Viral buzz kill; or How To Kill A Buzz and Annoy People (Rastamouse)

Just got a not very surprising notice from DHX Media has removed my Rastamouse vs Sleng Teng mashup. Unsurprising since other videos have been removed (usually from Rastamouse Company) over the last week or so.

What I don’t understand and have never understood is that in this day and age why a company would actively block fans from interacting with their products. Rastamouse has spread virally via YouTube – most people over 5 don’t watch CBeebies at 4:40pm – and rather than cash in on this with t-shirts, mouse mats (see what I did there) and DVDs and allowing people to spread the gospel according to Rastamouse they just block it. I mean at least create an official Rastamouse channel, rather than the few clips on the website? Is that really so hard? EDIT: apparently they’ve set one up less than a day ago…only took them over a week!

I do keep banging on about this over the years but this is a reminder that unlike the US there is no ‘Fair use’ or parody provision in UK law. My video was in part parody contrasting the fluffy Rastamouse vs the lyrics about weed and cocaine. OK not as sharp and important as say something satirising David Cameron using Rastamouse (please do!) but both would be pulled just the same. It endlessly surprises me that the US might get their claims and cry of free speech wrong sometimes, but in this case they are completely correct and ahead of the UK.

It’s the kind of promotion and advertising sad marketing types cream themselves over – but it seems again and again those who have a viral hit kill it rather than cash in. It doesn’t surprise me that it’s British company or that it’s related to the BBC really – unlike the US corporates (WMG was happy for the video to be there, it got ContentID’d with a link to buy ‘Under mi Sleng Teng’ on iTunes) who are starting to get hip to the idea of co-promotion and advertising not pulling (maybe blocking in some places) unauthorised works. I’ve not had a video pulled for years – this is the first.

Congratulations then to DHX Media and Rastamouse Company, I hope you enjoy the bad aftertaste you create with your fans…and I doubt Rastamouse will survive for long as anything but a passing fad with the under-5’s at this rate…from hit to shit in about a day (the day after the Metro article on Rastamouse last week as an ‘internet sensation’ they pulled the videos on YouTube, hence not being a surprise).

I hoped they’d leave the short clips and go for the full shows, though – I can understand not wanting full shows on YT but pulling ALL clips? Eh?

Shame cos I love the program.

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