People who own the rights to music, film, tv, etc. should, in my humble opinion, learn to love the Internet, and not to be frightened of it. That’s a nice glib statement from someone who never created anything useful in his life, but as someone who consumes a lot of created content surely I have some experience 😉
I was really struck by this thought when reading Felicia Day’s blog (again), after the release of the Guild song, Do you want to date my avatar. Within a short time of it being released, there were fan-made movies on YouTube, using that music and animation from games such as Lord of the Rings online, World of Warcraft, Second Life, and others, to perform to the song.
Many content owners would immediately go to war with DMCA’s to have the music stripped from those videos, since it’s clearly not owned by the people who made them but by The Guild, or Felicia Day, or whatever organisation she has in place to own the rights. Did she start processing take downs?
Nope, she found them on YouTube and listed them as favourites, which let’s them show up on her FriendFeed account. I can only assume that this eventually increases the sales of the song (because god only knows once you’ve heard it you can’t stop humming the bloody thing) and doesn’t negatively impact it at all. In the same way that seeing a cool fan video on YouTube with a song by Big Mega Band from the 80’s as the backing track is more likely to make you go and re-buy it on iTunes than it is to make you strip the audio from the vid and import the illegal, low quality version onto your mp3 player.
You either embrace the ‘take it and use it and make something with it’ nature of the ‘net, or you end up fighting it at every step of the way and losing none-the-less.
Felicia Day and creative content owners of her generation are going to make it work, because they accept, use and take part in the medium.