While the rest of us are rightfully screaming from the rooftops about the impending SOPA legislation (which would essentially make prison-bound felons of anyone embedding a YouTube clip), the big bad record labels are actually taking the lunacy a step further by declaring war on their own artists, under their own copyrights.
The major music labels always love to promote the party line that everything they do is to protect and support the artists on their roster. Universal Music in particular has a knack for these kind of rosy statements, while out of the other corner of their mouths they're having 50 Cent's own personal website declared a pirate site. Never an industry to shoot itself in the foot without taking aim at the other one as well, UMG took the extra step of Scrooging up 50 Cent's new official video, which was released on Christmas day.
What did the label do? Why, they took the video down, of course. On copyright grounds. Their own copyright. 50 Cent's own YouTube account put up the "official video" for the song "They Burn Me," but within hours, if you clicked the link for the vid, this is what you were met with:
Earlier this year, 50 Cent accused Interscope (a division of UMG) of leaking his first single and the artwork for his second single ahead of the agreed timeline. As retaliation, Jackson threatened to leak one of Dr. Dre's latest tracks, off the endlessly-delayed Detox album. He never did, but the threat undoubtedly had all the alarms blaring at the UMG attorney headquarters.
In an age of rampant & reckless domineering control by the RIAA, the major labels and the government itself, UMG takes the cake as the clearest shining examples of the clusterf*cked bureaucratic overreach of power the music industry is currently wielding. It's merely one more sign of the ever-changing tides, and the fatcat majors middlemen who've exploited artists for eight-plus decades see the fire on the horizon, they know that it's coming for them, and they're scrambling every which way they can to maintain control of the water that's slipping through their greasy little sausage fingers.
Every do-it-yourself success achieved by the likes of Radiohead, Louis C.K. or the countless others bypassing the majors for their own independent releases is a further leap of the flames, a further closing of the noose around the necks of those who have made an entire industry of gluttonous top-heavy exploitation of artists.
You can't stop progress, no matter how tight you hold your ears & close your eyes. Sabotaging your own artists will be even less effective.