Yesterday’s post about Viacom suing Google brought a couple dozen fantastic debate points. You can rest assured that Viacom’s public relations team is doing a “word of mouth” audit (using Buzzmetrics or another player) and that your quotes are being read by nervous spokespeople.
I was amused by at Slashdot in which one individual suggested Google should remove all Viacom properties from its search results! Richard Brandt, a blogger and journalist who is writing a book on Google, predicts Viacom will settle for $500 million.
Incidentally, I started my online video obsession with Revver and uploaded about 2 dozen videos with copyrighted music. Revver’s CEO, Steven Starr, called me one day and explained why the site is vigilant about copyrighted material. He explained how, in the end, I’d want the protection of copyright for my content. I was so compelled with his rationale that I voluntarily pulled videos down and resubmitted them with Garageband music. A couple weeks ago I used a company’s logo on a Revver video, and Revver received a hostile letter from the logo’s owner (and you know who you are, bastards). Again- I pulled the video down quickly and apologized to Revver.
Now my rule of thumb is simple: If a copyrighted song will dramatically help a video, I’ll use it as a score. But I never do it for a video that I think might have a shelf life, and I accept 5 risks.
- It probably won’t get featured.
- I won’t be able to use it on Revver or any shared-revenue site.
- It’s not likely to get used on a television network.
- I’ll probably have to delete it when Google/YouTube start revenue sharing
- It’s possible that individually I could be sued (remember, folks, Google’s not going to take all the bullets here).
That being said, I think Viacom is tarnishing its public image by acting like a scorned girlfriend.
It’s understandable that it feels robbed, frustrated and a bit frightened. In the end, it has an obligation to protect its content. Here’s what gets me. How in the WORLD can it point to a loss of revenue?
- Remember Viacom. We’re watching more television since online video arrived. Not less.
- Most stolen clips on YouTube are too short to cannibalize viewership
- Online videos have probably been the best marketing tool for television that ever existed
I once did a video with my son laughing at “The Office” (probably my favorite television show). The video is about my son’s reaction to a brief clip. I contacted the network numerous times to get their approval to put this online and didn’t get the courtesy of a response. To thee I say… “lighten up, Francis.” Dang. I can’t find that clip from Stripes on YouTube.