Dave McClure defends his peeps @ YouTube, I respond.

Dave McClure posted a comment defending YouTube to my previous post. here is my response.

>> jesus christ jason… will u let this one die?
>> (or are you being paid by chad & steve to keep
>> drumming up the PR? if so, go right ahead making their day 😉

No, I’m not on anyone’s payroll. I’m just responding to Fred’s post about how YouTube “won.”

>> seriously dude: every great new wave of creativity in music, art, literature, &
>> entrepreneurship has launched itself off the backs of previous great
>> creativity. plagiarism & copyright violation were as rampant during
>> the Renaissance as they are now in the age of the Web 2.0 Mashup.

Every great societial change is based on stealing? That’s totally wrong.

I think what you mean is that they are *built* off of what came before it. You can’t claim that YouTube is doing derivative works when they take away all of Lorene Michael’s traffic and revenue. If they did a next-generation version of SNL I would agree with you.

They are not doing a next-generation version of SNL or Dave Chappelles show–they are stealing it and making money from it. This one Dave Chapelle clip on YouTube had 99k+ views–one clip! Comedy Central could have sold the ad unit in front of that at $50 CPM or more. That’s $5,000 of Comedy Central’s money–and that is one clip! YouTube shows over 400 clips from Chappelle alone!

To say YouTube is building off of what came before it, and that this is a “Renaissance movement” is absurd. Are the people selling pirated DVDs on the corner of Broadway and Canal involved in a Renaissance too?!??! Pah-lease!

>> furthermore, your contention that a) the technology is simplistic and
>> b) the content is completely stolen are both off-base.
>> it takes talent & skill to both create the tech they built, and to scale it
>> to support the HUGE audience they’ve attracted. as i’ve mentioned
>> before, the same folks i worked with at PayPal who cut their teeth working
>> at battling eBay and huge growth aren’t neophytes — and in fact the
>> current battles / symbiosis with MySpace feel a lot like the old eBay
>> challenges before Meg caved in and bought us out. furthermore, if
>> the tech were so simple, why haven’t OTHER video sites succeeded
>> as well?

OK, so they worked at a great DVD factory (EBAY), honed their skills and then went off and created a second factory that produced pirated DVDs at a record pace. I’m still not impressed.

Here is what they built:

1. Great SEO that would beat out rights holders for the top slot on Google (does YouTube deserve the #1 slot of SNL’s content on the right?).
2. A really crummy Flash playback.
3. Some modestly slick syndication tools that take about three days to build.
4. A very nice scalable server farm–this is not easy you are right.

>> second, while i may agree YT has focused more on
>> community postings and less on policing content
>> ownership, other sites similarly utilize their community
>> to gather content — so that’s not a singular advantage of
>> YT. and it’s also not exclusively borrowed content… there’s
>> definitely a significant amount of original content, or content
>> with ownership that isn’t enforced and/or the owner doesn’
>> t care. is that stealing, or is it simply giving people
>> what is widely available? for someone who makes
>> his living off of other people’s words & links, methinks
>> thou dost protest a bit much…

Uhhh… we pay our people. YouTube is not paying Loren Michaels or Comedy Central–unless I missed the press release.

>> ultimately, i think people are recognizing that of the
>> hundreds of video-hosting sites out there, YT was
>> successful for many reasons — and they should get
>> credit for coming up with a good concept, a great design
>> & implementation, and terrific execution & scalability.

Their design is horrible, their server execution is amazing, and their video playback is Flash–which is ugly and they don’t own it.

>> they should be rewarded by whatever the market thinks
>> their value is worth, and rightfully so — as with Flickr
>> before them, they’ve created something incredibly fun,
>> sticky, and enjoyable for millions of people. there’s nothing
>> sinister about it.

Flickr did not get their traffic from stolen video.

>> All your barking about stolen content and easy-to-copy tech
>> is starting to sound a bit self-serving dude… why not spend
>> your time building your own stuff up, instead of tearing others’
>> down?

I know they are your friends, but I don’t see you complaining about Fred’s post which says they are brilliant? I guess we can only praise Dave’s friends on the blogosphere?

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