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Speculation on Google / YouTube "Hardball"

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the stream-no-evil dept.

125

An anonymous reader writes, "Interesting speculation on the 'GooTube' deal, oozing with corporate intrigue. Based on Mark Cuban's blog and a subsequent ZDNet blog posting, it seems as though there might have been some dodgy goings-on just prior to the deal. In short, YouTube may have handed the major labels approximately $50M so that the labels would turn a blind eye to the copyright infringements AND go after the competition to cement YouTube's position in the market. Universal started the ball rolling a week after the deal by suing Bolt and Grouper." Cuban's blog does not identify the author of the speculation, who calls himself "an experienced veteran in the digital media business." Cuban writes that this is someone he "respects and trusts."

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Labels? (1)

ejdmoo (193585) | more than 7 years ago | (#16664957)

...as in record labels? There isn't all that much music on YouTube, last time I checked...

Re:Labels? (1)

rubberbando (784342) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665007)

Where have you checked?

There are a ton of music videos on YouTube!

I have over 100 bookmarked and watch them all the time!

Re:Labels? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16665755)

When was the last time you checked, 1947?

The artist formally known as.. (3, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665005)

"an experienced veteran in the digital media business."

Oh my god, it's Prince!

Re:The artist formally known as.. (1)

bhsx (458600) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665447)

I know, it's a joke; but i think he means Ted Turner.

Re:The artist formally known as.. (1)

Unknown_monkey (938642) | more than 7 years ago | (#16667059)

No, it's Michael Jackson.

The next Googleism will be... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16665017)

GooRon: It's Enron 2.0, with AJAX goodness! Buy stock now so you can complain later!

"GooTube" (3, Insightful)

hsmith (818216) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665019)

is fucking obnoxious.

that is all

Which is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16665109)

Does YouGoog or GooGoog sound better to Yoogle?

Re:Which is it? (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665161)

Does YouGoog or GooGoog sound better to Yoogle?

How about Goob [urbandictionary.com] ?

Re:Which is it? (1)

popeye44 (929152) | more than 7 years ago | (#16667499)

Hmm that's what I used to call my Johnson.. GooTube(tm)

Re:"GooTube" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16665259)

is what my wife calls my johnson.

Re:"GooTube" (1)

Garabito (720521) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665383)

It's the web equivalent to 'Bennifer', 'Brangelina' or 'TomKat'

Beb2.0 blameathon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16665493)

Boogle, BooBube, BotSpot, Bickr, Bigg, ByeSpace, BumbleUpon, tomcruiseisnuts.com [tomcruiseisnuts.com]

Re:"GooTube" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16665827)

Is it a good or bad thing that I have no idea what or who any of those are?

Re:"GooTube" (1)

Afecks (899057) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665575)

If I watched someting called "GooTube" and there was no porn, I would agree.

Re:"GooTube" (1)

MrCopilot (871878) | more than 7 years ago | (#16667381)

You would prefer Yougle?

Translation: (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16665023)

"In short, YouTube may have handed the major labels approximately $50M so that the labels would turn a blind eye to the copyright infringements AND go after the competition to cement YouTube's position in the market."

You mean... like... pay licensing fees? And encourage them to prosecute those who don't?

Re:Translation: (2, Insightful)

multisync (218450) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665209)

You mean... like... pay licensing fees? And encourage them to prosecute those who don't?


Oh, you mean like how Microsoft paid "licensing fees" to SCO around the time the lawsuit was filed against IBM?

Re:Translation: (1)

Icculus (33027) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665571)

Oh, you mean like how Microsoft paid "licensing fees" to SCO around the time the lawsuit was filed against IBM?

doh, you beat me to it... I was thinking the exact same thing

Re:Translation: (1)

Ethan Allison (904983) | more than 7 years ago | (#16666149)

One is buying rights. One is ... well, I don't really know much about the SCO stuff but I'll be damned if this isn't an over-the-table license acquisition.

Re:Translation: (1)

multisync (218450) | more than 7 years ago | (#16666451)

You may be right. If this is an up-front license arrangement, granting You Tube the use of copyrighted material in exchange for $50,000,000 per media company, and available to all willing to pay similar licensing fees, I don't really see a problem with it.

There was nothing really wrong with Microsoft purchasing licenses from SCO, either. It's just that the money helped fund the cash-poor company's lawsuit against IBM. A cynical person might say Microsoft was taking advantage of an opportunity to hurt a competitor, while putting a stink on Linux. A truly paranoid person might say Microsoft was behind the whole thing.

They can't call it licensing fees. (1)

Ayanami Rei (621112) | more than 7 years ago | (#16666261)

Or they'd have to pay the artists a cut.

Mod parent up! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16666369)

Parent comment is brilliant

Re:Translation: (1)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665455)

Ah, but licensing fees would be royalties which they'd have to split with artists. Clearly you can see that these are not licensing fees. They are instead getting $50 million dollar investment stakes, which Google is buying them out of.

The implication is that the contract giving them the money actually said "You only get the $50 million if you sue our competitors".

Re:Translation: (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16665567)

You mean... like... pay licensing fees? And encourage them to prosecute those who don't?

From TFA: The media companies had their typical challenges. Specifically, how to get money from Youtube without being required to give any to the talent (musicians and actors)? If monies were received as part of a license to Youtube then they would contractually obligated to share a substantial portion of the proceeds with others. For example most record label contracts call for artists to get 50% of all license deals. It was decided the media companies would receive an equity position as an investor in Youtube which Google would buy from them. This shelters all the up front monies from any royalty demands by allowing them to classify it as gains from an investment position.

Mod parent up. Artists get screwed. (3, Insightful)

Geof (153857) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665849)

To continue the above quote: "A few savvy agents might complain about receiving nothing and get a token amount, but most will be unaware of what transpired."

Copyright here is being used as a weapon by the big companies (Google and the entertainment conglomerates) to crush their competition while doing nothing for artists. The conglomorates get more money while cutting off the air supply to YouTube's competitors (the article mentions how suits against other sharing sites will scare off venture capital). Any anti-piracy controls instituted by YouTube will only increase the costs of entry for potential competitors. Having YouTube on side may come in handy for the entertainment companies if artists start trying to cut out the middle man. The upshot for artists is no more money and fewer avenues to release their works.

Re:Mod parent up. Artists get screwed. (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 7 years ago | (#16667551)

To continue the above quote: "A few savvy agents might complain about receiving nothing and get a token amount, but most will be unaware of what transpired.

They'd do a class action if they have any sense.

Re:Translation: (1)

buddachile (115746) | more than 7 years ago | (#16667207)

I doubt the "music industry" would admit that downloading copyrighted material from YouTube is legal, but if YouTube payed a "license fee" was payed then it would be legal, no?

Re:Translation: (1)

Brain Damaged Bogan (1006835) | more than 7 years ago | (#16668265)

so... the musicians should sue the RIAA for partnering with those that illegaly distrobution of THEIR content, blood, sweat and tears...

Re:Translation: (1)

HavokDevNull (99801) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665611)

Translating the translation;

"In short, YouTube may have handed the major labels approximately $50M so that the labels would turn a blind eye to the copyright infringements AND go after the competition to cement YouTube's position in the market."

"You mean... like... pay licensing fees? And encourage them to prosecute those who don't?"

You mean... like... pay extortion fees? And encourage them to kill those who don't?

Re:Translation: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16665765)

You sir, need to RTFA!

The 'licensing fees' must be shared with the artists, which the music companies do not want to do.

Re:Translation: (1)

CRiMSON (3495) | more than 7 years ago | (#16667903)

So who's fault is it then? Youtube for paying the fee's and the record labels for not distributing it? Or youtube for paying the fee's?

Re:Translation: (1)

Kazrael (918535) | more than 7 years ago | (#16666051)

It isn't licensing fees. They organized it as an "investment" in the lable so that it is not profit/gross. Using this "investment" method, artists do not collect money out of the company gain. I would be surprised if the SEC didn't look into this questionable "investment".

It is a total screw over to any and all artists under the labels paid off.

Re:Translation: (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 7 years ago | (#16666477)

It's more of give the labels the money up front, AND agree to start cleaning up so the new owner Google with it's huge amounts of profit isn't immediately a target! Who wouldn't want a clean cut case against Google, or a part of that 1.5 BILLION with a "B" that Google paid. Now that MONEY$ are in the air, the RIAA is going to start being more harsh on the next company to get sold for lots of loot. Kinda like how each case after Napster the RIAA went for more money each time, the title to the company, not just stopping infringment, and the owners' heads on a stick.

Re:Translation: (1)

kdawson (3715) | more than 7 years ago | (#16666733)

RTFA. The speculation is that these were not licensing fees. If the media companies collected licencing fees, they would be obliged to share them with the artists. Instead the payments were structured as investments in YouTube, so that the companies could claim capital gains once Google consummated the deal. No artist payments are owed on capital gains. So goes the speculation.

Wouldn't it be cool (2, Insightful)

SQLz (564901) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665045)

If there was a web site where you could download free clips of your favorite shows, movies, videos, etc, and that the copyright holders would recieve free advertising and same basic control over content of the site?

Re:Wouldn't it be cool (1)

ericlondaits (32714) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665105)

In the case of music videos, I'd say they're advertisements themselves.

Re:Wouldn't it be cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16666449)

>If there was a web site where you could download free

It'd be cooler if lazy posters wouldn't use the title as the first line of their post.

GooTube (1)

schmidtjas (992363) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665049)

Wow that sounds like my friends television, then again he gets Red Light District, Playboy Channel, etc.... They really should avoid that nickname...

Re:GooTube (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#16666249)

They really should avoid that nickname...

Well, it's better than "sticky wicket", eh, what?

Do no evil... (1)

dedazo (737510) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665053)

...except if there's a couple of billion dollars to be made.

That bit about the lawsuits aimed at YouTube competitors is especially tasty. I don't know if Cuban has an axe to grind here, but if true it just confirms that Google is now simply interested in what all publicly traded companies do: maximizing shareholder value. Everything else is secondary.

Ah well. It was fun while it lasted.

Re:Do no evil... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16665387)

i would say RTFA but apparently you couldn't even bother to RDTS, at least not correctly... here, let me point out something to you: "it seems as though there might have been some dodgy goings-on just prior to the deal."

key words being "just prior"

in which case, google would have had nothing to do with it, and your entire post suddenly amounts to nothing.

Re:Do no evil... (1)

thebdj (768618) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665405)

I can think of a few conflicts on Cuban's part. 1) He has interest in media companies, namely HDnet. 2) He helped bankroll Grokster in their failed legal attempts. 3) His interest in IceRocket, a search engine for blogs. Since attacking YouTube is basically attacking Google, this is a conflict too. 4) He is a partner in Red Swoosh, which apparently is using peer-to-peer tech to deliver media to PCs.

So, to say he has a conflict here might be an understatement. Also, Mark Cuban has a tendancy to open his mouth without thinking. Unless he or his "source" has evidence, I really won't read much into this until I see it.

How is this evil? (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665623)

How is this evil on Google's part? As it sounds, they took a small part of their massive advertising income, paid it as a licensing fee to record labels, and can now offer a web site where their customers can freely and legally post content containing copyrighted music and video clips. That's a tremendous legal service offered to their customers at no charge. It should protect a large number of people from lawsuit who might have otherwise been at risk.

The only potentially "evil" thing is if the record labels are only suing competitors because Google paid them to. Do you actually think the RIAA and similar groups had decided to be benevolent to online video traders and mixers, and it was the evil, tainted money from Google that swayed them to sue? I'd be much more ready to believe that the RIAA/etc. have been drooling over the idea of more lawsuits to file, and simply needed to staff up their legal departments to handle video and derived uses as well as audio trading, and it's taken the last 9-12 months for the staffing budgets to be approved. (They are a bureaucracy, after all.)

Re:How is this evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16665961)

The evil part in my opinion is that the $50 million is NOT license fees and there is a reason for that.

It's to side step having to pay artists their FAIR SHARE of the money from the license fees.

So the RIAA is 50 million richer at the expense of the artists who were shafted big time.

Re:How is this evil? (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 7 years ago | (#16666189)

Perhaps that's true. I don't understand why any artist signs away the rights to their work so completely in order to be a "signed" artist. But, if the artist has given away the right to control where and how their work is posted on the internet to their record label, then the record label is the correct person to control that usage.

I don't know that legislation further dictating allowed terms in recording contracts is the correct answer here. I'm a proponent of using the government to do something when the government is the right way to do it - but in this case I hope micropayments and the "long tail" of musical interests, together with direct-to-listener band relationships, can sidestep the problems entirely.

Mod Parent UP!! (1)

Banner (17158) | more than 7 years ago | (#16667089)

Mod up! Good point.

Re:Do no evil... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16666327)

It's not evil at all. You see, Google saw how YouTube was acting, and managed to buy it out before any more evil happened.

I won't... (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665085)

I won't preface this with my usual "Mark Cuban is an idiot" response to anything he says, since it is an interesting question what Google plans to do with this thing so it's more of a money-maker than a liability.

But it would have been helpful if his informant had distinguished a little between what part is secondhand gossip and what is pure fantasy.

Re:I won't... (1)

MrAndrews (456547) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665173)

Actually, I think after this, Mark Cuban has proved himself to be quite brilliant. He said YouTube was a bad investment, saw a post detailing shady dealings behind the acquisition, made it very public, and will probably MAKE YouTube a bad investment after all. I believe the original post (on pho) was possibly meant to alert artist-rights folks to the swindle-in-progress, but once he got his hands on it... wow.

From the sounds of it, one particular part is specualtion, and the rest is probably true... but I don't know which part it is. But either way, the mere broadcasting of the speculation should lead to more investigation and trauma. Whee!

Re:I won't... (1)

BunnyClaws (753889) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665183)

I won't preface this with my usual "Mark Cuban is an idiot" response to anything he says,

I will, Mark Cuban is an idiot!

However, with that being said this article does make a lot of sense. I was wondering how Google was going to avoid the major lawsuit liablity that youtube has become. Google will just buy off the lawsuits and crush their competition. Hmmmm... This kind of sounds like how Microsoft does business.

Re:I won't... (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665251)

I was wondering how Google was going to avoid the major lawsuit liablity that youtube has become. Google will just buy off the lawsuits

I fail to see how this is illegal or immoral. (Or fattening.)

YouTube had a lot of lawsuit liability because they were a party to redistribution of copyrighted content without consent of the copyright holders. They made a licensing deal with several of the copyright holders. Now they have substantially less liability -- they have "gone legit".

Assuming that the core concept of Intellectual Property is legitimate (which one can never assume on Slashdot, so let's just pretend it is for the sake of argument), what's wrong with that? Isn't that how the system is supposed to work?

Re:I won't... (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665303)

I fail to see how this is illegal or immoral. (Or fattening.)
It causes cancer in rats...

Re:I won't... (1)

MrAndrews (456547) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665363)

Assuming that the core concept of Intellectual Property is legitimate (which one can never assume on Slashdot, so let's just pretend it is for the sake of argument), what's wrong with that? Isn't that how the system is supposed to work?
It is, but not in an exclusionary way (as the email implies). I believe that's an antri-trust sorta thing.

The most astounding part is the claim that the labels structured the deal so that they wouldn't have to pay the artists any of the settlement money. For a bunch of companies that constantly whine "think of the artists", that little gem is going to bite them. Every single participant in every single studio-produced song, TV show or movie is going to be calling their overlords up asking what their share of the $50M is now. True or not, this email is going to make the Google/YouTube deal a lot more interesting...

Re:I won't... (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 7 years ago | (#16666719)

Don't underestimate Google. I think they paid off the RIAA just to be safe, Google has A LOT more cash to be sued over than YOUTube ever did. The fact that the RIAA may have scammed the artists is moot. If anything it makes Google's purchase of YouTube more adventageous, because they now have a ready-made channel to start putting LEGAL stuff they aquire on there. Remember, they already have Google Video, but that needs work, perhaps they're trying to springboard off Blogger, and other user generated content. Google's competitor is iTunes or Yahoo, the RIAA doen't know it yet, but they probably just signed away rights to sue somebody that will compete with them...

Re:I won't... (1)

AdamKG (1004604) | more than 7 years ago | (#16666161)

If TFA is correct (though I doubt that it is) then the issue is that YouTube/Google isn't paying licensing fees. They, through a financial trick, gave media companies a few dozen million (fifty millions is thrown about, but who knows) to sic them on competitors without actually licensing any content.

So even if the idea of copyright exclusivity restrictions is valid, then that isn't what's going on here, because those copyright restrictions holders didn't release their restrictions to Google. Because that would have, you know, meant paying the artists.

This is all assuming that the article is correct, and I very seriously doubt any of it is. But for the sake of argument, it's not IP at work anyway.

Re:I won't... (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 7 years ago | (#16667989)

So when you call your kid over the flippin' Ma' Bell and sing happy birthday to him, AT&T is "a party to redistribution of copyrighted content without consent of the copyright holders"? Nope, common carrier. How is this any different, so long as they comply with any DMCA takedown notices?

Re:I won't... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16665919)

And so instead we will preface our comments with "I won't preface this with my usual 'Otter is a Porsche driving douchewad with no life who needs to stop posting on Slashdot.'"

Re:I won't... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16666299)

OIC. The same Mark Cuban who has more money than you will ever have, his own HD channels, his own sports team is an idiot? Riggggggght!

So which opinion should I value, Cuban or some random slashnerd named Otter?

Thank Goodness Slashdot Doesn't Serve Up News (0, Troll)

javelinco (652113) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665089)

Once again, come to Slashdot, put on your tinfoil hat, and enjoy! Good thing this ain't a news site anymore than say, The Daily Show is.

Re:Thank Goodness Slashdot Doesn't Serve Up News (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665321)

How is this be a scandal anyways? It was in the open press just before the acquisition that youtube had negotiated a license with the copyright holders to publish music videos. Of course, that would not cover other video sharing sites, so they would continue to get sued, giving youtube an advantage in the market. How is that backhanded? Is it a conspiracy when Microsoft gives me preferential treatment by allowing me to use Windows XP because I bribed them with $199, whereas those who use XP without paying get sued? Well, you could put it that way, but it's just business as usual.

Re:Thank Goodness Slashdot Doesn't Serve Up News (1)

fiendy (931228) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665399)

Well according to this study:
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20061004-7908 .html [arstechnica.com]

The daily show is just as good a source of news as some major networks.

Sad? Maybe, but it makes ya think (about your comparison).

Re:Thank Goodness Slashdot Doesn't Serve Up News (1)

javelinco (652113) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665461)

Pretty much what I was going for. But I'm apparently trolling, so ah well. Don't criticize those who choose which stories to post! Even if they are being idiots! Whoohoo!

Re:Thank Goodness Slashdot Doesn't Serve Up News (1)

havenskate (964747) | more than 7 years ago | (#16667309)

I actually think you're right here. Universal/NBC = owned by GE. NBC has several legit things on YouTube right now and they seem to be working with YouTube, not against them. I don't see how them going after sites that they're NOT working with is a surprise.

Re:Thank Goodness Slashdot Doesn't Serve Up News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16667887)

Because going after sites is one thing, COLLUSION is another. This isn't a "protect our investment" type situation. It's an anti trust situation.

mod Do3n (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16665107)

lizard - In other you're told. It's hand...don't another special spot when done For with the number To foster a gay and long term survival anyone thMat thinks

Re:mod Do3n (1)

MindDelay (675385) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665309)

WOW!!!

Thing is, not all copyrighted content is obvious. (1)

Channard (693317) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665157)

For example, there's one show that can't be found on YouTube by typing in its name. All you get is the odd clip. However, if you type in the first initials of the words that make up the shows name, you find a load of full episode. It'll be like the creators of Doctor Who's revival series who used 'Torchwood' to label tapes so no-one would nick and pirate them. All people will do is to give each show an alias name and put that up.

Not obvious = not public (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665339)

And as long as that remains a secret, the networks won't much care. Yeah, it represents lost money to them, but it's lost in the same noise that swallows up commercials that go unwatched because you're in the bathroom. Effectively, it's like sharing the video with a few of your friends: not the network's favorite solution, but not intolerable.

When any alias convention becomes well-known enough that anybody can download any TV show they want to, then it becomes big enough for them to issue a blanket request to YouTube/Google to take the video off. By the time it becomes public knowledge to you, it's public knowledge to them.

Their goal is to make it easier for you to watch the show their way than via YouTube. If they can take away the current system, where one guy records and posts it and everybody in the universe downloads it, they'll consider that a pretty big win. You can keep shifting, but if they're right behind you, many people would find it more aggravating than just watching it their way.

Worst merger name ever (1)

ReeferCpe (613569) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665163)

Heh.. GooTube.. Heh..

ea4. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16665169)

member. GNAA (GAY Wash off hands

what are they even talking about (1)

tehwebguy (860335) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665171)

why would youtube shell out a dime when the DMCA protects them?

cuban's take on youtube has been insane from day one

Re:what are they even talking about (1)

MrAndrews (456547) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665221)

The law also protects honest businesses from the mafia, but that doesn't stop them from paying for extra "protection". And this isn't Cuban's take... this is an email that he reprinted that verified his take. Much more so than I think most people would have guessed...

So, (2, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665197)

No source then? Just rumour? $50,000,000 isn't much to pirate anything you want. I mean, if that's all it takes, www.piratebay.org could probably get every user to stick in a £1 each and make the site legal.

Re:So, (1)

Astarica (986098) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665453)

If I make $1 from every 1000 Chinese I have a million dollar.

If every 1 in 100 PS2 owner buys a Playstation 2 game I made, I'd have sold a million copies of the game.

Therefore it must be easy to make a million dollar or for anyone to sell a million copies of a PS2 game.

Re:So, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16665579)

Dollar? As in five dollah make you hollah....

ooohhhh dollars.......

Re:So, (1)

multisync (218450) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665771)

$50,000,000 isn't much to pirate anything you want.


The article summary was a little off. From Cuban's blog:

They negotiated about 50 million for each major media company to be paid from the Google buyout monies.


I'm not saying either the summary or the blog reflect reality, just that they don't seem to agree.

Re:So, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16666109)

This is probably the most documented part of the whole blog post. You obviously have not been following this too well, or you would have definitely seen the NY Times article that mentioned the $50M figure about a week after the merger.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/19/technology/19net .html?ex=1318910400&en=ec61050b7a1e91df&ei=5090&pa rtner=rssuserland&emc=rss [nytimes.com]

Re:So, (1)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 7 years ago | (#16668167)

No source then? Just rumour? $50,000,000 isn't much to pirate anything you want. I mean, if that's all it takes, www.piratebay.org could probably get every user to stick in a £1 each and make the site legal.

I admit that does sound like a low figure to buy out a voracious profit making machine like the Industry, but it doesn't have to be a straight up cash payment.

If it was truly an investment position, as some have speculated, then payment may have been in stock, or a loan, or some sort of other ownership position. That means that the media companies get 50mil of (lets say) stock, which could balloon into a heck of a lot more than that if the biggest fear for YouTube never materializes... that is to say that no one ever sues YouTube.

At the same time, they never have to split the money with the artists for royalties. They just have to sit back and make money while not bothering to sue in the name of the artists.

Think about what Napster could be today if no one ever sued them....

Mark Cuban's Blog?!?!?!?!?!?!? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16665231)

WTF is wrong with him! He's a billionaire and he has a blog? Jesus MF Christ! If I were a billionaire I'd be fucking supermodels and doing shit that I always wanted. I'd also be doing things to try to make the world a better place - a blog isn't one of them!

That being said, maybe that's why I'm not a billionaire, millionaire, and why I'm fucking broke.

He's still an arogant prick, though!

I dunno... (1)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665425)

How you do you know he's NOT doing all of that plus the BLOG... After all, he OWNS a pro basketball team amongst other things... I'm pretty sure if he's not married, he's definitely not without in the nookie department either.

Re:I dunno... (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 7 years ago | (#16666191)

He's married to an ad exec.

Re:I dunno... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16667761)

Because it was anonymously posted to the Pho List, a private email list for some top media people. They were all in a position to verify or denounce the claims.

That's all true, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16665795)

...how many other billionaires can you get into an internet flamewar with? That being said, I don't like where this is heading. In the future, everyone will have a blog. They will spend more and more time and effort on their blog and as a result our civilization will crumble. We will never see the Chinese coming.

'Do No Evil'? (1)

TheCoop1984 (704458) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665345)

What the hell happened to the vaunted 'Do No Evil' of Google a few years back? The past year or two have seen Google become more and more evil, all probably due to the IPO a couple of years ago - Google is now owned by the shareholders, and the only pragmatic thing for corporations to do is to be evil, as being nice makes no money so the shareholders start complaining.

Google will become the next Microsoft before too long...

Re:'Do No Evil'? (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665943)

If I remember well, the IPO didn't give share holders controling portion of Google, so while it would affect Google, it probably doesn't affect it SO much.
That being said, from what I've seen in the slashdot articles about Google's "evil doings", 99% of them tend to be FUD, like this one. Rarely, if ever, were they actualy "real" evil, but usualy just people flipping over nothing. This case is a prime example. Youtube pays money to calm down copyright holders. If they pay (as they should by law, as far as I know), well, YEAH, they -would- expect those who don't pay not to get the same advantages. Doesn't that like...make sense? Why pay anything if it doesn't bring you any advantages? And not paying at all IS kind of against the law in this case, since copyright holders are in the right in this case not to be too happy about seeing their stuff on youtube... So honestly, what is Google/Youtube doing that violates their don't do evil thing? They're actualy being as honest as they can possibly me, while expecting their due. We're a far cry from microsoft here.

Google is a CIA honeypot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16666209)

Google is "in bed" with the CIA, according to former undercover agent Robert David Steele. http://oraclewatch.eweek.com/blogs/google_watch/ar chive/2006/10/30/14260.aspx [eweek.com]

When you combine this with the widely corroborated reports of Google resetting view counts on various "controversial" videos, in particular regarding 9/11 and false flag terrorism (such as "Terrorstorm"), the move to acquire Youtube becomes obvious; more information control.

Your friend, Tinfoil-Hat Moonbat.

Re:'Do No Evil'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16667035)

Sure google is publicly traded, but the general shareholder has no real sway in what the company does. The publicly traded goog common stock Class A comes with one vote per share. Class B stock, which is retained by Google insiders and those they deem fit to have it, each come with 10 votes per share. The google IPO was structured so that there is no way the company can be taken over by Class A votes- instead, they keep control of the company and raise tons of money, a brilliant place to be in. Shareholders can complain all they want, but can do nothing. If they don't like it, they can sell their shares.

But besides, how is this evil? Get a clue and jump off the 'all corporations are evil because they want to make profits' bandwagon.

nothing wrong with that (1)

Astarica (986098) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665403)

You're supposed to pay license fees or whatever you want to call it because it gives you legitmacy, and it's supposed to be an advantage. If only you have to pay the said fees while other pirates are allowed to ignore it, then you're simply losing money for nothing. It is perfectly acceptable that if Google/YouTube paid the copyright holders a bunch of money to establish legitmacy that it'd be in their interest to get rid of other illegitmate sources. Otherwise they'd have wasted all that money for nothing.

Mark Cuban (1)

arazor (55656) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665505)

I wouldn't agree that Mark Cuban is an idiot I will say that he is a tool. He used to be on the side of consumers that are getting fake HD from Directv and Dish Network then one day its like no big deal.

Fake HD being 1920x1080i transcoded to 1280x1080i or 1440x1080i and reduced bit rate beyond what the lowering of resolutions would provide for. Sometimes the "HD" that they send looks like a bad xvid encode.

Cuban's an ass (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#16666067)

Just read his blog and try to think otherwise. He hasn't managed to lose his fortune yet, but give him a few years or ten.

Cuban was right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16666807)

I mean, the Googlers aren't morons, are they?

There had to have been some kind of assurance from YouTube to Google that the copywrite issue wouldn't be a problem. That was why the deal went through when it did, if Google had hesitated, the other players would have got wind of it, and the opportunity would have been missed.

So what happened?

1. Studios buy into YouTube.
2. Google buys YouTube.
3. Profit!!! (For the studios! Not just YouTube)

Basically the studios got a back-door piece of Google, and this is leading in one direction: Google is positioning itself to be THE online copywrite-clearing/enforcement agency: They are the ONLY company that is in a position to cross-check, validate, & licence all the data. Just like what they're doing for advertising, they'll be doing for copywrite holders. The other studios will probably fall in line, eventually, when Google provides the copywrite cleared content to future digital distribution models.

Google is probably already negotiating with ASCAP & BMI...

Cuban's Google (1)

chyllaxyn (592599) | more than 7 years ago | (#16667127)

Cuban can be a tool but he's a genius. He Builds broadcast.com and sells it to yahoo for millions just seconds before it craters. chillie http://bardt-links.com/ [bardt-links.com]

This is the kicker for me. (1)

Gordo_1 (256312) | more than 7 years ago | (#16667157)

From TFA:

The media companies had their typical challenges. Specifically, how to get money from Youtube without being required to give any to the talent (musicians and actors)? If monies were received as part of a license to Youtube then they would contractually obligated to share a substantial portion of the proceeds with others. For example most record label contracts call for artists to get 50% of all license deals. It was decided the media companies would receive an equity position as an investor in Youtube which Google would buy from them. This shelters all the up front monies from any royalty demands by allowing them to classify it as gains from an investment position. A few savvy agents might complain about receiving nothing and get a token amount, but most will be unaware of what transpired.

If true, Google is firmly outside the "do no evil" camp to me.

$50 CentCentCent (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#16667241)

If YouTube gave the labels only $50 million, and Google gave YouTube $1.6 BILLION, no matter what the relative value, rights, or agreements, the labels are going to renege on the agreement.

They might not get away with it. Whatever happened to their attempts to wrestle out of their <$0.99 deal with Jobs on iTunes?

They're dumb, but they're strong. $50M is a drop in the bucket, even with the CD sales biz down to something like $10-12B a year.

It will be interesting to see how much Google eventually winds up paying these vultures, and how much unrestricted distribution results. And how much blood is spilled along the way.

correction: Five *HUNDRED* millions, not 50 (1)

CinqDemi (320742) | more than 7 years ago | (#16668087)

If you read Mark Cuban's blog. This makes it more believable, by the way.

It's an interesting theory (1)

HarryCaul (25943) | more than 7 years ago | (#16668109)


Interesting enough to maybe be true. Certainly paints Google in a far worse light than anything else I've heard of, though, so that makes it a bit suspicious.

And I'm not exactly a Google fan...

Moron? (1)

benicillin (990784) | more than 7 years ago | (#16668185)

Let's not forget, this is the same guy who, approx 1 month ago, said "only a moron would buy youtube" [slashdot.org]
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