There’s been a flurry of news about new video downloading services — BitTorrent, Wal-Mart, Time Warner — as copyright holders get busy taking back control from consumers. YouTube just cut a deal with Verizon that gives users so little control that the blogosphere couldn’t find enough pejorative adjectives to describe it.
The glory days of consumers in control of copyrighted content seem to be coming to an end — people who still want to control copyrighted content are being driven underground, or to sites like DailyMotionMovieVids.com, where you can find the location of copyrighted content still available online (via MediaPost):
SINCE LAST YEAR, WHEN YOUTUBE introduced its intuitive video-sharing platform, Web users have had unprecedented access to a wealth of video clips–including material owned by major entertainment companies. Finding all of that material, however, has proven cumbersome, requiring users (and entertainment companies hoping to enforce their copyrights) to search a variety of sites and sources for the clips.
Now, however, a site, DailyMotionMovieVids.com, directs Web users to movies that are available for free online. Two companion sites, DailyMotionEpisodes.com and DailyMotionMusic.com, do the same for TV shows and music. The movie site quietly launched last week, while the music site went live earlier this month. All three sites, known as the DM* Network, rely on users to contribute information about where on the Web particular movies, TV shows and music can be found.
DM* Network is clearly feeling the heat from copyright holders storming back into town — they’ve taken cover behind this disclaimer:
Why is this site is legal
We do not and will not ever host any videos listed on our site. We ONLY provide links to videos on popular video upload sites nor do we upload the videos onto those sites.
I tried exercising control as a consumer to watch some movies:Bolt already facing a lawsuit from Universal Music.
Of course, the users are still fully in control of true user-generated content on YouTube:
And YouTube users are still holding onto control of some appropriated content as Google works quickly to appease newly empowered copyright holders with its $200 million of YouTube fix-it money.
Will copyright holders be successful in evolving their business models as they seize back control from their customers? We’ll see in 2007. In the meantime, consumers can still pretend at having control inside copyright holders’ designated “control zones.”