Touble ahead for You Tube?
February 22, 2006 9:25 PM   Subscribe

You've heard about YouTube's issues with NBC. It seems the words copyright violation have scared them into a stupor, as now several bloggers are complaining, and even calling for a little civil disobedience.
posted by Brittanie (22 comments total)
So... Basically one corporation (YouTube) takes popular videos owned by other corporations and individuals and posts them for download while profiting from advertising (in effect selling them)...?

I don't see how YouTube has a case? They can't really hide behind a "we didn't know" - slash - "the users did it" excuse when this type of theft is their primary money maker...

I'd be a lot more sympathetic if this was something other than a money-making scam.
posted by glider at 9:40 PM on February 22, 2006

Got any blog entries that don't involve malaprops and angry misattribution of infringement as "stealing"?

$2 for Lazy Sunday would be too much unless that includes the rights to email it all over.

And Christ, that "civil disobedience" is enough to make MLK jr. weep.
posted by klangklangston at 9:40 PM on February 22, 2006

defining civil disobedience down.
posted by Space Coyote at 9:42 PM on February 22, 2006

Still, the Ask A Ninja folks have a point. There's apparently no copyright issue, since they created the content, so what's the "inappropriate nature" at issue here? YouTube doesn't say, which is itself a little obnoxious.
posted by mediareport at 9:48 PM on February 22, 2006

It is not even civil disobedience - the flash movie in YouTube took down (Ask A Ninja: Question 10 "Ninja Metal") was actually developed by Ask A Ninja, who also owns the copyright. So, what disobedience is there in asking people (and giving them permission ) to upload the movie again?
posted by nkyad at 9:52 PM on February 22, 2006

Calacanis is just pissed he didn't think of it first, since YouTube is destined to be bought out for a lot more then weblogs inc. :")
posted by chaz at 9:53 PM on February 22, 2006

Complaning about what? NBC clearly owns the copyright, and their not happy about someone else profiting from it.

When south park first came out, the creators had not problem with people posting the episodes online, as long as they weren't putting ads up or trying to profit from it. I have no idea if that's still the case, since they're selling DVDs now.

But while some people seem to think this is a bad move on NBCs part (I don't, btw) they are clearly in the right.
posted by delmoi at 9:58 PM on February 22, 2006

So, is blogger / Google liable if someone uses their service to post too-long excerpts from copyrighted newspaper articles?

Surely they knowthat by allowing people to post text that they're just leaving themselves wide-open to copyright violation practices.
posted by Space Coyote at 10:01 PM on February 22, 2006

The point is that while it's perfectly normal and within YouTube's legal interest to remove copyrighted material, they seem to be acting a little kneejerky in AskANinja's case.
posted by Brittanie at 10:10 PM on February 22, 2006


Remember when senator stevens got an Ipod and found out he loved free shit like the rest of us, well that's going to happen to EVERYONE in the coming years. Copy right law needs to be changed, end of story.

some apropos links from boingboing.
posted by sourbrew at 10:23 PM on February 22, 2006

It's hard to understand why a company like NBC is complaining now. They don't make much money off of their online video offerings, which are always late and pricey.

If anything YouTube's clips might make people think about watching SNL again, which I'm sure has dropped in viewers of late. NBC should be kissing YouTube's arse. (Or buying them)
posted by Dag Maggot at 10:24 PM on February 22, 2006

If somebody posts copyrighted material to a Blogger blog, Google can expect to get a DMCA notice, after which they will remove the content. Check the Chilling Effects Clearinghouse for details.
posted by aaronetc at 10:57 PM on February 22, 2006

Someone explain to me how YouTube differs from eBaums World in this respect.
posted by sourwookie at 11:56 PM on February 22, 2006

I think it's clear that NBC were within their legal rights -- and that Calacanis is right, that YouTube is only a success because people have been uploading professionally-created material in addition to the usual Jackass ripoffs and Star Wars Kids.

It's also clear that NBC has its head up its ass. They should have all their sketches available for free download with an ad -- yes. Lazy Sunday should be free -- yes.

The coolest YouTube feature, though, was the ability to post a working, clickable video link embedded in your own page. MySpace shows that this is going to be phenomenally popular. NBC should be figuring out how to make more Lazy Sunday videos that people can embed, and then use that to drive traffic to their ad-supported site.

No, I don't think most sketches will be sellable at $1 per, which seems to be the comfort floor for corporate product. Maybe a bundle of an actor's stuff or an ongoing series of sketches/characters. So they're not limited to the ad model.

But Weekend Update should go independent a la Rocketboom. At least as long as they've got Tina Fey ...
posted by dhartung at 12:06 AM on February 23, 2006

YouTube is a good company doing things the right way, taking down copywritten content when they are requested to do so. It seems silly to complain that they're all about piracy, but not to lodge similar complaints about weblog apps, all of which routinely are used to share copywritten content. Hell... why not blame Usenet, Email, FTP, and HTML too, while you're at it?

The way I see it, they could very well help create a profitable business model for such content, if the content owners get a clue.
posted by insomnia_lj at 12:19 AM on February 23, 2006

I think the real issue here is that somehow the idea of a common carrier needs to be built into the law. There needs to be a way for a business to be able to provide a service which can be used for legitimate purposes and not be responsible when someone abuses it. That's where 95% of these problems arise. The party breaking the law isn't YouTube, it's the people posting the copywrited videos. NBC has a gripe with the posters not with YouTube.

Clearly legal action by NBC would result in the posting being taken down but this shouldn't be the responsibility of YouTube. It should be the responsibility of the poster who put it up there in the first place. This will make life harder for NBC but... thems the breaks.
posted by joegester at 1:13 AM on February 23, 2006

Someone explain to me how YouTube differs from eBaums World in this respect.

YouTube don't seem to be malicious assholes.
posted by smackfu at 6:16 AM on February 23, 2006

YouTube doesn't pretend the content is original.
posted by sonofsamiam at 7:06 AM on February 23, 2006

I just use the NBC YouTube alternative. Oh wait, there isn't one.
posted by iamck at 8:48 AM on February 23, 2006

What about the home videos people post that features copy protected music?

I have seen a ton of video clips of people shaking their arse to the Black Eyed Peas song "My Hump"

Can a record label get in on this?
posted by hpsell at 10:40 AM on February 23, 2006

Yup, if they want. But they're just a micron smarter than NBC.
posted by klangklangston at 11:46 AM on February 23, 2006

Followup: YouTube apologizes, restores video.
posted by Brittanie at 4:52 PM on February 23, 2006

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