04 February 2010

Honest Theft

You know what really gets under my skin?
The notion that to admit to a wrongdoing is to be absolved from its consequences.

Here's what I'm on about:
My roommate tells me she found this really cool piece of World of Warcraft machinima on Youtube. I watched it, and admittedly, it was pretty damn good, very nicely crafted with the sole blemish being its horrendous soundtrack (I honestly paused the video just to make sure it was really the video's sound and not just Windows Media Player running in the background). Normally, the only machinima I've really liked is Red Vs. Blue, otherwise I consider machinima a pretty low art form, especially when it just uses existing game graphics instead of modified or otherwise re-skinned ones. That's not what bothers me: what bothers me is the person who posted it. Not only were they not the video's original creator, but they actually provided links to the original author's YouTube channel (which is here).

Think about that:
Someone created and uploaded a video to their channel.
Someone else downloaded or captured the video and repost it to their own channel.
They then post a link in the info box to the original video in the original author's channel.

Now I know what some of you might be thinking: "But they're giving credit, at least. They're not claiming it as their own." Okay, granted, they're admitting to what they're doing, but consider this:
1) Why re-upload it when it's still available and live on its original creator's channel?
2) They may not be profiting, or getting any real undue attention, from the video, but those view-counters are going up and up. Each and every one of those views really belongs on the original author's page.

If you want to spread word about the video, there are dozens of better ways to do it besides downloading it and re-uploading it in your channel. Grant a favorite to the video; it'll appear in your channel. Put the video in a playlist. Write a journal entry about it. E-Mail the link to your friends.

That's what irks me. People take something that's not theirs, copy it, present it, then shout from the rooftops that it's not theirs, as if they're doing the original creator a favor.

"I don't own this." Then why do you have it?
"I didn't make this." Then let the person who did decide where it goes.
"I own nothing." Could have fooled me.
"Give him creds." While you take his page views?

Page views may not have a real monetary value, but they are meant to be EARNED, nonetheless.
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