Viacom and YouTube lawyers and others are in violent agreement: intellectual property won't kill social media

There has been a good deal of violent agreement thus far here at Supernova, but I was pretty surprised at the degree of it we had on the panel I moderated this morning, captioned Will Intellectual Property Kill Social Media? The answer was resoundingly "no," and the converse also held true: social media won't kill IP, either.

Supernova '07

There has been a good deal of violent agreement thus far here at Supernova, but I was pretty surprised at the degree of it we had on the panel I moderated this morning, captioned Will Intellectual Property Kill Social Media? The answer was resoundingly "no," and the converse also held true: social media won't kill IP, either. Instead, they'll find a way to productively co-exist, or so we all seemed to think. In addition to me, "we all" consisted of: Despite her protestations to the contrary, the BBC's Alice Taylor took excellent notes of the session so I encourage you to check them out. I realized about midway through I've been in sessions that sounded like this one before — but not at a conference, at a mediation. There was a stunning amount of agreement between Zahavah, Mark, and Fred about things like what should be done about non-transformative, verbatim copies of unlicensed works posted by users simply to make them accessible or more accessible (i.e., rightsholders should have streamlined and effective ways of policing them), and the social importance of the broad-based creativity and communication unleashed by social media tools (i.e., they must be preserved and encouraged to flourish). With all the consensus we had, if I hadn't known there was a $1 billion lawsuit pending over these issues, if you'd tried to convince me of this afterward I'd have had to laugh in your face. All of which leads me to shift my personal take on the likely outcome of Viacom v. YouTube: I'm now in the camp of folks convinced this is headed for a business, out-of-court solution. It felt like if we'd had a bit more time and one of those "lawsuit whisperer" mediators, we could have had one today. (Of course, Mark and Zahavah were speaking in their personal capacities, not as official company representatives; yada yada.) Such an outcome might not have the imprimatur of judicial precedent, but might nevertheless have the same kind of domino-tipping impact on similar future disputes. [tags: ; ; ; ; ]

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