Well if book publishers like HarperCollins and Random House have got it half right, as I wrote earlier today, then that puts them light-years ahead of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (yes, the Oscar folks), who don’t seem to get very much at all.
It’s not really all that surprising to hear that the Academy told YouTube to take down video clips of portions of the telecast. In fact, when I saw the headlines on Techmeme, I initially discounted it as just another notice and takedown effort, just like Viacom’s not so long ago. But the Oscar takedown makes even less sense than that, as Techdirt points out. At least Viacom had some kind of sensible rationale for pulling the clips — because it wanted to run them itself at its own site. The Oscar team? The exact opposite.
In fact, Variety reports that the Academy is only running a five minute highlight clip at its official site, with none of the musical numbers or the opening monologue available (two of the most popular clips on YouTube were the skit with Will Farrell and Jack Black and the monologue by Ellen DeGeneres). And then the spokesman comes out with this howler: Not only are there are no plans to post additional clips, but the current ones will be removed soon, to “whet people’s appetite for next year’s show.”
That’s some good work there, Academy dudes. Forget about all the free advertising YouTube is giving the Oscars by letting people see how funny it was. Better to take those clips away and hope that next year someone watches it anyway. That’s a great idea. At least Mark Cuban has a plan that makes some kind of sense — it may be crazy, but it’s a plan. And Larry Dignan of ZDNet notes that many of the video clips are back anyway.