Redlasso Sued By NBC Universal And Fox For Making It Easy For People To Promote NBC Universal And Fox

from the you-must-pay-us-to-promote-us dept

Redlasso is an interesting company. Something of an online “clipping” service for television content, it has a nice web feature that allows users to do a search and find a relevant clip — and to also embed that clip in your own website. It’s been used to great effect by various sites that want to provide commentary on certain television content. The actions by Redlasso don’t seem all that different than some old school TV clipping services, but (once again) the addition of “the internet” to the situation throws a legal wrench in things. NBC Universal and Fox are now suing Redlasso for violating copyrights.

This is especially odd since TV stations are in the business of attracting viewers, and giving people an easy way to promote your content to others (at absolutely no cost to you) would seem like a good plan for attracting more viewers. However, it would appear that the execs suing believe that companies should have to pay TV studios to promote their TV shows. Since it seems unlikely that the TV execs will recognize this any time soon, this particular case will hinge on the question of whether or not Redlasso can prove its claims that this use of clips is fair use. Update: As noted in the comments, the Redlasso has agreed to shut down the site, at least for now.

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Companies: fox, nbc universal, news corp, redlasso

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Comments on “Redlasso Sued By NBC Universal And Fox For Making It Easy For People To Promote NBC Universal And Fox”

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wasnt me (user link) says:

this is the usual C**P that the Multimedia giants try to pull off.
they see 30 seconds of material the own rights to and issue take down notices, with out thinking about any positives effects those clips might bring to them.

I wasn’t familiar with redlasso before this article but it seems that redlasso doesn’t host any of the material it merely links to them(I could be wrong on this).

results of the lawsuit should be interesting.
Redlasso’s response:

Mark Baratelli (user link) says:

Give it time

Seems like they’d be fine with Red Lasso if they had the proper agreements in place with the actors and writers and producers of the shows. But currently, I bet they don’t. So maybe Red Lasso could go in and act as consultant on the issue and explain the benefits and then the companies could then put into motion what needs to be settled on their end….?

Carme says:

First, Universal and Fox are certainly within their rights in demanding to get paid. For their product there is a specific rule – copyright – that (generally) says that if someone does something useful with it they can demand to share the profits. This is not an abuse of copyright, it’s using it for its original purpose – making the content more valuable to the creator. So if there’s a problem here it’s with copyright itself, not some misuse.

Second, we should encourage studios to seek new up-to-date business models, like licensing content for web usage to someone – like Redlasso – that knows how to monetize it, and sharing the profits. That sounds like a smart and viable way to recoup their investment in content creation. But when they do that you admonish them and tell them to go back to their old business model (of selling shows to cable channels) and hope that the new business models built around their content by others will somehow help their old one. Taking them to task for daring to try and step out beyond their old business model just doesn’t make sense.

John Wilson (profile) says:

Re: Re:

The point you’re missing, Carme, is that these two companies aren’t embracing a new business model or offering RedLasso a license they’re shutting it down.

No new business model just same sh*t different day.

I’d be more impressed if they had tried exactly what you propose but they haven’t.

Oh yeah, and what the hell happened to fair use?



JFG says:

Fair use and Promotion

Actually, it depends on the original piece: a lot of broadcast material is very short and a 30 second clip of a 35 second piece is not necessarily fair use. On the other hand, if you take a 30 second clip out of context from a 5 minute piece, you may present a very distorted image of the author’s intent. The clips are often used to ridicule, make fun of, or argue with the broadcast material, so that’s not always “promoting” the material. Now, the broadcast material, especially from these stations, will most likely deserve it, but that does not mean they don’t understand what it does to them.

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