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Here we'll explore the nexus of legal rulings, Capitol Hill policy-making, technical standards development, and technological innovation that creates -- and will recreate -- the networked world as we know it. Among the topics we'll touch on: intellectual property conflicts, technical architecture and innovation, the evolution of copyright, private vs. public interests in Net policy-making, lobbying and the law, and more.

Disclaimer: the opinions expressed in this weblog are those of the authors and not of their respective institutions.

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December 22, 2006

This Modern IP World; Or "NBC Is Smarter Than CNN"

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Posted by Alan Wexelblat

Remember a little while back when CNN tried to force YouTube to take down an original broadcast of an interview so it could substitute its own lame version? Right, stupid.

Now comes NBC, host of the popular and occasionally risque skit show "Saturday Night Live." Recently the show ran a parody of sappy holiday songs called "Dick in a Box." As you might expect from the title, the song had some bits that weren't exactly censor-friendly and it was edited a bit when originally broadcast. The skit was popular with fans so copies ended up on YouTube. Now the story gets better...

NBC, of course, told YouTube to take down the fan-recorded copies. But instead of just bringing down the hammer (a la CNN) they gave the site a full UNEDITED version to post. Material that couldn't be shown on broadcast TV is included (personally I didn't think it was that big of a deal, but that's not the point of this story).

The point that interests me is that here we have an instance of something I've been arguing for since early Napster days. Big content houses can make use of peer sharing sites to promote brands, build loyalty, expand audiences - all on the cheap and at low risk. NBC has made a very smart move and the contrast with CNN's retrogressive actions only makes that clearer.

Comments (3) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Culture


COMMENTS

1. Greg Stratford on December 30, 2006 6:22 PM writes...

A couple of things I find curious.

1) Why try to force the removal of fan recorded copies?

2) NBC's show The Office is one of the leaders in web delivered content with their Webisodes during the off season and some great deleted scenes and extras. Is NBC loosening up on trying to deliver all their content through the NBC website where it is more easily monitized? Or for certain content like the SNL Digital Shorts, are they realizing that the value of a viral video like Lazy Sunday or Dick In a Box far exeeds any revenue banner ads can deliver.

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2. drwex on January 2, 2007 8:55 AM writes...

I'm not privy to NBC's deliberations, but if I had to guess I'd say they still want to retain a measure of control. Forcing removal of fan copies pushes people toward the company-provided copy. It's still weilding a legal stick, true.

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3. thelittlepearl on April 20, 2007 10:34 AM writes...

Anyone over in the UK at the beginning of May might be interested in attending a revisit of the Bridgeman V Corel case (1999) - details here:

A QUEEN MARY EVENT IN ASSOCIATION WITH BAPLA AND THE BRIDGEMAN ART LIBRARY

Bridgeman versus Corel – Copyrighted creativity or commerce?

Thursday 3rd May 2007 • 9.30am – 5pm

Queen Mary’s College, University of London

Lunch: 12.30pm • Tickets: £50 pp

A re-enactment of the 1999 legal challenge brought by The Bridgeman Art Library against Corel Corporation. This conference gathers together professionals and experts on IP and copyright to reassess the verdict and place the decision within a European legal framework, to judge whether the same decision would have been reached outside the USA.

Speakers include:
Claudia Andrieu (Picasso administration lawyer)
Philip de Bay (specialist Fine Art photographer)
Harriet Bridgeman (Managing Director of The Bridgeman Art Library)
Professor Thomas Dreier (Director, Institute for Information Law, University of Karlsruhe, Germany)
Dr. Theodore Feder (President, Art Resource)
Nick Galvin (Archive Director, Magnum Photos)
Dominique Green (Managing Director, Magnum Photos)
Christina Michalos (barrister and specialist in media and entertainment law; author of The Law of Photography and Digital Images)
Marybeth Peters (United States Register of Copyrights)
Linda Royles (CEO of BAPLA and Director of the Digital Content Forum)
Professor Adrian Sterling (Vice President of the British Copyright Council, Visiting Professor in the School of Law at King's College, London, and author of World Copyright Law)
Andrew Sutcliffe, Q.C. (specialist in entertainment and copyright law; Deputy High Court Judge in the Chancery Division)
Dr Uma Suthersanen (Chair of the British Literary and Artistic Copyright Association, and of the Legal Advisory Board, Creative Commons)

For further details and bookings please contact:
Ms Sandra Baird, Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary, University of London, 13-14 Charterhouse Square, London EC1M 6AX
Tel: 020 7882 5733 • email: s.a.baird@qmul.ac.uk


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