To the editor: During the Napster era, content populists gleefully scorned labels and publishers for their short-sightedness: If large media concerns continued to insist on payment for their property instead of embracing file-sharing as an opportunity, they'd get what they deserved. Sure enough, the record business imploded.
Now, as author Stephen Witt explains, (“Your online video; YouTube's profit,” Opinion, June 28) publishers have come around to making YouTube an ally in monetizing the content they control. Big media has seen the light, seizing the opportunity for ad revenue rather than suppressing user- generated content.
But you, humble user, should still be outraged. Why? That wedding video with the unlicensed pop song in the background is “yours.” How dare anybody use it without paying you?
Witt ponders the obsolescence of the copyright. When music companies can be taken to task because they don't pay users for their content, that's the obsolescence of irony.
Paul Buckley, Los Angeles