I read that the Gawker account, UnderTheRadar, was removed by YouTube because they were posting, among other things, clips of shows including the Colbert Report, Good Morning America, etc. Lockhart Steele, whose name makes me think of some black and white detective show, says they aren’t going to change their policies. What really stunned me was his assertion that the ads Gawker had placed in the copyrighted-by-others clips were not really ads.
Steele doesn’t agree with the assertion that the three-second promotions for some of Gawker’s blogs that appeared before and sometimes after a clip, known as “bumpers,” can be considered an advertisement.
That cracked me up. Since when was a pre-roll ad NOT an ad? I think he was trying to claim they were not profiting from someone else’s work, but let’s be honest, even if there were no ads placed in the clips, they were embedding the copyrighted work in their blogs and profiting therein.
Now, I am one of those people who thinks less than 30 seconds should be allowed, but since the legal system doesn’t agree with me, I don’t upload copyrighted material to YouTube without permission. I know that eventually the networks will realize that these short clips are helpful to their shows, but until they do we have to work within the constraints of the system. Or, at the very least, not add our own advertising when we take and exploit the works of others without their permission.