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YouTube Shows Double Standard with Cease & Desist Letter

If Michael Arrington hadn’t posted the actual cease and desist letter from YouTube’s attorney, I probably wouldn’t have believed the company had asked him to remove a tool that allows people to download and store YouTube videos.

It’s extremely hypocritical that YouTube so freely violates the copyright of so many video creators, yet feel they need to prevent others from accessing their content – which isn’t even there’s, as Arrington explains.

Given that downloads, with proper copyright attribution, are permitted under the Terms of Use, it seems like there is no problem at all for a user to download a video for personal use and put it on his or her iPod.

Arrington further suggests that this could just be YouTube covering its butt, by sending the letter, with no real intention of following-up. Either way, the letter is plain crazy.

Google Closes YouTube Deal

TechCrunch has news that Google’s closed the acquisition of YouTube. The final deal appears be worth $1.775 billion and the YouTube founders get $15 million in cash, to buy their Ferraris now.

The final price included $15 million in cash, 3,217,560 shares of Google Class A Common Stock, along with an additional 442,210 shares of restricted stock and warrants. The number of shares was determined by dividing the acquisition price, $1.65 billion, by an average value of Google stock over the last thirty days (this is a standard way of handling public company acquisitions). 12.5% of the stock is being held in escrow for one year.

Google Accidentally Becomes Virus Deliverer

The Google Video team accidentally sent out an email to 50,000 recipients of a Google Video email list, according to eWeek.

“On Tuesday evening, three posts were made to the Google Video Blog-group that should not have been posted,” Google said in a statement. “Some of these posts may have contained a virus called W32/Kapser.A@mm — a mass mailing worm. If you think you have downloaded this virus from the group or an e-mail message, we recommend you run your antivirus program to remove it.”

Computerworld reports Google has confirmed that internal protocols are now in place, to prevent this from happening again. Let’s hope so.

Ning Allows Quick and Easy Social Network Creation

CNET has details of Ning.com’s public launch at the Web 2.0 Summit this week.

While the company has been operating for more than a year, this week was its official coming-out announcement.

If you’ve not heard of Ning, it lets you easily create you own social networking sites. Options include the creation of your own YouTube-style video site, and a MySpace-style social networking platform.

I’ve been playing around with Ning, and it gets my thumbs-up simply because of ease of use. I’ve already used it to create a local networking site for Internet marketers in the Triangle area of North Carolina, and even tested out their video service.

The company plans to offer new features and upgrades in December, which should make it even more compelling.

Add Any YouTube Video You iLike to iTunes

“Like” is the word of the week. After the launch of visual shopping search engine Like.com, earlier this week, comes news from TechCrunch that social music site iLike has added the ability to download music videos from YouTube to iTunes.

Every song on iLike includes a link to play a short sample of the actual song. Now there is also a link to “play video.� Click the link and iLike searches for the video on YouTube, embeds it into the site and begins playing it. In our tests iLike found the correct music video about 2/3 of the time.

The entire rollout took just 72 hours from idea to launch!

You can learn more at the iLike blog.

Video Ads Annoying, Yet More Technology Arrives

MarketingVOX reports on two different stories related to in-stream video ads.

First, Forrester Research discovered 80% of video viewers find pre- or post-video ads to be annoying and 75% of them ignore them.

That’s not the best of news for Atlas, which just launched a new product that allows marketers to publish in-stream video ads.

Well, I seem to recall studies that claimed many web users hated banner ads, yet they still click on them. The challenge has been and will always be, show me something targeted and of high quality and it will be less annoying.

Spot Runner Gets Another $40m to Provide Low-Cost TV Ads

ClickZ has details of some new funding for low-cost television commercial provider, Spot Runner. Spot Runner is an interesting concept, allowing companies to create and place TV ads for as little as $500, using an online interface.

The $40 million raised, is impressive in its own right, but companies financing the round are even more intriguing…

The addition of CBS, Interpublic and WPP as investors is also significant. The three companies are major players in the online/television ad market, controlling billions of dollars in advertising budgets for some of the biggest buyers. On the ad buying side, WPP says it manages about $50 billion of clients’ budgets worldwide and Interpublic Group agencies serve more than 4,000 multinational, regional and local clients around the world.

Anyone actually used Spot Runner?