Server FarmI for one, would love to be a fly on the wall at the potentially precedent setting YouTube/Viacom court hearings. The $1billion dollar case can change or empower an entire industry, or in fact several industries, ranging from traditional to new media and entertainment companies large and small.

To put it in perspective, one must remember that YouTube currently has the largest inventory of online video advertising on the web, an interesting scenario for Google, who also has the largest share of text based search advertising inventory. If the ’80’s were the MTV generation and the ’90’s were the AOL generation,  we now live in a YouTube Generation. Add Google to that list -buying YouTube for $1.6billion+ was a calculated move that I’m sure will pay off.

Automation:What a fantastic concept. Very few actions or activities are truly automated (hence why auto pilot still requires human guidance), but to add levels of automation creates a level of efficiency that can benefit marketers, and consumers. Google wants to simply add a level of automation to the ad delivery and monetization process of this war chest of video ad inventory. When looked at in the context of the bigger picture of Google’s Doubleclick acquisition, we may soon have the ability to tie all of this wonderful data together to bring us closer to the actualization of truly dynamic and relevant targeted ad delivery across search and display channels…but I digress.

Of particular note in the announcement is the paragraph about “Choice”:

“Copyright holders can choose what they want done with their videos: whether to block, promote, or even—if a copyright holder chooses to partner with us—create revenue from them, with minimal friction. YouTube Video ID will help carry out that choice. No technology can anticipate the preferences of a copyright holder…”, “…The best we can do is cooperate with copyright holders to identify videos that include their content and offer them choices about sharing that content. As copyright holders make their preferences clear to us up front, we’ll do our best to automate that choice while balancing the rights of users, other copyright holders, and our community as a whole.”

So yes, the copyright holders will have to do a little work. It comes with the digital territory, but with great reward. Content providers must have their content well cataloged and easy to reference, common characteristics of any modern archiving process anyway.

In the grand scheme of things, it’s great to see that the co-defendants of Progress and Innovation have deep Google-sized pockets, and strong legal representation.  YouTube has thrived by co-existing with a wide variety of content providers,  some of who in return claim YouTube is simply parasitic. But the consumer adoption of YouTube speaks to its success of filling a consumer need in a way that no single media vehicle in recent history can claim, and the case is really about striking a balance that creates a peaceful and equitable ecosystem that benefits all involved. If this is not the outcome of the case, then we as society have failed Progress & Innovation.


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