Danny Dover, posting at SEOmoz, relates an interesting story about his decision to post video of a Saturday Night Live skit to YouTube, and the resulting reaction from NBC Universal. The story doesn't unfold the way you might expect. NBC Universal was quick to react, sending Danny an email to his Gmail account. The contents of the email were surprising:
Your video is still live because NBC Universal has authorized the use of this content on YouTube. As long as NBC Universal has a claim on your video, they will receive public statistics about your video, such as number of views. Viewers may also see advertising on your video's page. [You also can't embed the video on other websites.]
This is a fascinating and encouraging development. Rather than struggling as they have for years to hold new technology at bay, NBC Universal seems to finally realize that they can instead work with customers, video sharing sites, and advertisers in new and mutually beneficial ways. As Danny puts it:
It appears that NBC finally understands the power of online marketing. All I wanted to do was share my favorite content with friends, family and about a half billion of my closest internet acquaintances. The studio executives understand this and finally have matured to the point where they are willing to let me and other internet users promote NBC content.