Time Warner to Google: We spell your merger “SueTube”. Battelle to TW: Lookout!

John Battelle thinks Time Warner is mistaken to attack Google on copyright, writing over at Searchblog:

a shot across the bow may bring a broadside from the other side

I usually agree with John Battelle but I don’t really follow his logic here. I agree with him and Bob Dylan that “The Times They are a Changin”“, and that we need a new song to show how the old media empires don’t get the internet. I’d call that song “The Time Warner’s .. They Aren’t a Changin’ “.

However, I don’t see how bringing out the big legal beasts will hurt Time Warner. Frankly, I think they just want Google to throw money at them. As the Napster buyout proved all this has little to do with “rights”, it’s a money grab, sung as usual to the tune of that great O’Jay’s tune of years and years ago “The Love of Money” :
Money money money money ….. money!
The HUGE winners in this are the clever YouTube founders who really just created a very clever distribution system at an opportune time. The user community, and then the GoogleBucks, followed. One thing that irks me about all these mega deals – including Google itself – is that they are built on the backs of the swelling supply of (mostly) user generated content and in the case of YouTube a lot of illegally obtained copyrighted stuff. There will be little or no compensation to the *key components* of the YouTube environment other than a distribution vehicle. Now, one might argue that that exposure is enough compensation for an average YouTube uploader but it still seems…”wrong” to me.

I’d agree that those who create and then monetize these efforts should make a lot, but it’s unfortunate that people, like sheep, choose not to aggressively explore all our online alternatives. I think if we did do more exploring and innovative thinking we’d have a stronger ecosystem of companies rather than a few big players and a plethora of “also rans” standing around drooling at the prospect of a Google or Yahoo buyout.

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