Google CEO Eric Schmidt has a message for the world’s content owners: don’t “focus on the legal aspects” if you want to do business with the world’s leading search engine.
In “Google YouTube buys off music companies on the cheap” I discuss Google’s unique ability to sway (intimidate) rights holders into accepting Google-centric views of what is in their best content interests:
Schmidt conveyed Google’s confidence in its ability to deter copyright infringement claims during its Q3 earnings conference call today.
Google has apparently succeeded in neutralizing potential copyright infringement claims from three of the four largest music companies in the world, collectively representing more than 50% of the $30 billion plus global recorded music market, at the very Google friendly cost of about $50 million in stock.
Question from Christa Quarles, Thomas Weisel:
Just a couple of questions on video and YouTube. First, how heavily are you relying on maybe a liberal interpretation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act? I guess, how are you going to be responding to some of the copyright commentary out there?
we are definitely not relying on a liberal or a conservative interpretation of the DMCA. We are relying on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act as it is being imposed by law and there are not a lot of shades of gray in how it works. There's a set of procedures for take down. If you operate under this, companies have a Safe Harbor. We do our very, very best to implement it exactly as prescribed, as does everyone else in the industry. So whether people like it or not, it is the law of the land and we absolutely operate by it…
the partnerships are much more than just revenue partnerships. They really are a way of doing business for us going forward. For example, there are a lot of folks on the call asked questions about legal concerns over video. But the strategy with video was to partner, not to focus on the legal aspects, but to focus on the business partnership aspects. Because the folks who, we certainly want to respect everybody's copyrights, and they need us, we need them.
Google speak, supported by a $130 billion plus market cap, can be hypnotic. Schmidt’s “whether people like it or not” DMCA stance, however, belies any notion of equatability within Google’s "partnership" world.
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