another story in the news today that has nothing to do with our coursework…
Universal chief executive Doug Morris described video site YouTube and News Corp.’s social networking site MySpace as “copyright infringers” during a Merrill Lynch investors’ conference speech on Tuesday that was closed to the press.
“The poster child for (user-generated media) sites are MySpace and YouTube,” said Morris, according to a transcript obtained by Reuters. “We believe these new businesses are copyright infringers and owe us tens of millions of dollars.”
Hmmm. Them sounds like fightin words. I’m sure he has lots of proof to back that up, because otherwise making statements like that in a public forum might be slander.
But hey, who cares! They’re just a bunch of wacky kids playing on the internets! No harm, no foul, right?
“His remarks strongly suggested the company was planning to take legal action in the near-term to either prevent the illegal use of their content on these Web sites or to ensure the company is compensated,” Jessica Reif Cohen, analyst at Merrill Lynch, wrote in a note on Wednesday.
Or, maybe not. If Youtube had stock that was trading, you could bet it would take a hit after the analysts start making statements like that. ‘Legal action in the near-term’ does not sound like an attractive investment opportunity to me.
I’m not on myspace. I don’t post vids on Youtube. I don’t think I’ve ever looked at a myspace page… so I wouldn’t actually miss it at all. But that’s not the point. The point is, people are exercising abilities that have been granted to them by their 100% legal technology, and there are a large number of multi-million dollar companies looking for a way to punish people for expressing their creativity. I guess the argument here is, if you’re being creative on your own, it’s not as likely you’re going to buy someone else’s creativity from, say, Universal.
Who is the bad guy here? I think that’s a pretty easy question to answer.