Every once in a while, while reading Wikipedia to try and figure out why some show from my childhood isn’t available on DVD, I read that music rights are holding back the DVD. I understand that these shows were created back before DVDs and, therefore, some kind of weird legal loophole is keeping the tv show rights holders from using the music. But I think that whoever owns the music should just let it be used! Why? Because it can end up leading to music sales for the music rights holder. This wasn’t the case in the bad old days of records and CDs. But now that the viewer can just buy any song he/she wants, the music rights holder is just losing money for no reason. Recent example: Danielle is currently working her way through the Nip/Tuck DVDs. After watching the season four finale, she searched around the Internet to find the song and then bought it off Amazon.
In a related phenomenon, music rights holders need to back off of caring whether people use their music in Youtube (vimeo, etc) videos. I recently saw this video on Dan’s blog. In addition to being a really neat video, Danielle and I ended up buying every single one of the songs used in that video. And we’d never heard them before and it’s possible we never would have. So, by not forcing this video to be taken off of Youtube, a bunch of artists made money.
I know it’s hard for music execs to understand. They are controlling people – they need to be in order to get records produced. They’re used to being in charge and having a bunch of budding artists begging them for stuff. So when they’re told – just relax and let people do what they will, they freak out. But, in the end, more songs will be sold and more people will become fans of the musicians they are cultivating if they just let the music spread about. Let it be featured in amateur videos on Youtube. Let people distribute DVDs with music. And they will see people buying more and more songs.