During the past few months it seems that online video has become the most important issue for the internet. Some the myriad of topics include monetization, distribution, infrastructure, network neutrality and piracy. The Viacom vs Google lawsuit directly and indirectly touches on many of these issues and could have a dramatic impact in determining the future of the internet. Viacom wants Google’s YouTube to better police its site and remove copyright violations, where Google contends that the DMCA only requires that it remove copyright material after receiving a request from the content owner.
While Google appears to be technically compliant with the law, clearly this represents a major problem for growth in online video because content owners cannot possibly expend the needed resources to monitor and track all violations across the web. BusinessWeek provides a scalable solution where both content owners and online video sites would share the responsibility. It would provide greater management of copyrighted material as well as allow start up sites to thrive and innovate (which is the true purpose of the DMCA).
Additionally, Ars Technica digs deeper to uncover how Viacom and other content owners can beat piracy of its content through pure good old capitalistic competition. The article looks at how consumers are drawn to services that provide the best balance of price, convenience and quality. It is fairly hard to beat piracy on price (free), but there is absolutely room to undercut them on convenience and quality. Great examples on the industry moving in this direction can be seen in Hulu and Comedy Central.com