Protecting your content.. or why some hate copyright

Filed as News on May 11, 2006 6:48 am

Two bloggers take two different approaches on copyright this week while discussing the decision by C-Span to use DMCA and US Copyright Law to force sites to remove the video of Stephen Colbert’s act at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner.

Chartreuse and his band of commenters take issue with the fact that C-Span is pursuing this. Many there argue that the video is nothing more than free viral marketing for C-Span and that the best solution would have been to give it away.

At the same time, BizNicheMedia states that content owners should be a jerk about protecting their content. Only by being a jerk about the copyright and ownership of the content, can the owner protect their interests.

Who’s right?

I was kicked off of a forum once many years ago because I chose to take the side of a set of cartoonists in their copyright battle against a set of humor websites. They had used cease and desist letters, followed by DMCA notices, and then finally used the legal system through a copyright lawsuit in order to stop several websites from using thier content withour proper licensing. I felt then, and feel today, that this was the proper course of action.

For a content creator, their content is gold… it is all that is their livelihood…

In the case of C-Span, while I may have taken a different approach than the path that they chose, their choice to move aggressively to protect their content is probably the wise legal move – but could hurt them in the long run from a marketing perspective.

Then again, who really watches C-Span? Booknotes, anyone?

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  1. By Eddie Goldman posted on May 12, 2006 at 9:40 am
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    C-SPAN’s web site still has the video of Colbert’s routine about Bush up for free, at http://www.c-span.org/ . I don’t know if they had it up immediately, but it is still there now. Given the demand, they should have listed it at the top of their page, and created a separate link for it. That way all those who want to reference it could simply post a URL. They still seem unprepared for the age of Internet video.

    That said, I agree with you that they have to protect their content. Otherwise it is looking the other way at what is just plain stealing.