The other day, YouTube announced that it would be removing all of it’s comedy central clips due to copyright reasons. I think that just about everyone saw that coming about 30 seconds after Google announced it’s intent to acquire the company. A company like YouTube (read: not profitable, not rich, not a big player in the grand scheme of things) can afford to keep copyright infringing material on their site. In the best case scenario, people won’t sue cause YouTube doesn’t have enough cash to make it worthwhile. In the worst case, they can use the defensethat they are understaffed to patrol all of their user base should they get sued.
Google, on the other hand, can’t use either defense. It’s a big, high profile and rich company. A good target for a suing if there ever was one. Unfortunately, that means that they will have to play by the rules.
To be honest, I only ever went to YouTube to watch material that shouldn’t be there. SouthPark. John Stewart, Colbert(although, he sorta bugs me) etc. In part, this was because I don’t have a TV. The larger reason though is that these people produce quality content. Now that the quality clips are gone, I really don’t see why I’d ever visit YouTube.
That said, perhaps with the reduction in the content that I’m used to watching, I’ll be able to find other stuff which was previously buried beneath John Stewart clips. Maybe a positive side effect of this is a better signal-to-Stewart ratio that will result in the user contributed content being visibleto the average, and lazy, viewer – like myself.