While My Guitar Gently Weeps

There is a lot of speculation about why YouTube hasn’t been sued yet. I think the reason that YouTube hasn’t been sued yet was because they started early trying to make deals with the major labels and generally trying to make nice with the big players.

Where YouTube (and, frankly, Google and other online companies) stumbles is that they don’t understand the complexity of the big and small copyright owners, publishers and labels, artists and songwriters, performance and distribution, sync and master, US and ex-US–all of which is daily life in the creative community and has been one way or another for a couple centuries. There is also a complete lack of appreciation for small copyright owners (including more defenseless (read moneyless) artists) who Google should view as their primary audience.

What YouTube sells is a cyber version of the casting couch. Hey baby, I’ll make you famous! But just like the casting couch–not so much. There is the potential for anyone to get a lot of “eyeballs”, but it’s just a potential. Of course the real problem with “eyeball” driven business models is that it’s kind of hard to tell if having a bunch of eyeballs on YouTube results in a bunch of eyeballs on MyTube and whether a bunch of eyeballs on MyTube results in some bling bling in the CashTube.

Personally–I think if you’re already famous, you might be able to sell some stuff, but if you’re not, I don’t think you will. I’m willing to be educated otherwise, but I don’t think free content sites and free-rider content sites like YouTube attract people who want to spend money on content. When you consider that the average number of viewers of most of the music videos (except the already famous ones) up on YouTube barely equals the cume of a P3 reporting station and that those viewers are dispursed all over the world–unclear to me if YouTube is all that. (A P3 reporting station is the smallest radio stations in the Arbitron rating system of radio stations, usually in a small market with a weak signal. Kind of like being on a 25,000 watt radio in Abilene, Kansas, Tonopah, California or Waco, Texas.)

Take the 130,000 plus views of one of the 9,500 Beatles videos, for example. Hmmm…how many videos does it take to violate the knowledge predicate of Section 512(c) of the DMCA? Ten? A hundred? A thousand? But surely 10,000?

Oopsie. How ever did those videos get there? I guess they haven’t been reported by the community as “illlegal acts”.

Selling advertising is almost as great a bubblegum fix on a bad business plan as “make it up on volume” another hallmark of the Skippy Dotcom, Bubble 2.0 crowd.

That’s a great name for a Japanese anime series, eh? Bubblegum Fix. I like it. They could have little superheroes called Sergei, Eric, Chad and Steve. The Four Kings. But I digress.