I'm totally, like, freaking out at how catty YouTube is being to indie labels right now. Like, if Beggars Group was named Warner Bros. or Sony, they'd totally get what they want from YouTube. But YouTube is all like" Whatevah!" and the indies are like "You didn' jus say dat? Tell me jus didn' say dat?"
In case you're not hip to the Laguna Beach lingo, allow the Wolf Blitzer (or if you prefer, Anderson Cooper) in me to give it to you straight: YouTube, after being goobled up by the Trapper Keeper also known as Google, struck deals with major labels to continue to host content. YouTube was happy to heave money at Warner Bros., Sony, and the Universal Music Group like Joe Neikro throwing underhanded to Barry Bonds at batting practice. However, when it comes to handling indie labels and their needs, YouTube prefers to give them the ol' Dice-K gyroball.
As I'm sure many of you know, many indie labels have joined together to form Merlin -- which was formed for just such events -- and though the newly minted licensing super agency has managed to reach deals with other services such as SpiralFrog, Merlin does not yet have the full power to force YouTube's hand by immediately pulling content. Simon Wheeler of Beggars Group, however, isn't afraid to press the issue: "If we have to take legal measures to protect our rights we will do so."
What lies next is a wait and see. The indies don't like being treated like second-class citizens, while YouTube is apparently exhausted from dropping off money bags to major label doorsteps. Hopefully in the end we get a giant finale where the spoiled rich kids and the stoner skateboarders end up hugging as a montage of season highs and lows sets the stage for a pop song and the credits.