Thursday, July 17, 2008

If you can't beat the Internets, join the Internets

Lionsgate has cemented it's reputation by daring to distribute some of the edgiest movies of the past fifteen years: Pi, Gods and Monsters, The Blair Witch Project, Dogma, Ghost Dog, Jesus' Son, American Psycho, Requiem for a Dream, Monster's Ball, Saw, Hostel and the list goes on and on and on.

Well, it looks like they're now the first studio to finally do what the bigger studios won't: Work hand in hand with YouTube. Here's Need Coffee with the lowdown:
Well, this deserves its own post. Lionsgate is making far too much sense for a company in the movie industry. It's scaring the crap out of me, frankly. Here's the story: they've made a deal with YouTube. Rather than fighting to get clips of their films taken down, they're going to monetize the clips. They're going to have their own YouTube channel and let people share, embed, upload and mash up clips. That's what the Variety article says.

Pause here for a moment. Upload? That's fascinating. So does that mean they'll let you upload a clip from a Lionsgate movie if it's uploaded to their channel so it can be monetized? That seems fair enough. And as for mashup--does that mean they'll let you download and then re-upload your new version? If This covers film and television programs. Now, users don't get free reign. If something's still in cinemas, clips will be removed. But that's perfectly reasonable.

Check this quote out from Curt Marvis, Lionsgate's president of digital media: "(The partnership) grew out of discussions about claiming -- the process of getting content off YouTube. But if there's an audience for our content, it was like, 'Wait a minute. Let's not put our heads in the sands here. Let's give them what they want and get revenue from it.'"

Holy crap. That sounded like somebody at a studio thinking? I'm floored. Wait. He's not done: "We're trying to be as progressive as we can be as opposed to shutting them down. That didn't seem to work very well for the music industry."

This is me, gobsmacked. Not only do they use common sense but they learn from others' mistakes? Curt Marvis, I want to buy you some coffee. In fact, I think I'll send you some. Seriously. Update: Done.

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