a feminist technology blog

Month: October 2006

links for 2006-10-13

Google & YouTube

I think it’s a really bad idea that Google is buying YouTube. Here’s why:

1. YouTube is chock-full of copyrighted media content. Nobody sues YouTube because they don’t have any money. Google, on the other hand, has a LOT of money, and is a ripe target for litigation. Exhibit A: Google Print.

2. It’s in Google’s best interests to play nice with Big Media. It’s in Big Media’s best interests to eke every smidge of money they can out of copyrighted content. Now, I myself think that providing grainy Flash videos of content is a great sales tool rather than some sort of blight on the profitability of old Saved by the Bell episodes. But we know all too well that old ways of doing business always trump logic in these situations. There’s a major conflict of interest here, and it’s not hard to tell who’s going to win. But you remove the copyrighted content from YouTube, and you have.. .Google Video.

3. Google’s brand is intelligent, savvy, technologically ept and competent. This is a great brand image that’s very appropriate for Google’s user base. YouTube, on the other hand, has a far more rag-tag rebellious brand that points itself squarely at teenagers’ “screw you” gene. These brands don’t mesh. What does Google do that is “cool”? And I don’t mean I think it’s cool, or you think it’s cool. I mean does some random 16 year old think it’s cool. I can’t think of any of Google’s properties that teens would think were cool.

We’ll see what happens.

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