How Your Harlem Shake Videos Makes Money for the Original Artist
From The Curious Capitalist
February 21, 2013 - 9:00am
The Harlem Shake, now two weeks into its life as America’s favorite (or most annoying) meme, has shown a surprising resilience in an age when most Internet jokes have a 24-hour shelf life. More than 4,000 videos featuring the words “Harlem Shake” were being posted per day to YouTube during the peak of the mania last week, and new versions continue to crop up. The primary element holding the videos together, which feature everything from dancing walruses to Power Rangers, is the song “Harlem Shake,” a hip-hop instrumental that sports a now-infamous beat drop about 15 seconds in. While the videos are simple fun for the thousands of people that have participated in Harlem Shakes, they’ve become an easy moneymaker for the song’s creator, Baauer, and YouTube itself. Just a few years ago, copyright lawyers likely would have shut down the Harlem Shake craze before it could really get going—you might remember Viacom’s 2007 lawsuit against Google for allowing copyright-violating videos to proliferate across YouTube. Now, though, most content creators are working with YouTube to identify copyright-violating material and monetize it instead of delete it. Through a service ca...
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