So who’s on YouTube?

May 9, 2007

I’m starting a new feature today called, “So who’s on YouTube?” I’m trying to get a handle on the diversity of posters who make and share videos on YouTube. This is just a start, and I’d love to hear your recommendations. I’ll be revising and filling this in over the next few months.

1. Users (you and me)

a. Oldest: geriatric1927

b. Youngest: [please help?]

c. Most famous: lonelygirl15

d. Wannabe artists, actors, musicians, comedians, + film directors

e. Family videos

f. Vloggers

2. Big Media

a. TV networks + TV shows: CBS, NBC, Showtime, PBS, Charlie Rose

b. Movie studios

c. Music labels

d. Advertisers

e. Magazines: Forbes

3. Sports

a. NBA

b. NHL

c. TNA Wrestling

d. Soccer: ACMilan, USSoccer, FCBarcelona

4. Political Leaders of Countries and Elected Officials

a. Tony Blair

b. German Chancellor Angela Merkel

5. Politicians

a. Presidential candidates, 2008

b. 2006 elections

6. Military

a. US – Multi-national force

7. Law Enforcement

8. Religious leaders

9. United Nations: UNICEF

10. Nonprofits: Heritage Foundation

11. Superheroes

a. Spiderman

Will YouTube settle?

May 9, 2007

Regular readers of this blog know that I’m generally in favor of businesses being able to work out deals instead of suing each other. In YouTube’s case, I was happy to see it avoid lawsuits while it secured partnership deals with Sony, Universal Music, CBS, BBC, NBC, NBA, NHL, and others.

Now that YouTube faces 3 copyright lawsuits (Tur, Viacom, Engligh Premier League/Bourne), I am growing less optimistic that a business deal can resolve these disputes. A settlement won’t prevent someone else from suing, and, now that the door’s been opened, other copycat lawsuits may follow. (Ironically, copyright lawyers can freely copy the factual allegations in the earlier filed court pleadings.) Sure, Google’s got a lot of money, but I don’t think it wants to keep scuttling back to court over every unauthorized clip that surfaces on YouTube that someone complains about. Google is probably not one that caves in easily. When you are worth over $150 billion, you don’t have to. These cases could have been disastrous for YouTube, if Google hadn’t acquired it last October.  Now they may just be the cost of doing business in this new online video market.

And even if YouTube could settle with one of the plaintiffs, there’s no guarantee that the another one of the plaintiffs wouldn’t just hold out and try to win either on principle (maybe Robert Tur?) or for the hopes of winning big bucks (the proposed class action by Engligh Premier League).

So will YouTube settle? It’s very unlikely, now.

Will YouTube decide the next President?

May 9, 2007

News: James Wolcott in Vanity Fair this month suggests it may: ” YouTube, the free video-sharing bulletin board founded in 2005 by three former PayPal employees, is where it all happens. Mouse clicks and video clips, they go together like a nervous twitch. Where the presidential epic entails reams of psychological interpretation, novelistic scene setting, and historical placement, YouTube puts politics literally at one’s fingertips in the active present, making it a narrative any mutant can join.”

But Wolcott doesn’t think it’s all good. “More creative involvement in the democratic process—how can this not be healthy? “Citizen journalists” and “citizen ad-makers,” united in idealistic purpose—what’s not to like? Yet inwardly I groan. Speaking for Me-self, the last thing I need is more crap to watch, no matter how ingenious or buzz-worthy it may be.”

Esmee Denters recording in Sweden + Philly

May 9, 2007