I don't know if you saw this, but it came out on Friday. According to the NY Times article Viacom Tells YouTube: Hands Off, after negotiations that Viacom described as not showing a sense of "urgency to enter into an agreement with anyone" they demanded that 100,000 videos be removed. Other favorite quotes from Viacom on these negotiations included:
- "We can not continue to let them profit from our programming"
- "They chose not to filter out copyrighted content"
- "They are saying we will only protect your content if you do a deal with us - if not we will steal it."
As I've written before, last in a post called Content Battles with YouTube Not Over Yet, I still think that companies like Viacom need to protect their content and profit. Didn't Viacom produce the content that Google-YouTube is profiting from because they allowed users to upload the content? Why should Google be the only one that makes money from someone else's materials? Why is that fair? Who is to say, too much is too much?
Now, I don't know what happened in the negotiations and of course the article was slanted one way, but it sure seemed like from the quotes above, Google was trying to push Viacom around. And, what was their leverage with Viacom? Oh the community will be upset because you are pulling down content. Or you are missing out on interacting with the community. Finally, how about the CBS study that showed increases in viewers.
You know what I would have said as someone that has negotiated content deals? Pay me what I think is a fair share or I will post on my own site. If people want the content, they are one click away. Oh so they miss commenting on YouTube - big deal. That is YouTube's problem not mine because when they find out they can only see the content on my site, then they will visit and I will get paid.
Look, this is about money and trying to make profits on both sides. I don't see how you can choose the side other than the one that says who ever made the content, should get what they this is a fair share of the money. If you wrote a book or play, made music, or even a video that gets shown a lot, you are going to want to get paid somehow, right? At the end of the day, I'm sure Viacom would rather have their content where the community is today, but if it wasn't a good deal for them, they can always walk away and try again. This is probably one big negotiation tactic, but so what? Can't they try and extract as much value as possible. BTW: Mark Cuban has an interesting post called Gootube Terrorizes Copyright Owners by Withholding Filters