Maybe it's time for creators to keep control of their content

by Andy Oram

The YouTube purchase by Google received almost equal portions of praise and derision. The praise was driven by a belief that the purchase (along with Yahoo!'s purchase of Flickr) validated the benefits and power of free-ranging user-generated content. The derision (aside from claims that Google paid too much) was driven by the expectation that Google would drown under a flood of copyright infringement claims.


Maybe it's time to look again at the premises of the peer-to-peer movement earlier in this decade. Before it became commonplace for sites to allow uploads of anything from communities--even commentary on articles--people were expected to keep control of their content. All kinds of collaborative filtering and search tools were tried out in the mission of helping people find each other's content.



3 Comments

Nathan Jones
2006-10-15 18:39:17
Have a read of the letter/essay written by Nicholas Reville from Participatory Culture Foundation (who make the Democrary Internet video player), titled "Openness Matters. RSS Can Help." - http://www.getdemocracy.com/articles/future_of_video.php

2006-10-16 01:32:00
I work on net neutrality issues and agree that Google's ad revenue model will be problematic for the company. Despite its being a chief proponent of net neutrality legislation, Google will have a great deal of incentive to give preference to certain content as it incorporates its ad functions into YouTube. As Scott Cleland of the Presucrsor Blog states, "Will the Google "searchopolist" with 50% share of the search market pledge to not "block, degrade, or impair video or other content of consumers or competitors? Will they agree to not discriminate against any of "the people's" youtube videos by giving them a higher/lower search ranking than others based on how much they pay for the search keyword or advertising? Will they keep youtube "democratic" where everyone's video is treated exactly equally with everyone else's video?" Google will be forced to choose whether it wants to act as a profitable company by giving preference to certain content, or if it wants to continue its support of a neutral net. Either way, Google can no longer claim to be a neutral entity in the net neutrality debate.
Josh Peters
2006-10-16 09:05:49
@Anonymous: I'm not sure how these issues are new regarding YouTube. With regards to Google and net neutrality + video, had Google in the past ranked its own Video service higher than YouTube? I'm not convinced that the situation brings about new questions. Google certainly isn't a monopoly in the search game, and the market will take notice if they start mucking with the results.


@Nathan Jones: very interesting article, but of course I'd prefer to see Atom in place of RSS. Syndication feeds have become the "real" web 2.0 to some extent (replacing pages as the primary means of information dissemination). Once the Atom Publishing Protocol is finished and starts to make its way into more and more applications, both reading and writing to the web will have a common interface.