I’d never thought I’d hear those words, but it looks like YouTube has literally shot its users in the heart today.
Using copyrighted material on YouTube has “always” been a no-no. Heck lets face it, the only reason why YouTube is so popular is because of users uploading copyrighted material. YouTube is now muting videos that have copyrighted music in them. – Hopefully they will not touch videos that fall under the “fair use” copyright law. – Here are some videos that have been muted. Example 1, Example 2.
Now that big media companies are jumping on the YouTube bandwagon, it seems like YouTube has fallen into a pit that it can’t get out of. In one corner you have the people creating videos using copyrighted material and in the other you have big media screaming their heads off about it. YouTube is regretibly caught in the middle. It can’t get them to exist in harmony and today’s move will only upset the people – you know the people that made YouTube popular in the first place.
What YouTube should be doing is what they have already been doing, encourage media companies to claim copyright ownership over users uploaded videos if they contain copyrighted material. YouTube itself should not be interfering with videos in any other way. Let the media companies decide whether or not to allow the video to stay online in muted or unmuted form. Allow both the media company and the user to possibly split ad revenue if it is deemed that the video is a fan-made video and not 100% owned by the media company.
YouTube is a platform which many people use daily for different reasons. Not everyone is making mp3 files off of videos that use copyrighted music. It’s a place to express yourself through video.
This whole thing is very sketchy and it’ll be interesting to see how people react to the news. Will your YouTube experience be hampered the next time you want to see a video because there’s no sound? That sounds kind of lame.
YouTube is simply enabling content providers to leave their videos online rather than automatically being taken down. They can use the AudioSwap tool to switch out the music if they choose to.