Friday, July 31, 2009

Changing of the guard for online content recognition

YouTube and Read Write Web have both commented this past day on Jill and Kevin's wedding dance and the subsequent news that Sony has actively profited from the 'improper use' of the Chris Brown song that Jill and Kevin danced to.

The YouTube post discusses how rights holders of content such as music can actively manage their content through YouTube's click-to-buy which has been live for a year or so. YouTube highlight's the direct correlation between the appearance of J&K's wedding dance and the Chris Brown's year-old song rocketing back up the iTunes and Amazon charts.

Read Write Web then goes on to highlight the change in tactic Sony has employed going from restricting use of their content in these User Generated (UGC) videos to identifying themselves as the content owner of the music and adding in a click-to-buy advertisement pointing people to either iTunes or Amazon to purchase the song.

I think it's a great move on Sony's behalf and the proof can be seen in the dollars rolling in. YouTube's ClaimID system that can automatically identify a song and notify a rights holder would really be an ace up their sleeve if all major and independent labels encouraged the method Sony has taken.

Imagine all the machinima creators, vloggers and other creative types out there being encouraged to take their pick of any song they wish instead of a limited amount of home-study productions. I think we'd see a whole new wave of UGC being unleashed onto our screens.

This is a real win for fair-use and share-alike on the web and I only hope it can extend further. If logos such as Facebook and YouTube could have a ClaimID type system attached you would no longer have to fret about whether some big-bad lawyer is going to serve a take-down notice on your site because of the improper use of a logo or content.

I can also see Internet radio having a great time with this. One click to purchase any song playing live online right now.

Maybe for artwork and design too? One click on an image to go to an online shop to purchase the original creator's work.

Text? Could it go too far? Should we all just freely use each other's work and share-alike?

Maybe this new tack from Sony poses more questions than it answers, but the fact that everybody seems to win from the deal makes it such an appealing option.

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