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GooTube, "We Take It Down"

By - October 27, 2006

Picture 2-22Yowzer! YouTube pulls Comedy Central video clips to appease DMCA claims.

Google also recently made a pledge to play the straight man on copyright protections. BBC: Andrew Mclaughlin, Google’s head of global public policy, told the Commons culture committee that if material infringed copyright on Google Video service, “we take it down”. But he added: “I just can’t say anything about YouTube since it’s not our company.”

The committee chairman John Whittingdale asked Mr Arora if Google had “put aside a very large pot of money to settle copyright infringement” when it took over YouTube. Mr Arora replied: “There is not a lot we can say about what we will do with YouTube because it is still in the process of due diligence and we haven’t closed the acquisition.” But he added: “We intend to uphold copyright. We believe it is very important as part the creative process. It’s evident from our policy as part of Google Video, Google News or Google Books, and any acquisition in the future is not going to change Google’s view on copyright.”

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All this despite that, in a Wired interview, Jon Stewart and Daily Show Producers previously encouraged fans to watch them on the internet. Daily Show and Colbert Report fans without cable, take to the streets across the nation, to mourn.

(John adding commentary here) This feels a bit like Google taking the easy route. I wish it had stood up for the rights of fans to post their favorite clips, and I also wish it did the hard, but ultimately worthy work of convincing the major networks and Hollywood studios to follow their own customers and learn how to profit from their actions.

Playing Around With Google CSE

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Picture 1-25 Google’s new Custom Search Engine: As Tom Evslin writes, “It’s possible that it will change the web forever. Or possible that it will have no impact whatsoever” … And the only way to gauge which it will be is by trying to find out how useful it is to users, which ones, and how many. In the spirit of experimentation, Evslin tries a couple (experiment 1, experiment 2) and invites users to collaborate.

Speaking of which, here’s a CSE of sites from Federated Media, which Justin Watt put together.

Is Google Reconfiguring Its Model?

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News hits the rumor mill, from well-trusted sources, that Google plans to both add additional dimensions to its advertising and unify management under one auspices. Giselle Abramovich from DM News writes, “there would be one global account director per account, that pulls in resources to sell as needed – PPC (pay-per-click), Print, Radio, Video, Display, etc.”

Read/Write Web posts that this possible reconfiguration of the advertising model by Google is similar to what Microsoft and IBM have already done:

One interesting sub-plot here is that Google needs more “inventory” to sell the different flavors of advertising. Jeff mentions adsense for podcasting in his post – and that is certain to be one way Google will increase their inventory. Also this puts the likes of Feedburner, Meebo, edgeio and Commission Junction squarely in Google’s sights as potential acquisitions. All of those ‘web 2.0’ startups have no shortage of inventory!

In terms of Google’s overall goals, as summarised at Google Blogoscoped, this rumored re-org falls under the “push their ad system” category. It really makes sense for Google and shows not only that they are innovating in technology – but maturing and expanding as a media/advertising entity. The benefit for Google’s customers is that it enables them to target certain leads across different types of media. They can do that from one ‘console’ and they will work with 1 Google salesperson/account manager on their account.

More Notably– Live Search Released

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Picture 4-7Today Microsoft launched a campaign for Live Search with digital and print ads in major newspapers—New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Seattle Times/PI, SF Chronicle, USAPicture 7-5 Today— featuring its new capacities. You can tryout the future successor to MSN Search now, here. The campaign highlights the new mapping, local search and image search technology of Live, as well as targets some misunderstandings about the Live branding from the past year.

The Microsoft ad opens by quoting Battelle from The Search:

“Search is at best 5% solved–we’re not even in the double digits of its potential.”

By the demo that follows, in the digital copy, Microsoft is making a serious effort to push out beyond that five percent.

As the Live campaign copy states:

“Before we begin, let us state the obvious. We’re late to the game. We admit it. But instead of shrugging our shoulders and becoming a footnote in search history, we’ve decided to write a few new chapters.”

Microsoft Live Release (CN)

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Windows-Live-Messenger-For-Windows-MobileMicrosoft has released Windows Live Messenger for Symbian before providing it to MSN Mobile. Microsoft is already receiving some flack for this release to Symbian, the Chinese language version of MSN mobile mainly controlled by Nokia, as a strategic error.

In overview, ZDNet delivers a sub par report card for the Microsoft Live initiative. The results: “A- for delivery, but a D- for presentation.” The Live branding is widely considered confusing, as Microsoft analyst Matt Rosoff told ZDNet, “It seems like end-users who don’t particularly follow Microsoft have never heard of Live or confuse it with the next version of Windows, and customers, partners, and advertisers often express puzzlement over the difference between Windows Live, Live (e.g., Live Search), and MSN. The developer strategy for Live still hasn’t seemed to gel very well, either.”

In other MSFT fowl-ups, an online tete-a-tete to alleviate security concerns about Vista among European partners went awry as the Microsoft Live Meeting software experienced ‘technical difficulties‘ that dropped dozens of attendees from the conference and forced them to reschedule. Others reported problems with the video and audio performance of the Live Meeting system.

Update: Announced today, Windows Live Mobile is scheduled to be available by December to Orange customers in France, and in the UK and Spain by early next year. However, details on the technology and its compatibility remains vague. This from the Register:

The rollout will be limited by the availability of compatible software, on a range of handsets, and not limited to those running Windows Mobile or its derivatives. Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer said the software would differ from that already available on Windows Mobile, though the details aren’t yet available. In fact, very few details are being provided at all. When pushed for information about the software, capabilities, handsets supported, or what is so new about the service, neither Orange nor Microsoft would be drawn.

Google Lowers Its GPA

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For quite some time (possibly its entire history), Google famously required a 3.0 college GPA in order to qualify for employment. I’ve had many folks contact me over the years, indignant about this requirement, stunned that Google had asked its prospective employees for certified copies of their transcripts before even considering an offer.

Well, the times, they are a changing. Google is now a sales-driven company, and it’s challenging (to say the least) to find thousands of salespeople who also managed to get good grades in college. As my head of sales, Chas Edwards (who in fact is one of the smartest folks I know) often quips: “It ain’t rocket science, what I do.” Not to mention, great sales people tend to be great socializers, which likely means the keg trumped the library when it came to late night pursuits.

So today comes word from a reliable source (who must remain anonymous) that Google has recently dropped its 3.0 GPA requirement, at least for sales. That, my friends, is the law of large numbers at work. And, while some might say this is the beginning of the end,

Blog Business Summit

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BbsummitI’m off to the Blog Business Summit all day Friday (well, I’ll admit I’m heading to Microsoft for some meetings in the morning). But if you’re there in the afternoon, some say hello.

And yea, all this travel and preparation for the Web 2 conference has made it hard to write like I want to write here. After mid November, I intend to get back to this site with far more focus. It’s by far my favorite thing to do.