When Google bought YouTube for $1.65 billion many people questioned whether it was a great deal or a big mistake. Over the last few months as Google started to get deals in the works with the networks who originally created the copyrighted content on YouTube, people started to just accept that the purchase was a good deal for Google. There is even evidence that with YouTube and Google Video together Google owns over half the online video market.
However, the CBS deal fell apart, and now comes word that Google’s negotiations with Viacom have gone poorly and Viacom is demanding Google remove over 100,000 clips from YouTube. They’ve also complained that they have not shown them or delivered the copyright protection software that they’ve been promising.
If this is a sign of things to come for Google and YouTube things may get rough. Users don’t have a ton of loyalty for the most part, and there are sites like DailyMotion.com that are not located in the USA who have an easier time hosting content under a copyright because they’re harder to go after. If YouTube is spending time and resources removing illegal content will there be a slow drop in their traffic as users held elsewhere?
Is this another Napster where they are sued to death while users migrate to the next place they can find what they’re looking for? I think it might be. Viacom, CBS, and others aren’t going to let Google profit from their content. They’re going to want a fat piece of that pie, and so far it doesn’t sound like Google is willing to give that to them.