Look, I’m not one to advocate law breaking, but there are more important online issues than copyright infringement on YouTube.
I had to laugh at some of the quotes from the latest ‘consortium’ of organisations and individuals hell-bent on suing Google for allowing their material to appear on the video sharing site.
Take the English Premier League, whose spokesman Dan Johnson stated of Google, “their callous and opportunistic business model is contrary to right, contrary to law, and must and will be stopped”.
OK… and the Premier League wouldn’t know anything about callous, opportunistic business models, would it? Pay per view footie, anyone? Pot, kettle…
As for Robert Tur – well I’ve already expressed my views on his ridiculous claim against the iPhone – now he’s going straight to the source, it seems.
Except, it’s not the source is it?
The source is the millions of people bunging up illegal copies of shows on to YouTube and other video sites and file sharing networks from their TiVos and Sky+ boxes and DVD recorders.
Viacom already made a corporate arse of themselves earlier this year when, as part of their $1bn lawsuit against Google, they ordered so much material be taken off YouTube that innocent people’s dodgy home videos were savaged too – because obviously Viacom’s quality is so poor that it’s hard to tell the two apart.
Let’s face it – Google doesn’t really care and who can blame them? I believe they are working on better systems to try to make a dent in the amount of illegal warez appearing on their site – but then, on the Internet, you can’t keep popular sites down, even when it temporarily went a bit pear-shaped.
Smart content owners could find better ways of getting their shows online so that people can watch it legally. There’d still be ways of monetising it – probably a lot more imaginative ways – and it would reach a far wider audience.
People are always going to redistribute content, and generally it’s not because they’re trying to defraud the content producers out of a few quid, or because they refuse to pay for the content. Usually, it’s because they love the content and want to share it, or they’re desperate to watch the latest episode of their favourite drama, or they’ve created a mashup and want to show off their creativity.
All of these desires could be accommodated by forward thinking companies, if they invested more energy into dreaming them up and implementing them, than trying to sue one of the biggest companies on the planet for hosting their footie clips.