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 Spike.com (a subsidiary of MTV), into which it folded iFilm.com, 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 Spike.com… 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 Spike.com 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…
In mid-March, I had the pleasure of giving the second day keynote talk at the Leadership Music Digital Summit. It was a lot of fun, and generated some really fascinating discussions (as always). There was a lot of demand to get the video online, and I wanted to thank the team at Leadership Music (Kira and Abby) and Matt Houser who volunteered to put together the video with my slides, which you can see on the media page or embedded below:
If you’ve seen my earlier Midemnet presentation, this is actually an extended and improved version of that, so part of it will already be quite familiar to you. However, the final 10 minutes of the presentation gives me an opportunity to respond to the biggest question that came after the original presentation: how does this work for less well known musicians. So, I went through five different musicians, who all come from different backgrounds and experiences, representing different “success levels” in the industry, to show that this basic concept of connecting with fans, giving them a reason to buy (and not freaking out about piracy) works quite well.
You’ll note at the beginning of the presentation, I note that the RIAA was a major sponsor of the event, and there was a huge RIAA logo hanging over my head (not seen in the video). The RIAA also sponsored the lunch following my keynote. While I actually did end up talking to representatives from all four of the major record labels while in Nashville (with… um… very, very, very different reactions from reps from each label, from outright frosty, to curious, to very interested and engaging), no one from the RIAA itself actually said hello. Too bad.
In the meantime, there are a bunch of new events I’ll be speaking at in the coming months (all doing very different presentations), and I’ll be putting up a post detailing some of those in the near future as well — and I hope to meet more readers and Techdirt/Insight Community participants at these events.