DRM Lite- Proceed With Caution

Techcrunch announces that Warner Music Group will allow its music to be used in YouTube videos, but retain the right to yank it if it chooses.

…the caveat that Warner will have effective veto power over videos using their music is particularly interesting. In effect it’s just a technological realization of the long standing policy reality – YouTube has willingly pulled copyrighted content on request for some time. While DRM has been understood as a prerequisite for online distribution of major label content, this announcement seems to indicate a switch in responsibilities. Instead of the distributor locking down the content by default, use is open by default and can be closed at the rights holder’s discretion. It’s a very real recognition of the promotional power of copyrighted content being reused in original art.

This is progress, but I wouldn’t advise you to use the tunes in your next video. There are two issues. First, I doubt many pay-for-content sites (Revver, Metacafe) will have the same arrangement with Warner Music Group (click to see labels it represents). I hope I’m wrong. Second- this will limit the videos syndication beyond YouTube because you’re not effectively the owner of the content when Warner Brothers has a “veto” clause.

4 Replies to “DRM Lite- Proceed With Caution”

  1. That’s going to mess up my YouTube demise prediction. And the recent flops in revenue-sharing sites is also going to extend YouTube’s life expectancy. Can I change my prediction to November 22, 2007?

  2. Wow. Yes- you can revise yours. Post it to the page. But you have to officially release the previous prediction. And I’m thinking you’re giving YouTube far more credit that it deserves. Remember- the “bust” isn’t them going out of business. They probably won’t ever go out of business. It’s softer than that based on the criteria we set. One negative (“Can it Survive” headline suffices) Newsweek cover story and the milestone is complete.

  3. If YouTube completely changes the way it works, will that count too?

    Anyway, I’m going to start making videos making fun of Warner Bros by using their music somehow. Actually, I won’t, because that will be a waste of time.

    Check your e-mail about a fax question I have!

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