The Brief History document describes how distribution options for documentary work as well as funding for these works diminished in decades past (67-68). As the video makers who set themselves up in opposition to broadcast TV now used television to spread their work, they were subject to all the regulations. The paper, written many years ago, expressed hope that satellite would make independent video more popular. During this section of the reading, I was reminded of Youtube.
The most popular video sharing sites out there–and anyone (with a free account and internet access) can share their video with the world. However, one ten-second clip of a copyrighted song and your video is blocked in various countries. The account of a New York City journalist was suspended after criticizing term limit laws. More importantly, perhaps, is the blocking of Youtube by governments. Countries will even limit public exposure to “content that may ignite social or political unrest.”
Youtube is also often pressured by governments and large corporations to take down particular videos. Record companies were recently charged with fake views, making videos appear more popular than they really were. Independent filmmakers may not have the funds to fight for their video to stay online, and do not have the resources to increase the view count of the videos that stay online. In the midst of the popular, big corporation videos, independent users rarely get their ideas out to many people.
Do you agree that Youtube is set up in such a way that independent filmmakers are always overshadowed by larger corporations’ Youtube videos? If so, is there a way to overcome those obstacles?