Due to Televisa's copyright lawsuit against Youtube, the latter has been marking as "video unavailable" an huge amount of telenovela material that was in Youtube thanks to the efforts of people around the world who invested their time uploading their personal collections of telenovela videos.

Following is a small sample of the many posts in blogs and bulletin boards complaining about this development (they're in Spanish):

alt1040
Foro Univision
pellejos p'al gato
skhamp
TVVI

In Youtube not only Mexican Televisa's telenovela videos are disappearing, but also many clips of telenovelas produced in other countries. Not to mention that Youtube is closing the personal accounts of anyone who has uploaded telenovela material.

This is sad. Youtube had become a true telenovela archive, a "must visit" place for telenovela lovers, and for scholars like me who have focused our research on this television genre. As far as I know, there isn't anywhere an archive that has samples of telenovelas from all producing countries. Telenovela videos are, like telenovela memories, scattered around the world in the homes of those audience members who were so enthralled by a particular show that they taped--some or all--the episodes of a particular telenovela. Thanks to their dedication, time and effort, telenovela videos were uploaded, despite the fact that most are in non-digital formats. Because of these people, Youtube became the greatest and most important telenovela archive in the planet.

Don't get me wrong. I know copyright laws. I also understand Televisa's right to keep selling their telenovelas, abridged and in DVD format. (I own a respectable collection of Televisa telenovelas in DVD that I've bought through the years). But, I don't believe the videos in Youtube diminished either the sales or interest in Televisa's telenovelas around the world. Au contraire, this material enticed audiences to watch and purchase Televisa's telenovelas.

The biggest loss, though, is of all the erased videos of telenovelas that weren't made by Televisa. In Youtube we could find impossible-to-find videos of Cristal, Yo soy Betty, la Fea (and its different local versions made in different countries), La Dueña, Las Amazonas, Ciudad Bendita, Kassandra, etc. None of these telenovelas are commercially sold. They are the sentimental property of the people who follow telenovelas around the world, and who now go back in time to when they only had access to the telenovelas broadcast in their own countries. This, obviously, strenghtens Televisa's dominance and hold on the global telenovela market. Those videos will be sorely missed by the telenovela Youtube audience.

They will be missed also in my classroom, where I won't be able to show anymore the variety of telenovela videos that allowed my students to understand the history and typology of telenovelas.

The absence of telenovela videos in Youtube will also increase the difficulty of studying this genre that is so popular, but also so mistreated...even by one of its most important producers.

October 12, 2007 Postscript: Two months after writing this post, a comment prompts me to look up in which court the lawsuit took place. I couldn't find it, which makes me think that the extensive deletion of telenovela material in Youtube was due to a warning from Televisa.

13 comments:

Dr. Carolina Acosta-Alzuru said...

PS: It just occurred to me...because of this issue, many of the videos that are embedded in my posts, may not be working anymore...

Funmi said...

Dr, Very welldone for all the good work you've done. More grease to ur elbow. Kindly help to forward the full story of catalina and sebastian. It's currently being aired in my country but I'm very anxious to get the full gist.

Dr. Carolina Acosta-Alzuru said...

Hi Funmi,

Unfortunately, I don't have access to the story of Catalina and Sebastian. I do read the posts in the blog Telenovela Love Garden.

taniatanfa said...

pues por ahora todo esta bien
lastima eh

Dr. Carolina Acosta-Alzuru said...

Sí, todavía se encuentran algunos videos en youtube...pero hay colecciones completas que fueron eliminadas. Es una verdadera lástima!

taniatanfa said...

ya enconte la raiz del asunto televisa quiere promomer su media player pero es que hace como cuatro o cinco meses cerro un negocio con microsoft a largo plazo para integrar los productos de microsoft a televisa y por supuesto a su pagina y sus telenovelas

y por otro lado las telenovelas de televisa se han vuelto un comercial grandote. Que opina de como televisa posisiona productos y comericales dentro de sus telenovelas por ejemplo en la fea mas bella o destalando amor y mi me caie bien gordo ni vi uno la novela agusto

Gabriel Sama said...

Do you have any idea in which court did Televisa present the copyright lawsuit against YouTube that you mention in your posting?

Dr. Carolina Acosta-Alzuru said...

Gabriel,

Your question prompted me to revisit this topic. And even though when I wrote this post back in August the language being used by bloggers and newsmakers was that of a lawsuit, I couldn't find a specific court or lawsuit. Only mentions to it without specific details. In one Univisión post there's a mention of a Televisa San Angel lawsuit. However, at this point, it seems to me that Televisa only warned Youtube, which ensued the "cleaning" of videos and accounts that had uploaded telenovelas made by Televisa and others.

Thanks for your comment and the opportunity to update this post.

Anonymous said...

Who cares? Telenovelas are just crap for lazy women.

Anonymous said...

I'm happy Televisa did that. They have the right to do it. If you want any of their "telenovelas" contact them and they will sell them to you. If you were to spend thousands of dollars making those shows you wouldn't want a cabron using and broadcasting your stuff when you can do that and charge for it. Doesn't sound fair?

Anonymous said...

I appreciate your article. Suddenly a novela that you were following on You Tube disappears and its unfortunate. I might agree with one of the commentators that it is only right for Televisa to protect their interests but my hope is that they hurry up and open the market to their digital fans even if we have to pay for it. So, I noticed the following link for instance www.sortilegiotv.com associated to some of the videos allowed. Is this a way for televisa to control it because in reading some of the articles it mentions that Televisa is trying to reach an agreement with YouTube? Is there a trustworthy site that we can purchase these novelas now?

Silver Buskirk said...

can anyone tell me where to find kassandra on tape or dvd. all of the episodes? im willing to pay for this!! thanks

Anonymous said...

hi

i found a site that has a lot of novelas. they have old and new novelas.

visit them at:

http://www.julienovelas.com

y

http://www.julissanovelas.com