Will YouTube take over the world?

June 13, 2007

News:  We’ve just heard from Steve Chen that YouTube may open a YouTube version for Taiwan.  Now, there’s rumor that YouTube will be launching both a French and a German YouTube site this month.  (More)

UTube v. YouTube: some claims dismissed, others move forward

June 13, 2007

News:  A tubing company in Ohio called Universal Tube & Rollform Equipment Co. — which owns the domain name utube.com — sued YouTube on a host of claims including “reverse confusion” trademark infringement.  Last week, the district court ruled on YouTube’s motion to dismiss the case — which is a pretty standard motion for any defendant to file.  The court ruled in favor of YouTube on several claims, such as trespass to chattel, but allowed the case to proceed forward mostly on the trademark and unfair competition claims.

Eric Goldman has an excellent, detailed analysis on his blog.

YouTube President: negative ads more popular than candidate ads

June 13, 2007

News: Wall St. Journal has an interesting look at the effect YouTube has had on the presidential campaigns. The negative ad for “Hillary 1984” accounted for 75% of all candidate-related videos on YT in March. John McCain joking about “Bomb Iran” also drew much attention to him. John Edwards drew the 3rd most viewers, largely in part of the negative ad making fun of his hair. The campaign videos prepared by the candidates themselves don’t generate nearly as many views.

Analysis: This confirms something that we probably already knew: “Swift boat” attack ads work, at least in terms of generating views. Negative ads are decried, but they still capture much attention. With YouTube, now anybody with a computer can make a negative ad. That’s probably not a good thing.  Steve Bryant at the NewTeeVee blog has some insightful comments.

YouTube develops video filtering to stop copyright infringement

June 13, 2007

News:  YouTube already has audio filtering in place from Audible Magic, to help identify unauthorized music files on clips.  Yesterday, YouTube announced that it is developing its own filtering for video content.  Next month, YT will be testing the beta version of the filtering program with Disney and Time Warner, who agreed to be a part of the testing.  More here and here.

Analysis: The video fingerprinting technology would be a huge development if successful.  A lot of people mistakenly believe that such technology already exists.  It doesn’t, at least not in effective fashion.  Audio files are much easier to track (esp. through Audible Magic).  The visual video files are more difficult.  If YouTube and Google are successful in developing this new technology, concerns about copyright liability against YouTube start to diminish.  The allegations that somehow YT’s business plan is based on promoting copyright infringement on its site become even more hollow.