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March 19, 2007


Joe Duck

I hadn't thought of this angle. Very interesting. Will this backfire if the quality of the winning clips is clearly inferior to the copyrighted stuff?

One can see Viacom using that to bolster the case that YouTube obtains a significant commercial advantage from the violating clips.


Just because this material is made by users, doesn't mean it isn't copyrighted.

It is.

However, the copyright owner, in many of these cases, has consented to the upload. It's an important distinction, which I thinks needs to be cleared up.

Now, as for the awards, we'll see how the videos look. I am hoping to be impressed, but lot of UGC hasn't been received too well by critics:


(Or, more importantly, me.)

- Joslyn

Rob Hyndman

Thanks for the mention, Don - those of us behind the mesh conference in Toronto (Mathew Ingram, Mark Evans, Stuart Macdonald and Mike McDerment) are going to try to highlight videos about Web 2.0 in our own modest way. Let's hope we don't have to turn to it to get some nice PR in the face of a lawsuit :)

Steve Morsa

...Google's so deep in the IP illegality ocean that no harbor is even visible...let alone the DMCA safe one...

YouTube's not an ISP...
They exercise control over the illegal content...
They profit from the illegal content...
They could stop most or all of it if they really wanted to do so...

This is little different than a robber who steals your valuables and then tries to work out some deal with you to let them keep them...'cause they're better than you at making money off of them...which money they'll then be glad to generously share with you.

If Viacom takes this case to its conclusion, it won't even be close.

...callin' 'em the SueTube Awards would have been more apropos.

Chris Dodge

I'm not so sure if this is an attempt to build up a line of defense for the court case, but rather an attempt to experiment on how valuable true-User Generated Content is, if at all.

Google probably doesn't feel that they are getting very far in signing up the premium content owners, so they have to search for value in the UGC segements. I'd expect a lot of press releases from YouTube after the awards boasting the amount of traffic generated to these clips.

I'm sure they will be selling ads against these types of Awards since those are certainly rights-cleared material and the "best-of-the-crop" content (as far as UGC). This will have some appeal to advertisers.

The question is "how much appeal and how much value can be extracted?"

In the end, YouTube will have to put automated *AND* manual processes in place on content submissions to filter out the content. They will end up becoming an outlet for:

- "pure UGC"
- very far outdated Long-tail content
- Timely event clips, like this March Madness promotion happening

Whether that's worth what Google paid for will remain to be seen.

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