24 March 2009

There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch or the clash between YouTube and Warner Music

YouTube and its “broadcast yourself” is such a nice thing, isn’t it? One can view and listen to different content, either user generated and implicitly licensed or copyrighted and allegedly infringed, but in any case free of charge.
Many of the readers, however, will know that communicating a work of copyright to the public represents an exclusive right of the author of the work or of the respective copyright holder, such as a record label.

But how many of the users willing to broadcast them selves to the world at large have considered a possible copyright infingement prior to upload their videos showing them singing a Christmas song, providing tips and tricks with regard to a dificult piece of music or even dancing to a song hearable from the background? Appearantly very few…

The New York Times reports on the ongoing disputes between YouTube and Warner Music, meanwhile leading to removals of copyrighted material or to setting said material mute in order not to infringe the copyrights in dispute.

No doubt, Warner have a just cause to protect their rights. Nevertheless they will have a serious issue to deal with, as any omission of theirs to undertake appropriate protective measurements could be interpreted as a weakness. On the other hand Warner are about to disgruntle their customers, for what the customers might respond on a tit-for-tat basis and punish Warner by boycotting their content.

Anyway an interesting case, where the last word has not yet been spoken.