Friday, March 10, 2006

User Generated Content

I had lunch today with Toby Padilla, who runs Musicmobs. Musicmobs is a cool user generated content site that lets you share you iTunes playlists, letting others learn about and purchase new music. Good example of user generated content.

Of course one of the things we talked about at length was the power of user generated content. The comment that really struck me was that some of the sites that host this content - thinking about YouTube- are treading the same ground Napster did in the late 90s. Users post whatever content they want, regardless of the source. On the one hand it is the epitome of user generated stuff; on the other it disregards ownership rights. In fact YouTube has gotten itself into some trouble on this front recently, and is starting to strike deals with major content providers to legally host their content.

Got me to thinking about how copyright sensitivity will change user generated content, and whether users and the sites that host this content will need to spend additional cycles making sure they don't violate copyright law. On the one hand I think it's important to have copyright sensitivity. But I would hate to see sites that host this content become so gunshy that they lose their edge.

This will be an interesting area to watch.

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