20 January 2012
Memories of Artistic Integrity
What caught my attention about this video, however, was something I don't think I'd ever seen before on any other video, which is the ability to take someone else's video, edit it in YouTube's browser-based video editor, and actually post it to one's own channel. My first honest thought was, "Why in God's name would anyone let other people do that?" Really, what's to stop someone taking a video, making only the most minor edit to it, and then posting it to their own channel wherein, by power of the editor's potentially built-in legion of subscribers, its views can exceed those of the original despite the lack of effort on the part of the editor? Consider the implications of this for a partnered channel, whether it's the original or the editor. The point is, someone stands to gain financially from someone else's work (or deprive financial gain) with little to no effort.
Most of you are probably saying, "It's YouTube, what do you expect?" in a tone of voice that not only can I not identify as sarcastic or sincere, but neither can you.
Way back in my college days, which ironically ended the year YouTube came out, I was in a video art class with a rather healthily eclectic group of students who ultimately fell into two camps. One camp felt that the more control the filmmaker had at his or her disposal, the better and definitive the final product is. The other camp felt that the best work was produced under restrictions, even matters of final cut (not to be confused with the software). After screening assignments to each other one weekend, the discussion of grading came up, as some felt simply getting letter grades from our professor was a little bit shortsighted and not the most solid form of constructive feedback. Having just read about the Phantom Editor's re-editing of George Lucas' The Phantom Menace, I genuinely put forth the idea of students critiquing each other by way of editing each other's videos. Some were on board, while others shrieked in horror. Truth be told, I was secretly in the latter camp, but I guess my thinking was twofold, first half being, "Well, what the Hell do I know?" and the second being, "I don't expect what I do in this class to have a life beyond this room, so who cares what some hack job wants to do with it?"
So, there I was today, sitting at my computer, visiting the YouTube page, and actually witnessing something I'd once suggested in a video art class coming to fruition.
Ironically, I've always been a big believer in the saying, "Better to be silent and thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."