Today, TechCrunch reported about the ruling in a case against video site Veoh: What The Veoh Decision Means For YouTube and Others.
Even though I do not run a video-sharing website (we do not allow users to upload video), I welcome the judgment for a few reasons.
- It establishes the rules that online video sites need to play by in order to not be considered copyright infringers (e.g. clearly demonstrate that you do not exist solely to provide access to infringing material ala Napster)
- Provides some timeframe for removal of infringing content so copyright owners have an idea of when their content will be removed
I have seen some of our content on YouTube but they have smartly allowed me to earn revenue from that content by placing ads against it instead of having it taken down.
Why is this better?
The user uploaded it because they liked the content and wanted to share it with others, NOT because they wanted to rip us off.
I like brand evangelists and I want to leverage their support – less marketing to be done on our part AND we make money.
I have also uploaded content to YouTube and gotten notices from record labels, through YouTube, that the copyright owner has claimed the video and prefers to place advertising beside it, thus leaving the video up.
I like those labels a little more because they seem to get it (I still think that record labels are backward). A music video is promotion for a song and album so why would you take it down?
The ruling also makes it clear that the copyright owner is the one who has to shoulder some responsibility in finding infringing content on a site (the sites have to take reasonable actions to prevent that content from showing up too).
Some copyright holders will complain that they cannot possibly police all the video-sharing sites on the web.
As a copyright holder, I say that it is foolish to try to police all the sites. You should only focus on the popular sites.
If no one is watching your content on a site, it doesn’t matter if it’s there – you aren’t losing any money and the time and effort it takes to remove your video that has a measly 100 views is not evern worth it in dollars.
Sites that are backed by VCs, angel investors or are generating revenue from your content – those are the ones you should care about.
As one of my advisors loves to say: “Singing in the park all by yourself is worthless”
Focus on where your content is in the middle of a party, then figure out how to make money from it and promote your brand.
If you can’t do that, issue a takedown notice.
p.s. I still don’t see us allowing users to upload videos, even when we launch the new version of Realvibez.tv