Robert Freeman's whole Media, Business and Technology thing. Sorted.

Innocent clips caught in YouTube/Viacom removal

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You would have seen last week how Viacom ordered You Tube to remove some 100,000 clips from their video database.

Viacom’s Carl Folta said “The promotional and marketing value [of having these clips on You Tube] is very limited.  It’s one of those red-herring arguments that everyone keeps throwing at us.”

Did you know that there are possibly thousands of innocent clips, not owned by Viacom which have also been removed?  This is presumably down to oddities in the metadata of the clips, or the way in which You Tube tried to search for Viacom clips.

Unfortunately for You Tube, some of the owners of the clips it took down without notification are high profile, like Harvard’s Jim Moore, who devotes significant space to the episode in his blog.

Top10Sources  are discussing whether innocent content owners can sue back, and those posting suggest that the new US copyright act is being abused.

Said one You Tube user, “The video that they pulled was an original work that took me around 5 months to make, that has been shown in a film festival, and I feel violated at the public accusation that this wasn’t my own work.”

If Viacom are right that the ‘promotional value’ argument is a red herring, that would appear to end big media’s non-commercial association with video aggregation sites. (Mike Harding explains the opposite view, suggesting that Viacom have missed a huge opportunity.)

You Tube’s actions will also have repercussions with their users, after all their owner, Google, is supposed to have the best search in the world.

So why can’t it tell the difference between a family dinner party and John Stewart’s Daily Show?

There are many videos now turning up on You Tube which discuss this issue.


Written by Robert

6 February, 2007 at 8:12 pm

Posted in Business, Media

One Response

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  1. Update – You Tube deletes first, and asks questions afterwards.


    23 April, 2007 at 6:41 pm

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