Music demos youtube

I don’t watch music videos on youtube anymore because I don’t feel that most of the people who upload them have the copyrights to do so. Today I was on Rolling Stone magazine website reading an article about an artist whose new album is coming out in October, and it is going to be made up of songs which were on demos that the artist herself found again on youtube–demos which had been lost, stolen, or borrowed over the years. The artist’s fans have been asking her to record these demo songs for years, and so she finally agreed to record an album of demo songs. So on this Rolling Stone magazine website, there was a youtube recording of one of the demos. I thought, "Well surely a famous magazine like Rolling Stone would not put a video on its website if it were illegal to do so, so I clicked on the demo recording and started listening to it. But I began to feel uneasy–almost sick inside–thinking maybe this was a mortal sin for me to listen to the recording. But then I thought, “No, I need to sit through this anxiety in order to get over my scruples,” and so I did, but the whole time I was worried that I might be sinning. A lot of times when I feel I shouldn’t do something, it turns out in fact to be a venial sin after I ask a priest or another Catholic to help me discern. Could this have been a venial sin because I went against what my conscience was telling me? I’m afraid it may have been mortal, but since I was thinking that a reputable magazine probably wouldn’t put something on their website that was copyright infringed that I didn’t have full knowledge. Any thoughts on this?

Veronica, you need to get counseling for your scrupulosity. Ask your pastor for advice.

Secondarily, don’t rely on a liberal magazine like Rolling Stone for moral advice. That is the very last place to look.

Hi Veronica.

I am not really sure what you are getting at but the music biz is very very litigeous and if anything is borrowed or stolen there will be an army of lawyers pursuing the case.

I’m not sure what you mean about demos.

Some people do put original songs on youtube and by doing that they give permission for private use.
If anybody wants to use the work in a commercial sense they would have to contact the originator of the work.

Don’t feel guilty about listening to stuff on youtube.

If you see something called a Third Party Notice that means there is a question about copyright but it’s not your problem.

I.m not a lawyer.


Demos are songs that are recorded with very basic drums or synthesizer in the background–just the very basic song–and then later they are recorded in the studio with full instruments/background singers, etc. if they are chosen to be put on an album. The artist in question chose not to put the demo songs on previous albums; however, over the years the demos have been lost/stolen/borrowed and ended up on youtube, where fans have listened to them. The fans have been asking the artist to re-record the demo songs and put them on an album, and she has finally obliged. The album will be out next fall. Meanwhile, this is big music news, and so Rolling Stone magazine online had an article about this and they posted one of the demo songs on their website, which I clicked on and was afraid it might be sinful to listen to it. However, I figured that a nationally known magazine would not have put the youtube sound clip on their website if it broke copyright laws. Still, I worried the whole time I was listening to it that I was sinning. Does this make any sense now?

Hi Veronica,

I do understand now.

I own and run a recording studio so I know what demo’s are I just wasn’t sure what context you were using the word in.

I have to say though that I am amazed at your purity of heart concerning intellectual property and if more people were like you there wouldn’t be a problem with illegal downloading ect,


Paul gives good advice. You should talk to your priest about scrupulosity.

Rolling Stone would not open themselves up to litigation by illegally posting demo clips on their YouTube channel. It’s fair to assume they have the necessary permission.

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