Google has created a new advert format for its YouTube video sharing website.

Google revealed on Friday that broadcasters and other content producers are working with Google on 30-second “pre-roll” ads to appear before content is viewed on YouTube.

The ads will start appearing next year, and revenue will be shared between YouTube and the broadcaster.

A Google spokesman said that 2008 will see “real money coming in” from video advertising.

Apparently Google is very near to launching a filtering service that would prevent copyright content from being uploaded to YouTube, CEO Eric Schmidt said yesterday.

The new system, which he called Claim Your Content, will automatically identify copyright material so that it can be removed. Judging from that it would seem copyright owners will have to go to YouTube to register and stake their claim to the content before it is removed, if I’m correct in that assertion that may not be enough for copyright owners.

Schmidt said that they are ‘very close’ to turning the functionality on…

Autonomy, the firm who make excellent search and data mining products have announced a new extension to their video search and management tool Virage. Virage Automatic Copyright Infringement Detection, or ACID for short, enables copyright owners such as broadcasters, production houses and publishers to maintain control of their Intellectual Property by automating the detection of illegal distribution of copyrighted material on the Internet.

Autonomy say: Using Autonomy’s unique Meaning-Based Computing, which includes patented image and audio analysis technology, and powered by the Intelligent Data Operating Layer (IDOL), ACID offers a fast, accurate and scalable method of detecting breaches of copyright, wherever they are located and whatever format they are in. By automatically detecting any rich media that infringes an organization’s copyright, Virage ACID eliminates the need for content owners to spend hours trawling through video sharing websites, or manually scanning p2p file contents.

This is perfect for media owners, this will actually watch the video footage for you and report back on whether it breaches your copyright or not. I’d imagine it’s going to act as a software agent that you can send off to scour the web for video that may be in breach. Takes me back to the days of Autonomys’ search agents symbolised by the dog (long time ago).

A very timely release if you ask me, and it’s bound to get some take up with the current hype around video copyright. Autonomys’ technology is already in use by the video search engine Blinkx. Perhaps YouTube should get Autonomy onboard to help negate their own failure to provide copyright protection?

Google have replied to Viacoms lawsuit and their lawyers letter to the press with their own letter to the editor in the Washington Post. Glad to see they don’t labour the point and make valid comments regarding DMCA safe harbour.

Still doesn’t see them out of the woods I reckon, there will be many more lawsuits in the lifetime of YouTube and these things can have a habit of dragging on and dirtying reputations.

Rather than taking it like a behemoth, Microsoft has run away from the issue of video copyright and shut it’s Soapbox site for a couple of months. Soapbox is the Microsoft competitor to YouTube etc and is a fairly nice app although not getting the visits required to be any sort of threat. They’ve seen Soapbox fill up with copyrighted clips since it launched and with no protection and (so I’ve heard) a long winded method of taking down clips they’re seeking to improve.

Microsoft have signed up to the NBC/News Corp. deal and as such need to be seen to be making efforts to prevent piracy. There was a real risk that they could have been dumped from the deal if (like YouTube) they were found to be carrying large amounts of the media companies content.

So in reality it’s a sensible move which will prepare them for the coming distribution deal, however I can’t help feeling that they have wimped out by taking it offline rather than just releasing updates and keeping it accessible!

Here’s the official press release on the coming YouTube competitor from NBC and News Corp.

NBC Universal and News Corp. Announce Deal with Internet Leaders AOL, MSN, MySpace And Yahoo! to Create a Premium Online Video Site with Unprecedented Reach


Charter Advertisers, Including Cadbury Schweppes, Cisco, Esurance, Intel and General Motors, Will Now Reach 96% of U.S. Internet Audience Through This Groundbreaking Venture

New Site Will Feature Thousands of Hours of Top Video for Consumers


NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–News Corporation and NBC Universal will launch the largest Internet video distribution network ever assembled with the most sought-after content from television and film, it was announced today by Jeff Zucker, President and Chief Executive Officer, NBC Universal and Peter Chernin, President and Chief Operating Officer, News Corporation. The video-rich site will debut this summer with thousands of hours of full-length programming, movies and clips, representing premium content from at least a dozen networks and two major film studios.

AOL, MSN, MySpace and Yahoo! will be the new site’s initial distribution partners. Their users, who represent 96 percent of the monthly U.S. unique users on the Internet, will have unlimited access to the site’s vast library of content. This media alliance will offer consumers free long- and short-form video and create a compelling platform for advertisers, targeting the rapidly growing audience of online video consumers. Charter advertisers include Cadbury Schweppes, Cisco, Esurance, Intel and General Motors.

“This is a game changer for Internet video,” said Peter Chernin, President and Chief Operating Officer of News Corporation. “We’ll have access to just about the entire U.S. Internet audience at launch. And for the first time, consumers will get what they want — professionally produced video delivered on the sites where they live. We’re excited about the potential for this alliance and we’re looking forward to working with any content provider or distributor who wants to take advantage of this extraordinary opportunity.”

“Anyone who believes in the value of ubiquitous distribution will find this announcement incredibly exciting,” said Jeff Zucker, President and CEO of NBC Universal. “This venture supercharges our distribution of protected, quality content to fans everywhere. Consumers get a hugely attractive aggregation of a wide range of content, and marketers get a novel way to connect with a large and highly engaged audience.”

At launch, full episodes and clips from current hit shows, including Heroes, 24, House, My Name Is Earl, Saturday Night Live, Friday Night Lights, The Riches, 30 Rock, The Simpsons, The Tonight Show, Prison Break, Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader and Top Chef, plus hits from the studios’ vast television libraries, will be available free, on an ad-supported basis, within a rich consumer experience featuring personalized video playlists, mashups, online communities and video search. Plus, the extensive programming lineup will include fan favorite films like Borat, Little Miss Sunshine, Devil Wears Prada, The Bourne Identity and Bourne Supremacy with bonus materials and movie trailers. Post-launch, plans will be considered for acquiring additional content as well as producing and licensing original programming for the new site’s audience.

Its launch distribution partners will provide the biggest potential reach of any player on the Internet. Moreover, the new site will actively seek agreements with a variety of additional distribution partners.

“This new venture is further proof that the Internet is now a full-fledged entertainment medium, and we are delighted to serve as a major online distribution partner for the quality content produced by these media powerhouses, as well as a provider of strategic services to the new venture,” said Randy Falco, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, AOL.

“This partnership is completely aligned with our continued investment in video on MSN and will allow hundreds of millions of our consumers to tune into a vast library of high-quality, safe and legal online video,” said Kevin Johnson, President, Platform and Services Division, Microsoft. “Our alliance proves that you can deliver quality online video entertainment and protect intellectual property and copyright at the same time. We look forward to working together to explore additional opportunities to distribute this content across other Microsoft services and devices.”

“By delivering the new site’s content to our more than 65 million users, we can build on MySpace’s position as a leading destination for online video, and enable content creators to tap into the power of social networking,” said Peter Levinsohn, President of Fox Interactive Media. “The ability to embed video clips within over 160 million profile pages will empower members of the MySpace community to view, share and truly interact with some of the entertainment world’s most popular content.”

“We are excited to be a part of this landmark partnership that connects people to the content they care about. As the most visited site in the U.S., this deal gives Yahoo!’s users unprecedented access to their favorite shows and offers them engaging content in a premium video format,” said Terry Semel, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Yahoo! Inc. “We believe that this relationship underscores Yahoo!’s respect for content owners and copyrights and positions us as one of the premier distribution sites on the Web for entertainment programming.”

Each distribution partner will feature the site’s content in an embedded player customized with a look and feel consistent with each site, making the offering organic to each destination. The new company will offer innovative advertising sales propositions by being able to sell cross-platform — on-air and on-line. Post-launch, sites affiliated with founding companies, including iVillage and IGN, will also have the opportunity to become distribution partners.

The new company will be located in New York and Los Angeles. A transitional management team led by NBC Universal’s Chief Digital Officer George Kliavkoff, along with an experienced group of executives from NBC Universal and News Corporation, will work together to launch the site. The company’s permanent management will be announced shortly, along with branding details and additional advertising partners. Each company will devote a significant marketing and promotional budget to the new site’s launch.

News Corporation and NBC Universal are creating this strategic alliance at a time when Internet users and advertisers are embracing online video as never before. In January, there were 123 million unique video streamers and downloaders (comScore Video Metrix). In 2005, video streams totaled nearly 18 billion, and that amount is expected to triple by 2010 (AccuStream iMedia Research, 2006). And research firm eMarketer estimates $410 million was spent on online video advertising in 2006, an amount that is expected to almost double this year.

Now that sounds pretty good to be honest! This surely will impact YouTube in market share, although I still don’t believe it will take over in the user generated content arena as YouTube has the head start there.

In reality, competition is a good thing and hopefully this will force YouTube and Google to be even more innovative in the future and think up new ways to utilise their huge audience.

NBC and News Corp are expected to announce the impending arrival of a competitor to YouTube today. This has been in the offing for some time and is expected to be widely used across MySpace as a way to gain penetration fast. Shows such as Family Guy, 24 and The Office will be featured, these being some of the shows regularly taken down from YouTube that gain many viewers.

Will it be the killer? Personally I doubt it, YouTube has far broader appeal that just as a platform to watch TV on. It will however hurt YouTube in the market share department and could be the first and only real competition to emerge.

However, this strikes me as more of a competitor to Joost and the like than to YouTube!

*I don’t really think it’s a killer at all…

After lengthy negotiations over copyrighted clips on YouTube, Viacom has hit Google and YouTube with a lawsuit accusing the popular video-sharing Web site of “massive intentional copyright infringement” and seeking more than $1B in damages.

The lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York states that nearly 160,000 copyrighted clips of Viacom’s programming have been available on YouTube and that these have been viewed more than 1.5 billion times.

This seems like another disgruntled media giant trying to force Googles hand into coming up with a proper way to share revenue. I can’t see the case resulting in Google paying out, however it could result in a takedown notice being issued for all the offending clips.

If Google don’t get some form of copyright protection out the door along with an attractive revenue sharing scheme this could get very messy for GooTube as other media owners joing the current lawsuit bandwagon! This is the first really clear example of the troubles YouTube could bring to Google, all cases so far have been minor and easily settled, this one could be a little more tricky.

Mark Cuban has changed tack from pressuring Google on his blog to filing a subpoena in federal court in Texas now. Cuban, who famously said that the purchase of YouTube for $1.65bn was moronic, has now put his lawyers into the fray.

Cuban is a partner in Magnolia Pictures, a film distributor; Magnolia is demanding that YouTube/Google reveal details of users who uploaded clips of its movies. The subpoena demands the details be handed over by 20th March; Google has issued its standard silent response so far.

Cuban has made it clear the filing about making a point to Google. He told Reuters: “We don’t expect to get valid user information. If we do, we will contact them and ask them what induced them to upload content they don’t own.”

Probably the last thing Google needs right now is a subpoena from someone who’s not doing it to force their hand on an advertising deal. Where as Fox obviously subpoenaed them to force the issue of a partnership deal, Cuban seems to just be doing it to make life difficult for them.

The Turks have taken a dislike to a video posted on YouTube which showed Greeks criticising Turkey and insulting the Turkish flag. As Turkey receives it’s web access solely via ADSL from Turk Telecom it’s a pretty easy job to block it for the vast majority of the population.

This (as far as I know) is the first country to block it, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see nations such as China follow suit as soon as they find something they don’t like…

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