YouTube adds automatic captions and automatic timing

November 23, 2009

Very cool.

U2 to stream Sunday LA concert live on YouTube

October 19, 2009

Awesome!!! Sunday, October 25 at 8:30 p.m. (PT)

Has YouTube sold out to become like Hulu?

April 17, 2009

News: This has been coming for some time, but its arrival is no less jarring. YouTube has announced today that its launching a new destination to air TV shows, and beefing up its site for movies.

The move is one of many that YT has made in recent months to generate more advertising revenue on content that corporations are more likely to feel comfortable in using, compared to the edgier user-generated content. In a different deal, YouTube has partnered with Universal Music to create a music video site called Vevo. (more)

Analysis: YouTube is copying the business strategy of the popular Hulu, a joint venture of NBC Universal and FOX. Hulu has TV shows and movies, but no user-generated content. I think Hulu is fantastic, and thought so when it first came out. But now it appears to becoming the “YouTube killer” that it was first touted to be.

It will be very interesting to see if YouTube focuses even less on user-generated content in the future. And whether YouTubers revolt. It may be that the fascination with amateur videos has died down (along with the number of brilliant UGC videos or new talent). If so, YouTube does not to be sustaining its business somehow, in order to subsidize all the millions of amateur videos stored on YT servers.

Why has YouTube screwed up the video still images with clunky titles?

February 5, 2009

News: Sometimes YouTube does things that are so stupid. All of sudden, every video embedded from YouTube has a cheap, tacky looking title that appears at the top of the still image for the video. Ugly.

Analysis: If YouTube changes things in such a major way, it shouldn’t apply those changes retroactively, giving users no choice of the matter, especially when the changes look terrible.

Jet Li @ Davos @ YouTube booth

January 31, 2009

Decoding the DMCA Safe Harbors

January 27, 2009

I have just finished writing a draft of an essay titled “Decoding the DMCA Safe Harbors.

The Essay analyzes some of the key uncertainties about the DMCA safe harbors that may figure into the copyright lawsuits against YouTube.

The Abstract:

The DMCA is a decade old, which, in Internet time, may well be closer to a century. Although the DMCA safe harbors have helped to foster tremendous growth in web applications in our Web 2.0 world, several very basic aspects of the DMCA safe harbors remain uncertain. These uncertainties, along with the relative lack of litigation over the DMCA in the past ten years, have threatened to undermine the whole purpose of the DMCA safe harbors by failing to inform the public and technology companies of what steps they need to undertake to fall within the safe harbors. In several high profile cases against MySpace, YouTube, and other Internet sites, the clarification of the DMCA safe harbors could prove to be just as important to the Internet as their enactment in 1998. This Essay has attempted to clear up two of the biggest uncertainties regarding the DMCA’s relationship to vicarious liability, and the so-called “red flags” theory of knowledge on the part of the Internet service provider. Specifically, under a proper interpretation of the DMCA, courts should (i) reject the “loophole” theory that posits that the DMCA safe harbors provide no immunity from vicarious liability at all, and (ii) require a high burden for proving a “red flags” theory by requiring knowledge of facts that show specific and “obvious” or “blatant” infringement. This Essay offers five principles for courts and Congress to consider in applying or amending the DMCA safe harbors in the future. The DMCA safe harbors should be made truly “safe” harbors, in a way that encourages greater investment in and the development of speech technologies on the Internet, all while encouraging copyright holders to share the burden of reducing infringement by utilizing the DMCA notice and take-down procedure.

You can download a copy from SSRN by clicking on this link and clicking from there the “Download” button.

Is YouTube the next big search engine?

January 18, 2009

News: YouTube is now No.2 in search, surpassing even Yahoo! Google, of course, is 1st. NYT has a fascinating article about the growing use of YouTube as a reference tool, especially among kids. Alex Iskold blogged about this topic under the arresting title, “Is YouTube the next Google?”