Over the last year, I’ve made an effort to soundtrack my own videos and embed them in HTML5 instead of uploading them to YouTube.
This process is a pain, and it has resulted in my making far fewer videos (which is either good or bad depending on your point of view), but there are few alternatives.
Last year, I tracked a video with a royalty-free clip that came with my Mac, but as soon as I uploaded it, it was flagged for a copyright violation.
Before that, I had a video “silenced” because a passing automobile was blaring a song on the radio, causing the video to be flagged for a copyright violation.
Before that, I uploaded a video that I had tracked with one of my own songs, and … you guessed it … it was immediately flagged for a copyright violation.
According to Google, I had infringed on (I think) BMG’s copyright … by playing a completely original song along with my completely original video. Welcome to the USA where, by default, and unless proven otherwise … big corporations own you and everything you make, as soon as you make it. Resistance is futile.
I can see the trial now:
Me: Your honor, I didn’t infringe on anyone’s copyright, I completely made the song up and played it myself.
BMG: Who are you going to believe, your honor, a multi-billion dollar corporation or some guy with a 10″ schlong?
Judge: I find for BMG in the amount of $5 trillion … Mr. Rex, how dare you steal these people’s intellectual property!
Such is life in a corporate dictatorship.
I digress …
Even when I’m not being accused of copyright infringement, my videos are still prone to deletion by YouTube staff.
For instance, back in October, I recorded and uploaded a video of the naked pumpkin run. That video was quickly flagged and deleted for “obscenity”. Never mind that the event took place on a public street, as far as Google was concerned, I was a pornographer because I had captured someone’s willie on camera in a completely non-sexual way.
The offended viewer could have easily, you know, not viewed it (especially since it had “naked run” in the title), but instead , that person called for my censorship, and Google immediately acquiesced.
What a country.
What a citizenry.
It is for these reasons that I have been forced to say “goodbye” to YouTube, and “hello” to the time and expense of HTML5. I guess what they say is true. Freedom is never truly free.
In any event … yesterday while organizing some videos, I ran across some footage that I took while on a drive from West Seattle to Downtown. As I was watching the file, AIC’s “Rooster” was droning in the background from my MP3 player, and I kind of liked the combination. The time of day and thick cloud cover of the video was a good match for the moody aura of the song. It also matched my rather melancholy mood.
This being the case, I decided to lay the mp3 over the video and render it down.
As soon as I dragged the track into the movie editor, however, the copyright issue immediately came to mind. You see, today, the major labels are scanning YouTube, but it’s only a matter of time before they start scraping .mp4 files from the entire Internet, indiscriminately firing off legal threats to every content creator just to see what sticks.
Almost immediately, I realized that I couldn’t use an Alice in Chains song for my video.
Still, I liked the Rooster vibe. Especially the first four bars.
What to do … what to do.
Finally, I got an idea.
“I wonder if I can change it up a bit?”, I thought, “customize it … maybe even make it moodier … spookier?”
I decided to give it a shot.
I grabbed my guitar, plugged it in, ramped up some pre-line-in effects, reverb, chorus, delay (think “How Soon is Now?”) … then strummed the first few bars of Rooster for three minutes while simultaneously clicking GarageBand stompboxes.
Not so good. At least not exactly what I was going for.
While I was playing, I noticed that when I played the E and B strings with the flange box on, they made a creepy, Frampton-esque, almost-human cry. I liked it, but this was about as interesting as things got.
Overall, I was left with an overly-processed, out-of-sync debacle unworthy of even the lowest budget horror film. At times, the chug-chug-chug of the overdriven chorus is more audible than the chords themselves.
It would have to do, though. The video was far too unimportant to spend anymore time on.
And so, without further ado, I present to you:
The Unnecessarily-Forboding Drive from West Seattle to Downtown:
Download Video: MP4