Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Could YouTube be in Big Big Trouble?

The official numbers on YouTube's dominance in the video sharing space are out. Online video as a whole attracted 75% of US Internet users according to ComScore (via Mashable) that watched 158 million minutes of online video in May. The average stream is about 2.5 minutes. 35% of users use YouTube and YouTube accounted for over 20% of the online video stream total. Wow.

And now the bad news. Dailymotion a large French video sharing site was ordered by French courts to pay $32,000 in damages to a French director (along with the producer and distributor) who's CLIPS were on the site. After the clips were uploaded did Dailymotion begin to use Audible Magic which is seemingly becoming the standard in detecting copywritten clips. But what does this mean? Is this the end of the DMCA as we know it? (As an aside the DMCA stands for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and basically says that a Web site has no jurisdiction over what its users do, hence YouTube has been claiming as one of its defenses against Viacom). Will YouTube have to give up its users private information if they are caught infringing? Were all those Zidane Mashups from last summer considered copyright infringed?

We saw earlier this year how Digg went down with users posting the HD encryption key on its site. Will YouTube users also contribute to the backlash by posting copyrighted clips, causing massive lawsuits against YouTube and its parent, Google? And while $32,000 is small change for Dailymotion the video in question were clips. Was this fine some type of relative measure?

Lots of questions here. We're digging to get to the bottom of this and what this means for the future of online video sharing. But we do know one thing. Video sharing no matter what is here to stay.

No comments:

Post a Comment