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28 January 2007 @ 10:20 pm
Hey, my first cease and desist!  
Got this YouTube message this afternoon.  I'm a bit miffed (who says no to free publicity?), but I guess I can see where they're coming from.

I'm a member of UCLA Random Voices, and you've recently just posted these videos of us on you tube. I don't know who you are, and actually don't really care, but the point is that you never asked one of us for permission, and we don't even know you. SO, could you please REMOVE all videos containing Random Voices immediately? We will post them ourselves if we choose to do so. You shouldn't be posting videos of people on the internet without their knowledge and consent. I'll give you a few days, and if you don't take them down, I'll figure out what else needs to be done about it. Thanks.


Oh, and I should point out that the only reason they knew about this in the first place is because I posted the videos as a comment on their MySpace page.  This was purely to their benefit, and it's not like I get anything out of my YouTube posts.

Needless to say, I complied immediately, and told them not to worry - it won't happen with their group again.
egheaumaen on January 30th, 2007 07:16 pm (UTC)
Asking you to take the clips down is well within their rights, but the rude tone is absolutely unnecessary. "I don't know who you are and actually don't really care"? That's pure snideness. The polite way to say the same thing is, "We truly appreciate your enthusiasm, but here's why having this out right now is not a good idea." Choosing instead to slap the wrist of a random fan who was clearly not benefiting financially from this act of promotion is completely unprofessional, and also abusive.

But then again, if this is UCLA, then the letter was probably written by a 19-year-old on a power trip. Forget about it, it's not even worth the stress.
Idtechnomonkey on January 31st, 2007 02:50 pm (UTC)
That's pretty much what I thought. (I did remove the videos.) I'm just glad Jen was there to prevent me from responding in just as rude a manner.
(Anonymous) on March 22nd, 2007 02:38 am (UTC)
Re: Yeah.
Yes, it really wouldn't have been a big deal if she would have asked nicely about it, but unfortunately, some people are just plain ignorant. I know tone from simple text can oftentimes be misinterpreted, but the way I read it is that this particular individual seemed embarrassed by the video of their performance. I happen to find your videos of all these different groups very enjoyable. I've seen a few live shows of groups from the Midwest, but I wouldn't have known anything at all about these West Coast groups if it wasn't for your videos. Kudos to you, and may the man not bring you down.
Idtechnomonkey on March 22nd, 2007 04:47 am (UTC)
Wow. You went through two months of LJ postings before getting to this one -- I'm flattered, but really not all that interesting... =)

Seriously, though...thank you for posting, and for your kind words. It can be a bit frustrating sometimes to get reactions like the one that started this thread, or like the guy who told me at a concert "you must be thrilled that the Internet makes it so easy to self-publish," in that tone of voice that was clearly saying "amateur, who the hell do you think you are?" It's very gratifying when someone gives a comment in the opposite direction.

**CLARIFYING** I'm not fishing for compliments here - just explaining to this anonymous Midwest commenter why I'm so genuinely happy to have received his/her comment.

Also, I'm very glad to know that the videos are serving their purpose: getting these groups some exposure to people who otherwise wouldn't have known about them. It's the same reason I'm so thrilled to subscribe to the three a cappella Podcasts that I know about: A Cappella U, The Acapodcast, and CASA's A Cappella Originals Podcast. Of course, those podcasts are expensive -- they keep introducing me to groups whose CDs I want to buy! =)
(Anonymous) on March 25th, 2007 09:05 am (UTC)
Re: Thanks!
Well personally, I find live performances much more entertaining than recorded CDs. Sure, the quality of the sound is far superior on CDs, but I feel that acappella is a medium that is meant to be both seen and heard at the same time. Yes, choreography is not necessary for all songs, but just by watching many of your videos, groups that incorporate even minor choreographed movements make their performance that much more exciting to watch. For example, a search on YouTube will result in at least a dozen different groups performing Imogen Heap's Hide and Seek, but so far, the video you have of UO Divisi performing this song places their version above and beyond any other, because all other groups fail to incorporate any sort of choreography.
Idtechnomonkey on April 2nd, 2007 06:20 pm (UTC)
I agree and disagree
I think that recording a good album and putting on a good show are two completely different skill sets. Raagapella showed in their ICCA quarterfinals set that if you can connect to your music and show that connection in your face and body, choreography can be downright unnecessary. (It didn't come across as well on the shrunk-down videos of YouTube, but it was amazing live) Same goes for Divisi's Hide and Seek, to a lesser degree - they did what was obviously choreography, but it was minimalistic (exactly what the song called for). They always astound me - their last competition year (sadly before I owned a video camera) had them doing "Woodstock" in an arc, with no motions aside from their heads occasionally shifting direction, and it was one of the most powerful a cappella performances I've ever seen.

Dynamics also play a much bigger role in live performances than on recorded albums. On an album, you don't want to have a huge range of volume or the home audience will adjust their levels to the softs and blast their ears out when the louds happen - but live, a well executed soft is far more powerful than a blasting loud.

The flip side, of course, is that it's nearly impossible to be as clean live as on an album. (Ignoring, of course, all the mixing and production effects that can be done in the studio and not necessarily live. Unless you've got pedals attached to your mic, like Hookslide does. =) )

Mostly, I think it's difficult to maintain the energy that you get in a live performance when you're in the studio performing the same thing over and over - sometimes alone, when you're recording each part separately. I have a lot of admiration for the groups that can put out a great album. I also have a lot of admiration for the groups that can rock the house live.

But the groups that I admire most are the ones that can do both. The two skill sets aren't always compatible, and being able to switch from one to the other smoothly and have high quality both ways is great stuff.