Saturday, 27 October 2007
Hypocrisy of You Tube
Interesting point of view from the blogger Jeff Atwood: You Tube is built on hypocrisy because it doesn't respect
its own rules about copyright.
YouTube: The Big Copyright Lie
"We can thank YouTube for cutting the gordian knot of video codecs. Instead of futzing around with codecs and media players, YouTube's universal, Flash-based web video "just works".
Virtually everything of interest on YouTube is copyrighted content.
It's perhaps the ultimate case of cognitive dissonance: by YouTube's own rules, YouTube cannot exist. And yet it does.
How do we reconcile YouTube's official hard-line position on copyright with the reality that 90% of the content on their site is clearly copyrighted and clearly used without permission? It seems YouTube has an awfully convenient "don't ask, don't tell" policy-- they make no effort to verify that the uploaded content is either original content or fair use. The copyrighted content stays up until the copyright owner complains. Then, and only then, is it removed.
I'm not attacking YouTube here. I think having access to all this copyrighted content in bite-size embeddable form is ultimately a net good for both consumers and creators. What I don't understand is why YouTube continues to get away with the big copyright lie they've perpetuated from day one. They pay lip service to copyright, while building their business on an empire of unauthorized, copyrighted content. It's so brazen-- so blatant.
You can argue that copyright law is broken. I won't disagree with you. But I still dislike YouTube's massive hypocrisy in this area, and I wonder why other people and companies don't get the free ride from the hyper-litigious entertainment industry that YouTube seems to enjoy."