agrees with his music. That is understandable. Many younger Filipina girls and boys would rather listen to Western music. This is not an issue. It is more likely that there are older women in the group that would prefer him to listen to something more traditional.
The bottom line is that there is likely to be more tolerance and a willingness to adjust in the coming years. This is especially true if the economy improves. As it does, there is every chance that Filipina artists will be exposed to greater international markets. In the meantime, it is certainly encouraging that our beautiful nation can produce some great composers and artists.