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Submission + - The Google/YouTube Come-On

mikesd81 writes: "Business Week has an article about Google and YouTube dangling nine-figure sums in front of major programming and network players — that is, the Time Warners, News Corp, and NBC Universals of the world. From the article: "Google calls these monies licensing fees, according to executives who've been involved in the discussions. But some of them characterize the subtext like this: Don't sue us over copyrights. Take this (substantial) payment, and trust us to figure out how we'll all make serious money once we get advertising and revenue sharing worked out."

To make matters more interesting, no publicly traded media company today is in a position simply to dismiss, say, $100 million. One executive privy to the discussions says: "The reality is, if they are able to lock in major media [companies] for three years, then by default YouTube is the place to go" for Web video. Such fears may be what's spurred several major media players to mull assembling a cross-company Web video destination — a YouTube killer of their very own. "The theory is that if you were to aggregate enough exclusive content in one place, you could actually change viewing patterns," says an executive familiar with the cross-company talks. Perhaps anticipating my jumping all over the fallacy of "exclusive" in an open online ecosystem, he concedes "it's really tough," though not impossible. Media execs familiar with the YouTube offer won't discuss it publicly. Neither will Google. But it's interesting that no programming giant has sued YouTube yet. Presumably those guys won't unleash the lawyers until certain talks are played out"

"So why don't you make like a tree, and get outta here." -- Biff in "Back to the Future"