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.

Comments

  1. Hi Robert,

    It’s a great point that forcing people to do stuff on the internet doesn’t seem to really work and really interesting to hear about the increase in traffic for podtech since you opened up the availability. I see a lot more podtech videos now (they always stand out because of the recording and player quality!) so that really makes sense.

    I haven’t really thought about this question in any depth, but the it popped into my head while writing this comment; what do you think the comparable points are between the BBC striking a deal with YouTube, and Viacom’s anti-YouTube lawsuit?

    Also, even if YT/Google did lose, will this make a dent on the rumored lawsuit warchest Google put aside when buying YT?

  2. Hi Robert,

    It’s a great point that forcing people to do stuff on the internet doesn’t seem to really work and really interesting to hear about the increase in traffic for podtech since you opened up the availability. I see a lot more podtech videos now (they always stand out because of the recording and player quality!) so that really makes sense.

    I haven’t really thought about this question in any depth, but the it popped into my head while writing this comment; what do you think the comparable points are between the BBC striking a deal with YouTube, and Viacom’s anti-YouTube lawsuit?

    Also, even if YT/Google did lose, will this make a dent on the rumored lawsuit warchest Google put aside when buying YT?

  3. That Viacom suit really pissed me off, because the value of the appearances of their content on YouTube to Viacom probably amounts to more than the value of the lawsuit. By this hypothesis, Viacom should have paid YouTube to post their stuff.

    I think Viacom owns Comedy Central, and therefor the Daily Show. I’ll be curious what Jon Stewart says.

  4. That Viacom suit really pissed me off, because the value of the appearances of their content on YouTube to Viacom probably amounts to more than the value of the lawsuit. By this hypothesis, Viacom should have paid YouTube to post their stuff.

    I think Viacom owns Comedy Central, and therefor the Daily Show. I’ll be curious what Jon Stewart says.

  5. The future is so cool, who would have thought 10 years ago that we could post video to the internet for free to be watched by anyone with an internet connection. In 2004 flash animation was the coolest (JibJab) and now anyone can upload VIDEO!

  6. The future is so cool, who would have thought 10 years ago that we could post video to the internet for free to be watched by anyone with an internet connection. In 2004 flash animation was the coolest (JibJab) and now anyone can upload VIDEO!

  7. Viacom’s complaint is that Gootube is not policing the people that post the ripped off shows without Viacom’s permission. The PodTech example you give is not entirely accurate as PodTech a owns the right to the content and has decided how it wants it distributed. Sure, Viacom could do that, but not all it’s content is directly owned by Viacom. Even if it did, how to you work out royalty rights for the distributed content? I’m sure if Viacom was making money everytime someone watched stolen content on YouTube they wouldn’t be complaining. Yes, I know Google tried to strike a deal with Viacom to pay them for the stolen content. But, I guess Viacom that wasn’t enough. The issues around the Viacom suit are much more complex that simply saying the Viacom should allow their content to be posted anywhere and everywhere, and you know that.

  8. Viacom’s complaint is that Gootube is not policing the people that post the ripped off shows without Viacom’s permission. The PodTech example you give is not entirely accurate as PodTech a owns the right to the content and has decided how it wants it distributed. Sure, Viacom could do that, but not all it’s content is directly owned by Viacom. Even if it did, how to you work out royalty rights for the distributed content? I’m sure if Viacom was making money everytime someone watched stolen content on YouTube they wouldn’t be complaining. Yes, I know Google tried to strike a deal with Viacom to pay them for the stolen content. But, I guess Viacom that wasn’t enough. The issues around the Viacom suit are much more complex that simply saying the Viacom should allow their content to be posted anywhere and everywhere, and you know that.

  9. Although I’m fully aware copyright issues, one the reasons I keep visiting YouTube is that there are so many rare videos. For example, a 1950 Billie Holiday performance. Where on earth would I be able to find such a video? Who owns that copyright and will they ever license the content?

    I had the exact same feeling when I discovered Napster years ago. I found so much rare music and till date there’s honestly nowhere to find such content.

    So, lawsuits be damned, as an end user I’m completely passionate about YouTube.

    As an aside, if content providers expect me to visit each and every one of their properties to get the content I want, they’re delusional. I simply just won’t bother checking out the content. As a techie, I’d probably subscribe to content that interest me, that’s if they even have an RSS feed.

    For non-techies, YouTube has effectively become the video equivalent of an RSS reader.

    History likes to repeat itself…look at the music industry that still can’t come to grips with technology. Isn’t it hilarious that they thought eliminating file sharing companies would stop file sharing? File sharing is a foundational element of the Internet.

    The best part about all of this, like you said, is technological advances will just keep rolling along while lawsuits are caught up in year long trials.

  10. Although I’m fully aware copyright issues, one the reasons I keep visiting YouTube is that there are so many rare videos. For example, a 1950 Billie Holiday performance. Where on earth would I be able to find such a video? Who owns that copyright and will they ever license the content?

    I had the exact same feeling when I discovered Napster years ago. I found so much rare music and till date there’s honestly nowhere to find such content.

    So, lawsuits be damned, as an end user I’m completely passionate about YouTube.

    As an aside, if content providers expect me to visit each and every one of their properties to get the content I want, they’re delusional. I simply just won’t bother checking out the content. As a techie, I’d probably subscribe to content that interest me, that’s if they even have an RSS feed.

    For non-techies, YouTube has effectively become the video equivalent of an RSS reader.

    History likes to repeat itself…look at the music industry that still can’t come to grips with technology. Isn’t it hilarious that they thought eliminating file sharing companies would stop file sharing? File sharing is a foundational element of the Internet.

    The best part about all of this, like you said, is technological advances will just keep rolling along while lawsuits are caught up in year long trials.

  11. I truly doubt Viacom will win a billion or even close to that amount. They will either settle for some other undisclosed lesser amount or Youtube will just finally take down the videos. When will big entertainment conglomerates get with the program and realize having people watch their content “anywhere” is a good thing.

  12. I truly doubt Viacom will win a billion or even close to that amount. They will either settle for some other undisclosed lesser amount or Youtube will just finally take down the videos. When will big entertainment conglomerates get with the program and realize having people watch their content “anywhere” is a good thing.

  13. >The PodTech example you give is not entirely accurate as PodTech a owns the right to the content and has decided how it wants it distributed.

    I didn’t make the point very well.

    There’s a market for video that isn’t tightly controlled.

    That market demand will be filled by someone. At SXSW I met with all sorts of people doing video and most of them are accepting of YouTube’s distribution deal. Why? Cause that’s where the audience is (and will be, I posit).

  14. >The PodTech example you give is not entirely accurate as PodTech a owns the right to the content and has decided how it wants it distributed.

    I didn’t make the point very well.

    There’s a market for video that isn’t tightly controlled.

    That market demand will be filled by someone. At SXSW I met with all sorts of people doing video and most of them are accepting of YouTube’s distribution deal. Why? Cause that’s where the audience is (and will be, I posit).

  15. ah yes, the famous 300,000 number. you know you’re in the media business and not technology when you start using Andrew Baron figures to get attention.

    according to a spreadsheet published by BusinessWeek, Rocketboom had between 52,000 and 80,000 downloads in October. rocketboom.com has dropped huge amounts of traffic since then — check any independent web stats service.

    Andrew claims other traffic but refuses to provide documentation to the press. he does not run Google Analytics. he does not publish feeds via Feedburner. he does not publish via any service that gives stats.

    when Rocketboom videos were on Google Video, download counts were in the teens. seriously.

    congrats on Mr. Zucker but no more handwaving on the massive scope of web video please, Mr. Scoble.

  16. ah yes, the famous 300,000 number. you know you’re in the media business and not technology when you start using Andrew Baron figures to get attention.

    according to a spreadsheet published by BusinessWeek, Rocketboom had between 52,000 and 80,000 downloads in October. rocketboom.com has dropped huge amounts of traffic since then — check any independent web stats service.

    Andrew claims other traffic but refuses to provide documentation to the press. he does not run Google Analytics. he does not publish feeds via Feedburner. he does not publish via any service that gives stats.

    when Rocketboom videos were on Google Video, download counts were in the teens. seriously.

    congrats on Mr. Zucker but no more handwaving on the massive scope of web video please, Mr. Scoble.

  17. “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.”

    It will work if your content is a means to your revenue. Not if content IS the revenue.

    Besides, lets think about this hypothetical scenario. I start a ‘splog’ and duplicate all your posts word by word (but not claim ownership and include a link to your original post at the end). I also do this for another 10 ‘A’ listers. Your initial reaction would probably be one of irritation. Then i start advertising on that splog and start earning $$$$. What would you do?

    Worse still, you start a subscription based blog where you help corporates setup a blog. I splog that too. Your reaction?

    in fact here is an non-hypotheitcal one. I start selling photocopies of your-book Naked Conversation. THIS obviously increases your publicity and might indirectly benefit you. But how happy would you be with the illegal distribution?

  18. “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.”

    It will work if your content is a means to your revenue. Not if content IS the revenue.

    Besides, lets think about this hypothetical scenario. I start a ‘splog’ and duplicate all your posts word by word (but not claim ownership and include a link to your original post at the end). I also do this for another 10 ‘A’ listers. Your initial reaction would probably be one of irritation. Then i start advertising on that splog and start earning $$$$. What would you do?

    Worse still, you start a subscription based blog where you help corporates setup a blog. I splog that too. Your reaction?

    in fact here is an non-hypotheitcal one. I start selling photocopies of your-book Naked Conversation. THIS obviously increases your publicity and might indirectly benefit you. But how happy would you be with the illegal distribution?

  19. Viacom has just put itself into a box? They make the content, YouTube just “steals” it. Viacom’s traffic is way up and so are it’s profits, more than tripled. The suit has already worked…and they are getting broad industry acceptance. Mark Cuban called it, naysayers nothwithstanding, and dang are the Mavericks on a roll.

    “Traffic to Comedy Central’s website was up more than 90 per cent; MTV.com had increased by more than 50 per cent; and Nickelodeon had a more than 30 per cent increase in traffic in the past month, Viacom said.”http://www.ft.com/cms/s/163b2336-c864-11db-9a5e-000b5df10621.html

    “I’d make video for where the big audiences are”…me too…only it’s Discovery, A&E, TNT, CW, USA, NBC, CBS, ABC (ABC Family), Nick, Showtime, FOX, FX, MTV, SCFI, TBS…and everything up and down Wilshire.

  20. Viacom has just put itself into a box? They make the content, YouTube just “steals” it. Viacom’s traffic is way up and so are it’s profits, more than tripled. The suit has already worked…and they are getting broad industry acceptance. Mark Cuban called it, naysayers nothwithstanding, and dang are the Mavericks on a roll.

    “Traffic to Comedy Central’s website was up more than 90 per cent; MTV.com had increased by more than 50 per cent; and Nickelodeon had a more than 30 per cent increase in traffic in the past month, Viacom said.”http://www.ft.com/cms/s/163b2336-c864-11db-9a5e-000b5df10621.html

    “I’d make video for where the big audiences are”…me too…only it’s Discovery, A&E, TNT, CW, USA, NBC, CBS, ABC (ABC Family), Nick, Showtime, FOX, FX, MTV, SCFI, TBS…and everything up and down Wilshire.

  21. “Watch what happens after Ray Ozzie jumps into the market.”

    What’s Ray up to? He’s joining this market? I think Soapbox is going nowhere fast. I bet a lot of people are going, Soapbox? What’s that?

  22. “Watch what happens after Ray Ozzie jumps into the market.”

    What’s Ray up to? He’s joining this market? I think Soapbox is going nowhere fast. I bet a lot of people are going, Soapbox? What’s that?

  23. This lawsuit is nothing more than a catalyst to get Google back to the bargaining table. This will never even come close to being decided in a courtroom.

  24. This lawsuit is nothing more than a catalyst to get Google back to the bargaining table. This will never even come close to being decided in a courtroom.

  25. You tube is a gold mine for 60’s, 70’s, 80’s music videos.
    I hope viacom doesnt own those.

  26. It’s interesting how everyone wants other people’s property for free.

    I suggest all companies give away their products for free. PodTech can host your videos for free and accept no advertising payments.

    Advertisers don’t have to pay to advertise on any website as the Web is the land of the free.

    Microsoft should give away Windows and Office for free.

    Oh, and everyone should work for free to keep in the spirit.

    What on earth are we thinking? If you want to use someone’s stuff, ask them for pernmission and maybe they’ll let you use it for free or maybe they’ll ask for a fee. It’s not your call…..it’s their’s.

    The Web is just a vehicle like TV, radio, newspapers, word of mouth, etc. One with unique capabilities and presents new opportunities, but it doesn’t change the legal rights of ownership.

  27. It’s interesting how everyone wants other people’s property for free.

    I suggest all companies give away their products for free. PodTech can host your videos for free and accept no advertising payments.

    Advertisers don’t have to pay to advertise on any website as the Web is the land of the free.

    Microsoft should give away Windows and Office for free.

    Oh, and everyone should work for free to keep in the spirit.

    What on earth are we thinking? If you want to use someone’s stuff, ask them for pernmission and maybe they’ll let you use it for free or maybe they’ll ask for a fee. It’s not your call…..it’s their’s.

    The Web is just a vehicle like TV, radio, newspapers, word of mouth, etc. One with unique capabilities and presents new opportunities, but it doesn’t change the legal rights of ownership.

  28. Content and distribution are mutually exclusive.

    If agreed that content and distro are not one of the same, just as you have to protect your distro channels, bandwidth, physical media … you have to protect your content.

    As of today, for example, I pretty much have a “Napster” library of HBO’s Entourage (multi-10MB sections all conveniently play-listed together) conveniently laced out on YouTube for my pirate pleasures. We remember what happened to the Napster content pool, right? It’s insanely illegal … and, as much as having to pay for beer is a travesty, having to pay for content (if the owner desires royalty) is simply the law. I may be wrong, but I’m not aware of when stealing changed shoplifting laws.

    GOOG deserves to pay up the $1B but I disagree with your assessment that VIA is going to suffer in any way, shape or form way from this. Perhaps in the minds of technologists, they’ll go down a notch but when has that EVER mattered to a non-tech firm? I imagine VIA will still produce relatively GREAT content that people desire … I imagine they’ll be producing even better content w/ the resources $1B can buy nowadays.

  29. Content and distribution are mutually exclusive.

    If agreed that content and distro are not one of the same, just as you have to protect your distro channels, bandwidth, physical media … you have to protect your content.

    As of today, for example, I pretty much have a “Napster” library of HBO’s Entourage (multi-10MB sections all conveniently play-listed together) conveniently laced out on YouTube for my pirate pleasures. We remember what happened to the Napster content pool, right? It’s insanely illegal … and, as much as having to pay for beer is a travesty, having to pay for content (if the owner desires royalty) is simply the law. I may be wrong, but I’m not aware of when stealing changed shoplifting laws.

    GOOG deserves to pay up the $1B but I disagree with your assessment that VIA is going to suffer in any way, shape or form way from this. Perhaps in the minds of technologists, they’ll go down a notch but when has that EVER mattered to a non-tech firm? I imagine VIA will still produce relatively GREAT content that people desire … I imagine they’ll be producing even better content w/ the resources $1B can buy nowadays.

  30. The way I see it is that Viacom doesn’t actually have a case here. If I’m in a store that gets held up, and I loose some of my stuff to the thief. I don’t sue the store, I claim from my insurance company.

    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.

  31. The way I see it is that Viacom doesn’t actually have a case here. If I’m in a store that gets held up, and I loose some of my stuff to the thief. I don’t sue the store, I claim from my insurance company.

    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.

  32. Is it out of line to ask if you’re going to use a statistic
    (a) that is so vague its maximum is 175% of its minimum,
    (b) you yourself suspect might be off-base, and
    (c) whose source you are apparently on a first name basis with,
    that you take the time to check it yourself before publishing it?

  33. Is it out of line to ask if you’re going to use a statistic
    (a) that is so vague its maximum is 175% of its minimum,
    (b) you yourself suspect might be off-base, and
    (c) whose source you are apparently on a first name basis with,
    that you take the time to check it yourself before publishing it?

  34. Jason says – “Why should the distribution channel be responsible for policing the content?”.

    Are you kidding me? They are DISTRIBUTING STOLEN CONTENT and profiting from it via ads. They’re 100% responsible for what they display. Imagine I run Cinema 2.0 in a disused building downtown. Any one can enter, so it’s a public place. I provide the seats, sell popcorn and play a few adverts here and there, but I don’t actually project the films myself. Instead, I invite people to bring their film reels, some of which are artsy amateur stuff, some of it is porn and others pirate copies of Hollywood blockbusters. Remember, I’m just providing the seats and the venue and making a quick buck from the adverts I play between reels. I don’t even touch the projector, but I own it and pay the electricity bill. Am I complicit in the piracy/indecency exhibited?

  35. Jason says – “Why should the distribution channel be responsible for policing the content?”.

    Are you kidding me? They are DISTRIBUTING STOLEN CONTENT and profiting from it via ads. They’re 100% responsible for what they display. Imagine I run Cinema 2.0 in a disused building downtown. Any one can enter, so it’s a public place. I provide the seats, sell popcorn and play a few adverts here and there, but I don’t actually project the films myself. Instead, I invite people to bring their film reels, some of which are artsy amateur stuff, some of it is porn and others pirate copies of Hollywood blockbusters. Remember, I’m just providing the seats and the venue and making a quick buck from the adverts I play between reels. I don’t even touch the projector, but I own it and pay the electricity bill. Am I complicit in the piracy/indecency exhibited?

  36. Jason says – “Why should the distribution channel be responsible for policing the content?”.

    Are you kidding me? They are DISTRIBUTING STOLEN CONTENT and profiting from it via ads. They’re 100% responsible for what they display. Imagine I run Cinema 2.0 in a disused building downtown. Any one can enter, so it’s a public place. I provide the seats, sell popcorn and play a few adverts here and there, but I don’t actually project the films myself. Instead, I invite people to bring their film reels, some of which are artsy amateur stuff, some of it is porn and others pirate copies of Hollywood blockbusters. Remember, I’m just providing the seats and the venue and making a quick buck from the adverts I play between reels. I don’t even touch the projector, but I own it and pay the electricity bill. Am I complicit in the piracy/indecency exhibited?

  37. Brendan: my stats go all over the place. Often 175% different than the minimum. Especially on videos. Some videos get extraordinarily popular. Most not.

    Maybe I should have used Ask a Ninja’s stats. Theirs have been going up, up, up and are supposedly higher than Rocketbooms (and they just got a nice sponsorship deal from Federated Media).

  38. Brendan: my stats go all over the place. Often 175% different than the minimum. Especially on videos. Some videos get extraordinarily popular. Most not.

    Maybe I should have used Ask a Ninja’s stats. Theirs have been going up, up, up and are supposedly higher than Rocketbooms (and they just got a nice sponsorship deal from Federated Media).

  39. Brendan: my stats go all over the place. Often 175% different than the minimum. Especially on videos. Some videos get extraordinarily popular. Most not.

    Maybe I should have used Ask a Ninja’s stats. Theirs have been going up, up, up and are supposedly higher than Rocketbooms (and they just got a nice sponsorship deal from Federated Media).

  40. Pierre: according to current law, you’re not responsible unless the content owner asks you to take it down and you don’t.

    It’ll be interesting to see how this one plays out. I assume Google will lose, though, and am already building my world view around that eventuality.

  41. Pierre: according to current law, you’re not responsible unless the content owner asks you to take it down and you don’t.

    It’ll be interesting to see how this one plays out. I assume Google will lose, though, and am already building my world view around that eventuality.

  42. Pierre: according to current law, you’re not responsible unless the content owner asks you to take it down and you don’t.

    It’ll be interesting to see how this one plays out. I assume Google will lose, though, and am already building my world view around that eventuality.

  43. #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.

  44. #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.

  45. #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.

  46. fuck viacom youtube is one of the best things that happened to the internet in a while,im from africa and getting stuff sometimes is hard but youtube hooks me up…hope viacunt will not win!

  47. fuck viacom youtube is one of the best things that happened to the internet in a while,im from africa and getting stuff sometimes is hard but youtube hooks me up…hope viacunt will not win!

  48. fuck viacom youtube is one of the best things that happened to the internet in a while,im from africa and getting stuff sometimes is hard but youtube hooks me up…hope viacunt will not win!

  49. I think you are right, and wrong, wobert Scoble!

    Google can afford to lose this – they anticipated losing about $400,000,000 in lawsuits when they aquired YouTube.

    But Viacom has little chance of becoming a great little video content clip distribution monetizer. As Cuban noted they’d be selling off their future revenue stream to cave in to YouTube’s distribution-without-clear-monetization scenario.
    Therefore they sue, and try to protect old legacy as long as they can. Legacy music has staved off all the Napsters for some time and they’ll be able to keep the old stuff going for another decade or so.

    But of course eventually the legacy models will die and good riddance to them.

  50. I think you are right, and wrong, wobert Scoble!

    Google can afford to lose this – they anticipated losing about $400,000,000 in lawsuits when they aquired YouTube.

    But Viacom has little chance of becoming a great little video content clip distribution monetizer. As Cuban noted they’d be selling off their future revenue stream to cave in to YouTube’s distribution-without-clear-monetization scenario.
    Therefore they sue, and try to protect old legacy as long as they can. Legacy music has staved off all the Napsters for some time and they’ll be able to keep the old stuff going for another decade or so.

    But of course eventually the legacy models will die and good riddance to them.

  51. I think you are right, and wrong, wobert Scoble!

    Google can afford to lose this – they anticipated losing about $400,000,000 in lawsuits when they aquired YouTube.

    But Viacom has little chance of becoming a great little video content clip distribution monetizer. As Cuban noted they’d be selling off their future revenue stream to cave in to YouTube’s distribution-without-clear-monetization scenario.
    Therefore they sue, and try to protect old legacy as long as they can. Legacy music has staved off all the Napsters for some time and they’ll be able to keep the old stuff going for another decade or so.

    But of course eventually the legacy models will die and good riddance to them.

  52. Pierre: according to current law, you’re not responsible unless the content owner asks you to take it down and you don’t.

    AND you shouldnt monetize the content. The moment you start monetizing it – by placing ads in the content – you can’t hide behind DMCA

    Mark Cuban raised another interesting question – if GooTube can filter out porn proactively why are they not doing it for copyrighted content.
    The other problem Gootube might face is the stance that – copyrighted content will be removed automatically if you enter a licensing deal with them. I think this puts them on very shaky grounds. They are basically admitting that there is a problem and promise to do something is you pay.

    Also, gootube is not JUST a distribution channel. A perfect example of that would be rapidshare filehosting service. (They can rightfully use DMCA if needed. Because, they don’t advertise the content and you can’t even search for files. The only way to download a file is to know the actual url – a very complex combination of characters that cant be guessed)

  53. Pierre: according to current law, you’re not responsible unless the content owner asks you to take it down and you don’t.

    AND you shouldnt monetize the content. The moment you start monetizing it – by placing ads in the content – you can’t hide behind DMCA

    Mark Cuban raised another interesting question – if GooTube can filter out porn proactively why are they not doing it for copyrighted content.
    The other problem Gootube might face is the stance that – copyrighted content will be removed automatically if you enter a licensing deal with them. I think this puts them on very shaky grounds. They are basically admitting that there is a problem and promise to do something is you pay.

    Also, gootube is not JUST a distribution channel. A perfect example of that would be rapidshare filehosting service. (They can rightfully use DMCA if needed. Because, they don’t advertise the content and you can’t even search for files. The only way to download a file is to know the actual url – a very complex combination of characters that cant be guessed)

  54. There’s an old saying among trial lawyers: Don’t ask a question you don’t know the answer to.

    Napster did and got an answer they didn’t like and Napster had a better argument (they didn’t host the content, Google does). Because Napster didn’t make a deal, Napster is now the law of the land.

    Apple didn’t and as an alternative they were able to restructure the distribution of music with the blessing of artists, consumers and the big media companies (mostly).

    Hopefully for Google stockholders, they wont remake Napster’s mistake. Go read the Napster injunctions and substitute “Google” for “Napster”.

    An injunction would probably hurt You Tube/Google more than any billion dollar damage judgment ever would.

  55. There’s an old saying among trial lawyers: Don’t ask a question you don’t know the answer to.

    Napster did and got an answer they didn’t like and Napster had a better argument (they didn’t host the content, Google does). Because Napster didn’t make a deal, Napster is now the law of the land.

    Apple didn’t and as an alternative they were able to restructure the distribution of music with the blessing of artists, consumers and the big media companies (mostly).

    Hopefully for Google stockholders, they wont remake Napster’s mistake. Go read the Napster injunctions and substitute “Google” for “Napster”.

    An injunction would probably hurt You Tube/Google more than any billion dollar damage judgment ever would.

  56. There’s an old saying among trial lawyers: Don’t ask a question you don’t know the answer to.

    Napster did and got an answer they didn’t like and Napster had a better argument (they didn’t host the content, Google does). Because Napster didn’t make a deal, Napster is now the law of the land.

    Apple didn’t and as an alternative they were able to restructure the distribution of music with the blessing of artists, consumers and the big media companies (mostly).

    Hopefully for Google stockholders, they wont remake Napster’s mistake. Go read the Napster injunctions and substitute “Google” for “Napster”.

    An injunction would probably hurt You Tube/Google more than any billion dollar damage judgment ever would.

  57. @8 “I didn’t make the point very well.

    There’s a market for video that isn’t tightly controlled.”

    No argument there. We all know that’s the point of The Long Tail. There’s a market for everything. But that’s not the basis of the GooTube lawsuit. GooTube is using stolen content to drive eyeballs to the site. One has to ask how popular GooTube would be if it ONLY hosted online versions of “America’s Funniest Videos”, which is essentially what it started out as.

  58. @8 “I didn’t make the point very well.

    There’s a market for video that isn’t tightly controlled.”

    No argument there. We all know that’s the point of The Long Tail. There’s a market for everything. But that’s not the basis of the GooTube lawsuit. GooTube is using stolen content to drive eyeballs to the site. One has to ask how popular GooTube would be if it ONLY hosted online versions of “America’s Funniest Videos”, which is essentially what it started out as.

  59. @8 “I didn’t make the point very well.

    There’s a market for video that isn’t tightly controlled.”

    No argument there. We all know that’s the point of The Long Tail. There’s a market for everything. But that’s not the basis of the GooTube lawsuit. GooTube is using stolen content to drive eyeballs to the site. One has to ask how popular GooTube would be if it ONLY hosted online versions of “America’s Funniest Videos”, which is essentially what it started out as.

  60. Hey Scoble!

    Consider this: a few entrepreneurial individuals copy all of your content to Adword splogs. They make money of those splogs.

    You have two choices:
    1) Accept it, because that’s Web 2.0. You create the content, but someone else makes money from it. You can’t complain because it’s free exposure for your writing, and plus, you can always just publish a book or something.

    2) Sue, because as copyright owner, you’re entitled to protect your works, which includes not letting other people profit off your labor.

    That is the GooTube-Viacom dispute in a nutshell.
    (GooTube is directly analogous to the anonymous group of sploggers because they process and filter, by tags and filename, the video clips submitted to them before they put them up on the site. Then they run ads and links to related videos based on those tags.)

  61. Hey Scoble!

    Consider this: a few entrepreneurial individuals copy all of your content to Adword splogs. They make money of those splogs.

    You have two choices:
    1) Accept it, because that’s Web 2.0. You create the content, but someone else makes money from it. You can’t complain because it’s free exposure for your writing, and plus, you can always just publish a book or something.

    2) Sue, because as copyright owner, you’re entitled to protect your works, which includes not letting other people profit off your labor.

    That is the GooTube-Viacom dispute in a nutshell.
    (GooTube is directly analogous to the anonymous group of sploggers because they process and filter, by tags and filename, the video clips submitted to them before they put them up on the site. Then they run ads and links to related videos based on those tags.)

  62. Hey Scoble!

    Consider this: a few entrepreneurial individuals copy all of your content to Adword splogs. They make money of those splogs.

    You have two choices:
    1) Accept it, because that’s Web 2.0. You create the content, but someone else makes money from it. You can’t complain because it’s free exposure for your writing, and plus, you can always just publish a book or something.

    2) Sue, because as copyright owner, you’re entitled to protect your works, which includes not letting other people profit off your labor.

    That is the GooTube-Viacom dispute in a nutshell.
    (GooTube is directly analogous to the anonymous group of sploggers because they process and filter, by tags and filename, the video clips submitted to them before they put them up on the site. Then they run ads and links to related videos based on those tags.)

  63. I think that Google’s new technologies that are emerging will be a significant growth feature in the future. A billion dollars to them is almost like your hard drive crashing. You goto Staples and buy another one. Right? You bounce back stronger than ever. Chances are your going to get something faster (mega) and perhaps even something larger. Where’s the harm and foul in that? (You lost, but now you’ve bounced back stronger…)

    Viacom can…suck it.

  64. I think that Google’s new technologies that are emerging will be a significant growth feature in the future. A billion dollars to them is almost like your hard drive crashing. You goto Staples and buy another one. Right? You bounce back stronger than ever. Chances are your going to get something faster (mega) and perhaps even something larger. Where’s the harm and foul in that? (You lost, but now you’ve bounced back stronger…)

    Viacom can…suck it.

  65. I think that Google’s new technologies that are emerging will be a significant growth feature in the future. A billion dollars to them is almost like your hard drive crashing. You goto Staples and buy another one. Right? You bounce back stronger than ever. Chances are your going to get something faster (mega) and perhaps even something larger. Where’s the harm and foul in that? (You lost, but now you’ve bounced back stronger…)

    Viacom can…suck it.

  66. A very large percentage of the world’s cell phones sold from now on will do video.

    Good point. I hadn’t considered that.

    The world is changing so fast! Sometimes it’s hard to keep up. But I suppose this is why I have subscribed to your blog –to keep up.

    Thanks for setting me straight Scoble.

    By the way, there are so many of these online video sites popping up everywhere. It seems like I see new ones every hour.

    My question to you is, which ones do you see as having a future? And don’t say all of them! Will there be competition, and what will be the deciding factors? Money? Technology? Consideration for users, advertisers?

  67. A very large percentage of the world’s cell phones sold from now on will do video.

    Good point. I hadn’t considered that.

    The world is changing so fast! Sometimes it’s hard to keep up. But I suppose this is why I have subscribed to your blog –to keep up.

    Thanks for setting me straight Scoble.

    By the way, there are so many of these online video sites popping up everywhere. It seems like I see new ones every hour.

    My question to you is, which ones do you see as having a future? And don’t say all of them! Will there be competition, and what will be the deciding factors? Money? Technology? Consideration for users, advertisers?

  68. A very large percentage of the world’s cell phones sold from now on will do video.

    Good point. I hadn’t considered that.

    The world is changing so fast! Sometimes it’s hard to keep up. But I suppose this is why I have subscribed to your blog –to keep up.

    Thanks for setting me straight Scoble.

    By the way, there are so many of these online video sites popping up everywhere. It seems like I see new ones every hour.

    My question to you is, which ones do you see as having a future? And don’t say all of them! Will there be competition, and what will be the deciding factors? Money? Technology? Consideration for users, advertisers?

  69. The original vision behind YouTube was to provide an easy way of sharing user-created videos, which, we’ve been told over and over is the whole idea behind Web 2.0: user-created content. When people started using YouTube merely as a *mainstream* method of *sharing* others’ copyrighted works, the original vision was lost. But it did make YouTube worth 1.6 billion (it wouldn’t have been worth even 1/10th of that if not for the sharing of copyrighted works). I look forward to YouTube returning to its original vision.

  70. The original vision behind YouTube was to provide an easy way of sharing user-created videos, which, we’ve been told over and over is the whole idea behind Web 2.0: user-created content. When people started using YouTube merely as a *mainstream* method of *sharing* others’ copyrighted works, the original vision was lost. But it did make YouTube worth 1.6 billion (it wouldn’t have been worth even 1/10th of that if not for the sharing of copyrighted works). I look forward to YouTube returning to its original vision.

  71. The original vision behind YouTube was to provide an easy way of sharing user-created videos, which, we’ve been told over and over is the whole idea behind Web 2.0: user-created content. When people started using YouTube merely as a *mainstream* method of *sharing* others’ copyrighted works, the original vision was lost. But it did make YouTube worth 1.6 billion (it wouldn’t have been worth even 1/10th of that if not for the sharing of copyrighted works). I look forward to YouTube returning to its original vision.

  72. Arrogance and intransigence, that’s what did Google in, and what will eventually kill that company, unless they stop acting like a religion and start acting like a real company.

  73. Arrogance and intransigence, that’s what did Google in, and what will eventually kill that company, unless they stop acting like a religion and start acting like a real company.

  74. Arrogance and intransigence, that’s what did Google in, and what will eventually kill that company, unless they stop acting like a religion and start acting like a real company.

  75. […] What happens after Google loses? [Scobleizer – Tech Geek Blogge] Scoble predicts that Viacom will get its $1billion in 2008, but user-created content will continue to become king. (And Viacom will destroy a lof of public goodwill in the process.) (tags: scoble youtube google viacom legal) […]

  76. 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!!

  77. 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!!

  78. 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!!

  79. @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!”

  80. @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!”

  81. @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!”

  82. 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.

  83. 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.

  84. 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.

  85. “#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.

  86. “#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.

  87. “#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.

  88. “… 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.

  89. “… 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.

  90. “… 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.

  91. 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.

  92. 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.

  93. 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.

  94. @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?

  95. @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?

  96. @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?

  97. 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.

  98. 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.

  99. 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.

  100. 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.

  101. 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.

  102. 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.

  103. 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.

  104. 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.

  105. 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.

  106. “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.

  107. “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.

  108. “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.

  109. Did CNN violate Fox News’ copyright – when a cat attacks

    Everyone has read or heard about how Google’s YouTube is being sued by several companies who feel their copyright has been violated by YouTube users. This morning while watching CNN they showed a video currently on YouTube of a Fox News reporter Kathl…

  110. Gootube We Hardly Knew Ye

    The news about Google being hit with a $1B lawsuit over copyright infringement throws a bit of a monkey wrench into the froth over Web 2.0 and user-generated (*cough* stolen) content. One envisions the superannuated CEO Sumner Redstone rising from a cr…