New copyright group forms today; Companies take a realistic look at Web video?

The Samberg Digital Shorts are the best thing going on SNL right now. Dick in a Box and The Chornic (les of Narnia) were viral hits that instigated new interest in the show. The video shorts buzzed around the Internet and won Timberlake an Emmy. If it wasn’t for sites like YouTube hosting the video, none of that was likely to happen.

So the question for copyright holders is this: how do you protect your content in the online world while still allowing it to be used in unlicensed environments? We’re not sure, but Microsoft, MySpace, Fox, NBC, CBS, and Viacom think they can figure it out.

The group is forming a new consortium today to address these issues, the idea being that if they can get together a set of practices and rules before the content sharing gets out of hand, then it can set the stage for its own content management, instead of having someone else (YouTube) dictate how things will work.

Hopefully this group will put together mutually satisfactory guidelines people won’t mind following. And, hopefully, the RIAA will notice that this is how you deal with the future: diplomacy and an open mind instead of litigation and scare tactics.

Media companies gear up for big copyright movement [Afterdawn]