Today was a first for me. I opened up my email box and was greeted by the ominous 'Video Removed: Copyright Infringement' from our friends at YouTube. This was one of my 'Scene Gems' clips that I have uploaded to show off cool clips from films that are not usually highlighted. Every clip has a link to this blog to further expound on why the clip has merit. I don't make any money, I don't alter the content, and I offer it up for comment. I thought this obviously fell under fair use, but I guess not.
Now, if you click on the clip (found here), you get an ominous red message that "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Paramount Pictures Corp." I've seen messages like this before, where the Orwellian corporation is specifically named as the wielder of the iron hand.
I had heard of crazy-popular clips being banned, but didn't think any of mine had enough traffic to warrant attention. Paramount must be on the warpath, since that clip (from Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow) probably had less than a thousand views, while my clips from Gattaca and Aliens have over five thousand views and remain unmolested.
Something else I noticed today was a post from Usertainment Watch about a very interesting article in Esquire. That magazine feature showcases a guy named Bob Tur, who covered the L.A. riots after the Rodney King verdict. He was the helicopter pilot that captured the violence in the streets (such as the Reginald Denny attack) that would play on news stations nationwide and later find its way to YouTube, whom Tur is currently suing along with Viacom for copyright infringement.
The title 'The Man Who Could Kill YouTube' is pretty presumptuous (online video isn't going away anytime soon), but it is a compelling read. As the law gets sorted and sifted and things finally settle, we will definitely see a changed landscape to what we have now. The Wild West of the past was finally tamed, and it's only logical to assume that the Wild West of the present will follow suit.