It seems like the lawyers who browse Youtube.com to purge the site of copyrighted material have gone on vacation recently. In their absence, a multitude of classic cartoons have sprung up...and from a multitude of different users. The displaying of copyrighted material on the internet has always been a touchy subject, ever since the music industry got fired up about downloading songs back in the 90's, a battle that continues to this day.
But unlike modern rock bands, nearly all of the people who created the Warner Bros. classic cartoons have passed away. Their characters and films live on, but in the past few years, Warner Bros. itself has done little to promote them. Aside from the wonderful "Golden Collection" DVD series, the 5th volume of which is due this fall, merchandising has dwindled, TV airings have literally stopped, and the future of Warner Bros. classic animation is literally in the hands of fans who want to keep it alive.
Through websites like Youtube, Dailymotion, and Myspace, hundreds of users have dusted off their old tapes of Looney Tunes from TV, digitized them, and shared them with the world. Full-length movies, even full TV shows, are a pain to upload and a chore to watch online...but 7-minute shorts are ideal entertainment for the internet. In response to the phenomenon, it seems Warner Bros. has decided to team up with sister company AOL to create "in2tv.com", where one can watch hundreds of Looney Tunes and several modern cartoon series including "Taz Mania", "Pinky and the Brain", and "Batman: The Animated Series." It costs neither the company nor the viewer anything, and only serves to promote the plethora of DVD releases. Given the choice between a low-resolution video of one episode in a 4-inch box and a DVD set of pristine copies of lots of episodes for 40 bucks or less, I'd definitely buy the DVD. Yet another interesting fact...In2TV actually links to cartoons posted by random users on Youtube!
So before they change their minds, browse Youtube. Search "Merrie Melodies", and you'll find a treasure trove of classic cartoons. I'll leave you with these:
"tree For Two"
"Go Fly A Kit"