So I try not to complain too much about the "music industry". There are plenty of sources that can provide a much more thorough critique of the "biz" but my recent experience with Rumblefish has prompted me to speak up.


Sometime late last year the group that I work with for digital distribution, CDBaby, began an agreement/partnership with a group called Rumblefish. CDBaby is hands-down one of the best distro-companies that I have worked with ever. They are very helpful, straight-forward and are constantly providing their artists with tools to better/efficiently promote their music so that they can spend less time on the computer and more time playing music and writing songs. When they advertised Rumblefish on their site, it was pitched as an "advocacy" group. What I drew from the information given to me about the Rumblefish service was that they provided a service to unsigned musicians by putting their music in a database for film/television/broadcasting companies to select from for soundtracks and other projects at a pre-negotiated price. Naturally, this is something that CDBaby would want to provide for their musicians. If I was approached by a film company regarding a movie soundtrack and they wanted to negotiate something I would have no idea where to start. Rumblefish? Sounds good! I signed up and got on with my Death Polka musings...


What I didn't anticipate was their constant monitoring of YouTube videos where they would start placing advertisements on anything that people uploaded. I didn't really know what to think when this happened. The first time it came to my attention was when I did the No-Brow Production sessions and they contacted No-Brow stating that advertisement needed to be placed on our videos due to "copyright claim". The copyright came up as "CDBaby". Then they started putting "copyright claims" on my personal YouTube uploads.


Dude. Okay...first, I am the copyright holder. Not CDBaby. Second, I gave the people who uploaded videos permission to do so. How do I notify Rumblefish of this so they back off? It's apparently this form that you fill out and wait 30 days and maybe they agree with you so they'll remove the "copyright claim" that they have to "advocate" for you. Pardon me, but I don't find placing your copyright claims on my own YouTube page for my own music to be any form of advocacy. It's been a head ache. I placed a request to CDBaby to have my Rumblefish account shut down on 12/20/2012. It's still going. Guess I'll have to call them about this. Ugh.


So let's actually talk about the whole YouTube thing real quick-like. Do I care if you upload my music to YouTube? Absolutely not. I am very grateful and appreciative of anyone who likes my music so much that they would like to share it with other people on the interwebs. However, if you have an AdSense account on your YouTube channel and you want to run advertisements on my songs and try to charge people to listen to my music without my permission then I will be pretty offended by that. This kind of ties in to the whole Rumblefish dilemma. I felt that I gave Rumblefish permission to sell my music to film/TV/broadcasting/etc. I didn't think that they'd be policiing YouTube accounts and running pop-ups when people tried to check out my songs.


Long story short: you want to share my music on YouTube? Cool, thank you! You want to run ads and try to make money off of my music on YouTube? No, not cool. I will send a horde of devil-monkeys that will chomp huge bites out of your gluteals and put a curse on you that forces you to urinate fire for the rest of your days.


Rumblefish Shmumblefish...


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Ando Ehlers | 
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