Allow Filmmakers to Publicly Showcase Music Videos on the Internet

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To whom it may concern,

We as short form filmmakers in the music video industry have recently come to a crossroads. We direct music videos in the continually dwindling music industry and as of this week have seen a large legal sweep of our work across the video streaming platform Vimeo. Vimeo has served as the main hub to showcase our work for nearly 10 years and our hosting of work, which (at least, in the case of music videos) we make for little to no fee whatsoever.

The simple fact is that pitching music videos today is the wild west, which has no regulation of any kind, unlike most advertising work that is done in some type of bid structure. We don’t know how many directors we are pitching against. We don’t know who they are. We don’t hear back from commissioners for many weeks. Budgets are tiny. Most can not make a living. The list of grievances go on and on.

I understand that some of these things are unfixable, maybe primarily the budgets. We may not be able to demand more money from an industry that simply doesn’t have more money to spare, especially as much more videos get made, the slices of the pie get much smaller. Additionally, while we have been discussing unionization internally, this letter is not about that.

Our ability to simply present our work as our own is coming under fire. This is perhaps the most basic reason why any of us do music videos to begin with, beyond the fact that we love them.

We put our blood, sweat, tears, and in many case our own money into these videos because we love music and we love the idea that we can have creative freedom (in some cases) to create things and have a platform for people to see them on a large scale. Sometimes (often) this is the first step a budding director has to get noticed because we can directly attribute the work we do, on a public scale, to ourselves. This seems like something that should be a right of a creator. We create to reach people. This is a director’s job, to emotionally connect with an audience, and to be attributed to that work. We can not have this ideal be put into jeopardy, as this is the core tenant of why all of us ever wanted to be directors in the first place.

We are writing this letter to ask Vimeo, our reps, production companies, record labels, commissioners, artists, and media companies to allow us to have a reserved right to be able to publish our work under our names and to be free from prosecution and removal, in a public space. We have as much right as the artists to the work we make for them. We are artists too.

Please don’t further alienate directors in the music video industry. We want to keep creating.


International Music Video Filmmakers