Archive for March, 2006

How Copyrighted Are Commercials?

28 Mar 2006

Regarding the recent changes on YouTube, I began to wonder about the legalness of uploading and sharing commercials and viral clips. In my humble opinion, a commercial’s sole purpose is to create awareness through visibility and creativity. A commercial becomes remarkable if it’s funny to see or has an original script or idea to promote a brand or a service. I understand that commercials are created by a creative agency and that they are made for a brand, often registered and trademarked. However, what’s the use of commercial if it cannot be seen or discussed in public?

The ad agency surely made some expenses and paid actors, copywriters, scripters etc to generate the remarkable result. I understand this ad agency has ‘the rights’ to this commercial and so does the brand or company which ordered the commercial to be made. But what sane company would complain if the commercial is uploaded to a social network in order to increase visibility? Beats me. Still, YouTube makes it very clear in their disclaimer:

Max file size: 100 MB. Max length: 10 minutes.

Do not upload copyrighted, obscene or any other material which violates YouTube’s Terms of Use. By clicking “Upload Video”, you are representing that this video does not violate YouTube’s Terms of Use and that you own all copyrights in this video or have express permission from the copyright owner(s) to upload it.

Do not upload any TV shows, music videos, music concerts, or commercials without permission unless they consist entirely of content you created yourself.

What they are saying is very clear. No commercials can be uploaded unless you created it yourself or have permission from the brand or company that created the ad. I’m not going to write letters or send email to any company, begging for the right to upload a clip and talk about it, to put the clip on my site and generate visibility for it, which they don’t have to pay for. It’s free publicity, and very often it’s positive feedback.

I see the sharing and uploading of commercials as a reward for the company that created it, as a favor to generate some extra visibility, as an extension of their campaign into the third mass media channel next to tv and print. I fail to see the negative point in that.

I’ve asked YouTube via email what I should do with the commercials in my archive, and why they could be violating any copyrights. The answer I got was (bottom line) : the actors in the clips might sue for a loss of income.

Could somebody fill me in here? What exactly are ‘the rights’ for commercials, and why can’t we share them? What happens when an ad agency wants to create a viral? Do they pay the actor per viewer? I think any actor in any commercial knows that a commercial has a second life on the internet. Who didn’t forward a funny ad he got in his email yet? Isn’t that practically the same thing? If we keep being this protective when it comes to ads, blogs like mine and many others are living on the edge of termination. I feed on ads. I love marketing. I love great commercials. Don’t take away my right to express & illustrate my fondness for a great idea, please.


YouTube Under Pressure

28 Mar 2006

YouTube is suffering heavily under it’s popularity. Recent changes have made many users turn against this video-sharing service which no longer allows clips that are longer than 10 minutes, thus forcing creative artists to edit and cut up their own homemade movies into shorter parts. This damages the project as a whole, and makes it very hard to experience a project as it was meant to be experienced. Many users I used to know on YouTube have seen their enitre video archive been deleted without any warning. Others have just lost their interest and stopped uploading clips. The disclaimers have become omnipresent and very precise to cover YouTube against uploaded copyrighted material from television broadcasts to sitcoms.

I myself have been warned two times already to remove all copyrighted material, which resulted in hours and hours of browsing and deleting hundreds of clips of which I might assume they could possibly violate any rights whatsoever. Three times is a strike and then it’s bye-bye YouTube for me too. Contrary to some other users, I’ve received warning notes from YouTube, probably because of my somewhat longer presence on the site and the rather large archive I collected. I signed up in July last year, when the service was still very new and at one time had over 500 clips in my archive of which I removed over 200, leaving nothing but commercials, some 3D animations and some urban skills movies.

I’ve always been very reasonable, removing clips whenever somebody made a notice or plainly asked, because it apparently violated copyrights. Very weird, because all the clips I ever uploaded are spread all over the internet, and most of them appear on many other sites (and are online already for quite some time). I assumed they were ‘common goods’ and could be shared. I saw YouTube as a service I could use to cut back on my email load, whith all this forwarding of funny or remarkable clips I get from ex-colleagues and friends. Using YouTube, I could upload it once and then send the link instead of the clip, which saved me a lot of time and bandwith.

Nobody knows why YouTube made this U-Turn all of the sudden. Perhaps it is due to it’s huge popularity, but then what should happen to sites like,,,, etc ? You could argue that those sites are no user platform, but that doesn’t take away the fact they host and provide copyrighted content. Contrary to YouTube, these sites always offer a download link, which YouTube doesn’t do.

I’m not quite sure where this is heading to. YouTube has taken the lead in the fight against copyright violation (on their own servers that is, because they host all the content) compared to other sites that offer clips or content, but YouTube shot itself in the foot by limiting the size of the uploads in time (it used to be 100 mb max, which was acceptable). A lot of people still upload ‘illegal’ content because those clips simply aren’t longer than 10 minutes. Other legal content like the South Park episodes (of which the creators explicitly stated are free to share) can no longer be uploaded and shared in one part, which handicaps you when you want to see a new episode.

Visit YouTube


Don’t Be Like Dave

28 Mar 2006

Wasserman & Partners launched he ‘Road Sense’ campaign for the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia. Tagline for this campaign is “it’s no fun if you’re dead” and the purpose is (yet again) to get young drivers to slow down and buckle up.

The cool site that came with this campaign has a neat concept: a take on MySpace, but then for dead youngsters. Impressive. On their ‘MyDeadSpace’ Victor & Sarah talk about what their interests were. Really, this is a great way of approaching the youngsters.

There’s also a quiz where you can ‘win prizes that are worth living for’, but you have to be from British Columbia to actually enter the competition, so most of the world can’t enter. It’s a fun quiz to take though, just for fun.

The viral part of the campaign is the ’send to friend’ section, where you can select a cool clip with some dead people to impress your buddies. If you just want to see the clips, that’s possible too, just follow the link they’ve provided. No maggots attached.

No Fun If You're Dead

The ‘Ask Death’ section is just hilarious. There are audio snippets from Death’s radio show where people call in for advice on a specific situation. You just gotta hear these, I laughed a lot :) You can also scroll through the archive which features some nice stories as well. Last but least, there a soccer game in which you can play against Dave. Try to win, it’s pretty hard.

Check out the site

There are some print ads too. Read the rest of this entry »


The Hills Have Eyes

28 Mar 2006

Soap Creative came up with a very spooky promo-site to promote a new horror movie called ‘The Hills Have Eyes’. This movie is in fact a new take on Wes Craven’s 1977 cult film about a family road trip that goes ‘terrifyingly awry’ when the travellers become stranded in a government atomic zone. (Hence the Geiger counter as loading sequence) – It doesn’t take long for our lovely family to figure out they’re not alone and that the seemingly uninhabited wasteland is actually a breeding ground of a blood-thirsty mutant/zombie family. And no, they don’t invite you for coffee.

The mini site is pretty decent and offers a lot of background info like a three-page long production note, cast & crew info and an ‘interviews’ section (which is not yet online). There’s a splendid trailer in three sizes which shows off some great footage. I like the fact that Alexandre Aja, the French director, included a lot of elements that ‘feel’ like the seventies, like the caravan the Carter family travels with. It has this ’streamline’ that’s very proper to that certain time (I think the streamline design movement started in the fifties already), you’ll see. Then again, a lot of ‘recent’ gadgets (cell phones,…) are included because this story ‘happened’ in 2005.

Screencap 1

Screencap 2

There are two games for this movie. The first one is the ‘Mutant Hunt’ game. A rather simple game that seems to have taken over the concept of the K-fee Turbo Drink virals I posted about earlier, and a rather popular take on the let’s-have-you-really-focused-before-you-get-scared idea. You have been warned.

The site also features a nice 3D shoot’m up game, where you need to run through some sort of coal mine with a flash light and a shotgun, hunting for mutants. Pretty adrenalinish and certain to make your heart beat a little faster. Your goal is to reach the exit, obviously.

Mutants in the Mine

Exit Level 1

The download section has some wallpapers, a screensaver and some AIM icons. There’s also a rather large photo gallery which has some cool vintage-looking pictures. Worth checking.

Cool car, isn't it?

Check out ‘The Hills Have Eyes’
See the trailer (link to large version)
Play the ‘Mutant Hunt’ (advergame)
Play ‘Run For The Hills’ (3D, Shockwave required)

via Adverblog


Adidas +10

28 Mar 2006

Martin has been helping out with the new Adidas campaign and pointed me to a mini site he’s been seeding. The site, dedicated to football is also about the release of the new Predator Absolute shoe. A Flash animation takes you on a tour through the features of the shoe (I never knew there were so many parts in a football shoe!) and after the tour, you’re invited to reassemble the shoe against the clock yourself.

Adidas Predator

Other sections of this branded site are the ‘players’ which features 5 screens where in every screen a part of the powers of the player is revealed and illustrated in an original way.

The ‘TV room’ features commercials, player interviews and behind the scenes edits. It’s pretty fun the see, so you’ll definitely have to check this section. There are 7 commercials. All of them are funny. Concept: twelve international players go through the streets of their cities looking for a dream team to compete against.

Cole vs. Cisse – (England vs France)
Xavi vs. Gomes – (Spain vs Portugal)
Kaka vs. Riquelme – (Brazil vs Argentina)
Nakamura vs. Del Piero – (Japan vs Italy)
De Jong vs. Kuranyi – (Netherlands vs Germany)
Maestroni vs. Lozano – (US vs Mexico)

The ‘Downloads’ section has wallpapers, screensavers and ads. Yes, ads! High Quality PDF versions of screenshots from the superb commercial they’ve aired a while ago. Here’s the YouTube link for that clip.

The ‘Gear’ section is a store where you can see all kinds of boots, jerseys, pants and hardware (like shin protectors etc) and is more or less mandatory. Nevertheless, it’s well designed.

You can also play some games on the site in the quite extended ‘Games’ section. You’ll have to register to play, but it’s worth it.

Last but not least, in the ‘Pro Skills’ section you can learn how to practice your moves and improve your game. The ‘Bag of Tricks’ link currently features Morientes displaying his skills.

Check out the brand new site | Thanks, Martin


Google 3.0

28 Mar 2006

Wim L. sent me this future-Google screenshot which I find incredibly amusing. It’s funny, because it’s true.

Google 3.0

Created by modified_dangler | via ObnoxiousFumes


LetMeParty Mobile Multiple Posting

27 Mar 2006, was developed by Nemanja Stefanovic, a student of the University of Illinois in Chicago over his spring break this past week. It’s a free tool to let you post to your blog (or blogs) by sending text messages to them.

“The way it works is that you register on the site and then add your blogs to your account or profile. You also add your phone number. Your phone number is how the site recognizes you. That way, only you, from your mobile phone number, can send SMS’s to your blog. You can add as many of your blogs as you want, one SMS will post to all of them.

LetMeParty currently supports LiveJournal, Wordpress, Blogger, and Xanga.

Check out LetMeParty | via PicturePhoning


SmellTones For Your Mobile

27 Mar 2006

See, now this is funny: Samsung Electronics has developed a perfume spraying cell phone to release “smell tones” when incoming calls are received. The phone will have controls to adjust the type and amount of sprayed. Perfume will be stored in exchangeable catridges which can be easily reloaded. Samsung has recently filed a patent application.

However, contrary to the meme of slim and small cell phones, the spray unit adds considerable bulk, “It may be difficult to embed a perfume spraying apparatus in a small and lightweight mobile phone,” the application states. And more fundamentally, “the perfume may stain the mobile phone or the user’s clothes.”

via ShinyShiny | Ringtonia | Mobiledia