More Media Companies Realizing That They Can Profit From 'Pirated' Content On YouTube
from the about-freakin'-time dept
Pretty much every day or so, we end up getting into a debate somewhere in the comments here on Techdirt concerning the rather important distinctions between “theft” and “copyright infringement.” While there are a bunch (the lack of a “loss” on the part of the owner being a big one), one important one is that you don’t see anyone choosing on purpose to allow theft of their own products in order to boost their business — yet, we see folks purposely choosing to allow copyright infringement to boost their own business models all the time.
In fact, the NY Times notes that a growing number of media companies have stopped sending takedown notices to YouTube, preferring to use the videos on YouTube as a part of their business model. Google has helped them out in this manner by allowing copyright holders to “claim” videos that they did not upload, and choose to share in the revenue created by ads, rather than requiring a takedown. Among those who have stopped doing takedowns entirely are CBS, Universal Music, Lionsgate and Electronic Arts. Universal Music is a bit surprising, given how it’s been even more adamant than any of the other major record labels concerning how evil copyright infringement is. The NYT’s is surprised by CBS’s involvement, given that it’s the sister company of Viacom, who is famously suing YouTube for $1 billion. Yet, CBS has always been much more open to YouTube, recognizing that if its shows were being uploaded, that was a sign of having a lot of fans, not something to be shut down.
The president of digital media at Lionsgate makes the point pretty clearly. saying that the company:
?[Doesn’t] like the idea of keeping fans of our products from being able to engage with our content. For the most part, people who are uploading videos are fans of our movies. They’re not trying to be evil pirates, and they’re not trying to get revenue from it.”
If only others would recognize this simple fact. Of course, a good starting point would be recognizing that copyright infringement isn’t “theft.”