Greater Vision launches YouTube channel

In the past, Gerald Wolfe, lead singer of Greater Vision, has expressed his concerns with video footage of his group being posted on YouTube. Noting that Greater Vision recently launched their own YouTube channel, I recently inquired about his current views.

Today, as in the past, he does not want fans posting footage from his professionally produced videos. He says: “Over the years, our initial capital outlay to produce a good video has continued to increase, so to have it uploaded to the web by someone, without asking permission, is very frustrating. I’ve come to realize a lot of ‘video posters’ take the ‘it’s easier to get forgiveness than permission’ approach, and they don’t consider the copyright issues before they ‘rip and post.’ If they asked, they would discover that we love the publicity that comes from video clips being available on the web, but having the opportunity to pick and choose what’s ‘out there,’ while staying within the guidelines of copyright and privacy laws is very important to me…as it should be to every individual. I’m sure there are video clips of you, and anyone else reading this, that you would rather not have posted on the internet, without your approval.”

Since Greater Vision’s new channel includes some amateur live concert footage, I asked him if he was now comfortable with fans posting handheld camera live concert videos. He replied: “Not really. I’m never really satisfied with the quality of most of the You Tube recordings I see. However, I’ve learned you can put all the signs on the doors you want, but people are gonna do what they’re gonna do. … Having said that, I do see the value in having those ‘candid cameras’ in the audience, in case one of those ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ things happens. I just wish people would let us see the videos before they post them.”

“I strongly believe in the promotional value of You Tube,” he continues. “That’s why we created our own channel, where we post video clips from the road, recording sessions, and promotional clips. In a perfect world, fans (I really don’t like that word) would send us their GV clips to post on our channel. A ‘one-stop-shop,’ if you will.”

If you have Greater Vision concert footage you’d like to see on YouTube, you can contact the group regarding submitting it for their channel at

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36 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. Honest and classy, as always, is Gerald Wolfe. Can’t wait to hear that new project.

  2. Sorry for changing the subject from Greater Vision, but what does everyone think proper etiquette is when you want to video a concert? I realize some people do take the “forgiveness is easier than permission” route, but I’m not that brave. LOL

    I try to ask about videoing before a concert begins. If I cannot catch a group member before, I always mention afterwards that I hope they didn’t mind that I recorded and ask how they feel about posting to you tube. Some groups (the Perrys) don’t seem to mind at all. Mercy’s Well said technically they were supposed to say no, but go ahead if it is just for personal use. Greater Vision has always been conservative about it, usually saying it is okay to video a few songs, but they’d rather it not be on you tube.

    One time, I asked before hand to record a concert and received the okay. After the concert, a member of the group was waiting for me outside and asked me not to share the video. It wasn’t that they were bad, they simply did not want that concert (a new member’s debut) on you tube.

    • Brandon, I remember specifically the group you are talking about and the member in particular (who ended up being fairly short-lived).

    • As a moderator, I’m going to rule that discussion about when and when not to film concerts is sufficiently germane to the topic at hand.


      It’s pretty simple: Proper etiquette is to ask first.

    • My thought was, if Brandon had not asked, the group wouldn’t have been able to express that preference. It has to increase peace of mind all the way around when communication is clear and up-front like that.

    • It’s pretty simple…ask well in advance.

      The last time I shot a video of a group, I communicated with the owner two or three weeks in advance.

      The other proper thing to do is develop your skill enough so the performer won’t be embarrassed by the result. Riding the zoom in and out, bouncing and swinging the camera around, and shooting from a position where the audio isn’t going to be capture clearly reflect poorly on the group.

  3. Anything I post, be it an audio clip, or I take A LOT of video, I just love to film things. I ALWAYS get permission. Some groups don’t care…Brian Lester and Libbi Stuffle have both expressed they love it. But other groups, I’ll use Steve Ladd for example is very meticulous about what he’ll let me post, which is fun because I love to edit. I understand where he’s coming from too. he dosen’t want his whole concert posted, because, as most groups, he tends to say the same things sometimes and if you’re watching on youtube, you’re not going to the concert.

    That being said, I see Gerald’s POV as well. They shell out a lot of money for those professional videoes and Greater Vision, although its a ministry, It’s still a business and if they’re just getting them from youtube, they’re losing business revenue.

  4. Daniel, I tried your link to GV’s YouTube channel and got a message from YouTube that the page could not be found. I also did a search for the channel on YouTube and could not find it.

    • Sorry – it should be fixed now.

  5. Greater Vision has had a YouTube page for quiet some time, I believe. Their oldest video was uploaded 9 months ago, and the account was set long before that. Just sayin!

    The proper etiquette would definitely be to ask. I’ve uploaded nearly 100 videos in the last 2 years and, to the best of my recollection, I have gotten permission from each of the artists that I’ve uploaded. My policy has always been “It’s YOUR music. I want to help, not hurt. I won’t upload if you don’t want me to.” .
    I don’t claim to be an expert, but I can tell if a group isn’t up to their own standards on a particular song (bad night, forgot a line, etc.), so I do my best to not upload videos that put a group in a bad light if viewed by a first-timer or a skeptic…

    I have on several occasions contacted Scott Fowler about posting a clip of Legacy Five when I thought that he might rather not have it on the web. On one occasion, it was perfectly fine, and on another occasion he asked that the clip not be put on YouTube for the sake of not spoiling their routine. If there is EVER a question, simply email the artist! It’s just the right thing to do.

    I strongly disagree with the “Ask for forgiveness rather than permission” approach. If you don’t have the guts to ask the artist(either at the concert or by email), then you shouldn’t be posting anything. Ask the artist, and respect their wishes. They will appreciate it!

    • Naomi – I know they’ve had the channel for a little while.

      For me, the crux of the story after the email exchange was that Greater Vision would prefer that live concert clips be submitted to them to be posted on their channel – and that they welcome submissions. This was the best way I could think of to deliver that story.

      • I gotcha. Just saying in case by some miraculous turn of events you had missed that little detail (or that it was “Once in a Blue Moon” Day) πŸ˜‰ .

        It was great to hear Greater Vision’s feelings about YouTube from the man himself… Getting a direct statement like that should be really helpful… Now that people know how GV feels maybe they will respond accordingly, instead of going with the “They probably won’t mind” option. Kudos to you for asking the big question, and to Gerald for responding. πŸ™‚

      • Totally agreed – I’m hoping that putting this out there will lead loyal fans to respond accordingly.

  6. Of course, Gerald is free to feel however he wants and to state it. I do want to offer some food for thought in terms of someone submitting the videos to them for their channel. First, there may be several versions of the same song on You Tube. I doubt that Greater Vision would want several variations on their channel, and yet those can be interesting to see. Secondly, when membership changes happen, perhaps their channel would not keep as many past performances (though I don’t know this). Thirdly (although really the first thing I thought of here), someone might find Greater Vision stuff on someone with a lot of SG and “discover” them. If on Greater Vision’s channel, they would have to either search for a particular song or search by artist name. So, it seems to me that someone like a few of the people on You Tube that have tons of videos might get them some new fans much the way Various Artist CDs can.

    Speaking of VA CDs, I discovered Randy Stonehill and a wonderful song on a freebie (with purchase) V.A. cassette in the early nineties (“Old Clothes” by the way). I never found another song of his I liked, but I did buy the CD that song was on hoping to.

    • While I agree there may be some value to them to having songs on channels with huge subscriber bases (at least by our genre’s standards), we should work from a default assumption to only post through them unless that channel has made separate arrangements.

      • I don’t even have a channel, and I don’t record video at concerts, so I have no dog in this fight for the most part. I am just saying that if Gerald hasn’t considered these things, he should. If he has and still prefers to have the videos himself, then that is his prerogative.

  7. Just so you guys know, I deleted the two professional Greater Vision videos I had on my Youtube page (one from an older NQC video, and the other from a newer Gaither video.

    I am also considering deleting the rest of my 200+ videos, except for ones I’ve recorded myself.

    • Josh,

      I really respect that.

      At the same time, if you get all the necessary permissions, I also highly respect efforts to promote SG on YouTube with permission.

  8. I think one important point Gerald makes here isn’t getting as much play. Most of the discussion is revolving around posting of concert footage, and getting permission, etc. One thing Gerald points out that sometimes we lose sight of is that posting clips of commercial video footage may or may not have a negative effect financially for the groups, but it is definitely illegal. That should settle it right there. Maybe it isn’t a law that is enforced much, but it is still law.

    • Agreed. (Some people do enforce it, though I’ve never heard of it going as far as a lawsuit in our genre.)

    • Just out of curiosity…

      Have you ever driven a mile over the speed limit? That is illegal as well. But I’d venture to say that at least 95% of the readership here has.

      (Sorry, I know I crossed the line into off-topicdom. I’m finished.)

      • Well, I’ll permit the one off-topic question and answer, since I said at the outset that I’d allow brief detours.

        I scrupulously seek to follow the speed limit. And that’s not just lip service, either. Any times I’ve been over would be quite rare. That said, there have been a few tight spots with highly erratic drivers or a threat of an accident where I have briefly gunned the gas to avoid an accident.

      • Yes, I have, and yes, that is illegal, and yes, that means I shouldn’t do it. That can be a tough one when it seems that about 90% of the time you are actually safer when you are exceeding the limit.

      • When I was a new driver, I once put myself and my passenger in serious danger on the highway by slowing down quickly after passing a truck, because I was speeding.

      • Josh…you are THE MAN…for stepping up to the plate and taking down those copyrighted clips! I really respect that.

        I have to jokingly comment about the “speeding” comparison…you’re speeding doesn’t have a negative effect on someone else’s livelihood. However, it could most definitely have a negative effect on yours. πŸ™‚

      • Sorry about the mis-used word (you’re) instead of (Your). Typing while riding through the West Virginia mountains effects one’s clarity of thought. πŸ™‚

  9. Somewhat on-topic: I know how the artists feel, because people copy/steal the posts here every now and then. Sometimes, if it’s clearly an automated spam site, I consider DMCA takedown notices. But if it’s a real person, I generally say nothing or even find something nice to say (accuracy of quote if nothing else!)

    It’s the same conundrum the artists faceβ€”on the one hand, I appreciate that people care enough about what I say to want to copy it. At the same time, much like Greater Vision would rather people come to their channel to watch their music, I’d honestly much rather people came here to read my posts! πŸ™‚

    Of course, it’s fair use and standard practice when someone quotes a paragraph in a story of their own (or maybe two paragraphs from a long post). It’s just copying the entire text of one of my posts that bothers me from a copyright infringement standpoint.

    I can really respect Wolfe’s position, becauseβ€”though with a different creative mediumβ€”it’s not all that different from mine! πŸ™‚

    • I once found a review posted verbatim on someone else’s site with their name listed as the author, yet several sentences were word-for-word from a review I had written. They had copied and pasted the bulk of the review, and changed a sentence or two a little bit. (I’m fairly certain it was also sent out in a newsletter to Southern Baptists in Alabama.)

      When I complained, the editor actually had the gall to deny there were any similarities at first. When I complained more strongly in each email I sent to them, they finally pulled it from the internet.

      I’m sure similar things have happened to gospel groups.

      I remember a loud chorus of boos going up when one “pro” group “sang” the national anthem at a baseball game, but in fact were lip-syncing to the version by the Gaither Vocal Band!

      • Maybe they thought that was the GVB soundtrack. πŸ˜›

        Part of the reason this aspect is on my mind is because I caught a site copying and pasting two of my Biblical Bookshelf reviews word for word earlier this week. (Ugh.)

      • I can just see 4 guys trying to lip-sync to a 5-guy track. πŸ˜†

      • Amy,
        The “Star Spangled Banner” was recorded by a 4-man lineup of the GVB…but yeah, it would be pretty obvious either way.

      • I found a review I had written for Amazon being used in the description on eBay by a guy trying to sell that particular CD. πŸ™‚

      • What would be interesting is how they synced up for the first note or two. I suppose they could have mixed inn a count off and fed only to the monitor. πŸ™‚

  10. If I use the video function on my camera at a concert, it’s usually for 30 seconds or so. I like taking some pics, but find that trying to do the video thing really distracts from my enjoyment of the concert. So, Gerald has little to worry about from me…lol.

  11. Just as an update, I just deleted the 192 commercial SG videos off of my YouTube page. The only videos that remain are the 15 I’ve shot myself.