TV Networks YouTube Clone Has Bigger Problems Than Antitrust Concerns

from the the-justice dept

There continues to be a lot of talk about the rumor that the various TV networks might build their own version of YouTube, a place to showcase their own content, that allows them to retain control as well as all revenue associated with the site. There are plenty of reasons to think this is a bad idea, not the least of which is the fact that a tightly controlled version of YouTube would violate that which makes YouTube popular in the first place. IP Democracy has taken a look at some of the relevant case law, to see if such a plan might run afoul with antitrust regulators. It appears the issue would come down to exclusivity. When the movie studios tried to create their own rival to HBO, it was deemed to be in violation, because the studios wanted to withhold content from HBO. More recently, the studios’ misadventure into film downloads, Movielink, was given the green light, because there were no plans to make it an exclusive shop. So it may all depend on what the TV networks actually have in mind for the new site. It’s hard to imagine that they’d launch such a site, but still allow their shows to be posted on YouTube. Then again, they’d probably make the argument that an unlicensed copy (of a show) posted on YouTube constitutes a copyright violation, a position that would probably hold up legally. Of course, if the networks were to keep all the content on their own sites, not allow embedding, and encumber it with DRM, then we fully expect the market to deal them an adequate punishment, with no help needed from the government. Network lawyers may be studying closely the legal implication of such a plan, but a possible antitrust case should probably be low on their list of concerns.

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Comments on “TV Networks YouTube Clone Has Bigger Problems Than Antitrust Concerns”

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Anonymous Coward says:

YouTube Rules`

This whole entire thing is stupid. Simple facts are nothing is for free anymore. And everybody is out to rape you in the wallet. Well i got some advice for those people out there. Stop charge all these stupid ass charges and you will attract more people to your network or to buy from your company!!!!Music industry can go flip off!!!

misanthropic humanist says:

Good for them

I agree with both of you, there’s certainly no reason to resent legitimate content owners showcasing clips of their own material on sites they set up for exactly this purpose. I may even give it a browse if it meets the basic requirements Monarch mentions – a simple interface that allows me to download standard .mpeg files without JavaScript, proprietry plugins and all the usual obstacles and security risks. Moreover, if the intended aim of this venture is to promote DVD or theatre sales by word of mouth sharing they would quite simply be cutting their own throats to use any kind of DRM or system that makes it non-trivial to pop the clip on my phone or pod and show it to other people.

However, I Digg this story -1, it’s moderately interesting but it isn’t a technology story. It’s a story about lawyers and unfathomable laws
which have no basis in reality. I have no interest in the machinations of ill informed legal commentators and their arbitary pontifications. I do not believe the law and lawyers have any place in technological advancement. The function of lawyers is only to impede progress, not to promote it, and as such they are the mortal enemies of progressive
ideology. Keeping law out of technology is as important as keeping politics and religion out of science.

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