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Jon Stewart, Lorne Michaels Come Out In Favour of YouTube

Zonk posted about 7 years ago | from the somebody-has-to-right dept.

Google 114

techdirt writes "Viacom employee Jon Stewart recently announced that he believes his bosses are making a mistake in taking Viacom content off of YouTube. Today, NBC employee and Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels has stated he can't understand NBC's position on YouTube. The interview with Michaels is especially interesting, because it was a Saturday Night Live clip of the infamous 'Lazy Sunday' music video that is often credited with putting YouTube on the map. At the same time, however, almost everyone admitted that it did wonders in revitalizing SNL's reputation (as well as boosting Andy Samberg's reputation to new heights). Yet, NBC's lawyers shot it down, limiting the benefit to SNL. It appears that Michaels understands that, and says he wishes they could put more of the show on YouTube."

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114 comments

he is not privy? (1)

donut1005 (982510) | about 7 years ago | (#18729261)

Lorne Michaels + Out of the loop = me crazy suspicious

Re:he is not privy? (1)

maxume (22995) | about 7 years ago | (#18730511)

He runs a show that gets fairly good ratings for its time slot. It wouldn't hurt NBC a whole lot if the show just disappeared. He isn't 'powerful'.

Re:he is not privy? (1)

idobi (820896) | about 7 years ago | (#18731633)

He runs a show that gets fairly good ratings for its time slot. It wouldn't hurt NBC a whole lot if the show just disappeared. He isn't 'powerful'.

You mean Late Night with Conan O'Brien? and 30 Rock? and the other 5 tv shows he has in pre-production for next season?

Re:he is not privy? (1)

maxume (22995) | about 7 years ago | (#18731819)

Are you sure he produces Conan? There is reason to believe otherwise(I can believe he was involved in getting it started):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conaco [wikipedia.org]

(and I guess you were implying that 30 Rock doesn't do that well for its time slot, ya know, against CSI and Grey's Anatomy?)

Re:he is not privy? (1)

idobi (820896) | about 7 years ago | (#18733527)

I was actually referring to your statement that he isn't "powerful". He's listed as executive producer on both 30 Rock and Conan. The point is that he can still pick up the phone and get things done. And quickly. That's power in television.

poof (4, Funny)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | about 7 years ago | (#18729263)

The reference YouTube clip has already been removed, and I'm among the first 10 posts here.

Feh.

Re:poof (2, Informative)

Short Circuit (52384) | about 7 years ago | (#18729269)

It was removed weeks ago, back when Viacom asked Google to remove all Viacom content from Youtube.

Of course, Viacom went on to sue Google anyway...

Re:poof (5, Informative)

plasmacutter (901737) | about 7 years ago | (#18729835)

I don't think it worked that way.

from what i remember reading, viacom made a blanket request for google to remove all viacom content from youtube without specifying any shows or videos.. essentially they said "do our work for us".

google refused to do this, and asked them to identify each clip in takedown notices as per the dmca.

viacom acted like a spoiled child denied his ninja turtle action figure and threw a tantrum, and is now sueing google with a more or less meritless case.

Re:poof (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18730541)

YES! Exactly what happened. Everyone beats up on Google to follow the DMCA but Viacom sez 'um, just delete everything that belongs to us'. The established law in the US follows certain guidelines, but hey, Viacom feels entitled to scoot around them and so there. Google lawyers ain't stupid eh.

Re:poof (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | about 7 years ago | (#18731537)

I can't find the links anymore, but I distinctly recall reading about Google staff spending a weekend working on the content removal.

Re:poof (1)

Mistlefoot (636417) | about 7 years ago | (#18729597)

The second video works fine though.

I am still wondering where Jon Stewart, as per the article, " announced that he believes his bosses are making a mistake". Stewart says "But to me, the situation is that there's a ton to gain for both companies. Viacom, they put their content on YouTube, it gets exposure, people know about their programming... it's a win for everybody in this situation." Jon Stewart questions everything and uses sarcasm often.

This article could have as easily been titled "Jon Stewart comes out against music piracy". When his 'correspondent' mentions downloading music for free Stewart chimes in with "Um, you do have to pay for music".

Now don't get me wrong - I do think that Stewart was questioning Viacom's decision but this sure wasn't as "announcement." And I do recall watching Stewart a week or two back wondering why Viacom should pay to produce all this content while someone else makes money offering it online for free.

Denial (2, Insightful)

Kaleo (1041478) | about 7 years ago | (#18729275)

People always accuse big corporations of not caring about the customer. Now it seems like they don't even care about the success of their own products. The posting of the SNL material clearly helped NBC. It sounds like the corporation is in denial over that.

Re:Denial (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18729303)

The posting of the SNL material clearly helped NBC.

How? The ratings for SNL haven't changed, whereas YouTube rose to popularity due, in large part, to the "Lazy Sunday" clip. NBC hasn't been helped in any way, shape, or form.

Re:Denial (1)

iminplaya (723125) | about 7 years ago | (#18729307)

The value of a product is directly related to its scarcity.

Re:Denial (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18729387)

Thing is, the opposite is true with TV shows. SNL wouldn't be hugely popular if it was broadcast at 4:30 am (forced scarcity of eyeballs).

Re:Denial (1)

iminplaya (723125) | about 7 years ago | (#18729403)

Of course not, but if you're watching your own copy, you're not watching their ads (TiVO not withstanding). NBC gets their money from ads, not the show.

Re:Denial (3, Insightful)

stunt_penguin (906223) | about 7 years ago | (#18731119)

Bollocks. To a TV executive (except those in the BBC) the value of a TV show is directly proportionate to how many people watch it, and how much people will pay for advertising during that show. Clips on Youtube bring in viewers. I wouldn't be a Daily Show regular if I hadn't seen it on youtube. I sure as fuck didn't pick it up on Comedy Central's crappy video player system.

Re:Denial (1)

Hachey (809077) | about 7 years ago | (#18732859)

Thats right. You can't possible tell me that Dick in a Box [vidmeter.com] of SNL's that currently is the 3rd most watched video of all time on the internet didn't help SNL's TV ratings.

Re:Denial (1)

iminplaya (723125) | about 7 years ago | (#18733945)

That's all fine and dandy, but that's not the way they see it. They put copyright on the books to acquire total control of how and when and where you see their product. They look for stability. They can't work in an unpredictable market. Rightly or wrongly, they feel that this control will provide the desired stability in the market. Of course I disagree with them and don't approve of the true nature of IP law. But money and guns speak louder than words. This will all go away when people realize the true intent of the law and vote accordingly to have it abolished. For now the status quo will stand.

Far from it (4, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | about 7 years ago | (#18729621)

What is happening is that the networks are wanting to prevent GOOGLE from owning them. Google is not a search. Google is an ad engine. They were iindirect competition against the networks, but with youtube, are now direct competition. The real problem here is that these companies are thinking like typical American companies. They do not want to be a big fish in an ocean. They wish to be what they consider a whale in a lake. Viacom and others are now working with several youtube wanna-bes because THEY are part owners of these companies. The media companies are hoping to own not just the content but the deliver system.

Imagine what would have happened had RIAA simply created a new company against napster back when napster first started AND then shut down napster? Today, it would be a mosnter. As it is, RIAA is probably in danger of having the musicians do their own thing, rather than go with a label. MPAA is part of that, and are now taking a different approach. BTW, they are also concerned that the young talent is slowly drifting away from them. If they are stuck making Barbi as Cinderella, or Escape from LA, while the indies run off elsewhere, then the studies will be in serious trouble.

Re:Far from it (1)

krotkruton (967718) | about 7 years ago | (#18729727)

I agree with you on your overall point, but I don't think you can compare this to the Napster vs. RIAA theme you stated (although I'm not sure you were actually trying to say the two are the same). The problem now is that companies like Viacom are trying to hook up with smaller companies to create rivals to YouTube, which probably won't work. There isn't a lot of incentive for people to head to 10 different sites to watch their favorite TV clips when they can go to YouTube and see them all. I would argue that the big media companies are making the same mistake that the RIAA did in that they are trying to define how people watch media, when people have already dictated how they want to see it. The people have spoken, and they want to watch YouTube (I don't really give a shit whether YouTube is the big winner, but it just seems to me that that is what the average tv-on-the-internet viewer uses).

Re:Far from it (1)

drsquare (530038) | about 7 years ago | (#18731939)

So effectively, Google are making ad revenue from Viacom's content. Why don't Google create their own content rather than pirating someone else's?

Re:Denial (1)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | about 7 years ago | (#18730485)

How did it help NBC? Some other company was taking the ad revenues for a show they paid for. Only if you make some huge assumptions, like people who watch a show on YouTube then go watch it again (with the ads) on an actual TV, does it help NBC. Somebody else posted that SNL ratings didn't change despite the growing popularity of YouTube, so it seems like it didn't really help them.

Now having said that, I suspect a lot of the YouTube traffic is for people outside of the states who can't watch the shows on a regular TV anyway. These days I watch the Daily Show on the comedy central website, because it's not syndicated where I live (or not that I know of, anyway). I don't mind CC doing their own video streaming - it's more or less the same as what you'd see on YouTube anyway, but with ads owned by CC itself.

Re:Denial (3, Informative)

Waffle Iron (339739) | about 7 years ago | (#18730887)

A show like SNL is dead if it loses any vestige of a "cool" factor. SNL had lost its big-name cast members like Will Farrell a couple of years prior, and was in one of its many periodic doldrums. This clip made millions of people aware that they had recently hired a group of new cast members that actually have a good deal of potential (although IMO the writing since then has not usually been up to par with the potential talent of the cast).

The clip and the hype around it really kept SNL from falling off the radar screen for a lot of people. The ratings didn't drop, which they very well might have in light of the strong competition like the Daily Show and its ilk that's saturating cable these days. The clip was a strong generator of buzz in a market where buzz is vitally important for survival.

Yeah, its called viral marketing (5, Insightful)

Prophetic_Truth (822032) | about 7 years ago | (#18729289)

You see something that you don't perceive as an advertisement, and because of that it has a better effect than had it been an advertisement. If you enjoy a grainy 5 minute clip from a show on YouTube, it might entice you to check it out on your television. Especially if it's referred to you by a friend, then its a whole social dynamic that advertising begs to capture. Word of mouth is powerful, because people generally respect a personal opinion more so than a fake corporate one.

Re:Yeah, its called viral marketing (1)

JonJ (907502) | about 7 years ago | (#18729647)

True. I didn't even know who George Carlin was until I saw him on youtube. Now I own both Life is worth losing and Complaints and Grievances.

Re:Yeah, its called viral marketing (2, Interesting)

natrius (642724) | about 7 years ago | (#18729665)

It seems like everyone realizes what you're saying except the business people and the lawyers. For some reason, they think that content consumption is a zero sum game and that it's only beneficial to them if they're directly profiting off of it. It's not a big problem though. It's orders of magnitude easier for creators to get their work out to the public now, and the internet is getting a larger and larger share of audience attention. If they continue to keep bottling things up, people will just watch the content that's available to them online instead of trying to work their lives around the schedules of the TV shows they want to watch.

Re:Yeah, its called viral marketing (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | about 7 years ago | (#18729845)

oh they realize it... remember "gore's penguin army" being traced back to a major PR firm (clients including the oil industry)?

Re:Yeah, its called viral marketing (1)

QuantumG (50515) | about 7 years ago | (#18729713)

I prefer to think that "viral marketing" refers to faking word of mouth. Ya know, paying people to astroturf for you in the hope that people will pass on what they've heard without sampling it themselves.

There is something wrong with pay for comment. It's a kind of fraud in my book. You're telling people you've independantly come to a decision which you'd like to share where in fact you haven't.

As such, when every celebrity gets up on tv and says that X product is the best, when they don't actually believe that, I really do think they are doing something unethical. Every celebrity who says some product tastes great should be hooked up to a polygraph or an MRI machine and made to eat/drink it.

Re:Yeah, its called viral marketing (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | about 7 years ago | (#18729889)

well.. astroturfing is the proper term for it.

viral marketing refers to encouraging real word of mouth by releasing to the internet (or in other cases free giveaways or evaluation offers for new products)

Re:Yeah, its called viral marketing (1)

Miseph (979059) | about 7 years ago | (#18732341)

Viral marketing covers a lot of techniques. Generally, celebrity spokespeople are not considered to be "viral" because everybody knows celebrities are walking billboards; consider the awards shows, during which every celebrity worth their salt walks the carpet in clothing "borrowed" from a huge name designer in return for their dutifully announcing to anyone who will listen that it was made by so-and-so.

What is viral is inserting your product into TV shows, movies, music videos etc. "I, Robot" was a giant Audi ad, I caught a bit of "Prison Break" once where the protagonist made a special point of showing us all the spiffy click out aspect of his SanDisk USB flash drive, and Cadillac seems to do nearly all of its advertising for the Escalade by putting them in hip-hop videos.

Another common viral marketing technique is unorthodox sample distribution. Red Bull hires groups of attractive young women to go around malls, shopping centers, and downtown areas handing out cans of red bull to retail employees or anyone they notice staring at their cleavage. The idea of course is that you'll develop a craving for bitter, oversweet caffeine water, and you'll remember how cool it was that time you were given a free Red Bull by a pretty girl and decide to buy some.

Astroturfing also falls under the 'viral" label, though it's the one most widely regarded as outright fraudulent.

Re:Yeah, its called viral marketing (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | about 7 years ago | (#18732469)

Word of mouth is powerful, because people generally respect a personal opinion more so than a fake corporate one.
Which is why the corporate middlemen want it dead.
They are fighting for their parasitic jobs.

TV Stations that "get it" (5, Interesting)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | about 7 years ago | (#18729299)

I was interested to read today that the ABC (that's the Australian Broadcasting Corporation) has a policy that allows for it's content to be used on other platforms by operators.

I found this out after content was taken down when a teenager pretended to be their representative [smh.com.au] and sent YouTube an infringement notice (complete with awful spelling, "Australian Broddcasting Corperation")! The kid has since apologised [smh.com.au] .

Re:TV Stations that "get it" (1)

Czar the Bizarre (841811) | about 7 years ago | (#18729425)

Ahaa! So thats why my 'Chasers War on Everything' clip got pulled from YouTube!!

Here I was thinking that the ABC was getting nasty (and slow, considering the clip had been up for almost 12 months).....

Now to track down some info on this 15 year old, and have all his utilities cancelled :P

Re:TV Stations that "get it" (1, Insightful)

SeaFox (739806) | about 7 years ago | (#18729477)

I was interested to read today that the ABC (that's the Australian Broadcasting Corporation) has a policy that allows for it's content to be used on other platforms by operators.

Not to be flamebait or say it's right, but maybe this explains the issues Aussies seem to have getting television shows imported from the States in less than two years. They don't want to show the current season and have someone legally be able to stick it up on YouTube while they're trying to sell the DVD box set still.

Re:TV Stations that "get it" (1)

clowds (954575) | about 7 years ago | (#18729591)

The ABC almost never buys the rights to any of the big television shows.

That's usually left up to our commercial stations under the big media (or as big as you can call Aussie media anyway) or our cable company.

The ABC usually runs with local content since it's funded directly by the government, not through ads so I really doubt that's the reason. The other commercial statements allow nowhere near the liberties that ABC does with respect to sharing.

Re:TV Stations that "get it" (1)

clowds (954575) | about 7 years ago | (#18729607)

That's a statement alright. I meant stations, teach me to post to /. while watching the evening news.

Re:TV Stations that "get it" (2, Insightful)

shudde (915065) | about 7 years ago | (#18729653)

Not to be flamebait or say it's right, but maybe this explains the issues Aussies seem to have getting television shows imported from the States in less than two years. They don't want to show the current season and have someone legally be able to stick it up on YouTube while they're trying to sell the DVD box set still.

The ABC shows almost no American television, so their content policies are irrelevant. Blame the commercial channels or better yet, ignore them and download your favourite shows. Frankly I've given up on Australian commercial television like they've given up on the Australian creative industry in favour of rehashed and increasingly moronic reality television.

Re:TV Stations that "get it" (1)

svunt (916464) | about 7 years ago | (#18729869)

The ABC allows its own content to be posted, not the shows it carries. Also, it's a non-commercial station, so it's not really relevant in terms of the Viacom vs YouTube debate.

Why don't they get it? (5, Insightful)

alvinrod (889928) | about 7 years ago | (#18729301)

All of the artists and the people who are actual involved with creating all of the content for the music labels, television stations, and other big media companies realize that at least to a certain extent allowing people to freely access and spread their content is good for them. Maybe some bored person who just happens to be browsing around the internet will happen to stumble on this content and for that reason might end up buying a CD, DVD, or something else to support the creaters of that content. I know that I've personally discovered several different things that have interested me and lead to me purchasing a product because I've found free clips or samples on the internet.

The corporate dinosaurs who are in charge don't seem to realize this and almost flat out refuse to change. EMI offering to sell music without DRM on several online music stores is a good start, but it seems like almost everyone else is trying to despirately cling to a business model that the consumers are rejecting in favor or something better. In a truly free market, I'd like to think that these people would have been put out of business already, but with the fortunes they've accumulated to court government and write their own policy, they keep trying to dictate how we will consume the content that's produced.

Why not give us what we want. Put free clips of The Daily Show on Youtube, but ask the Google display advertisements to buy official merchandise from their store in exchange for the rights to display it. I get to consume some content on demand for the reasonable price of free, and if I'm really interested in it, I've got a nice link to where I can get more or buy something else to support the creators. I think there are a lot of people out there, who like me, don't mind paying a little bit to support the people who make the music, television, or other content that we enjoy.

Re:Why don't they get it? (3, Interesting)

dunezone (899268) | about 7 years ago | (#18729363)

They never will get it till its too late. The RIAA knew what was coming but instead of embracing the technology and switching their tactics over, they stumbled on their feet for too long and now look what has happened, they had to go with iTunes and share the profit/benefits. The problem all comes down to the profit/benefits. None of these companies want to deal with youtube because someone in the company realizes they can do it themselves and retain full profit/benefits without using youtube. Unfortunately, they will create their own system that is bulky, slow, and full of advertisements, DRM'd to hell, which in the end will just push the consumer away. Comedy Central did this with their "Mother Load", and its complete garbage compared to youtube.

Not only that... (4, Insightful)

Xelios (822510) | about 7 years ago | (#18729433)

I think there are a lot of people out there, who like me, don't mind paying a little bit to support the people who make the music, television, or other content that we enjoy.
There are also a growing number of people who flat out refuse to support companies with such a heavy handed approach to the inevitable changes the internet is bringing. The actions of companies like Viacom and the various **AA members are creating a lot of consumer hostility, and in a situation where the consumer has a choice between getting content for free or deciding to support the creators such hostility can mean the end of their business.

I believe most people would willingly support their favorite bands, or the creators of TV shows they often watch, but not when the organizations managing those groups continue to bite the hand that feeds them. The reality of the situation is simple; broadcasters and distributors are being trumped by a much more efficient distribution medium. Instead of adapting their business models they're flailing about in some futile attempt to stop the inevitable and alienating their consumers in the process.

The Puppeteer in Ghost in the Shell summed it up quite nicely, "All things change in a dynamic environment, your effort to remain what you are is what limits you." (I bought several GITS DVD's after I'd downloaded the first movie, I'd never have bothered to look into it otherwise)

Re:Not only that... (1)

hachete (473378) | about 7 years ago | (#18729931)

I want the full unexpurgated Last Exile - which I can only (legitimately) get as a set of Region 1 discs from Amazon.com. As I live in the UK, I can do one of the following:

1. buy a multi-region DVD player (which I don't want)
2. Futz with my brand new MacBooks region settings [1]
3. Buy each volume separately.
4. Download a torrent.

3. is a possibility but more expensive than 1, esp as Euro-DVDs have a hefty mark-up charge over the US, which I'm beginning to think is a bit of a con. Have a guess which one I'm doing.

[1] BTW, why do Apple and the PC makers bow down to the content players in this hideous way?

No, you don't get it (4, Insightful)

kripkenstein (913150) | about 7 years ago | (#18729639)

All of the artists and the people who are actual involved with creating all of the content for the music labels, television stations, and other big media companies realize that at least to a certain extent allowing people to freely access and spread their content is good for them.
That isn't the issue here. YouTube is not equal to "freely access and spread". YouTube is a single website. Some media companies are 100% fine with their content being freely accessible on the internet, so long as it is accessible through their servers only. That is, they make the ad revenue, not YouTube. That is all the Viacom/YouTube issue about - who makes the ad revenue. Not about them 'getting that allowing free access is good for them'.

Personally, my position is that media should be allowed to be copied and shared freely, so long as it is done noncommercially. Share music with your friends? Fine. Put an MP3 on your blog? Also fine by me. But create a site like YouTube that intends to make big money off of ads - I think that money should go to the media creator, not to YouTube. In other words - if anyone can make money from a piece of media, it should be the creator, but if no one can (and with P2P indeed no one does, as things currently stand), no one should. So I support P2P (and am using BitTorrent right now at 25K download rate), but not necessarily YouTube.

Note that the big media companies have ironically screwed themselves with the DMCA in the US, because it actually gives YouTube a fairly airtight defense against the Viacom allegations (all they need to do is respond to takedown notices, and they do). So, even though personally I think only Viacom should be making money off of Comedy Central clips, it looks like YouTube may do so as well.

Re:No, you don't get it (2, Funny)

vivaoporto (1064484) | about 7 years ago | (#18729853)

"(and am using BitTorrent right now at 25K download rate)"


OMG! So it is you that is clogging the tubes. 25 K is too much, and if you don't understand those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and its going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material. I just the other day got, an internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday and I just got it yesterday. Why? Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the internet.

Re:No, you don't get it (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | about 7 years ago | (#18729911)

OMG! So it is you that is clogging the tubes.


indeed.. we need to send some lottery balls through those tubes to remove that clog.

Re:No, you don't get it (1)

Triv (181010) | about 7 years ago | (#18729919)

That is all the Viacom/YouTube issue about - who makes the ad revenue.

It's also about the statistics - people from what geographical areas visit when, numbers on multiple viewers, timeframe between broadcast and peak online viewership. The ad revenue's nice, but the numbers are gold.


triv

Re:No, you don't get it (1)

trawg (308495) | about 7 years ago | (#18730067)

I've got no problems with YouTube making some money of it, but I agree that the lion's share should go to the content creator.

Looking at it in the same way as the traditional model of content production going out to distribution outlets (record shops, video shops, etc) - each person got a cut along the way.

If youtube gave a cut of ad profits (I'm sure defining an amount deemed "fair" by both parties would be a Herculean effort in itself) to the content creators, then surely everyone would be happy. Viacom could still put all their stuff on their own website and take all the moneyz from that, but farm out distribution to other large networks so they get more eyeballs, and hence more dollars.

(I've been watching more of Daily Show off the Comedy Central site. The player is OK, but I prefer youtube for a few reasons (easier to search, I can watch entire shows or at least larger segments, etc)).

Re:No, you don't get it (1)

Sassinak (150422) | about 7 years ago | (#18731087)

I would agree with that except that the various groups (VIACOM, etc..) don't want to share.. they view it as a all or nothing senario. All your revenue belongs to us (sorry, I had to say it).

I wonder what would happen if the actual producers and writers of a show actually put their works on Youtube. Granted its being distributed through viacom's channels but I assume that they have SOME rights (knowing viacom, just the right to watch it on viacom's stations).

These cases boil down to a simple fact that the content holders don't want to share, so they would rather invest millions to create a system to distribute their content, plus millions more to maintain, plus millions more to advertise their multi-million dollar channel, rather than making an agreement with youtube to be a distribution channel and then sharing the profits. (pretty much what they do everywhere else around the world.. Trust me.. Viacom does NOT have a slice of NTB or GTV (Think ABC and NBC of Japan and China respectively) but they do share some their media in exchange for a slice of advertising money. (So why do they think that because its the internet, the same model can't work?.. Oh.. that's right.. stupidity.. Its a "new" medium so its "new" rules.)

Shaking head.. short sightedness wins again..
That's it.. I'm moving to sparta.

Re:No, you don't get it (2, Interesting)

Scrameustache (459504) | about 7 years ago | (#18732673)

YouTube is not equal to "freely access and spread". YouTube is a single website. Some media companies are 100% fine with their content being freely accessible on the internet, so long as it is accessible through their servers only. That is, they make the ad revenue, not YouTube. That is all the Viacom/YouTube issue about - who makes the ad revenue. Not about them 'getting that allowing free access is good for them'.
Free as in speech, not beer.

I don't care if a media dinosaur has some content on their website, I don't WANT to install real player to see a 100x100px mosaic of slow loading artefacts. The reason why youtube is now a household name is because their system actually works well.
They don't make you wait for your clip, like the other guys do (no, I do not want to buy your car, I know that after the one second it takes for me to know I'm watching a car ad, forcing me to sit and wait while you harass me with your car ad makes me want to hurt you, not give you money). Put the ads in non-obtrusive formats around the content, don't interfere with my access to the content, and I'll watch, otherwise I'll close that tab and move along.

I'm pretty sure that youTube is offering a profit sharing scheme with the content owners, and their own 100%-ours website can still offer a competing video service for the same content, this way they'd see which source of revenue is greater.
But it's not all about the ad revenue, it's about control. They want it over their revenue, their content, and their public. We want to be free.
We clash.

Youtube could be the beginning of the end for exclusive distribution, and that would be the start of something good for the public.

Re:No, you don't get it (1)

RobBebop (947356) | about 7 years ago | (#18733653)

I'm pretty sure that youTube is offering a profit sharing scheme with the content owners
I know Revver has revenue sharing with content providers. I know GoogleVideo lets content owners set prices (usually $1.99) for users to pay to access the content. I don't think YouTube or GoogleVideo have figured out how to support ad revenue sharing with the content providers.

That said, this whole discussion misses a key point. Who paid to have the content created? Lorne Michaels and Jon Stewart may have a strong case that they are critical parts of the content creation... but they aren't paying their own salaries, so they can't claim ownership of the end result. Regardless of what is best for the end users, it is ultimately up to the studios who pay for the creation of the content on how the content is distributed.

My arguement for the evolution of media is for content to free itself from its monetary dependancies on the major studios. Fuck Fox and Viacom. Lorne and Jon, pay for your own production and cut ties with the bastards you serve when your contracts expire. We, as the end users, will support you.

And Google, find a way so Lorne and Jon can support themselves while using your services to provide your users with their content for free.

-Rob

Re:Why don't they get it? (1)

TheoMurpse (729043) | about 7 years ago | (#18731515)

Think about the people removing things from YouTube: the distributors (Viacom, NBC). You all seem to think that they don't get it, but I'm telling you that they do: the big players don't want internet video distribution to change who the distributors are, because it will render them powerless.

not a big deal (4, Informative)

alphamugwump (918799) | about 7 years ago | (#18729353)

While you can certainly find whole seasons of shows on youtube, the more usual thing is to just make a short clip of the relevant part. Then, the youtube superstars post their replies, followed by their hanger-ons, all the way down to the fat, ugly dregs of the internet. As with slashdot, the original article doesn't really matter. The news is more of a starting point than an end in itself.

It seems to me that "old media" is really being rather obsessive about infringement. So what if a couple thousand people watched your small, grainy, old clip. So what if a crazy, half-naked scot provides more interesting political commentary than your own guys. OK, that one must hurt a lot. But still. You've got loads of money. You've got publishing expertise; you know what the public wants. Probably. Most likely, net neutrality won't go through, so you might be able to clamp down on digital distribution. It'll be just like cable TV, distributed through the same cable providers, but routed over the internet instead. Unlike, say, book publishers, your business model isn't totally shot, not if you adapt.

Hang in there, Viacom. We're rooting for you.

God forbid... (1)

tylersoze (789256) | about 7 years ago | (#18729355)

Anyone should watch something free on the Internet that they could've already watched for free over the airwaves or on the basic cable they are almost assuredly already paying for. Oh wait, but then they don't get to see the ads that they'd skip over anyway by changing channels or fast forwarding past on their DVRs.

Youtube as a video archive... (1)

RyanFenton (230700) | about 7 years ago | (#18729365)

Although the faint hope of commercial value in many television properties does give some television shows some guarantee it will be around for future folks to look at (including historians), I think it is also important that the banal and the "so-common-as-to-be-worthless" content get it's shot at archival also. I think Youtube is somewhat important - it looks to be strong enough to survive until digital storage is cheap enough that our current processes of digital archival are made irrelevant. It's important, because although there are groups like the Digital Archive Project [dapcentral.org] , Archive.org [archive.org] , and the various file trading groups which keep a lot of content alive long term, none of these have as strong a hope of legally keeping their information freely available, or have the same mass of content that Youtube/Google can provide.

It may seem rather silly to keep ahold of some of this stuff - but even if you'd never even dream of spending the time to watch any of it, I believe that our increasing ability to find new ways of consuming content and searching through it will bring surprising value, even as the value of content itself continues to fall. Youtube increases this aggregate historical value still further by also having a (youth and nerd-oriented) snapshot of a wide variety of daily lives around the world.

Ryan Fenton

Re:Youtube as a video archive... (1)

coastwalker (307620) | about 7 years ago | (#18732201)

I notice that all the commercial music video clips I have bookmarked are still up after the take down. This may have something to do with the fact that they are of artists from before 1990 and in many cases not known globally. Discovering or re-discovering this material tempts me to look for more of it in current published content - where I wont find it except in low quality DRM encumbered form.

So yes Youtube is a video archive and no the owners of the content haven't a clue how to make money out of it.

It also suggests that the valuable content that has just been taken down is in general of no value to me. Because I have purchased what I value and don't think the rest of it was worth looking at - even for free. The music business has always been focused on creating material for 13 year olds. At the tediously ancient age of 47 I am distressed to find that for the last decade, pop music for 13 year olds consists of depressing black consumerist rap music packaged for its white audience. Which doesn't compare favorably with my favorite UK 16 year olds music, punk music (think Sex Pistols) and awesome doom-laden cold war music (think Pink Floyd). Thank Bob the dance music scene is still going after 20 years and D&B, house, trance et-al can still throw up some great pop music otherwise there would only be blues music left to listen to.

Mind you theres tons of great world music out there in somebody else's language, but theres not much of that on Youtube yet, only on Shoutcast, and I doubt that I can buy it in the UK.

Dinosaurs (1)

cioxx (456323) | about 7 years ago | (#18729389)

Sometimes you'd have to step back and wonder, "Are these corporations run by idiots?" The answer is an emphatic "Yes"

I believe the old-media bosses at RIAA, MPAA, Viacom, NBCUNIVERSAL, et. al. are doing the world a favor by being so foolishly stubborn.

This whole situation reminds me of a PBF comic [pbfcomics.com]

Re:Dinosaurs (1, Funny)

iminplaya (723125) | about 7 years ago | (#18729505)

Sometimes you'd have to step back and wonder, "Are these corporations run by idiots?" The answer is an emphatic "Yes"

Hmmm, Let's compare your basement to their mansion. Let's compare your lonely splendor to his wife screwing the pool boy, then being drowned in the bathtub and the body thrown into the pool [bbc.co.uk] to make it look like an accident (Man! If only OJ had it so easy)...wait a minute...that doesn't work. Oh well, you get the idea.

Re:Dinosaurs (1)

Superpants (930409) | about 7 years ago | (#18731103)

Not necessarily, Viacom and their ilk probably have legal divisions that run on autopilot to find infractions to their copyrights and take appropriate action as outlined in their corporate policy. While Viacom suing youtube may be an exception to the rule (might not be), most cases probably don't reach the executive board room. Any concern that the board members may have, is how it affects their stock price. They don't give a shit if it's depriving some kids/young adults of a small grainy clip. Lost ad revenue is all that they are concerned with and as far as they are concerned youtube is the competition.

Missing the point (1)

jorghis (1000092) | about 7 years ago | (#18729393)

Whether or not it is in Viacom's best interest to allow Google to do whatever they want with their intellectual property is beside the point. The question is whether or not Google is profiting off of Viacom's content without an agreement in place to allow them to do so. You can argue until you are blue in the face about how Viacom ought to run their business, it has no bearing on whether or not Google has the right to make money off of Viacom's content without their permission.

I'm not saying that Viacom is right or that Google is right, just that there are a lot of articles on Slashdot trying to find excuses for Google that miss point entirely.

Re:Missing the point (1)

dissy (172727) | about 7 years ago | (#18729463)

The question is whether or not Google is profiting off of Viacom's content without an agreement in place to allow them to do so.

Concidering the creators of the content viacom 'owns' want it there, I find it hard to believe you're still arguing IP law is to protect content creators and 'compensate artists'

Re:Missing the point (0)

jorghis (1000092) | about 7 years ago | (#18729537)

Why should it matter what the creaters want? They agreed to produce the content (for a huge sum of money by the way) for Viacom. If they didnt want Viacom to own it they shouldnt have agreed to it. Viacom owns it, they can do as they wish. And yes, this copyright system ensures that people like John Stewart who enter into these agreements get compensated.

If you hire me to build you a house should I be able to come back later and tell you that I think you should allow someone to stay in one of the rooms of your house for free? Of course not, you paid me to create it and now you own it.

All this is is some negative publicity for Viacom, the bottom line is it doesnt matter what these artists want nor should it. If they arent comfortable with someone else owning what they create then they should give up their huge salaries and go create all the infrastructure necessary to run a succcesfull TV channel themselves so that they can then give their content away for free to whomever they please.

copyrighted != property. (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | about 7 years ago | (#18729945)

Viacom owns it,


no, viacom has a copyright on it, and is priviledged with a limited set of exclusive trade rights, trade rights which the people should (and according to the US constitution DO) have every right to take away should they find them onerous or unreasonable.

congress may be a reeking cesspool of corruption and graft, but the internet allows us to do with overreachig copyright laws what we did before with the volstead act, nullify them through civil disobedience.

copyright does not equal property, and any society which posits the idea that information can be "owned" is already too far down the road to tyrrany.

in fact, tyrrany was what originated the concept of copyright in the first place. copyright started out as permission from the crown to print, period. if printed without copyrights from the crown, those involved in said work would be imprisoned or worse, and if anything printed with copyrights crossed the line into "dissidence" they'd revoke the rights and kill the printing company.

Re:copyrighted != property. (1)

tkinnun0 (756022) | about 7 years ago | (#18732173)

no, viacom has a copyright on it, and is priviledged with a limited set of exclusive trade rights
U.S. Copyright Office seems to disagree with you: [copyright.gov]

"(b) Works Made for Hire. -- In the case of a work made for hire, the employer or other person for whom the work was prepared is considered the author for purposes of this title, and, unless the parties have expressly agreed otherwise in a written instrument signed by them, owns all of the rights comprised in the copyright." (Emphasis mine.)

Re:copyrighted != property. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18733723)

With whom does the copyright website link you have provided "disagree"?

Did you mis-post your response in the wrong place again?

Re:Missing the point (1)

QuantumG (50515) | about 7 years ago | (#18729475)

It's not their content. We don't have that kind of property in the western world. We have copyright which is a system where the public interest is balanced against the desire to encourage the creation of more works. Any argument for or against Google's use of the works Viacom owns the copyright on must be made in terms of the public interest.. otherwise they're just irrelevant to our society.

Re:Missing the point (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 7 years ago | (#18730421)

just that there are a lot of articles on Slashdot trying to find excuses for Google that miss point entirely.

or for Viacom, indeed.

Google/YouTube is not deliberately putting Viacom's clips up, and they are obeying take-down notices, as per the DMCA. Their model was originally, and still is, based upon original content created by users of the site, and if their users all decided to obey basic copyright laws tomorrow, YouTube would still exist and still be very popular. Perhaps not as popular, but very popular nonetheless. A cursory glance at the front page tells you that the majority of YouTube's content is, indeed, user created.

This debate, the debate this article presents, is a side issue, and not really relevent to the discussion as to whether Viacom's claims are legitimate or not. Viacom may or may not be shooting itself in the foot, but that's not relevent to whether they're misrepresenting YouTube when they claim YouTube wouldn't exist without its content, or when they claim YouTube is violating the law. On both counts, they're wrong.

YouTube is not Napster. It has not set out to build upon the free exchange of copyright infringing material. It did not deliberately build itself into a structure that would make DMCA take-down notices impossible. It does not anonymize uploaders to quite the same degree. It is obeying the law. Regardless of whether Viacom is shooting themselves in the foot over this strategically, they're on the wrong side of the law in suing Google, and they're adding insult to injury by lying about YouTube's MO.

Who cares, he is not the owner (2, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 7 years ago | (#18729395)

He cares because exposure on youtube gives him popularity, wich increases HIS earning potential. Very sensible off course BUT why should the actuall owner of the show care?

Imagine if you like a supermarket, say the meat department feels SURE that they can have more success if they were allowed to re-arrange the isles, the placement of the registers, in fact overhaul the entire way the shop is being run. Yippie? OR would the actuall owner of the store perhaps wonder if what is good for the meat department is good for the entire store?

NBC has a business model. It don't really matter wether you agree with it or not, or even if it is the right one, or wether new tech is making it obsolete. It is THEIR business model and theirs to follow or change by their choice.

It to a degree depends on giving people restricted access to their content so they can in turn expose those people to ads for wich they are paid.

NBC's primary income comes from selling ads, NOT from tv shows. They are just the way to get people to watch the ads.

The popularity of a tv-show therefore only matters if you get people to watch ads. Youtube does NOT run NBC ads, therefore it don't help NBC.

Their MIGHT be a side-effect, that because people saw a NBC show on youtube they will watch the regular version with ads included BUT there is a huge risk. What if people just expect ALL the NBC's shows to be on youtube instead and stop watching the ad-laden tv-shows all together. Those people that claim that exposure to shows on youtube leads to increased television watching are ignoring that it could just as easily just lead to more youtube watching.

Imagine if you like of a thirdparty pulled all the content of slashdot and re-published it without slashdot ads leading to massive exposure. Sure individual story submitters might be pleased BUT would CowboyNeal welcome this? Would he be told that people reading slashdot stories somewhere else is going to lead to increased traffic to his own site? Slashdot stories are NOT there because CowboyNeal wants you to know about thing, but because they are the way to get you to see ads.

NBC and the likes are fighting for their business model, selling ads by offering free content. If someone else redisplays that content they can't sell ads. It is perfectly simple. Perhaps their business model is bound to die off (unlikely, youtube == google and google gives free content in exchange for watching paid ads as its core business model) but they are under no obligation to hurry it along.

I wonder what Jon Stewart and Lorne Micheals would say if their tv stations came to them and said, "hi, we are going to stop broadcasting your shows on tv with ads and just post them directly to youtube instead, your salery? Well, negotiate that with google, they are the ones displaying the ads."

IF youtube display's NBC programs then NBC becomes NOT a television studio but "merely" a producer. This is not unusual, there are plently of tv-producers who do NOT own the means of actually broadcasting what they create, (at least they do in europe) and they sell it to companies/organistions that can. If youtube wants to show NBC programs, with their own ads inserted, they need to pay NBC for the production.

Anything less just doesn't make sense from NBC's point of view.

Unless offcourse Jon Stewarts and the likes are going to do their work for free. Not bloody likely is it?

Re:Who cares, he is not the owner (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18729533)

Someone needs to upgrade to FF 2. It's actuallly better.

Re:Who cares, he is not the owner (3, Funny)

Kelz (611260) | about 7 years ago | (#18729539)

Solution: Put small text as punch lines/etc in most popular shows! That way, youtube watcher's don't even get the jokes!

Actually, on behalf of content itself (1)

zuki (845560) | about 7 years ago | (#18729669)

For whatever reason, and I am not trying to appear difficult, I have an extremely strong aversion to ads, especially at the obnoxious frequency they
are displayed in American TV programming.

What appears significant to me here is not so much who owns, business models going the way of the dodo, and so on... but the fact that such things might
actually empower some people to think for themselves and start to shun this system of ad-supported content, somehow and over time. I'd much prefer
watching a show a few days late, but ad-free, even if it was for a small fee. (I'd get my time back)

Even though Google has ads, they are so unobtrusive that one hardly notices them, and certainly a giant step away from 'coitus interruptus' every 11 minutes.

Ultimately, there is already so much content out there that those who protect its re-runs too fiercely may just suffer slow death by being ignored and
gradually made less relevant, as their own interest is not that of sharing, but profit at the expense of everything else.

Undeniably, information now more and more wants to be free. It seems to have a mind of its own, and just as corporations sometimes display a 'gestalt survival instinct'
of sorts, it would now appear that content itself also wants to insure its survival as a meme in the unconscious mind of humanity, regardless of corporate control.

...Interesting. Let's hope that neither the coporate hive mind, nor content itself acquire too much sentience! LOL.

Z.

Then I got bad news for you (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 7 years ago | (#18729813)

As you mention, google has ads. Quick question, is google a search company (developing and selling seach related technology) OR is it an ad seller (selling ad space to people and getting people to view those ads)

The answer is offcourse simple, google is an ad seller, in similar ways as tv-stations (those paid for by ads anyway are).

In a way its business model is almost like that of CNN. CNN doesn't create the news (well, it ain't been proven at least :p ), like google they have a "system" in place that allows them to gather the news, display it, attract eyeballs and then show ads to those eyeballs. So google gathers websites rather then news, still all about getting eyeballs to view ads.

Your comment about tv ads is inaccurate. You forgot to mention radio. I don't know how the US runs its radio stations but in holland it seems like every hour ends with 5 minutes of obnoxious ads, then 1 minute news, and another 5 minutes of obnoxious ads. Some stations even got ads at other times. ENOUGH, MP3player time!

BUT the only alternative is to pay for your content in another way, the BBC method (license fees), the dutch method (payed through regular taxes), the cable subscription way. Don't matter, somehow the content has to be payed for because the people involved in producing it expect to be paid.

Youtube ain't changing that. In fact youtube being now owned by google is probably someday soon going to displays ads as well. Offcourse they can display fewer ads, since they do not actually have to pay for any production.

That is roughly similar to how I can sell stolen goods for less as well.

The problem with the ad-supported services model is that it only works if there isn't an alternative way of getting the service. Before "the net" you had two choices. Watch content via the ad method OR buy it directly.

Filesharing has changed that.

Youtube has NOT. Youtube is just an other ad-supported service. Fewer ads, but ads nonetheless (well at least that is what everyone presumes).

Re:Then I got bad news for you (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | about 7 years ago | (#18729877)

not to nitpick or anything, but cnn does "create" news.

i once walked into a local eatery and catch a news story about cnn.. the anchor droned on and on about how mexico was "interfering with our national security".

after a long and completely bizarre "the sky is falling" sermon, he finally got to the point..

the story was about... wait for it... mexico voicing protest to a (hundreds of miles long) fence along our border with them.

i'd call that creating news. "mexico said they didnt like it, OMG THEYRE IN THE PENTAGONS TYING UP OUR GENERALS!!!!111one!1"

Re:Who cares, he is not the owner (1)

jmac1492 (1036880) | about 7 years ago | (#18731261)

Imagine if you like of a thirdparty pulled all the content of slashdot and re-published it without slashdot ads leading to massive exposure.

So even more dupes than there are now?

Re:Who cares, he is not the owner (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | about 7 years ago | (#18732721)

The popularity of a tv-show therefore only matters if you get people to watch ads. Youtube does NOT run NBC ads, therefore it don't help NBC.

Bad example [youtube.com] , dude.

The Daily Show DVD sales (1)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | about 7 years ago | (#18729415)

Putting the daily show on YouTube won't be good for it's DVD sales. I for one are interested in a +-25 DVD collection of a single season of the Daily Show.

Re:The Daily Show DVD sales (1)

xx01dk (191137) | about 7 years ago | (#18729457)

Boggles the mind indeed. Could be a good way to promote Blu-ray or HD DVD's...

Actually, I like to download a week's worth of Stewart and Colbert and then watch it in my off-time (and don't question the legality of my choice--I'd do the same thing if I had a Tivo and that's how I justify it so there). But I find that if I get behind by a couple of weeks that I'll just let those episodes go because they aren't current anymore.

A good Daily Show DVD would contain all the interviews, all the comic bits, and perhaps some of the better "news" pieces to browse through. That's easily doable, and not just with the Daily show; you could probably do it for any of the Late-night talk shows.

Re:The Daily Show DVD sales (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | about 7 years ago | (#18730993)

That's why I can't understand why Viacom would really be that upset about Daily Show and Colbert Report clips being online. Once the show airs, it's pretty much done. It's not like regular television series where they can show reruns, sell syndication rights, or sell DVD's. After all, Comedy Central's website has all of the clips from the shows already. I bet the lawsuit would get dropped in a day if Google went to Viacom and said "let's set up something where we host clips from the shows and we'll split the ad revenue."

There's too much liability at stake (3, Insightful)

xx01dk (191137) | about 7 years ago | (#18729435)

to make the corporate lawyers feel comfortable. And shameful as it may be, there is no small amount of greed involved; the big corps want to maximize the earning potential of their products and the established way to do that is to clamp down on who gets access to what. NBC/CBS/FOX/CommedyCentral/etc want you to go it THEIR websites to see their content so they can generate discreet viewership tallies to entice more advertisers to give them more money.

The flaw (as I think the common view is) in espousing the "virtues" of spreading content around for free is that the people who produce the content do not benefit from it directly and that's all the traditional been counters care about. "We lost X amount of potential viewers to our site (which is oriented to get them to see what we want them to see) and that equates to Y amount of lost revenue. Clamp all our content down so that we can maximize our profit." Think of the NFL's end-of-broadcast disclaimer for a perfect example.

Put simply, the crux is this: juxtaposing the need for people to see your product with the need to make real, quantifiable dollars from it. It used to be that we lived in a 3-channel-plus-PBS TV world, where the best way to spread interest about your shows was found in the TV guide, seconded by word-of-mouth. These companies need to embrace our digital world rather than try to fight it like the RIAA and MPAA have done (with questionable success). Offering their content on DVD's and Itunes is a great start but what better way to get people to want to purchase this stuff than by releasing low quality 320x240 vids on Youtube? I'll even go so far as to posit that the spreading and sharing and bookmarking of popular "viral" videos is the new "word-of-mouth"...

So it's all well and good that some celebrities are promoting the easy spreading of digital media such as the TV shows they produce and star in; let's just try to understand it in a way that satisfies the demands of the bottom line and also the public's need for more content. It's going to have to be a compromise...

then it's time to fire "traditional bean counters" (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | about 7 years ago | (#18729803)

The flaw (as I think the common view is) in espousing the "virtues" of spreading content around for free is that the people who produce the content do not benefit from it directly and that's all the traditional been counters care about. "We lost X amount of potential viewers to our site (which is oriented to get them to see what we want them to see) and that equates to Y amount of lost revenue.


then it's time to fire the "traditional bean counters". Even the founding fathers could not predict how powerful corporations would become, and it's time to amend our constitution to apply to any entity with a net worth exceeding a specific percent of our GDP. This would counter certain laws which "protect" our economy by more or less compelling behavior contrary to individual and consumer rights.

once a corporate entity reaches a certain magnitude (either in general or in its respective market), it gains power comparable to regulatory and legislative bodies. it's time to impose the same responsibility upon them as government.

also, "potential" anything (viewers, revenue, etc) are only that.. potential.

maybe HBO should be allowed to shut down showtime for stealing "potential viewers".

Sigh. Self interest wins again. (3, Interesting)

mumblestheclown (569987) | about 7 years ago | (#18729623)

Let's see if we can apply actual logic to this question, shall we?

1. Jon Stewart is an entertainer whose personal fortune, success, and prestigate is much more closely tied to personal recognition and likeability rather than the long-term profitability of his network. Hence, he has every reason in the world to want to be associated with the 'free beer' aspects of let's put stuff on youtube.

2. lazy sunday's youtube success doubtlessly brought some fame back to SNL. however, to start as that as a premise and then argue that ergo snl/viacom should not care if the funniest bits of their shows are put onto the internet en masse by anonymous users is completely disingenious. more realistically, it makes sense from SNL's / the network's standpoint to be against random copyright infringing posts of clips from their show but to put carfully selected teaser bits up that may encourage viewers to their television show, where they actually make money through advertising. and this is exactly what they do.

Re:Sigh. Self interest wins again. (2, Insightful)

hachete (473378) | about 7 years ago | (#18730137)

Logic has little to do with taste. The problem is that those "carefully selected teaser bits" invariably suck. The committee of good taste within NBC (and most media companies) don't have a fucking clue about what will make the water-cooler or the playground the next day. Nobody does. That's why letting viewers clip what they want, let them decide what the best bits of a show are, could be such a win - and was, for a time there. However, doing this takes a whole heap of faith and a jump in the dark; a young companies vision and gain. What you describe here is the caution of the aged, and lawyers were born old. It won't win you any internets.


2. lazy sunday's youtube success doubtlessly brought some fame back to SNL. however, to start as that as a premise and then argue that ergo snl/viacom should not care if the funniest bits of their shows are put onto the internet en masse by anonymous users is completely disingenious. more realistically, it makes sense from SNL's / the network's standpoint to be against random copyright infringing posts of clips from their show but to put carfully selected teaser bits up that may encourage viewers to their television show, where they actually make money through advertising. and this is exactly what they do.

Re:Sigh. Self interest wins again. (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | about 7 years ago | (#18730189)

more realistically, it makes sense from SNL's / the network's standpoint to be against random copyright infringing posts of clips from their show but to put carfully selected teaser bits up that may encourage viewers to their television show, where they actually make money through advertising.
How's that supposed to work? SNL, like most weekly network shows, is not repeated regularly.

If you see a "teaser bit" from a great sketch that aired last week, what are you supposed to do: watch next week's episode, which you know won't have that sketch because it's a different episode? Buy the DVD when it comes out a year later, if ever (SNL doesn't seem to do DVDs of each season)? Neither seems like an acceptable alternative.

As the old saying goes ... (1)

the_mushroom_king (708305) | about 7 years ago | (#18729681)

If ya give a little, you get a lot in return. Marketing weenies know this as "Building the Brand". By giving your current users a way to introduce a product to a friend, via a quick clip that catches essence of your brand, you gain much more exposure.

If a friend tells me such-and-such a show is good, but my time is valuable. I don't want to wait through all the slogging bits (commericals, etc.) just to get to the meat of what it is about. However, after viewing a few entertaining short clips, I am more apt schedule time to watch the show because my interest is perked.

Afterall, its our sweet sweet dollars they are all grubbing for and treating us all like theives isn't the best way to get it IMHO.

--tmk

How is this not old news? (1)

audi100quattro (869429) | about 7 years ago | (#18729683)

Colbert actually had a person from the EFF [comedycentral.com] on the show, which filed a lawsuit [eff.org] against Viacom on behalf of Moveon.org for a "baseless copyright complaint from media giant Viacom." If one watches Colbert and Stewart, they've clearly taken a liking to youtube, enough to mention it in other guest interviews and the casual banter that starts and ends each show.

Huge difference in show formats... (1)

NokX (921152) | about 7 years ago | (#18730043)

both the Daily Show and SNL consists of small blocks of "skits" and that's usually what's copied to youtube. so for their shows it's perfect. however, for other shows who are actual series and make lots of money from DVD sales they'd be hurt (financially) if their entire episodes were on youtube.

both of these guys are stepping up to appear "champions for free content on the web", but i'd bet huge bucks that they'd be perfectly fine with viacom/nbc stepping up and saying, "ok - we'll just allow certain shows (Daily Show/SNL) to be a part of youtube".

Business Plan (1)

hachete (473378) | about 7 years ago | (#18730089)

1. Post clip on youtube
2. Millions watch it
3. Viewing figures go up
4. Advertisers, uh, advertise on your program.
5. Profit

Once lawyers start running the company, kiss goodbye to profits and future.

Because SNL only _mostly_ sucks (1)

Megane (129182) | about 7 years ago | (#18731089)

Every now and then I watch SNL, and it still mostly sucks. Like your typical album put out by major record companies, there are one or two good skits buried in a bunch of mediocre garbage. So I just switch back to MadTV and watch a bunch of good skits with only a little mediocre garbage. I normally only stick with SNL when I want to watch it for the guest host (such as Rainn Wilson, etc.)

What YT exposure does is show off the good stuff that you don't see because you got tired of waiting for it and simply assumed that it was 100% suck. And, uh, makes you want to watch it more?

I thought I had a point here, and I guess it's that "YT exposure keeps you from thinking that SNL is 100% suck". Oh well, back to MadTV.

Ah, I see the problerm. (3, Funny)

Sj0 (472011) | about 7 years ago | (#18731099)

You see, I don't know about Lorne Micheals, but Jon Stewart is sane. That means he's not equipped to understand the subtleties of company policy.

of course, they know their content is worthless.. (1)

Socguy (933973) | about 7 years ago | (#18732149)

John Stewart is a very smart man and he knows free publicity when he sees it. When a particularly funny bit comes along why not post it? Really, what are they protecting? Who is going to pay for episode of TDS from a week ago or even last year? It's comedy that's very time sensitive, making past episodes of limited value on resale, however it can still be great advertising!

To be fair (1)

hey! (33014) | about 7 years ago | (#18734805)

Digging in your heels and cursing the onrushing tide has worked so well for the RIAA.
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