A Different Take on Copyright Battles (YouTube v. the World)

When it comes to this next phase of content (the post music phase) are we in for a new kind of discussion? Will the upstarts gunning to make money (and help artists make money) be the ones behind the debates over copyright?
Heather Green

Yesterday, I met with the Fritz Grobe and Stephen Voltz, the masterminds behind the exploding Mentos and Diet Coke video that recently swept the land. These two creative types, part of a troupe that puts together a very popular monthly theater show in Maine, hit on the idea of making a video about 8 months ago.

And hearing about how they planned it and how much it could mean to them was inspiring. So far, they have had about 4.1 million views and made around $25,000 through an ad revenue sharing deal with online video service Revver.

But that's not what they came in to talk to me about. They wanted to talk about copyright abuse and how quickly bootleg copies of their work ended up on YouTube and Google, where they couldn't make money from it. Though Revver didn't pay for Fritz and Stephen's trip (The Late Show with Letterman did), the company did spring for pr people to take them around.

They had an interesting point. Though YouTube and Google responded to their demands, they had a learning curve to go through on how to do it and had to find each instance of when copies were reloaded after being taken down. When fame is fast and fleeting, the time it takes to learn about the processes for taking copies down can prove fatal.

But the whole meeting brings up a new situation: When it comes to this next phase of content (the post music phase) are we in for a new kind of discussion. Will the upstarts gunning to make money (and help artists make money) be the ones behind the debates over copyright? Joining in with the big guys.

I know from my reporting around YouTube that when it comes to questioning their model and how they handle illegal use of copyrighted works, the startup competitors are actually more vocal than the networks have been in condemning the actions of video sharing rivals.