YouTube the Entrepreneur?

by on October 18, 2006 · 6 comments

Jim DeLong analyzes Universal’s lawsuits against YouTube competitors Grouper and Bolt:

I bet that if one looked at the contracts between Google and Universal, one would find clauses binding the signatory states to undertake such copyright wars. Now that YouTube has built up its viewership, perhaps largely on the basis of a casual attitude toward copyright, it makes sense for it to pull up the ladder. No one is more vehement in support of property rights than a buccaneer who has gotten rich. Besides, as a simple matter of competitive balance against other deep pockets, such as Sony, if YouTube must incur the ongoing costs of carefully tiptoeing down the path of righteousness, then it has a strong interest in being sure that others must incur similar costs.

These developments will not prevent new sites from arising, but it means that such sites must start with pockets deep enough to engage in the monitoring necessary for compliance. They will also probably be forced to get licensed from the get-go for the inevitable violations

Legal compliance as a barrier to entry! Personally, I love it, because it is so wonderfully entrepreneurial.

I can think of a number of words to describe this strategy, but “entrepreneurial” isn’t one of them.

  • Doug Lay

    DeLong and his ilk are a funny sort of libertarians – they love private property (and want to expand it into all sorts of realms far from material goods), but sure don’t seem to have much love for free markets, and they’re just fine with goverment regulation when it suits the interests of private property holders.

    I bet DeLong is completely wrong about those contracts between Google and Universal. Of course we’ll never get to see the contracts unless the whole deal explodes in a flood of litigation.

  • Doug Lay

    DeLong and his ilk are a funny sort of libertarians – they love private property (and want to expand it into all sorts of realms far from material goods), but sure don’t seem to have much love for free markets, and they’re just fine with goverment regulation when it suits the interests of private property holders.

    I bet DeLong is completely wrong about those contracts between Google and Universal. Of course we’ll never get to see the contracts unless the whole deal explodes in a flood of litigation.

  • http://weblog.ipcentral.info/ Noel Le

    I posted comments below in response to Jim Harper on that blog.

    To be honest Tim, I know some copyright counsels in the in the industry. I’d be happy to pass along your works if you think that you understand copyright business policy. You write enough about the industry aspect of copyright, it might be time to talk to someone who works in it.

    ***There are many who feel like any kind of compliance is a burden on innovation these days. My response is that legal barriers to entry occur in every industry, and that if a company cannot afford to license IP or get legal counsel, I would question its business plan, and somebody should tell whatever poor VC lent it money.

    WRT to your comment ***Do either of you or both believe it is a good thing for Yougle (a new moniker!) to use copyright solely for its suppressive effect on competition?***

    I believe Yougle is on the receiving end of copyright disputes, and the general sentiment is that Yougle is the one being suppressed. Perhaps you meant that the Studios are weilding copyright to suppress competition by Yougle.

    In any case, your comment implies an endorsement for perfect competition, and when that does not happen, you cite a situation where competiton does not occur or is suppressed. In Yougle’s case, simply having to license content from an IP owner is far away from posing any instance of stifled competition. That argument is a stretch.

    If YouTUbe did not have the capital to get licenses, it probably planned on establishing a user market, delaying copyright disputes long enough that the Studios would see its bsuienss value grow, and eventually be bought out. This is exactly what transpired.

    What gets me is those who argue for YouTube’s handling of copyright as if the company had remained an independent entity, and was not bought out by Google. But YouTube was not a viable business, and any real innovation coming from it will be in the Yougle era, when the copyright issues are handled legitimately.***

  • http://weblog.ipcentral.info/ Noel Le

    I posted comments below in response to Jim Harper on that blog.

    To be honest Tim, I know some copyright counsels in the in the industry. I’d be happy to pass along your works if you think that you understand copyright business policy. You write enough about the industry aspect of copyright, it might be time to talk to someone who works in it.

    ***There are many who feel like any kind of compliance is a burden on innovation these days. My response is that legal barriers to entry occur in every industry, and that if a company cannot afford to license IP or get legal counsel, I would question its business plan, and somebody should tell whatever poor VC lent it money.

    WRT to your comment ***Do either of you or both believe it is a good thing for Yougle (a new moniker!) to use copyright solely for its suppressive effect on competition?***

    I believe Yougle is on the receiving end of copyright disputes, and the general sentiment is that Yougle is the one being suppressed. Perhaps you meant that the Studios are weilding copyright to suppress competition by Yougle.

    In any case, your comment implies an endorsement for perfect competition, and when that does not happen, you cite a situation where competiton does not occur or is suppressed. In Yougle’s case, simply having to license content from an IP owner is far away from posing any instance of stifled competition. That argument is a stretch.

    If YouTUbe did not have the capital to get licenses, it probably planned on establishing a user market, delaying copyright disputes long enough that the Studios would see its bsuienss value grow, and eventually be bought out. This is exactly what transpired.

    What gets me is those who argue for YouTube’s handling of copyright as if the company had remained an independent entity, and was not bought out by Google. But YouTube was not a viable business, and any real innovation coming from it will be in the Yougle era, when the copyright issues are handled legitimately.***

  • http://www.mantura.info manturareallife

    Hello,
    I am begin of 30′s, living the days of my life, I have a social life, but since I have a husband my life has turned into a depressing life. My husband spend every hour on his laptop connected to the web, instead of passing his time with me. The only talk with him is about this boring adsense tool . My personal passions are totally different and for this we are staying in different plants. Nevermind I go without.
    ‘ll see you
    Bianca

  • http://www.mantura.info manturareallife

    Hello,
    I am begin of 30′s, living the days of my life, I have a social life, but since I have a husband my life has turned into a depressing life. My husband spend every hour on his laptop connected to the web, instead of passing his time with me. The only talk with him is about this boring adsense tool . My personal passions are totally different and for this we are staying in different plants. Nevermind I go without.
    ‘ll see you
    Bianca

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