YouTube Can't Keep A Good Video Down

Yesterday, we told you about CBS' efforts to get YouTube to take down a clip of an "Evening News" story about Jason McElwain, an autistic high school basketball team manager who scored 20 points in four minutes when he finally got on the court in the last game of the season. YouTube did take the clip down sometime yesterday, but, in an illustration of just how difficult it can be to police copyrighted content on the Internet, the piece was uploaded to YouTube again last night. Here's a portion of the message that came with it:
The original was posted Feb 23 and shot to #15 in all-time most viewed clips sitewide with 1,573,716 hits in just three days before it was pulled without explanation. Sorry, but this very uplifting moment is outstanding storytelling by CBS and deserves the maximum exposure possible, so here it is again minus Bob Schieffer's segment introduction.
If you look around YouTube, you can find all sorts of copyrighted CBS content – not to mention copyrighted content from many other networks. Most of these uploads are ignored by the copyright owners until they become too big a hit, as was the case with the McElwain story and the "Lazy Sunday" video before it, though NBC recently asked YouTube to remove 500 clips. In many ways the rise of easy video uploading has put networks in the same position that music companies found themselves in a few years ago, when sites like Napster and Kazaa made it easy for individuals to offer free music over a shared network. The question now is whether CBS and other networks will eventually try to have sites like YouTube and its ilk shut down.

There's an interesting debate on the topic in the comments section over at Lost Remote. One poster argues that "YouTube is clearly and knowingly profiting from copyright infringement on a massive scale. You'd think they would have learned from the Supreme Court Grokster ruling, but apparently not." Adds another, someone apocalyptically:
Well the day all the video in the world is on YouTube or Google Video, and they are making all the money, there will no longer be any media companies to produce content and we'll be stuck with the sub-par content that we currently see on these sites. I can't wait to sit down at night and enjoy a :45 second shaky video with crappy audio from Joe Bubblegum playing a joke on his hunting buddy.
But "joecommonsense" counters with this:
I don't see the harm here. if anything, this creates good buzz about Steve Hartman and his special reports which are absolutely fantastic. CBS should embrace the publicity given to its newscast and partner with YouTube instead of threatening them.
Stay tuned – this one ain't anywhere near over.

Comments