The main discussion of YouTube videos being allowed into the database can be found in the thread at http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000042/nest/213240313. As staffer Thomas Porter wrote:
We are not interested in video clips, random camera phone footage, or many of the other bits and pieces that help bump up that 72 hours of footage [added to YouTube every minute]. We are still only interested in complete bodies of work ... and that is what I meant by a ‘considerable amount of work going into making it’.I believe that we could also use a guide to submitting online videos as part of the FAQ. In particular, the guide should address the following issues:
1. What title type should be used? Web series are normally treated by IMDb as if they were television series in the title format "Series Title" (2014). By that logic, should single online videos not part of a series be listed as TV movies: Single Program (2014) (TV)? I don't think they are typically listed that way, but it's not clear how they should be listed.
2. What kind of Miscellaneous Links are needed for an online video? While I would prefer if online videos were required to provide a Miscellaneous Link other than a link to the video itself on YouTube.com, if that's all that is needed then the guide should say so.
3. What is considered a "complete body of work"? I realize that there likely needs to be some flexibility in defining it, so I would expect the guide to use words like "usually" and "generally" in this context. Would it be accurate to say that having on-screen titles and credits is a major factor in determining whether an online video qualifies for listing in IMDb?
In addition, there is still a page at http://www.imdb.com/help/show_leaf?online_eligibility which says that the eligibility rules for online titles can be found at http://www.imdb.com/faq/titleeligibility. However, http://www.imdb.com/faq/titleeligibility has been removed and clicking on that link produces a 404 Error.
By that logic, should single online videos not part of a series be listed as TV movies: Single Program (2014) (TV)?
I use (V).
There are also issues like:
- Attributes to use, like (internet)
- Distribution companies should be thing likes YouTube [us]
This is a great thread – thank you for creating it and the links it includes.
Just to prevent it being lost in the ramble on the subject, can I ask the question now as to why do STAFF not allow users to contribute a draft of policy statements? I do not mean the whole world, but those users that would be considered "reliable"....I mean they already designate users here Champs (which means respected, trusted and appointed by the company) so why not make more of that trust and respect?
Drafts of pages that badly need reviewing but understandably are down the priority list, could be drafted – not to be official because users said so, but rather just to cut out the donkey work at the start – put something under their nose that is 80% done and probably 70-80% what IMDb would have written themselves.
Okay, personal agendas/opinions will be in there too, but that is why it gets handed to staff to progress...at least saving them 80% of the effort – and the online eligibility policy is a perfect example of this.
Anyway, back on subject:
I would say that the Contributor's Help board thread unsurprisingly contains an element of snootiness associated with this – contrasting online titles with "real" films in a way that is okay if you focus on one example of an iPhone clip, but it betrays a wider opinion.
I watch and add/add to a lot of short films to IMDb, short films that are often never subject to a festival run but have been made for Vimeo or YouTube as their platform to allow distribution through blogs, fan-sites and so on. I totally agree that IMDb should not accept titles which are people mucking about on their phones, but anyone who thinks that opening the database to allow the inclusion of online platforms is a terrible idea simply does not understand the volume of awesome short films being made with websites and general online distribution being the model.
The previous IMDb guidance has some good aspects, but for some reason includes unreasonable expectations – "staggering" number of views, "significant" media coverage, a "very" or "extremely" well known person is the cast or crew. There does need to be a definition of public interest, and I agree that "being publicly available" is not the same as "being of public interest". But "number of views" is not a guide either – a clip of a panda sneezing will understandably get millions of views, but a short film of 8 minutes and a crew of 40 students from CalArts will not simply because it is not as easy a watch and less frequently shared.
I think we all agree though that IMDb need to create a policy on this – and it must be a policy that stops the "LOL look at dis fail" clips put on YouTube by the second, but allows actual short films to be included.
note: I am not an IMDb employee, nor in any way affiliated with IMDb
I've prepared the following draft. It consists of ideas that I think IMDb would accept, or could accept, or that I wish they would accept. I will take suggestions and make changes based on other contributors' suggestions here (or on Contributors Help).
Draft guidelines for online videos
draft dated as of 1/11/2015
Videos which are primarily distributed online can qualify for listing on IMDb based on the following criteria. (These criteria do not apply to titles which qualify for IMDb listing as theatrically released films, made for video titles, or television programming.)
Online videos must be available to the public for viewing, either free or for a fee. Videos which are set for private viewing only by selected persons are not eligible for listing.
An online video must be available for viewing at the time it is submitted to IMDb as a new title. (That is, future videos not yet available should not be submitted, nor should past videos which can no longer be found online.) However, a video which was available for viewing at the time it was entered into the database will not be removed merely if it becomes unavailable in the future.
An online video may be listed if it
constitutes a complete body of work.
To be considered a complete body of work, the video should normally have an on-screen title and on-screen cast and crew credits. (This information should be part of the video itself, not merely displayed in accompanying text above, below, or next to the video.)
An online video is not eligible for listing if it consists primarily of footage from another title which is or could be listed in IMDb.
Commercials and trailers are not eligible for listing.
Online videos which are ongoing series should be entered into IMDb as television series with the individual videos being entered as episodes. Online videos which are not part of a series should be entered as made-for-video titles.
A link to where the video can be viewed online should be submitted in the Video Clips section (which includes full movies, not just clips) under Links to Other Sites. In addition, at least one other link related to the video should be submitted in the Miscellaneous Links section.
Let me know what you think of this.
(Also, thanks to Lorraine, Bob, Luvs, Ljdoncel, David, and Lucus for their support, in addition to Emperor and Peter.)
While for movies and TV shows there are usually "hard copies" that serve as reference for the original version, that is the version as they were first released in theatres, on DVD, or aired on television... how would you identify the "original" for a video that was published only on a web site, where it can be replaced with a new version any time, with changes in either the video or the credits? What if the video is removed, or the site shuts down? What if the "Star Wars" saga was only published on You Tube then Lucas changed it? :)http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000042/nest/238972966?d=239006011#239006011
Regarding Bob's proposed eligibility rules for online titles that he posted a few days ago, I would say that I support them in principle, but the staff indicated in 2013 that they were going to significantly ease the standards on allowing online titles into the database. ("I can confirm that this title does qualify for listing within the database. For one, it's on YouTube, and available on demand for public consumption.") So even though I would like IMDb to have high standards like those Bob suggests, I wanted to propose a low-to-middling standard to avoid the chance of winding up with no standards.
Thanks for all of your comments and apologies for the delay in updating the
submissions guides to reflect the changes of policy. We do care about the views
of our top contributors and appreciate your involvement. Gromit82, as you can
see your draft has made the basis for the online video title eligibility
section, thank you.
As you are all aware we are limited by the title types so we have documented the required formats for the different types of content until a time when we can display the information in a better way.
We have made the amendments to the guides which can be found by following these links - http://www.imdb.com/updates?update=title http://www.imdb.com/updates/guide/adding_new_title http://www.imdb.com/updates/guide/title_formats
From the discussion at http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000042/nest/213240313 in 2013:
Contributor k_luifje (Marco) wrote:
Are you saying everything on YouTube is eligible because it is available on demand for public consumption? Do you know that every minute, 72 hours of footage is added to YouTube?Staffer Thomas_Porter responded:
No. We are not interested in video clips, random camera phone footage, or many of the other bits and pieces that help bump up that 72 hours of footage. We are still only interested in complete bodies of work (which this title is), and that is what I meant by a considerable amount of work going into making it.However, under the new standard, the "complete body of work" criterion is no longer mentioned. In my draft, I had suggested formalizing the "complete body of work" standard by requiring on-screen titles and cast and crew credits, but apparently the staff chose not to adopt such a standard.
Does this mean that a video clip such as "Cat and window cleaner make friends in cute video" (on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78f-u06Gwtg) or "Funny emus" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYL_l0MxgMY) is now considered suitable for inclusion in the database? If so, that wouldn't have been my preference.
Thanks for your comments but what about videos such as these? http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/7fc5490cc9/little-democrats?_cc=__d___&_ccid=ahg9gt.nvtepa This title has no on screen credits so would not be eligible under your proposed draft guidelines.