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Paramount Pictures yesterday announced that it would let Internet users view and share clips from some of their favorite movies. While this has been done for a while on sites such as YouTube, it is the first time a movie studio is directly allowing and participating in such action. It’s not necessarily all good news, though.
First of all, as of right now Paramount only has a deal in place with Facebook to distribute the clips via an application called VooZoo. This will not allow users to do things such as embed the short movie clips in their blogs; instead, users will have to go to Facebook and install the VooZoo application to use them. That’s not nearly as convenient as what some of the record companies are letting users do with music videos via YouTube, nor is it close to what Hulu is set to let the public do with television clips (our coverage).
Perhaps worse though are comments Paramount’s executive vice president for digital entertainment, Derek Broes, made to The Washington Post. He indicated that Paramount was looking to talk to Apple about selling the movie clips via iTunes.
Selling movies makes sense, selling short clips of movies make absolutely no sense. A short clip is basically an advertisement for a film. It should (assuming the movie is good) make the viewer want to watch the rest of the movie — even ones they’ve seen before. Why Paramount would think it’s a smart idea to try and charge you directly for what is essentially marketing is beyond me.
Another snag in the widespread availability of movie clips online is that many of the top filmmakers control the final cut rights of a film. This means they can basically dictate quite a few things about their finished product — including whether it will be allowed to be cut up into short clips.
Paramount Pictures is owned by Viacom.
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