YouTube take down Oscar clips

Variety are reporting that YouTube are removing clips from last Sunday’s Oscar telecast:

Web surfers will no longer be reliving the magic moments of the 2007 Oscarcast via YouTube. The vid-viewing site complied with a Tuesday request from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences to remove all unauthorized clips of the kudocast.

Several segments of the show, including host Ellen DeGeneres’ opening monologue and musical numbers featuring Will Ferrell and Beyonce, had been among YouTube’s most-viewed content this week.

Ferrell’s musical lament about how comedies never win Oscars, sung with Jack Black and John C. Reilly, had racked up more than 250,000 views on YouTube before it was replaced with the message “This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences.”

Ric Robertson, exec administrator for the Academy, said the organization had its content pulled “to help manage the value of our telecast and our brand.”

In one sense I can understand the fact that the Academy sell the rights to broadcasters and they are upset that clips posted on YouTube violate their intellectual property.

But given that it is a live show, surely the real value is in the live broadcast? Don’t the clips help the Oscars reach a much wider global audience? In that sense shouldn’t A.M.P.A.S make the clips available on YouTube?

And in any case, even if they get YouTube to pull them down (a very difficult exercise that may only encourage people to upload more) won’t they just pop up on other video sites?

The Variety article also quotes Will Richmond, president of Broadband Directions (a market intelligence firm that focuses on Internet video):

“Media companies and content owners have not been that aggressive about two things: offering lots of clips on their sites and offering interactivity, like the ability to include a clip in a blog or email it to a friend. The absence of both of those elements has created this vacuum into which YouTube and others have jumped.”

I think he has a point. Shouldn’t the Academy be partnering with sites like YouTube in filling that vacuum?

Please feel free to post your thoughts below.