Copyright Problems with Brightcove

Today has not started off well at all.

We completed editing our first 2 videos to upload to our new YouTube channel, the first official Caribbean media channel on YouTube, but then it turned out that the audio was thrown off and the video slowed down at parts because of some titling we did in iMovie.

Delete and start over.

It takes almost 1 hour to export an 8 minute video file at the quality we want.

Times like these are when I wish we had the money for a faster computer and a video editor.

But things got worse.

I got an email from Brightcove, the company we use to manage the backend for our videos. This is the 6th time that we have received some copyright-related notice but this was different.

Brightcove started using some fingerprinting technology to determine if copyrighted material might be in their system some months ago. They first sent us an email when we tried to upload a Sean Paul music video that HIS record label gave us to put on Realvibez.

Imagine our surprise when Brightcove wouldn't allow us to do that.

We contacted them and they said we needed to get VP Records, Sean Paul's label, to contact Brightcove and give permission.

We got in touch with VP Records and got the strangest answer.

Brightcove was even giving VP Records trouble and they OWNED the copyrights!

We decided to begin looking at other companies to use for our video needs since Brightcove was obviously going about this the wrong way.

The email today was the last straw: They have disabled 108 music videos on our site, all provided by the record labels or the PR firm of the artists specifically to help promote their music to a wider audience.

We have 5 days to get the copyright owners to send a letter indicating permission for us to use the videos and indemnifying Brightcove from any royalites, etc.

Otherwise the videos will be deleted.

We already know how this will go with Brightcove since their service is obviously so backward that the copyright owner has been having problems.

We are switching over to Ooyala for all our music videos - which also offers HD video support.

We will still use Brightcove for our own content and partner channels we create with content owners who own their content and can give us the letter beforehand - but only because Brightcove places advertising in the videos. As soon as we can handle advertising ourselves or find a better solution - adios.

I understand the issues around copyrights and online video, but when the record label can't even get the problem sorted out to have their videos show up on a music site dedicated to their genre because they have issues with the technology company, it has gone too far.

Everything happens for a reason though. We had already converted our front page video to Ooyala because we loved the player so much and just bought our first HD camera since we finally had an HD flash player.

Lesson of the day

Outsourcing is good but don't forget to always have a back-up vendor in case your primary vendor screws you and threatens your entire venture.

Now we have to spend the next 5 days uploading 108 videos to Ooyala, changing the code on the respective video pages and then uploading the rest of the music videos in case Brightcove decides to flag them.

Good thing we were in the middle of implementing the new video page layout and only completed 10 pages so far. Now we can kill two birds with one stone. 

"Defensive business tactics" is the way I describe mirgrating other videos to Ooyala even though we have received no notice as yet.

It's just like defensive driving - avoiding the problem is always smarter. 

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