Thursday, July 05, 2007

My Right Hand Man

I got this in my email a while ago, and never got the chance to post it, but as always, my right hand man has the right perspective on this. Posted on youtube:
Why did you refuse the display of a Saturday Night Live sketch of Christopher Walken on YouTube? You know, the one where he "needs more cowbell"? I think I know the answer. When something gets popular and your HUGE corporation can't make even more money from it, you squash people who have the idea of sharing free information. I know its in the best intrest of any company to make money, but the SNL sketch ran a long time ago and you already made your money from the advertising. Let Americans have the freedom to share ideas and information for free. I would type more to nbc universal (lower case on purpose) but it would probably turn into a threat.
Yeah, I can't disagree with this at all. While I appreciate that artists deserve to be paid for their work, particularly when the huge corporation producing that work is making billions in advertising, I don't see any reason why something that's already been broadcast is somehow protected from being clipped on a site like youtube. If it does anything, it increases the popularity of the shows that are clipped, right? I work in commercials. I know what it's like to have your image misused, and I don't see this as being the same thing. When a talent(that's what they call people that act in commercials) is photographed or filmed, it's the responsibility of the production company to comply with the agreements made prior to the capture of those images. They also retain a license on the distribution of that content, which entitles them to have their ideas protected until they are released. Now I don't think that it's ethical to copy a commercial off of the TV and re-edit it and then put it back on the TV, putting a clip of it on youtube doesn't really do anything more than get people to see it. Now if the company that makes the commercial intends for a wider audience and posts the material on youtube without consent from the talent, that's a breach of contract. But if Joe Shmuck does it, without the intent of actually making money on it, I really think it's okay. The same goes for shows. When it comes to things like SNL, it's not people like Will Farrell that suffer from thsee rebroadcasts, it's NBC. NBC is sooooo worried that people will stop watching their television shows and just check out clips on youtube without adverts. But the fact is, when something is worth watching, it's watched. And usually right when it comes out. The people that "miss it" are often the ones that are checking out youtube, or it's someone who's already seen it and wants friends to see it. So the market is still watching your sad commercials NBC. Perhaps a better way to go about this would be to take a clue from other networks like CBS who put their shows online so that they can be viewed with CBS branded adverts around the screen. It's cheaper and it makes it convenient for the consumer.

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