August 16, 2008

"We ... don’t like the idea of keeping fans of our products from being able to engage with our content."

Says Curt Marvis, president of digital media at Lionsgate Entertainment, who is trying to figure out how to relate to YouTube and not "condone people taking our intellectual property and using it without our permission."
"For the most part, people who are uploading videos are fans of our movies. They’re not trying to be evil pirates, and they’re not trying to get revenue from it."
And it's usually free advertising of the product. The key is to prevent people from collecting ad revenue from the videos they post, and the linked article explains how the copyright owner can — instead of demanding that YouTube take down a video — "claim" it, run and ad, and collect ad revenue. 90% of the owners choose this option.

This sounds good, but I think it may lead to disabling embedding, which hurts us bloggers — an issue that Jac discusses at the end of this post. You know, we bloggers are usually promoting the product too. We're fans engaging with your product.

7 comments:

Daryl said...

Disabling embedding for just the videos that are protected by a media company's copyrights and were uploaded against its wishes would not be a terrible blow to bloggers.

Ann Althouse said...

But Daryl, once the company is taking control of the situation and decides it wants the stuff up -- to promote it and encourage "fan engagement" -- it could decide that it also wants to allow embedding. It could be seen as in the owner's self-interest.

Oligonicella said...

"Hurting" bloggers is not the issue. Respecting the rights of distribution is. If the owner decides it's OK, it is. If the owner doesn't, it ain't.

blake said...

Oligonicella--

That's Big Media's fallback viewpoint.

It doesn't work out all that well.

Lionsgate is smart to try to find a way to make their customers happy.

LemmusLemmus said...

Oli (if I may call you that),

you're right; I think the point is that it is stupid to not allow people to promote your product for free.

Oligonicella said...

blake --

No, that's *my* viewpoint. Not 'working out all that well' is due to others disrespecting copyright (the law), not any model issues. The owner of the work has the legal right to determine mode of distribution. Do you disagree?

lem --

Be that as it may, the copyright owner is -- well -- the owner of the copyright and can exercise any distributorship they see fit, other's wishes notwithstanding.

blake said...

Oli,

No, that's *my* viewpoint.

And Big Media's as well.

Not 'working out all that well' is due to others disrespecting copyright (the law), not any model issues.

Copyright law has been thoroughly disrespected by Big Media and Congress. It's long been twisted to serve a different purpose than intended.

The owner of the work has the legal right to determine mode of distribution. Do you disagree?

Not at all. But it reminds me of the old joke where the lawyer is talking to his client over the phone and says "They can't put you in jail for that!". And the client says, "I'm calling from jail!"

The actual power to enforce copyright is far from absolute. Those who treat it as such are unsuccessful.

Big media tends to be very, very stupid about this sort of thing. They fought VCRs tooth-and-nail, and then made billions off of them. The reflex to clips on YouTube was to yank them.

Stupid. They never get out in front of these things. Everyone of their customers is a criminal, in their view.

Lionsgate is approaching the issue intelligently.