Sites like MySpace and YouTube are an interesting phenomenon for highlighting the inconsistencies in the copyright debate:
At recent industry fest IBC in Amsterdam, Robert Amlung, head of technology at German broadcaster ZDF, said its programme to encourage viewers to upload photos and videos to the ZDF website had proved a success, and was clear on rights. "We want to own the rights, so if someone puts images up on our site, they are giving their rights away," he said. It seems viewers can have the fame; the broadcaster wants the money.
But it's not the same if the user feels like using some of the broadcaster's content - even for no money. There are an uncountable number of TV clips (or entire TV shows) on sites like YouTube - which have led to repeated legal threats. Last week Doug Morris, chief executive of Universal Music, implied that YouTube others might be sued for tens of millions of dollars for the illegal posting of music videos.
That irked Mark Mulligan, an analyst at Jupiter Research: "If any action is taken against MySpace and YouTube then it will be an own goal," he observed. "It's time for record labels to wake up to the reality that the internet's prime role is not distribution but discovery."