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Rory Cellan-Jones

Video Bay: A young YouTube?

  • Rory Cellan-Jones
  • 29 Jun 09, 15:57 GMT

If you thought the people behind the Pirate Bay were going to keep a low profile after losing that epic court battle over copyright, think again.

The Video BayTheir latest venture is called Video Bay, and after a period of reasonably private testing, they're now giving the wider world a glimpse of its workings.

And what they appear to be planning is a rival to YouTube, and one which will cause even more outrage to the film and music industries than did the original file-sharing site.

You can't get much of an idea about the plans for Video Bay yet - a message on the home page says:

"This site will be an experimental playground and as such subjected to both live and drunk (en)coding, so please don't bug us too much if the site ain't working properly."

But you can see that some video has already been uploaded, and much of it seems to be the kind of copyright material - music videos, TV episodes - which would instantly attract a warning notice and probably instant deletion if uploaded to YouTube.

Still, wasn't that exactly what YouTube looked like in its early days, before the takeover by Google and the multi-billion dollar lawsuits from media firms unhappy about the use of their content?

I put that point to a spokesman for Google, who insisted that the comparison did not hold water. He said that, right from the start, YouTube was run in accordance with the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the EU's e-commerce directive. So that meant that if content owners spotted their material on the site, they could contact YouTube and get it taken down sharpish.

But once Google took over, that was not enough to satisfy Viacom, which felt that a giant corporation ought to be able to police the site and deal with abuse of copyright.

And that forced Google to introduce what it calls its "Content ID" system, which automates the process of spotting copyright content the moment it is uploaded.

Media firms then have a choice - they can either have it deleted (like my classy video of Brentford v Exeter City), or choose to "monetise" it (as Cat Stevens record label did when I inadvertently used his music as a backing track).

Google says that media firms are mostly choosing the latter option: "they've gone from wanting to block it to seeing YouTube as a platform where they can make money," as the spokesman put it.

We can only speculate what Video Bay will look like when - and if - it is finally launched, but it seems possible that, unlike YouTube, it will allow users to upload more than 10 minutes of material at a time. That will allow the provision of episodes of TV series, or extended highlights of sports events - just the kind of material that content owners are most keen to protect.

But content owners claim they are now looking to work with new platforms rather than instantly reach for their lawyers - so will their attitude to Video Bay be more lenient than it was to YouTube in the early days?

Unlikely - unless the Pirate Bay folks are suddenly going to come over all law-abiding, agree to take down any copyright material, and police their site for anything that may contravene the rules.

Or perhaps the world's media industries will decide that Video Bay can be an exciting new advertising platform and work with the Swedes to develop it.

Anyone betting on either of those outcomes?

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Just found out about the audio and video tags they use on VideoBay. I will definitely be trying something out with those new tags.

    I think it will be a direct rival to Youtube, maybe better, and it won't block content due to regions like Youtube does.

  • Comment number 2.

    Video bay is certainly a better alternative to youtube to the common person but certainly a worse alternative to record/movie companies.

    Does this show that they live in a separate world?
    Does this show that they don't represent our interest?

    I think so.

  • Comment number 3.

    The most popular defence argument during the Pirate Bay trial was "it's not us breaking the law - we don't host the content." This will change with Video Bay - now they will be directly hosting copyright content which will give prosecutors even more ammunition against them.

    However, the fact they are using HTML5 tags is excellent news for standards-compliant browsers. Speaking as a web designer, I hope this will encourage people to move away from Internet Explorer (particularly IE 6).

  • Comment number 4.

    I'm puzzled by the BBC giving free publicity to these convicted thieves. Rory - will you be so sanguine when they start offering BBC content illegally or perhaps, offering up anything you've ever done and make a living from for free. I doubt it.

    This kind of article is very much part of the problem. You give these losers credibility. Instead of negotiating with legitimate industry and creators of content they have decided they know best...and try to masquerade as somehow representing a new vanguard of openness and freedom when in fact all they are are thieves and criminals. They're not doing it for free - so THEY make money by creating, erm, absolutely nothing.

    if they are so against the concept of ownership of anything, perhaps they'd be good enough to let you know where they live and allow you to tell us. I'll then arrange to pop over and provide a redistributive portal where I'll host their posesssions and means of making a living (they must have a swannky PC at least) and enable others to, erm, access them.

    In the meantime, I look forward to next weeks article on how we can all make money from selling counterfeit drugs.






  • Comment number 5.

    How on earth are they going to fund this? Even YouTube looses money, and bandwidth isn't cheap.

  • Comment number 6.

    VideoBay ignoring copyright will most certainly make the resource better for the visitor. Say goodbye to "this is not available in your country".
    It's the same as TPB having better music choice than iTunes or better movie choice than Blockbuster.
    Corporate interference only ever serves to stifle the wonders of modern technology in the interest of getting a few people rich, and this becomes immediately measurable as you watch the choice get ever slimmer.

    Oh and shookster, maybe in your haste to spit venom at IE6, you've overlooked the fact that HTML5 doesn't run in almost every other browser either. Speaking as a web developer ;-)

  • Comment number 7.

    I just did a 30 seconds search on youtube. And found ENDLESS copyrighted complete tv shows/movies and music.

    Seems like their "automatic filters" dont amount to much

  • Comment number 8.

    HTML 5 Video tags are partially supported in the Gecko, WebKit and Presto to a partial extent - that is the rendering engines behind Firefox, Safari and Chrome, and Opera respectively.

    HTML 5 in it's entirety is not supported by any browser.

  • Comment number 9.

    I hope none of the people who make use of this 'service' complained about the greed or immorality of their MP's expenses.

  • Comment number 10.

    I think the music business should do something about "booking fees" for concert tickets - now that is daylight robbery, never mind piracy.

  • Comment number 11.

    I thought they were in jail ?

  • Comment number 12.

    Well Rory, with the news that TPB is selling out to a corporate entity, maybe the outcome about TPB becoming all law abiding is more likely.

    Dubzgrubs, copyright infringement dear boy, you must listen properly. I'd also point out the bigger picture of the debate here but it would clearly be a waste of time.

    Mrshields2u - i'm fine with complaining about MP's expenses. It was Public Money spirited away with no care, attention or thought about the tax paying public by people who are elected to public office to serve the people. They are expected to put the public's interest first.

    This discussion is also almost always taken in the context of illegal file sharing but this is actually about filesharing. It's the same way we are corrupting thought of what a knife is. A knife is a knife, it's the intent of its use as a weapon which becomes a matter of concern.

    cynicaleng - jailed, but not in jail. Think you did your shoelaces wrong too....

    TPB is likely to go the way of Napster now and that's a shame because it's part of an anarcho-cyberscape that has come about because the Internet has been the greatest democratising tool we have seen in our lifetimes.

    By the end of our lifetime it is likely to be a tool for governments and big corporations and we can have a few message boards here and there, rich media though they may be, where Big Brother sees all.

    Stay Pirate!

  • Comment number 13.

    The Piratebay just got sold for $7.8 million....
    good for them, now they can pay the legal fees and have a good amount to spare...

  • Comment number 14.

    I'm not placing money on any outcomes just yet. However, youtube has been doing rather a lot to lose viewers lately. In an effort to make money, it's slowly losing relevance; it's turning into the Disney of the internet, over-sanitized in order to attract big business sponsorship, search results messed up to show sponsored stuff first, videos wrongly removed for "copyright violation" when none is committed, users wrongly banned for speaking their minds on controversial topics, and so forth. Part of the problem is the reporting system - there really is no-one at the wheel to check whether complaints are legitimate.
    This is likely to slowly get worse, and legitimate youtube users are likely to simply go elsewhere. Whether this new service will catch on remains to be seen, they need to finish development first. It also depends on how its bandwidth costs are being funded too. If it works, it'll be a major competitor to youtube. It'll also be worth a LOT for the guys who designed it (the piratebay team)

  • Comment number 15.

    IRcutekitten wrote

    "If it works, it'll be a major competitor to youtube. It'll also be worth a LOT for the guys who designed it (the piratebay team)"

    Its worth a lot...$7.8 million...and there is no way this will compete with Youtube


    Reference:
    http://mashable.com/2009/06/30/breaking-the-pirate-bay-sold-for-7-8-million/

  • Comment number 16.

    It will be interesting to see how all of this pans out.

    On the other hand!
    Rory:
    This still isn't a review for the new Samsung Jet the mobile which has attracted the most pre-orders in history. Disappointed Rory call yourself impartial if Apple had an app out that did nothing at all you would have had a review already preaching the benefits of owning it.

  • Comment number 17.

    "But content owners claim they are now looking to work with new platforms rather than instantly reach for their lawyers - so will their attitude to Video Bay be more lenient than it was to YouTube in the early days?

    Unlikely - unless the Pirate Bay folks are suddenly going to come over all law-abiding, agree to take down any copyright material, and police their site for anything that may contravene the rules."

    Yes very unlikely, unless the people behind Video Bay give full control to the media companies they won't go for the softly softly approach, what they can't control they don't want out there.

    "Or perhaps the world's media industries will decide that Video Bay can be an exciting new advertising platform and work with the Swedes to develop it."

    Nope they'll try to shut it down like they are every other file sharing site.

    The only outcome I see is that Pirate Bay will be resurrected as a pay site, much in the same way Napster was.

    The media companies still don't get it. They think that by shutting down sites and/or forcing them to restart as pay sites helps the consumer by showing them that things are being done legally, when in actual fact all it does is push the "piracy" even further underground.

    The only people who will benefit from the death of Pirate Bay is the fat cats at the top of the food chain, as per usual. Nice to the owners of Pirate Bay/Video Bay have joined that elite group as well...

  • Comment number 18.

    It's a very good idea but it will fail unless it's hosted on a private island without copyright law. Don't forget, the defence they had for The Pirate Bay was that none of the content was hosted by them, but this is clearly not the case here.

    And anyway, The Pirate Bay recently sold out to the entertainment industry.

  • Comment number 19.

    What experience qualifies Mr Rory Cellan-Jones to hold the position of 'technology correspondent'?

    After reading several of Mr Cellan-Jones's articles and veiwing several of his video news reports (in particular, his video report concerning domain names in which he held up a series of cards, subterranean homesick blues-style!!!), I suspect that Mr Cellan-Jones understands very little about technology.

    For example, has he ever built his own PC? Has he ever constructed a web site? Has he ever held any responsible position in the field of technology?

    Can anyone explain to me why someone so obviously ignorant of technological issues and practicalities is deemed by the BBC to be capable of understanding and reporting on the subject of technology?

 

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