Tuesday, June 29, 2010


It's been awhile since I've written anything here, and I fully intended to come back with the laziest post ever, a clip job.  Specifically, a clip job highlighting one of the most-reviled characters in TV history, Twiki, Gil Gerard's would-be hilarious robot sidekick from the '79 TV series Buck Rogers.  Not a big deal, I was just going to show a morally repugnant scene of Our Boy Twiki hitting on a female robot, a bit that has been floating around YouTube for as long as I can remember.

Except...the listing for the clip is still up on YouTube, but when you try to play it, a notice appears informing you that "this video contains content from NBC Universal, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds."  Unbelievably awkward syntax aside, this notice is infuriating.

I mean, seriously?  Is this another case of NBC zealously guarding its "intellectual property"?  As a writer, I appreciate the notion of copyright protection as much as anyone, but it's not like anyone posting and enjoying clips on YouTube is earning a profit from somebody else's work.  In fact, if the suits at NBC had a lick of sense, they'd realize this is the only way that this particular product can remain viable.

It's not like they're currently raking in a ton of cash from Buck Rogers.  The entire series was released on DVD a few years ago, and it didn't sell particularly well, but even if it had, it wouldn't have sold beyond its fan base, assuming it even has one.  What good does it do to own a property that nobody wants?

But when seen in campy, out-of-context clips on YouTube, the show actually looks entertaining, albeit in a heavily ironic way.  Still, hey, that might get people interested in watching it, perhaps even in picking up the DVD boxed set, if it's on sale or something.  At best, it may make the property slightly more valuable, and at worst, who the hell gets hurt by showcasing brief footage from a deservedly-forgotten TV show?

Free Twiki!