What happens after Google loses?

I’ve been thinking about what happens after Google loses its $1 billion lawsuit that it’s facing at the hands of Viacom.

It’s going to take until 2008 for this to play out. So, what will late 2008 look like? Well, hundreds of millions of new video cameras will be in people’s hands between now and then. The cost of bandwidth distribution will fall at a quick rate. Amazon S3 charges right now about $.15 per gigabyte of stuff delivered. Watch what happens after Ray Ozzie jumps into the market. I bet that by late 2008 the cost per gigabyte delivered will be about 1/10th that.

Some other assumptions: audience sizes on Internet video sites will continue to grow. Right now Rocketboom is getting about 200,000-350,000 downloads per show. Maybe more (Andrew, sorry if I’m off, please post your latest numbers in my comments). But, what happens if audience sizes continue doubling every six months? That means that 18 months from now Rocketboom will have 1.6 million downloads.

I mean, that’s why we’re working with Jerry Zucker (CBS Marketwatch post), director of funny movies like “Airplane” to build National Banana (a sister company of PodTech’s that’ll focus on entertaining videos).

But, enough of the pitch about PodTech, what does Google paying a billion bucks to Viacom mean to all of us?

It means that a new market for new kinds of content are going to be opened up. Google’s not going away. It’s advertisers aren’t going away. And they’ll want new audiences to put their stuff in front of.

Viacom wants to play “force folks to play on our turf.” Does the Internet reward that kind of behavior?

It hasn’t in the past. PodTech tried that strategy. To watch my videos you used to have to go to PodTech. Then in January we let go a little bit of our controlling attitude and made a player that you can embed on your own site. What happened?

Traffic tripled.

So, if I were a smart content guy (hint, I’m not) I’d be opening my video archives and saying “post them where you want.”

If I were even smarter I’d say “cut them up, edit them, mash them, do what you want with them.” I’m not that smart either.

And, if I really were blessed with a brain like Douglas Engelbart’s I’d make video for where the big audiences are (hint: it’s YouTube, StumbleUpon, Digg, Flickr, Blogs, and search engines like Google/Yahoo/Live).

I’m not that smart, but other people in this industry are.

I predict that Ze Frank will come back with a new show sometime in 2008 (his last week of his current online show is this week — yesterday’s show was really great and tear jerking). Look at his show yesterday. Who was on it? Who was best? His fans.

Yeah, Viacom will end up with a billion bucks. Its stock price will go up temporarily, but will drop the next day as Viacom’s investors realizes that Viacom has just put itself into a box. One from which it will not escape.

The world of media is undergoing radical change.

Not only can I send my boring, long, geeky videos that no one cares about but we can do all sorts of weird stuff and show that off to the world.

Translation: Google won’t be bothered by this lawsuit at all. While Viacom will limit its audience growth, will ruin its ability to participate in this new world.

The world after the lawsuit? It sure looks like YouTube wins. Watch yesterday’s Ze Frank video again and again until YOU get it.

Viacom obviously doesn’t.

142 thoughts on “What happens after Google loses?

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  3. “The fact of the matter is that if YouTube can stop adult content from being distrbuted that can stop the distribution of rights protected material. End of story.”

    I heard somewhere, that YouTube uses automated methods to detect porn, is that correct? If it was then you can understand that it’s easier for them to stop it than it is to stop uploads of copyrighted materials. If it’s automated that is.

  4. “The fact of the matter is that if YouTube can stop adult content from being distrbuted that can stop the distribution of rights protected material. End of story.”

    I heard somewhere, that YouTube uses automated methods to detect porn, is that correct? If it was then you can understand that it’s easier for them to stop it than it is to stop uploads of copyrighted materials. If it’s automated that is.

  5. “The fact of the matter is that if YouTube can stop adult content from being distrbuted that can stop the distribution of rights protected material. End of story.”

    I heard somewhere, that YouTube uses automated methods to detect porn, is that correct? If it was then you can understand that it’s easier for them to stop it than it is to stop uploads of copyrighted materials. If it’s automated that is.

  6. The fact of the matter is that if YouTube can stop adult content from being distrbuted that can stop the distribution of rights protected material. End of story. All Viacom needs to prove is that a) YouTube is financially benefiting from their content being displayed and b) that they can pull it. The reason things like Limewire are being prosecuted is because a) they give links to purchase media and b) their revenue is very low.

  7. The fact of the matter is that if YouTube can stop adult content from being distrbuted that can stop the distribution of rights protected material. End of story. All Viacom needs to prove is that a) YouTube is financially benefiting from their content being displayed and b) that they can pull it. The reason things like Limewire are being prosecuted is because a) they give links to purchase media and b) their revenue is very low.

  8. The fact of the matter is that if YouTube can stop adult content from being distrbuted that can stop the distribution of rights protected material. End of story. All Viacom needs to prove is that a) YouTube is financially benefiting from their content being displayed and b) that they can pull it. The reason things like Limewire are being prosecuted is because a) they give links to purchase media and b) their revenue is very low.

  9. You can’t forcefully stop media distribution in this age. Never. The internet is just too big a place. When will these stupid companies ever realise that? There’s just no use fighting back.

  10. You can’t forcefully stop media distribution in this age. Never. The internet is just too big a place. When will these stupid companies ever realise that? There’s just no use fighting back.

  11. You can’t forcefully stop media distribution in this age. Never. The internet is just too big a place. When will these stupid companies ever realise that? There’s just no use fighting back.

  12. Here is the reason why I think Viacom has a case. YouTube spends hours and hours everyday making sure that pornographic content doesn’t stay up. If they put as much effort into keeping copywritten content off, their would be no issue. The basic fact is that YouTube does benefit from showing Viacom’s videos (among others.) How? Massive amount of ad revenue for everyone who wants to see a clip from the new Colbert Report.

    To the second comment, I am guessing that Viacom has barred Jon Stewart from commenting on the lawsuit altogether.

  13. Here is the reason why I think Viacom has a case. YouTube spends hours and hours everyday making sure that pornographic content doesn’t stay up. If they put as much effort into keeping copywritten content off, their would be no issue. The basic fact is that YouTube does benefit from showing Viacom’s videos (among others.) How? Massive amount of ad revenue for everyone who wants to see a clip from the new Colbert Report.

    To the second comment, I am guessing that Viacom has barred Jon Stewart from commenting on the lawsuit altogether.

  14. Here is the reason why I think Viacom has a case. YouTube spends hours and hours everyday making sure that pornographic content doesn’t stay up. If they put as much effort into keeping copywritten content off, their would be no issue. The basic fact is that YouTube does benefit from showing Viacom’s videos (among others.) How? Massive amount of ad revenue for everyone who wants to see a clip from the new Colbert Report.

    To the second comment, I am guessing that Viacom has barred Jon Stewart from commenting on the lawsuit altogether.

  15. @49 Google knows full well what content on YouTube is stolen and what content isn’t. They are just choosing to ignore it.

    So what you’re saying is, I shouldn’t be punished for breaking the law provided I promise to no longer sell stolen goods?

  16. @49 Google knows full well what content on YouTube is stolen and what content isn’t. They are just choosing to ignore it.

    So what you’re saying is, I shouldn’t be punished for breaking the law provided I promise to no longer sell stolen goods?

  17. @49 Google knows full well what content on YouTube is stolen and what content isn’t. They are just choosing to ignore it.

    So what you’re saying is, I shouldn’t be punished for breaking the law provided I promise to no longer sell stolen goods?

  18. I don’t have a dog in this fight and could really care less who wins but had to address Jason’s flawed analogy.

    Google is not the store that gets held up. It is the store that is selling stolen goods.

    To correctly follow your analogy that would be known as a fence and it is very illegal punishable by time in prison.

  19. I don’t have a dog in this fight and could really care less who wins but had to address Jason’s flawed analogy.

    Google is not the store that gets held up. It is the store that is selling stolen goods.

    To correctly follow your analogy that would be known as a fence and it is very illegal punishable by time in prison.

  20. I don’t have a dog in this fight and could really care less who wins but had to address Jason’s flawed analogy.

    Google is not the store that gets held up. It is the store that is selling stolen goods.

    To correctly follow your analogy that would be known as a fence and it is very illegal punishable by time in prison.

  21. “… all they really need to do is add a “Flag this as Pirate” (or some such) button to each video.”

    Though I see both viewpoints on this one, I would have to agree with @19 on this, in that the distribution channel should indeed make it difficult to be a purveyor of stolen content, but shouldn’t be shut down because of it. The best organizations and groups are where the members of the group themselves police the ethical mores of the group — not where there’s the big, nasty bandwidth cop that has to go around bashing people who do bad things.

    People should have a way to report things that are not cool, and the original owner should have a way to advertise what the appropriate rights are for that property. Look at how Flickr handles this.

  22. “… all they really need to do is add a “Flag this as Pirate” (or some such) button to each video.”

    Though I see both viewpoints on this one, I would have to agree with @19 on this, in that the distribution channel should indeed make it difficult to be a purveyor of stolen content, but shouldn’t be shut down because of it. The best organizations and groups are where the members of the group themselves police the ethical mores of the group — not where there’s the big, nasty bandwidth cop that has to go around bashing people who do bad things.

    People should have a way to report things that are not cool, and the original owner should have a way to advertise what the appropriate rights are for that property. Look at how Flickr handles this.

  23. “… all they really need to do is add a “Flag this as Pirate” (or some such) button to each video.”

    Though I see both viewpoints on this one, I would have to agree with @19 on this, in that the distribution channel should indeed make it difficult to be a purveyor of stolen content, but shouldn’t be shut down because of it. The best organizations and groups are where the members of the group themselves police the ethical mores of the group — not where there’s the big, nasty bandwidth cop that has to go around bashing people who do bad things.

    People should have a way to report things that are not cool, and the original owner should have a way to advertise what the appropriate rights are for that property. Look at how Flickr handles this.

  24. “#21: I don’t have any inside knowledge of what Ray Ozzie is planning but I don’t see that he has a choice. Microsoft knows that it needs to keep developers happy and if they want to keep developers happy they’ll need to offer a service like S3.”

    Why does Microsoft have to do this to keep developers happy? S3 can be used by MS developers just as much as any other.

    If they do implement an S3 type service then it’s the regular “not invented here” mentality that is Microsoft.

  25. “#21: I don’t have any inside knowledge of what Ray Ozzie is planning but I don’t see that he has a choice. Microsoft knows that it needs to keep developers happy and if they want to keep developers happy they’ll need to offer a service like S3.”

    Why does Microsoft have to do this to keep developers happy? S3 can be used by MS developers just as much as any other.

    If they do implement an S3 type service then it’s the regular “not invented here” mentality that is Microsoft.

  26. “#21: I don’t have any inside knowledge of what Ray Ozzie is planning but I don’t see that he has a choice. Microsoft knows that it needs to keep developers happy and if they want to keep developers happy they’ll need to offer a service like S3.”

    Why does Microsoft have to do this to keep developers happy? S3 can be used by MS developers just as much as any other.

    If they do implement an S3 type service then it’s the regular “not invented here” mentality that is Microsoft.

  27. Cuban points out something that makes Google’s position even more precarious than that of Napster — they (YouTube) *process* uploaded video into a standard format for distribution (Flash video). And the resulting videos are branded with the YouTube logo. That would seem to make them more than merely a “safe harbor” host of illegal content.

    They’ll either settle, accepting severe limits on further growth, or lose. Either way, it makes you wonder about Google management.

  28. Cuban points out something that makes Google’s position even more precarious than that of Napster — they (YouTube) *process* uploaded video into a standard format for distribution (Flash video). And the resulting videos are branded with the YouTube logo. That would seem to make them more than merely a “safe harbor” host of illegal content.

    They’ll either settle, accepting severe limits on further growth, or lose. Either way, it makes you wonder about Google management.

  29. Cuban points out something that makes Google’s position even more precarious than that of Napster — they (YouTube) *process* uploaded video into a standard format for distribution (Flash video). And the resulting videos are branded with the YouTube logo. That would seem to make them more than merely a “safe harbor” host of illegal content.

    They’ll either settle, accepting severe limits on further growth, or lose. Either way, it makes you wonder about Google management.

  30. @19 “It’s not Google’s fault that people are uploading pirate content, all they really need to do is add a “Flag this as Pirate” (or some such) button to each video. Why should the distribution channel be responsible for policing the content. They’re there to see that it gets from one party to the other in one piece, not to check out the package.”

    That’s like saying “Don’t blame me for selling goods I know were stolen. I’m not the one that stole it!”

  31. @19 “It’s not Google’s fault that people are uploading pirate content, all they really need to do is add a “Flag this as Pirate” (or some such) button to each video. Why should the distribution channel be responsible for policing the content. They’re there to see that it gets from one party to the other in one piece, not to check out the package.”

    That’s like saying “Don’t blame me for selling goods I know were stolen. I’m not the one that stole it!”

  32. @19 “It’s not Google’s fault that people are uploading pirate content, all they really need to do is add a “Flag this as Pirate” (or some such) button to each video. Why should the distribution channel be responsible for policing the content. They’re there to see that it gets from one party to the other in one piece, not to check out the package.”

    That’s like saying “Don’t blame me for selling goods I know were stolen. I’m not the one that stole it!”

  33. At this time Google plays an important roll on the net. Hard to imagine it disappear, but if it would…it will definitely be replaced by another internet wonder!!

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