If you haven’t heard, there has been a recent takedown of Vocaloid videos in Youtube, particularly Hatsune Miku videos. You can look here, here, and here for more information about this because I’m not here to repeat what was already said; I’m here to voice my opinion about Vocaloid.
First, let me give you a brief history of the popularity of Vocaloid. Vocaloid has been out even before Hatsune Miku was there. However, it’s popularity was very limited. Even when KAITO and MEIKO came out, it wasn’t very popular. There is one reason why Hatsune Miku became so popular: Nico Nico Douga. You could also say that her art allured some people, but without Nico Nico Douga, her popularity would have still been very limited. Nico Nico Douga, like Youtube, is a video sharing website in Japan. As people started posting Hatsune Miku videos, people saw the possibilities of using Hatsune Miku.
Before I continue, I should write a little about Vocaloid licenses. Any song maker can produce songs using Vocaloid, as long as they what they write is not offensive. This means that the song maker owns the rights to the music, not Yamaha (makers of Vocaloid), not Crypton Future Media (makers of Hatsune Miku), and not any other company that provides the Vocaloid voices. Of course, the composer should also give Vocaloid recognition. The exception to this licensing rule is when music is produced under some music label, when then, obviously, gives the rights of that music to that particular music label.
Now back on topic, since Nico Nico Douga is pretty much limited to Japanese speakers, Miku’s popularity was still limited to Japan. That’s where Youtube comes in. People started posting Hatsune Miku videos that were originally on NND to Youtube. Her, and consequently other Vocaloids, popularity started growing outside Japan. Even if she could only sing in Japanese (predominantly), she got attention from the rest of the world and even some media outlets.
A little off topic again: why do I like Miku and the other Vocaloids so much? One reason is that it allows anyone to produce music and broadcast it to the public. The problem today is that it is really tough for composers to get their name out. It was either you get lucky and some musician finds you, or you’re unlucky and your song doesn’t get the recognition that you would want it to get. With Vocaloid, you now have a singer to get your song heard. Of course, I have heard some bad songs, but because of Vocaloid, I have heard some great songs that I would have never heard if Vocaloid didn’t exist. This is why I’m a proponent of an English Hatsune Miku. I know that there are some people that don’t want an English voicebank on Hatsune Miku, but with an English voicebank, it allows even more people to produce music without having to tinker with Japanese phonemes. There are English Vocaloids out there, but Hatsune Miku is much more well known than those other Vocaloids.
Of course, unfortunately, when things become popular, there will always be people that try to stain its popularity. While Vocaloid becomes popular, there are some that absolutely hate Vocaloid, especially its head spokesperson, Hatsune Miku. Though not enough is not known right now, there are indications that some person or persons are taking advantage of Youtube’s reporting system and falsely reporting Vocaloid videos, particularly Hatsune Miku videos that were reposted from Nico Nico Douga. While typically these videos are not posted by the original creator, it is rare for the creator to report these videos because it does get their song out. But now, some videos are being taken down, especially popular videos that were out for several years. For those reasons, it appears to be a move to limit Hatsune Miku’s popularity by those that hate Hatsune Miku and that’s disturbing.
I do have some question to those people that purpose try to limit the popularity of Vocaloid. Why do this? I’m pretty sure that you would hate it if someone were to ban the music that you like, so why do something that you wouldn’t want happen to your music. Sure, there are some songs I don’t particularly like, but people should be allowed to listen to what they want to listen to. Do you understand why Vocaloid is out there? Sure, you might not like Miku’s voice, but as I said earlier, Vocaloid is out there to give opportunities for composers to get their name and their music out there without having to be lucky or spend tons of money for a singer. Would you like it if someone took down your music just because they didn’t like the voice or because it was too popular? And if you complain about SOPA or PIPA or ACTA so much, why do you believe in censoring Vocaloid?
I know that there are some people that won’t like what I just wrote and I don’t usually like to confront people with issues like this, but I needed to get my thoughts out.