NBC: Nothing But Copyright violators

NBC has always spoken out against copyright violations, but this time the tables have been turned. Has the company lost all credibility?

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As anyone who has been following the NBC saga knows, the media company has laid down some heavy fire over purported copyright violations on the part of "bastions of piracy" and has even gone to Congress to ask lawmakers to pass laws that make copyright enforcement even more stringent.

But with the recent news of NBC violating copyrights by not asking for rights to play the song featured on Andy Samberg's latest viral video, "I Ran So Far," isn't it ironic that this company that supports such draconian laws has violated those laws itself? Because the company did not ask for permission to use the Aphex Twin sample used in the video, will it gloss over it like so many have before or will it put its money where its mouth is and admit that it's a pirate? Either way, I'm going to love watching this one unfold.

Once the company's legal eagles discovered that NBC had not licensed the rights to use the sample, the video was immediately pulled. Sounds familiar doesn't it? Head on over to YouTube and find me some videos that are in violation of copyright, and when you report it to the powers-that-be, I'm guessing that video will be taken down in a matter of minutes due to the violation. If you ask me, NBC is no better than the alleged violator of copyrights on YouTube -- and I'm loving every minute of it.

In essence, NBC's outright copyright violation is as wonderful to my ears as hearing the RIAA admit that it's top management has been using Limewire for years. For the first time, we have caught the whistle blower playing the same game that its targets have for years. And with that in mind, what can NBC really do about this?

If NBC decides to admit its wrongdoing and publicly say that it's in violation of copyright, should it be brought to court and forced to pay royalties for each instance of violation? Should we publicly hang the organization like it has tried to do with those groups (of which it is now a part) that it obviously can't stand?

But what if the company says it was a mistake and explains that it was not intentional? Should we let it off the hook and allow it to get back on its soapbox to scold us all for violating copyrights? This, my dear friends, is what we call an "uncomfortable situation."

NBC has violated the cardinal rule of any whistle blower: never get caught for doing the things you speak out against.

NBC has lost any shred of credibility it was still latching on to after this incident. Why should anyone listen to a pirate speak out against pirating copyrighted material? NBC has egg on its face and for the first time, the company won't be able to wash it off so easily.

Nice move, NBC. You've officially proven how warped your ideas really are.

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About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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