There’s a lot of buzz about last week’s GooTube deal. For the best business+legal analysis you have to check John Battelle’s blog, where Fred von Lohmann shares his insights about the buyout — I especially dig his comment about Google “buying” (control over) a lawsuit.
YouTube has already been sued (by LA New Service), so Google is essentially buying that lawsuit. But I don’t think that’s a problem — frankly, precedent set against YouTube will likely exert strong influence over the entire video hosting industry. So, in essence, Google is just getting more direct control over a lawsuit that is important for its existing and future business.
The EFF’s Derek Slater also brings the news that YouTube has deals with Sony BMG, Universal, and Warner Music, allowing users to “freely remix and share popular sound recordings from those major record labels’ catalogs.” That is excellent news, and Derek asks himself if this might be a step towards blanket licensing for P2P. Derek also reports — and this is an interesting twist — that at the same time Universal is suing video sharing sites Grouper and Bolt.com for hosting copyrighted music video uploads. Noteworthy detail: Grouper was recently acquired by Sony.