The McCain campaign has petitioned YouTube for special treatment related to copyright infringement and videos the campaign posts on the web. Both the McCain and Obama camps frequently post copywritten material onto YouTube from other sources, such as newscasts and interviews. Just as frequently, the copyright holders have the material removed. Video sharing sites such as YouTube are obligated to remove content upon notification in order to ensure that they maintain safe harbor under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.
Two questions arise. First, is the use of the material “fair use”? If it is, the McCain camp can petition to have the clip reinstated, but that can take several weeks. In some cases, the use of the clips could constitute fair use, because it could potentially be argued that they are being used for commentary or discourse, and that they are not damaging the ability of the copyright owner to monetize the work. However, given that the McCain camp previously used a Katie Couric segment from the primary season and made it seem as if it were current, the networks may have good cause to shoot first, ask questions later.
Second, will YouTube (or the actions of its users) unintentionally squash “fair use” in the future? The bottom line is that because YouTube has had, intended or no, so much infringing material on its site, that copyright owners have become very efficient at having potentially infringing content removed. 99% of the time, the takedown is fully warranted. But what about the times when the material posted does qualify as “fair use”? Understandably, neither CBS, nor any other rationally functioning media business, have any interest in allocating legal resources to listen to fair use arguments from YouTube users. Sure, maybe the networks are morally wrong to get in the way of fair use, but it is equally wrong of consumers to have an expectation that they can waste another company’s corporate resources.
Best solution? Networks make key clips available under a short-term public use license (not Creative Commons, for reasons too long to get into here), and pull them after the election.
It appears that Nintendo is already starting to build the buzz for the successor to the highly successful Wii, currently being referred to as the Wii HD. An interesting highlight of the article is the massive rise in R&D that has taken place at Nintendo, especially in relation to what was spent developing the Wii.
Its safe to assume that HD video is part of the platform. But what about HD motion capture? Allow for four IR receiver bars instead of one, greater sensitivity to intake more information at larger distances, and the right bit of software, and you’ve got motion capture and fixation for copyright purposes made really, really easy.