Sunday, October 31, 2010

Work Hard and No Pay

This article shows how content ownership changes with the new technologies and how we interact with these platforms affect major companies and their bottom dollar. I couldn't stop thinking about Youtube and its contribution to this corporation participates in robbing people and fans of their money. It seems like such a user friendly medium when in fact it may be the opposite. Russo, shows us that networks like the SciFi Network get fans to come to their website and create their own 'tribute film' to be aired on television. While this is acceptable, because they provided a tool kit that had restrictive parameters to it, it shows how companies give content to people as they see profitably see fit.

Youtube is platform that users are able to upload videos for the world to see and with all businesses money needs to be made. As many people know, Youtube just recently became profitable, but for who, not the users, Google. It's funny that we praise this site for all that they allow for us to do but at the same time they are just using the user’s hard work to make money for them. It's truly crazy to think about it, somewhere in a chair there's a CEO just kicking back smoking a cigar probably watching a Youtube video and profiting from others work, even the guy that came up with it.

As the author mentions fans are starting to wonder about their competition for works that they are creating and companies profiting off of it. It's going to be a hard battle because the more fans push back the more restrictive companies will most likely get and ultimately they do own the rights to the original content. I was thinking about the concept 'if it doesn't spread, it's dead' which was in the other article on television and thought that people could start setting up their own websites and blogs, which some have. Here they could post their own content and potentially it could catch on but also has the potential to fail.


  1. Sometimes we're too quick to picture a fat, gross, balding man with his feet up at a desk smoking a cigar. I'm talking specifically about your second paragraph. Why do people even put their videos/remixes up? Is it to make money, to become the next big internet star, or is it just for their friends to see? So, yes we saw a case today where the big bad industry ripped off an unknown video and didn't give credit where credit was due. Youtube makes this all too easily possible. But for just a average joe six-pack like me, man... if someone big ripped off my vid, I would be so honored. At least someone's looking. And what about those cases where joe six-pack gets a job? Livin' the American dream, aren't we? There are people that want their work to spread. Remember what we in Mittell's class about how TV shows work... I think it applies here. Innovation. Imitation. Saturation. It's just that youtube and all these other platforms are so accessible and well-known that it's hard to put a watermark on our work. I'm just playing devil's advocate here, but in the grand scheme of things... a certain universal internet etiquette needs to be formed for both the average (wo)man and media honchos.

  2. So I did a little research about Youtube and discovered that yes, you were correct that Google executives announced they believed Youtube would start adding positively toward Google's profits. Despite this, it will be many years before Google makes back the money it hemorrhaged since it bought it. However, this has been at the cost of Youtube's core mission, which was originally to offer videos without ads at the beginning. Anyone who has been to Youtube recently knows that this is not the case anymore. Furthermore, with the advent of profit-sharing, users can actually make money off their videos it they become a hit. While it might be different from it origins, it is still a place for the viewer and creator.

  3. I completely agree Brendan and Raj. Brendan, Youtube is using a lot more advertisements which is turning away from what they original posed the site for and at the same time the users can make a profit from putting ads on their page and videos.

    Raja, there needs to be a common film ettique that everyone can respect from the user to the "cigar smoking exec" (Raja, 2010) Like the citation there...I'm not socialist, I just say some other ways to make money. As old institutions start to break down, new rules need to be created and this will allow for roles, jobs, ideologies, and such will and need to change.

  4. But how long before this etiquette is established? Who has the right to establish it? Yes, we need to follow the money to answer these questions, but at the same time... we're dealing with such a new and changing medium that it's really hard to tie it down. Tomorrow it'll just break free anyway. Also, man... ideologies take yearrrssss to change.