A while ago I posted about CNN Exchange – the site that encourages CNN viewers to upload their news clips for possible broadcast.
All contributors have to agree to a load of ghastly small print…
"By submitting your material, for good and valuable consideration, the sufficiency and receipt of which you hereby acknowledge, you hereby grant to CNN and its affiliates a non-exclusive, perpetual, worldwide license to edit, telecast, rerun, reproduce, use, syndicate, license, print, sublicense, distribute and otherwise exhibit the materials you submit, or any portion thereof, as incorporated in any of their programming or the promotion thereof, in any manner and in any medium or forum, whether now known or hereafter devised, without payment to you or any third party."
Although it’s ‘non-exclusive’ (good), CNN can use it how and as often as it likes (very bad). They can even broadcast the valuable footage using technology yet to be invented! And you don’t get a penny for it. Sensible people with valuable content – be it documentary, news, or naked frolics in the park footage – want to be paid.
Here are some of the main business models (some sites use a mixture of methods).
1) Get paid for ads: Some of the tight-wad sites only pay the producer if the viewer clicks on an ad. Who clicks those ads? Nobody.Ignore.
2) Get paid when people view – MetaCafe uses this system.The threshold is quite high. An uploaded video has to be seen 20,000 times before the producer gets a sniff at the dosh. But 20,000 views earns $100. At the time of writing "Reel Stunts" and "Maverick99" top the earning charts – making $26,000. MetaCafe T&Cs can be found here.This looks ok.
3) Editor decides who should be paid: It kills the idea of Web 2.0, but many of the more "upmarket" sites employ editors to "filter" the content. The politically "right-on" Current TV UK (owned by former Vice-Prez, Al Gore) has a list of draconian terms & conditions as long as your arm. Anyone with any understanding of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 will see that it strips producers of most of their rights.
Current TV is very controlling for a site with (apparently) liberal ideals. The T&C’s even state: "I agree not to issue any publicity on behalf of Current, but
acknowledge that I am free to make casual and non-derogatory public
statements regarding Current."
Current TV has a deal with BSkyB in the UK. The best footage from the website will be shown on telly. Current TV is well established in the US and pays up to $100 if the clips are chosen by editors for broadcast. You don’t get a penny if it just appears on the site. Evil Mr Gore.
4) "Sell" your video online – The percentages vary. But some sites allow the producer to keep 70% of the sale price. Brightcove uses this and the company has just done a deal with AOL Video which could rapidly increase its viewer share.