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YouTube Leaves Google Vulnerable? 208

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

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  • They wish (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @10:01AM (#16377305)
    You cannot monetize other people's content without their approval.

    That's not what the copyright laws say. It's what the content industry wishes they would say, and takes them to mean. This is a great quote because it reveals how they really think about it.
    • Re:They wish (Score:5, Insightful)

      by linuxci (3530) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @10:22AM (#16377545)
      In the end anyone who puts up TV shows on one of these services is going well beyond fair use but all Google should have to do is pull it down when asked.

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

      It's good to see Google is already striking deals with other companies.
      • Re:They wish (Score:4, Insightful)

        by gilgongo (57446) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @10:39AM (#16377753) Homepage Journal
        "In the end anyone who puts up TV shows on one of these services is going well beyond fair use but all Google should have to do is pull it down when asked"

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

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

        • Re:They wish (Score:4, Informative)

          by bazorg (911295) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @12:43PM (#16379661)
          In the end anyone who puts up TV shows on one of these services is going well beyond fair use
          I don't know about that... Over here in Portugal we all pay a tax to support the public TV/Radio network. As the tax is charged along with the electricity bill, it's kind of hard not to pay it.

          Using this network that is paid by the public, there are a few TV stations that broadcast 24h/7 with open signal, so it's obvious that the TV shows are not secret, or meant not to be distributed. So, why exactly would it be unfair if I would use the computer (or VCR) to record and show to my friends something that was already made public?

    • by skiingyac (262641) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @10:30AM (#16377655)
      You cannot monetize other people's content without their approval.

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

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

      Any remaining content providers will quickly realize their choices are 1) spend money on long, expensive lawsuits against Google with little/no prospect of a ROI, or 2) jump on the bandwagon for practically free and make some money out of it. It shouldn't take long even for a corporate board member to figure that one out.
      • by inviolet (797804) <slashdotNO@SPAMideasmatter.org> on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @10:46AM (#16377847) Journal
        Any remaining content providers will quickly realize their choices are 1) spend money on long, expensive lawsuits against Google with little/no prospect of a ROI, or 2) jump on the bandwagon for practically free and make some money out of it. It shouldn't take long even for a corporate board member to figure that one out.

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

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

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

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

        • by neura (675378)
          I'd rather ignore the computer-generated label on Doogie Houser's cereal box than I would sit through a cereal commercial.
          I think the phrase "you hit the nail on the head" is very fitting here. Maybe you're missing the entire point of advertisements?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by rkcallaghan (858110)
        skiingyac wrote:

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

        Academic curiosity: In the history of megacorporations, with particular emphasis on copyright-owning media corporations; have any of them ever chosen option number 2?

        • In the past no. A surprising number of content industries have just jumped on the YouTube bandwagon. This is for music videos only. But generally YouTube is for short clips anyways. Long clips have to be cut into segments and or often quickly pulled. So an algorithms that detects segment postings and flags them for screening would take care of 90% of full length content.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by skiingyac (262641)
          I completely agree with your suggestion that history does not support this, and I think that's why nobody bought YouTube until now. However, in case you didn't read the Forbes link in the article, YouTube has signed deals with:
          • Sony BMG Music Entertainment
          • Warner Music Group
          • CBS Corp.
          • Vivendi's Universal Music Group

          I don't know how they got this far, but that was DEFINITELY the hard part. The Washington Post recently stated that Drudge Report is their main source of traffic and that they have a symbiotic rela

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by monkeydo (173558)
      Yes, copyright law is actually much broader than that. In fact, you can't distribute other people's copyrighted content without their permission, even if you aren't making money off it.

      That is what you meant, right?
      • by Xugumad (39311)
        What I'm wondering is what on earth they thought copyright laws did, if they didn't stop you selling other people's copyrighted material without their permission!
        • The issue is does it stop you from giving away in limited forms other peoples production, and what is the definition of limited. Many places allow you to give full copies of songs to friends in the form of compilation tapes, generally these were compensated in the form of tape/audio cd tax. Everywhere you are allowed to take small samples and use it in a nonprofit work. The question is how small. And how big of a distribution is allowed.
          • I think you'll find very few people who understand the law that think the answers to those questions would be anything that allows distribution of an entire TV program to every single person on the Internet, so no, that's no really the issue here.
    • Re:They wish (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @10:53AM (#16377939)
      Its funny how the content industry wants ANY and EVERYONE to buy their product, but not use in any method except for consumption.

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

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

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

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

      It seems hypocritcal and draconian to think that if you put some form of art out into the world for people to consume with their personal wealth, that they not be able to do what they want with it as long as citation and reference to the original creator is noted accordingly.
      • >Personally I fail to see how content can not be cited like book references.

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

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

        Using the main portion of the content? sorry, you don't even get to do that with books/magazines/encyclopedia articles currently.
      • And someone grabs Johnny's movie and sells it. Blien Mellon gets no money. Shannon Hoon is now dead AND pissed off.
        • Ah, but now it's not Johnny's bad -- it's the person who's infringing copyright who should be held liable (in civil law, not criminal). Johnny did everything right, "someone" is the one in the wrong according to ethics and copyright law.
    • by Blakey Rat (99501)
      Uh, yes it is. Actually, it goes further: it says you can't distribute it without their approval whether or not you're doing it for money.

      What is your basis for saying that quote is incorrect?
  • by Se7enLC (714730) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @10:02AM (#16377315) Homepage Journal
    Google Video [google.com] and YouTube [youtube.com] are the SAME THING. The only difference is that google actually takes down copyrighted video when people post it to google videos and youtube doesn't. I don't see any reason why video.google can't merge with youtube and fix youtubes problems.
    • by ImaNihilist (889325) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @10:12AM (#16377431)
      How many people are going to go to YouTube when all the copyrighted material is gone?

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

      Or simply just redirect everyone that clicks on Google Video to You Tube. That's what I'd do, but then again I'm lazy. Bite me.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

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

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

      Likewise with google video. You can get (c)
  • by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @10:04AM (#16377341)
    YouTube increases Google's risk of copyright infringement, opening the door for significant liability
    Despite what else I think of Google, this move makes sense. Google has stepped up to defend itself on a number of other copyright fronts (including book content); I think they will do an equally good job defending themselves (or coming to terms) on the video front.
    • by DerGeist (956018) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @10:13AM (#16377445)
      Exactly. So many comments by analysts and armchair politicians seems to reflect a certain mindset that Google is so blindingly stupid that they bought YouTube for 1.65 billion after a six-week bender, and now their lawyers are crapping their Dockers screaming "oh crap, I forgot! We could get sued!"

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

      • YouTube is what people want.
        ...with a huge user base. I could be wrong, but I think this was more about getting that population of web users than about YouTube's content. Only time will tell if it was really a good investment for Google or not.
      • Is youtube worth more than myspace?
  • Google are always getting sued so much already by different countries and organisations, do you think they'll notice?
  • since when... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by aleksiel (678251) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @10:05AM (#16377349)
    since when was google afraid of copyright lawsuits? caching webpages, images, (mostly open-source-ish) code, actual books, and (some of their) videos?

    i think youtube fits right in, personally.
    but also, i hate the current state of our copyright laws.
    • Different groups are pursuing copyright lawsuits with different agendas. Google's previous actions were much more under the radar than YouTube.
      • by aleksiel (678251)
        true, and they also worked with companies a lot more than youtube because they had the resources to do so.

        but still, the number of homemade music videos and other "minor copyright infringement" stuff like that on google video and youtube are similar enough.
  • by Rik Sweeney (471717) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @10:11AM (#16377411) Homepage
    All Google have to say is they'll take anything down when the copyright holder (and only the copyright holder) complains. eBay has this policy similar to this, but still kick up a fuss when they're asked to take stuff down (Live 8 tickets last year for example).
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jackharrer (972403)
      Exactly. They can just simply say: 'Oh, just because of sheer amount of videos we overlooked few. But we're trying.".
      So we can be sure that we will still be able to see everything - but just for few days. Which is really good for marketing - you need to visit their page very often, just not to miss some content.

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

      jackharrer
    • by shimmin (469139)
      It is well-established that innocent intent does not constitute a defense against a finding of infringement, although it can be used to argue for lesser damages. To copy and distribute copyrighted content is infringement, unless it is fair use, which this is not by any stretch of the imagination or the law.

      Google might have a viable defense under the DMCA's "safe haven" clause for ISPs.
  • You say "video fingerprinting", I say "evil bit".
    </troll>
    Anyway, I the article suggests Google don't know the trouble they're getting into. Well, seems they did okay with Google Video. I haven't seen them screw it up yet...
  • A large market cap also allows for larger and more sophisticated legal counsel! So I guess it evens out...
  • by suv4x4 (956391) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @10:17AM (#16377483)
    Think about it. Would Google, which already has Google Video, go and spend 1.6 billion on a virtually equivalent service, only to end up "vulnerable" and sued?

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

    There's simply a lot we just don't know to start discussing if YouTube leaves "Google vulnerable". And when you don't know something, it's best to wait and see, versus flap your mouth, outputting unmitigated BS in your articles.
    • People also invested insane amounts of money in offshore online casinos. Vide insane amounts of market cap vaporize with one unexpected law. Risk v Return is always an important consideration. Still, don't think that the return is all that pops up.
      • by suv4x4 (956391)
        People also invested insane amounts of money in offshore online casinos. Vide insane amounts of market cap vaporize with one unexpected law.

        I think your example is not of the best ones, unless you mean that in the case of Google, copyright is one "unexpected law".
  • Monetize? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TheWoozle (984500) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @10:19AM (#16377507)
    You keep using that word; I don't think it means what you think it means.

    Is the entertainment industry going to lobby Congress to make movies and songs into a currency?
  • by mrkitty (584915) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @10:19AM (#16377509) Homepage

    *caugh*
    http://www.cgisecurity.com/2006/10/06 [cgisecurity.com]
  • This is a Non-Issue (Score:2, Interesting)

    by organgtool (966989)
    I really don't see copyright infringement becoming a huge issue with this acquisition. As another poster pointed out, Google Video removes copyrighted material from their site and as long as they enforce the same policy on YouTube, they shouldn't have too many copyright problems. However, I'm sure there will be a few grab-asses that will threaten to sue Google in an attempt to get a settlement, and if Google was smart, they'd allow the case to go to court and make an example out of them.
    • I'm sure Google will be more diligent about removing copyrighted material than YouTube has been. However, I contend that is the very thing that has made YouTube popular - the fact that one can go to YouTube and almost instantly see any music video or funny commercial or odd internet clip that has ever existed.

      Now, the odd internet clips, they'll survive, since generally they're not copyrighted. But short "big media" content such as music videos and commercials are going to have to be removed, and I think th
    • by Dr. Spork (142693)
      I wish I had as much faith as you do in the wisdom of our courts. If you can be sued and lose for selling coffee that's hot (and it's not like McDonalds has cheap lawyers), you can get sued and lose big for profiting from work which you have no permission to host. Actually, when I think about it, maybe Google should lose cases like this. I don't mean to defend US copyright law as a whole - it's a complete mess - but if you profit from distributing a complete copyrighted work, and the copyright holder is not
  • by bytesex (112972) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @10:22AM (#16377539) Homepage
    When the market realizes that young people switch over from one website to the next on a whim, and that you can make youtube out of slashdot out of wikipedia with just minor code changes, they will once again withdraw their money and the market will collapse. All these companies have is brands; it's a dangerous move by Google.
    • by metlin (258108)
      > All these companies have is brands; it's a dangerous move by Google.

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

      Of course, we all know of the DotCom billionaires who were left with worthless pieces of paper, so let's see how far this goes.
      • by bytesex (112972)
        The fact that it's just paper, doesn't mean that its becoming worthless isn't destruction of capital. When the dotcom billionaires screw up their companies by making reckless decisions, they destroy the livelihoods of their workers, their inventory and real estate will be sold for under the write-off price, the capital of their investors (you and me) will be gone, the market's trust in their branch will be down the toilet for years to come. You don't want another 2001, do you ?
    • by King_TJ (85913) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @11:10AM (#16378157) Journal
      I think "the market" may be more web-savvy than YOU!

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

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

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

        No, only in Soviet Russia.
      • by bytesex (112972)
        }} You can't just "make a YouTube out of Slashdot"

        You could make YouTube out of a Wiki in a few hours. If you don't see that, then you're probably not very much of a programmer. Or maybe *I* don't understand what so difficult about a searchable content-database with a web-presentation layer and some user abstraction.

        }} The fashion industry is well aware of this, yet they haven't stopped vying for their dollars, have they?

        The fashion industry is not one big blob, my friend. Individual fashion companies go
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by daigu (111684)

      One of the most significant assets of any company are its brands. Interbrand does an evaluation [ourfishbowl.com] every year where they estimate what the biggest brands are worth. Here's the top five: Coca-Cola ($67 billion), Microsoft ($56.9 billion), IBM ($56.2 billion), GE ($48.9 billion) and Intel ($32.3 billion).

      Now, you can argue whether the YouTube brand is worth the price. But to argue that all they have is a brand - with the implicit assumption that brands are not worth anything at all - is simply wrong. Every day

      • by bytesex (112972)
        All these companies that you mention make tangible products that they produce unbranded as well. In fact, they make a good chunk of their profits rebranding their product (or the lower quality versions of their products) for the 'competition'. Also, most of these companies you mentioned own more than one brand - when a consumer runs to the other brand for some reason - ha ! they still have him/her. YouTube has no tangible product, no other brand, and the only option they have for rebranding their product
  • Monetize? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pla (258480) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @10:25AM (#16377583) Journal
    You cannot monetize other people's content without their approval

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

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

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


    We don't need an overhaul of IP law (and yes, I do include the whole plate of copyright, trademark, patents, and the rest in that term, quite deliberately), we need it completely done away with. We need a judiciary that has at least a basic grasp of the technology they keep making very dangerous decisions about. And we need people who talk about "monetizing" anything other than physically backed currency taken out back and shot.
    • > Sales of cheesy 80s videos collections have skyrocketed thanks to YouTube,

      Although I've watched more then I bought. I did buy "My Name is Kim Sam Soon" on DVD after watching a few episodes on YouTube.

      TV stations are already starting to come around as well. I noticed a lot of the US TV stations now show thier tv shows on thier websites. For example I can watch Heroes+Jerico legally online for free.

      I think the sooner the media groups embrace the model the better it will work out for everyone.
  • by metoc (224422) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @10:30AM (#16377659)
    This is a direct quote from the Google corporate site http://www.google.com/corporate/ [google.com].

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

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

    Google is confronting the book publishers already and challenging their interpretation of fair use. The Youtube aquisition means the movies and television is next. Music is obviously down the road. Audio search is not as difficult as video search, but it is also not as sexy (The success of Youtube is testimony to our love affair with video).
  • "YouTube's policy is to remove copyrighted clips once alerted to their existence. Content providers say the company needs to be even more proactive

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

    Basically, the law says that as long as YouTube takes the content down upon receipt of notification of infringement, YouTube is not liable for anythi

    • by Sloppy (14984)

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

      Actually, as I understand the law, they don't.

      You understand the legislation today. But remember that if Congress is willing to sell the service of passing DMCA, then they're willing to sell the service of passing DMCA2. When content providers say something is "needed", they're not just talking about the law as is, they're also talking about their future pl

      • by swillden (191260) *

        When content providers say something is "needed", they're not just talking about the law as is, they're also talking about their future plans for the law.

        OTOH, when they go to Congress and ask for this change, they're going to be facing well-funded opposition. Google's pockets are as deep as the media companies', and Google isn't alone in the fight, either. Changes such as those you describe would pose a great danger to all online services that accept user-submitted content and, arguably, all ISPs as w

  • The code (Score:2, Funny)

    by hey (83763)
    I bet the code on YouTube is crap. Once Google sees it they'll get their people on it making it nice, maintainable, etc.
    • by British (51765)
      I bet the code on YouTube is crap.

      Yet it seems to have a lot better uptime and reliability than myspace. Sure, apples & oranges, but I don't remember it taking weeks to process an uploaded video on youtube.
  • I wonder whether google's lawyers have considered that even when someone submits original material that the person might not be of sufficient age to legally enter into a binding agreement of that nature.
  • The market thinks so, as Google's stock rose about $10 per share after the purchase.

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

    • by jZnat (793348) *
      More like 2%. But it seems as though most of that increase has already backed down again according to Google [google.com].
  • by pnuema (523776) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @10:51AM (#16377907)
    Some things to point out...

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Illserve (56215)
      Google paid 1.5% of the company in stock to purchase YouTube. Google stock jumped 5% on the news. Purchasing YouTube resulted in a profit for Google.

      You're doing Bubble math.

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

      That value can be lost, catastrophically, in a way that cash in a bank account, or physical assets cannot.
      • by Bluesman (104513)
        You're right in saying that Google didn't profit from this merger. But what did they use to pay for YouTube?

        They bought YouTube with shares of Google stock. If the shares don't have any intrinsic value, then Google just got YouTube for nothing.

        The odd thing about stock prices, just like fiat currency, is that the value holds as long as the transactions are small. If you owned a billion dollars worth of Google stock and tried to sell it all at once, odds are you'd decrease the price of the overall stock s
      • by jZnat (793348) *
        Hey, money that isn't backed by gold is just like shares in a corporation; we just trust government mints to stay far more stable than public corporations (despite inflation). Therefore, your argument isn't too valid (unless you can point to some currency that is indeed backed by gold or some other [rare, finite] natural resource, and is in wide use).

        Physical assets can increase (e.g. house) or decrease (e.g. car) in value, too, so that's not very stable.
    • by ADRA (37398)
      4. You probably can be sued for hosting the content. But, Google may be able to deny penalty by declaring that they didn't know the content was copyrighted. I don't know if a service like google can declare common carrier for things like this, but it seems the perfect legal protection if they could. Once notified of the infringement, they could be liable for the damages incured afterwards.
    • by kabocox (199019)
      Google will be the largest media company in the world within 10 years. You heard it here first.

      "Media Company" is a bit off. Think media hosting or media distrubition company. Google will do for web delivered video and ads what Nelson does for TV. There was an article that I ran across not to long ago that stated that shows that have about 5-10% of their watchers via Ipod or other video download sources won't have their viewers counted by Nelson. I'll predict that Google will come out with 3-5 simple slight
  • YouTube has profit sharing deals in place with CBS, NBC, UMG, Sony BMG and Warner [www.cbc.ca]. It seems to me that media companies would rather cooperate than litigate in this particular case.
  • by slughead (592713) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @11:03AM (#16378049) Homepage Journal
    YouTube's policy is to remove copyrighted clips once alerted to their existence. Content providers say the company needs to be even more proactive

    The law says otherwise.

    Nice try, __AA.
  • In the end it is all a question of leverage.
    If the RIAA or MPAA or whatever had decided to agressively target youtube it would have had to either agree to some quite bad deals (=be neutered) or be dragged to court and taken down (as this kind of ligitation eats money like popcorn)
    Now that Google stands behind it things have changed. Google is a heavyweight, both moneywise and in the "importance" sector - being one of the most important companies in searching and advertising and a few other sectors gives y
  • by cfulmer (3166) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @11:06AM (#16378099) Homepage Journal
    There are two ways in which Google could end up getting in copyright trouble:

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

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

    There will, no doubt, be a few people who try to sue. But, as long as google doesn't mess up, those people will lose.
  • Quite Brilliant (Score:2, Insightful)

    by echocola (871854)
    I think this move is quite brilliant actually. They are going to make a rival to broadcast TV with this move. Copyright issues, I don't think so. The media companies will be paying THEM to host their content. This is going to be the TV of the future with targetted ads for "On Demand" content.
  • If Google keeps YouTube as a separate corporation owned by Google, are they insulated from its liability?

    If so, wouldn't that cap their losses at the 1.65B they are paying for YouTube?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AlXtreme (223728)
      If Google keeps YouTube as a separate corporation owned by Google, are they insulated from its liability?
      Technically the Google-YouTube deal was a merger, so no.
  • Not Liable (Score:4, Interesting)

    by omega9 (138280) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @11:23AM (#16378323) Homepage
    Google is not, and will not be, liable unless they choose to be.

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

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


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

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

    Now if google was forced to take down all the copyrighted content on youtube this w
  • They want to test all of this in court, where they're already battling the madness of IP on many fronts.

    And they have the initial graces of Warner Bros. and likely subsequent candidates for viral videos. Let the lawyers get rich.
  • The obvious deterant (Score:3, Interesting)

    by iabervon (1971) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @12:18PM (#16379261) Homepage Journal
    Content providers can insist that Google be more proactive in making sure that their copyrighted work isn't available. But Google could respond by also not listing those providers as highly in searches. They have no legal obligation to not give preferential treatment in search results to people who don't sue them or complain too much (at least until they lose the inevitable anti-trust lawsuit, which will take ages).

    Some news sources have asked that they not be quoted on Google News, too, I've heard. I think there were even some that I'd heard of and read at the time, but I can't remember any more what they were...
  • Personally, I'm more worried about what would happen if Google bought the rest of the internet. As I understand it, this "you-tube" is merely the first in a series of high-profile acquisitions that, once completed, will leave google in sole possession of all our base. While many, for several, might be willing to be the first to welcome their new google overlords, I remain cautiously circumspect.
  • Google has just removed themselves from the market. Sorry, it's just that simple. First off, they sunk far, far, far more into this money-pit than it could even remotely ever be worth. Second, they have -as has been pointed out- left themselves open for an absolutel insane amount of legal liability -and the pockets of the MPAA run far, far deeper than theirs.

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

    It's onl
    • by Khyber (864651)
      yeeea.. riight. as one poster above pointed out, they paid roughly 1.5% of what they're worth, and damn-near OVERNIGHT saw their stocks rise 5%. That alone was worth it, plus whatever Youtube just had in copyright contracts from media companies NOW BELONGS TO GOOGLE. Add this to Google more likely having more money than the music and movie industries combined, and I say Google could CRUSH them. It's not like Google HAS to allow preferential listing of *AA ads when they could just as easily start advertising

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