Does Piracy Aid Content Owners?

10:50 AM -- Content owners, especially the big ones like Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA), have been quick to pull the trigger in getting their intellectual property removed from Internet video sites. But Daniel Sevitt, junior VP of content and community for Metacafe Inc. , suggests that maybe they're shooting themselves in the foot by doing this.

Here at Light Reading's Future of Broadband conference in New York, Sevitt talked about the success of the TV series Family Guy. Metacafe's traffic surged after an influx of Family Guy clips were uploaded to the site. "One of the first questions I asked was: We have this content -- what do we do about it?" asked Sevitt during a panel discussion.

Sevitt suggested that since no one immediately asked for the content to be taken down, perhaps Metacafe had an implied license to distribute it. Eventually, the Family Guy clips were removed, but Sevitt thinks their free presence online aided the series. "They didn't have a disadvantage due to us. Since then, the series was renewed and DVD sales have been as strong as ever. Perhaps this was because it was distributed without license."

To be fair, Sevitt stressed that Metacafe is always cooperative with content owners in the removal of unlicensed content from its site.

— Raymond McConville, Reporter, Light Reading

Duh! 12/5/2012 | 3:40:58 PM
re: Does Piracy Aid Content Owners? Ray,
A pet peeve....

Piracy is highjacking and armed robbery on the high seas, often accompanied by armed assault, kidnapping, manslaughter, attempted and actual first degree murder, unlawful confinement, and occasionally rape.

Copyright infringement is, well, copyright infringement.

The RIAA and MPAA have made a concerted effort to make a minor economic crime synonymous with a very serious violent crime. One can understand their desire to manipulate public opinion in this fashion, considering that public opinion has little cause for sympathy with them.

I do occasionally take it upon myself to call out the press for going along with it.
Raymond McConville 12/5/2012 | 3:40:53 PM
re: Does Piracy Aid Content Owners? Good point. Although Blog headlines have to be shorter than news headlines on our site...so in this case piracy fits while copyright infringement would not have. But that being said, I think you make a valid point, albeit being a bit overly dramatic in doing so.
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