Brains Video Returns
Spiffs Re: Your Brains video is back up on YouTube – he sent them a “put back up” notice through official channels and after a few days they did it, so I guess technically the system works, kind of. A lot has been said about this incident already, so I will say two more things and then stop talking about it.
I agree that intellectual property should be protected, and I think that if a copyright holder does not want their stuff to be used on YouTube for free, there should be a way for them to get that stuff taken down. Obviously the problem here is that in this case they took down stuff that didn’t belong to them. Now, I wouldn’t quite say that Spiff and I and others have a “right” to put our stuff on YouTube but it certainly is pretty great that we have the option – places like YouTube are wonderful tools for commerce, self-expression and generally making everybody’s world a little more awesome. And while I wouldn’t argue that any serious harm has been done, I would definitely say that worldwide average awesomeness levels have dropped a tiny bit, which is a shame. I believe that both Viacom and YouTube have a responsibility, if not an obligation, to protect the rest of us from less than optimum awesomeness levels – in this case they failed.
Which brings me to the other thing. I know we were all on the cover of Time Magazine, and it’s our user-created Web 2.0 internet and everything, but we really do have to pay attention to this stuff. Think carefully about who’s displaying your photos, streaming your music, hosting your blog, etc., because they can stop any time they want to. YouTube could shut down tomorrow just for the heck of it, or they could suddenly decide to stop hosting videos with cats in them. Or they could decide that maintaining high average awesomeness levels is just not that important, and suddenly disappear a bunch of stuff that belongs to you and me and Spiff and the rest of us. It’s events like this that remind me: the internet doesn’t belong to the people who make the content, it belongs to the people who make the login pages.