If you just got a deal worth $1.65 billion in Google stock, how would you feel. A little giddy? Well, here’s how Chad Hurley and Steve Chen felt yesterday:
News: Declan McCullagh and Anne Broache discuss “Google’s YouTube copyright worries.” The authors discuss the basic copyright issue and get much, but not all, of it right. The key provision for YouTube is Section 512 of the Copyright Act, more commonly known as the DMCA safe harbor for Internet service providers. I will have more to say about this provision later.
NYT writer Andrew Ross Sorkin provides a fascinating account of how the deal between Google and YouTube was struck. Basically, the discusions started at a Denny’s near YouTube’s offices — yes, Denny’s — in San Bruno just last week, with the founders of YouTube Chad Hurley and Steve Chen and Google co-founder Larry Page and CEO Eric Schmidt:
“The deal came together in a matter of days. After rebuffing a series of other overtures, YouTube’s founders decided to have lunch on Wednesday with Google’s co-founder, Larry Page, and its chief executive, Eric E. Schmidt. The idea of a deal had been broached a few days earlier. The setting was classic Silicon Valley start-up: a booth at Denny’s near YouTube’s headquarters in San Bruno, Calif. The Google executives threw out an offer of $1.6 billion and autonomy to continue running the business.
“That set off a marathon of meetings and conference calls over the next two days, which kicked into even higher gear on Friday, when news of the talks began to circulate, putting pressure on Google to sign a deal before a rival bid emerged. In fact, the News Corporation sent a letter to YouTube seeking to start talks but never received a response.”