Is Viacom Doing To Independent Content Creators In 2010 What It Says YouTube Did To Viacom In 2006?

from the questions,-questions... dept

Igor Zevaka was the first of a few of you to point to John Green’s video where he discusses the Viacom/YouTube lawsuit with a bit of a twist, highlighting the fact that Viacom is making money off of amatuer content, without the rights to do so. Viacom owns (a subsidiary of MTV), into which it folded, home of all sorts of amateur content, including content such as a Jonathan Coulton video that has a clear Creative Commons license — but only for non-commercial use. However, on… it’s covered in ads sold by Viacom. So, Green wants to know, has Viacom paid Coulton?

It’s a fun video (though, Green is trying too hard to be Zefrank) that does make a good point — though, I’m a bit disappointed that it (a) does not link to the Coulton video he’s discussing (I went searching for it, and it looks like it’s been taken down) and (b) plays a little fast and loose with the facts of the lawsuit itself (to the point of being inaccurate at times). For example, he keeps saying that Viacom just wants a cut of YouTube’s advertising, but that’s not really accurate. It’s asking for statutory damages for copyright infringement, which has nothing to do with advertising or advertising rates. It’s also not clear where he comes up with the numbers he uses for what Viacom owes Coulton.

Either way, it would be interesting to see if anyone has more evidence that Viacom properties are improperly monetizing CC non-commercially-licensed videos. That would seem like a relevant point in the ongoing lawsuit…

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Companies: google, spike, viacom, youtube

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Comments on “Is Viacom Doing To Independent Content Creators In 2010 What It Says YouTube Did To Viacom In 2006?”

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Rose M. Welch (profile) says:

Re: Re:

That’s right, it’s not. Neither are the current laws for copyright.

In this case, Viacom has written permission from Coulton to use his copyrighted works, as long as they don’t use it commercially. They used it commercially, thus violating his copyright and their agreement.

They should pay up, just like they want all other infringers to do.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Yes they should, you have to love the second edge of the sword sometimes. The big media companies are setting themselves up for a huge failure in the future. They are pushing for laws to allow them to maintain a monopoly on content, without adapting to the current trends, without optimizing their business models, and violating all the rules themselves.

Its slowly coming back to bite them on the behind. Its really fun to watch, knowing full well what the trends are and from that what the future holds for them.

anonymousBlox says:

copyright gives the rights holder the right to set forth terms for the use of their work, for example a contract. creative commons is a contract that is drawn up to give both the rights holder and user of the work clear guidelines on what can be done.
whilst creative commons may not be in the constitution but copyright, which is what creative commons needs to work, is in the constitution.

Anonymous Coward says:

actually, there is a problem here: if the video is submitted to ifilm under their terms, which includes granting them a license, then there may be a ‘conflict of rights’. in theory, the submitter had granted rights that they may not be allowed to grant.

you have to track how the videos were obtained, and if ifilm has any way to know who submitted them.

abc gum says:

Re: Re:

“you have to track how the videos were obtained, and if ifilm has any way to know who submitted them.”

Why does ifilm not have super natural powers which would enable them to know who submitted the content and whether the subby did indeed own the copyright? It is their responsibility to ensure this is the case and futhermore ifilm should be held accountable for their indiscretion. Seems they just steal stuff from others with the sole purpose of tirning a profit from it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

sarcasm wins you few points here. If ifilm required people to sign up with accounts that disclosed full name, and information, and required disclosure, then they would know who submitted the clips.

remember, ifilm was a short movie and video production site created by a movie producer type, not a slash and burn copyright violationhaus.

JB says:

Um…he doesn’t say that Viacom wants a cut of YouTube’s advertising. He says that Viacom DESERVES a cut of the ad revenue for their videos, but that Viacom is instead asking for a portion of YT’s overall value (hence the $1bn lawsuit). As for how he came up with what Viacom owes Coulton, as a YouTube partner John Green knows how much online advertising is worth, so he’d know how much Coulton should be getting for the 18,000+ views his video received on Similarly, the discrepancy between the true value of online advertising and $1bn Viacom is asking for in their lawsuit is probably how he came up with the second, much larger figure that Viacom should pay Coulton if they don’t want to come across as big, fat hypocrites.

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