Over the past three decades, Guns N’ Roses has been one of the best-known bands in the world.
When it started in the mid-eighties most music was still sold on cassettes, while the World Wide Web has yet to be invented.
Today the web is the major driver of revenue when it comes to recorded music. However, it also poses quite a few challenges, especially when it comes to copyright.
Guns N’ Roses’ entourage appears to be particularly concerned with these rights, up to a point where it has started to annoy fans. Over the past several months, many people have had their bootleg concert recordings removed from YouTube, Instagram and elsewhere.
“My YouTube account I’ve had for 15 years was terminated on Thursday of last week. Roughly 20 GNR videos I’ve filmed from 2011-2016 were flagged and removed,” one fan wrote a few weeks ago.
These copyright takedowns don’t just affect full-length recordings. Smaller clips were apparently removed as well. Interestingly, even Meegan Hodges, the girlfriend of guitarist Slash, had some of her clips removed.
“I’m just putting this up to see if my video is taken down. Noticed that some are just gone. Hello Instagram I took this video. #iamwiththeband no seriously what’s up?” she wrote a few days ago
The band is of course completely within its right to remove unauthorized recordings. Even from Slash’s girlfriend, if she didn’t obtain explicit permission. That said, going after short clips can do more harm than good as it usually only upsets and annoys the fanbase.
In response to the removals, a subgroup of fans appears to have revolted. Some continued to publish concert footage on alternative outlets, such as Pornhub, for example.
While there will always be workarounds, the whole episode clearly signaled that fans shouldn’t post any Guns N’ Roses footage online. Those who do, risk strikes and bans from YouTube, Instagram, or even Twitter.
Just when this idea started to sink in, Guns N’ Roses posted a rather surprising request this week, as highlighted by Guns N’ Roses Central. On Twitter, the band asked fans to share concert footage, which may then be included in the official tour video.
“Tag us in your videos from this tour to be part of the #NotInThisLifetime 2019 final tour video,” the band tweeted.
Needless to say, this request came as a surprise to many fans. First, they were actively hunted down for sharing concert video, and now the band wants them to share footage online?
As a result, fans were quite reserved with their responses. Some indeed posted short clips but many others suggested that this could be some kind of trap. At the very least, it’s not a well thought out plan.
“Yes, this will make it easier for you to demand that your fans remove their videos of you from the internet. Is your assistant getting tired of searching for copyright violations?” Claire replied.
“Is this ‘let s see how stupid our fans are’ contest? We re not making music we’re deleting our fans accounts, we’re @gunsnroses,” Jaro notes.
“So you can block them?? Sort yourselves out and do something for the fans for once,” Jan adds.
While the takedown requests are not being issued by the band directly, it’s clear that some fans are not happy with the request. While it’s most likely not an intentional trap, it could be an inadvertent one when followers get flagged by automated bots or overactive takedown outfits.
Considering the takedown outrage among many dedicated fans over the past few months, this week’s request to share footage certainly wasn’t well thought out.