Why Laywers Don't Work In Marketing: A YouTube Case Study

from the forest-for-the-trees dept

Along with the spike in YouTube's popularity has come a spike in takedown requests as lawyers look to get their companies' content off the service. As we pointed out, the lawyers don't always understand that the promotional value of sharing content can often trump legal concerns, and that lawyers are acting without consulting business or marketing folks. Apparently, YouTube says that's not uncommon -- as many of the companies whose lawyers asking for their content to be taken down have marketing arms that are talking about partnerships or even uploading the videos themselves. The viral marketing YouTube enables is just the sort of thing these companies are looking for to drive users back to their content, but their lawyers' shortsightedness won't let it happen.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    verinox, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 1:59pm

    not true in all cases

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Justin, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 2:05pm

    Lawyers...

    These lawyers really should have to consult their clients before seeking these C&Ds.

    Anyone remember how valuable it was to have someone advertise your product not only for free, but with enthusiasum?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    ELS, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 2:17pm

    If you don't vigorously defend intellectual property rights you can lose them.

    That's why they do what they do.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Mike Mixer, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 5:10pm

      Re: lawyers

      The only time you can trust a lawyer is when they say they are doing anything for you. Unfortunately that trust I am implying is trusting that they are doing what they are doing for their own benefit. Lawyers are concerned only with billable hours. Period. They have no morals as a group beyond whatever they must employ to win. Finding out that they don't know what another part of the company is doing is not surprising, that is not a lawyers job. A lawyers job is to defend
      a paying client's rights( real or imagined ) as jealously as a bear with cubs.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      oliverg, Mar 23rd, 2006 @ 1:27am

      Re:

      @ELS AFAIK you have to defent BRands and Patents. Copyright is yours automatically and it stays yurs till x years after your death.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Rob Stevens, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 2:44pm

    Yes, but ...

    You can't "vigorously defend" in a vaccuum. Sending out C&D's without a client's knowledge is akin to ambulance chasing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 2:47pm

    Lawyers are the leeches of society

    Personally I can't wait until a company uploads the content to YouTube. Then their own lawyers sue YouTube and their own employer for posting the content. Until them I will continue to patent jibber jabber junk and sue people for creating an actual use for said jibber jabber.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Liam, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 2:53pm

    Clients

    Lawyers are not going to send C&D without client approval. Most of what people complain about as "lawyer evil" is actually exactly what clients ask their own lawyer to do.

    That said, I agree with the main point that IP owners could become more sophisticated about viral marketing. IP owners do have the right to decide, in any case.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Elf Ink, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 3:36pm

    A cynical view

    The lawyers just want to maximize billable hours. First they'll bill time for "defending" their client. Then when the client calls to tell them to quit, they'll bill for that time also.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    John, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 4:29pm

    A realistic view

    obviously their lawyers dont work in marketing, the lawyers work in LAW, the company works in marketing. Its the company's job to ensure the lawsuits are worth it, and the lawyers job to enact them. The lawyers are doing the job they are hired and PAID to do. Dont blame the lawyers, blame the company - if they don't want the lawyers to sue then withdraw the consent to have the lawyers defend their IP.

    Also, yes, Lawyers bill for the time that you spend with them, even if it is just a phone call. of course we do. You guys get paid by the hour, and if you take a phone call during this time yo get paid. Why isnt it fair that we should get paid as well? That makes no sense - we get paid by you for our time that you take up, time that would otherwise be spent doing other work. Remember, all lawyers are self employed and every minute of their lives requires a cost-benefit analysis. Don't think its an easy life.

    Anyone else see the irony of the above poster calling LAWYERS the leeches of society in an article about MARKETING? Dear lord people are ignorant.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Tyshaun, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 7:06pm

      Re: A realistic view

      obviously their lawyers dont work in marketing, the lawyers work in LAW, the company works in marketing. Its the company's job to ensure the lawsuits are worth it, and the lawyers job to enact them. The lawyers are doing the job they are hired and PAID to do. Dont blame the lawyers, blame the company - if they don't want the lawyers to sue then withdraw the consent to have the lawyers defend their IP.

      Also, yes, Lawyers bill for the time that you spend with them, even if it is just a phone call. of course we do. You guys get paid by the hour, and if you take a phone call during this time yo get paid. Why isnt it fair that we should get paid as well? That makes no sense - we get paid by you for our time that you take up, time that would otherwise be spent doing other work. Remember, all lawyers are self employed and every minute of their lives requires a cost-benefit analysis. Don't think its an easy life.


      While I do agree that lawyers have every right to make a living at their trade, I think most people a problem with

      a) the rate at which they charge. I received an itemized bill from my lawyer that actually contained a $50.00 charge for a 10 minute phone consult. Come on, I can call my doctor at 3am and get his advice for free! I understand having to make a living but I don't want to feel like I'm being sucked dry!

      b) it seems like (my perception anyway) that law today perpetuates nothing more than the fact that you need a lawyer to understand it. I dunno, in my eutopia it should be possible to start a business or something without having to require an attorney. I think the biggest disservice we do is that most of the people we elect to make laws are lawyers, hence there's really very little impetus to make the law accessible to the common man. Hell, I have 2 Masters Degrees in hard core sciences and I can barely get through my tax forms without 2 advils and a short nap to stop my head from spinning!

      c) Lawyers are great for those with the money to pay for them. However, most people I know can't afford to pay someone $100.00 or more an hour to work a case for them, considering anything more complicated than a single office consult could mean hours and hours of work on the lawyers part. Lawyers work for the rich and for corporations, the poor and disadvantaged of society get run over by them, the ones who need them the most probably. Again, just my opinion.

      Anyone else see the irony of the above poster calling LAWYERS the leeches of society in an article about MARKETING? Dear lord people are ignorant.


      But marketing people have never claimed to be anything else but glorified salespeople. There's an honesty to the trade, not necessarily the tactics. A marketing person can look you straight in the face and say my goal and job is to convince you to buy my product.

      I'm sorry my friend but your profession is kind of like the dentist. Yes, lawyers are needed, but you're going to be hard pressed to ever get the general population to rise up and call for the "We Love The Lawyers" Day.

      I'm sorry for the soapbox but any comment trying to illicite sympathy for lawyers draws a cautious eye from me.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Shabina Bi, Jun 8th, 2006 @ 6:17am

      Re: A realistic view

      i agree with this, lawyers are doing exactly what their clients tell them to and as far as charging thier clients even for a phone call, it's a good because think about it, a client calls and takes forever to get to the point becuase come on we all know if we're being honest that marketing people can talk forever about nothing at all which is what makes them great marketing people in the first place but if they are paying for the time they'll get to the point fast saving both sides a lot of expensive time, and its also true that marketing people are paid by hte hour so why shouldn' t lawyers be paid the same.

      and yeah i see the irony of the above poster calling LAWYERS the leeches of society in an article about MARKETING.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Josh, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 4:32pm

    Sounds like...

    RIAA. We all know its run by lawyers and management types that are lawyers without the law degrees. Folks who really don't want what's best for their clients (the artists). They just want money without understanding how money is actually made (as opposed to profit-by-suing-someone).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Joe Smith, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 4:41pm

    news.google

    The most bizarre example of this sort of behaviour is the actions by newspapers against Google for www.news.google.com (one of my favorite sites). Newspapers are trying to draw traffic by putting up webpages. News.google is a terrific way for any news publisher to attact traffic and here they are complaining about it. Google's response of course is completely practical - we'll drop you from the index if you don't want to be there.

    http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1778139,00.asp

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    TriZz, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 5:05pm

    Ummmmm...

    this.is.gay

    I mean, seriously - youtube doesn't allow people to download the videos - they can only play them on their site - and post the code for other sites.

    It's not really file sharing since nothing is getting downloaded.

    gayer the slayer.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Michael Vilain, Mar 22nd, 2006 @ 12:58am

      Re: Ummmmm...

      I'll show you gay...

      [I'm the evil queen. If you don't have anything nice to say, come sit next to me]

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      thecaptain, Mar 22nd, 2006 @ 5:08am

      Re: Ummmmm...

      I'm not sure...what's gay?

      This story is having sex with other stories?
      You Tube is attracted to other YouTube sites?

      Confused.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This