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September 18, 2006

Weekend Update 09/18/2006

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Google, Belgium both lose in court ruling

The hot story of the day is that a Belgian court has ordered Google to remove all articles, photographs and graphics from Belgian publishers out of Google News Belgium and its cache. And because Belgium must not have a “cruel and unusual punishment” amendment like the United States, Google must also display the entire judgment (without commentary) on the Google Belgium homepage for five days (it’s not there yet). Failing to comply with either order could cost Google between 1 million and 1.5 million Euros a day. That’s some serious we-don’t-like-Google going on over there in Belgium.

This whole thing seems odd to me. First, Google News only uses snippets on their news page. All they’re doing is directing others to content that may be relevant. Why do publishers get so enraged over this? Belgian newspapers may have “won” this case, but it seems to me all they’ve won is less traffic, followed by less advertising. Congrats?

Second, why make them display the entire judgment on the homepage? Why not just require a link on the Google News page? It’s sketchy.

YouTube, Warner Music Sign Deal

YouTube and Warner Music have forged some sort of revenue sharing agreement that will put thousands of Warner Music videos on the YouTube site and allow users to legally use Warner videos without the fear of being sued. As I write this I can’t help but picture Doug Morris sitting in a corner, arms folded, doing some serious pouting. You know he’s not taking this well.

TechCrunch writes:

“YouTube is reported to have created technology that will automatically detect when copyrighted music is used in videos, give Warner the right to accept or reject those videos and will calculate the royalty fees Warner is owed.”

Yowsa. What kind of technology is YouTube running that it can recognize songs located on some master shall-not-be-uploaded list? We’re not talking about YouTube recognizing the Warner licensed-videos themselves, we’re talking about them identifying every song located in the background of every homemade movie. That’s quite an undertaking.

Personally, I’m not sure how I feel about this yet. Mark Cuban thinks it’s the undoing of YouTube, Marshall Kirkpatrick thinks it will legitimize them and I’m stuck somewhere in the middle wondering why YouTube agreed to this in the first place. I can’t help but think Warner Music needs YouTube a lot more than YouTube needs Warner Music.

(TechBlog has a great rundown on the technology required to handle this deal.)

Time to drink the free coffee

Reuters reports (via SEW) that Yahoo! will soon launch a global advertising campaign to highlight its revamped homepage and popular services like Yahoo! Answers. The new campaign will hit TV, radio, cinema and online advertising and will take a humorous look at life with and without Yahoo!. The campaign sounds very good and ordinary and boring until you hear the part about Dunkin Donuts. Yes, there’s yummy, delicious coffee involved here!

“There is also a Dunkin’ Donuts iced coffee giveaway for Yahoo visitors on Friday, September 22. Consumers who visit the Yahoo home page and print out a one-day coupon qualify for the free coffee promotion at the U.S. fast-food franchise.”

Yahoo, you’re a GENIUS! If only I still lived on the East Coast where there were three DDs for every one resident. Nathan thinks Yahoo!’s DD component is silly and will induce further silliness. He’s suggests Yahoo! encourage users to actually work for their free coffee. That means next time Yahoo! makes their giveaways harder, you know who to blame. [I’d rather have the free ice cream they gave away on their 10th anniversary. — Susan]

Web 2.0 directory

Having trouble remembering the name of your favorite Web 2.0 service? The guys at created a Flash directory to help you keep track of them all. Clicking on any of the thumbnails will give you a brief description of the service and a link to its homepage. Who knew there were so many podcast, photo and video upload sides? It’s all very cool, but is Google really considered Web 2.0? Really? (via TechCrunch)

Don’t Forget…

Tomorrow is Talk like a Pirate Day and I can’t promise you that the BC blog will not be participating in some way. I hear Susan had a little too much fun with it last year. Heh. [If you need tips on how to talk like a pirate, the Language Log has you covered. — Susan]

(Hat tip Good Morning Silicon Valley)

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