Thursday, March 15, 2007

More on Viacom, Viral Video, and a word from the future

My posting the other day about the Viacom lawsuit against YouTube/Google was, of course, not the only comment in the blogging or vlogging world about this. You'd think it was the lawsuit of the century the way it's been talked about - and in some ways, that might not be too far off the mark.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which caused a bit of an uproar a few years ago when it passed, will be tested here, and the results could have far reaching effects well beyond the world of YouTube.

Are common carriers and service providers responsible for the acts of their users? The DMCA says no, but Viacom says that YouTube's business model is based on copyright violation, and therefor they have made themselves responsible. Viacom, of course, owns iFilm and other net properties that have the same attitude toward copyright as YouTube.

Beyond all this, which you can read on any blog, or hear in any vlog, I want to make one quick comment, with example, about the power of viral video. This is bigger than YouTube, and its because the content creators extend far beyond Viacom.

Whatever happens to YouTube, viral video will survive based on what we, the vlogging community, create -- not based on what we rip from our TV screens.

Among the thousands of blog posts about the lawsuit was this one from CrapHammer, 'Viacom causes quite a stir'. Within that posting, Sean embedded a video from YouTube on the subject. Here it is for you:

Recognize that fellow? Why, it's me of course. I discovered this by accident, there was no permission granted, and no permission required. In my YouTube preferences, I click the box to allow embedding. This is how viral video works.

So, while you're hearing all the shouting from each side of this Viacom versus YouTube debate, remember this: online video is not all about posting poorly encoded chopped up clips from South Park. Original content, shared among users, as a means of communications --- This is viral video.

To demonstrate my point further, here's a Viacom parable, courtesy of Dr. Metropolis:


  1. Wow. Thanks for the link KenRG. Didn't expect it as I was actually linking to (okay... embedding) your video.

    Oh wait... or was I stealing it??? Perhaps YOU should be suing me for copyright infringement. Class action it. I must have embedded THOUSANDS of videos over the years!!!

    Oh god.

    Where was I? Oh. Thanks again for the lunch break vid ANDhttp the link man!

  2. This is cool. This is communication. This is the web. This is viral video.

    We link, we connect, we build webs, we read, we decide what matters.

    I find my video on Sean's site. He finds a link to his blog on my site. I comment, he comments, our readers/viewers find each other, access to information and opinion is expanded.

    Okay, it's late, I've had my adult beverage for the evening, I'm thinking this is more exciting than you do. So what. Welcome to the unedited future.

    Now click on Sean's site and expand your horizons.


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