geek(n): An intelligent, eccentric person with an interest in the perceptibly useless and esoteric.
asylum(n): 1) A place offering protection and safety; a shelter.
2) An institution for the care of those requiring organized supervision.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Going down the tube?

A friend emailed me a heads up about this story. Here is my emailed response.

Hmmm. Interesting about the future of Youtube. I'd have to agree,.. and disagree.

One of the first things that struck me as strange when I first started using YT was that their flagging system, while having options to flag offensive or illegal material, did not (and still doesnt) offer the option to flag copyrighted material. Then again, its quite possibly fair use to clip a few minutes of a 2 hour movie, and the quality is so reduced that even a 3 min music clip isnt anywhere near as good as the original version that you might see on a purchased DVD.

Eventually the RIAA will sue YT - they sue everyone else, including 12 year old girls, so why would they make an exception. I dont know how that will go, but I bet that fair use (and reduced quality) will play a part in the legal argument. The reduction in quality reduces the size of the copied data significantly and could arguably reduce the clip to something that may qualify as fair use. (IANAL).

On the other hand, my absolute favourite stuff on there is not the questionable TV shows or music clips, but rather a few selected individuals who have a bit of talent (or some other interesting quality) who regularly upload original videos, often from their webcam, but sometimes even from a proper expensive video camera.

Brookers is the obvious one, and not having looked at YT in recent weeks, the others that still come to mind are Moshihino, Smosh, and some Canadian girl whose name Ive forgotten (but shes on my subscription list - no, its not LisaNova).

I think YT will survive even if they are forced to pull the copyrighted material (Im surprised the flagging system wasnt designed to weed it out in the first place, but then they probably wouldnt have gotten so big so fast if it had) Why will they survive? Well, to answer that, heres a few more questions...

What has made the press? What has gotten YT all the attention? What made us all watch it? The recent ones that I can recall are Brookers (Hired by NBC on the strength of her YT videos) Geriatric1927 (an old guy recalling his very interesting life (personally, I flag him as another possible "fake" - I mean what 80 year old can use a computer, let alone a webcam and internet connection?)) The EepyBird guys with their massively upscale (and entertaining) Coke and Mentos experements (before they moved to Revver for the money) and of course everyone knows about LonleyGirl15.

All of these, that have created the most buzz around YT have been original content. I think those calling doom and gloom for YT's future are probably lobyists paid by the TV networks.

Ya'know, I really should blog this stuff :)

No comments: