NBC Lawyers Cut Off SNL's Best Promotional Vehicle In Years
from the brilliant-business-strategy dept
For years, we've tried to remind people that lawyers understand the law, not business, and why management needs to learn that just because you can do something legally, it doesn't mean you should. In too many cases, in fact, the lawyers are doing things without even consulting with the business team -- and the end results are bad for the business. The latest involves NBC. For everyone who hasn't been living under a pop culture rock for the past two months knows, Saturday Night Live was rejuvenated a bit back in December when an amusing video starring Andy Samberg and Chris Parnell called became the "pass it around" hit of the month -- with most of the traffic being sent to video hosting site YouTube. It gave tremendous publicity to SNL, and even the NY Times had an article about just how big this was for SNL. Others are writing about how it helped push forward SNL's much needed generational shift. In other words, it's been the best promotion SNL has had in years. In fact, SNL even mocked the popularity of the online downloads in a promo for the show last month. Apparently, no one told NBC's lawyers. They've now forced YouTube to remove the video from their site, taking away plenty of the goodwill SNL had. NBC wants people to view the video on its own site, of course -- even though you can't view the video there if you're on a Mac or Linux box. Of course, people are going to point out in the comments (they always do) that NBC "has to" do this or they may lose protection to other content -- but that's not true. They could easily designate this video for sharing. At the same time, given how much it's helped to promote the overall show, perhaps it's time to realize that maybe it's not such a bad thing to have these things passed around online. Either way, this is NBC biting the very hand that fed it a huge breakthrough with an audience that had been ignoring it. Time to rein in the lawyers.