Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Netizen Ben Replies

In a recent post I wrote about how NBC Threatens Video Sharing Sites who have facilitated users posting copyright protected clips online. In a recent viral blitz, 5 million users downloaded, and then uploaded one Saturday Night Live ( SNL) clip called "Lazy Sunday". NBC would rather they pay $1.99 at the iTunes store to download the clip or view it for free exclusively at the NBC branded site.

Lazy Sunday Taken Down

So NBC's lawyers prevailed as you can see from the notice above which I just lifted from YouTube to see if Lazy Sunday was available for free playing. It's obvious that NBC lawyers made the decision that protecting their content was more important than any viral buzz the clip had generated. It was a tough call to make for NBC I am sure.

But maybe are they shooting themselves in the foot? Would anybody actually pay $1.99 to view this clip?

So What Does Netizen Ben Think?

In yesterday's postWho's Ben The Netizen? I wrote that I would ask Ben Kreeger, a 19-year-old college student who I found in Googled Land, if he would pay $1.99 to download this video clip if it weren't available for free.

Ben did not have his e-mail address posted to the profile section of his blog. Instead he had an AOL Instant Messenger address. I left a comment on Ben's blog instead. I also asked if he objected to my writing about him in this blog. He said " no problem" and sent this informative reply last night:

Ben's reply

As for your question, I don't think I'd be willing to pay for something like that. I'm a big fan of downloading
television shows through BitTorrent or IRC, or even recording them myself on my PC. If there's a show in the iTunes Music Store that's decent enough (The Office, Monk), and if I had a video iPod, I'd buy an episode for $2, sure. But I certainly wouldn't pay $2 for a short skit off SNL that's gonna be all over the internet already.

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