Chappelle Show Creator Gives Grieving MCA Fans A Treat, Viacom Gives Them The Finger

from the how-nice-of-them dept

In Viacom’s continuing efforts to make itself look pretty clueless and unsympathetic, it has decided to issue a takedown over a previously unseen clip of the Beastie Boys performing on The Chappelle Show, which was uploaded to YouTube by Chappelle Show co-creator, Neal Brennan. The episode it was filmed for never aired as it was supposed to be in Season 3 of the show, which famously (and tragically) never happened because Dave Chappelle decided to walk away from the show.

It’s clear that Brennan uploaded the video as a tribute to Adam Yauch/MCA following his death. And that seems like a great gesture — the kind of thing that Viacom might celebrate. As both of the links above note, the show was never aired, so this clip was just “gathering dust.” There has been some talk that Viacom wanted to put together new shows using existing clips — so I’m guessing that’s part of the thinking that went into this (perhaps I’m being generous in assuming any thinking went into this at all).

Either way, it’s actions like these that make people distrust and dislike big companies like Viacom even more. Here was an easy way to do something good. Viacom could have (and probably should have) celebrated this tribute, even to the point of directly calling attention to Brenna’s YouTube upload. Instead, it went legal, and comes out looking like an unsympathetic bully.

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Companies: viacom

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Comments on “Chappelle Show Creator Gives Grieving MCA Fans A Treat, Viacom Gives Them The Finger”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

As I’ve pointed out over and over and over again, the MPAA, the RIAA, the MAFIAA, the copyright cartel, Hollywood, the record companies, whatever you want to call them and however you want to aggregate them, are the mortal enemies of the Internet. It didn’t have to be this way: they could have chosen to evolve and adapt. But they didn’t. And now they must be ruthlessly exterminated like the vermin they’ve proven themselves to be, because the Internet can’t be free as long as they survive.

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Why should we respect copyright? Respect is a two way street, and from what I can see, copyright and those who want to abuse it, deserve no respect.
Give me one good reason why people in 2012 must adhere to broadcast schedules when determining what to watch. Go on. Make a good argument. I want to know what benefit I receive from being told to watch this show at 2100 CE.

MonkeyFracasJr (profile) says:

Referring to companies in third person

I dis-like the tendency to refer to companies as sentient entities. I understand organizations can be seen as acting or behaving this way or that way, but in reality it is people who are taking action. Real flesh and blood human beings. Organizations do not feel or become influenced by emotions but people do. Instead of referring to the behavior of an organization we should be specific and direct about who (by NAME) in the organization is driving the actions and behaviors. This is the only way we will be able to socially influence an organization’s behavior. Make someone accountable.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Referring to companies in third person

in reality it is people who are taking action. Real flesh and blood human beings. Organizations do not feel or become influenced by emotions but people do.

I disagree with this to a certain extent. I mean, yes, at the bottom of it is people. However, there is no single person, and there is no single point of responsibility.

People in groups behave very, very differently than individuals do. At best, a corporation is people behaving as a group. It is no longer flesh-and-blood human beings in the sense we think about it, but a “social being” with a distinct personality, goals, and even emotions that often do no correspond with any individual that is a part of it.

With corporations it’s even worse, as there are specific legal constraints that the people who work in it must adhere to. Every day, people in corporations take actions that they personally disagree with because they are required to by these constraints.

This is the only way we will be able to socially influence an organization’s behavior.

This is the part I disagree with the most. Socially shaming the members of a corporation is largely worthless. The corporation will continue as it does regardless of how embarrassed the people who work for it are. If the employees are embarrassed enough, they’ll quit and be replaced by someone else who will act as the corporation requires.

The only effective way to influence corporate behavior is by affecting the only thing any corporation truly cares about: their profit margin.

MonkeyFracasJr (profile) says:

Re: Referring to companies in third person

Points taken.

That there is no point of responsibility (or accountability) and they only means of influence is through the profits, are the two biggest “flaws” of a corporation. And they were written that way intentionally and specifically so that individual people could escape responsibility and accountability for the actions as a business. Society makes humans accountable and holds them responsible for a reason, we should not allow organizations to operate with out them.

I know, ‘good luck to me’, I’m a bit of an idealist.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Referring to companies in third person

>However, there is no single person

I’ve worked at several large corporations: pipeline companies, chemical plants, huge refineries. In most cases, there is a person who is responsible. Someone ordered the Deepwater Horizon to start pumping which lead to the spill. Companies prefer to show a unified face, so you may not ever know his/her name.

Social shaming is highly effective. I have personally worked with TransCanada on their XL pipeline to make it safer. Everyone involved wants these pipelines to be leak-free. Sure, you have management who want to make sure you put the cheapest pipe in the ground that will work, but they do this in your interest too. Do you want to spend $20/gallon to have gold plated pipelines?

Hitting them in the pocketbook is also very effective. Bailing out banks during the crisis was by far the most idiotic thing done. Instead, banks were bailed out and more regulation was put in; both which will only make things worse.

Ultimately, people are responsible for their governments and businesses in their communities. If you don’t want Gates or Jobs to be rich, don’t buy Microsoft or Apple.

Spointman (profile) says:

So here’s a fun question. I’m not a lawyer, so I could be getting this wrong. But I remember somewhere in copyright law, there are requirements on what has to happen before a copyright exists. If memory serves, it has to be in fixed form, and it has to be distributed to at least one other person. (I’m hazy on the last bit, but I remember something about authors’ private drafts for a book not getting the same sort of copyright protection as a finished manuscript submitted to a publisher.) If the show never aired, does that mean it was never distributed, and therefore there is no copyright on that clip?

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