Hollywood Reporter writes:
In a few short months, the Web site has emerged from the obscure ranks of dozens of online viral-video outposts to dominate even giant portals in the category, including Yahoo! and Google.
But its astonishing growth — streaming 30 million videos a day — also has put old-guard media empires on the defensive. NBC Universal and CBS Corp. are just a few of the power players who have clamped down on YouTube recently for hosting copyright-infringing clips snatched from broadcast airwaves.
YouTube is not a peer-to-peer service like Napster, but its video-hosting capabilities allow Internet surfers to stream videos easily from a Web page. Also unlike Napster, most of the video available is not entire TV episodes or movies but short clips no longer than three minutes.
That makes YouTube and its ilk ideal for showcasing homemade video of everything from baby’s first steps to frat-house pranks.