Sunday, August 17, 2008

About claiming the copyright of your content

Sometimes ago I noticed that all the videos of the Yellow River Piano Concerto performed by Yin Chengzong were removed by YouTube and felt quite sad about it.

Yes, I know that companies like Amazon sells audio CD that contains his performance and it potentially hurts their interest to let the videos be so easily accessed by the public on YouTube: if people can listen to it on YouTube, why would they buy the CD, right?

Honestly, I can't argue about that. The videos are created by them (I don't know who they're actually), they own the copyright, they can do whatever they want, especially when money is involved.

Nonetheless, I really want to point out one thing:

If you claim the copyright of your content, make it super easy for people who're interested in it to pay for it.

I tried to search on Google to see if there's any way I can purchase the videos but I couldn't find any. All I could find were the audio CD of the performance and two YouTube videos of the performance with very bad audio and visual qualities. What I mean by "super easy" is that your "Buy it now" page should be among the top 10 search results in Google. Or, you can post a shorter version of your video on YouTube and include a link to your "Buy it now" page instead of removing it altogether. If you can't do that, people just can't give you money, and why are you claiming the copyright in the first place?

Well, maybe there are reasons other than money? Maybe you just don't want it to be shared in the first place?

If the content is an intrusion to someone's pivacy, I can understand. However, the content I'm talking about is usually some kind of great performance in which there's no privacy issue involved. If I'm a producer of, say, a music video, aside from making money out of it, I would like to share it with the world because I think that it's great. In fact, the latter reason can be more important than money; what a great feeling it is to produce something that people appreciate!

So, to various content owners/prodcuers: if you want to monetize your content, no problem, make it easy for others to pay. Otherwise, just be generous and share it with the world. It's really sad for some great performance to become inaccessible while they can delight the lives of many.

By the way, you can use the content on this blog any way you want as long as you're not hurting others (I won't define it here, use your common sense) and give proper credits to me :)