YouTube and music in the news....


If you follow this sort of thing....

Universal has been threatening to sue YouTube on copyright infringement grounds, calling to mind the days of the Napster suits by the RIAA. They were in talks to get the problem settled without a court battle.

YouTube has stated its intention to host every music video ever produced.

Then, this morning, newswire is reporting that Warner has inked a deal with YouTube to host its music for free download. Huh??!.... yeah, that's right. Warner expects to make its money from the popup ads that will accompany every download. Yeah, right. I'm sure Universal has a call in to Warner this morning, asking WTF???

I would think the RIAA has a call in to YouTube as well, and iTunes would have a call in to some of these other music publishers as well. Talk about taking the legs out of every other publisher's complaint.... There are some music catalogs that STILL aren't available on iTunes, because either the artist or the publisher doesn't think they make enough money selling songs on iTunes for a buck. The question is, does Warner think they are going to make MORE than a buck on these songs downloaded from Youtube?? With the amount of click fraud out there, how can anyone think this is more than just a passive revenue opportunity at best?

By offering a (supposedly) viable revenue stream for a music publisher on YouTube, they are really shooting themselves in the foot. Here's why:

Every and any copyright owner is going to be jumping up and down telling Youtube to remove every bit of content with any copyrighted material. (They aren't paying ME for the content - I want it OFF!!) The double worse news for Youtube is that it won't be easy. How are you going to tell Barry that he has to take down the video of Aunt Sally getting her groove on to Long Tall Sally, and Uncle Willie doing the Hand Jive at his Bat Mitzvah ? That those are both copyrighted songs that Cousin Elmo, the DJ, played, and we encouraged you to break the law when we made it so easy to post them and send links to your entire family ?

How are they even going to find every instance of copyrighted music behind some personal videos ? They will have to. And it won't be easy.

Take away all the copyrighted material and you take away most of YouTube's traffic. YouTube turns into a hosting company with a limited video portal. Like any number of competitors out there that decided to follow copyright law. When was the last time you were at Napster?

YouTube, we hardly knew you.

Interesting little one-world economy we live in here.

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