An agreement would allow Verizon’s customers to view some of the most avidly watched entertainment on the Internet. That could advance the long-expected convergence of video and cellphones. It could also, at least temporarily, give Verizon a marketing edge over its rivals in the wireless and cable industries, furthering the company’s efforts to expand into Internet and entertainment services.
Under the terms being discussed, customers of Verizon Wireless — Verizon’s joint venture with Vodafone Group PLC — would be able to view some YouTube videos on their cellphones through the carrier’s premium V Cast service, people familiar with the matter said. Verizon Wireless, like other cellular providers, has been adding video and data services to offset declining revenue from its calling plans.
The New York Times has never crossed a wound she didn’t want to rub salt in and Friendster, the poor man’s MySpace, YouTube, etc, etc, etc is no exception. (To all the fourteen year olds out there who read our site– there was a time before FaceBook, you snot-nosed punks, and we know that because we’re old!). She writes,
Roughly once a week, David L. Sze, a venture capitalist at Greylock Partners, hears from entrepreneurs who say they have the next MySpace, the copycat social networking site that has trounced Friendster. “The counter to that is, ‘Tell me why you aren’t going to be the next Friendster,’ ” Mr. Sze said. “It’s become the iconic case of failure.”
There’s also an adorable cartoon depicting “Friendster-Man” at a party drinking his own keg and gorging himself on a bowl of what appear to be pigs-in-a-blanket, while everyone else– “MySpace-Chick,” “YouTube-Dudes,” you know, the usual Friday night crew– couples up and ignores Mr. Friendster: The Wallflower at the Web Party. The whole thing is actually pretty awesome, so much so that we wish we’d come up with it ourselves, as you know we never miss a chance to kick someone when they’re down. Perhaps this silver lining in this whole thing is that the Gray Lady’s finally revealed herself as the Brenda Walsh we always knew she was. Which, we’ve got to say, is a pretty great consolation prize. The Friendster Phenomenon [DealBook]
A few weeks ago bloggging tech mogul Mark Cuban wrote that anyone who bought YouTube would be immediately sued by the media companies whose copyrighted materials make-up so much of the most popular material on the video sharing website. Now he’s admitting that not only hasn’t this happened following the acquisition by Google, but it wasn’t ever likely to happen.
But not because the media companies don’t care about their copyright. And not because they just love YouTube so much they’ve decided to let the kids play with their content. It’s because they are suing smaller video sharing websites, building legal precedent favoring strong copyright enforcement and gaining leverage for negotiations with GoogTube.
If they can win some judgements saying these little sites are not protected by Safe Harbor rules, then they have all the leverage in the world to dictate licensing terms to sites that until now have not proactively enforced copyright but have instead chosen to rely on rightsholders takedown notices. If one of those sites has deep pockets, then it could turn into a payday for rightsholders, whether via lawsuit or licensing terms.