Google in YouTube copyright bid

03-11-2006

Google in YouTube copyright bid
Internet search engine giant Google is reportedly in talks with major media companies to gain permission to legally use its content on video sharing website YouTube.

Google acquired YouTube in a $1.65 billion (£875 million) share transaction last month, but is worried that it could face legal action due to the majority of its user-uploaded videos using material without the copyright holder's permission.

The Financial Times says that Google chief Eric Schmidt is offering CBS, Viacom, Time Warner, NBC Universal and News Corp tens of millions of dollars in upfront payments in order to freely use their content in YouTube's videos.

Google has already negotiated similar deals with Warner Music, Universal Music and Sony BMG.

YouTube receives 100 million views daily, making it the most popular video site on the internet.

It is thought that no action has been taken against YouTube in its 18-month history so far because it is largely user-driven and has very limited advertising revenue.

However, that is expected to change following Google's acquisition, with the search engine believed to be tempting the traditional media companies with a share of ad profits.

"The fact is that in three to six months every media company's going to decide that their stuff gets taken down or that they get paid for it," a source told the FT.

YouTube, meanwhile, is facing legal action from US-based machinery firm Universal Tube and Rollform Equipment.

The company, which employs 17 people, says its website utube.com has been overloaded by internet users looking for YouTube, with the site receiving 68 million visitors in August alone.

Under the terms of the lawsuit, Universal Tube and Rollform Equipment wants YouTube to either move to another internet address or pay for the transfer of utube.com to a new location.


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