1. Rukya Rahman @ London

    I haven’t bought a Compact Disc for years and haven’t really got into the iPod/mp3/music downloading subculture, (despite being a twenty-year-old university student possessing an mp3 player) since, as you already know, there are so much free media on the internet which allows one to view such media without the need of downloading – don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those stereotypical “broke students”… far from that… I see myself more as a “cheap-arse” student (excuse the expletive). Anyway, last week, I felt like listening to some r’n’b and nu-metal while doing some coursework on my laptop. So, of course, with YouTube being the most popular, easy-to-use and all of the above, I chose to go to that website to play one of my pre-prepared playlists as I already have an account. Being a satisfied active YouTube member for a year now, it was very surprising and quite disheartening when the message “video unavailable…” popped up, following with the words “…due to a copyright claim by Viacom International Inc”. Infuriated, I took the initiative to email the company and gave them a right mouthful of what I felt about this internet music…”catastrophe” (a couple of lines did the trick), only with the intent of making them think of the terrible decision that they’ve made, hopefully leaving them feeling ashamed (stop laughing, I’m being serious). Eventually, whilst checking my emails today, I received a reply (wasn’t really expecting any). Amongst other things, their response tries to justify their reason for their actions:

    ….We want our content to be available on YouTube as it is on many other distribution platforms. But, after months of discussions with YouTube and Google, it has become clear that YouTube is unwilling to reach a fair licensing agreement that would make Viacom content available to YouTube users. Instead, Google and YouTube continue the practice of selling advertising based on others’ copyrighted content, keeping all of the proceeds without any compensation to the people who have spent the time and money to create that programming. Meanwhile, filtering tools that would identify copyrighted programs and prevent the need to later remove videos have been promised repeatedly by YouTube and Google, but have not been put in place.

    YouTube says that copyright owners should be happy with the promotion that their site provides. The truth is that we have found that this “involuntary” promotion has limited impact and does great harm to the value of the programs that we take care in producing and presenting to our audiences….

    Hmmm. A very good explanation. Being a user and not a customer, I keep forgetting that this is a business and will remain a business so as long as time and money’s involved. All the other companies whose audio-visual media are posted on YouTube may perhaps one day follow in Viacom’s footsteps, resulting in nothing [worthwhile and decent] left to view on YouTube. I can’t help wondering how long this website, this strange phenomena christened “YouTube” will last…

    Broadcast Myself? Nah. I’ll leave that to someone else. I’ll just see whether or not it exists tomorrow.

  2. Rukya Rahman @ London

    Hilarious video by the way. Can you relate to it? :D

    PS – Had curry at Sipson or Grapes Tandoori lately? ;)

  3. Rukya Rahman @ London

    Or maybe I was wrong? YouTube does seem to cater for different niche markets, despite certain companies pulling their videos out. YouTube may end up relying solely on amateur “home-made” videos if all companies decide not to co-operate with them. The website could soon be charging members to view or submit videos if things desperate. I believe this “trend” is going to die out soon.


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