Today I saw a funny video on a forum. I thought to myself, “this is going to explode”, so I went to YouTube to see what the play count was. 400k. Not bad. I’ll have to check it later. I noticed something really peculiar in the video description:
“For licensing/usage please contact: email@example.com”
Huh? This was supposed to be someone’s funny personal video. Did this person have the foresight to actually license their personal video?
I visit the website and this statement jumps out at me:
WE BELIEVE CONTENT CREATORS SHOULD BE REWARDED FOR THEIR WORK.
What the hell? Further:
JukinVideo.com has the world’s largest selection of short-form, viral video content available for licensing.
Ok. I am feeling totally ripped off now for even watching that and considering sharing it. “Viral video content” – I don’t even know how to describe this. I was under the impression that “viral” was something that happened to a video, not something that was premeditated. How naive I am.
But let’s jump back to that first statement. I do believe that people who become viral sensations are rewarded in some way for their work. They do get lots of media attention, then it’s up to them to parlay that into something of lasting monetary value. This site is not needed.
This site’s statement should read: “WE BELIEVE WE DESERVE A CUT OF YOUR SUCCESS.” Because that’s what they’re doing, injecting themselves between your work and the world, buffered by a team of legal experts that will “protect your (they really mean their) content rights.” This is a company that is intent on taking everything wrong with the entertainment industry and applying it to the free internet.
I am curious how this works, because they do have examples of honestly homemade videos. Do they seek out funny videos, then approach the owner and say, “Let us license your video and we’ll pay you a percentage of the licensing fees we get. Why not, you won’t make anything on your video otherwise.” But is that true? If this company owns the right to that video and it goes viral, what are your rights for show appearances, travel and reimbursements? Do they own you? I know enough about the entertainment industry to know you are not the one who will profit from this deal.
You can be assured that the rights will be in perpetuity, which means they can resell your video over and over forever, to TV shows, DVD collections, or even Time-Life greatest hits. The video isn’t yours anymore. Depending on how the contract is written, you may not see any “royalties” after a certain period.
I am disgusted.