Viral video enthusiasts using YouTube: potential copyright infringers or corporate shills?

YouTube’s DIY video site includes clips “stolen” from big media companies, allege lawyers representing big media companies – the likes of NBC Uni, CBS and ABC.

But big media companies, or at least their marketeers, are starting to realise that mashed-up clips represent, forgive the marketing spiel, bottom-up branded content.

Loaded with slap-happy credibility because they appear to be generated by users rather than corporations, they create the buzz needed for ratings success – or so says YouTube:

There’s been a few examples of marketing departments uploading content directly to the site, while on the other side of the company their attorney is demanding we remove this content.

Chad Hurley, YouTube co-founder: the Hollywood Reporter