With the copyright issue on YouTube recently in the spotlight thanks to Michelle Phan’s music lawsuit and the (alleged) purchase of Twitch by Google (which would potentially mean new rights hurdles for Twitch-streaming Let’s Players to jump through), VideoInk caught up with Jonathon Skogmo, the founder and CEO of Jukin Media and former television producer. A company focused on monetizing content for creators and brands on the web, they’ve recently created a new VP of legal role, filled by Joe Moschella, to help focus on rights management in the digital space.
Jukin Media boasts a quick turnaround when it comes to acquisition and monetization. The company certainly contributes to the increase of legal action taking place around music rights on the internet, and they currently boast a library of over 8,000 licensable videos.
YouTube has grown up over the years, and with it has the sophistication of their dealings with copyright law. Taking that into consideration, Skogmo gave VideoInk some insight into the company’s ideas about rights management. He spoke of their new legal VP and how Jukin deals with copyright issues in regards to creators and brands alike.
Why is now the right time to bring on a VP of Legal?
We’re working with more video creators than ever, so it’s important that we bring somebody on to meet the extra demands on our rights management team. Joe will be able to strategically lead the team and focus our efforts as we continue to protect our clients’ and our own copyright to the best of our abilities.
Copyrights and rights management have historically been a rough area for YouTube, but has gotten most attention for the music side. Why do you think rights management is heating up now on the platform?
I think creators are much more educated today than they were even a year or two ago, and YouTube deservers a lot of credit for that; creators know their rights, and they know that their content can’t be used without their permission.
How much of Jukin’s business will be reliant on rights management?
We’ll continue to protect our clients’ and our own IP as long as it’s being infringed upon. Our goal is to help set the standard for how copyright issues are handled, particularly for user-generated content and new forms of media.
Jukin Media works with both creators and brands. How does rights management differ when it comes to these different groups and their interactions with licensing/licensed material online?
In general large brands and media companies have a clearance staff to handle these types of issues, so they’re more quickly able to digest and understand our role and the value that we provide. Creators don’t usually have those resources, so there’s generally more explaining and educating necessary with the creators.
What exactly is the protocol when it comes to enforcing copyrights with digital video content?
Once we’ve identified a case of copyright infringement, the first step is always to attempt to get in touch and talk about it. We like to give folks the benefit of the doubt, hear their thoughts, and explain where we’re coming from. When those attempts to get in touch are not returned, the other party refuses to cooperate in remedying the situation, or we’re unable to come to a resolution, we’ll proceed with DMCA complaints or other actions.