Mark Cuban points out why YouTube is going to suffer the same fate as Napster: Copyright issues. It’s been interesting to watch YouTube become one of the most highly trafficked websites around, especially with all the copyrighted content that they serve up.
Perhaps YouTube feels that they’re protected because they publicly state that (a) if you’re uploading content you need to hold the copyright to that content and (b) they will remove anything that was uploaded without the copyright holder’s permission. OK, that’s YouTube’s stated policy, but it doesn’t take long to find countless videos on their site which clearly violate that policy.
So is YouTube doomed like Mark Cuban says it is? I don’t think so. Unlike Napster it appears that YouTube is working to partner with content owners. See this announcement regarding YouTube’s deal with Warner, for example. Will that prevent other content owners from suing? No way.
I think it’s smart for Warner and others to strike a deal with YouTube. That doesn’t prevent them from hosting content on their own site or cutting deals with YouTube competitors. The fact is YouTube gets a boatload of traffic, so assuming the content owners (Warner, in this case) feel the numbers make sense, why wouldn’t you partner with YouTube?
One final question: Why do you suppose Cuban singles out YouTube and doesn’t mention the same problem with Google Video, for example? That seems odd to me.