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Google Wants Viacom to Serve up Stephen Colbert & Jon Stewart

Stephen ColbertDo you get the feeling that the Google/Viacom $1B law suit is going to be a huge circus? No? Then you might change your mind when you learn that Google has added the names of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert to the list of Viacom employees it wants to see on the stand, according to docs filed in the U.S. DIstrict Court, says CNET.

The two companies entered the names of people they each wish to depose in court, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York last week. Google, which acquired YouTube last October, wants to depose at least 30 people in addition to Colbert and Stewart. Among them are Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone and CEO Philippe Dauman.

Google Launches Brainwashing Video Series

Get your tin-foil hats ready, Google has decided the best way to address issues such as privacy and security is to produce video tutorials.

Their first offering explains Google’s basic privacy policy and is designed to make you feel all warm and fuzzy about it.

I swear I saw some subliminal messages in there such as “Google can be trusted, Google is your friend.” ;-)

OK, all joking aside, the videos are very clear and well made and remind me a little of the recent UPS commercials–the ones with the cool guy and a whiteboard.

P.S. Ok, just one more sarcastic quip–will we see Ask.com offer a similar explanation on how to search for “chicks with swords?” ;-)

The Gold Rush to Sue Google Over YouTube Copyright Infringement

Now that Google has announced plans to use better copyright detection technology on YouTube this Fall, it seems there’s a mad rush to file law suits.

It’s almost as if copyright holders realize they only have until the Fall to get their law suit filed and claim damages from Google. After Google launches it’s new detection technology, the copyright infringement claims will have less of a sure footing.

The latest to jump on the law suit bandwagon is a coalition of Japanese media companies.

“YouTube has to stop how it runs its site and get rid of the illegal clips. We want them to reset the service,” composer Hideki Matsutake told a joint press conference in Tokyo Thursday. The coalition met with YouTube and Google executives earlier in the week, the second such meeting this year.

“There is no middle ground,” Matsutake said. “We demand that all copyrighted material be removed immediately.”

Google Copyright Filter Coming to YouTube this Fall

Sometime this Fall, Google will rollout a copyright filtering system for YouTube and try to catch infringements before they’re posted.

At a court hearing related to Viacom’s (and many others) law suit against the video service, YouTube attorney Philip Beck revealed they’re working on a system that would only take a few minutes to determine if a clip is copyrighted material. Unfortunately, Beck was somewhat vague on when Google would have the screening in place. Clarification from Google doesn’t help either:

“We hope to have the testing completed and technology available by sometime in the Fall,” said a Google spokesman in an e-mail. “But this is one of the most technologically complicated tasks that we have ever undertaken, and as always with cutting-edge technologies, it’s difficult to forecast specific launch dates.”

Microsoft Takes Aim at Web Video with Silverlight

According to a blog post at CNET, Microsoft’s “cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering the next generation of .NET based media experiences” also known as Silverlight is set to be released this week.

Silverlight is designed to be a competitive offering to multi-media development tools and plug-ins like Flash. Flash has been the development tool of choice for web based video publishers, and Microsoft would like to usurp Adobe’s dominance in this space.

Martin LaMonica with CNET states “Silverlight videos embedded within a Web page can be resized and have higher fidelity than Flash videos, according to Microsoft.”

Building a better mouse trap may be a good strategy for Microsoft; however, replacing a long time standard like Flash may prove difficult in the long run.

Online Videos Go Viral as Study Shows 57% Share their Favorites

If you have plans for any kind of viral marketing campaign in 2007, you may wish to take a look at the numbers revealed by a new Pew study.

57% of internet users watch video online and of that number 57% send their favorite videos on to their friends. They must be sending them to more than one person, judging by the 75% that said they receive videos from others. If your video appeals to the 18-29 age group, you can expect that video sharing rate to jump to 67%.

But before you grab your video camera and round up the staff, you may want to consider some investment into video production. 62% of online video watchers prefer content that is “professionally produced” and only 19% prefer videos “produced by amateurs.” Can’t be bothered to hire a production crew? Target the male 18-29 demo – only 43% of them prefer professional video.

Ustream Adds New Features to Live Video Service

Ustream has announced a series of upgrades to their live video streaming service, making it even more interactive with viewers.

Here’s what they’ve added:

The Shout Meter:

Every time you click, you boost both your personal shout volume for the show (how interested you are), as well as the overall roar of the crowd. Both measures of shout volume are dynamic–as soon as you stop clicking, both your personal shout volume and the roar of the crowd start to fade. This lets Ustream measure the second-by-second excitement level of each show, and highlight the most exciting shows by featuring them on the homepage and program guide.

Live Polls:

The new Ustream will also let our broadcasters find out how their audience feels with our new Live Polls. At any time during your broadcast, you can go to the Broadcaster Console and set up an Live Poll just by clicking Poll and filling out the form.

Personal Links:

Add links to your Facebook or MySpace profiles. You can even add a link to a PayPal “tip jar.”

Past Clips:

Want viewers to be able to watch your old clips? Now, with the Past Clips module,viewers can page through your old clips without ever leaving your show page. Better make sure you’ve checked what’s in those archives!

Look for these on next Tuesday’s broadcast of Marketing Pilgrim Live!