YouTube Hurting Stand-Up Comics, Battle DJs, & Other Artists

Posted by Billyjam, August 9, 2012 05:05am | Post a Comment
Thanks to the oft-quoted 1979 Buggles hit, we all know that "Video killed the Radio Star"  but increasingly YouTube is killing, or at least significantly hurting, the careers of many contemporary artists including battle DJs, musicians, and stand up comics. This was addressed by Chris Rock on last night's The Daily Show. During Wednesday night's interview with Jon Stewart on the Comedy Central show, the comedian/actor (on to promote his new movie 2 Days in New York) talked about how difficult the stand-up comedy area of his career is these days. The increasing problem, he said, is due to the proliferation of video recording devices that feature easy and instant upload to YouTube that fans abuse when he is testing new material. "It's hard to go to the clubs because people [video] tape your sh*t all the time, and before it's ready," said Rock clearly frustrated. "I don't mind if I'm at Madison Square Garden or somewhere and people want to tape it, but I'm at The Cellar working on a bit and it ain't ready. Then it's on YouTube!"

Rock's criticism of YouTube has been echoed by many other artists including musicians who are still working out the kinks in new material only to discover that unfinished, unperfected, and unauthorized live versions of songs have been uploaded to YouTube.

Even more outraged at this practice are the organizers of the prestigious DMC DJ battles. For several years US DMC organizer Christie Z Pabon has made the "no taping, no filming" rule at DMC DJ battles her mantra. Like clockwork at the start of every DJ battle, Pabon reminds potential offenders that by uploading, to a public forum like YouTube, a DJ battle contestant's routine without permission isn't just plain rude. It is, as she said at a recent event, endangering the featured battle DJ's chances of advancing to the next level of the competition since "their competitors will now see their routine and know what they are up against!"

In the case of stand up comedians routines been shown on YouTube without authorization Chris Rock, on last night's Daily Show interview, noted that beyond simply exposing new un-proven material that they are ruining it for everyone when they upload a stand-up routine. "No one wants to hear jokes twice. They barely want to hear them once. That's why I've always envied singers. Like Sting is still singing 'Roxanne' and getting paid," he joked noting how people just don't want to hear the same jokes again and again. It makes them "mad at you" he said. "How dare you say the same funny thing you said last year!"

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Chris Rock (2), Christie Z Pabon (30), Daily Show (3)