Monday, August 09 2010 @ 02:53 PM PDT
Contributed by: Richard Pitt
Deadliest Catch on Discovery Channel (DC) is not my cup of tea. There are lots of other things to wile my time away with, but some people love it.
There are fan sites on the net all over the world - but one in particular seems to have drawn the ire of the DC lawyers and he's about to cave in and give them his web domain.
The fact is he's got www.deadliestcatchtv.com but that's not it completely. His site includes links to YouTube postings by the DC people such as show excerpts, etc. Stuff that you and others might link into our own blogs via the "embed" code provided by YouTube for their videos.
He also has information that the DC people have sent him directly - and presumably want him to post because it boosts the show's ratings.
The problem is, the DC lawyers have gotten into the act and they just don't seem to understand the internet at all. They think that this site owner has done something wrong in showing the YouTube embed code on his site (remember, the video still comes from YouTube - it just shows up through a window on his site)
It's not like he's copied the video and hosted it on his own hardware - that would be both against the law and silly.
It's not that he's edited it and made a collage of it (legal in the US but not in Canada under Fair Use/Fair Dealing - at least until Bill C-32 comes to pass)
It's not that he's the only one with a domain name that is similar to the show's name, he's not - in fact the show does not even have "deadliestcatch.com"
What the legal-beagles don't seem to understand is that such fan sites as this are what make a show work today. They are what help keep people interested and in fact do the show a major service in many ways.
One of the major ways these fan sites help the show is that they support fans that a legitimate site might not appreciate. Fans come in all shapes and size and temperaments. I know, I help look after a "kid friendly" set of sites, and some of the people we've attracted really need to be somewhere else away from the kids. Same thing goes when you're a fairly family-oriented channel like DC - you have a show like Deadliest Catch that attracts some of the more adventurous, and of course likely weird and hence likely to be disruptive to the "normal" people the site might attract, it sure would be nice if they went elsewhere but still supported you...
Anyway - 'nuff said. IMHO they (the lawyers) 're idiots.
Personally this puts a big black mark against Discovery Channel in my book.