[intro] You've uploaded that hilarious clip to MySpace, but do you wake up in a cold sweat about copyright issues? Of course you don't [/intro]
So you've uploaded that hilarious Trapped In The Closet clip to your MySpace page, but do you now wake up in a cold sweat about copyright issues? What if R Kelly personally issues a reprisal? In song form.
Well, worry no more: Viacom – the company behind MTV and Paramount Comedy – is about to let people use thousands of their clips for their websites or blogs legally. Earlier this month, the company demanded that YouTube remove over 100,000 unauthorised clips from the site and has taken the distribution into its own hands. So clips from the likes of Pimp My Ride and The Daily Show will be yours for the taking – legally.
Other companies have struck deals directly with YouTube, but Viacom wants the clicks for themselves, which is fair enough, if a little short-sighted. But the one glaring point that the massive success of YouTube raises is that traditional copyright rules are completely meaningless in the digital arena.
People love music, they love film, they love sharing their tastes and spreading the word – we're not talking about trying to make a quick buck here. It's about discovering cool new bands or shows or movies and letting other people know about them too.
And this can only be A Good Thing for the distributors – after all, we're doing their job for them. And now that they are finally waking up and smelling the opportunity and offering more high-quality media, it ends up A Good Thing for us too. And ultimately, R Kelly.