WSJ: Media Companies Pressure YouTube

In my haste in drafting the previous post, I failed to point out a nice scoop about YouTube in the Journal yesterday by Matthew Karnitschnig and Kevin Delaney. The lead of the article says: “In an apparent display of saber-rattling aimed at nudging video Web site YouTube Inc. into cutting favorable licensing deals, a number of major media companies have banded together to explore the legal implications of the video site’s unauthorized use of copyright material, people familiar with the matter say.” Lawyers for the companies, which include News Corp. and Viacom Inc., think YouTube “could be liable to copyright penalties of $150,000 per unauthorized video,” according to the reporters’ sources.  This is a significant development. As is pointed out in the story, media companies are on the fence about YouTube. They don’t want to see their content displayed on the site without getting compensated, but they also acknowledge the power YouTube has in attracting a huge audience of video-watchers and see it as a potentially key distribution partner.

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