News: I was watching Nightline last night and heard about this amazing group of 5th graders at PS22 who sing in a chorus at school in Staten Island, New York. Their music teacher is Gregg Breinberg. They’ve received several million views on YouTube and have drawn attention from media and musicians alike through their postings on YouTube. Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac reportedly cried listening to this video of “Landslide” and invited the students to her concert today.
Analysis: I have received many complaints on how YouTube has gone downhill to a commercialized site filled with unispired videos. While that may be happening, the PS22 videos reminded me of the amazing creative amateur spirit that first pervaded YouTube. Thanks for the reminder, kids. You are the best thing on YouTube right now.
Footnote: The always IP-sensitive Techdirt blog wonders whether the RIAA will send YouTube a DMCA notice of alleged copyright infringement to shut down the kids’ performance of copyrighted music. Well, by the positive reaction from Stevie Nicks and Tori Amos to the kids’ performance of their songs, I seriously doubt it. I have written extensively about how “informal copyright practices” fill in the gaps in copyright law, such as here where no formal license has apparently been granted but it appears the practice is accepted by the copyright holders. You can download my article “Warming Up to User-Generated Content” by clicking here.