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Adverts Mysteriously Appended to YouTube Clips 96

Posted by Zonk
from the should-have-thought-this-through dept.
hey0you0guy writes "For the past few months copyrighted clips of shows have been edited to include advertisements for Gawker Media. These clips have been uploaded to the video sharing site YouTube by a user going by the handle Belowtheradar. These clips are then being linked to by Gawker itself: 'Gawker.com, for example, on Thursday featured a YouTube clip from ABC's talk show The View. At the beginning of the video, there is an ad for Gawker. On Wednesday, Valleywag posted a link to a video of television satirist Stephen Colbert talking about Wikipedia. At the beginning of that video there is an ad for Valleywag, a blog dedicated to Silicon Valley gossip.' CNet contacted the copyright holders for the videos (which range from NBC to Apple), and mostly received responses of 'we're looking into it.' At least two groups did confirm they did not give permission for this kind of advertisement."
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Adverts Mysteriously Appended to YouTube Clips

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 02, 2007 @01:20PM (#17861168)
    n/m
  • A "Ilikebees" kind of stealth advertising.

    I always knew that advertisers wanted eyeballs, but wouldnt think they'd gunk up a free vid site. Guess thats just high bandwidth spammers.
    • by The Queen (56621)
      I always knew that advertisers wanted eyeballs, but wouldnt think they'd gunk up a free vid site.

      What wouldn't anyone do for a buck, seriously? I hate to be all doom and gloom, but I suppose it was only a matter of time. As long as they go after corporate repostings of things I can watch on TV, and leave independent videos [youtube.com] alone, I won't get alarmed about it. Yet.
    • Re:Probably... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Hijacked Public (999535) * on Friday February 02, 2007 @01:30PM (#17861358)

      but wouldnt think they'd gunk up a free vid site


      Why would you think gunking up a free video site would give an advertiser pause? The only thing stopping them from physically grabbing your eyeballs and pointing them at their ads is that that kind of thing is illegal in most places.

      • Its only illegal if they can catch you, and prove you did it in lieu of the ad-creators.

        I'd just use public proxies and trojaned machines to bounce what I think might be construed as illegal. You think when I post as AnonyCoward, I use the same IP:source ?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Rebelgecko (893016)
      Do you mean ilovebees [ilovebees.com]?
  • Corporations stoop to cheap, possible illegal advertizing gimics.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by TobyRush (957946)
      This is an outrage!

      --
      Hello, friend. Is your media bland and undesirable? Visit gawker.com [gawker.com] today!
    • "mysterious"? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tverbeek (457094) *
      What's mysterious about this? Did anyone actually expect people uploading other people's material to YouTube to be ethical?
      • If I understand the fine article correctly, what Gawker is doing is almost metaphysical.
        A user posting someone else's content on Youtube is normal, even though that makes it "grey" content (that is, the legality is uncertain). A corp. putting its own content on its own site and sandwiching it in ads is also normal.
        But this is a corp. (acting through one of its members) posting grey content on someone else's site--namely Youtube, a site known to host grey content--and wrapping that grey content in ads for
  • Legal fees (Score:2, Insightful)

    by t00le (136364)
    We all know they have to come up with an interesting way to pay for all of the copyright lawsuits that are forthcoming.
  • by stoolpigeon (454276) <bittercode@gmail> on Friday February 02, 2007 @01:24PM (#17861236) Homepage Journal
    i wonder how they got there. i wonder if anyone will ever know. maybe leonard nimoy will do a show about it.
    • by mrmeval (662166)
      Can we use the easter egg method of reading their minds? Or is that the Larry Niven method...I forget.
    • by fuse2k (1047490)
      and someone will post it to youtube....it'll have an ad tacked onto the front of it
  • by daeg (828071) on Friday February 02, 2007 @01:26PM (#17861272)
    The problem will only get worse as (a) YouTube starts paying users to upload content (b) users keep uploading unauthorized copies of shows and (c) YouTube starts needing to generate profits and adds more advertisements such as pre- and post-stream ads.

    Why is this a problem? Now, instead of simply a DMCA takedown notice, YouTube is far more liable for damages because they made a direct profit off of the usage of unauthorized content. The users are more liable, too, since they will make a profit from YouTube.
    • Why is this a problem? Now, instead of simply a DMCA takedown notice, YouTube is far more liable for damages because they made a direct profit off of the usage of unauthorized content.

      Not so, in the case of the subject of this article. YouTube is not making profits off this, these are examples of companies using a "neutral" distribution mechanism to get free views for their ads. It's whoever is appending the ads to the vids who are making the profits.

      The problem will only get worse as (a) YouTube star

      • by sumdumass (711423)
        It could be that the adds aren't actualy in the movie or movie's file at all. Depending on how the movie is stored, the like to the movie could be adding the content before or after the actual file has played. Windows servers provide this finctinality.

        It could be that the movie isn't touched at all but the link has become corupted.

        I have forgot the name of the file spec/extention that allows itto happen. I think it is someting like .wmv but not comletly sure. When I was using them, I had a link genorator th
      • by troll -1 (956834)
        No offense and I don't mean to be rude or come off as a flame but I don't think you understand how youtube works or what the underlying problems are:

        YouTube is not making profits off this ...

        According to youtube, it's revenue model is advertising based. So it is making a profit off this.

        YouTube will be paying for user-generated content -- which is less inclusive than user-uploaded content.

        If I append ads to Stephen Colbert and upload it, that's user-generated content. Youtube really has no way t
        • Yes, Youtube's revenue model is based on advertising. But that does not mean that all advertisers on Youtube pay it.
          The ads for Gawker.com and its related sites are in uploaded clips. If Gawker paid Youtube for the ads around the borrowed content, Youtube could then take the borrowed content down, ads and all.
    • by bhsx (458600)
      You're not thinking it all the way through. If you're getting money from the GOOG for a video you uploaded, then THEY KNOW WHO YOU ARE.
      A means of paying users for uploads is what will "save" youtube, legally.
    • Would be interesting if Youtube offered a low-cost premium service to have an ad-free service on the page, and also no clutter in the pre-/post- rolls for the clips. I'm finding all the ad-litter on pages tiresome. Ad-blocker on firefox is great for this, but the video rolls are insidious.
  • by TodMinuit (1026042) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (tiunimdot)> on Friday February 02, 2007 @01:26PM (#17861282)
    They didn't cause a bomb scare.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Headcase88 (828620)
      Not true. I was watching one of those ads and right in the middle of it my computer exploded. Luckily no one was hurt but my Sony battery was reduced to ashes.
  • I know people (if that's what you can call them) have been spamming for years, even before the internet - with telemarketers, junk mail and people handing out leaflets. But isn't this the first instance of someone advertising on ANOTHER person's content? With TV ads, the money advertisers give the station is given (in part) to the content providers.. junk mailers pay for their own paper, and even spam doesn't piggyback on legitimate emails (for the most part). IMHO, this is one of the lowest things they've
    • Re:New spam? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by SQLGuru (980662) on Friday February 02, 2007 @01:41PM (#17861526) Journal
      Certain spam *DOES* piggy back on legitimate e-mail.

      Taken from some forwarded jokes.

      Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com/ [hotmail.com]

      Do You Yahoo!?
        Bid and sell for free at http://auctions.yahoo.com/ [yahoo.com]
      Layne
      • by blowdart (31458)

        Hell even sourceforge does that; my last email to the subtext discussion list had

        Using Tomcat but need to do more? Need to support web services, security?
        Get stuff done quickly with pre-integrated technology to make your job easier.
        Download IBM WebSphere Application Server v.1.0.1 based on Apache Geronimo

        URL snipped, as they're tracking clickthroughs. And the separating dashed line snipped because of the lame "lameness" filter.

    • by joshetc (955226)
      No, I've known people back in the late 90s that would attach popups to media files so whenever someone opened a porn from say limewire in Windows Media Player an Internet Explorer window would open generating quite a bit of money for virtually nil. Especially since this was pre-dotcom bust and advertisers were paying astronomical rates.
    • Re:New spam? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Friday February 02, 2007 @03:16PM (#17863154) Homepage Journal

      But isn't this the first instance of someone advertising on ANOTHER person's content?
      Nowhere near. Geocities and the like were doing it in the early days of the web.
  • Opening ads (Score:2, Interesting)

    by hansamurai (907719)
    I really hope this is not going to be come common practice on Youtube. One of the reasons why Youtube is so great (and also probably why it is so successful) is because there are no pre-video ads. I hope that pre-video ads are only played if the user who is submitting the video chooses them to be played as part of some revenue sharing program that has been thrown around lately.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      And of course the hundreds of terabytes a month of bandwidth that such a site chews through, that gets paid for out of what, the goodness of the host's heart?
    • The user who submitted the content with the Gawker-related ads did choose to have ads played before those clips. Not for revenue-sharing, necc.--the fella did work for Gawker...
  • Oh noes (Score:5, Funny)

    by Ravear (923203) on Friday February 02, 2007 @01:35PM (#17861430)
    I'm in ur tube... advertizing ur vid3oz
  • by N8F8 (4562) on Friday February 02, 2007 @01:38PM (#17861472)
    Playing Devil's advocate I'd say this is a smaller scale version of what YouTube itself did. YouTube advertised itself with "borrowed" content to become famous and increase net value.
    • Not to mention that they, in essence, put advertisements on borrowed content.
    • by The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) on Friday February 02, 2007 @02:20PM (#17862258)
      Hey, you! You with the fancy logic and common sense! You get away from here with all that nonsense! This is Slashdot, fella, and we don't need someone coming around here and muddying up the message. YouTube runs on kitten farts and moonbeams, not MONEY! It represents the death of Big Entertainment and NOTHING ELSE! Power to the open-sourced people and death to the MPAA! Forget your shoveled-out Hollywood crap like Pan's Labyrinth and Children of Men, the future of entertainment is in the hands of the masses and we are the future! Ten thousand videos of tweenage girls singing "Fergalicious" into soup ladles can't be wrong!

      FREEEEDOOOOMMMM!!
    • by MeanderingMind (884641) on Friday February 02, 2007 @02:31PM (#17862468) Homepage Journal
      I disagree. There is a fundamental difference here between what Youtube does and what the sleazy advertiser is doing.

      Youtube accepts videos from people, and posts them to their website which features ads.

      The sleazy advertiser is taking someone else's content, adding an advertisement into the content itself without permission, and reposting it.

      While both involve advertisement, Youtube doesn't claim they'll post your video to an ad-free website, and they certainly don't steal your videos off your hard drive without asking. It's a WYSIWYG situation, anyone who uses Youtube knows the webpage has ads. The sleaze, on the other hand, is presenting these videos as something they're not.
      • by popo (107611)

        By playing the video on a site bearing the YouTube logo, they are by definition advertising on
        something they do not own.
      • by N8F8 (4562)
        You are kidding right? Ever heard the phrase "accessory to a crime?". Or are you trying to argue that YouTube is more like the "fence" and less like the "thief" and that's somehow better?
    • Disclosure: I write for (and used to edit) Gawker Media's Valleywag. This is my informed commentary.

      These are just videos that one of our staffers uploaded. Gawker Media isn't going for that Mad YouTube Traffic; we just use YouTube as a repository for videos we embed on our sites. That's one of the intended uses of YouTube.

      What some may question is whether Gawker Media's videos are fair use. The company and its staff argue that they are, as we are reporting on these clips as news, or making critical comment
  • I bet there's no way for an uploader to declare their content advert-free.

    No one saw this coming? Free is not a business model.
  • by Gopal.V (532678) on Friday February 02, 2007 @01:40PM (#17861508) Homepage Journal

    I assume a lot of people just click through the terms and conditions, but as a perpetual cynic (and coming from a family of legal folk), I generally have a quick read through. Here's an interesting excerpt from youtube terms [youtube.com]

    For clarity, you retain all of your ownership rights in your User Submissions. However, by submitting the User Submissions to YouTube, you hereby grant YouTube a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the User Submissions in connection with the YouTube Website and YouTube's (and its successor's) business,

    So, big surprise ! They've got a derievative work with an ad all over it. And I asked a lawyer. She said that that's pretty standard boilerplate, except hardly anyone modifies your content to include ads. The delivery of ads has been traditionally out of band of the content stream, but this makes sense.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      This is not what is happening here. Someone submitted a clip WITH an ad, knowing that as long as the combination of the two was still worth watching, people would watch it (and see the ad).
    • by JonRock (2367)
      Granted permission to prepare derivative works: YouTube

      NOT granted permission to prepare derivative works: Gawker, Valleywag, ebaumsworld.com, reallybored.net, nothingtoxic.com, triplekiss.com, etc.
  • by Evro (18923) <evandhoffman@NoSpAm.gmail.com> on Friday February 02, 2007 @01:42PM (#17861536) Homepage Journal
    1) Where's the "mysterious" part? Someone's putting ads into the clip before uploading them. Nothing "mysterious."

    2) Appending means they're being tacked onto the end. If they're being added at the beginning, they're being prepended. Next time save the embarrassment and just say "added."
    • Appending means they're being tacked onto the end. If they're being added at the beginning, they're being prepended.

      According to a couple of dictionaries I consulted, "prepend" is not a recognized word, and "append" refers to adding or attachment without regard to where.

      I propose that "append" was adopted by the computing community to mean a specific type of data transformation where the new addition was placed at the end of the existing data, and "prepend" was a neologism invented to describe the opposite
  • The knee-jerk reaction is obviously to sue and see what happens.
    So we all just wait until a network sues, then see what happens.
  • The clock is ticking down to the collapse of YouTube and similar sites, or the transformation of these sites into something quite different. The main problem here again is the fact that stuff gets posted without any real humans looking at it ahead of time. They can build all of the filters they want, we've already seen this with the old Napster. Unless postings are moderated before appearing, copyright abuses will continue to happen. Appended ads are just the latest twist. Eventually the courts are going to
  • How youtube is going to pay contributors...
  • by Ace905 (163071) on Friday February 02, 2007 @01:55PM (#17861756) Homepage
    I think on the one hand, Gawker Media has gotten a *lot* of publicity from this - particularly after being discovered. Every news story on the incident has a link to their web page. But on the other hand, they now face a barrage of legal battles after admitting publicly that the uploader (belowtheradar) is '[their] video guy...'.

    I doubt anybody will follow in their footsteps once the courts make an example of them, and that is very likely to happen.

    In related news, The halfwit blowhard Amanda Congdon [10zenmonkeys.com] managed to get her little 'quote' of disdain in to the news article above ; so it's official, every worthless media-wh0&e not worth watching has gotten their 15 minutes of fame. Way to push the story.

    ---
    speaking of 15 minutes of fame [douginadress.com].
  • Do a search for 'Terry Tate' on youtube and you will see actual full length commercials posted.
    • Hell, look for "Will it blend." Those are probably some of the best marketing videos I have ever seen. They're funny, demonstrate the products resilience, and are really unobtrusive.
  • What's mysterious about "user adds ads to video before uploading" ?

  • "These clips are then being linked to by Gawker itself: 'Gawker.com, for example, on Thursday featured a YouTube clip from ABC's talk show The View. At the beginning of the video, there is an ad for Gawker."

    If they are linking to the videos from the site that the ads are for, wouldn't people obviously already know about the site?!?

    Marketing for marketing sake?
    • There's actually a very good reason for this. Gawker put the ads in front of the clips to prevent other blogs from using the video without giving Gawker props. Gawker essentially attempted to declare a limited form of ownership. They tried to have their cake and eat it, too: Offloading the video hosting costs to YouTube while trying to say "No one else can use our videos without paying the toll."

      This is the reverse of the eBaum's World business strategy. eBaum's just strips copyrights and watermarks fro
    • If they are linking to the videos from the site that the ads are for, wouldn't people obviously already know about the site?!?

      Ummm.. no, because some (most?) people find the videos on Youtube, without going to Gawker first.

  • 99 out of 100 people can be well behaved, but it takes only one asshat to stink up the whole place and make the experience miserable for everyone and ruin a forum's value or attract unwanted attention

    newsgroups, email, many news aggregator sites (not slashdot, thankfully): all it takes is 1 or 2 committed asshats to ruin the fun for everyone else. usually advertising and spam. they see their own aggrandizement at the sake of everyone else's misery, and they choose to make everyone else miserable for the sake of something selfish and smammler in importance

    it's predictable and inevitable that any utopian scheme that relies on everyone to behave nicely will fail. there's always one a**hole who will act like an a**hole. it's pretty much guaranteed. human nature is what it is. there's no vhanging or getting around it's good, it's bad, and it's ugly
    • by jfengel (409917) on Friday February 02, 2007 @02:37PM (#17862568) Homepage Journal
      Slashdot isn't a commons, at least not in its news articles. They're picked by editors. Those editors fail in a lot of ways (dups, slashvertisements, crappy grammar), but as you observe they keep up a reasonably interesting stream of articles.

      The comments are a commons, it's interesting that it's not too bad. One still sees occasional trolls, but several mechanisms weed them out: moderation, ignoring ACs, and Slashdot's filters. Eliminating graphical content helps, too.

      I'm still surprised that you don't find groups of trolls banding together to subvert that. It wouldn't be hard for several to make a few intelligent comments, acquire karma, and then burn it all to moderate an ascii-art goatse image to +5. Presumably this doesn't happen because there are too many real moderators pushing such idiocies down; the wealth of mod points is on their side.

      Wikipedia, too, is a commons where a combination of benign dictatorship (locking down controversial articles, banning troll users and unregistered users from some articles) and the general good-will to hide the trolls works to make the commons quite liveable.

      That doesn't work for most physical commons. Modding down a troll is cheap; cleaning up a polluted river or the air is expensive, and not amenable to many people putting in a little work.
      • you can never get rid of asocial idiocy, but if you design the system well enough, a la slashdot's comment system and wikipedia in general, you can reduce it to the level of a fart in the wind, rather than a whole love canal sized boondoggle

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        I'm still surprised that you don't find groups of trolls banding together to subvert that. It wouldn't be hard for several to make a few intelligent comments, acquire karma, and then burn it all to moderate an ascii-art goatse image to +5. Presumably this doesn't happen because there are too many real moderators pushing such idiocies down; the wealth of mod points is on their side.

        This sort of thing used to happen all the time. Probably the reason that it happens less now is only that it's old hat. Now wh

  • It must have something to do with that "opinion center" on Slashdot. Can somebody Tivo the Internet for me? Thanks.

  • by Mister Whirly (964219) on Friday February 02, 2007 @02:08PM (#17862018) Homepage
    "' CNet contacted the copyright holders for the videos (which range from NBC to Apple), and mostly received responses of 'we're looking into it.' At least two groups did confirm they did not give permission for this kind of advertisement."

    The two groups went on to say "And we are kicking ourselves for not thinking of it first!"
  • Ahhhmmm, excuse me. Gosh, I just hate to bodder you. But, ahm, you know what really confuses me? The ads are there! YouTube put them there. How about that? Ahhhh well, it's probably nothing. Sorry to have boddered you.
  • I hate that nowadays, if something exists, it MUST be advertised on. Hell, they even have trucks that drive around just to display ads. Not to mention the oh so smart people who get ads tatoo'd on themselves. I can understand that advertising can generate revenue, but there is a point where it becomes so obtrusive and annoying that it makes me not want to buy the product.

    Then again, people do say 'there is no such thing as bad publicity', and I just hope they are wrong. Let me live my life without adver
  • If you are hosting the file, and distributing it freely, how is it illegal to display an ad just before it? Lots of video sites display banner ads, and many others will display a short advertisement clip before the video itself loads. Are these also illegal?
    • by Neoncat (1015169)
      No, its not illegal, but annoying. At least I am and some ppl here kind of annoyed by those ads and I am sure that isn't the way they ment to influence us with those ads.

      -30 reputation for gawker.com
  • Sounds a lot like eBaumsWorld, except that this prick isn't doing the hosting, but leeching off of YouTube's.

    Schwab

  • If I was running a blog and wanted to save on bandwidth, getting YouTube to host the embedded videos would work great. Grab a video clip, stick on some identification, upload it to YouTube then embed it in the blog. Presto; streaming video without the cost.

    The identification added (they're not the only ones to do this by far) is usually done to discourage others from linking to the video and stealing bandwidth. In this case it appears that adding tags has become a habit.

    I don't see how one could complai

  • Gawker media (who owns sites like lifehacker, gizmodo, valleywag, kotaku and others) is putting the ads in front of it. Go to Gizmodo and look at their videos - the Gizmodo produced ones will have Gizmodo ads on it.

    I believe it's Gawker media policy to do that for all Gawker-media originated (i.e., wasn't off some other (non-Gawker) blog) videos to put the ads in the front.

    I'm surprised it's come up now - Gizmodo has been doing this for a few months now...
    • No kidding. I'm surprised to see this on Slashdot and yours is the first comment I've read in this entire discussion to state what I thought should have been obvious.

      Then again, Gawker's flagship properties don't exactly cater to the type of person who reads Slashdot, so maybe this crowd's cluelessness was inevitable.

"Only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core." -- Hannah Arendt.

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