We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Thursday, May 29. 2008
Indeed a natural and perfect second banana. Here with one of my all-time favorites, Tim Conway:
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Actually...2nd funniest...Tim's "Elephant Story" takes the cake (and the pie and everything else) !!
Garry ... don't forget the Mrs. Ah-Wiggins sketches with Carol Burnett. Vintage great!
Actually, Harvey was much funnier onstage than off. Went to dinner with him a couple of times when he was between wives and doing summer stock in Milwaukee, and his whole consciousness [and all of his thought] was invested in himself -- like more than one actor I've known in my long life. The guy I would have liked to date is David Niven, who was reputed to be very witty and gracefully entertaining but I never encountered him personally. Now that would have been a worthwhile memory to comfort my declining years.
But oh, Marianne... one always hopes for the stars but occasionally may have to settle for the lesser planets. :)
Nice anecdote... the great ones are usually that way... what do you think?
But yes... Niven. He certainly seemed to have a personae that encompassed the stage and the real.
Amazing how much we take these YouTube videos for granted. Viacom wins its suit against Google, that's the end of posts like this.
Why would that be Mister Snitch? The particulars I mean.
Viacom's fishing for a billion dollars or so from deep-pocketed Google. The issue, purportedly, is intellectual property rights. If you've paid attention to this issue in recent years (I have) you may have noticed that the artists aren't really getting anything out of these deals. For example, when Google bought YouTube, they essentially paid extortion money to big media firms such as Viacom. The artists got zip, nothing, nada. So much for this being about creators profiting from their work.
The deal was that Big Media would not sue Google, at least for a fixed period of time. I think it may have been six months. During that time, Google was going to put tools in place that would eliminate the issue of copyright infringement. The corporations were faced with a nice quick fat payoff for doing, essentially, nothing, so they took it. (If you really want a breakdown of this issue, I can dig up some links. But this is supposed to be a comment, not a white paper, so I'll forgo that.)
Viacom has burned through Google's payola, and they've decided to have another go. What Google has to be worried about is the precedent they set by paying off the media giants (when they bought YouTube) in the first place. They did that so the purchase would make sense (you don't buy a company knowing that, as soon as you buy it, you'll be embroiled in a potentially very costly suit).
Google DID put measures in place re the copyrights. Basically what happens is that big media submits lists of their IP. Google checks the lists against what's on YouTube, and anything that matches is removed. Google actually removes stuff all the time. You may have noticed, on other sites, videos that are no longer available. That's the system at work, and it's within the law as I understand it.
Viacom is going to claim it's not good enough. Google will claim it is. Viacom may settle for an out of court payoff, or they may really think they can break the pinata if they go through with it.
Someone owns the Harvey Korman clip above. Bob Dylan almost certainly owns all the clips Maggie places on this site. However, no one's chasing YouTube down for them because, what the heck, they're making their money elsewhere. And there's no profit in going after YouTube. So they let it slide.
If Google loses a billion dollar suit, it changes everything. A dark cloud falls over the largesse that lets bloggers all over the net show a snippet of Korman when he dies, or Dylan whenever they're in the mood. Rather than face the next suit, and the next and the next when the floodgates open, Google/YouTube will take steps to insure that you have proved you own the copyright for anything you post anywhere. Even if Dylan really doesn't care that you see his videos for free, you may not see them on YouTube again.
BTW, don't count on Dylan's largesse re his videos. When I was in college, his Rolling Thunder Review came through. I printed up some t-shirts for the concert (that's how I put myself through school) to make a little money for myself and the school's concert promoters. Dylan got wind of this and confiscated them.
When a billion dollars changes hands, lots of other things change. YouTube will be very different. Some pirate sites will spring up and take their chances, but it will be much more problematic finding videos through them. Established sites like Vimeo will not want to be next on Viacom's hit list, so whatever YouTube does Vimeo and the rest will emulate.
In this way, most of the video you see on the net - so easy to find and link on YouTube - will go away. Now, Maggie has a tech-savvy guy - Dr. Mercury. He may decide to host Dylan videos for Maggie and take his chances. Dylan won't bother suing HIM, right? But that puts Dr. Merc on the line. How much exposure will he want to risk? Maybe Dylan never sues him, but someone else does. Or he reads about someone else whose videos were ordered taken down by the court, and decides to stop pushing his luck. That's the end of Dylan videos on Maggie.
And by the way, who owns the girlie pics that show up on this site all the time? Don't deceive yourself that they wouldn't be next.
That's the house of cards that could come down.
I do NOT actually think Google will lose this suit. Viacom is fishing for another quickie cash fix, and I believe they would settle. However, it's dangerous for Google to settle, because this kind of legalized extortion never ends. Corporate vultures are circling, preparing their own suits to bleed Google. So my bet is this goes to court, and Google wins, to end this dance.
But if they DON'T win, and win decisively... well, if they don't win that toothpaste will never go back in the YouTube.
Thanks Mister Snitch,
I do remember that YouTube was facing numerous lawsuits at the time it was purchased by Google. I wasn't aware of the agreements that were made to make those suits go away. Or, most likely, I have forgotten. It is that 'aged' thing you know.
I understand your characterization of Viacom as fishing for more money. Not much doubt that that is true I would say. But you say 'purportedly' re the issue of IP rights. Are there issues that need addressing there are not?
And is it that there really are two sides to the story. The one side being the 'artists' who produce the work not being fairly compensated for use of their work. The other issue being the holder of the rights to the work not being compensated. And who does hold the rights to the work, using Dylan for example. Presumably on my part it would appear that most of the clips shown of his shows are bootlegs. And much as your t-shirts he does have every right to stop their use and/or sale as he sees fit.
I've become longwinded... to the point, aren't there real issues that need to be addressed as to the matter of copyright and 'just' compensation for the creators of what we all see and look at on the net. I just think it too simple to put everything down to avarice and greed.
"to the point, aren't there real issues that need to be addressed as to the matter of copyright and 'just' compensation for the creators of what we all see and look at on the net."
Again, it's a question of studying the issue to make that determination, and I encourage anyone who wants to know more to make their own. My examination satisfies me that the creators of these works aren't making any additional money, it's a matter of a corporate stickup. Certainly the corporations talk about IP rights as if they were fighting on the creators' behalf - and one can take that at face value if one wants, but that's a smokescreen. (Do you see the CREATORS on the warpath here?)
One illustration of the point is a link I'd posted here previously: http://tinyurl.com/5t9y66
And here's a post re the recording industry's attempted hijacking of Apple: http://tinyurl.com/4cdaan
"I just think it too simple to put everything down to avarice and greed."
The inevitability of avarice and greed explains an awful lot. It's why we have three branches of government instead of just a king.
"And much as your t-shirts he does have every right to stop their use and/or sale as he sees fit."
Never said he didn't. The point was, he's not really inclined to let such things pass. But that's probably moot: Should Viacom win, ALL of it gets shut down, as a matter of expediency.
Damn that Shakespeare. He was right all along . First we kill all the lawyers. Well maybe not all, just the blood sucking, parasite types. I guess thats all of them.Oh well no big loss.
Mister Snitch... your comments deserve better than what you're going to get from me just now... as it's Friday night and I am beyond my normal allotment of the sacred grape... essence version 2.0.
Starving artists have likely been around for thousands of years. In the greater scheme most are happy just to see their work shown at all. That doesn't make it right, of course.
I mean where do we, if we do, draw the line. Google is making scads of money off the work of others. So as far as avarice and greed I see not much difference between Google and Viacom. It's like Capone's' Chicago in the twenties and thirties. Who brings the most heat to the table.
Isn't the argument really about how much longer we Internet denizens get to enjoy everything for free. I mean we couch it in different terms and ways... but isn't that what the argument is really about? Profit for all will stifle freedom.
An extremely complicated subject I think.
Arguably the best movie title of all time, that. The theme, the tone, the premise, the conceit, the POV, are all right there in that two-word title.
It is a difficult subject, Luther, especially for those of us raised to believe that, if you take the risk and do the work, you should get the reward. Viacom and others are claiming that they are the ones who have done that. I am claiming what I have found to be true: It is NOT so. Viacom and their corporate ilk long ago have pried artists' profits from the artists, aside from a handful powerful enough to cut their own (better) deals after years of strife. Ray Charles was a pioneer in this area. The Beatles were obliged to start their own record company, Lucille Ball her own studio. Peter Jackson had to sue New Line after Lord of the Rings to get his contractually-agreed share of the profits (they cooked the books to conceal a great deal of his rightful share). But if you're not a megastar, these companies do NOT nurture artists - they drain your blood and toss you aside. Most new musicians today simply record their music themselves and place it on the net, hoping for the best, rather than pursue recording contracts.
If the Viacoms of this world actually were after Google on behalf of the creators whose copyrights they hold (as they claim for PR purposes), I'd be all for it. But that's not what is going on here.
Don't forget that print media has already tried this and failed. Early on in the history of blogs, a number of print-media outlets attempted to stop bloggers from quoting snippets of text. Some tried to even stop bloggers from linking them! Had that succeeded, most blogs would not exist today in any form.
The irony is that it's the bloggers and others re-using snippets of Viacom's works who are the new innovators here, and they will be the ones totally screwed if Viacom wins. Count the number of videos on Maggie's front page each day. Now count them gone.