If you’ve been working at all in online video, then you know Rights Issues on YouTube and the overarching digital sphere are a huge pain for both content creators and the various rights holders. Usually, however, this problem is illuminated via music lawsuits like the one filed yesterday against Michelle Phan or DMCA takedowns that send gamers and YouTube creators into an angry, trolling frenzy.
Despite the efforts from various companies like Audiosocket, TuneSat and TuneCore, even ContentID, the music copyrights issue is a slow moving ship in the night, with only a slight breeze blowing the sails towards resolution, thanks to record companies’ inability to adopt the appropriate technologies. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of dollars are being lost.
But what of other types of intellectual property like clips, movie trailers, or full episodes that are hijacked and used without the proper permissions? Years ago, MovieClips.com, later rebranded as Zefr and then sold off to Fandango, set out to solve exactly this issue for Hollywood. Fishbowl Media Worldwide has also approached the clips space, on the back of its massive library inherited from America’s Funniest Home Videos.
But the hottest company in this space right now is Jukin Media — who just locked $1M in financing after building a massive clips business around dumb people — Fail Army. The company is now advancing its focus in Rights Management of traditional IP with the creation of a new VP of Legal and Business Affairs role at the company. Appointed to the seat is Joe Moschella, who joins the company from kids consumer electronics company, Fuhu.
“Jukin has an expansive and fast-growing library of content. My charge is to monetize, protect, and grow that library on behalf of the company and all of our licensors, and we’re already well along the way to completing a number of proprietary systems to do just that,” said Moshcella on his new role.
The hire comes not long after a series of hires to improve Jukin’s licensing products.
According to Jukin Media, the growing need for more stringent protection for rights holders is off the charts, with potentially millions of dollars being found in violation on YouTube alone.
One such example is recent viral video hit ‘Train Selfie’ that garnered 34+ Million views in April.
“Something may be short and humorous, but it doesn’t change the fact that the short and humorous clip has a creator, has an owner, and has someone interested in the market value of that content. Anything else is a misunderstanding of the law,” added Moschella.
While YouTube’s ContentID system scans “over 400 years of video every day” on behalf of “more than 5,000 partners including major US network broadcasters, movie studios and record labels,” it is not a perfect system, which is where Jukin Media comes in, and plans to crack down more aggressively.
UPDATE: “YouTube’s Content ID rights management system gives rights holders an automated way to identify, block, promote and even make money from their content,” said a YouTube spokesperson via email.
But for more sophisticated scenarios, “[Jukin Media] perform[s], day in and day out, the same functions as any major studio, from licensing to production to distribution,” said Moschella. “But we’re doing it with the freshest content available, often acquiring and monetizing the same piece of content on the same day.”
Jukin Media is one company leading the charge on policing the internet for video rights violators and has even began cracking down on a few major YouTube channels (which it preferred to keep confidential due to legal sensitivities), but just as we’ve seen more and more legal action happening on music rights, I anticipate that we’ll start to see a lot more bubbling up for traditional video clips and IP as well, especially as Hollywood continues to leap into the online video realm.
*Jocelyn Johnson has a working relationship with Audiosocket.