(Dear Reader: We get to the tech policy aspect of this story after the jump, but, first, a feel-good moment)....
You don't notice your children growing up as much as friends and relatives because you see them every day. Likewise, with the Internet, it's something tough to get a gee-whiz, things-are-changing-fast moment when you spend much of your day in front of a computer.
I had one today when I wanted to see the video of the high school basketball team manager named Jason McElwain (or J-Mac) who got a chance to play in his team's last game of the year. He entered the game with four minutes left and scored 20 points. Oh, and the kid is also autistic. I had seen a brief clip on ESPN, but wanted to learn more. Boom. A quick search on Google Video netted the below news report. (BTW, I asssume that I could have found this on YouTube, but their search function was down). More than just finding the video, someone with minimal tech skills (me), can easily post this here for you to view it... Gee whiz. (And thanks to WROC in Rochester for the clip and the mad genius behind GetOutdoors for the tech tips).
For an even more heart-rendering version of the J-Mac story, see the CBS News segment.
On to the tech policy stuff... We can't fail to mention that the CBS clip has created a mini-controversy after it was posted on YouTube. In a nutshell. People saw the clip. People cried. People posted it on YouTube. CBS lawyers told YouTube to yank the video down. (Check out the CBS Public Eye blog for a recap.)
A few weeks ago, we mentioned the digital copyright issues facing YouTube here. Since that post, YouTube was also forced to take down the Saturday Night Live "Lazy Sunday" video (otherwise known as the only time I laughed at Saturday Night live in the last decade or so). NBC wants to show it exclusively on their site and sell the video via iTunes. (BTW, some say NBC also took a reeaaalllly long time to take it down -- long enough for the viral effect to play out and benefit the network. Others say that, on the other hand, perhaps the delay was caused by lawyers needing time to learn what a YouTube is.)
Now, the debate is exploding on whether YouTube is not a real business, or worse, the next Napster. As uber-blogger Om Malik says:
I believe that the growing popularity of You Tube (and other online video sites… about 95 in total as per Mary Hodder of Dabble) has less to do with amateur content, and more to do with copyright infringing content. After all if I had not wanted to see those cricket games, there was little chance of me visiting and spending so much time on You Tube. I wonder how many people actually visit You Tube to watch broadcast content online.
Perhaps, but folks are also pretty satisfied with the Muncie, Indiana response to the Lazy Sunday guys...(and the guys from Muncie are just fine with this)... (some adult language)...