Monday, February 05, 2007

Blogtopian Housekeeping

I made a few changes to my sidebar this morning. Just thought I'd mention why.

First of all, this week's word is actually a statement. Because Viacom sucks. You can read the whole story over at all things bitter if you want but the upshot is that Viacom, which owns MTV and Nickelodeon, among other concerns, has ordered YouTube to remove hundreds of thousands of video clips, claiming that they aren't getting any money for them. JP makes a perfectly articulate rant case for what's wrong with this picture but I'd just like to reiterate that I'm all for copyrights and royalties and all that but a) MTV doesn't play videos any more and 2) even if they did, videos exist pretty much for one purpose promote a record.

OK, here's the thing. A site like ours isn't making any money off of playing these videos. What we are doing, however, is giving exposure to bands, some of whom no one has paid a lick of attention to since, well, since the 80s. It's even possible that one or two records have been sold in the last month because someone viewing our site said, "Oh, man, I forgot all about those guys. I gotta get that record!" Or maybe they went somewhere and paid 3ยข to download an mp3 to their iPod. Or maybe no one did any of that. But a lot of people had a lot of fun and a lot of good music (and some not so great) was heard again by a lot of people and last time I checked, that's why most people got into the music business in the first place.

JP makes the very good point that our little buddies over at Viacom never actually paid a dime to produce any of those videos. I suppose if anyone has a right to be concerned about making a nickle on a 20 year old video, it would be the record company or whoever that paid to make the thing in the first place. But maybe that makes too much sense.

If I were the head of Viacom I'd be asking myself, "How do we get the maximum exposure for our product?" And then I'd go to YouTube and I'd say, "Hey, let's create a Viacom channel and we'll give you fabulously clean digital copies of every video that has ever aired on MTV so that anyone who wants can have a look, download 'em and maybe even play them on their blogs". That's what I'd do. But then, I'm a reasonable person.

And you know what? Let's say, just for fun, that JP and I had figured out a way to make money with "Here's the 80s". Well, heck, then if I was Viacom (or more importantly, the person who retains rights to the royalties) I wouldn't go to around demanding that the content be removed. I'd have my people talk to their people and say, "Fine. Show the videos. Kick us back x amount of dollars". And we probably would because a) that's commerce and 2) we'd be racking in so much from all our our personal appearances that we wouldn't even miss the dough.

Whatever. We'll figure it out and I'm not going to let JP jump off his balcony just yet but it is a bit of a blow. So we hate Viacom. We hate it so much that there is now an official boycott of said Viacom in this house. A certain someone is just going to have to live without Spongebob Squarepants.

That'll show 'em.

In other news, I rearranged my blogroll, creating a separate category for blogs I like that don't update as often as others do. This is not a moral judgement. It actually is just for my own convenience, for when I'm short on blog time and just want to check in on those who I know are most likely to have new content. That's all. (And being sick last week really played havoc with my blog reading. I'm so behind. Just saying). In my view, every blog over there has merit, but there are the daily reads and then there's the rest.

Oh. And the BSG number didn't change because, well, there wasn't a new show last night due to the Superbowl. That makes me sad.

That is all.

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Blogger Dariush Alavi opined...

I knew the whole YouTube thing was too good to last. But I didn't know that I could still be shocked by corporate greed.

Keep up the boycott! People don't do enough of that kind of stuff any more.

February 05, 2007 10:55 AM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Yeah, Dariush, it's a little ridiculous. But if we can buck 'em, we're going to. Power to the people!

February 05, 2007 12:22 PM  
Blogger Iwanski opined...

This comment has been removed by the author.

February 05, 2007 12:39 PM  
Blogger Iwanski opined...

I never did before, but thanks to you and JP, I think I can now say "I love the 80s"

Viacom can kiss me square on the ass.

February 05, 2007 12:41 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Ah, if only one soul was saved, it was worth it. (And hopefully we're down but not out. Assuming JP hasn't jumped off his balcony).

February 05, 2007 12:41 PM  
Blogger Seattle Coffee Girl opined...

I big, fat PHOOEY on Viacom.


February 05, 2007 12:44 PM  
Blogger Sling opined...

Sucking Bastards!!..

February 05, 2007 9:37 PM  
Blogger Red7Eric opined...

I boycotted the Mars/M&M company for a whole day yesterday, and it worked!! Their horrible, disgusting homophobic ad which featured two men being physically assaulted after accidentally kissing each other (because the kids think it's funny) was removed from their website.

The lesson I learned is that boycotts TOTALLY work. I'm going to boycott Fox News next. God, this is totally fun!


February 06, 2007 7:50 AM  

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