Google's solution to YouTube problems: give us all your videos

Columns & Opinion, Intellectual Property, Internet

will.jpgWill Head writes…

Google has got a cunning plan up its sleeve to solve its copyright woes over YouTube. While it seems fairly adamant that it’s not going to look at every uploaded video before it goes live on the service, it is offering to help out copyright holders by scanning through all the stuff that goes up and seeing if it matches protected material.

The catch? Well, the companies in question would have to give Google a copy of their content first, so it could add it to its database and use it to check against new material. So, if content companies want to get their stuff off YouTube, they have to send a nice high quality copy of it to Google first – can’t see that many of them opting for that.

Obviously Google has to do something about the huge amount of infringing content on the service, but just talking down $1bn lawsuits doesn’t seem to have worked so far. If Viacom wins, then it will massively cripple YouTube and meanwhile everyone else is watching to see what happens.

But asking the companies to hand over the content really doesn’t seem like it’s going to get them on side either – after all it’s their programmes that they didn’t want on there in the first place. Now if they have to supply Google with a copy of everything they want removed then you can understand them being a bit wary about handing over their valuable assets.

Maybe Google’s holding out for the day when they’re all friends again and they can look back at the YouTube times and laugh. If you’re then sitting on a huge archive of commercial video content, there’s no doubt a lot money to be made from online re-runs.

Will Head
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