Chad Hurley: YouTube to share revenue with video creators

January 31, 2007

News: At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley announced plans to share revenue with people who post videos that become popular on YouTube.“We are getting an audience large enough where we have an opportunity to support creativity, to foster creativity through sharing revenue with our users,” Hurley said. “So in the coming months we are going to be opening that up.” (More here)

Analysis: I’ve listened to some YouTube users’ reactions, and they see this development as both good and bad. The fears are that YouTube will lose its “community” ethos and become just another “corporate” site. On the other hand, some people spend a lot of time creating videos for YouTube that generate traffic to the site, so why shouldn’t they get paid? Both sentiments strike me as legitimate.

I’m more fascinated by the copyright issues that could become more intensified under a revenue-sharing model. If the video creators are profiting from videos that are based in part on some copyright infringed clips, and if YouTube pays those creators, then the claims of copyright liability against both the creators and YouTube becomes even more serious. Once money is involved, the video creators’ “borrowing” of content from others — let’s say some copyrighted music synched without authorization — becomes even more tenuous under fair use analysis. And YouTube’s position with respect to the creators would become more akin to an agency relationship, potentially opening it up to stronger vicarious liability claims. Without a concrete plan to examine, it’s too hard to say how serious these risks are. But any plan would obviously need to consider the copyright issues raised by revenue sharing.


Mia Rose: I’m “the most viewed person ever” on YouTube

January 31, 2007

News:  “I’m YouTube’s Biggest Hit” details the story of teen singer Mia Rose from London.  She’s being represented by Damien Estrich, who runs the channel on YouTube called YourTubeNews.  It’s suggested in the article that Mia Rose may sign with Atlantic Records.

Mia Rose stated, “I can’t believe everything has happened so quickly. I was six when I started singing and I haven’t stopped since.  My passion has always been singing and a couple of my friends told me about YouTube. They said the YouTube community was fantastic and uploading videos would be a great way to promote my music.  Within a matter of weeks I became the most viewed person ever on the site. Next thing I had record companies offering me contracts.  It’s such a fairytale, to think just a month or so ago I was singing on YouTube and now I could be joining artists such as James Blunt and Craig David at one of the biggest record companies in the world.  I can’t wait to introduce the world to my music and I’m itching to get into the studio to start recording.”

Analysis: It’s great to see YouTube discover unknown talent.  I wonder, though, who told Mia Rose that she was “the most viewed person ever.”  I doubt that’s accurate.


Terra Naomi, The Utube Blog interview, Part 3

January 31, 2007

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The Utube Blog: OK, let’s turn to some easy, short answer questions. I promise not to ask any Barbara Walters, what kind of tree would you be questions, but let’s start with, Who are your biggest musical inspirations?

Terra: Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, Radiohead, David Bowie, and Mozart.

The Utube Blog: Who are you listening to on your iPod right now?

Terra: Imogen Heap, Laughing Hyenas, and Radiohead.

The Utube Blog: Favorite movie?

Terra: Right now it’s “West Side Story.”

The Utube Blog: Favorite book?

Terra
: Right now it’s “Midnight’s Children.”

The Utube Blog: Ever watch American Idol?

Terra: Nope.

The Utube Blog: You might be the only one in America based on last week’s Idol ratings… Any New Year’s resolutions?

Terra: Nope. Every New Year’s Day I make a list of things which will happen in the coming year. Goals, wishes, intentions… this year there are about 60 I think.

The Utube Blog: Describe a typical day in the life of Terra Naomi.

Terra: These days I get up, walk my dog Elliott, read MySpace messages and emails, make any phone calls I need to make, go to the gym or yoga, and then to the studio where I spend the rest of the day/evening. I’m loving that!

The Utube Blog: Yeah, sounds like a nice gig. What’s one interesting fact about you that even some of your friends don’t know?

Terra: Honestly, I am guilty of giving out WAY too much information. I don’t think there’s anything I haven’t told someone. Even my mom and dad know every detail of my life—much to the dismay of some of my ex-boyfriends!

The Utube Blog: At the law school where I teach, some of my students are in a band called the “Backup Plan.” The name is kind of a joke about what would happen if they didn’t make it as lawyers. Let’s just imagine that Terra Naomi was still undiscovered, or the music thing just hadn’t worked out. What would your backup plan be?

Terra: Great name—I would probably be living on my mom and dad’s couch. Or in my car.

The Utube Blog: Well, thank heavens for us you don’t need to go to your backup plan! The world is a better place for it. You are definitely the best thing YouTube has discovered so far. I think I’ll end on that note, thanks so much for sharing with us, Terra! Look forward to your next album.

Terra: Thank you!!!

Part 1 of the Interview with Terra Naomi

Part 2 of the Interview with Terra Naomi