A Video Clip Goes Viral, and a TV Network Wants to Control It
By JOHN BIGGS
Published: February 20, 2006
When a video clip goes "viral," spreading across the Web at lightning speed, it can help rocket its creators to stardom. Alas, the clip can also generate work for corporate lawyers.
As anyone with an Internet connection and a love of cupcakes can tell you, "Lazy Sunday" is a tongue-in-cheek rap video starring Chris Parnell and Andy Samberg of "Saturday Night Live." NBC first broadcast the video, a two-and-a-half-minute paean to New York's Magnolia Bakery, Google Maps and C. S. Lewis, on Dec. 17.
Fans immediately began putting copies of the video online. On one free video-sharing site, YouTube (www.youtube.com), it was watched a total of five million times . NBC soon made the video available as a free download from the Apple iTunes Music Store.
Julie Supan, senior director of marketing for YouTube, said she contacted NBC Universal about working out a deal to feature NBC clips, including "Lazy Sunday," on the site. NBC Universal responded early this month with a notice asking YouTube to remove about 500 clips of NBC material from its site or face legal action under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. YouTube complied last week. "Lazy Sunday" is still available for free viewing on NBC's Web site, and costs $1.99 on iTunes.
Next time, they won't ask.
Once a clip goes online, it's done. It will spread regardless of legal threats.
How much money would the record companies have made if they took Napster's billion dollar offer?
Now, there is no money on the table and they can't get Apple to raise their prices.
When someone comes to you with money where there was none, take it. Because once it's free it's going to remain that way.
posted by Steve @ 4:56:00 PM