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YouTube Ditching High Profile Users In Fear of Copyright Enforcers. Has Viacom Made Google Scared? (


Google, YouTube’s parent company, often has a very strong and formidable stance about copyright issues. The internet giant is regularly pushing for more relaxed definitions of copyright law and often quoting ‘fair-use’ and the DMCA to fight off rights holders who don’t appreciate how Google allows their content get used.

However, recent actions on YouTube is showing Google as being more apprehensive about retaliations from rights holders.

Loic Lemeur

Seesmic CEO and popular YouTube user Loic Lemeur found himself on the wrong end of a YouTube copyright issue lately. On July 18, Lemeur’s YouTube account was suspended due to alleged copyright violations.

The content in question? Interviews with Lemeur on French television programs that he’d been given permission to share with his viewers. Rather than simply removing the content, YouTube suspended Lemeur’s entire account.

One Week Later

Even with the amount of industry pull and heavy-hitter friends one would assume Lemeur could call on to help in this situation, over a week later, he still doesn’t have his account back.

YouTube is not only refusing to replace the content that isn’t in question, but insisting that Lemeur provide them written authorization to have posted the videos from each of the questioned videos.

Possible copyright infringement isn’t the only issue YouTube appears to be focused on, however.

Chris Crocker

A new video from cult YouTube star Chris Crocker (of Leave Britney Alone quasi-fame) declares that the eccentric Crocker is leaving YouTube for his own web site.

Unlike Lemeur, Crocker has never achieved partner status, even with over 12.7 million views of his 50 videos and over 169,000 subscribers to his channel.

Crocker Jumps Ship

Crocker’s new site is currently at ShareNow (or via the URL mschriscrocker.com), and he cites YouTube’s promotion of other cult favorites on the site while passing him over for events or partner status as a driving force for his exodus.

Crocker’s irreverent videos may not be family-friendly fare with his cross-dressing and profanity-laden videos, but it seems like YouTube could be embracing an alternative market segment. At 12.7 million views of original content, it seems like Crocker’s account would be ripe for monetization.

Conclusions

YouTube seems to be missing the boat with both YouTube users, and potentially offending two large segments of their audience base.

Ironically enough, a quick glance at Crocker’s favorite videos include multiple videos that appear to be blatant copyright violation, including music videos and television clips posted by other YouTube users.

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