Things I Don't Understand, YouTube Edition

In the post below I linked to some YouTube pages because embedding was disabled for those videos, presumably following a complaint by the band or record company. I think that both have every moral and legal right to do this, but I think it is an unwise policy - after all, if your video is embedded on a blog, this is free promotion. In fairness, however, I can see two reasons for restricting the use of the video:

1. There is an argument that if a song is played on the radio too often, the record will be bought less than it otherwise would have. (There's an interesting experiment in there. Good luck organizing it.) Similarly, it is possible that some people who would otherwise have bought the record will not because they can listen to the song online at any time.

2. Some bands publish collections of their videos on DVDs. The incentive to buy these is reduced if you can watch the videos for free. (But: These DVDs aren't a main source of revenue for any band.)

So I can see why copyright holders would want to restrict the availability of the video. But here's what I don't understand: If you have the legal means to have embedding disabled, you also have the legal means to have the video taken down altogether. If the two points above are your concern, that's what you should do. After all, YouTube is a site which is a bit more popular than, say, The Church of Rationality.

Can anyone explain this?


John Althouse Cohen said...

See this blog post of mine -- specifically, the last paragraph (the one in small type) and first comment.

LemmusLemmus said...

Your mother's comment is interesting - I always assumed that it is the copyright holder who has embedding disabled, especially because a) I know there have been such cases and b) it explicitly says so on the YouTube page. I just checked the four pages I linked to/embedded and indeed the one that can be embedded is the only one without ads. Not exactly a large representative sample, but suggestive. Maybe I'll do a proper small-scale study on this.