The legal battle of Viacom against Google took years to come to some sort of conclusion. We knew lawyers weren't cheap, but in their recent earnings call, Google CFO Patrick Pichette reminded us just how not cheap. Google spent $100 million defending themselves in the Viacom-YouTube copyright infringement lawsuit, and the case didn't even make it to trial.
A judge dismissed the case last month, and Google is declaring victory. Though, there is still the possibility Viacom could appeal. But considering how much Google spent on this little endeavor, we imagine Viacom's bill was just as high, if not higher. When the total amount of damages requested was only $1 billion, Viacom might be doing the math. Add to that the strong language the judge used in the judgment, coming down on the side of "safe harbor", and Viacom might do better to move on.
We hope you weren't planning to do anything else with the next hour of your life, because that hour is now officially Maximum PC No BS Podcast hour. Better get comfy.
This week, the Maximum PC editors discuss Blizzard's RealID debacle, as well as YouTube's new 4K resolution mode, and whether or not competitive eating should be considered a sport.
Do you have a tech question? A comment? A tale of technological triumph? Just need to get something off your chest? A secret to share? Email us at email@example.com or call our 24-hour No BS Podcast hotline at 877.404.1337 x1337--operators are standing by.
It's been less than a year since YouTube gave the thumbs up to 1080p HD, but they seem determined to never fall behind again. On Friday at the VidCon 2010 conference the streaming video site revealed support for 4K video streams, a resolution that is more than four times the size of 1080p. To put this in perspective they claim the most ideal display for a native 4K video would be a screen measuring more than 25 feet across.
Many agencies reporting on this story have criticized the announcement as little more than posturing given that consumer adoption of 4K is still many years out, but you won't hear any complaints from us. After all, many of us are rocking 30" displays that have far too many spare pixels when watching 1080p anyway.
A sample video collection has been posted to the site for you to checkout, but make sure you come prepared. According to the YouTube blog you'll need a "super-fast broadband" connection, and half way decent hardware to enjoy the sample clips. My initial tests showed satisfactory performance with a 10Mbps cable connection, but it was nearly impossible to detect the difference on a 1920x1200 24" panel between 4K and 1080p.
Now that YouTube offers resolutions far an above everyone's native displays, maybe they could work on improving the bit rate. After all, 4K video is great, but not when it's riddled with compression artifacts. Hit the jump to try one of the clips out for yourself.
Best Buy still hasn't managed to find its funny bone, but at least the company isn't going to fire Brian Maupin, the 25-year-old graphic art student who uploaded a handful of awesome videos mocking the whole mobile phone war. If you haven't seen them yet, stop whatever it is you're doing and kick back for the next few minutes, so long as your boss, kids, and anyone else easily offended by foul language is out of earshot, there's a fair amount of cursing. When the coast is clear, click here and here.
Pretty funny, right? Best Buy didn't think so, and so it suspended Brian Maupin, and it appeared as though he would later be fired. Maybe the media attention had something to do with it, or the fact that Maupin did in fact remove several other less popular videos that mentioned the retail store by name, but either way, he's not getting a pink slip, NBC reports.
"We have completed our investigation into the videos created and posted by Brian Maupin, the aspiring filmmaker and Best Buy employee," Best Buy said in a statement. "This is an important situation for us because it involved balancing our social media guidelines with a commitment to creating a supportive environment for our employees. It's important to note that our investigation involved three videos that were posted in late June because they were openly disparaging of our employees, our customers and our vendor partners. Our investigation is over, and these videos are no longer on the web. Contrary to rumors, Brian has not been fired and is scheduled to return to his job at Best Buy this Friday."
Whether that's a blessing or a curse remains to be seen, and is something Maupin will have to figure out.
"At this point, I haven't decided if it would be appropriate to return," Maupin wrote on his Twitter account.
You can expect greater speed, a much improved UI and a mobile site that closely mimics the main site in terms of the overall experience. The new site might make native YouTube applications on various smartphones seem outdated.
“As the world continues to go mobile, we think this is a great improvement for users who want a more consistent YouTube across many devices, no matter where they are. We're launching in English only today, but will be rolling it out in other languages in the coming months,” YouTube said on its blog.
You can watch the demo video below. Or better yet, direct your phone's browser to m.youtube.com and experience the changes first hand.
July 4 turned out to be a field day for hackers and chance cyber-saboteurs as they converged on the world's most popular video streaming site to wreck havoc using a cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability. They inserted malicious code in the comments section of many YouTube videos to trigger a series of anomalous events, including redirects to porn sites and nasty pop-ups, whenever a user visited a targeted video. Justin Bieber fans were probably the worst hit, with hackers and pranksters concertedly targeting the Canadian singer's videos.
But Google wasted little time in plugging the hole. "We took swift action to fix a cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability on youtube.com," a spokesperson for YouTube's parent company said. "Comments were temporarily hidden by default within an hour [of discovering the problem], and we released a complete fix for the issue in about two hours. We’re continuing to study the vulnerability to help prevent similar issues in the future."
Young Brian Maupin of Kansas City made a hilarious video on YouTube that over a million people viewed (check out the vid here). The only problem is that Brian also works at Best Buy, and Best Buy has no sense of humor. The videos in question poke a little fun at Apple and the iPhone. Best Buy feels the video disparages a product that it sells, as well as the electronics retailer itself. Heaven forbid your employees have opinions about gadgets that they express in their spare time. Brian is now suspended indefinitely and is probably on the way to unemployment.
The most popular video has a customer at "Phone Mart" insisting that the only phone he (or she, the cartoon is indistinct) wants is the iPhone. Even after being told the Evo 4G could print money and grant wishes, the customer still wanted the iPhone because it has "the Wi-Fis". The weird thing here is that the videos say nothing about Best Buy, and Brian does not announce himself as a Best Buy employee. Indeed, the only connection Best Buy has to these videos is the one it has created for itself by perusing this. Maupin is taking the whole thing in stride saying, " I see it all as a blessing in disguise. I’ve wanted to start my career in graphic design/animation for so long, I see this as my kick in the pants to go get it."
Brian suspects Best Buy figured out who he was by digging through his other videos, which he removed at Best Buy's request. He refused to remove the Evo vs iPhone video as it had nothing to do with Best Buy. We wish him the best in his future video endeavors, and shake our collective fist at Best Buy.
“It's important to understand what a site like YouTube needs from the browser in order to provide a good experience for viewers as well as content creators. We need to do more than just point the browser at a video file like the image tag does - there’s a lot more to it than just retrieving and displaying a video,” YouTube programmer John Harding wrote on the YouTube API blog.
Harding cited a number of reason for YouTube's current lack of confidence in HTML5 as far as online video distribution is concerned. He stressed the need for a standard video format, which is obviously not the case right now as the propriety H.264 codec and the open WebM format are locked in a battle to determine the most popular HTML5 video format – the HTML5 spec does not require support for a standard format.
“The <video> tag certainly addresses the basic requirements and is making good progress on meeting others, but the <video> tag does not currently meet all the needs of a site like YouTube:”
Some new numbers for analytics firm comScore have more or less revealed what you have been doing when you're supposed to be working. According to the new stats, YouTube had a record 14.6 billion video views in the month of May. Overall, 183 million US internet users watched at least one online video during that same period. How do you people get anything done?
What's really intriguing here is that the total number of online video views comScore is reporting is just short of 34 billion. Therefore, YouTube had 43% of all online video views last month. The next service in the ranking was Hulu with a measly 1.2 billion videos. Both sites are up a bit from April.
Google specifically sees users watching an average of 101.2 videos per month. The nearest competitor is Yahoo's sites with only 7.3 videos per user each month. Clearly YouTube is a juggernaut in this space. Is there a video streaming site you prefer to use instead of YouTube?
We almost don't know how to say this; the Viacom/YouTube copyright case has finally come to a conclusion. Both companies announced today that U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton granted summary judgment in favor of Google. The suit, and the eventual decision are products of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
Viacom filed the $1 billion lawsuit in 2007 alleging that Google's YouTube video streaming service had been built on the strength of Viacom's illegally hosted content. Google has since implemented a filtering system, but the site used to illegally host a plethora of TV shows and films. Viacom, the parent company of entities like Comedy Central and MTV, claimed Google was in violation of the DMCA. Google however claimed they were protected by the safe harbor clause in the DMCA.
Safe harbor in this context means that a service cannot be held liable for content posted by its users. In the end, the judge bought Google's argument and not Viacom's. Google praised the decision saying it strengthened the idea that "online services like YouTube are protected when they work cooperatively with copyright holders to help them manage their rights online." Viacom made noises about appealing the decision, so we may be in for some fun yet. Do you think this decision ought to stand?