This was only a matter of time: Redlasso has been served a cease and desist letter by a bunch of buzzkilling lawyers on behalf of NBC, CBS and FOX. The Lasso has until May 29th to comply or else!
Obviously, this is bad news for bloggers and blog readers alike. Sure, Redlasso is filled with more bugs than half the characters in The Wire, but when it does work, it’s totally awesome. It’s pretty much made recording my TV with a digital camera obsolete, which is not a bad thing (shaky hands, first sign of alcoholism).
Really though, I’m amazed it took this long for the major media conglomerates to take notice. There are also signs that MLB is somewhat aware of Redlasso’s pirating. Jason at BallHype recently told me that MLB contacted him personally about removing a Redlasso video from the site. This show’s how incredibly out of touch the people at MLB are on two levels: A) They know so little about Redlasso that they decided to come after Ballhype instead of the site hosting the video, B) The know so little about Redlasso, period. The site has been basically stealing copyrighted content for about six months now on a pretty large scale.
It’s only a matter of time now before Redlasso is forced to close its doors, but for every free (and illegal) video clipping site that is shut down, three more will pop up (that’s a fact!). This is the Napster music revolution all over again. Damn The Man, power to the people, and all that stupid hippie shit.
UPDATE: After the jump, an email I (and I assume all Redlassoers) received from the company.
Dear Bloggers and friends of Redlasso,
We would like to thank you for using Redlasso. We have built this tool with you in mind. It is your support that has proven that Redlasso is a relevant distribution channel, and it is your continued support that will help us achieve our goals as the bridge between the blogging community and the publishers.
Redlasso believes in, and encourages the proper use of copyrighted material. We launched our site as a solution for publishers, bloggers, and advertisers to the very real problem of untraceable video on the internet.
As you probably already know, Redlasso received a cease and desist letter from several media companies yesterday.
Although we have great respect for the media companies involved, we strongly disagree with the letter’s conclusion. The media companies are asking us for a response by May 29th. We are currently reviewing the letter and plan to respond in due time.
We were disappointed with the letter, especially given our transparent and open approach with the major content providers. We have been upfront in all of our discussions over the past two years including providing site logins, updates on our traction in the marketplace, and our business model. We will continue with our open approach as we continue to look to enter partnering agreements with all publishers.
This will not affect the usability of the Redlasso site. We are open for business and will remain so as we continue the discussions.
Our goal from the outset has been to develop a platform that will be beneficial to content providers, the commentators in the blogosphere and ultimately to people who visit these sites.
The Beta you have been participating in was devised to demonstrate that there is a demand for this type of service. We have not earned any revenue from the site and it is our full intention to get agreements in place with content providers so they can share in the opportunities and revenues enabled by Redlasso’s tools. We also believe that you should share in this revenue.
We believe we offer a valuable service for several reasons:
1) Redlasso brings order to the use of content by providing content producers a reliable means for tracking video and audio usage on the internet. The “Redlasso player” is replacing “untraceable players” on many blogs, so partnering with Redlasso will finally enable a profitable blogging distribution model for content providers.
2) We have addressed the specific needs of the blogger distribution channel. You have told us you want a single site giving you the ability to search, and create limited duration clips of, broadcast media to meet your mission of covering and commenting on daily events in the news.
3) We are a media tool center for bloggers. We are at your service as you continue to create news about news.
4) You have made the Redlasso Beta a success demonstrated by the 24 million uniques and 10 million video plays in April.
Redlasso wants to keep the dialogue open between us at all times. We want to hear from you.
We in turn will keep you apprised of our progress with our talks with content owners.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Thank you again for your faithful patronage and support.
Redlasso’s Management Team