ASCAP letter regarding music videos

Hi there,

I was recently contacted by ASCAP, to inform me that I require a license to EMBED videos from OTHER sites which encourage embedding. The videos are music videos, and due to the threatening tone of the letter, referring to copyright infringement and potential legal action, I removed the videos from the site.

I do really want these videos back up, as they are an integral factor to the site, and contribute greatly to the site’s success.

Where do I stand legally right now? The videos are being embedded from OnSmash.com currently.

I wrote back, and asked if I could embed YouTube videos on my site, but they essentially told me that I require a license or cannot embed videos at all.

Eagerly awaiting your replies, as I feel this is very injust, especially since all my competitor’s sites embed similar videos that I do.

Many thanks

Whether it’s unjust or not will probably be determine by the prevailing laws.

If the owner of the copyright can decide who can display the video and where, then they can choose not to allow your site to embed it. There is nothing unjust about that.

If all of your competitor’s sites are violating copyright laws, that doesn’t really make it more or less just unless you think that you are being targeted specifically by ASCAP.

The fact that you are only EMBEDDING the videos, and that you put that word in CAPS indicates that you are making a distinction between embedding and other forms of performance/display of the video. I’m not sure that such a distinction exists. Embedding the video is essentially offering the video on your website for anyone to view, for free. It doesn’t matter where the actual file/stream comes from - it’s your site that is showing the video. Unless there is some special arrangement that allows you to embed the video, there should be no relevance to the fact that you are embedding it.

The fact that the host site is encouraging you to embed it may affect their legal standing, but not yours.

Rather than ‘feeling’ that this is unjust, I would be looking for factual information about who owns the videos and what the rules are with regards to that content and the copyright holder.