Google in talks with studios to make YouTube a money tree

Glenn Chapman, San Francisco:

Google is in behind-the-scenes talks with film and music studios trying to make newly acquired video-sharing website YouTube a gold mine, and not a lawsuit-generating black hole.
While some analysts questioned the sanity of Google buying YouTube in a 1.65-billion-dollar stock deal, Internet insiders contend that Google is shrewdly manoeuvring on solid ground.

“The Internet offers real opportunities for media companies to reach a wider, global audience and to interact more directly with users,” Google said.

On the day the online search powerhouse bought superstar start-up YouTube it also announced deals with CBS, Sony, BMG, Vivendi Universal Music and Warner Group to feature their videos on the Internet.

A number of studios have contacted Google to explore ways to cash-in on their shows, films or songs becoming Internet sensations.

Google can shield itself from lawsuits by taking down copyrighted videos after the owners complain, according to attorney Jason Schultz.

YouTube has not been taken to court regarding copyrighted material.

Google reaching out to media companies is more likely a campaign to extend opportunity instead of a des perate bid to forestall litigation. “The benefit getting overlooked is that all copyright holders have to do is send a letter or an e-mail and their stuff gets taken out,” Schultz said.

On Thursday, YouTube removed videos of US National Basketball Association team games after the league complained. An organisation representing copyright holders in Japan asked YouTube to block access to approximately 30,000 video clips.

Among the risks faced by Google is that if it changes YouTube too much, notoriously nomadic Internet users will migrate elsewhere for video clips. More than 100 million video clips are viewed daily at YouTube, which was launched 18 months ago. Google continues to operate its own such website, Google Video. The company was expected to apply its expertise at generating revenue from online advertising to YouTube.

YouTube supporters point out that most of the videos uploaded to the website are original works by amateurs who gain online fame for stunts such as mixing Mentos mints with Coca-Cola, or making parodies of songs. —AFP

Google is in behind-the-scenes talks with film and music studios trying to make newly acquired video-sharing website YouTube a gold mine, and not a lawsuit-generating black hole. While some analysts questioned the sanity of Google buying YouTube in a 1.65-billion-dollar stock deal, Internet insiders contend that Google is shrewdly manoeuvring on solid ground. “The Internet offers real opportuni- ties for media companies to reach a wider, global audience and to interact more directly with users,” Google said.

On the day the online search power- house bought superstar start-up YouTube it also announced deals with CBS, Sony, BMG, Vivendi Universal Music and Warner Group to feature their videos on the Internet. A number of studios have contacted Google to explore ways to cash-in on their shows, films or songs becoming Internet sensations. Google can shield itself from law- suits by taking down copyrighted videos after the owners complain, ac- cording to attorney Jason Schultz. YouTube has not been taken to court regarding copyrighted material. Google reaching out to media companies is more likely a campaign to extend opportunity instead of a des- perate bid to forestall litigation. “The benefit getting overlooked is that all copyright holders have to do is send a letter or an e-mail and their stuff gets taken out,” Schultz said.

On Thursday, YouTube removed videos of US National Basketball As- sociation team games after the league complained. An organisation repre- senting copyright holders in Japan asked YouTube to block access to ap- proximately 30,000 video clips. Among the risks faced by Google is that if it changes YouTube too much, notoriously nomadic Internet users will migrate elsewhere for video clips. More than 100 million video clips are viewed daily at YouTube, which was launched 18 months ago.

Google continues to operate its own such web- site, Google Video. The company was expected to apply its expertise at gen- erating revenue from online advertis- ing to YouTube. YouTube supporters point out that most of the videos up- loaded to the website are original works by amateurs who gain online fame for stunts such as mixing Mentos mints with Coca-Cola, or making parodies of songs. —AFP

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