I Tube, You Tube

By | April 1, 2007
The big buzz in the online world is that the daddy of video sharing, You Tube, is being sued by the mommy of network television, Viacom. Mummy dearest, it seems, is not happy about daddy allowing everyone to have a bite out of mummy’s delicious cooking. Ouch.

So mummy drags daddy to court. And all that dirty linen falls out of the closet and into full public view, where mummy and daddy will now wash the dirt and blood out of it.

In the meanwhile, daddy’s found himself another muse, in the name of Fox. Now the muse in interested in daddy putting out samples of its cooking, so that people get to taste it. If they like it, they can pay for it and buy it. If they don’t, well, who cares. That’s just a sample that’s gone out.

In case I have you wondering by now, the above more or less summarizes the legal wrangle between Viacom and google(who incidentally happens to own youTube now), and also the discussions going on between FoxTV executives, and Google. Without the legal jargon, of course.

There are a few interesting questions that have come out of this debate. One being the whole concept of legality of content. Of course, a TV show, its copyright and everything are owned by the producers(or whoever in the production company). Once the show is aired, typically it gets assigned to a bin from where it can be picked in case a rerun is needed. YouTube, doesn’t allow copying of content by its users..so you just cannot go to YouTube and copy a video. But you can surely watch it, and upload one. Uploading is where it gets tricky. A user can upload almost anything to YouTube, of course adhering to the upload policies.(I believe they have some new rules about copy righted content now) So whom does the onus of responsibility lies with? The guy who is generously allowing you to post videos for all to see, or the guy who is actually copying copyrighted content without permission and uploading it?

Let the lawyers decide this one..

I will move on to a more interesting issue…why have this issue in the first place? I live in India, but I enjoy watching several programmes that are aired on US based networks. It is on a really lucky day that Star, or Zee decides to air these programmes in India(as is with the popular series Friends). But I can go to youTube, watch a scene or two and get my laughs. Or I go to youtube, and see music videos that I have never seen. Well, if you live in India and are a fan of english music, you will agree that there is a limited number of channels that actually air good english music videos. YouTube intoduced me to George strait, whose music I really loved. Now I have 3 CDs that I purchased(well, thats as many as I could find).

Point is, YouTube ultimately promotes content. Like Fox has realized, it can be used for promotional purposes. We anyways live in a world where music has lost its spirit, people do it just for the money. Which is clearly proven by all the DRM issues that are being raised, and the noise a few years back over Napster. It definitely is all about the money, but what about people who would enjoy listening to content more than actually owning it? Why do they need to pay 69 cents everytime they listen to a song?

Call me a socialist, or a communist for that matter..but I believe that channels like YouTube where great music, great videos are shared should not be clamped down, but should be promoted. Who wants to see a half hour episode on youTube, but give me my funnies…give me the videos that have disappeared from the channels….give me the music that no one plays anymore…

and stop being the capitalist jerks that you are…there are people in the world who might not be rich enough to pay you, that does not mean you can take the music out of their lives!

P.S: As for me, I am beginning to enjoy my stay in Baltimore…another travelogue will be up shortly. And Happy Fools Day to all of you. If you are still on this planet, you are a fool. So while you are here, enjoy your day šŸ™‚

One thought on “I Tube, You Tube

  1. wise donkey

    well..pity this logic is not being applied for food..when 7000 Indians die Everyday from hunger, and when we have the food to feed them..


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