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Warners vs John K: has YouTube jumped the shark?

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WIRED mag founder and search engine blogger John Battelle writes of yet another kerfluffle with visionary animator John K. It seems that the WB doesn’t want YouTube linking to old WB cartoons:

John Kricfalusi, creator of the wonderful Ren & Stimpy series and an all around worthwhile fellow to know (and new FM author) just pinged me with the news that YouTube is disallowing his linking of old Bugs cartoons on his site. Why? Because Warner Brothers, who now owns the copyrights, has no idea how powerful a marketing tool John’s blog can be, that’s why. All they want to do is prevent folks who might buy DVDs, merchandise, and view ads next to webisodes of Ren & Stimpy and Bugs from, well, buying DVDs, merchandise, and looking at webisodes of Ren & Stimpy and Bugs. Hey Warner, aren’t you paying any attention to what is happening out here in the real world? You don’t want to upset the creator of Ren & Stimpy, and force YouTube, which is providing a great service, to do the dirty work! Instead, figure out a way to work with the man! He’ll help you sell far more stuff.


Frankly, we understand that copyright and trademark are precious, precious things and must be protected, but we just don’t get the YouTube fixation every one has these days. Clearly, it has already jumped the shark, as all the really good stuff is getting C&Ded all over the place. We have a hard enough time watching out flat screen TV, let alone grainy, bitmapped videos.

If there is one lesson that should be heeded from the YouTube generation it’s that iPods, cell phones and PSPs are DEFINITELY the way people will watch their little videos in the future. Clearly, quality isn’t an issue any more; quantity and universal access is.

  1. I can’t stand YouTube.

    I’m still bummed over their recent decision to remove all videos with adult content (the porn, pretty much) without warning, but Veoh’s pretty cool. Clean-looking player, AND you can download the video.

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