YouTube – Legally

So rather than saying more about why Youtube/Gootube is living off of copyright infringement, I thought it would be an interesting excercise to try to answer How to Youtube Legally, and who, if anyone would be able to pull it off.

The answer lies not in who can pull off licensing deals with content providers, but who already has licenses in place with the content providers. Who is already paying them big bucks and can create a win win scenario for themselves and rightsholders.

The answer as it turns out is pretty simple, and not something “Netizens” will want to hear.

Comcast, Charter, TimeWarnerCable, Cox, Insight, MediaCom, Cablevision, basically any cable company , and outside the cable companies, the telcos that offer TV service, and finally the Satellite Companies, DirecTV and Dish Networks, all could pull off a legal version of Youtube.

These are the companies that are paying billions of dollars in aggregate to the cable networks already. The cable networks of course are paying the content owners who pay the downstream rightsholders. Whats more, they all already have in place licenses to promote the programming they are distributing within pre defined limits. So if Comcast or Dish Network wants to promote the Daily Show on Comedy Central in a commercial, or on their websites, they already have permission to do so with limited video rights.

In addition, most of the above already are Service Providers in the defined sense of the word. They offer broadband access to their customers on their own, or in partnership with others. The fact that they have broadband customers and pay content owners huge amounts of money gives them the opportunity to do any or both of the following.

1. Youtube Clone.
They all are working out deals with content providers to be able to stream or offer VOD/TV, it wouldnt take much at all to enhance their deals and ask for the ability to offer flash based video of user uploaded clips, with limitations in length and encoding quality. Limit the clips to say 5 minutes, with an option to the rightsholder to take down anything they dont want made available on the site. Tracking the length of a flash video is right there in the meta data, so their flash transcoder could easily shut off anything beyond 5 minutes. In addition to what users upload, they could of course upload their own content without limit to enhance the depth of offerings.

For music videos, they could get the same financial deal that Yahoo and other sites have with the labels for music videos. But, knowing that the labels want to have their own outlets on TV for their music, they have some leverage to work out a trade as an option.

In addition, each would have the option to enhance the benefits available to their own broadband subscribers. So Comcast for instance, could do their deal so that non Comcast subs would be limited to 100k encoding quality with the flash codec, but subscribers could have their content transcoded to 300k, and watch video with 10 minute limits, or whatever enhanced benefits they could negotiate with the content providers for their subs.

So basically, the big TV distributors could pretty easily work out deals with content rightsholders to be everything Youtube wants to be, but have the inside track to get it done quickly since they are already paying money to the rightsholder and this would be a simple extension.

if it makes sense for a video to be on Youtube for promotional value, wouldnt make more sense to be on the site of a partner that is paying you big money already ?

2. Safe Harbor Video Hosting Done Legally
Since everyone likes to pick on the telcos in net land, lets use them for this example. Lets say that Telco1 offers to its broadband subs the ability to host their own webpages, ala myspace or facebook. And lets say for the sake of example, they also offered exclusively to their subscribers the ability to upload up to 10Gigabytes in a single file or across as many files as they could fit.

In addition to the hosting, they would let you associate all kinds of metadata so you could more easily find it when you searched across your gigabytes worth of file(s). They would host the file in its original format and then once it was uploaded, they would give you a couple buttons for you to choose from. A button to post to your myspace page. A button to post to your Telco1 homepage. A button for your blog. HTML code for you to post it anywhere you want.

Basically, since its your video, they will allow you to put it anywhere you want, as long as its your website and under your control. If the original video format wasnt compatible with the website that you wanted to host the video, they would allow you to download a transcoding tool that converted it to the right format. Then you could reupload the files in the myspace or whoever format and keep the original, or take it down if it consumed too much of your storage capacity. This way, the Service Provider hasnt altered the files in anyway. The user has.

Then being the smart telco who reads this blog, they create Tubedexy. Tubedexy would be their own search engine specifically for finding videos and building community around those videos. It wouldnt look like Youtube, it would look more like how shows videos it has indexed, with the groups, discussions, friends, users, etc added in. In other words, it wouldnt be promoting videos, it would only be linking to videos. Like a typical search engine.

Under this scenario, Telco1 would truly, no questions asked, qualify for the Safe Harbor Provisions of the DMCA.

They wouldnt have to do deals with anyone.

If they were hosting an infringing video on a users Telco1 Homepage and received a takedown notice, they would have to take it down. If the infringing video was hosted on other sites, Telco1 wouldnt care. The other sites would be hosting the infringing videos, so they would get the takedown notices. Telco1 would only really be bothered when an user was found to be repetitively infringing and uploading files indiscriminately. Then Telco1 would have to out the user to the rights holder after receiving a subpoena from the rightsholder. But thats something Gootube and all other sites will have to do as well, so thats not competitive negative

No fuss, no muss. It all would be 100 pct legal .

So maybe Rupert shouldnt sell DirecTV. It, along with all his Fox content could be great leverage to make myspace the last site standing when it comes to video. Or maybe the Telcos should go on a little buying spree to gain some webhosting and video expertise and gain a foothold in the social networking world.

Or maybe Google will just buy enough of the Telcos and cable companies to cover the country and offer broadband for free. Or set up free wireless everywhere, but require a credit card for “incidentals” to qualify as a service provider. Then they would be a service provider and could really legitimize Youtube with only minor changes, and of course own the world.

Maybe Starbucks would take that as a competitive move against their instore wireless.

Google vs Starbucks. Now thats a corporate deathmatch that could be interesting to see. Unless of course MicroSoft stepped into the frey to be the white knight to roll up all those that Google didnt want. Whats better than a corporate deathmatch ? A menage trois death match between google, microsoft and starbucks…

You want to play a game of global nuclear domination ?

Sorry for the tangent, i couldnt resist 🙂

43 thoughts on “YouTube – Legally

  1. Mark-

    Please keep on with the DRM blogs. I am working with a launch that is struggling with these issues right now. Limit the content to independants and UGC and the market appeal could be severely damaged; add the top tier, the major labels and studios, and the product could become cost prohibitive from a marketing point of view.

    To me, it seems evident that a new form of licensing will evole for the video ( and music) catagories; yet, I suspect that the largest players (GooTube/MySpace, etc) may cripple fair competition for newcomers.

    As to starting an ISP, I would think a sharp marketer would propose a joint venture with an existing ISP/Telco to promote your idea on the Safe Harbour issue. They provide the infastructure; the marketer provides the content and sales expertise.

    Also, as you have illustrated, the YouTube/Google /MySpace deals indicate to m that Sony, Universal and Warner are ready to deal, as opposed to a meltdown that destroys the most effewctive medium to virally distribute content available to the artists.

    Write on; not only are the best NBA owner in the crowd, you are the lone forum of dialogue regarding this vital evolutionary process of media distribution in the 21st century. Keep on keepin on.

    Comment by chris hebard -

  2. Why did Yahoo buy

    What can we expect from Google and Amazon? What they have always told us in their stock holder meetings – they’re playing things long. How could they make any short gains?

    The type of content you’ll find in iTunes, Amazon Unboxed Videos, YouTube, etc is residual. Produce, publish, and deposit the money in the bank.

    It sure makes broadcasting real-time events look like challenging. What do you do there?

    Comment by Alex Leverington -

  3. Mark,

    Good ideas in terms of the Safe Harbors under the DMCA. I wonder, however, if it would just be easier for Google to start offering connection to the internet and basically turn it into a new AOL. I think the problem with the 17 U.S.C. 512 safe harbor is its ambiguity. 17 U.S.C. 512 applies to ISPs only, but even search engines want to apply it. Thus, if Google became an ISP under the definition of ISPs in 17 U.S.C. 512, then Google would have a better case for potentially avoiding liability from copyright infringement actions against YouTube.

    The other possibility for YouTube would seem to be to roll the dice and hope that the safe harbor under Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, 464 U.S. 417 (1984), still exists after remand of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd, 545 U.S. 913 (2005). If the Sony safe harbor still exists, then Google might avoid liability from copyright infringement because YouTube is “capable of substantial noninfringing uses.” Anyway, it should be interesting to see how everything plays out.

    I’m actually currently writing a paper on whether YouTube is liable for the copyright infringements of its users for my law school copyright class, so I’ve given some thought to these issues. I find it funny that I chose this topic in September, and now it seems the issue has exploded.

    Good luck to the Mavs this year… that is, unless their playing the Celtics!


    Comment by Kevin Burke -

  4. Mark-

    There is an interesting play on the user-controlled side of video creation, hosting/delivery and viewership reporting that let’s people privatize (and monetize) their video delivery to specific audiences. For example, you would not use YouTube to deliver your video message to a group of Wall Street analysts. Suggest you take a look at

    Comment by Bill -

  5. I think you are missing the point.
    1) Unless the clips are CD quality they really do not compete with the ‘genuine article’.
    2) If radio stations get payola to play songs, why not YouTube.

    There is a clip of kids having a pillow fight with Megadeth providing a musical bed on YouTube.

    (A) YouTube owes Megadeth money for using their music.
    (B) Megadeth owes YouTube money for publicizing their music.
    (C) Nobody owes nobody nothing.
    (E) Who cares only pedophiles and 9 year olds are watching that video.

    Comment by Geo8rge -

  6. Mark,

    God bless you. I don’t know how you can stay so opinionated and so clearly wrong. I know you’re an intelligent guy, and I respect your business acumen. How can you maintain such a steadfastly ridiculous position?

    Let’s assume there was some small nugget of insight in your take on this YouTube issue–take for example that rights holders could create a true win-win. Hey, why not phone up Gerry Levin and ask him how that whole AOL/Time Warner merger worked out? By your logic, that should have been the next Peanut Butter meets Chocolate.

    This isn’t about commercial content or DRM. This is about monetization. No one on earth has a better ability to make money off of ‘page views’ than Google. And YouTube has a hell of a lot of those — and the highest viewed clips there aren’t protected content.

    Even rights holders are scrambling to figure out new ways to get advertisers to spend what they used to spend back in the glory days. Seen the ratings for the World Series? Not even worth the storage space on my TiVo. Guess if something interesting happens, I’ll just pull it up on YouTube.

    Dude, you used to get this stuff. You’ve got the cart pushing the horse.

    Comment by The DSL Guy -

  7. oh man Mark I just saw your HP commerical on youtube… (I know i’m late but-) That has got to be the coolest computer commercial I’ve ever seen… Wow.. Really cool

    Comment by Crazyglues -

  8. It seems to me that as high definition content becomes more common that the risk of it being posted on sites such as youtube will diminish significantly. If the content providers are so fearful of their content being uploaded and downloaded freely, you’d think that they would accelerate the adoption of high def.

    It might be just me but I feel as if consumers are purchasing high def televisions at a significantly faster rate than high-def content is expanding.

    Also, as far as the audio… Is it unimaginable that gootube could simply mandate that all copyrighted audiofiles uploaded to its site be of a quality low enough that it would not be an attractive option for 99% of users to want to download to their ipods (e.g. 32 kbs)?

    Several online music stores offer complete songs for previewing but offer these previews only in a low quality format. There is nothing to prevent users from downloading these songs either, however the low quality makes it not worthwhile.

    Comment by zOOm -

  9. Ok heres my take on this, while, having the cable companies do there own YouTube sounds like a good idea on paper, I can tell you for a fact it would never work. Cable companies really have no idea what to do with web space and should just stick to what they do know how to do, install cable to your house.

    Example Time Warner buying AOL (they still to this day have no idea what to do with the company- besides thinking about selling it.)

    What you dont understand is YouTube is the exception to the rule. They where the first to incorporate a social network around the videos in a way that could only resemble Myspace but with videos. Do you really think the cable companies can make something that innovative? The Answer: NO.
    Its the same reason no one has been able to make a better ipod. Its just not that easy; especially when the leader has done such a good job at combining design and function. (Bill Gates once said to Steve Jobs it doesnt matter that your better because where first.) As it turns out that holds true in the world of the web too, not just in software.
    I would bet every dollar that I have, that you couldnt make another YouTube. Even with a great team of web designers you wouldnt even come close. I would bet money on that. Why, for the same reason Google bought YouTube because they couldnt bet them with there own video site.

    Comment by Crazyglues -

  10. All interesting points.

    I really think that YouTube is at a point where it’s so big (ala Facebook or MySpace) that it could survive on VLOGGING alone.

    Regradless, someone seriously needs to hop in on the PhilTube thing. This stuff is too funny. I’m think 6 webisodes and an international explosion.

    Mark, you wish you were a Blartist 😉

    Comment by ML -

  11. A lot of this debate is implicit on ignoring the absolute ridiculousness of the intellectual property laws themselves. See Coase’s nature of the firm for arguments as to why intellectual property is inefficient, see Benjamin Tucker’s journal Liberty from over a century ago to see why it is immoral. Check out my website in a little, when it is up and running.
    The great are great only because we are on our knees, let us rise!

    it is coming

    Comment by Phillip J Conti -

  12. “A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?”

    Tangent returned.

    Comment by KCB -

  13. Why Google doing this? This will be death of You Tube

    Comment by Jirka -

  14. Who cares about YouTube when you’ve got PhilTube:

    Back to blogging. The blogsphere is hot. AWESOME.

    Comment by ML -

  15. Having the copyright laws is just an infinitesimal part of the equation. I think you underestimate the talent and vision of the netizens.
    In 1977, Xerox had the money and the scientist to become a computer giant. The owned the technology that Steve Jobs used to make the Macintosh computers. But the suits at Xerox lacked the computer skill and vision of what the future would be like and so the opportunity was stole from right below their noses.

    Comment by Calo Bob -

  16. Mark,

    your sale of to yahoo was arguably a topping sign for the nasdaq in 99/00. a brilliant sale on your part.

    perhaps this youtube sale to google is of a similar nature.

    similarly, maybe this sale keeps bmi and ascap in business.

    peace and out

    Comment by ferg upton -

  17. What happens when people start uploading copyrighted materials through proxies?

    Comment by management -

  18. YouTube have lost all of its advantages, so I don’t understand Google owners. Why have they bought YouTube?

    Comment by Trade.r -

  19. Mark give google / youtube thing a rest!! just give it up!

    Comment by Nokia -

  20. Why are you so critisized to Mark? He has just shown his opinion on this event. He haven’t propose for this companies to change something

    Comment by Astana -

  21. Stop worrying about google and the tube… ok
    Life has more to offer.. recovering from a heart attack.. no insurance.. more medical work to be done, and I am happy to be alive… so.. just be happy dudes..

    Comment by Will Schulak -

  22. Stop bitching about money.I just had a heart attack, no insurance and I wish I had some Google stock so I could cash it in to pay my 60,000 dollar medical bill. Hey, I have to go back into the hospital in a month for another angioplasty.. SO….let these guys spend their money, make money and invest… but if u have any extra.. contact me and I will be happy to take it off your hands and give it to the hospital so I can go back in a month and SAVE MY LIFE…
    Thanks to all of u… LIFE IS WONDERFUL.. and It is nice to help those in need too.
    HAVE A GOOD DAY< WEEK and Life.

    Comment by Will Schulak -

  23. Hey Mark – I’M WATCHING TV RIGHT NOW!!! Why is that small fact relevant to the GooTube situation? Because I’m watching it FREE and LIVE – streaming over the web to my PC: ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, ESPN, COMEDY CENTRAL AND DOZENS OF OTHERS. I figured that since Google says that all copyrighted material is FREE for anyone to watch, download, upload or share – I can do it too. I don’t want to seem to be promoting the website that does this, so I won’t give it out, it’s easy enough to find, but I think it just shows how vastly wrong the “…two kings…” are when it comes to their position. The website that provides the service that Google says I should now be able to enjoy – i.e. watching someone elses copyrighted material for free – is operating out of China, so good luck to anyone trying to shut them down.

    Anyway, I only started reading your blog about 1 month ago, but I dig it – keep it up. And when the media execs follow your advice – do you think they’ll send you a referral fee???

    Comment by Marko Gale -

  24. here’s why I love YouTube.

    – if you can’t watch this video and smile then something is just wrong with you.

    i’ll be back with My response on all this in a sec… woke up a little late today.

    Comment by Crazyglues -

  25. Thanks all participants, I adore to read your messages!

    Comment by Ann -

  26. Mark,

    You had a lot more cred b4 you became a rights holder yourself. Since then, you have led the stupidity charge over and over. You Tube exists the way it exists because the rights holders (including you) have overstayed their hand!

    In short, if the rights holders (including the $ folks at the networks) would stop playing ‘guard the content’ all the way down to clips and images (in fact, attempting to rewrite the definition of editorial content and infringing there) they would wake up and hire fifty people to dump every clip and every image they could throw at YouTube and Eyetide and every other intenet content player.

    These are marketing opportunities and no threat to any on the rights holders $.

    Instead, you guys keep playing the ‘hide the salami’ game and the users go look at other things…get interested in other things. You lose all the way around.

    So, if you just look around you and assess that the tech guys are not listening to you, go find them and put your NBA content with them, you’ll enhance your $ channels and co-opt the new services as marketing plays!

    Remember Those were the days when you used to ‘get it’!

    Comment by Jim Kiles -

  27. Here’s an interesting article on the topic of Google, Youtube and court cases. Thought some might enjoy reading it.

    Comment by Lachlan Wood -

  28. As an owner of HD broadcast channels, to what degree could you benefit from utilizing any “sub-licensure” treatment that may apply to you on a pass-through basis?

    What this idea really needs is a desktop button that refers to My Video Hosting, which refers to everyone’s own “personal” dedicated video hosting space on their ISP’s server – wherein what they upload to host is kept on their (the customer’s) own assigned web space at the provider, and not the provider itself (at least in a legal sense).

    Then you institute the TubeDexy search engine for just that “proprietary” content. It’s like telco branded Napster.

    Broadband provider who did this type of network on a large enough scale could venture out from there – in whatever direction they choose, hosting or otherwise…

    Comment by nonattender -

  29. “The Coming Dramatic Decline of Youtube”? “I Was Wrong”?

    You should go into politics.

    Comment by Drew -

  30. There’s more value in DirecTV then presently realized. Because of a cost you know well – bandwidth.

    Imagine all the video content in the world – and assume you want to distribute that content to all the users in the US who want it as efficiently / economically as possible. Then imagine that the number of DVR / PVR (video HDDs) connected to both broadcast and IP systems is increasing. Which rules would you create and follow?

    First rule: LIVE and new (time sensitive) stuff gets broadcast.

    Second rule: Most popular stuff gets broadcast.

    Third rule: Niche stuff gets IP delivered – p2p, server client, multicast (sure someday).

    For years Tivo bought CHEAP late night half hours on Discovery because it had a 99% footprint on basic cable and sat networks. I always think a new service will emerge to allow a content buyer to buy late night half hours and have Tivo, Dish / Direct, Cable DVRs tune at the appropropriate time (there’s a way to do this in the VBI (ask Disney’s new partner in Moviebeam about it) – and forever upset the apple cart that the networks have running on top of the broadcast players. In many ways, competing for their current return on bandwidth / broadcast delivery would be very much appealling to a content maker (studio) and fan base – who say doesn’t want to see “Frasier” or “Firefly” cancelled. For such an enabler, even the commerical sales would be lots of fun (personal) and they’d be in a great position to take over IP delivery – if they were inventive.


    Comment by Morgan Warstler -

  31. I guess if I don’t agree with you, even while posting on topic, I will get deleted. Interesting concept.

    Comment by G M -

  32. Mark, Great blog and straight-forward comments! I am really becoming a fan. You obviously must be ready for Mavs season, though, from the amount of time and words you are putting into this (very interesting) GoogTube issue. Note: Being from Cleveland, I am not, however, a Mavs fan, except as a distant second to the Cavs. Go Cavs!

    Comment by Brent Moll -

  33. “GoTube would need to blunder and falter significantly before any other company could match their marketing advantage.”

    Who says they can’t? And who says it can’t happen quickly?

    Social networking is still a relatively young and unexplored realm of the net, and there have been several blunders already. Friendster failed. And then upstarts like MySpace came along and capitalized on their weakness. MySpace is now unbelievably huge. Put aside the current inability to monetize traffic, and there’s a perfect example of David conquering Goliath.

    Comment by Dogga -

  34. Antonio Howell’s comments are spot on. It is fairly straight forward to build a legal version of YouTube. It is very easy to replicate the YouTube technology in 6 months for less than $1M.

    But this isn’t about simply supplying video content on the web. That has been done for years, and Mark Cuban was one of the first to do it. This is about a hip community of video hackers that take clips of music and video and “mash” them together in unique ways. It is about finding the “golden nugget” 2 minute clips among hundreds of hours of video, then tagging and editing it to make it fun and interesting.

    The real problem here is the vast difference of opinion on the “value” of those clips. The music people think they should get a large fraction of $.99 (typical download fee) every time a clip of their music is used in a home made video. But YouTube can only generate a penny or less per stream/download. Same story with the video/movie people, only the numbers are bigger.

    So, even if YouTube or any other legal video service agreed to split the revenues 70/30 or even 90/10, there wouldn’t be enough revenue there to satisfy the copyright holders. There is a lot of reality checking and negotiation that needs to happen to make this a viable business.

    Don Dodge

    Comment by Don Dodge -

  35. Am I the last person in the world to know who you are? Google me .. LOL!! Found you last night and I must admit I felt like a bit of an ass .. oh well I laughed it off. Keep it real Mark .. 30+ all the way. R

    Comment by Rebekah -

  36. Google v Starbucks v Microsoft

    If Starbucks moved into technology more to battle Google, would Google and Microsoft start making coffee? Nationwide chains of Google and Microsoft Coffeeshops? Starbucks has the fancy italian coffee sizes, would Microsoft offer windows themed sizes? “Yeah, I’d like an XP, no wait, better make it a Vista Mocha Choco Latte with a uh, DOS scone.” Google always aspiring for simplicity would go back to small, medium, and large.

    The scary thing is, I can kind of picture what the coffee shops would look like. Google’s would be very white and sparse. Microsoft would try for some avant-garde stuff with triangles and abstracts built into the wall. Which company would be the first to build newsreaders into the table? The homepages would be and of course.

    If Starbucks developed an OS, would the codename be Moby Dick? Would MicroSoft give the coffee away for free with every purchase of a cup?

    Comment by Adam -

  37. you’re right Mark but the programmers, yes I know you’re one with HDNet and HDNet Movies,will most likely excercise some rights they think they have and limit the MSO’s, Satellite Provides and Telcos from streaming content online without paying many more even more money which some may do but will not do it right and will end up losing money.

    Comment by David Ward -

  38. I agree with you. I laughed when I read Dick Parsons say that TW considered a youtube purchase For what? They have so much content that all they have to do is set up cybershop and youtube is gone. smh. that brand isn’t worth 1.6 billion. not when it only takes 3 months and content to build up one of your own.

    i think the psychology of it comes into play as well. but that’s another discussion about why people would be resistant to a big corp’s youtube.

    at the end of the day, bandwidth + content makes them the king of the land, but they move like sloths. in fact, they haven’t been moving at all. they’be been completely reactionary. the cable box can be a console (for xbox live distribution of games – forever updated with new levels, skins, etc) DVR, browsing machine, data collector (on viewing and surfing habits – a more complete picture than google can provide), etc. data is data, and the cable companies inadvertently positioned themselves to run this whole shit. Google is quickly moving to offer free bandwidth – but they don’t have content – so even in a world where people are getting free bandwidth from google, they’ll still pay TW (I’m in New York) for content/cable. Cable is positioned to DELIVER THE WORLD into the living room – and on its own terms. Google cutting all the deals in the world isn’t going to get you hbo for free.

    Here’s the other reason why cable is so well positioned – cable boxes are free! unlike microsoft/apple (who are endeavoring to get into the living room), getting cable service is as simple as making a call – and the boxes come. No box to buy, no service to subscribe to – no separate bandwidth to have. That’s why I think that the xbox (as media center) and itv and the like are doomed to failure. cable can just copy the features and GIVE THEM AWAY, because they are in the content/bandwidth business. It’s why I use the word TIVO but use a dvr given to me for free by my cable company. (The XBOX might be msft’s biggest mistake – and uncharacteristic deviation from a strong business model, which has been partnering with hardware providers to provide iterations of software solutions – generating a platform attempts to make oneself a necessary evil which prevents one from reacting quickly and accurately to the market because one has inherent bias). At the end of the day there will be no boxes; there will be a tuner of sorts in your television that allows you to choose from the available cable providers in your area. Sign up, and voila – let’s go. game/content/data down the fat pipe. Imagine the day a struggling company like Sega licenses its entire catalog to TW – so I can get my Sonic jones fed on any one of my boxes.

    Imagine an additional channel that has all games – library tiers (depending on what level you want) to current games, all games, etc. Imagine everyone on TW with a gold game package, getting Halo 3 when it comes out, and the latest ps3 only game when it comes out (after all, these arbitrary demarcations in the marketplace are exactly that – the consumer wants platform independent content).

    Starbucks is not positioned in the same way. I’m actually a bit confused about the starbucks thing – what do they do to counter free bandwidth from google (which ends up netting them less coffee sales)?

    I’m rambling – it’s late, and I’ve been friendly with the liquor tonight.

    Comment by blyx -

  39. Why bother limiting who uploads files, given the described SP/media partnerships?

    Who knows what content will generate the most traffic? Why even bother predicting it will be your subscribers? In the end, all Telco1 wants is traffic to the stuff they host *if they can profit or eventually profit off of it*. I might be wrong, but I’m not under the impression that storage space of crummy material is more expensive than potential revenue generated from the good stuff. (You might be able to further optimize this by having a “this sucks less” feature..the material getting the best traffic is streamed at a higher quality and a longer time to live on the server).
    All other things equal, that good stuff is more likely to come from a nonsub than not unless you have more than 50% of the market share.

    I’m happy to ignore the concept of a brand here, and the fact that part of Youtube’s success is that is was One YouTube, and not many Baby Bells.

    For reference:
    “So Comcast for instance, could do their deal so that non Comcast subs would be limited to 100k encoding quality..”
    “..lets say for the sake of example, they also offered exclusively to their subscribers the ability to upload up to 10Gigabytes..”

    Comment by David Kennedy -

  40. Mark,

    Having the copyright laws is just an infinitesimal part of the equation. I think you underestimate the talent and vision of the netizens.
    In 1977, Xerox had the money and the scientist to become a computer giant. The owned the technology that Steve Jobs used to make the Macintosh computers. But the suits at Xerox lacked the computer skill and vision of what the future would be like and so the opportunity was stole from right below their noses.

    I like to use the analogy of the net as a big stage where you can compose a piece of music and if you do it just right, it becomes a hit. But just because you own the recording studio and have the money to make records, it does not mean you can sing.

    Whoever goes up against Gotube will soon realize that their success is due to a lot more than just putting up a website and inviting people to upload videos.

    There is a learning curve involved. That is why companies like Google merge with other companies to capitalize on the advantage of a company like the one YouTube has in leading the market.

    GoTube would need to blunder and falter significantly before any other company could match their marketing advantage.

    Comment by Antonio Howell -

  41. Isn’t it obvious that we’re in a new era, and that after another 20-30 years, today’s copyright laws will be more or less antiquated?

    The only real “answer” to Hollywood’s new media “dilemma” is this: The so-called big boys have to raise the production bar. I don’t know if that means Surround Vision, 3D theater displays, or “alternative ending”-laden, all-you-can-eat, multi-screen cinema n drafthouses, or whatever. But clearly, today’s standards can be and are often replicated and surpassed without much problem from independents. The ONLY real difference is distribution. The novelty/mystique of slowly “Hollywood Production” is dissolving.

    We renegades will win this if the old guard continues with their ostrich act.

    Comment by Charles -

  42. It’s funny how the Web has created some type of warped sense of reality. Just because something is easy to distribute, and people do, doesn’t make it right.

    It’s like when people steal cable ot satellite TV. They don’t think it’s a big deal because it’s stealing something that is not tangible. But they’d never go to a store and rip off a pair of $75 jeans.

    Comment by wailea -

  43. I wonder how many hundreds of million dolars have you lost on this Google/YouTube deal to rant this mutch.

    From Mark- Not a nickel. I dont have a position in any company even remotely related. It doesnt affect HDNet, it doesnt affect the Mavs, Landmark Theaters, HDNet Films, Magnolia Pictures, 2929 Ent, Icerocket, Filesanywhere, not a single entity i have a nickel invested in.When I see a major company breaking the law and saying its not, its an interesting topic of debate worth a few blog entries to discuss it and the different angles. If the law of the land for copyright turns into the equivalent of jaywalking, then I think its a door that opens for everyone. Including me. So i have far more to gain if Google’s position of hiding behind the Safe Harbor Provisions stands. Then I can steal other peoples content and sell around it like Youtube is. It becomes a Larry Lessig Universe which in turn makes video on the net even wilder than it is today. Thats only good for me. High Def content wont be impacted in any significant way, and I can have all kinds of fun with the content of others.But as much fun as that would be, I have no doubt it wont happen.thanks for taking in an interest in my financial wellbeing !m

    Comment by I.T. -

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