I just posted this to every blog I blog at and several mailing lists. Even if it isn't good it's still the most important thing I've writen in a while.
MyHeavy.com is the latest in a long line of offenders to commit widespread copyright infringement against videobloggers.
How: They displayed hundreds of videobloggers videos from hosts like blip.tv and google video on their website... watermarking them with THEIR logo... and putting preroll ads on them, and ads around them directly profitting off their work.
Reaction this far: Reactions have been widespread ad heavy through the blog space and the primary mailing list for vloggers. It's ranged from talk of class action lawsuits... to technical disussion about ettiquette, copyright and the creative commons... luckily more of the later.
What's the hell is this ridiculous post about!? Where there is strife their is opportunity... Wht I lay the groundwork for in this rant is that maybe vloggers should be actively seeking out middle men like MyHeavy.com that are providing services... like new market exposure, aggregation, search, filtering, directories... and all sorts of intermediary services and embracing them... and working with them on distribution models and profit models for their videos. There is tremendous opportunity. Opportinity to grow an industry... and to get everyone PAID.
Search has always been THE backbone of the internet... since day ONE search has been the key industry behind the internets success. That said search and related infrastructure such as that mentioned above and to be mentioned below is VERY sorely lacking in the video space which has exploded in the last 2 years.
Because of the lack of good web-wide search and intermediary infrastructure for video the space has collapsed in on one major player.
Ask any person on the web... where do you go to find video... they'll tell you youtube.. but youtube ISN't a search engine... it's just one of thousands of sites that host videos... yes the largest but it only represents a fraction of all video makers.
If as independant media makers don't back intermediaries like MyHeavy and others (mentioned below) to make the video search space a dynamic, competitice and profitable space then we can stop worrying about net neutrality in this space... because to the degree one or two players dominate the video space the internet has already STOPPED coming to our front door!
I posted the following mailing list response to: videoblogging : Message: Re: [videoblogging] CALL TO ARMS! was Re:MyHeavy
Disclaimer: This is stream of conscous and not proof read, but I hope you'll enjoy it none-the-less.
Well there you go people! I hope you're all listening!
Distribution is about more than just having a video on the internets. Or having it in RSS.
The future of distribution... and profit!
May well lie in these social sites, aggregators, search engines and the key may be creative commons copy left licensces that encourage such actions combined with a little hard work and forgievness in this conversation to establish a little netiquette for such things.
Look! If you don't want all the power to go back to big media whom will be lining up to make deals with these middle players and are getting played to... then it's about time you start working a little more progressively with these middle players yourselves.
The future might just lie in turning these players like MyHeavy into our allies... or in just realizing they ARE on our side... and perhaps forgiving them... and establishing an opt-in relationship and revenue share deal to reach NEW markets... their market... to make a little money on the side without cannibalizing or effecting your direct fans. You string enough of these syndicators and market middle men together that can bring you a bit of exposure and money to audiences you wouldn't reach otherwise and some of you just might start making a living.
In fact I dare say these middle men may well be an as yet undiscovered key to the future business and industry of the media networks of tomorrow. Looking backward at cable, sattelite and film they were key... and they haven't completely lost their utility yet it would seem.
After all the key to the world wide web has ALWAYS been in search... just ask google, yahoo, and every other giant mo-freaking company. Do these middle players NOT fit into that category? Are they not filterers? Are they not a part of searching, finding and discovery? Is that not ESSENTIALLY what social networks are? Directories? Aggregators?
I'm not just blowing smoke out my ass here. I truely think that the space between... the bubble up space is in trmendous need. I say that not just as a guy who's invested his time in mefeedia and many other aggregators in this space, but as a designer, an architect, a producer and a developer of web services... there MUST be better infrastructure in netween your blog and the next guys.
Think about it this way... the reason youtube is kicking the open vlogosphere's ass in attractiveness is it's the one place you KNOW you can go to find all the latest and greatest videos online.
Mefeedia has failed to meet that demand... but who the hell else is trying? And why not?
Blogdigger.com/media is the only other place I know to find video and audio in the open vlogosphere.
Google has COMPLETELY failed when it comes to video what is in their core mission statement... which is to make the ENTIRE world wide web searchable... in EVERY other arena google lets you search the entire world wide web... news, images, files... but in video all google searches is it's own fucking pool. And if that's all it searches then we're fucked... the road has stopped coming to our front door and we MUST battle our way back there.
Yahoo search is the biggest player whom because of media RSS covers the vlogosphere and the world wide web when it comes to video search... but even they have incredibly bastardized and skewed their results toward their own videos... you want your net neutrality... well it isn't just abotu the fucking pipes... it's being swiped from you right under your noses and you don't even seen it.
Youtube DOMINATES the web video space because of a failure and a loss for any competing company to successfully launch a search for video that covers the entire web.
Ironicly mefeedia I think is the closest to covering the entire web for video, and we only cover about 1.7 million items from the last two years in the vlogging and audio podcasting space. Sadly we haven't had all the time and resorces to make our video search kick ass like it could... sorry... we're stretched really thin, but we're working on it.
It's really ashame everyone is so damn obsessed with hosting. I think the real huge untapped potential is in the video search space and noone's doing it well at all. We've got digg video.. we've got dabble... we've got mefeedia... vlogdir... videobomb... fireant... who else is in the search, filter, socialize video space... the pickings are very slim when you consider there's several hundred video hosting sites. How's one to find a video on ALL those sites!?
Copyright is partly to blame... google got their ass sued off in image search just for making thumbnails... and for displaying news headlines for google news search. But slowly we are forging a new more copy-left stance to allow middle players in video... and let me tell you middle players that make sense out of the world wide web... that make the freeways and biways that come to your front door are the most important thing in this space... because without this infrastructure... without you embracing these middle players and building opportunities for them AND you to make money... these players like MyHeavy... or Network2.tv....or blogdigger... then the market IS going to go to the biggest walled garden... it is going to swing away from you... Where is this spaces technoratti? Where is it's bloglines? Mefeedia as much as I would like to believe cannot carry all that weight... it just can't... dare I say it's starving for lack of direction and attention that competition brings and I'm sorry I couldn't do more for peter... and for that matter more for fireant and dabble.
I'll tell you what... I'm sick of going out and recruiting new videobloggers.. it was damn fun. From now on I'm going to create a new list of aggregators, social networks, middle men... people that make stuff get found... buble it up... directories too.. and I'm going to go recruit those mother fuckers... because I look around... and maybe I am preachign to a bunch of content people that feel powerless to do anything about it... and maybe that's the problem... maybe we need more developers and more techies.... oh! did I mention webjay... them too.
So the next time we're all at vloggercon or the vloggies and have the attention of large crowds of people and we're bitching about the paultry numbers of independant vloggers next to the huge amount of youtubers... remember this and scream....
Where is the youtube of the independant videobloggers space!?
Where is the technoratti of the independant videoblogging space!?
Where are the video search engines that search the entire fucking web?
Where are the companies that make sense out of all the videos all over the web... and all the videoblogs and make shit findable and searchable.
And realize that where there's shit going down with middle players stealling your videos... or using them improperly... or pointing to them... or playlisting them... or "socializing" them... maybe even though they're totally fucked up... maybe in MyHeavy's space they totally deserve to be sued... but maybe they just need some tough love and for some vloggers to say...
Heh MyHeavy... you do great fucking advertising... but you got no content... You know what! We've got great fucking content here but we're not making any money! I smell opportunity! Let's get together and do the same thing your doing but make it opt-in.. and decide on a revenue share! What have we got to loose! You're already doing it with our content anyway! And I think you owe us one.
Inspiration: Four Eyed Monsters - Net Neutrality Short (MOV) (43.9mb)