At a time when the debate over music copyright issues on social media is heating up, YouTube and Warner strike a pact that clears copyright hurdles, reports Adweek. Warner Music Group CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. was quoted to say:
"Consumer-empowering destinations like YouTube have created a two-way dialogue that will transform entertainment and media forever. As user-generated content becomes more prevalent, this kind of partnership will allow music fans to celebrate the music of their favorite artists to reach consumers in new ways, and ensure that copyright holders and artists are fairly compensated."
Warner will be using YouTube as a distributing vehicle for music videos to a potential audience that has grown from 3.5 to 34 million in August. YouTube is implementing a content identification and royalty reporting system and will be sharing a slice of the advertising revenue. The music giant will also have the ability to review homemade videos and decide whether to approve them or not.
Is this a real recognition of the promotional power of the reuse of copyrighted content?
On another interesting note, Philippe Borremans reports that Google versus Mainstream Media in Belgium is creating quite the conundrum of how content from newspapers and media companies can be distributed by online news aggregators.
Last week, Facebook, an online directory that connects people through social networks and counts millions of members, was the recipient of its own coup d'etat. Users were up in arms about the site's decision to introduce News Feeds, a new feature that allows members to track their friends' Facebook movements and was considered intrusive. The online petitions obtained the removal of this feature. Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, blogged an apology: "We did a bad job of explaining what the new features were and an even worse job of giving yo control of them." The site, recently opened up to corporations, is now benefiting from advertising and sponsorship revenue.
Clearly, as we now have Web portals and social networks designed to put consumers/users in charge, there continues to be a tension between content producers and the distribution of that content. On one hand we have consumers who are ready to re-organize and re-create information so that it is appealing in their local space, on the other we have the people, companies, and organizations whose jobs depend on making money from that content.
You may have noticed many blogs utilize the Creative Commons tags. The licenses offered by this nonprofit organization enable the legal sharing and reuse of cultural, educational, and scientific works. This solution is hardly scalable commercially.
The Internet might be just what television needs to leverage its Long Tail opportunities, given the higher ratio of produced to available content. However, original broadcast licensing and regional distribution deals make figuring out Internet rights remarkably difficult. The plot thickens when it comes to show's original soundtracks, which are expensive and difficult to license. It is ironic that the most expensive content would have the shortest shelf life, observes Chris Anderson.
It is easy to see how companies who wish to enhance brand loyalties and reach target audiences with tailored messages may benefit. We're talking about an estimated $280 million dollars of projected spending for social network advertising (eMarketer) and $16.7 billion estimated dollars to be spent on online advertising in 2006. These are powerful incentives to work out sticky issues like copyright.