YouTube Music Pass, the new Google-owned music service, has indicated that it intends to block content from independent labels that have not signed up for its subscription music service from its current free service. YouTube Music Pass is a new streaming service that will allow people to download music to their mobile devices and watch and listen to music videos without ads, even when not online. On June 17th, YouTube’s head of content and business operations, Robert Kyncl, confirmed that independent artists could disappear from YouTube if their labels do not sign up for the new service.
In a case titled Garcia v. Google, Inc., 12-57302, the recent ruling of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (which covers nine states, including California) suggests that an actor has a protectable copyright in the recording of his or her performance. In this case, Cindy Lee Garcia was hired and paid to act in a film entitled “Desert Warrior.” Ms. Garcia’s role was minimal. She was given only 4 pages of script and filmed for 3 ½ days. While “Desert Warrior” was never released, the film’s writer and producer dubbed over Ms. Garcia’s performance and included it in a different film called “Innocence of Muslims.” “Innocence of Muslims” was posted on YouTube. The context in which Ms. Garcia’s performance appeared in the film was interpreted as anti-Muslim by the Muslim community. Following the film’s release and posting on YouTube, Ms. Garcia received death threats. Despite Ms. Garcia’s numerous requests to Google that it remove “Innocence of Muslims” from YouTube, Google refused.
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