Dealbook is reporting that Google is buying YouTube for $1.65 billion in stock.
There is a fairly considered discussion of the ramifications of the takeover (written when it was only a rumour) over at Seeking Alpha, but I think this quote from the Dealbook article summarises things quite nicely:
One young user, posting under the name xchylerjfk, remarked in an apparently homemade video that Google Ã¢â‚¬Å“are taking over the whole of the InternetÃ¢â‚¬Â and added that Ã¢â‚¬Å“I like YouTube the way it is.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Google has recently been very assertive in its expression of commitment to copyright. If Google is ingenuous about this commitment, it would have to remove a lot of content on YouTube or organise a revenue collection agreement with media companies. If Google can get all major media companies on board, they could have an open license (payed for by their directed advertising) for YouTubers to use whatever content they want.
If they can’t do that, it’s going to be an absolute mess picking out offending videos and removing them. Maybe not from a technology standpoint (I have no idea how advanced Google’s video indexing technology is), but definitely from a user standpoint. If videos start getting banned in a seeminlg randomly manner (more so than they are currently on YouTube) people may choose to upload videos elsewhere.
Update: Google press release here.
Update: Just a quick thought. It would be good to be the last major media company to sign up to any sort of licensing deal… they could set their price.