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YouTube's Plans for a Google-Owned Future

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the here's-hoping-for-the-deal dept.

102

eldavojohn writes "Reuters is reporting on Time Warner's approach to YouTube's copyright problems. There has been much speculation that Google will be sued immediately over copyrighted material on YouTube but this is a case of Time Warner actually approaching Google to work out a deal on this issue. It appears artists and labels will have the choice when digging into Google's pockets either through a business deal or lawsuit. Which will they pick?" Meanwhile, the AP is reporting on the possible development of a technology to automatically screen content as it is posted to YouTube, which may sidestep some of these issues and disappoint users.

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uhm... (1, Insightful)

macadamia_harold (947445) | more than 7 years ago | (#16435263)

It appears artists and labels will have the choice when digging into Google's pockets either through a business deal or lawsuit. Which will they pick?" Time Warner Market cap: 77 billion

Google Market cap: 130 billion.

Yeah, nobody saw that coming. Of course the little guy in this battle is going to wave the white flag. It's about time a tech company put the smack down on the content industry.

Re:uhm... (1)

TrisexualPuppy (976893) | more than 7 years ago | (#16435807)

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 BullSnot in your articles.

Re:uhm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16436541)

It's about time a tech company put the smack down on the content industry.

You could also call time-warner a tech company (sure they have developed some in-house technology). Also, you could call google an advertisement company, which is basically the term that defines it best.

So ... we have an advertisement company overshadowing a content-company ... does that still sound so cool?

Re:uhm... (1)

shaneh0 (624603) | more than 7 years ago | (#16438323)

Google is no more an advertising company than Time Warner. In both cases, they make a large part of their revenue selling adverts on their various wares.

So it's more like a Content company putting the smack down on a content company. Search results are content. They've developed technology to serve their content. So has Time Warner.

They're the same.

so basically.... (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16435275)

You're telling me YouTube isn't worth looking at anymore?

They better find a play option (-1, Flamebait)

jackb_guppy (204733) | more than 7 years ago | (#16435287)

If YouTube filters all incoming items...
    YouTube goes down the drain.

NOW, GETS THEM WRONG...
    YouTube is the RIAA, and Google does EVIL.

Re:They better find a play option (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16435313)


NOW, GETS THEM WRONG...
      YouTube is the RIAA, and Google does EVIL.

Not trying to troll; could you please rephrase that in a language other than Klingon?

Re:They better find a play option (1)

mtrupe (156137) | more than 7 years ago | (#16435589)

Good Lord, I hope not, but I suspect you are on to something.

Hot air buys more hot air (3, Interesting)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 7 years ago | (#16435299)

Quite frankly, I still fail to see how Google can have such a huge market cap. But I'll admit I'm not much of a business guy, perhaps their revenue streams from advertising, selling search services of various kinds and other services are enough to justify it, but still, Google is and has always looked like a huge Enron-type sort of operation.

But Youtube? these guys, I just have no idea how it can be worth anything at all. I have a feeling the Google emperor truly has no clothes at all...

Re:Hot air buys more hot air (1)

cuzality (696718) | more than 7 years ago | (#16435331)

I still fail to see how Google can have such a huge market cap

Market cap (capitalization) is the total dollar value of all outstanding shares, and is calculated by multiplying the total number of shares by the current market share price.

perhaps their revenue streams from advertising, selling search services of various kinds and other services are enough to justify it

The shareholders think (hope) so...

Re:Hot air buys more hot air (1)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 7 years ago | (#16438805)

It was like when AOL bought Time Warner... Time Warner physically has a lot more to offer, but AOL stock was overpriced.

Frankly, Google, while certainly not worthless, is not worth more than Time Warner right now.

Re:Hot air buys more hot air (4, Insightful)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 7 years ago | (#16435339)

Their revenue last year was 6.1 billion dollars [yahoo.com] . That makes their market cap only about 20x revenue, which is a very resonable number in any book, and simmilar to MSFT and eBay and most other large companies

As for YouTube - while it was private at the itme of sale, it *was* selling ads, and lots of people close to the inside said it was actually turning a profit. This is a rarety for a web start-up nowadays.

POersonally, I thin kif anyone can monetize YouTube quickley, it';s Google. They already have partnerships with Viacom and MTV to sell content via Google Video, so moving those deals over to their YouTube site should be a walk in the park. Combine pay-for content with Google's ability to place relevant ads by the video, and they have a win-win.

This is google; they can think bigger (1)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 7 years ago | (#16435437)

And I hope they are: instead of just youtube-plus-ads, they could easily build customizable GoogleTV channel(s) that you could subscribe to by defining a set of tags/users/whatev that you are interested in, combining user-submitted content with stuff they've licensed. Paid for with ads, or by subscription just like your cable TV bill. But instead of 107 channels of crap to get the 2 you like, you get 15 you like and no crap. I've always thought the youtube system had real potential to enable egalitarian broadcasting; I sincerely hope google is thinking the same way.

Re:Hot air buys more hot air (4, Informative)

gregorio (520049) | more than 7 years ago | (#16435475)

Their revenue last year was 6.1 billion dollars. That makes their market cap only about 20x revenue, which is a very resonable number in any book, and simmilar to MSFT and eBay and most other large companies
What matters is their P/E: Google [google.com] has a ~62 P/E while Microsoft [google.com] has a ~24 P/E. Income does not matter, it's the earnings that do matter.

Still, if you look only at the earnings, you'll have a ~21 ratio for Google and a ~6.5 ratio for Microsoft. A huge difference.

Re:Hot air buys more hot air (2, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#16435681)

Of course, you can then look at the PEG ratio, which tries to give more importance to future earnings. Currently, the PEG ratio is 1.43 for Google and 1.5 for Microsoft.

http://finance.yahoo.com/q/ks?s=GOOG [yahoo.com]
http://finance.yahoo.com/q/ks?s=MSFT [yahoo.com]

Since price is a good indicator of how the market feels, my read is that the PEG gives you a way of looking at how the market feels about reward, and P/E gives you a look at the risk. So you take on a whole lot less risk with Microsoft, but sacrifice some upside.

Re:Hot air buys more hot air (1)

triffid_98 (899609) | more than 7 years ago | (#16440627)

Considering GOOG is currently sitting at $427 a share, exactly how much more upside are you anticipating? I mean, it's a search engine. They sell ads, they have no recurring revenue stream. MSFT has a lock on 90% of the world's OS market, along with many other products that generate recurring revenue. I may not like Microsoft as a company, but it's certainly a lot less overvalued at current market prices. Ditto for TWX, which (despite poor management) owns vast quantities of content that will continue to generate recurring revenue for the forseeable future.

Since price is a good indicator of how the market feels, my read is that the PEG gives you a way of looking at how the market feels about reward, and P/E gives you a look at the risk. So you take on a whole lot less risk with Microsoft, but sacrifice some upside.

Re:Hot air buys more hot air (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#16440677)

I honestly don't expect that much upside, but I have trouble believing that everybody that bought Google last week is dumber than me. I probably wouldn't buy Google at $200. Google does have quite a bit more room than Microsoft to outperform market expectations though -- Microsoft is simply too large to have any one thing mean all that much.

Re:Hot air buys more hot air (1)

Mad Dog Manley (93208) | more than 7 years ago | (#16435921)

Earnings matter, but so does potential growth. Even though Google's P/E ratio is higher, investors are expecting Google to have much more room to grow. Investors do not really believe Microsoft is going to improve revenue by 50% in the next year.

Re:Hot air buys more hot air (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16437967)

What matters is their P/E: Google has a ~62 P/E while Microsoft has a ~24 P/E. Income does not matter, it's the earnings that do matter.

Still, if you look only at the earnings, you'll have a ~21 ratio for Google and a ~6.5 ratio for Microsoft. A huge difference.

You're getting there, but you're still oversimplifying. PE matters; growth also matters. Consider total revenue:
MSFT fiscal 2005: 40 b
MSFT fiscal 2006: 44 b

GOOG calendar 2004: 3.2 b
GOOG calendar 2005: 6.1 b

In other words, 10% growth in a year vs. 90% growth in a year. "A huge difference" as you say; perhaps this could help explain the differences in PE, hmmm?

Re:Hot air buys more hot air (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16439473)

Actually, what really matters is the free cash flow -- how much you can carry to the bank at the end of each quarter. Money in the bank increases the company's intrinsic value. Cash is cash. No speculation there. Stock price, no matter which way you look at it, is a prediction of the future and purely speculative. Stock price crashes? You still got money in the bank to continue to operate.

Re:Hot air buys more hot air (1)

panaceaa (205396) | more than 7 years ago | (#16442995)

Earnings and revenues *BOTH* matter, coupled with growth. In a growing environment, a company's going to spend whatever it takes to expand the business and see what can happen. But at any time, it could cut back that spending and have great earnings. You should put this consideration in your valuations of a company. If a company's new, it probably isn't as lean as it could be. It's not a "blue chip", trying to shave off costs to have high earnings. I classify Google more in the growing category. It's certainly not a mature company. Considering that, Google's revenues ARE more valuable than its earnings in valuing its worth. In 10 years, you will probably be able to use the same valuation models on Google and Microsoft.

For fuck's sake! (0, Flamebait)

dangitman (862676) | more than 7 years ago | (#16435607)

POersonally, I thin kif anyone can monetize YouTube quickley,

Goddamnit, I can overlook the atrocious spelling errors and typos, but using the word "monetize" in this way is just plain offensive. Why do people use words they don't understand the meaning of?

Re:For fuck's sake! (1)

RKBA (622932) | more than 7 years ago | (#16436399)

Monetization [wikipedia.org]
In business, monetization refers to the process of deriving revenue from some group of customers that would not otherwise generate revenue for the business. The problem of monetizing a group of users of a web site is one that many companies that folded during the dot-com bust failed to solve. These customers are often monetized today by placing advertisements on web sites.

Re:For fuck's sake! (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 7 years ago | (#16439617)

That's an incorrect usage. Just because some stupid businesspeople use a word incorrectly, doesn't make it right. And "monetization" is even worse. That's another annoying thing - when people add superfluous suffixes to words. The "-ation" suffix is the most annoying. If you're going to mangle words, why not just call it "monetizing"?

Re:For fuck's sake! (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 7 years ago | (#16436417)

Monetize: To turn something into money. In this case transactions taking place on youtube.

How is that offensive?

Re:For fuck's sake! (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 7 years ago | (#16439601)

That's not what it means. It means to issue a currency, not to make profit from something. It's offensive because people are using words they don't understand, just to sound flashy. It insults the intelligence of the reader.

Re:For fuck's sake! (1)

laura20 (21566) | more than 7 years ago | (#16440001)

"When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less."

As it happens, the use of monetize to refer to converting an asset to money is coeval with the invention of the word itself. The economist John Alexander Ferris seems to have first used it in the mid-19th century, both to refer to both the coining of precious metals into currency and the conversion of assets into cash.

But even if people had just last year started using it so, it would still mean converting an asset to money. Because humans define words, words don't define reality.

Re:For fuck's sake! (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 7 years ago | (#16440713)

But even if people had just last year started using it so, it would still mean converting an asset to money. Because humans define words, words don't define reality.

true, but why use such idiotic words? Am I not allowed to object to style used in language? After all, economists could start using "fo' shizzle yo nizzle" or "pwned" in their reports, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

If humans define language, then why should I just roll over when people try to push language in directions that I find objectionable? I'm a human, so why do I have any less right to define language than idiot humans?

Re:For fuck's sake! (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 7 years ago | (#16442265)

"fo' shizzle yo nizzle"

OMG, I have to call my broker!

Re:For fuck's sake! (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 7 years ago | (#16442247)

"That's not what it means. It means to issue a currency, not to make profit from something."

Go to google, type in 'define: monetize', look at definition 1. I checked before I posted becuse it is true that in the most common usage refers to "creating currency" and I wanted to see if "monetize the transactions" would fit that definition.

"It's offensive because people are using words they don't understand, just to sound flashy. It insults the intelligence of the reader."

While your over at google try 'define: irony', just for a laugh.

Re:Hot air buys more hot air (1)

zaphod_es (613312) | more than 7 years ago | (#16436923)

Their revenue last year was 6.1 billion dollars. That makes their market cap only about 20x revenue, which is a very resonable number in any book, and simmilar to MSFT and eBay and most other large companies

Are you confusing revenue with profit? A profit of 5% of market value is a reasonable return. When your valuation is 20 times your turnover before any costs any sort of return becomes very speculative without spectacular growth. You quote Microsoft. Their 2005 figures (according to [yahoo.com] in round figures are:

Revenue $40 Billion.
Profit $12.25 Billion
Earnings per share $1.13
If their profits were 20 times their revenue you would expect the market capitalization to be around $800 Billion. In fact the 10 billion shares are currently worth $28 each or under $300 billion.

Very few companies come even close to Microsoft's net profit of 30% of revenue and the valuations as a multiple of revenue would be considerablu less.
I was very dubious about Google's share price before the YouTube deal and now would mark them as a definite sell. The company has a great future but the share price more than reflects that. I shall be expecting to be there to pick up some bargains the next time Wall Street has a sanity check.

first google troll of the day (2, Insightful)

rs232 (849320) | more than 7 years ago | (#16435485)

"Quite frankly, I still fail to see how Google can have such a huge market cap .. Google is and has always looked like a huge Enron-type sort of operation"

By any chance are you typing that BS out of Redmond? Google generated 2.25 billion in the first quarter to March 31, 2006. Google doesn't perform bugus trades between a number of fake companies. It has never been accused or been in court for such thing. To suggest it here suggests to me that you are a trolling.

was Re:Hot air buys more hot air

Re:Hot air buys more hot air (2, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 7 years ago | (#16435567)

But I'll admit I'm not much of a business guy, perhaps their revenue streams from advertising, selling search services of various kinds and other services are enough to justify it, but still, Google is and has always looked like a huge Enron-type sort of operation.

After Enron and Worldcom and the like, people are skeptical. But Google's profits are as real as Microsoft and Apple. YouTube is a little harder to grasp since they are newer and private. However Google isn't interested in their profits but their potential. Remember Google didn't pay cash for YouTube. They paid with stock. So it didn't really affect their operating income.

Re:Hot air buys more hot air (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 7 years ago | (#16440901)

Hey, you're the same guy who said Murdoch was insane to purchase MySpace for 700+ million. Of course, shortly thereafter MySpace landed a billion dollar advertising deal... I don't trust your intuition.

I don't get it. (2, Insightful)

delirium of disorder (701392) | more than 7 years ago | (#16435317)

Why is everyone speculating about "what will happen when google gets into the online video market"? Google has already been providing a flash based user submitted video service through google video. Why does adding youtube to the google empire change anything? Lawsuits are not a problem with google video; what is youtube providing that makes it more open to litigation? Moreover, IMHO google video is a much better service than youtube. Youtube appears to be flooded with stupid homemade clips, while google video has terabytes worth of both excellent amateur footage and quality feature length professional video, (along with a lots of crap but still less than on youtube).

what? Google had its own video too? Really? (4, Insightful)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16435349)

"Google has already been providing a flash based user submitted video service through google video. Why does adding youtube to the google empire change anything?"

Google has online video just as Lycos.com has web based email. It really doesn't matter. Youtube is "it", the one with critical mass, the one everyone goes to first. Youtube is to online video what eBay is to online auctions.

Re:what? Google had its own video too? Really? (1)

Pastis (145655) | more than 7 years ago | (#16436215)

Back in 1995

Microsoft has browser just as Apple has operating systems. It really doesn't matter. Netscape is "it", the one with critical mass, the one everyone goes to first. Netscape is to browser what Microsoft is to operating systems.

Repeat with altavista, AIM, Napster, etc.

Time will tell....

Re:what? Google had its own video too? Really? (1)

fupeg (653970) | more than 7 years ago | (#16438713)

Netscape is "it", the one with critical mass, the one everyone goes to first.

Calling Netscape's mass "critical" is a huge overstatement. The market for web browsers was in its infancy there because the internet was in its infancy. Microsoft didn't have to get lots of people to switch from Netsape to IE. They simply bundled IE tightly with Windows so that for most people, the first time they were online was with IE.

The online video market may not be fully mature yet, but it's a lot more mature than the internet was in 1995. YouTube already serves up millions of videos daily. It is rapidly expanding. So a lot of YouTube users would have to switch to another service if another service was to usurp YouTube's position. They couldn't just tap into the non-YouTube users who have not yet tried online video.

Just ask Google about this. They tried to compete with Google Video. They failed. That's a big part of why they bought YouTube.

Re:I don't get it. (1)

delirium of disorder (701392) | more than 7 years ago | (#16435391)

Additionally, youtube has annoying ads, while google video has no ads at all. Google video supports far more media formats for the videos that users upload. Google video has no file size limits. Youtube's file size and video length limits are far too conservative to make the service useful for anything but short little attention grabbers. Users split videos up into multiple clips to host them on youtube. This makes viewing a whole film much harder than on google video. Unfortunately both services offer video in the flash format instead of a nice open format like ogg theora. Both services censor content. There is room for someone to make a (possibly p2p based?) video hosting service that is far less flawed than ether youtube or google video.

Youtube has ads? (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16435539)

"Additionally, youtube has annoying ads, while google video has no ads at all"

I've never noticed that Youtube even HAS ads in the first place. Let me go check right now: no ads on the main page...oh wait, there's some on the right side in an area of the screen I've never looked at before when using Youtube. Yes, there are ads there, but I had to specifically hunt to find that it even had then. That's pretty low on my annoyance meter.

Re:I don't get it. (1)

stunt_penguin (906223) | more than 7 years ago | (#16435547)

Gogle video *does* have ads; they've been letting people watch clips every day that would ordainarily have to be paid for- you watch an ad and then get to watch the clip.

It has the dual effect of generating ad. revenue and allowing users to access content which they may later consider buying regularly.

Re:I don't get it. (1)

jamar0303 (896820) | more than 7 years ago | (#16441397)

Google Video doesn't work in the country where I live. I use Dailymotion now because even Youtube no longer has the content I want (music videos) because they removed it all. Youtube is where I started my J-Pop interest, but it seems that it's all gone now. If only Google can get a deal with the Japanese content industry...

I think it is interesting... (2, Interesting)

rollonet (882269) | more than 7 years ago | (#16435319)

The whole Google buying YouTube thing interests me quite a bit, especially the $1.9billon investment for a company which appears to be a giant liability. Also, next to Youtube, Google Video is the second biggest player in the online video delivery business. It seems there's no sense in spending over a billion for a product like this unless they feel threatened. Also, upon visiting YouTube (and I do quite a bit) I often do so to check out a video clip or a bootleg of a concert. I believe that now a company with a large amount of cash has purchased YouTube, it won't suprise me if the recording industries take a more hostile approach to YouTube - instead of the 'peaceful coexistance' style policy that's been adopted while YouTube did not have much money. In the end, a hostile, lawyer friendly approach to YouTube would be kinda sad, as many of the video clips and bootlegs I have heard/seen on YouTube have inspired me to purchase the music legitimately.

agreements with major music labels (2, Interesting)

rs232 (849320) | more than 7 years ago | (#16435553)

"YouTube .. a company which appears to be a giant liability .. it won't suprise me if the recording industries take a more hostile approach to YouTube"

Just hours before Google announced a $1.6 billion acquisition of YouTube on Monday, both companies separately revealed agreements with major music labels [pcworld.com] for offering music videos on their respective sites.

was Re:I think it is interesting...

Re:agreements with major music labels (1)

jamar0303 (896820) | more than 7 years ago | (#16441459)

And yet, I only see American labels involved in deals with YouTube. A big part of the reason I used YouTube was because it had a large selection of J-Pop music videos. I already use another site now because they have the music videos that I'm looking for, but if Google can get a deal in with Japanese labels (particularly Avex) then I might go back.

Re:I think it is interesting... (1)

rollonet (882269) | more than 7 years ago | (#16435603)

Does anyone have any figures on the value of Googles current TV show store?

Re:I think it is interesting... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#16435747)

The liability aspect is overblown. Content owners are going to have a difficult time proving/demonstrating damages, and it is pretty easy for Google to make good faith efforts towards providing a takedown mechanism. I figure they risked about 1.9 billion on the deal, and that they did it to give themselves a better position in negotiations with big media. MySpace has a big userbase that they can point to and say "you want access to that"; now, Google does too.

Re:I think it is interesting... (1)

iwsnet (946715) | more than 7 years ago | (#16440005)

What they are paying is really chump change for Google. They would rather own it than allow Yahoo or Microsoft to buy it instead and draw more eyeballs to sell ads.

Re:I think it is interesting... (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 7 years ago | (#16444425)

Google is probably safer then you think. You can only clam damages from a copyright / patent violation if you can show you have attempted to protect your rights. If google the king of indexing can show a publishers content was on the site and that it was generating a resonably large amount of traffic and thefore know to the general masses to be availible. They should be mostly off the hook for any more then a cease and disist type order. Courts won't let content providers get away with we did not care before about the infrigement but not that they guy doing has deep pockets we do... Legislatures will but Courts won't so google at least has some time to reap the profits before they get shutdown and they will be then protected expost facto law.

My guess is this whole thing lasts about long enough for Google to double their investment before legal wranglings and legislative acts destroy it and turn it into something nothing like the original just as they did with online music services ala Napster. Google will get in get rich and get out.

Deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16435321)

Well if google can work out some kind of deal with the movie/music industry (adbased revenue) this "lousy investment" might just be one hell of a cashcow for google AND the music/movie industry. Anyways its either that or keep on fighting the loosing battle against piracy.

Re:Deal (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 7 years ago | (#16435633)

Well if google can work out some kind of deal with the movie/music industry (adbased revenue) this "lousy investment" might just be one hell of a cashcow for google AND the music/movie industry.

But wouldn't it then lose its "street cred" - and therefore become less popular, and lose the potential for generating income?

Is this a good or a bad thing? (2, Interesting)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 7 years ago | (#16435323)

I can't decide if this is good or bad.. on the one hand this means youtube can still use all the crap it does already without the worry of legal threats... but on the other end of the scale does it also set up a president of "we licenced youtube to use the music, you can not access youtube for X dollars a month and watch the music of your choice" and hence making a two tier youtube system..

Someone set us up the President (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16435453)

"but on the other end of the scale does it also set up a president"

When did the Supreme Court get involved???

Are they going to change the available formats? (3, Insightful)

also-rr (980579) | more than 7 years ago | (#16435373)

One of the good things about youtube is that they have stuck with Flash 7, so at least Linux users *can* watch the videos. Still, it would be nice to see an open format option - and Google Video does offer some other formats.

At least if they move to Flash 9 it works on Linux by either running IE6 or Firefox under WINE [revis.co.uk] until the Linux flash 9 release but it's not the slickest way of doing it.

Re:Are they going to change the available formats? (2, Insightful)

vhogemann (797994) | more than 7 years ago | (#16436299)

You just gave me this idea... What if Google start using an open format, say OGG Theora, for better quality content? They could provide a player, as they already do for their flash format, or a plugin.

Then, they can just create an WebAppliance to store, catalog and stream video. And sell this to big media providers as a more reliable, cheaper alternative to WMA(spit!) and REAL(spit!). One that will be automagically compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux and every other platform out there, since it's based on a open format.

Can it be? Can Google put an end on the dominance of closed formats on the web?

Re:Are they going to change the available formats? (1)

jamar0303 (896820) | more than 7 years ago | (#16441447)

Exactly, although I wish the same thing would happen for all the torrent sites that I go to. Every time I download a J-Drama it usually comes in RealVideo format. I COULD go to other sites but they're either blocked (I live in China) or they don't come subbed (I'm still learning Japanese, I don't know enough to understand it all). I'd really buy stuff like this if it didn't come in boxsets that cost $200 (figure pulled from Amazon Japan) for the whole show (actually usually only 10-11 episodes on average) that don't have English subtitles.

Re:Are they going to change the available formats? (1)

Maestro4k (707634) | more than 7 years ago | (#16442095)

They may already have, yesterday when I went to watch a video Youtube told me that I needed a newer version of Flash. I had to go get the latest version (I'm running Firefox on Windows XP) and install that before it would play the video. I'm not sure if it was just that one video or if they're changing all of them though.

An interesting read on YouTube/Google/Copyright (2, Informative)

lwu (913743) | more than 7 years ago | (#16435389)

John Battelle interviewed [battellemedia.com] EFF's Fred von Lohmann, asking him about YouTube's legal issue and Google's role in it.

Re:An interesting read on YouTube/Google/Copyright (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16437203)

This is a great read, and puts a really intersting spin on the deal. I know that it's sort of the EFF's job to be optimistic about this sort of thing, but the idea that Google might be trying to shape a more open approach to copyright through the courts is fairly exciting.

I'll believe it when I see it (3, Informative)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#16435393)

It appears artists.... will have the choice when digging into Google's pockets either through a business deal or lawsuit. Which will they pick?

The first time an individual sues Google over YouTube content or makes a business deal for YouTube content, I want someone to e-mail me. My e-mail is John@TheLysts.com (yeah bots, pick my e-mail up. It's all over the place. I use Gmail so you're no problem for me). I say this because I doubt very much any individual content creator will be able to broker a deal with Google without going through a proxy. The fact the slashdot summary says artists will have a choice is just ridiculous. Artists have a choice of what company they sell their rights to. They don't have a choice about sueing Google or making deals with Google (except for future ones who can factor that in when selecting what company to go with).

Re:I'll believe it when I see it (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16435441)

"The fact the slashdot summary says artists will have a choice is just ridiculous. Artists have a choice of what company they sell their rights to."

The artists have plenty of choice. Not only can they sell their rights to a wide variety of companies, they can also easily choose not to see their rights, and put the content on their own web site (or put it up in one of those indie sites with many artists where rights are preserved). Don't get paranoid.

Re:I'll believe it when I see it (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#16435785)

Not only can they sell their rights to a wide variety of companies


Which I clearly said.

they can also easily choose not to see their rights


I'll assume you mean sell. And that has what to do with sueing or trying to broker a deal with Google? My point is Google won't deal with individual content creators, and they won't be able to sue Google successfully. You instead talk about what content creators can do without respect to Google. Talk about off-topic.

Re:I'll believe it when I see it (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#16436625)

Open Source Development: The irrational belief that a group of script kiddies can produce a working program.
Open Source devs aren't "script kiddies". You're conflating the two definitions of hacker. Although your sig reminds me of something else I saw in a sig: "The problem with Wikipedia is that it only works in practice. In theory, it'll never work."

Re:I'll believe it when I see it (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#16439889)

You're close. It's a parody of another signature about Wikipedia. It was something like "Wikipedia: The irrational belief that a group of trolls can produce an unbiased encyclopedia."

Re:I'll believe it when I see it (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#16440031)

And yet...they both work!

Re:I'll believe it when I see it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16437817)

How about the stars of the videos themselves?

A lawsuit doesn't have to be over content. There are thousands and thousands of amateur videos of people who have not given permission to allow Youtube/Google to make a profit from their likeness. If the video is particularly humiliating they would be able to sue for damages, and a lot of them. Multiply whatever this factor is times ten if they're a minor, which isn't that unlikely (and by the way, minors have no ability to give such permission, so even if they were willing to star in a fart-lighting video their parents may feel otherwise.)

If you do not think this is a problem talk to an entertainment lawyer about the enormous headache involved with securing personal and location releases for a typical reality show. Oh... and just because the wannabe "director" clicks a box saying he owns the footage free and clear doesn't make it so.

Re:I'll believe it when I see it (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#16439913)

As I said, e-mail me the first time someone successfully does this.

bye bye gootube (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16435425)

youtube is an interesting social experiment - give people unfettered access to online video storage and retrieval and see what they stick up there. The result is a somewhat interesting phenomenon - similar to blogging, real people post stuff they think is interesting, and other real people sometimes agree. This is an alternative to mainstream media and corporate web - real people motivated to make money post things they *hope* other people will find interesting enough to pay for.

Problem is, sometimes other people or companies own the interesting stuff. In the case of Google, I'm sure they're interested in simply allowing the social experiment to continue because it's become a highly visible property - something good for an advertising company. Their challenge is to somehow put a cat into the maze as well and hope the rat doesn't get too scared or maybe eaten by the cat.

Alternative? (Where's Spacey as Neil Young)? (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16435459)

Is there an alternative to Youtube where you can find the stuff that gets censored off? For a brief time there was a clip from SNL showing Kevin Spacey doing a parody of Neil Young. Would love to see it again, but NBC killed it quickly off Youtube.

Re:Alternative? (Where's Spacey as Neil Young)? (1)

/dev/trash (182850) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437279)

enforcing your legitimate copyright is not censorship. Unless Bush passed a law. And as we all know the President can't pass laws.

Re:Alternative? (Where's Spacey as Neil Young)? (1)

jamar0303 (896820) | more than 7 years ago | (#16441475)

How about looking on some other video sites (Dailymotion, for example)? I no longer use YouTube because they took off all the J-Pop music videos, apparently due to the risk of infringement.

No real copyright problems (1)

cfulmer (3166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16435665)

The only thing google really needs to worry about is the infringements that happened at YouTube before google took it over. And, if they're smart, they can isolate that liability to just the youtube subsidiary.

Here's the deal: Somebody posts a copy of a Sienfeld episode on Youtube. It staya up for a while until the Seinfeld owners send a DMCA takedown request to youtube. The only way that a copyright lawsuit will happen here is if youtube doesn't take down the episode. If it does, it's inside a safe harbor created by the DMCA.

Re:No real copyright problems (1)

xacedia (1013565) | more than 7 years ago | (#16436687)

What you said was very true, but think of it as a faster result. YouTube probably did not care as much to stop the copyright material as Google will. Also, Google has a lot of money, and it's very famous...Who doesn't try to get any money from the famous people...

The DMCA safe harbor isn't a steel curtain (1)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 7 years ago | (#16438193)

The only way that a copyright lawsuit will happen here is if youtube doesn't take down the episode.

That may not be true. The DMCA safe harbor for ISPs is not blanket protection. If more an more of the content provided on YouTube winds up being material posted without the copyright holder's approval, copyright holders could argue that there is *so much* unapproved material on YouTube that it is too much of a burden on copyright holders to monitor YouTube for violations. My guess is that if anyone does take YouTube/Google to court, they will use this theory. Sure, YouTube will act on DMCA takedown notices, but if more and more of YouTube content becomes saturated with copyright violations, and YouTube/Google starts to actually make money through Google advertising tools, the aggregate effect is arguably that Google is making money by showing vast quantities of unauthorized reproductions of copyrighted material.

The safe harbor provision of the DMCA has limits. Expect Big Media to exploit those limits if at all possible.

Re:The DMCA safe harbor isn't a steel curtain (1)

cfulmer (3166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16441673)

Funny... I re-read the DMCA and didn't find the "It's too much trouble" exception.

I know the position you're taking -- you're effectively arguing that although YouTube might qualify for protection under the the DMCA's "safe harbor" (in 17 U.S.C. 512(c)(1)(A) and (C)), it still have a 512(c)(1)(B) problem, which says it can't make money "directly attributable to the infringing activity," even if it's otherwise inside the safe harbor. But, that cannot mean what you think it means -- the word "directly" HAS to be construed strictly, or it would eviscerate the safe-harbor. ISPs, after all, are IN THE BUSINESS of hosting content for money. So, hosting infringing content gives them money, which would "directly attributable to the infringing activity." Under your construction, therefore, the only ISPs eligible for the safe-harbor are nonprofits!

There are plenty of advertiser-supported services out there for hosting blogs or photos or generic webpages. Nobody thinks that the advertisement invalidates the safe harbor. I don't know why it should be any different when the hosted content is video.

Re:The DMCA safe harbor isn't a steel curtain (1)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443669)

I sincerely hope you're right, and that the safe harbor provision is as strong as you think it is. Personally I think it would be great if a big media player were to sue YouTube/Google for infringement, only to have the safe harbor save them. My primary point was that only very rarely is anything truly iron-clad in the law, particularly when you're dealing with tectonic shifts in the marketplace, and the huge amounts of money thereby involved. Big Media can bring enormous legal resources to bear, as we've already seen with Napster, Grokster, et al.

Google has been very successful in the courtroom. They have a crack legal team, and I think if anyone could defend the safe harbor provisions, it would be them. But I don't think it's a foregone conclusion that they'll succeed, either.

Here's an example (0, Offtopic)

guysmilee (720583) | more than 7 years ago | (#16435797)

There's a company in Ottawa thats been doing this for years ... albeit for adult images ... i believe there is a flash demo on the page ... http://www.bajai.com/ [bajai.com]

Napster 2.0? (2, Insightful)

starseeker (141897) | more than 7 years ago | (#16435837)

I fear Google is going to step into a hornet's nest here, sooner or later.

YouTube has the same problem Napster used to have, back when it was wildly successful - its success rests on a lot of material being present on the site, but a lot of that material has copyright problems. (A guess would be that a lot of the higher quality material has copyright problems, for a few reasonable definitions of "higher quality".)

I think any online site of this nature is going to have the same problem. The availability of vast amounts of copyrighted material is one of the things that will build the popularity of this type of site. But if the copyright holders didn't release that video then it will just make trouble in the end.

I don't think people are really all that interested in 1000 videos of people in their living rooms trying to act. TV shows, music videos, natural disaster footage, and all the usual stuff that gets put on TV will be what draws people to any online video site (why do you think it got put on TV in the first place?) Google is making a few deals with some of the big players, who perhaps have realized that it is better to try and cope with this in its current form than have it move somewhere more underground, but there are undoubtedly thousands of copyright holders who would have a case and not all of them will agree. A massive scrubbing will have to take place, and I think once it is over YouTube will be about as interesting to people as Napster was after the lawsuit dust settled. It might do slightly better since there are a few types of home video that people find interesting (uploaded individual videos from major world events, for example) and a few companies are making deals to provide content but I think the "buzz" will fade. The very elements of Napster that made it popular were also what made it illegal, and I'm afraid the same thing will happen here.

Re:Napster 2.0? (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437783)

The difference between Napster and YouTube / Google is that there are good business reasons for the Entertainment Industry to work out business agreements with Google, where no such incentive was present with Napster. It's not just that Google has a lot more resources to fight any battles that come their way (they do...), it's that Google has more to offer the Big Media companies in terms of revenue streams from the end user customers. Napster was just a place to get free music.

The record companies just don't get it! (3, Insightful)

Pollux (102520) | more than 7 years ago | (#16435897)

It appears artists and labels will have the choice when digging into Google's pockets either through a business deal or lawsuit. Which will they pick?"

If I was a musical artist, and I discovered one of my songs in a YouTube video that had a million views, I would write a letter of personal thanks to YouTube for promoting my song! Where else am I going to get that widespread promotion without hiring a record company to help negotiate with Big Radio? And besides, even with a really good hit record, record companies have to pay to play [about.com] and promote almost anything now days. But YouTube is completely free. You can't get a better deal than that.

But unfortunately, record companies have always been like hawks seeking their prey, and a million song views in their eyes is like a million field mice all waiting to be swooped down on. A million views means a lot of royalty money that could be earned if royalty deals were in place. They control music distribution via radio, TV, movies...but darn that blasted internet.

Re:The record companies just don't get it! (1)

icepick72 (834363) | more than 7 years ago | (#16436357)

Where else am I going to get that widespread promotion

Obviously you don't have a musical bone in your body if you have the pie-eyed idea that an artist is only interested in the exposure and not getting money from his or her work. And don't even try to start arguing the exposure will result in long-term cash. That only works an extremely small percentage of the time. You're trying to make an excuse for leeching artist's materials and not having to pay. Yeah, wouldn't it be nice if all the artists were living in cardboard boxes but still producing good quality music for free. Love you man, but get a grip.

Re:The record companies just don't get it! (1)

oneiron (716313) | more than 7 years ago | (#16436707)

Music videos are basically commercials, anyways... You really think the artists rake in the cash because MTV plays their videos? It's likely the other way around much of the time (think radio payola). Free exposure via youtube is exactly how the parent described it.

Videos of the quality youtube/google video provide are basically disposable content, anyways. A fan who's truly interested in an artist is probably more likely to buy the DVD/CD after seeing something that interests them on youtube.

The ones who are truly interested in keeping a stranglehold on content promotion/delivery are the labels not the artists. The artists are being forced to fork over a peice of the pie just to make joe-blow-listener aware of their existence, and with today's technology that shouldn't be the case.

Re:The record companies just don't get it! (1)

bidule (173941) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437213)

Let's say an army of squirrels nibbled my right leg off and you dare to use my emo music to present these monsters as gentle woodland creatures. Should I write you a letter of personal thanks?

I could have used a less contrived example, but still... Artistical integrity may mean you refuse to be associated with Ma Bell, but also to Greenpeace, Republicrats, pro-whatever, dental flosser or even WoW.

Now, I think a company has no soul and very little artistic integrity so it shouldn't be allowed to refuse under these grounds, but if an artist want to scuttle his own work it's his business not yours.

YouTube Google Makes Adsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16435905)

The Google YouTube deal is going to make Google a lot of Adsense money. That is the main purpose of them buying YouTube.

http://www.adbloggers.com/ [adbloggers.com]
http://www.changeboy.com/ [changeboy.com]

Foot in the door (2, Interesting)

Rupy (782781) | more than 7 years ago | (#16436059)

To be honest the purchase has baffeled me as well. $1,65bn just doesnt seem worth it - really. I have three (somewhat conjoined) theories: 1) An attempt to get their foot in the door with social networking, (to eventually tackle myspace?) and establish total "Internet Dominance" (tm) 2) Google has tossing money and throwing their weight around around to create buzz and increase stock... 3) Plans to take over the growing (legal) internet media distribution market. Perhaps partner with the likes of Paramount and co? RFC...

Re:Foot in the door (1)

Not The Real Me (538784) | more than 7 years ago | (#16439985)

"To be honest the purchase has baffeled me as well. $1,65bn just doesnt seem worth it..."

A key point to remember is that the $1.6 billion buyout is in Google stocks only. There is no cash being exchanged. If Google feels that their stocks are badly overvalued, hypothetically by 300%, and that their stock prices are peaking then this makes sense. If, by the end of 2007, Google's share prices tumble to a more reasonable $140/share, then the Youtube purchase is a more reasonable $550 million purchase (about the same as what Viacom paid for Myspace).

Ultimately, Google is paying for web traffic (i.e. advertising eyeballs), since a number of other video sites do have similar or better technology than Youtube. Then again, Google recently paid Viacom $900 million for the rights to place ads on Myspace.com for 3 years.

Re:Foot in the door (1)

phi2one (762028) | more than 7 years ago | (#16440497)

my guess is #3... It's the only move that makes $1.6B make sense

e$p!? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16436141)

you cA8. When the

Check out Google's wrongdoing! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16436331)

It's here: http://malfy.org/ [malfy.org]

youtube = napster (1)

kencurry (471519) | more than 7 years ago | (#16436343)

I predict similar results.

Google can afford the gamble of course. But at this point you can see their basic strategy, buy a brand then exploit it.

Re:youtube = napster (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#16436647)

Google has much better lawyers than Napster did.

Re:youtube = napster, google = microsoft (1)

RobBebop (947356) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437337)

If you think "buy a brand then exploit it" is the new Google motto, your are instantly lumping them in with what made Microsoft so successful.

Maybe, maybe not. A lot of people will argue in favor of each side of the arguement.

For the majorities interest, though, what is critical is that dependancies on proprietary business do NOT become developed. In the OS world, this has led to the near-complete entrenchment of Windows.

I would argue that it is in the best interests of the majority that the online content world should be prevented from slipping into the grips of the proprietary Google technology.

The real rason why Google bought YouTube... (2, Interesting)

pr0digy25 (915443) | more than 7 years ago | (#16436415)

I am not a financial analyst or anything of that sort, but it has me wondering if Google bought YouTube for such a high value so as to justify their own market cap and keep it up there. Like real estate, the sale of adjacent home for a high value only serves to reinforce and increase the market value of a dormannt propety. Maybe Google sees another DotCom bust coming and is trying to change the tide.

Re:The real rason why Google bought YouTube... (1)

Dr. Sp0ng (24354) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437273)

I am not a financial analyst or anything of that sort, but it has me wondering if Google bought YouTube for such a high value so as to justify their own market cap and keep it up there.

No, Google's market cap is so high because the company is one ridiculous cash-generating machine. Which, in the end, is all that matters.

Flood /. with more google stories? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16436943)

see subject.

YouTube was doing Time-Warner's bidding... (1)

MsGeek (162936) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437043)

...even before the Google takeover. YouTube deleted tons and tons of Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies off of the site. They did this even with cartoons that were firmly in the public domain. They also did the same thing for Viacom with regard to Fleischer Popeyes and Fleischer Betty Boops. Much of the Fleischer Studio's output passed into the public domain as well, but did that matter to them? Uh-uh! They got out the broom and swept the cartoons away. Maybe with this agreement YouTube could put these classic cartoons -- at least those owned by TimeWarner -- back.

Everyone seems to be comparing YouTube to Napster, but there is a BIG difference. It takes a lot of doing to download YouTube content. It requires special software and some geeky effort that the average YouTube viewer is not interested in exerting. The average YouTube viewer watches the videos on the web. With the old Napster, (as opposed to Napster/Roxio) files were being offered FOR DOWNLOAD. I think it's more likely that YouTube will come to terms with Big Media than with the old Napster. If anything, the Google Video interface is more threatening to Big Media than the YouTube video interface. With Google Video, you can download things. There is no such provision within YouTube.

Re:YouTube was doing Time-Warner's bidding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16437837)

I used to be watching an Adultswim cartoon on YouTube called Metalocalypse. I've referred others to YouTube in order to check it out. And last night someone said they couldn't see anything there. When I looked, sure enough, the episodes have all been removed. Today someone told me that all the Steven Colbert reports were taken down. If they take away everyone's favorite reasons to go there, then I imagine some other YouTube-like "competitor" will pop up and all that stuff will show up over there and it will be the new YouTube... meanwhile YouTube will fade into the background. It doesn't answer the copyright issues as far as legalities, but it does once again show popular world consensus of the people...

Re:YouTube was doing Time-Warner's bidding... (1)

jamar0303 (896820) | more than 7 years ago | (#16441551)

Exactly- they took away the Japanese music videos that I watched so often, and I went to Dailymotion(www.dailymotion.com) instead, which does have them.

Who Chooses... (2, Interesting)

nick_davison (217681) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437815)

It appears artists and labels will have the choice when digging into Google's pockets either through a business deal or lawsuit.

Generally, in business, it depends on who's doing the choosing.

Sadly, any CEO in a publically traded company knows they have to trade for the fast buck, not the long term one (despite their constant assurances to anyone listening that that's exactly the opposite of what they're doing).

Why? Because shareholders generally aren't in it for the long term. They want a buttload of money to come in today, that'll temporarily massively jack up the share price, and then let them get out (or at least reap the dividends). The way the system works, they don't (and arguably shouldn't) care about long term earnings anywhere near as much as the short term ones. As a result, the CEO knows he'll be replaced if he's ever foolish enough to choose long term profits over payouts for investors today.

It's for exactly this reason that the Google guys refused to sell a controlling interest in Google and awarded their own stock 10 times the voting rights of everyone else's - it allows them to make the right decisions for the company rather than the right decisions for the guys who want to take a profit and then move their money to take a profit from the next company.

Long term, successfully killing music videos on YouTube is a horrible idea. The people there today get rich from the infringement lawsuit, the next generation of artists get no ongoing royalties. A much better solution would be to take 20% of the money you could get from a lawsuit every year and keep getting it long past 5 years' time.

So, if artists vote, they'd take the long term rewards. If TimeWarner's CEO votes, he has no choice but to take the massive payout today or get replaced by his shareholders. If TimeWarner execs vote, they have to do the same or deal with a seriously pissed CEO. If the RIAA votes... Who knows. They're supposed to represent the artists, they really represent the companies and they're mostly interested in the souls of babies.

I don't dispute a long term royalty structure is vastly more profitable. But long term profits aren't necessarily what motivate modern business.

New Opportunity (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#16441597)

If YouTube becomes too restrictive on what it hosts, this will open a space for a less restrictive competitor along the lines of the original YouTube. Users are fickle when big corporations step in.

The sad thing in all this is much is said about how much the studios will make, the artists will make, and Google will make. Nothing is said that the people who are making YouTube what it is -- all the contributors who are giving of their own time and effort, will make anything at all! They seem to be essentially working for free for the studios, the artists (who are doing nothing to enhance the value of their content, so are in effect getting a free ride), and Google.

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