Why Google will lose its multi-billion dollar video bet

Why Google will lose its multi-billion dollar video bet

Summary: Google's free ride will soon be over.

TOPICS: Google

In the immortal words of presidential candidate Ronald Regan to President Jimmy Carter “There you go again.” 

Google is at it again, big time, $1.65 billion worth. 

Google’s YouTube copyright owner be damned DMCA umbrella philosophy inspires a YouTuber “broadcast yourself” by uploading pirated videos owned by television networks mentality.

I have oft stated that the Google magic is fueled by its uncanny ability to wantonly sell ads against “the world’s information” even though it has not compensated the content owners for the information and it has no explicit legal right to exploit the information commercially. 

Google is one upping itself, however, as the proud new corporate parent of YouTube. Not only does Google allow any piece of video content in the world to be uploaded to YouTube irregardless of ownership rights, it chastises any content owner that dares to interfere with the Google plan of never paying for content that drives its $150 billion market cap:

It is unfortunate that Viacom will no longer be able to benefit from YouTube's passionate audience which has helped to promote many of Viacom's shows...The biggest feeling we have now is regret that Viacom may miss out on the chance to interact with the YouTube community (see “Google vs. Viacom: Good cop, bad cop?”).

Google is undoubtedly not displeased that YouTubers are also happily in the anti-Viacom camp, threatening to “go after Viacom” (see “YouTube: Is Viacom hurting innocent YouTubers?”).

Google CEO Eric Schmidt at the company’s 2006 Q4 earnings call:

We are encouraging copyright owners to submit content to us and then to measure how many fans, how many tremendous viewers, what that community is… that's a very, very qualified viewer.

Google is NOT encouraging content owners to expect compensation from Google, however, for its for-profit use of their copyright content.

Google’s you need us more than we need you position towards television networks is untenable. The YouTube clip-culture fare in demand from YouTubers is television network content, not “friends and family” broadcast yourself videos.

Viacom’s MTV underscored its content supremacy at the Davos World Economic Forum (see "Who needs Google? CBS vs. Viacom vs. NBC”):

We’ve seen that our content has remained very popular and that the majority of page views on social networking sites are for professionally produced content.

Google needs television network content to feed its YouTubers the clip-culture snacks they want, more than television networks need YouTube for “free” promos.


Google’s days of “ignoring conventional wisdom in designing its business” are numbered.

Topic: Google

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  • Irregardless is not a word...

    It should be regardless.
  • irregardless

  • Webster's Universal Encyclopedic Dictionary

    Irregardless: Blend of irrespective and regardless.
    • Re: Webster's Universal Encyclopedic Dictionary

      Dimwit: Blend of dim and wit.
  • Kind of sounds like the person who wrote the article has an acxe to grind

    Google although like everything else in this rotten world is not perfect by any stetch of the imagination, however, they have sure provided more free stuff than anybody else and their main google search page is still the fastest to load. I abhore EBAY though as they have almost made it impossible to search for anything and they manage to have a link to themselves somehow.

    YouTube, I have visited it once and did not find it particulary intersting. Sure it you like Stupid videos (Which I don't) it is the place to go.
  • THEY don't need Google but WE do.

    Expecting Google to compensate the world for its content is a little like telling a taxi driver that he has to pay the world to drive people to its destinations. People use and prefer Google because it provides good services. I have never understood the mindset intellectual property rights enthusiasts who would give up great technology for the sake of preventing a few copyright violations. Yes, it is possible for people to violate copyright law using Google services. Sometimes people hail a cab and then go commit a crime. So then blame the taxi driver or try to ban taxi service? The service is more valuable to We the People and so we will keep it. The people that are truly abusing and undeservingly befitting from the world?s content are the handful of big companies that control it. These giants take most of the profit for our content and need to be knocked down quite a few notches. I applaud Google?s pioneering spirit in turning the tables on them. Please remember to tip your driver.
  • So many people miss the point

    "I have oft stated that the Google magic is fueled by its uncanny ability to wantonly sell ads against ?the world?s information? even though it has not compensated the content owners for the information and it has no explicit legal right to exploit the information commercially.
    People who put information on the web and then complain that Google links to it or somebody links to the "wrong page" on the site, or whatever, are singularly short of a clue. If you want people to have information, put it on the web. If you don't, then _don't put it out there_.</b>
    The web is a collaborative medium. It's designed that way. If you think Google doesn't have a right to search your content, then start your own damn Internet with any rules you like.<b>
    As for "legal rights", any rational interpretation is that Google's use of content is a "fair use" exception.</b>
    • Blast

      I <b>really</b> wish I could have previewed that and got the HTML right. Doh!