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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

YouTube Copyright War Chest ... Motionbox's `Deep Tagging' ... Metacafe and Bochco Collaborate

- According to the Associated Press:

    Google Inc. is holding back more than $200 million of the stock it paid to acquire YouTube Inc. to cover losses or possible legal bills for the frequent copyright violations on YouTube's video-sharing site.


    ...The reserve could signal that Google is trying to insulate itself from a possible onslaught of lawsuits aimed at the large number of pirated videos posted on YouTube, which will retain its current management and name.


This disclosure is interesting, in that Eric Schmidt seemed to say this wasn't the case at the Web 2.0 conference last week. (Schmidt said the company hadn't set aside money to "buy peace with the media companies.")


- Steve Bryant at Reel Pop has a good analysis of why it'll be important, as the amount of video on the Web grows, to be able to link specifically to the part of a clip you want to reference. The folks at Motionbox call this `deep tagging.' Chris O'Brien, the company's CEO, mentioned to me last week that the company has some patents around this technology -- which could prove important as the Web video economy evolves.


- Network TV legend Steven Bochco has signed up with YouTube rival Metacafe to produce content for the site, according to Variety. From Josef Adalian's report:


    First project for the site has already started production, with an eye on an early-2007 bow. Neither Bochco nor Metacafe would discuss details, except to say the initial offering would be unscripted and encourage audience participation.


    Metacafe, which calls itself the world's largest indie video-sharing site, attracted 3.7 million visitors last month, according to CNN.com.


    Bochco, whose credits range from "L.A. Law" and "NYPD Blue" to last season's "Commander in Chief," becomes one of the first "old-guard" scripted TV producers to enter into a production alliance with a video-sharing service. A number of reality TV producers, including Mark Burnett and Ben Silverman, are already well-established on the Net.


- Chris deFaria will run the newly-merged visual effects and animation departments at Warner Bros., according to Variety.