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YouTube Leaves Google Vulnerable?

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the googtube-is-fun-to-say dept.

208

PreacherTom writes "Yesterday's big news was Google's $1.65 billion deal to acquire popular video hosting service YouTube. But will it be a good deal? The market thinks so, as Google's stock rose about $10 per share after the purchase. On the other hand, YouTube increases Google's risk of copyright infringement, opening the door for significant liability...if Google cannot solve this issue. Will their planned video 'fingerprinting' be enough, or just a billion dollar mistake?" From the article: "YouTube's policy is to remove copyrighted clips once alerted to their existence. Content providers say the company needs to be even more proactive ... Todd Dagres, general partner at Boston's Spark Capital, says that Google's large market cap of $130 billion makes it much more vulnerable to lawsuits than a private company such as YouTube. 'Once Google starts to apply its monetization machine, there is going to be more money at stake and people are going to go after it,' says Dagres. 'You cannot monetize other people's content without their approval.'"

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208 comments

They wish (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16377305)

You cannot monetize other people's content without their approval.

That's not what the copyright laws say. It's what the content industry wishes they would say, and takes them to mean. This is a great quote because it reveals how they really think about it.

Re:They wish (4, Insightful)

linuxci (3530) | more than 7 years ago | (#16377545)

In the end anyone who puts up TV shows on one of these services is going well beyond fair use but all Google should have to do is pull it down when asked.

However, content providers that don't embrace video services like youtube will end up losing out in the long run. There's a lot of other ways people can get the content, now they've had a taste of what's possible then more and more people would start looking elsewhere (P2P maybe) for their content should it be pulled from Googles servers. So it makes sense for the content providers to stike a deal with Google and get a share of ad revenue rather than drive people to P2P where they get nothing.

It's good to see Google is already striking deals with other companies.

Re:They wish (3, Insightful)

gilgongo (57446) | more than 7 years ago | (#16377753)

"In the end anyone who puts up TV shows on one of these services is going well beyond fair use but all Google should have to do is pull it down when asked"

The CRUCIAL thing here is "when asked." The problem with copyright culture right now is that content providers far too often simply tear stuff down before waiting to see whether the copyright holder wants them too or not. Granted, this is a proactive measure designed to save them from the courts, but if I were the boss of a TV station I'd ask them to keep it up there: if it's old episodes of Gilligan's Island or outtakes from Lost that are pulling the kids into YouTube then I can get those same kids to subscribe to cable (and or some future hi-def format) and watch it there too.

No exposure == no audience == no money. This is the lesson of the long tail.

Re:They wish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16377965)

What about old shows that are no longer available for purchase?

Actually they already agreed about it (5, Insightful)

skiingyac (262641) | more than 7 years ago | (#16377655)

You cannot monetize other people's content without their approval.

YouTube has just signed how many agreements with major content providers. Do you think that MAYBE, just MAYBE, Google was waiting for that to happen before buying them?

So, the question isn't even relevant. Nobody cares whether they can do it without their approval. YouTube HAS their approval, and now that Google owns YouTube, so does Google.

Any remaining content providers will quickly realize their choices are 1) spend money on long, expensive lawsuits against Google with little/no prospect of a ROI, or 2) jump on the bandwagon for practically free and make some money out of it. It shouldn't take long even for a corporate board member to figure that one out.

Re:Actually they already agreed about it (5, Interesting)

inviolet (797804) | more than 7 years ago | (#16377847)

Any remaining content providers will quickly realize their choices are 1) spend money on long, expensive lawsuits against Google with little/no prospect of a ROI, or 2) jump on the bandwagon for practically free and make some money out of it. It shouldn't take long even for a corporate board member to figure that one out.

This will then stimulate a change in the advertising industry. Since discrete commercials can be so easily skipped or completely snipped out, advertising must insinuate itself directly into the content.

In the case of television, perhaps we should expect to see new shows filmed with green-screens subtly placed around the sets. You know, such as on the door of the refridgerator, or on the billboard that is slightly visible from Will & Grace's back yard. At the time of broadcast or rebroadcast or publication on DVD, commercial content can be pasted onto the green-screens dynamically.

This would have major benefits, because the commercial content can be adjusted according to the intended audience and timeslot. Advertising dollars will bring more bang for the buck... and that means that less total advertising needs to be delivered and watched.

I'm all for it. Commercial breaks are irritating, and seriously disrupt the mental state that the show is trying to induce in me. I'd rather ignore the computer-generated label on Doogie Houser's cereal box than I would sit through a cereal commercial.

Re:Actually they already agreed about it (2, Insightful)

rkcallaghan (858110) | more than 7 years ago | (#16377853)

skiingyac wrote:
Any remaining content providers will quickly realize their choices are 1) spend money on long, expensive lawsuits against Google with little/no prospect of a ROI, or 2) jump on the bandwagon for practically free and make some money out of it. It shouldn't take long even for a corporate board member to figure that one out.
Academic curiosity: In the history of megacorporations, with particular emphasis on copyright-owning media corporations; have any of them ever chosen option number 2?

If yes, who? What were their results? If no, what indicators do we have that they would do so now?

~Rebecca

Re:Actually they already agreed about it (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#16378339)

In the past no. A surprising number of content industries have just jumped on the YouTube bandwagon. This is for music videos only. But generally YouTube is for short clips anyways. Long clips have to be cut into segments and or often quickly pulled. So an algorithms that detects segment postings and flags them for screening would take care of 90% of full length content.

Re:Actually they already agreed about it (2, Informative)

skiingyac (262641) | more than 7 years ago | (#16378381)

I completely agree with your suggestion that history does not support this, and I think that's why nobody bought YouTube until now. However, in case you didn't read the Forbes link in the article, YouTube has signed deals with:
  • Sony BMG Music Entertainment
  • Warner Music Group
  • CBS Corp.
  • Vivendi's Universal Music Group

I don't know how they got this far, but that was DEFINITELY the hard part. The Washington Post recently stated that Drudge Report is their main source of traffic and that they have a symbiotic relationship. The rest will follow once the first couple start saying they are making money.

Re:They wish (2, Insightful)

monkeydo (173558) | more than 7 years ago | (#16377719)

Yes, copyright law is actually much broader than that. In fact, you can't distribute other people's copyrighted content without their permission, even if you aren't making money off it.

That is what you meant, right?

Re:They wish (1)

Xugumad (39311) | more than 7 years ago | (#16377999)

What I'm wondering is what on earth they thought copyright laws did, if they didn't stop you selling other people's copyrighted material without their permission!

Re:They wish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16378313)

Monetizing != Selling. Copyright law says, in fact, almost nothing about monetizing. Or selling. It says things about distributing.

Re:They wish (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#16378427)

The issue is does it stop you from giving away in limited forms other peoples production, and what is the definition of limited. Many places allow you to give full copies of songs to friends in the form of compilation tapes, generally these were compensated in the form of tape/audio cd tax. Everywhere you are allowed to take small samples and use it in a nonprofit work. The question is how small. And how big of a distribution is allowed.

Re:They wish (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16377939)

Its funny how the content industry wants ANY and EVERYONE to buy their product, but not use in any method except for consumption.

Personally I fail to see how content can not be cited like book references.

Ex: Little Johnny is bit eccentric and creative, and wants to make a short film about the wildlife in his backyard. So, he takes some still's with a camera, maybe a few short clips with a camcorder, and slaps it all together, putting Blind Melon's 'No Rain' as the audio overlay. Now, at the beginning of his short clip he cites the audio creator/ license holder/ producer/ all Copyright info of the song, which then progresses to play. He then uploads it to a website, like Youtube, where others can view it. He also cites on the page where it can be viewed, all Copyright info of the song in his short movie clip. He intends for others to view it at their interest and amusement, and expects no compensation of any kind of what he has uploaded.

Now, is what he has done deprived the copyright owner of any credit with regard to the creation? It is cited in his work, and no monetary gain has been acquired, yet you can be pretty sure the Copyright owner would go after him regardless of whether money was made.

I guess what I fail to understand with copyrighted content is this: if content intended for mass consumption is rehashed into an alternate form and redistributed into an alternate medium, with reference and citation to the copyright holder, for no monetary or other compensation, how has the copyright holder been deprived of anything??

It seems hypocritcal and draconian to think that if you put some form of art out into the world for people to consume with their personal wealth, that they not be able to do what they want with it as long as citation and reference to the original creator is noted accordingly.

Re:They wish (1)

TheSkyIsPurple (901118) | more than 7 years ago | (#16378065)

>Personally I fail to see how content can not be cited like book references.

I don't either... but typically when you reference a book, you use only a small portion of it, not the majority of the book.

> putting Blind Melon's 'No Rain' as the audio overlay.

Using the main portion of the content? sorry, you don't even get to do that with books/magazines/encyclopedia articles currently.

Dumb Question, ask another (4, Insightful)

Se7enLC (714730) | more than 7 years ago | (#16377315)

Google Video [google.com] and YouTube [youtube.com] are the SAME THING. The only difference is that google actually takes down copyrighted video when people post it to google videos and youtube doesn't. I don't see any reason why video.google can't merge with youtube and fix youtubes problems.

Re:Dumb Question, ask another (5, Insightful)

ImaNihilist (889325) | more than 7 years ago | (#16377431)

How many people are going to go to YouTube when all the copyrighted material is gone?

Not many.

Re:Dumb Question, ask another (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16377517)

More than people would think. Lets check out the most viewed videos for today [youtube.com] . By my count, 11 out of the 20 were user-made.

There's more money in kids trying to be Johnny Knoxville than there is in snippets of South Park.

Re:Dumb Question, ask another (3, Insightful)

ImaNihilist (889325) | more than 7 years ago | (#16377597)

That's because people happen to find other things while looking for illegal content. I've never met anyone outside of my geek circle that actually used YouTube to watch viral internet videos. Every "normie" I know uses YouTube to watch TV shows, anime, and music videos (quasi-legal now). When you remove the illegal content from YouTube, what is it? It's called Google Video, which probably doesn't even get 1/100th the views. Probably not even 1/1000th. If you aren't using it to watch illegal content, you're using it to either watch lonelygirl, brookers, or some other hobag play with her boobs. I suppose as long as they keep those three going strong, they will always have an audience. Boobs are always in style.

Re:Dumb Question, ask another (2, Interesting)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 7 years ago | (#16378031)

Probably a regional thing.. everyone I know uses google video.

Part of the problem with youtube is its unreliability - someone posts a youtube link and about 80% of the time you bring it up and the play button doesn't work or it plays for 5 seconds and gives up.

Re:Dumb Question, ask another (1)

Calinous (985536) | more than 7 years ago | (#16378289)

Never had a problem playing videos from youtube (but didn't used it much)

Re:Dumb Question, ask another (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#16378399)

YouTube uses a lot of local proxies. Likely your local one sucks.. :) Nice to know hu.

Yay anecdotal evidence (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16378479)

Probably a regional thing.. everyone I know uses google video.


Everyone I know also uses Firefox. That's gotta mean something. Oh wait, that's right; it doesn't mean anything. I mean, anything other than everyone I know uses Firefox. It implies absolutely nothing about the market or popularity or usability or safety or anything else. And, more importantly, it ignores the MASSIVE AMOUNT OF EVIDENCE that points to the other, far more logical conclusions.

Yeah, this is flamebait, I know, but for the love of Jebus, STOP USING ANECDOTES IN ARGUMENTS. Am I the only friggin' Comp Sci person that had to take a logic class and actually remembers what Unrepresentative Sample means? Anecdotes add absolutely nothing to debates. It's almost as useful as saying "My favorite color is blue" when talking about website design.

Re:Yay anecdotal evidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16379389)

I'm a comp science major and I didn't have to take a single logic class, what with it being in the Philosophy department.

However, I am taking logic, for fun. However, I am not a representative sample of all Comp Sci majors, and therefore, an outlier at best.

Anecdotes can be useful in arguments, but 90% of the time people include some type of fallacy with them. (appeal to emotion usually)

Re:Dumb Question, ask another (1)

British (51765) | more than 7 years ago | (#16378517)

What's annoying about Google Video is the marketing angle. I try doing a vague search for "80s". What do I get? Some stock footage film company showing you samples of stuff to buy.

Also, it seems no matter what I search for, I ALWAYS end up with "Charlie Rose" tv shows for sale in search results. I don't want to buy videos. I just want to see the free ones. Google Video seems to have exactly what I don't want.

myspace videos, OTOH are all viral videos and soft core porn. Youtube's got that wonderful middle ground. No stupid codecs to download, no additional browser windows(you listening, ifilm?), etc.

Re:Dumb Question, ask another (1)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 7 years ago | (#16378569)

Boobs are always in style.

My plastic surgeon said the same thing before the operation. But I've found they don't match the beard...

Re:Dumb Question, ask another (1)

City Hermit (1007945) | more than 7 years ago | (#16378683)

That is not true. I want to be on the cutting edge of the culture industry and welcome our numa dancing overlords!!

Re:Dumb Question, ask another (1)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 7 years ago | (#16377443)

I don't see any reason why video.google can't merge with youtube and fix youtubes problems.

Or simply just redirect everyone that clicks on Google Video to You Tube. That's what I'd do, but then again I'm lazy. Bite me.

Re:Dumb Question, ask another (1)

happyrabit (942015) | more than 7 years ago | (#16377993)

Sure google filter copyrighted versions? Yesterday I went seeing the WoW south park episode on google video after they took it off from youTube. anyway, it's surely more complicated than i can think off.

Re:Dumb Question, ask another (1)

kid nickng (830274) | more than 7 years ago | (#16378093)

I always thought the popularity of YouTube is partly because it implicitly allows copyrighted material; If Google isn't verifying the video uploaded (this takes a few days) and make them available instantly, IMHO, it could be as popular as YouTube. However that will bring a hell lot of legal/copyright problems to Google.
And of course this isn't the only problem, but just for an example..

If YouTube's problem is fixed properly then I will guess the popularity will go straight down. Google buying Youtube might be a bad thing and potentially killing youtube.

Re:Dumb Question, ask another (2, Interesting)

forgotten_my_nick (802929) | more than 7 years ago | (#16379445)

YouTube does take down copyright material but it has to be reported or they have to see it. Not sure why Daily show clips appear everywhere (probably too many posting them) but still is pulled.

Heroes and Lost for example got pulled the day after they were posted. WOW South park got pulled a few days after posting but only because a large majority of the WOW players were probably spamming. I have also seen comments like "Content removed as owner is MTV" and similar.

Likewise with google video. You can get (c) material there too but generally harder to find and that's only because more people use youtube.

I wouldn't class them as the same either as Youtube is used as a social system as well. You can talk about the videos, subscribe to favorites, users, keywords, channels.

Actually, the added liability risk makes sense... (2, Insightful)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 7 years ago | (#16377341)

YouTube increases Google's risk of copyright infringement, opening the door for significant liability
Despite what else I think of Google, this move makes sense. Google has stepped up to defend itself on a number of other copyright fronts (including book content); I think they will do an equally good job defending themselves (or coming to terms) on the video front.

Re:Actually, the added liability risk makes sense. (5, Insightful)

DerGeist (956018) | more than 7 years ago | (#16377445)

Exactly. So many comments by analysts and armchair politicians seems to reflect a certain mindset that Google is so blindingly stupid that they bought YouTube for 1.65 billion after a six-week bender, and now their lawyers are crapping their Dockers screaming "oh crap, I forgot! We could get sued!"

Obviously Google knows there is copyrighted content on YouTube. It also knows that YouTube is what people want. Before the idea of capitalistic humility was eroded by monopolistic content producers who unilaterally decided they had consumers by the proverbial balls and would take them for all they're worth, companies actually tried to give consumers what they wanted. Google, I think, understands that. Yes, people want everything for free, but we all love YouTube. And why? Ignoring the vlogs and random jackass-style videos that everyone likes to watch, YouTube is on-demand content. It's a service that is realizable within today's technological constraints and universally desired among consumers. If Google can find a way to get the money machine going on this, the possibilities suddenly become immensely attractive.

Re:Actually, the added liability risk makes sense. (1)

Aqua_boy17 (962670) | more than 7 years ago | (#16377977)

YouTube is what people want.
...with a huge user base. I could be wrong, but I think this was more about getting that population of web users than about YouTube's content. Only time will tell if it was really a good investment for Google or not.

Re:Actually, the added liability risk makes sense. (1)

clgoh (106162) | more than 7 years ago | (#16378305)

I think this was more about getting that population of web users

I think Google has already pretty much any population of web users...

Re:Actually, the added liability risk makes sense. (1)

BewireNomali (618969) | more than 7 years ago | (#16378941)

Is youtube worth more than myspace?

What is the difference? (1)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 7 years ago | (#16377343)

Google are always getting sued so much already by different countries and organisations, do you think they'll notice?

Re:What is the difference? (1)

Alex Pennace (27488) | more than 7 years ago | (#16377635)

Google are always getting sued so much already by different countries and organisations, do you think they'll notice?

Any reference to current and past suits against Google?

Re:What is the difference? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16377701)

Google it.

since when... (3, Insightful)

aleksiel (678251) | more than 7 years ago | (#16377349)

since when was google afraid of copyright lawsuits? caching webpages, images, (mostly open-source-ish) code, actual books, and (some of their) videos?

i think youtube fits right in, personally.
but also, i hate the current state of our copyright laws.

Re:since when... (1)

PreacherTom (1000306) | more than 7 years ago | (#16377427)

Different groups are pursuing copyright lawsuits with different agendas. Google's previous actions were much more under the radar than YouTube.

Re:since when... (1)

aleksiel (678251) | more than 7 years ago | (#16377691)

true, and they also worked with companies a lot more than youtube because they had the resources to do so.

but still, the number of homemade music videos and other "minor copyright infringement" stuff like that on google video and youtube are similar enough.

Re:since when... (1)

zenithcoolest (981748) | more than 7 years ago | (#16378019)

Maybe Google is not afraid of copyright suites but whats the point of adding the number. I think what they will do is to revamp the whole copyrighted thing on Youtube like they have on Google Video and skim through the videos uploaded.

I don't think it'll be a problem (2, Interesting)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 7 years ago | (#16377411)

All Google have to say is they'll take anything down when the copyright holder (and only the copyright holder) complains. eBay has this policy similar to this, but still kick up a fuss when they're asked to take stuff down (Live 8 tickets last year for example).

Re:I don't think it'll be a problem (3, Insightful)

jackharrer (972403) | more than 7 years ago | (#16377461)

Exactly. They can just simply say: 'Oh, just because of sheer amount of videos we overlooked few. But we're trying.".
So we can be sure that we will still be able to see everything - but just for few days. Which is really good for marketing - you need to visit their page very often, just not to miss some content.

Good idea, plus if you don't annoy RIAA and MPIA (and their BIG members) too much it should work.

jackharrer

Re:I don't think it'll be a problem (1)

shimmin (469139) | more than 7 years ago | (#16378809)

It is well-established that innocent intent does not constitute a defense against a finding of infringement, although it can be used to argue for lesser damages. To copy and distribute copyrighted content is infringement, unless it is fair use, which this is not by any stretch of the imagination or the law.

Google might have a viable defense under the DMCA's "safe haven" clause for ISPs.

Kengestion Charge (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16377413)

Next lawsuit will by Ken Livingstone for use of the word tube [tfl.gov.uk]

Semantics (1)

tygerstripes (832644) | more than 7 years ago | (#16377419)

You say "video fingerprinting", I say "evil bit".
</troll>
Anyway, I the article suggests Google don't know the trouble they're getting into. Well, seems they did okay with Google Video. I haven't seen them screw it up yet...

better and more lawyers (1, Funny)

romit_icarus (613431) | more than 7 years ago | (#16377437)

A large market cap also allows for larger and more sophisticated legal counsel! So I guess it evens out...

Leaves it vulnerable my bottom. (5, Insightful)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#16377483)

Think about it. Would Google, which already has Google Video, go and spend 1.6 billion on a virtually equivalent service, only to end up "vulnerable" and sued?

Somehow I feel this was discussed behind closed doors, risks assessed and measured, strategy outlined. The deal proceeded despite all this.

There's simply a lot we just don't know to start discussing if YouTube leaves "Google vulnerable". And when you don't know something, it's best to wait and see, versus flap your mouth, outputting unmitigated BS in your articles.

Re:Leaves it vulnerable my bottom. (1)

PreacherTom (1000306) | more than 7 years ago | (#16377537)

People also invested insane amounts of money in offshore online casinos. Vide insane amounts of market cap vaporize with one unexpected law. Risk v Return is always an important consideration. Still, don't think that the return is all that pops up.

Re:Leaves it vulnerable my bottom. (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#16377557)

People also invested insane amounts of money in offshore online casinos. Vide insane amounts of market cap vaporize with one unexpected law.

I think your example is not of the best ones, unless you mean that in the case of Google, copyright is one "unexpected law".

Re:Leaves it vulnerable my bottom. (2, Insightful)

PreacherTom (1000306) | more than 7 years ago | (#16377821)

You don't think both are examples of selective enforcement?

google video (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16377493)

Ummm... did someone forget that Google has Google Video??? And that it has plenty of its own copyright violations already without YouTube ever being in the picture.

Monetize? (3, Insightful)

TheWoozle (984500) | more than 7 years ago | (#16377507)

You keep using that word; I don't think it means what you think it means.

Is the entertainment industry going to lobby Congress to make movies and songs into a currency?

Re:Monetize? (1)

mlk (18543) | more than 7 years ago | (#16377901)

Yeap, soon you will have to sing a bar of Britney Spears for a pizza. A complete song a Stuffed Crust and some garlic bread.

Re:Monetize? (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 7 years ago | (#16378783)

You keep using that word; I don't think it means what you think it means.
Unfortunately, I think using "monetize" instead of "make money/profit out of" is so widespread in the US now that it has to be accepted, however ugly it sounds, as another horrible management consultant's buzzword.

This is a Non-Issue (2, Interesting)

organgtool (966989) | more than 7 years ago | (#16377527)

I really don't see copyright infringement becoming a huge issue with this acquisition. As another poster pointed out, Google Video removes copyrighted material from their site and as long as they enforce the same policy on YouTube, they shouldn't have too many copyright problems. However, I'm sure there will be a few grab-asses that will threaten to sue Google in an attempt to get a settlement, and if Google was smart, they'd allow the case to go to court and make an example out of them.

It's the nineties all over again. (2, Insightful)

bytesex (112972) | more than 7 years ago | (#16377539)

When the market realizes that young people switch over from one website to the next on a whim, and that you can make youtube out of slashdot out of wikipedia with just minor code changes, they will once again withdraw their money and the market will collapse. All these companies have is brands; it's a dangerous move by Google.

Re:It's the nineties all over again. (1)

metlin (258108) | more than 7 years ago | (#16377975)

> All these companies have is brands; it's a dangerous move by Google.

Well, it would be if Google had paid hard cash. They did not -- they paid with stock, which is a different story altogether.

Of course, we all know of the DotCom billionaires who were left with worthless pieces of paper, so let's see how far this goes.

Re:It's the nineties all over again. (3, Insightful)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 7 years ago | (#16378157)

I think "the market" may be more web-savvy than YOU!

You can't just "make a YouTube out of Slashdot" or what have you, with "only minor code changes"! I'd agree that only small changes are needed to turn a particular type of site into a competing "clone" of the site. This is often seen with online dating service web sites, for example. They all perform the same basic function, so the back-end database code is pretty much the same.

But the hardware, bandwidth AND software demands of a streaming video site are very different than a blog site that deals in practically all text.

The fact that young people switch web sites "on a whim" is meaningless. Young people *always* switch brand loyalty on a whim. The fashion industry is well aware of this, yet they haven't stopped vying for their dollars, have they? The fact is, there's a lot of money to be made in creating and trying to hang onto an image of "oool/trendy" as long as you possibly can.

Google/Youtuibe not the only problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16377575)

Copyright holders should be more worried about people publishing wholey independent albums [lulu.com] on sites like Lulu and the SAMPLES used on such albums. I'm not suggesting that random album has any copyrighted material on it (I had it tabbed when I was considering this post) - but it might as might thousands of others released via Lulu's publishing program... they are actually potentially SELLING copyrighted material.

Surely the evil empires would be more worried about that>

Monetize? (4, Insightful)

pla (258480) | more than 7 years ago | (#16377583)

You cannot monetize other people's content without their approval

And here we have, in one choice of wording in one sentence, the embodyment of everything wrong with out entire IP system.

We need to line asshats like this need up against the wall, ASAP. Yes, YouTube hosts quite a lot of copyrighted content. Yes, Google has deeper pockets. So what?

Camwhores aside, anyone considering suing GooTube does not have the advancement of human culture in mind - Or even their own sales! They just want a quick buck via legislation rather than work. YouTube has taken what amounts to the "abandonware" of the media market, and made it popular again even in a low-quality format. Sales of cheesy 80s videos collections have skyrocketed thanks to YouTube, and at least some major labels haven't failed to notice this. But it only takes a single holdout, who considers their one-hit-underground-wonder as the single most important pile of dung on the planet, to make YouTube the next Napster.


We don't need an overhaul of IP law (and yes, I do include the whole plate of copyright, trademark, patents, and the rest in that term, quite deliberately), we need it completely done away with. We need a judiciary that has at least a basic grasp of the technology they keep making very dangerous decisions about. And we need people who talk about "monetizing" anything other than physically backed currency taken out back and shot.

Welcome to the Death of the Small Inventor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16378363)

What you talk about inveitably allows big business to crush the small inventor simply through throwing its weight around. IP / copyright were created to support the individual, not the business. Regardless of how they are viewed now, they still function in some way in this matter.

Sane copyright / IP law is needed, not a removal of it completely. Reform is needed, not removal.

Anyone who suggests otherwise should have their heads pulled out of their asses, then taken out back and shot. Either that or they haven't produced anything of value in their own life.

Once again, a great example of the excluded middle argument that has no basis in reality and instead is based on some wanted utopia that doesn't exist.

Re:Welcome to the Death of the Small Inventor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16378845)

Allow me be the first to tell you that you're full of shit. IP laws will be the death, and not the life, of the small inventor. There are simply enough larger players with enough capital to patent every concept they come across. Searching through the jungle of patents is going to be less and less possible over time as the larger players ramp up these efforts. Submarine patents will flourish, and so will lawyers. There are also corporations which assert IP rights on their employee's creations in their contracts. Copyright law is being interpreted as a method to control similar creations, not just carbon copies of the original. With the volume of content being created and the direction laws are heading, it isn't going to be possible to create much of anything in the future unless you already own similar IP or are owned by an entity that does.

Reform isn't going to do jack in the case of IP. The people - well, legally they're people - who currently benefit the most do not want reform of any sort unless it fills their coffers. These entities have more control over the laws than you could ever hope to achieve, and will be more than happy to keep tightening down the controls DMCA style until there is no longer such a thing as a small inventor or content creator.

re: GooTube (1)

bigdaddyhame (623739) | more than 7 years ago | (#16377625)

IIRC, YouTube has been very busy inking don't-sue-me agreements with the major entertainment companies that will give it and now GooTube(tm) ammo when and if lawyers try to go after it - now they can say, "heck, even Universal signed on to the money train, after threatening to sue us!"

As to the 'monetizing' thing (is that like emmantizing the eschatron?) the volume of people using Google's services, even with adwords all over the place, is testimony enough that Google's doing it right.

Aren't they protected by the DMCA (1)

GaelTadh (916987) | more than 7 years ago | (#16377631)

Don't the DMCA safe harbor provisions [chillingeffects.org] protect google in the event of copyright infringement ? Even if it's not a clear cut case; the part about financial benefit seems to leave them a little open; it does provide material for google with it's massively deep pockets to lawyer their way out of it.

This is about confronting the copyright collective (3, Interesting)

metoc (224422) | more than 7 years ago | (#16377659)

This is a direct quote from the Google corporate site http://www.google.com/corporate/ [google.com] .

"Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful."

Webpages are but a piece of the world's information. Most of it is in print, video and audio. The problem is the various copyright collectives pretends that fair use doesn't exist, and this gets in the way of Google's stated mission.

Google is confronting the book publishers already and challenging their interpretation of fair use. The Youtube aquisition means the movies and television is next. Music is obviously down the road. Audio search is not as difficult as video search, but it is also not as sexy (The success of Youtube is testimony to our love affair with video).

Re:This is about confronting the copyright collect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16378707)

"Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful."


Except they don't make "the world's information ... universally accessible[sic]". Try and get a hold of their search logs. Try and find out when the last time Eric Schmidt went to a fund raiser. Find out what Google's expecations of their next quarter's profits are. Get a copy of your adwords logs to investigate accusations of click-fraud.

Google isn't interested in making information available. What Google wants is to advertise anywhere anyone might possibly look.

When Google allows me to profit from Google's creations and assets in whatever fashion I so desire (rather than in the limited shared profits that Google desires) then maybe they might be able to argue that they should have the right to profit from my work in their particular fashion.

DMCA to the rescue? (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 7 years ago | (#16377671)

"YouTube's policy is to remove copyrighted clips once alerted to their existence. Content providers say the company needs to be even more proactive

Actually, as I understand the law, they don't. The "Safe Harbor" provision of the DMCA is (rightly) the subject of much criticism, but as I understand it (IANAL), in this case it works to protect YouTube/Google.

Basically, the law says that as long as YouTube takes the content down upon receipt of notification of infringement, YouTube is not liable for anything -- hence the term "Safe Harbor". The problem with this law is that it puts the onus on YouTube or the person who posted the video to prove that the video is not, in fact, infringing. This may be easy if it can be shown that the company who complained doesn't own the video, or it can be very hard if Fair Use is being argued to justify non-infringement. Basically, the only way to prove Fair Use is to go to court.

The code (1, Funny)

hey (83763) | more than 7 years ago | (#16377783)

I bet the code on YouTube is crap. Once Google sees it they'll get their people on it making it nice, maintainable, etc.

Re:The code (1)

British (51765) | more than 7 years ago | (#16378337)

I bet the code on YouTube is crap.

Yet it seems to have a lot better uptime and reliability than myspace. Sure, apples & oranges, but I don't remember it taking weeks to process an uploaded video on youtube.

needs to? (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#16377807)

> YouTube's policy is to remove copyrighted clips once alerted to their existence. Content providers
> say the company needs to be even more proactive

It's already complying with the (US) law, as far as I can see. It doesn't *need* to legally be any more proactive.

Storm in a teacup (1)

ConallB (876297) | more than 7 years ago | (#16377849)

Google isint breaking new ground with this move, they already have Google Video which has much the same content as Youtube (Youtube still looks awful, but better than goole video by far) and they havent been sued for content infingement yet so I dont see how aquiring youtube will expose them to litigation. There is nothing groundbreaking or revelutionary about this deal, google is all about eyeballs, they just bought YouTube's eyballs.

Too young to agree to a binding copyright transfer (1)

karl.auerbach (157250) | more than 7 years ago | (#16377863)

I wonder whether google's lawyers have considered that even when someone submits original material that the person might not be of sufficient age to legally enter into a binding agreement of that nature.

stock increase (1)

adrianmonk (890071) | more than 7 years ago | (#16377885)

The market thinks so, as Google's stock rose about $10 per share after the purchase.

So in other words, shares rose by about 0.07%, right?

This was a brilliant purchase (5, Insightful)

pnuema (523776) | more than 7 years ago | (#16377907)

Some things to point out...

1. Google paid 1.5% of the company in stock to purchase YouTube. Google stock jumped 5% on the news. Purchasing YouTube resulted in a profit for Google.

2. Television as we know it is dieing, and quickly. You can already watch many network shows on the web. Moving shows to the web means that networks can gather better metrics, which means better add targeting, which means higher add prices, which means fewer adds. Everybody wins. (And before you go on about greedy media companies, nobody knows better how not to kill the goose that laid the golden egg than Google).

3. Media providers were already signing up in ones and twos with YouTube. They will now fall all over themselves to sign up with the web's largest advertising company.

4. You can't be sued for hosting copyrighted content unless you have been properly notified of your infringement by the copyright holder and ignored it. No legal risk unless you bungle it.

5. With media providers signing up with YouTube to host their copyrighted content, there will be more copyrighted content available, at higher quality. You will have to sit through adds, but not as many as when you watch TV, and you can do it at your own schedule.

Google will be the largest media company in the world within 10 years. You heard it here first.

Re:This was a brilliant purchase (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16378309)

This was a brilliant sale aswell, seeing how they got paid in Google shares. The sale itself made shares rise with 2-3%, meaning they received an extra 50 million, just by the rise itself.

Re:This was a brilliant purchase (2, Informative)

Illserve (56215) | more than 7 years ago | (#16379211)

Google paid 1.5% of the company in stock to purchase YouTube. Google stock jumped 5% on the news. Purchasing YouTube resulted in a profit for Google.

You're doing Bubble math.

Increases in stock price are not "profit", it is a change in the imaginary value of the company in the minds of the stockholders.

That value can be lost, catastrophically, in a way that cash in a bank account, or physical assets cannot.

Re:This was a brilliant purchase (1)

ADRA (37398) | more than 7 years ago | (#16379303)

4. You probably can be sued for hosting the content. But, Google may be able to deny penalty by declaring that they didn't know the content was copyrighted. I don't know if a service like google can declare common carrier for things like this, but it seems the perfect legal protection if they could. Once notified of the infringement, they could be liable for the damages incured afterwards.

Re:This was a brilliant purchase (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 7 years ago | (#16379313)

Google will be the largest media company in the world within 10 years. You heard it here first.
Really, well it might help if they produced some original media products first.

Not to mention (1)

jlebrech (810586) | more than 7 years ago | (#16378029)

Adwords wont have to pay youtube all that money from now on. I hope IP holders dont get the power to remove spoofs and fanfilms (ie. lucasfilms)

Law does not require them to be proactive (2, Insightful)

slughead (592713) | more than 7 years ago | (#16378049)

YouTube's policy is to remove copyrighted clips once alerted to their existence. Content providers say the company needs to be even more proactive

The law says otherwise.

Nice try, __AA.

Re:Law does not require them to be proactive (1)

Miseph (979059) | more than 7 years ago | (#16378561)

Can you really blame them though? Seriously, think about it. How cool would it be if, when you were too lazy or apathetic to do your own job, it became somebody else's responsibility? How much cooloer would it be if you still got paid for doing your job? What if any time it doesn't work just right, you can sue the poor shlub who's supposed to do your job for you, and recuperate any losses, real or otherwise, plus damages, just because you didn't want to do your own job, and the other guy didn't do it right? Who wouldn't take that deal if they could?

All a question of leverage (1)

CharonX (522492) | more than 7 years ago | (#16378069)

In the end it is all a question of leverage.
If the RIAA or MPAA or whatever had decided to agressively target youtube it would have had to either agree to some quite bad deals (=be neutered) or be dragged to court and taken down (as this kind of ligitation eats money like popcorn)
Now that Google stands behind it things have changed. Google is a heavyweight, both moneywise and in the "importance" sector - being one of the most important companies in searching and advertising and a few other sectors gives you lots of leverage in the industry. Thus RIAA and MPAA know that starting a pissing contest with Google would be quite painful indeed. And trying to out-sue Google would take long, eat lots of money with dubious results.
Thus the "content industry" will most likely try to seek a (for them) good deal with Google - which in turn means that Google there too has quit some leverage in the negotiations.

Not that big of a risk (2, Informative)

cfulmer (3166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16378099)

There are two ways in which Google could end up getting in copyright trouble:

1. Direct infringement: somebody posts a video they don't own and the copyright owner sues. This isn't a problem, so long as YouTube adheres to the DMCA notice-and-takedown provisions. The copyright owner sends an email to google, saying "You have my copyrighted content at www.youtube.com/blah/blah/blah. Please remove it," google removes it and no liability.

2. Vicarious infringement: basically, the Sony Betamax/Grokster doctrine: you have this site up there intending for people to post infringing material. So, even though your site may be used for non-infringing purposes, the fact that you intend for it to be used for infringing purposes is enough to make you liaible for vicarious infringement. BUT, google is out signing agreements with all sorts of content owners, trying to populate youtube with legitimate content. In this situation, it hardly seems that their business model relies on infringement.

There will, no doubt, be a few people who try to sue. But, as long as google doesn't mess up, those people will lose.

Quite Brilliant (2, Insightful)

echocola (871854) | more than 7 years ago | (#16378209)

I think this move is quite brilliant actually. They are going to make a rival to broadcast TV with this move. Copyright issues, I don't think so. The media companies will be paying THEM to host their content. This is going to be the TV of the future with targetted ads for "On Demand" content.

Re:Quite Brilliant (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 7 years ago | (#16379461)

This is going to be the TV of the future
Yes, watching low resolution jerky video on a 4 inch wide screen, with continual adverts break, is definitely the wave of the future.

Limit to liability (1)

iambarry (134796) | more than 7 years ago | (#16378279)

If Google keeps YouTube as a separate corporation owned by Google, are they insulated from its liability?

If so, wouldn't that cap their losses at the 1.65B they are paying for YouTube?

Re:Limit to liability (2, Insightful)

AlXtreme (223728) | more than 7 years ago | (#16378725)

If Google keeps YouTube as a separate corporation owned by Google, are they insulated from its liability?
Technically the Google-YouTube deal was a merger, so no.

Not Liable (3, Interesting)

omega9 (138280) | more than 7 years ago | (#16378323)

Google is not, and will not be, liable unless they choose to be.

The way the law currently stands, Google can not be held liable as long as they take sufficient measures to prevent, and react to effeciently remove, illegal (in this case, unlicensed and copyrighted) material. YouTube, now through Google, offers a service to upload and display video on the web. Sure, there are more minor details, but that's really just it. And that's not illegal. Users may choose to upload unlicensed, copyrighted material, but it's only up to Gootube to properly police it.

Some points:
  • Remember the crazy business about taxing CD burners and blank discs because they might be used to duplicate copyrighted material? In those cases the penalty is placed on the consumer, not the manufacturer. Nobody went and tried to shutdown Plextor.
  • Assuming there are massive copyright issues with YouTube, this deal works out well for both parties, buying them time to figure out how to best deal with it. Google is a well respected company and there's no reason to suspect they won't handle it with good faith. Any judgement brought against them at this point would be stayed until they've had time to deal with it. Think about if you've even been pulled over for expired plates on your car. Even if you get a ticket they most often always clear it if you get your papers in order by the court date.
  • YouTube already struck a deal with Warner Brothers and there is talk about the same thing happening with other major labels. Some expect YouTube to become MTV reborn online with labels providing their back catalog of music videos. Have you watched MTV lately? It's certainly not a venue for music videos anymore. And if the lables think they can get more added value from already produced material...
  • 'You cannot monetize other people's content without their approval.' - That may be true, but approval is a minor detail. Throw an extra paragraph in the EULA. I don't think Google with take it that way, but it's not a big hump they have to get over. And anyway, take the revenue sharing idea of Revver [revver.com] and combine it with something like Google's adsense.


It's about licensing (1)

duodave (934042) | more than 7 years ago | (#16378407)

You guys are forgetting one very important thing. Google didn't buy YouTube because it's YouTube. Google now has licensing deals with BMG Sony, Universal Music, CBS and Warner Music Group. You can't tell me that's not worth something. You think copyright holders will insist their stuff be taken down when it's competing for licensed video content? Not bloody likely. That's like making an indie film and having it distributed with major studio releases. As a video copyright holder, why would I tell Google to take something down when it's getting the same exposure Sony, Universal and CBS are getting?

It's about money (1)

paladinwannabe2 (889776) | more than 7 years ago | (#16379161)

Sony and Universal are getting something like 50% of the Google ad Revenue that their music videos generate for Google (possibly not counting bandwidth fees). Thus, not only are they getting exposure, they are getting money (it's a win-win situation for everyone involved). Naturally, other companies would want a cut of the profits on their own copyrighted material as well. They would probably be fine if it stays up, as long as they get their 'fair share'.

Doesn't Anyone Know The Law (1)

logicnazi (169418) | more than 7 years ago | (#16378925)

It's been reported on many a story on this subject.

Both google and youtube are protected by the ISP/forum safe harbor provisions. So long as they take down clips when served with a proper notice from the copyright provider (and I think they can choose to fight it instead) then no one can win a judgement against google. At best the content providers can sue the individual uploaders and force google to take the material down.

Now if google was forced to take down all the copyrighted content on youtube this would be seriously damaging to the site's popularity, hence the deals inked with the content providers allowing them to keep the material up on the website.

Moreover, while it is obvious that full music videos, 20 minute long clips of the daily show and similar uploads violate copyright law it is far from clear that the 3 minute long clips from the news or a TV show do. It is quite plausible that such short clips will be deemed to be fair use.

Now most likely google is going to want to play it safe and ink more deals with TV studios to host these short clips and longer ones as well. In fact the real money in this buisness (in addition to ads) is probably going to be selling TV shows and similar material much like iTunes. However, the possibility that short clips would be deemed fair use makes these court casts less appealing to copyright owners unless it is really the case that the clip on gootube is stealing viewers of their show.

Finally note that youtube was valued at 1.6b by the market even knowing all of these issues. It isn't like these were extra facts that affected the price, they were already factored in.

Google wants this battle (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 7 years ago | (#16378999)

They want to test all of this in court, where they're already battling the madness of IP on many fronts.

And they have the initial graces of Warner Bros. and likely subsequent candidates for viral videos. Let the lawyers get rich.

The obvious deterant (2, Interesting)

iabervon (1971) | more than 7 years ago | (#16379261)

Content providers can insist that Google be more proactive in making sure that their copyrighted work isn't available. But Google could respond by also not listing those providers as highly in searches. They have no legal obligation to not give preferential treatment in search results to people who don't sue them or complain too much (at least until they lose the inevitable anti-trust lawsuit, which will take ages).

Some news sources have asked that they not be quoted on Google News, too, I've heard. I think there were even some that I'd heard of and read at the time, but I can't remember any more what they were...

The internet is a series of youtubes (1)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 7 years ago | (#16379289)

Personally, I'm more worried about what would happen if Google bought the rest of the internet. As I understand it, this "you-tube" is merely the first in a series of high-profile acquisitions that, once completed, will leave google in sole possession of all our base. While many, for several, might be willing to be the first to welcome their new google overlords, I remain cautiously circumspect.

Collossal, idiotic mistake (1)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 7 years ago | (#16379423)

Google has just removed themselves from the market. Sorry, it's just that simple. First off, they sunk far, far, far more into this money-pit than it could even remotely ever be worth. Second, they have -as has been pointed out- left themselves open for an absolutel insane amount of legal liability -and the pockets of the MPAA run far, far deeper than theirs.

With one unbelievably STUPID purchase, google has done what Microsoft probably could never have done...google has removed google from the game.

It's only a matter of time now.
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