Monday, January 7, 2008

YouTube and Doing the Right Thing

If you want to see anything that has been video recorded, chances are it's on YouTube.

Many people who actually own the videos post them themselves on the YouTube Web site, including Weird Al Yankovic, the Dixie Chicks and Britney Spears.

Nickelback's record label also has posted a couple of their videos, including "Rock Star" (censored and not) and "If Everyone Cared." (I have recommended in the past that you listen to Nickelback. I hope you did. If not, please stop what you're doing right now and watch "If Everyone Cared." You don't have to be a fan to appreciate the call to character. You will be moved by what the band encourages.)

Not everyone owns the videos they posted, which is a shame. If it's not yours, it's not yours to give away.

The Internet is a big place — and if you want to hear and see free video and audio clips, there are plenty of legal ways to do it. I watched/listened to Fergie on Yahoo for months before I purchased "Fergalicious" (then soon after purchased the "clean" versions of the songs I liked). I continue to listen to Shakira to determine if I want to purchase her latest disc. If I'm not sure if I want the entire disc, I take the safe route and purchase the singles on iTunes.

Sometimes, posting videos seems harmless — after all, if you're not making any money, what's the harm? You tell yourself you're actually helping to sell the album if you post pictures of your pre-teen cousins dancing to "Hips Don't Lie" by the Chipmunks — people will go buy it now, you tell yourself. The thing is, rationalization doesn't make it right. It's still not yours to give away.

So watch what's legal, do what's right. And go watch "If Everyone Cared." Let me know when you do, and let me know what you thought of it.

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