Copyright suit won’t sink YT

Lost Remote on YouTube:

The piling on YouTube continues. First, Mark Cuban. Now it’s Forrester Research, with two analysts predicting a lawsuit that will beat YouTube and force it to take down all copyrighted material. While I agree that’s possible, I disagree with the conclusion that such a suit would cripple YT. The videos that really take off from YT are the homemade ones: think lonelygirl15, diet coke & mentos, Japanese Backstreet Boys, Evolution of Dance. Don’t take my word for it – just visit the “Most Viewed Ever” page. The other power of YT is in the Long Tail – the millions of vids that get a few plays each. The copyrighted video argument is a red herring. The first reaction to any new media is to fear it.

I agree a copyright suit is inevitable. And YT will surely lose such a suit. I also believe the litigant will be making a huge strategic mistake. Only on old-line media mogul would sue YT. A media owner who “gets it,” will partner with YT, either implicitly or explicitly, like Warner Music Group did. But the suit won’t destroy YT — as LR notes, the most popular vids are not copyrighted material, but user-generated content. The copyrighted stuff are the long tail of YT — important and great, but not the bread of life — not now. YT would be diminished, but not killed.

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