You could just FEEL this coming. Reuters reports that Google is going to acquire YouTube for $1.65 billion in stock.
The purchase is the first one that puts a more than $1 billion dollar value on a user participation Web site, the story says.
It’s quite a formidable sounding combination — the Skynet-like Google, which everyone uses to find practically anything in the Internet universe (and then some), and what many people see as the site that ushered video-sharing into mainstream pop culture.
First question I have — what does this mean for Google Video? Is YouTube going to be assimilated or is it still going to be treated like a separate entity and maintain its (what I think) user-friendly interface?
Second — and this has been brought up already in other parts of the blogosphere — what does this mean in terms of copyright lawsuits? Google, of course, has a godlike amount of money, so are companies going to be crawling out of the woodwork to sue over copyrighted stuff that’s been posted on YouTube? The site might not be responsible for what’s put up there — but that doesn’t stop people from firing off some legal bullets. Or takedown requests.
Mark Cuban talked a little bit about this Friday at an Online News Association conference. Here’s the story.
For a little extra food for thought, here’s the Hollywood Reporter’s take on the union.