Irony Alert: NYC's Anti-Piracy Propaganda Campaign Using 'Free' YouTube

from the free-free-free dept

A few weeks back, we wrote about the anti-piracy propaganda campaign that NYC has been running, paid for by taxpayer dollars, which spreads typical MPAA FUD, and concludes with the line: "There's no such thing as a free movie." However, in looking over the campaign, I just realized that the videos are hosted on YouTube... for free. In other words, while NYC and its Hollywood friends are claiming that if you get something for free, it must be illegal, they're making use of free online services themselves. Without YouTube, they'd have to pay for the hosting, bandwidth, streaming software, etc. themselves. But this way, they get it for free.

Now, it's absolutely true that YouTube could monetize the videos with ads (though, I don't see any on that video right now), but that sort of reinforces the point. There are all sorts of business models that allow you to offer something for "free" to the end user, but are monetized elsewhere. YouTube does exactly that. It offers what would otherwise be quite expensive (hosting, bandwidth, streaming software, etc.) and gives it all away for free, and has built a whole business around that. There's nothing saying that the movie industry can't do the same thing. Rather than falsely stating that there's no such thing as a "free" (to the consumer) movie, there are certainly plenty of ways that the movie industry could monetize movies that were offered free to consumers. It's just that the legacy players choose not to. And then complain. And get politicians to waste taxpayer money...

Filed Under: anti-piracy, business models, free, hosting, nyc, propaganda
Companies: youtube

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  1. identicon
    Huph, 17 Jan 2011 @ 3:29pm


    I'm not sure this is actual hypocrisy, the quote is "There's no such thing as free movie" and Youtube is a video hosting site. Now, it would depend on how you define "movie", and while *I* tend to think this is almost hypocrisy since movie is simply shorthand for "moving picture", I'm fairly sure the studios don't see Youtube as a "their movie" host. In their eyes, it's (supposed to be) a user-generated content hosting site. Of course, the site is a lot of things to a lot of people; a place to show work, home movies, a video journal space, a chance to share legal content, a chance to share illegal content, a place to log demo ideas, a medium to spread music, to collaborate, a simple online storage locker, a forum for commentary and communication, etc... it's a big site.

    It's just poor word choice on the part of the ad company. In order to avoid confusion, the phrase should have been "There's no such thing as a free 2 hour pile of bloated crap that we janked up with terrible 3D effects."

    BUT! What's more interesting is that this whole situation--even the discussion here at TD--is actual certified IRONY. You don't see that too often.

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