In addition to being a great repository of long lost videos and concert footage, YouTube was always a great place to find embarrassing footage of your favorite stars. There was a wasted Britney sputtering gibberish in a hotel room; there was Hasselhoff sloshed and sorting through a hamburger; Paula Abdul clearly off her rocker on morning news…
But with the sale of YouTube to Google, thus folding it under a massive corporate umbrella, how much longer can we expect these gems that humanize our heroes? Ok, nobody considers Paula Abdul a hero, but you get my drift.
A search today of “Beyonce Falls” leads me to believe our days are numbered. Notice that fan footage of Ms. Knowles face planting at a recent Orlando show has been removed from YouTube by dint of a “copyright claim by Sony BMG.” Copyright to what? Beyonce hitting the floor? The video I attempted to view was all of 13 seconds so I think any claim to the music could be written off as fair use. So why has YouTube caved? Because Big Business helps Big Business.
I’ve been checking out Google Gadgets lately and most of them are neat, but generally useless, little tools for your desktop. The Touring Gadget might just be on to something though.
The description says that it periodically scans your hard drive for music and then synchs up with JamBase to find tour dates for all found artists. You can have it search your hometown or any city of your choosing and it will list shows within 50 miles. Pretty clever.
Unfortunately, I haven’t tried it because you have to have Google Desktop 4 or above installed and I have enough third-party shit on my machine for now. Check it out for yourself if you have Google Desktop and let us know what you think.
Last year, just before Google bought YouTube, Warner Music announced a deal with YouTube to provide videos in exchange for a slice of the advertising revenue.
I had complete forgotten about this until I was looking for video links for Neil Young’s Massey release and stumbled across a couple uploaded by a YouTube user by the name of warnerbrosrecords who has uploaded all kinds of great shit in the past month (as well as a bunch of plain old shit).
• The deal was an investment, not a licensing agreement, meaning all that cash the labels got they don’t actually need to share with the artists they always claim they’re trying to protect. This was done on purpose.
• While Google and YouTube have apparently put $500 million in escrow to deal with copyright lawsuits from smaller players, handing over cash to the labels came with a promise that the labels wouldn’t sue YouTube for at least six months.
• At the same time, they would sue other players in the space — which we’ve already seen from Universal Music.
Add it all up, and you get the music labels effectively taking a bribe to cause trouble for Google/YouTube video competitors, ignoring YouTube to let it grow for a while, and pocketing all of the money without giving it back to the artists they supposedly represent.
So you’ve probably heard that Google is acquiring YouTube “for $1.65 billion in stock, the highest price yet paid for a consumer-generated media site.” This is potentially very interesting. We’ll have to wait to see whether this move legitimizes YouTube or delegitimizes Google.
It all depends on how Google deals with the issue of copyright infringment. Which will force Google to challenge its informal corporate motto, “Don’t be evil.” No matter what Google does, one side is going to see them evil. If they crack down hard on users who post music videos or “Daily Show” clips, everyone like us is going to think they’re evil. If they take the same laissez-faire attitude that YouTube took, the copyright owners are going to they’re evil. They can’t win.
This handy exploitation of Google lets you search the Web for mp3s of just about anyone. It sounds better than it is though as any dope could do a simple Google search and get the same result. But it’s an interesting concept that does all the variants of those searches for you. Via MeFi.