The return of silent movies

ReadWriteWeb reports that YouTube has started deleting audio from uploaded clips if the audio appears to be copyrighted. The clip plays in silence with this notice attached:

YouTube copyright notice

There’s no notification to the person doing the uploading, and ReadWriteWeb says the whole process is automated—audio on uploaded tracks is automatically analysed with fingerprinting software.

This is stupid. YouTube is the greatest publicity tool that copyright holders could have. They have nothing to fear from five-minute clips, replays of their advertisements and, best of all, mashups of their content. Says ReadWriteWeb: “In the end, this new policy will only alienate YouTube's users, while doing nothing to help the struggling music industry.” And as always, the labels will make these decisions whether the artists want their music used or not.

Who will really benefit from this? The same edge-of-the-Internet sites that currently host the stuff YouTube won't touch, like sex, violence, and complete high-fidelity downloads of songs and movies.  

At least Kermit remains unsilenced … for now.