In the same breath as pocketing a cool $1.65B in Google stock, licensing and copyright-protection agreements were made with the likes of Warner, Sony/BMG, Universal, CBS (it's looking like one singular beast of a media mongrel at this point).
You Tube has been all the rage for it's year-and-a-half existence, but -- isn't YouTube's success primarily a result of its lax oversight and takedown policies? Surely, Chad Hurley and his couple dozen of employees at You Tube don't care anymore -- as long as they sell their Google stock in the near future. But once you can't get anything you want on You Tube, the traffic will most naturally channel itself elsewhere.
Alex Veiga wrote about this today for the AP, and the article's a good read, complete with a variety of quotes. The basic drift is:
[R]ecent agreements with high-profile content creators require YouTube to deploy an audio-signature technology that can spot a low-quality copy of a licensed music video or other content. YouTube would have to substitute an approved version of the clip or take the material down automatically.Veiga predicts that YouTube's anti-piracy platform will resemble the nightmare watermarking techniques of Audible Magic. Competitor Guba uses content-comparison software called "Johnny" to filter out copyright infgingements on videos uploaded there.
CJR's Gal Beckerman says the deal is "doomed just because it is." YouTubers are "gravely concerned," summarizes another article.
The real winners here are the VC's, like Sequoia Capital, which invested 11 million into YouTube and come out of the deal with a whole lot more, writes Staci of Paid Content.
Sure, Google and YouTube will most likely come out OK. The real losers, however, are the users -- that is to say everyone save for the handful of jackasses makin a mean living by hording and raping other people's property (not the kind of OPP that any content producer or consumer would be down with).
Is Google lining up to be the darling sweetheart of government-sponsored corporate Internet ownership? Google does publish a little one-sheet guide to Net Neutrality, deep in their help section). I'm guessing there aren't many Save the Internet badges floating around Mountain View.
(Apparently you'll never find out what's going on at Google if you're using Yahoo Maps). Which reminds me of a prank Yahoo! pulled when they launched their new Maps beta last year. The address for Google was listed as "The Dude's Fish Store." It's hilarious -- read about it here. Perhaps the grey boxes on Y!Maps are just retribution.)