YouTube's new policy ruins Utopia

YouTube, the ubiquitous video-hosting site, recently changed its terms of service to basically allow them to do whatever they want with the stuff you upload to them. This, of course, has completely freaked out the technorati because now their lip-synching videos will be commercialized by the company paying for their bandwidth! Oh noes! You mean it costs money to serve 100 million videos every day? You mean that leaching that bandwidth from the company comes at a price? YouTube isn’t Utopia?

Nightmare Scenario (TM) #1 is that YouTube will find that super-special music video, strip the audio, and sell it on a CD. Aside from the huge “Uh, yeah, right” that comes to mind, how would that be so bad? If you’re so farked for cash that you can’t publish your own work on, say, your own website (and therefore establish copyright), wouldn’t the free exposure do you some good? Any CD resulting from YouTube’s hypothetical effort would certainly reference the originating artists. No one would ever believe that some network engineers at YouTube created a CD full of diverse, high-quality audio to market under the YouTube name.

I understand the desire to have a single point of contact for all your XTREME roof jumpers and pirated clips of the Daily Show (which I highly enjoy, by the way), but this concept around the web that all services are supposed to a) free and b) completely without strings is a little too Pollyanna for me. YouTube is not your buddy, there to hand over bandwidth to you for no gain on their own part. YouTube is a business and needs to make money. Their money comes from vidoes, your videos. If you want to keep all the rights to your video, copyright it and host it yourself.

Thanks to BoingBoing for the hysterics (and the accompanying Wired article, certainly penned by a BoingBoinger or friends of such).

One question for the BoingBoinger’s; weren’t you celebrating a friend of yours having his book pirated recently? Something about free market and how cool that was. I’m just wondering how it is that actually getting free publicity by having your work pirated is a good thing, but when you give your own content to someone else who then legally distributes it for you and has yet to commercialize that, that’s bad. Just curious.

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