Now playing at YouTube? 'Coke and Mentos' vs. 'Lazy Sunday'

Mainstream content copyright vs. consumer created media copyright.


Fritz Grobe and Stephen Voltz, the not-quite-amateur creators of the video clip viral sensation “Diet Coke and Mentos,” have posted a message at their Website: “Please do not post our videos on sites like YouTube and Google.”

The video team is going the “videos powered by REVVER” route and is being championed by many in the Web 2.0 community for standing up for their copyright.

zefrank also has posted “please DO NOT upload these movies to YouTube or any other VID hosting site” and in his July 27 “show” he reflects on a not too distant consumer created media future when “dancing nuts might actually have value.”

zefrank talks about the recent Los Angeles News Service $150,000 copyright infringement lawsuit against YouTube (see “YouTube the video star: Act II”) and references the possible “death of YouTube.”

NBC, however, when it stood up for its copyright in the SNL video “Lazy Sunday” earlier this year by demanding that YouTube remove unauthorized NBC content from its service, did not benefit from such Web 2.0 community support.

I recount NBC’s efforts in “YouTube now 'entertainment destination': partners with NBC, courts CBS”:

YouTube acquiesced to NBC’s demand that an unauthorized clip of the NBC produced "Saturday Night Live" video, "Lazy Sunday," be removed from YouTube, along with unauthorized copies of more than 500 other pieces of NBC content, citing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The piratedclip of the popular SNL parody garnered more than 5 million views at YouTube before its forced removal.”

YouTube posted at its blog:

Hi Tubers! NBC recently contacted YouTube and asked us to remove Saturday Night Live's "Lazy Sunday: Chronicles of Narnia" video. We know how popular that video is but YouTube respects the rights of copyright holders. You can still watch SNL's "Lazy Sunday" video for free on NBC's website.

The NBC and YouTube copyright considerations, however, were not widely applauded. NBC was deemed by many to be “clueless” and some recommended a NBC thank you to YouTube, in place of its “Cease and Desist” order.

A “tuber” posted the following at YouTube:

Dear NBC Universal General Electric: Bad Form. Really, Really bad.

Lazy Sunday is one of the most virulent of viral media I’ve seen in years. It literally was on nearly every site I frequent. I watched it at YouTube, and went back to view it on YouTube several times and gave the URL to friends. This sparked the discussion of whether SNL was finally “not sucking” anymore.

Get the idea? People were talking about one of your shows, one which hasn’t been, you know, funny in years…

You could have protected your copyright by granting a free license to YouTube and asking they display a copyright notice on the page. You’d have gained considerable ‘cred’ with tech savvy people who are starting to move away from television as the primary source of their media--Chris Thompson.

The tables have turned since.

Tech-savvy people are campaigning to prevent their videos from being uploaded to YouTube.

NBC, however, is partnering with YouTube in a cross-promotional and content distribution deal, as I discuss in “YouTube now 'entertainment destination': partners with NBC, courts CBS”:

NBC will create an official NBC Channel on YouTube to house its Fall Preview area with exclusive clips to promote NBC's "The Office."…NBC will upload several video presentations and longform promos per week to the NBC Channel on YouTube from primetime and late-night programs like "Saturday Night Live," "The Office," and "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno." YouTube will also promote NBC's videos throughout the site.

UPDATE ALSO SEE: Revver: advertiser-driven videos?