TECH TALK: The Rise of YouTube: Comments(Part 4)

The Economist commented: [The] pairing of Google and YouTube may come to be remembered as the moment Web 2.0ie, the web, version twocame of age…The main benefit of the deal, however, may be the difficulties it creates for Google’s rivals. Yahoo! and Microsoft, as well as News Corporation and Viacom, two media giants, all wanted YouTube. But Google pre-empted them, just as it denied them access to AOL, another portal, in which it bought a defensive stake last winter.
ForeverGeek discussed video ads (among other things):

While Yahoo and MSN may make noise about Oventure and AdCenter respectively, AdWords is the king of textual keyword based ads. Yet a juicy new frontier awaits – video. YouTube did prove one thing – people like viewing videos online. Even taking out all the copyright material out of YouTube, a lot of legitimate videos are quite popular. Instead of waiting around to see if there is market for video (which should command *far higher* prices than text links), Google has opted to take the bull by the horn. While Google may never directly put video ads on its core products, it now has one of the largest inventories of video on the internet. was a massive testbed for AdWords before it was distributed to publishers small and big. Consider YouTube as a massive testbed for Video AdWords before distributed to publishers small and big. (Note: I do understand that you cannot directly compare text-ad inventory and video-ad inventory, but the analogy serves as a useful example regardless).

Mark Cuban, who has been critical about YouTube’s perceived flouting of copyright laws, outlined how he things the battles between the media companies and Google-YouTube will unfold:

Rather than suing Gootube, the media companies will first sue several of the imitators and competitors that have no money whatsoever. They wont sue those companies to get money, they will sue a bunch of those companies to build precedent. In particular, they will sue to get clarification on the DMCA Safe Harbor laws. Are these little companies, that do basically what Youtube does, protected by the DMCA safe harbor rules ?

If they can win some judgements saying these little sites are not protected by Safe Harbor rules, then they have all the leverage in the world to dictate licensing terms to sites that until now have not proactively enforced copyright but have instead chosen to rely on rightsholders takedown notices. If one of those sites has deep pockets, then it could turn into a payday for rightsholders, whether via lawsuit or licensing terms.

There has been a lot of discussion about whether Gootube, together or seperately would qualify under the safe harbor laws. Some think yes, others like me, think not. But the reality is this. Whatever copyright owners let Gootube get away with, there will be an unlimited number of sites that copy that approach.

Tomorrow: Impact for China and India

TECH TALK The Rise of YouTube+T

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.