Zappa, YouTube, Censorship

The above video was posted by flowerpunkchip on YouTube April 15, 2008. Along with the video he posted the following statement:

CENSORED. Music replaced.

Gee thanks Gail, if i ever do make money from your husband’s genius, I’ll let you know and I’ll send you double. Censoring Zappa’s music on awful mono sound youtube is not a good idea.

Frank Zappa interview + I’m so happy I could cry, early version of “Take your clothes off when you dance” (thanks for the correction StereoM)+ Get a little + Orange County Lumber Truck + oh no, lumpy gravy version (the songs/tunes are not in that order)

well, i hope this video doesn’t get taken off by the Zappa Family Trust, or should I say Gail?

Frank Zappa ~ “I resent encroachment on the 1st amendment because I’m a constitution fundamentalist”

Everyone knows my position and opinion in regards to a lot of what the ZFT does, so I am usually not the one to leap to their defense. Yet, in this case, I certainly do.

The Frank Zappa music being muted of late on YouTube is not a result of the actions of the ZFT (though it might seem to be). These are the actions of WBG (Warner Brothers Group of Companies). Because Warner Brothers and YouTube do not have a contract, they have demanded that the music of all their artists be muted. As you recall, when Warner Brothers bought Rykodisc, Frank Zappa’s catalog once again became property of Warner Brothers.

It seems like it was only a matter of time before YouTube succumbed to corporate pressures (as has much of the internet). Though it does make one question crystal clear: if Zappa’s music isn’t being played on the radio, or on YouTube, then where? How do these actions effectively promote this artist if the avenues for promotion are so limited?

17 Responses to “Zappa, YouTube, Censorship”

  1. peter says:

    If that is the case (Warner’s responsible) how come all ZpZ clips remain on youtube while others get zapped?

  2. Thinman says:

    A quote from Thinman:

    peter says:
    February 14th, 2009 at 4:59 pm » Quote
    If that is the case (Warner’s responsible) how come all ZpZ clips remain on youtube while others get zapped?

    Because ZpZ is not FRANK Zappa.

  3. SOFA - Philostopher/Chef says:

    Uhm… Warners does not hold the rights to those, only the “original releases”?

  4. peter says:

    But the tribute acts are being removed as well….so I really don’t buy the KUR argument.

  5. terje says:

    unfortunately the first amendment only applies to u.s. government censorship. not to private entities. that is unfortunate. most people who cry about the first amendment don’t hesitate to silence others on websites, message boards etc. especially media sites. it’s disgusting. when someone makes a site such as this devoted to an artist it quickly devolves into a cult of personality surrounding the moderator(s) in most cases. i haven’t been around these parts that long so i don’t know if that goes on here. i have yet to see it if it does.

    btw, zappa gets plenty of play on the station where i d.j. there is a zappa hour every week (not mine). myself and some others play zappa frequently.

  6. Maroual says:

    Reading this : http://www.zappa.com/messageboard/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=16447&p=404933#p404933
    and this : http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-10127873-93.html
    I just wonder how much money the ZFT waste every day.

  7. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from peter:

    But the tribute acts are being removed as well….so I really don’t buy the KUR argument.

    I do not know who is responsible for removing videos of tribute acts from YouTube, only the case of certain Warner Brother’s artists music in fan made videos being muted and/or removed:

    http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/index.php/2008/12/22/warner-music-group-pulls-videos-from-youtube-as-talks-break-down/

    http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/index.php/2009/01/16/youtube-hits-the-mute-button-as-royalty-fight-with-warner-brothers-continues/

  8. Roland says:

    And here comes in the Grammy Award for ZPZ again: Maybe this causes a bit more official airplay of FZ tunes in the future.

    When FZ was alive, the only time one could hear a tune on the radio was around the time of “Sheik Yerbouti”, when “Bobby Brown” was played (here in Germany – I think most of the listeners at that time didn´t get the contents!)

    When FZ just passed away, there was a whole (!) one hour radio broadcast, where his songs were played.

    These were the only occasions on the radio I heard from 1971 (my first listen to “200 Motels” and “Were only in it”) onwards.

    An alteration of what FZ once sad during the Filmmore concerts:
    “I know that in a way it’s sad that WB / YouTube is closing down the creativity, but I’m sure we’ll get into something better.”

    I still wonder, what he really would say to all this.

    By the way: A well excecuted little movie and I like the music, too.

  9. Paul Sempschi says:

    I think Zappa would probably tolerate tribute bands, as long as they didnt get too snotty (The Grandmothers had their little effigy which, probably what sent him over the edge)… as far as posting his material goes, that’s weird, because he was so vicious about bootleggers.

    I remember a years back when David Bowie wanted people to sample and make remixes of his music and even held contests- and I’m told that Bob Dylan allows for sampling, I think, that Zappa would want and love that alternative than the rehashing posts of his work.

    Though knowing him, he’d probably come up with his own Poodletube, which would encourage people to post porn, skateboarding and amateur stunts, along with news commentary, satire, plays, tribute performances and people’s own compositions. Though that’s more of a day dream fantasy than anything concrete.

  10. Alex says:

    A quote from Paul Sempschi:

    I think that Zappa would want and love that alternative than the rehashing posts of his work.

    Though knowing him, he’d probably come up with his own Poodletube, which would encourage people to post porn, skateboarding and amateur stunts, along with news commentary, satire, plays, tribute performances and people’s own compositions. Though that’s more of a day dream fantasy than anything concrete.

    “Knowing him”? Frank is dead. Stone-dead; bereft of life, he rests in peace. He has rung down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible.

    We don’t know what Frank would have thought of remixes or mash-ups. He might have been a grump about it and thought they sucked. He might have thought the Internet was part of some government conspiracy to keep the youth at bay while we invaded Iraq.

    Though I will admit the idea of Zappa as an Internet mogul is entertaining – and the thought of Poodletube is actually pretty cool. Nice little guilty pleasure.

  11. Paul Sempschi says:

    You should probably try finishing my post before rebutting:

    A quote from Paul Sempschi:

    Though that’s more of a day dream fantasy than anything concrete.

  12. Alex says:

    A quote from Alex:

    Though I will admit the idea of Zappa as an Internet mogul is entertaining – and the thought of Poodletube is actually pretty cool. Nice little guilty pleasure.

    Likewise.

  13. potatohead Peccary says:

    I recently got an e-mail from ZFT regarding the upcoming ZPZ tour. I was in a bad mood so I replied ” I don’t care about ZPZ or Dweezel, I can’t stand dweezil. I only care about frank and his music”.

    The list master replied , “We’d be happy to unsubscribe you then”. 2 secs later I was unsubscribed to the e-mail list. Here I am a Zappa fan who owns and has paid for everything the man put out and posthumous releases and they do this . what ever. what do you guys think?

  14. Sharleena says:

    Well I think if you told them that you weren’t interested, it’s only normal that they unsubscribed you…
    Then you should have replied: “…But I was in a bad mood..!” :-)

  15. potatohead Peccary says:

    Sharleena says:
    February 20th, 2009 at 6:18 pm » Quote

    Well I think if you told them that you weren’t interested, it’s only normal that they unsubscribed you…
    Then you should have replied: “…But I was in a bad mood..!” :-)

    I said “I didn’t care” not “not interested”. I subscribed to the mailing list to hear about FZ Music and releases. I mean isn’t that this is all about, FZ. Whats the point

  16. aldodotcom says:

    I used to have a great Zappa site on You Tube and it featured many fan videos and some bootleg tracks…. a lot of work went into it.
    Then one day…. poof !!!! …. it was gone – no warnings, no reasons given. I suspect it may have been the ZFT… but it may also be greedy record companys.
    After a couple of months of disgust, I ventured forth once again. This time no Zappa tracks, just tributes and covers.
    I am getting worried that GZ / ZFT / greedy record companys may force YT to cancell my account.
    I am introducing people to an “alternative” way of listening to Zappa music. No money is being made…. I am sharing, and , yes I buy my music on CD.
    If you want to hear Zappa related tunes, check me out on YOU TUBE at TRIBUTOaZAPPA. (while you can)
    CHEERS,
    Aldo.

  17. urbangraffito says:

    I suspect that the Warner Group of Companies has a lot more to do with the disappearance of many of the fan made videos and bootleg tracks on your YouTube channel than the ZFT, Aldo. I’ve noticed that many other Warner artists are also disappearing from YouTube as well, so the ZFT can’t possibly be the sole villain here.

    I get the feeling that the days of freely posting copyrighted material is numbered on YouTube (even privately, one has to go to MySpace or Dailymotion to find videos once commonly available on YouTube). I suspect this is temporary as YouTube prepares for a completely subscription based service. What do people think their iPhones and iPods are for anyway?

    I do appreciate the effort you have put into posting all these videos (many of which I have linked to here at KUR) Aldo.

    It’s great to see (and hear) CDs like The Grandmother’s ‘Who Could Imagine’ promoted online. How about some B.E.P. ‘Hamburger Midnight’? Or ‘Geronimo Black’? Just a couple suggestions.

    Enjoying TRIBUTOaZAPPA (while I can)

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