There are a lot of videos on this site. These are integral to one of the main rationales for this site—namely to emphasise the importance of live music. Many people only ever experience music through such mediums as CDs, iPods, or speakers in public places. This is especially true of children—for children now have been born into a world where recorded music is much more widespread and readily available than it was a generation ago.
For this reason, children (and many adults) have little idea about what’s involved in making music. They don’t know that music making is very physical. One has to hit something (even if it’s only an electronic keyboard), pluck something, blow something, or whatever, to make music. They also don’t appreciate that music making is a skill that takes a lot of practice. And because of this, they don’t know that music can be quite a spectacle to watch, irrespective of the sound they hear. They don’t know that watching music can be just as exciting as watching a magic show or a game of sports.
So this is why I have videos—so children can see music, as well as hear it.
However this decision to include videos has a downside. This downside relates to copyright—i.e. whether or not I have the right to include videos from other people. I have no wish to infringe on copyright. Nevertheless it is actually very difficult to remain 100% free of copyright issues in this world (for instance, you’re not supposed to lend your music to anyone, play a CD in a public place, or even perform a contemporary piece of music yourself in public), and to do so would be very limiting indeed.
With this in mind, I have tried hard to minimise problems related to the copyright of videos. In particular, I have had several guiding principles in mind when I have chosen the videos on my site. In summary, they are (more details follow on below):
- Every single video on this site is embedded, rather than copied. This has the disadvantage that videos may be withdrawn (see below).
- I have included all the information provided by the person who uploaded the video in the first place (except in a very few cases where there is a lot of information—in which case I have included the essentials, along with a link to the remainder).
- Where the information provided is limited, I have included some of my own if I can.
- I have avoided videos that are obviously pirated from high profile sources.
- I have tried to use videos from an official source where these can be found.
Here is some more information on each of these:
- Although you see the videos on my site, what you are actually seeing is a window onto the site where the video resides. This will normally, if not always, be YouTube. When people upload videos to sites, such as YouTube, they have an option to include or exclude an ’embed code’. If this ’embed code’ is included, other people can use this to embed the video onto their own website, as I have done. It is my understanding that, strictly speaking, one should ask for permission before doing this. Indeed I have done this in one high-profile case (the video on the popular music page). However this seems a bit over the top. If people really don’t want others to embed their videos, then all they have to do is exclude the ’embed code’ when they publish it. In any case, it seems to be general experience that people don’t get replies when they ask for permission to embed a video (I haven’t received a reply to my request).
It is also worth pointing out that there is always simple mechanism available for seeing the video on the original site. If the original site is YouTube, all you have to do it click anywhere on the video itself (i.e. not the controls box at the bottom) once it is playing. If the original site is not YouTube, then I will tell you how to go to the original site in the information about the video.
As mentioned above, the great disadvantage about embedding videos, is that they can be withdrawn without notice by the person who has uploaded them. If a video on my site is withdrawn you will get a message to this effect when you try to play it. If this happens, please do send me a comment so I may substitute another one. Thanks!
- The information about each video is provided at the foot of the page where the video appears, under the heading of Video Credits. In all cases I have copied the video’s title verbatim (this appears in bold), and in most cases I have done the same for the information. The only changes I may have made to the information are punctuation and formatting, except in a very few cases where there is a lot of information and I have just given the essentials with a link to the rest. Incidentally, the quoted information always appears in italics. It should be noted, therefore, that any opinions in expressed in italics are not necessarily my own.
- Sometimes there is not much information about a video on the site from which it is embedded. In these cases, and if I am able to, I provide a little more information myself. This might be things like the name of a performer, a translation of something in a foreign language, or more specific information about the precise piece of music shown on the video. I have tried to keep my own comments to a minimum (although the captions underneath the videos are my own, since some of the given titles aren’t the best for children—and, besides, there’s no point repeating a title that’s clearly visible in the YouTube window). You can always tell which are my own comments in the Video Credits, as they are written in normal text (as opposed to italics for the quoted information). I may also have provided some of my own information in the captions.
- There are a lot of videos around on YouTube that are obviously meant to be great money earners for the current music industry. This is especially true of pop videos. I have therefore stayed clear of these unless I can find an endorsement for this video (along with an appropriate embed code) from what appears to be an official source. Nevertheless, I cannot guarantee that I have got the right source for every clip. I cannot be responsible if I have inadvertently chosen a clip pirated by someone else.
- Many official sources offer video clips as samplers of their wider material. It seems that these sources encourage others to embed these clips because it provides them with free advertising. In any case, as I have said, I provide full details of these clips—including any website details the source may provide for the entire video, or others by the same group, company, or whatever.
I certainly hope I have done enough to keep everybody happy. At the end of the day, I would also like to emphasise that this website is intended for educational purposes only. I derive no monetary benefit from this site whatsoever.
Of course, I could do away with embedded videos altogether and simply provide links to the videos on YouTube, or wherever. This would eliminate all the copyright issues completely. However, this would also diminish the learning experience for children. If the video isn’t sitting on the page ready to play, they will be less likely to look at it, and less likely to know how to look at it. There are also other disadvantages of sending children straight to YouTube. One is advertising not appropriate to children, and the other is comments by other uses that are also not appropriate to children (bad language is quite common, for instance).
Finally, in the unlikely event that there is someone reading this who owns a clip I have used, and the (hopefully!) even unlikelier event that this person does not like what I have done, then please send me a comment to this effect and I will remove the video immediately.
Thank you for your understanding.