Does Universal have intra-company instant messaging in place?

Let’s walk through this together, shall we? On Friday, it was all over the AP that Universal Music plans to go after YouTube and MySpace in an attempt to pierce the “safe harbor” veil that’s been protecting these online services from the actions committed by their users. Obviously that’s going to piss off all their users and just about anyone else reading, but this is familiar territory from the music world. No sense actually trying to *listen* to their customers. Sue them and the places they visit. Yep, brand loyalty will just pour in for ya.

The ironic bit of *this* piece of news is that, as quoted on page 196 of Darknet, Karen Randall, general counsel of — you guessed it! — Universal Studios, said, in part “I don’t know how, but somehow the music industry has alienated their customers, and they’ve alienated their talent. On the movie side, we want to make sure not to do that. The public thinks the music industry is a bunch of suits that are bad and making too much money and it’s okay to steal their stuff.”

Um, Karen… I know how the music industry has done it… at your sister company, at least. Re-read the top of this post. Perhaps you might want to IM your counterpart over there and give ’em the 4-1-1.

But it gets better. Because as I’m sure you’ve read by now, Warner Music has opened up their music video library to YouTube. So perhaps someone at Warner took Karen’s advice. At least *someone’s* paying attention. Kudos, Warner. This egg *is* going to crack eventually, and the companies that change their strategy first will be in a much better position than those who fight tooth and nail down to their last dollar.

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