I was wrong

In previous posts, i had said that the minute Youtube got bought, the media companies would sue them because there were now deep pockets to pursue for a big payday.

The more I read and the more I thought about it since the Google/Youtube deal, I realize that is the exact opposite of what should happen and probably will happen.

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.

One more thing about this whole discussion about Youtube, Google and how the DMCA might be interpreted.

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.

However Google tries to monetize Youtube, others will try to replicate that model. If when its all said and done, Google falls within the Safe Harbor rules of the DMCA, you can expect thousands of spam websites, the multimedia equivalent of splogs, to spring up. Just as its simple to automate the process of creating a blog or website and then populating that site with RSS feeds and ads by Google, Yahoo or another ad syndicator, just like this it will be just as easy to create a website that automates the uploading of a server full of multimedia content, movies, music, whatever.

This is what will happen. THousands of times a day.

Someone will fill a huge server (s) full of everything and anything,movies, music, termpapers, pictures, whatever they think has the greatest chance to make them money. THen they will create host splogs. Lots of them. The splogs will be optimized to enable scripts/bots to upload content, and users to download that content.

There will be the standard disclaimer on each splog that they probably steal right from Google or Youtubes site. There will be an about link providing where to snail mail the take down notice. The servers with all the content will go from splog to splog, automatically uploading great content. You will see best-report36.com/top10songs or best-reports45.com/itunes100, best-reports55.com/foxprimetimeschedule, et c, etc, etc. In addition to the great content, you will see multimedia ads in whatever format Google uses that has been copied by competitors. As long as they can place the multimedia ads in such a fashion they can pay for the bandwidth, what could go wrong ? According to some, all of it is legal and protected.

THe splog creators have the full protection of the Safe Harbor rules. Users uploaded the content. The sploggers took down content when asked. Maybe if they are tricky, they will populate each with at least 51pct of non infringing videos. Of course every site will have the same non infringing videos, but so what.

There in lies the rub. Whatever Gootube is allowed to do is going to be replicated thousands of times. Searching tens of thousands of splog sites you dont know exist for your content is an awful tough job. Supoenaing sites to get information about users who did the uploading from the big server becomes futile when the registration required nothing more than a random gmail address.

I just dont think the MPAA and RIAA and their members are going to accept this inevitable scenario. Its quite possible that by the time they are under siege with all of this, Gootube will have 100pct of its content licensed. If not, then after they go after the little guys to set precedent, they will go after the big guys and their deep pockets.

Here is a sample of a Splog. Notice the ads

50 thoughts on “I was wrong

  1. I agree with a lot of what you wrote, but the bottom line is: people will get away with what they can get away with until there are repurcussions. If and when someone gets sued, watch how fast they (the sites) will start policing the content and making sure copyrights are not violated. And if individuals get sued, watch how fast they start getting in line and obeying the laws. These sites have run wild because they can. Once someone decides to start reigning them in, they’ll stop being so out of control.

    Comment by girls basketball -

  2. I disagree. Google is still king and doesn’t “need” MySpace. Sure, it would be a boost, but they will remain tops demographically IMHO.

    Comment by Pj -

  3. http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/1700AP_Google_Video.html

    google is being sued.

    Comment by Jeromy L -

  4. You are probably wrong again. It is almost impossible to predict the future. Trying to see a pattern is futile.

    Comment by Ramo -

  5. Apparently the music labels are stepping up their threats to sue, videos are being removed and YouTube is very clearly going corporate. I heard that Google was trying to make deals with record companies to put up music videos and such but it looks like you may have been right about the law suits.

    Comment by Eric -

  6. Interesting take, I share many of your points. Very cool that you can admit when you might be wrong.

    Comment by maddux sports -

  7. Mark,

    I respect you because I know you are man enough to admit when you are wrong. Trademark of a good leader.


    Comment by keith -

  8. Game on:

    Universal Music Group said on Tuesday it filed lawsuits against online video sharing sites Grouper and Bolt.com for allowing users to swap pirated versions of its musicians’ videos.


    Comment by Justin Young -

  9. Mark,
    Remember Google’s little discussed acquisition of a mobile software company? (http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/aug2005/tc20050817_0949_tc024.htm)

    That could be a key to their plans for YouTube.

    Comment by Rob May -

  10. The reality is that there are thousands of people that have the skills necessary to implement great ideas that are just unable to conjure up original ideas for websites. When someone comes up with the next hot thing they all rush to mimick it and throw ads all over it. I can’t blame them, but MFA (made for adsense) sites do tend to flood the search results of many of the search engines and that gets old.

    Comment by Chris -

  11. Hey Mark,

    It looks like you were wrong about being wrong:

    “Dick Parsons, the chairman and chief executive of Time Warner, fired a shot across the bows of Google, saying his group would pursue its copyright complaints against the video sharing site YouTube.com.”


    Comment by Chris -

  12. There is only one important concept here and you have all missed it! As long as peeple can view videos of Mentos and Diet Cola, we will live in paradise. Who sues whom is secondary to my seeing more gysers of brown froth creating dripping stalagtites on cielings of kitchens and garages worldwide. Let’s keep our perspective here.

    Comment by Colin -

  13. How about a yahoo-microsoft merger on Monday to squash the Google blowout earnings report. That would really rub a little salt in the market share from the dilution coming from the you-tube 1.65 BILLION deal. WOW. If it ever made sense, it makes sense now. What do you think?

    Comment by Matt -

  14. And you will remain wrong.
    Do you think when Comedy Central has Stephen Colbert do a little gig in front of a green screen, to allow users to create their own videos from, they expect them to be submitted to Comedy Central for review? You think they don’t know those videos are going up on YouTube?

    Think again.
    Video and music are not one and the same. It’s a different ballgame.

    Comment by Jackson -

  15. Or, we could all simply accept that we’re living in a new era and that yesterday’s copyright laws are obsolescent.

    The bar has to be raised at some point. (“Surround Vision” movie theaters, maybe?)

    Mass communications (or “media”) is reaching a point where almost any creative person can participate. Traditionalists are having a hard time witnessing the seeping “per unit” devaluation of their products. They really need to get over it.

    Comment by Charles -

  16. You’ll realize the answer lies not in the movies, or the prices, or the consumer, but…


    I wanted to respond to Mark’s post about getting people to the theatre etc. What I wanted to say may change his mind that there are no “solutions” for the lack of movie attendance. Let me be more precise.

    I recently went to the movies with my parents (The Departed, of all movies) and afterwards they complained about the ticket price. $9.50. And I’m not just saying this because I’m broke, my parents are rich.

    The overwhelming problem isn’t so much anything else rather than people have seen their ticket prices going up. Using even elementary economics theories, a rational economic decision becomes highly improbable when people are paying so much just for a movie ticket, let alone pop-corn, etc..

    But classical economics isn’t the answer to the problem. In fact, it may be a hinderance. I say it may be a hinderance because classical economics only accounts for rationality among beasts, and not among human beings. Allow me to explain that last comment!

    Human beings actual derive value. And value isn’t a present-day thing! Value can be extended for months if not for YEARS! And that’s what the rational economic consumer is missing from the movies. What they’re essentially missing is the value for the price they pay for a ticket! So what I’m saying is really a lot easier than even identifying the problem in the first place.

    CREATE value. Oh yes, it can so be created. Just like the U.S. dollar, which you Mark Cuban should know every intricate detail of I suppose. Look at that flimbsy piece of fiber-plastico-neo-classico tweed-type of bill you and me and everybody else lines our pockets with. Is a dollar actually even worth a dollar??? NO! It’s worth less, and everybody who’s familiar with economies knows that. But it’s not worth less by much. But here’s the summation of my (quite valid) point that I need to drive home, and I’ll do that right now:

    Create an instrinic value for the ticket! *TADA* Creating an intrinsic value for the ticket is completely elementary, my dearest Watson. It simply implies luring the idle-framed consumer towards the vicinity of a movie theatre in hopes of returning with a greater asset-total than previously expected/anticipated/possessed! Sounds dicey, don’t it!

    But not so! Look at baseball cards, dearest Watson! How do they fair in struggling economy?

    Make them collectible, or reemdable. End of story. Or allow patrons to buy “options” of tickets just like stocks in the market. You are familiar with the stock market, aren’t you, Mark?


    Ps. I don’t know if you’ll check this, Mark, so I’ll post on your other comments from time to time until you hopefully do.

    PPs. You’ll realize the answer lies not in the movies, or the prices, or the consumer, but…

    Comment by John McCarthy -

  17. Exactly! Why attack a seemingly-invincible 800 pound gorilla when you can first discover his weakness by going after a couple of tiny monkees.

    Comment by Scott Johnson -

  18. Your orignial post was right..


    Time for another post!

    Comment by sundeep -

  19. O Google dominar o mundo???

    Comment by Anderson -

  20. Three days, that didn’t take long.

    Comment by Ben -

  21. Nope, you were right.


    Comment by Chris Davis -

  22. Yesterday the band Collective Soul posted a bulletin through their myspace requesting fans to post anything that had to do with Collective Soul on youtube (“looking for amateur video, cell phone video, bootleg video, WHATEVER… It all will do”).

    So, even established artists are asking that fans do whatever they can to promote their band, even if it’s technically illegal.

    Comment by David -

  23. Mark,

    Your showing how much you don’t understand new media. Besides being a good buzz word, new media is not your fathers media. It is now the peoples choice as to what is a hit or miss. Big media now has a choice of compete or die. It’s a brave new world out there.

    While I do not agree with most of what you said about the purchase of YouTube in your previous posts, you have earned my respect in the admittance that you were wronh in your conclusions. Very refreshing. I am a subscriber now.

    http://www.paulpurionline.com for more comments.

    Comment by Paul Puri -

  24. Hi Mark,

    Unrelated to this post, I know, but I thought you might want to do something about it. There’s a site called Bitacle that is reposting your stuff but adding their own ads to it, making profit from your content.

    You can see it here:

    They’re doing it to a lot of bloggers out there.

    Comment by Jeff -

  25. You weren’t to wrong…


    Comment by Jimbob -

  26. I recommend this to anyone on GOOG in general. This what defines the longevity of its invincibility.


    Comment by Peter -

  27. Mark, let it go mate… you reaped the benefits of billions in a nicely timed buyout…let Youtube enjoy theirs.
    You know as well as I do that it’s burning knowing that their business is what you are brilliant at…you’re pissed at yourself for not seeing the opportunity first…there will be others.

    Comment by Eddie -

  28. Trump is really talking trash tonite on CNBC

    Comment by gem-x -

  29. Splogs? I love it.

    As a user, do I really care where I get content from as long as I get it? No, not really.

    As a blogger, do I care who steals my content? yeah, kinda.

    As a company, would I care if someone steals the content that I spent a lot of money creating and posts it on the internet for users to view for free and without my ad revenue? Yeah, I would.

    Comment by Sports Bettor -

  30. “# Luck Matters: This is a traditionally Rawlsian viewpoint, and folks interested in it should seek out the source. But the conservative idea that we truly control our destiny is bunk. At this moment in time, with all that you are and have, you may feel pretty autonomous. But intelligence, temperament, looks, and health are, in large part, genetically predetermined. Who you’re born to is, assumedly, luck, as is which peer group you fall into. Whether you attend a good school, live in a nice neighborhood, make a stupid mistake, have parents who instill the right routines, and all the rest largely decide whether you’re the type of person who, when grown, will work hard, save money, invest in your future, and all the rest. If you are that type of person, it is not necessarily an expression of your virtues, but of your luck — unfortunately, we see who we are now, not what made us, and so overemphasize our autonomy. Our society too often comforts itself by assuming meritocracy is a fair ideal, rather than an arbitrary sorting mechanism that values certain character traits and intrinsic abilities, some of which we achieve through hard work, but some of which are hardwired or learned before we exercise any autonomy or virtue at all.”
    –Ezra Klein today…

    Comment by John Navin -

  31. Mark,
    Look at the way google news seperates copyright protected newspapers/magazines from those that are cash based. I forsee google doing the same with its video content. If its copyprotected and the owner of the material doesn’t wish to split ad revenue with google than it can be purchased through a subscription such as the I-tunes system.

    Comment by Matt -

  32. I don’t think you were wrong at all. The studios are just smarter than to attack a dog that’s bigger than they are. They’ll just ask for free advertising and spend their time on a contract rather than in a courtroom on a lawsuit. The big question you present still exists though, what is this going to do for copyrights? They can’t be protected if the studios cave to Google in any other way. Otherwise everyone else will just say well you let Google do it we too are entitled. Either way if the copyrights are not enforced or the case is not settled with Google, it’ll be the end of copyrights, and they surely won’t have that, despite it’s inevitability.

    Google is smart enough to know it’s the metadata and targeting profiles that counts. Ads is just the application, and copyrights simply secure the channels so consumers can be targeted. With Google being a megachannel, who needs to secure channels with copyrights? Studios can’t push aside Google like they can a faceless consumer, so it’ll simply turn into a settlement deal that will boost both their profits. That’s just business. Google was simply buying the market, not unlike Yahoo when they bought Geocities, Newscorp when they bought MySpace. The market will evaporate over time and new one will pop up for someone else to come along and buy. Remember when Yahoo bought Geocities? Or how about Lycos?

    Comment by Jake Lockley -

  33. Since when did the term social networking mean violate all laws because everybody else is? Many people go around actually buying music, or buying video, and by doing so they give the copyright owners money.

    But nowadays it seems that if you just claim that you are social networking, that that gives you the right to steal. I damn sure work hard for my money, and when I see that stealing is the new norm it infuriates me, because that is exactly what is going on at Youtube.

    If attracting a community means post copyrighted content in order to get people to view it and download then I want no part of it unless I have the rights to use said content.

    Ah well, rant over.

    Comment by Tracy -

  34. There are all sorts of opinions why this deal is good or bad. Within this context, one thing that is lost is that, consumers are driving this change and as any smart business would do, listen to your customer. With all due respect to copyright protection and law, here are thoughts of 2 cents

    a) The fundamentals value economics of content are changing. Value of content was determined by the owner and players in the distribution value chain.
    b) As any economist would say, value is a two sided equation and you have to include the consumer of that goods/services.
    c) Content owners previously had an very inefficient distribution mechanism that bloated the prices of these services.
    d) Along came internet/techologies that made distribution as efficient as possible and thereby reducing the price that was marked up due to inefficient distribution
    e) Consumers of today are very demanding and they want what they want the way they want. period. No questions about it. They will seek out new ways at an appropiate value coefficient for any service.
    f) All these content owners who are clamoring for rights payment. They need to understand that most of the content has to follow the diminishing returns of scale on a time axis. You cannot go after a user that consumes your content and say wait a minute, that’s my content, and I need to get paid for it. Sure, you will get paid. Make it easy and seamless to me as a consumer. Don’t blame me for your systems ineffectiveness get in my way of watching what I want to watch.
    g) An year old movie clip on the internet, if watched by millions of users, should be monetized in different ways instead of threating the very system that allows this distribution.
    h) Imagine a muddy river bed flowing that may contain some percious stones. People will go out and find those precious stones for themselves. Most of the content produced is like muddy water, all those grad students in the dorms (whom u make fun of), will get those gems out for others to watch.
    i) My question is what is CBS or other studios, would say a David letterman or John stewart show of October 12th 1999 is worth. If someone watches it on the web posted by a user, why does it have to be licensed and copyrighted, when there is no system in place to get it in an easy way and at will. It is anyways rotting in those studios warehouses.

    Comment by calerius -

  35. I think they have a plan to take Youtube in another direction. 99% of the stuff on Youtube is short video that is otherwise not monetized by the media companies (or isn’t owned by them anyway) – AOL.com offers music videos for free on their site, and Youtube can always cut them in on advertising for legitimate things like that. I mean, Fox keeps yanking the cheesy 90210 opening credits off Youtube, but is there really a compelling business reason? It’s not like Fox is offering this – yet.

    Google has the technology to really make the advertising effective and to host media companies’ short videos (i.e. let us host the 90210 opening, we’ll sell your advertising and let the users comment on it like always). Like all the highlights of the Jets’ draft blunders – who else would be able to make money on that? Google uses Youtube’s users for promotion, not for free content, because they can pay royalties and still make money, as they do on their own video site.

    So why are the media companies sitting on their hands? Their future is HD – you know this well, Mark. They can’t compete with the Youtube low definition stuff, because the Internet IS the wild west and even in physical formats, there’s whole factories in China pumping stuff out by the billions illegally. Why bother?

    So they’re just focusing on locking down HD-DVD and Blu-Ray (both of which need to connect to verify ownership, iirc).

    The trouble is, if HD is cracked, that’s the ballgame. There’s no reason to buy another copy of Star Wars once you have a hi-def version, there’s never going to be a reason to upgrade. So once the digital versions of these movies get online they’re done. If the HD version of Star Wars was on Youtube, they’d be sued out of existence and the entire city of Los Angeles would go to war with Silicon Valley. But that’s not happening for a long time, and I think the media companies feel better with Google in control than Youtube lone-wolfing it.

    Comment by solomonrex -

  36. I give you props admitting you were wrong. Bravo! Keep up the good work Mark.

    Comment by C.Sage -

  37. I found a clip about this issue on the CBC site for The Hour. I don’t know how many of you may have already seen this but it is an interesting clip nonetheless.

    They hit on a lot of the same points as Mark does.


    Comment by Rebeccalee Coventry -

  38. I know you remember when the movie industry tried to sue the VCR out of existence. That would have been the absolute WORST thing that could have happened to showbiz, robbing it of billions in vcr (and now dvd) sales.

    Content on YouTube and the other smaller sites is going to go the same way; media companies will realize that these sites are great exposure for them, the content producers. You see an episode of “Lazy Sunday” on YouTube and like it then chances are you’ll watch SNL to see more of the same.

    IMO content producers are going to realize that fighting these sites is going to rob them of viral marketing power, and they’ll end up capitulating.

    Comment by Joe. -

  39. You are 100% right.

    This scenario is exactly the pattern what happened with a ringtone business (for cell phones). Our company was one of the first ones in the market back in (year) 2000.

    E*I, Wa*ner, S*ny, Fa*ous Pub… & Co. attacked (with their thousand-dollars-per-hour lawyers) some small players scaring the daylight out of them with their $50,000 per infringement (= download) fine threats. These weak minds signed deals and suddenly it was an “industry standard”.

    Now publishers make more money out 30 second ringtones than an actual song!!

    It’s going to be interesting though; Google is nowadays pretty big bite to chew.

    Comment by RockyJay -

  40. Now MySpace is interested in meeting with Google (again).

    Google is either onto something big — or they are royally screwing themselves. I guess only time will tell?

    Comment by Jesse -

  41. Mark,

    You have been consistently wrong on this issue since your first post last month. I do not believe that the media companies will start a wave of law suits against YouTube imitators to set precedents and secure better licensing deals. What I think we will see, is a wave of acquisitions by the likes of Yahoo, AOL and possibly even to a lesser extent Microsoft (they do have Soapbox in the pipeline), of these smaller imitation sites. Google’s timely acquisition will more than likely force the hand of the other big internet players to act now and buy into the online video sharing business. I imagine the owners of such sites will be more concerned with the acquisition price than any potential lawsuits.

    Comment by burtoma -

  42. I think it’s time to accept that many people (I’m thinking at least half of the downloading community) just WON’T pay for digital content anymore. These people are not going to change no matter the outcome of the You Tube/Google deal. They’ll buy hard copies of books or a CD they can’t find online or maybe even a movie. Doesn’t it seem like everyone rents from Netflix and just burns copies? Everyone knows that. Where are the lawsuits?

    I’m not sure, in the new world that is the internet, despite internet laws, you can actually truly own content. You can own the CDs and DVDs “content owners” have made but the content itself is now a shared commodity and perhaps it should be. As far as music, you have be able to perform live. As far as movies, if it’s truly fantastic the downloaders will go out and buy it.

    So will Google be sued? Of course. Will it change a thing in the grand scheme of things? No.
    Limewire exists.

    Comment by Steve C -

  43. Is this all pointing to an AAPL short????? Can we start discounting the EV of Itunes???

    Comment by Gildo -

  44. While I won’t disagree with you. I think a much better model for Youtube’s future would be for it to remain the way that it is. Look at Myspace, Newscorp has changed it very little. It is still pretty much what it started out to be. The best thing for Google and everyone else would be to let Youtube stay the way it is. Why mess with a good thing? Youtube is so crazy big and so good for business I doubt anyone will ever sue if copywrited content shows up, no matter who owns it. Youtube is good for business, everyone’s business.

    Another good reason to leave it alone and keep it seperate is that if people do start to sue, Google can let Youtube take the pain for having illegal content on it’s site, while porting over all the public domain video to Google Video. That way if Youtube does go the way of the dinosaur, Google will have still retian the majority of Youtube’s content.


    Comment by Mark McKay -

  45. Mark,
    Kudos for pointing out the realities of the Goooof by Google and the realities of the lawsuits. Here are some things that bother me about the way Google is conducting business

    1) They found the Goose that lays the Golden Egg (Search advertizing) and now they are going to kill it.
    2) All the analyst that say how many eyeballs (scary huh..history repeating itself) they are getting. Google has 60%+ of the advertisment market. At a minimum 60% of YouTube user already probably use Google and it is probably higher
    3) When you invest $1.65 bb in a venture and you expect atleast a 15% return that is $250mm in PROFITS (PROFITS…IT IS JUST PROFITS or was it PRACTICE…IT IS JUST PRACTICE by Alan Iverson) that they are falling behind on their investment that they need to overcome and then make. Assuming that they get to keep 20% of ads, then they need to make $1.25 bb in profits from advertizing every year on YouTube to make the investment work.
    4) Mark my word. MICROSOFT and YAHOO will merge their internet businesses under YAHOO. Look at the synergies, Microsoft is working hard to improve their search technology. Yahoo is working hard to improve their adverisment placement. Microsoft has spent a lot of money to improve their mapping technology and is offering a free version of its works suite online. Yahoo has the users who can use it. Microsoft is working on developing its social networking. Yahoo is working on Video. It seems strange that they are each working on complimentary areas
    5) At what point does Google start facing anti-competitive allegations and having to deal with being the 1000 pound Gorilla in the internet area…..
    6) Paying $1.65 bb to buy face book has boosted Google Market cap by about $10bb….. If they just start dropping money off a plane…..imagine how big they can be….. 🙂
    7) How much have they spent now $2bb to AOL, $1.65 bb to Facebook, $2bb to Dell, $900mm in guaranteed revenues to MySpace, It is like a kid in a candy store on an expense account….

    Will stop ranting now… my fingers are tired…

    Comment by KK -

  46. The user base on YouTube.com is already feeling uneasy about this corporate acquistion by Google. You can see a sense in the comments being posted that they are already feeling the “wild west” fun of YouTube.com is being displaced by a more commercial and corpie tone.

    I think for the success of YouTube.com to continue Google will have to let it have its own independence and not over “legalize” it. If YouTube loses the support of the commmunity, they’ll migrate elsewhere. So the power is in the user’s hands.

    Google’s legal department obviously won’t go for the “wild west” post whatever you want posture anymore, so there will be an internal struggle between the restrictive “suits” and the let it be free “marketing” depts.

    The media giants want and need YouTube’s immense traffic base to boost their content sales and grab users to their artists and program sites. Traffic is what drives the Net. Bottome line, they’ll sacrifice enforcement of their copyrights in exchange for some token minimal licensing deals and all the hefty free PR they’ll continue to reap from the billions of vid downloads.

    Comment by Kevin -

  47. You assume that the success of YouTube is purely driven by technology and the ability to circumvent copyright laws therefore anyone else with the same technology will exploit the same laws and compete with GooTune, reducing its monetisation prospects.

    However, your argument omits/dismisses the social network aspect and the ability to attract a community AND the brand recognition of YouTube and Google which all play a BIG role.

    I think GooTubes got legs and could make few bucks with a variety of business models that could even rival iTunes.

    Comment by Phillip -

  48. The ultimate end for all of this will be with pay for consumption models. We’re not there yet, but it’s coming.

    Imagine the company that acts as a middleman between advertiser, content creator, and consumer in the following manner:

    Advertiser purchases some as-yet-undefined unit of viewership/attention/consumption from third-party vendor. Consumers sign up with third party vendor. Third-party vendor distributes content + advertising. Third-party vendor splits advertising fees with content creators (you know, as much as they’re legally forced to do so) AND with consumers – in exchange for their consumption.

    The variables at any point in that equation can be tweaked, but the dynamic remains the same.

    Need exposure? Pay for it – almost directly. Bribe your customers. Buy your demographic.

    “It pays to pay attention.”


    Comment by nonattender -

  49. I don’t think anyone will argue that this is yet another Napster story and there is pretty much no way that content and media companies will tolerate copyright infringement in the open sponsored by iconic enterprises such as Google. It’s a no brainer and after having framed the problem so clearly, I’d like to hear you suggest possible ways to remedy this rather than having you expend your intellectual resources on reiterating and clarifying your stance is clearly an open-shut case.

    One idea of the top of my head:

    Build a moderations system. The model would comprise of moderators (media companies; users won’t make good moderators since they wouldn’t vote against copyright content). Either the media company (if they are big) could directly delete content with Google moderating the moderators or if the moderator is a small media company they can click a link to notify the uploader and Google at the same time upon which the user will have X days to respond.

    Now the burden of copyright filtering can be shifted to the media companies.

    That might be the key: to shift the burden of responsibility out + have autonomy around the process. If Google can build a legitimate framework and find a way to scale it while compromising the copyright content YouTube might not have as much content as it does right now, but YouTube can still be the market leader and its % market share shouldn’t change as everyone will take an equal hit.

    Comment by Why dwell on the failure scenarios? -

  50. Yeah, this makes sense, except for one thing on the rss-feed splogs. They usually don’t have an “about” page (no email), there is no reference to the host provider, and comments aren’t allowed. It’s nearly impossible to figure out who is hosting the splog without trying to snoop the whois listings. It’s not an easy battle, those splogs!

    Comment by Jetson Green -

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