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"Chill Out, Big Media, We're On It"

By - February 22, 2007

Eric Schmidt in a Reuters story today:

Google Inc., racing to head off a media industry backlash over its video Web site YouTube, will soon offer anti-piracy technologies to help all copyright holders thwart unauthorized video sharing, its chief executive said on Wednesday.

“We are definitely committed to (offering copyright protection technologies),” Google Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt said in an interview. “It is one of the company’s highest priorities,” he said.

“We just reviewed that (issue) about an hour ago,” Schmidt told Reuters when asked what Google was doing to make anti-piracy technologies widely available to video owners. “It is going to roll out very soon … It is not far away.”

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8 thoughts on “"Chill Out, Big Media, We're On It"

  1. JG says:

    Again, I said earlier, I told Google five. years. ago. to start developing this technology. Other companies at the time had developed robust-to-noise and distortion digital media fingerprinting technologies going as far back as 1999-2000. Not really very on it, are ya, guys? Busy developing calendars, instead?


  2. nmw says:


    Sheer profundity!

    ;D nmw

  3. Dave White says:

    Well sooner or later Google had to come up with this.IF not then it would have been losing money in copyright issues.

  4. JG says:

    nmw: Hehe.

    But seriously, how would you feel, as a media company? When you know that Google has had the ability and the brains to develop copyrighted material detection algorithms for years now, and they have not done it…while others have? Would you trust Google? Why did they sit on this for so long?

    I remember when Microsoft’s first modern operating system came out, the Mac fan community circulated a popular meme: “Windows 95 = Mac 89”.

    Well, I can’t help but notice that “Google 07 = Shazam 2000”. Or “Google 07 = Fraunhofer 01”.

    The funny thing is, I actually tend to agree more with Google and/or Google’s fan base, when it comes to the fair use rights of consumers and digital media that they have bought. Media companies are trying to be too controlling, and that’s not good. DRM is bad. Evil even.

    But free posting of any material to YouTube is not the way either the consumer or Google should strike back. But this is the strategy that Google, by refusing to develop robust media fingerprinting years ago, before they bought YouTube, is essentially endorsing.

    If I were a media company, and saw this complete and utter lack of simpatico coming from the ‘plex, I think I would “backlash”, too. I would not be very placated by Eric Schmidt’s “We just reviewed that (issue) about an hour ago” statement. Why didn’t they review that five years ago?

  5. dan says:

    Five years ago Google was not a content owning company as they are now. While I could see video scanning technology being useful in search, video search, search ranking, and correlated ad placement, not developing the technology 5 years ago simply because they could have is hardly a fair attack against their YouTube ownership of the present.

  6. nmw says:

    And *why* should Google be a media company?

    It’s already well known that there is a certain “conflict of interest” between ppc and generic results.

    And generic results are a joke. And the ppc results are a joke.

    What *is* Google, anyway?

  7. JG says:

    Ah yes. But I am not saying that they should have developed the technology five years ago just for the sake of developing it.

    I’m saying that they should have developed the technology because search is Google’s raison d’etre. It would have allowed them to do (as you say) video search, media search ranking, correlated media ad placement, and even filtering of copyrighted content from existing Google web search results, so that they could have avoided being sued by companies like Perfect 10.

    And since there were so many reasons to have developed it back then, by the time they actually bought YouTube, all the mechanisms, both search and filtering, would be in place.

    And it wasn’t just “they heard it once, 5 years ago, and forgot about it.” I know from others in the community who have also talked to them that they heard it again and again, 4 years ago, 3 years ago, 2 years ago, etc. The opportunity to innovate in that direction was there. It was let go.. in favor of what? Yet another chat client. I really wish someone senior from Google would explain the logic behind that.

    Organize the world’s information, huh? I stand by my “Pfft”.

  8. JG says:

    nmw: And *why* should Google be a media company?

    Ah, but that’s just it. I am not saying they should be a media company. I’m saying they should be a search (“world’s information organizing”) company. If the data happens to be media data, it doesn’t matter. Does Google Finance make it a financial company? Does Google maps make it a cartography company? Does Picasa make it a photography company? No. These are all information organizing services. Same with media. Creating identification, searching, and organizing apps does not necessarily make Google a media company.

    It’s already well known that there is a certain “conflict of interest” between ppc and generic results.

    Not according to Google! 😉

    And generic results are a joke. And the ppc results are a joke.

    They are not a joke. I think they are still fairly good. They are indistinguishable from other engines at this point (I have seen peer-reviewed studies attesting to this, and I also rotate my own searches on a regular basis). But they’re still fairly good. As a standalone list, at least. I’ve often lamented the lack of query refinement and relevance feedback and other useful help that Google could be offering but doesn’t. But the generic list itself is still ok.

    What *is* Google, anyway?

    A world’s information organizing company. At least that’s what I’ve been told to believe. That’s what I, as a user, want to believe. Lately, however, that rhetoric is drifting further and further from reality.