Tuesday, March 23, 2010

YouTube hits back at Viacom

For the most part I stay away here from writing much about the evolution of media, for a few reasons. The primary one is that I know a lot less about what's going on in that regard that a whole bunch of much smarter people.

And when I do reflect on the topic, I consider myself primarily a reporter, not an analyst and not, especially, either a champion or a basher of the new digital age. I don't, for instance, line up reflexively on either side of the big divide over how strongly copyright should, or should not, be enforced on the 'Net, although as someone whose livelihood comes from content my sympathies tend to lean toward preserving copyright -- within reasonable limits. But once again, I refer you to the last sentence in the previous paragraph.

But with this revelation, I'm inclined to root for YouTube:
Viacom's efforts to disguise its promotional use of YouTube worked so well that even its own employees could not keep track of everything it was posting or leaving up on the site. As a result, on countless occasions Viacom demanded the removal of clips that it had uploaded to YouTube, only to return later to sheepishly ask for their reinstatement. In fact, some of the very clips that Viacom is suing us over were actually uploaded by Viacom itself.

via Andrew Sullivan.


  1. Viacom says that's a 300 or so out of 63,000 clips, and that there's no evidence they were hidden from anyone. Why shouldn't Viacom use YT for promotion when everyone else does? does that excuse 63,000 acts of intentional copyright infringement? How do artists get paid if people can make money on their work and pretend to look the other way?


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