2009年8月29日 星期六

Sony and Amazon to Face Off Over Google Books Deal

August 28, 2009, 3:50 pm

Sony and Amazon to Face Off Over Google Books Deal

Policy and Law

The leading rivals in electronic book readers, Sony and Amazon, are poised to face off against each other over Google’s closely watched settlement with authors and publishers.

This week, Sony asked the judge who is reviewing the proposed settlement for permission to file a friend-of-the-court brief in support of the agreement. “Sony Electronics believes it has a unique perspective on the various ways in which the settlement will foster competition, spur innovation and create efficiencies that will substantially benefit consumers,” Jennifer B. Coplan, a lawyer with Cooley Godward Kronish, wrote in a letter to the court.

Meanwhile, David Nimmer, a prominent copyright lawyer with Irell & Manella, asked the judge this week to be allowed to represent Amazon in the case. The filing does not indicate what arguments Amazon plans to make, but the company recently joined the Open Book Coalition, a group that opposes the settlement. And Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive, has criticized the agreement.

The positions being taken by both companies are not surprising. Amazon sees Google as a potential threat in the e-book business. For its part, Sony has aligned itself with Google in the past.

2009年8月22日 星期六

YouTube, "channel of you."

譬如說我還沒選它為"channel of me"

YouTube's path to profitability: Extended interviews

On Monday, Aug. 24, The Chronicle business section will run a story about YouTube nearing profitability three years after Google Inc. bought the wildly popular video site for $1.65 billion. The company is improving its financial condition by adding more and new types of ads and striking more partnerships with mass media content companies like Disney and Time Warner.

Below are extended versions of technology reporter James Temple's interviews with two executives at the company on these topics.

Hunter Walk, director of product management at YouTube:

Q: How does YouTube see the online video world shaping up and what does it want its role within it to be?

The future of online video is that there is no such thing as online video, there's just video. Consumers are going to be accessing the content that interests them through a number of devices and what's really going to be at the center of that equation is that user, not any particular channel or device. It's the "channel of you."
We think the content you care about is really three types of content: mass/popular media, the stuff that everyone wants to watch, that everyone wants to talk about ... and more niche media that might relate to topics you care about, places you've been, people you know. But then there's also very personal media, the content created by you and your friends, the documenting of you and their lives.
Before that has never been brought to one platform together. Consumers have stapled that together, they've created the channel of you through multiple devices and multiple subscription packages, spending their time on lots of different information gathering. YouTube is the first place that really brings that all together.

Q: But is YouTube still coming up short on the mass market media, when you can't get full episodes of current TV shows like 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live, whereas you can on Hulu.com or by simply turning on your television?

A: No one channel has the totality of all the content that's ever been created, but I think what you see is, content is quickly rushing to these platforms that offer consumers choice.
I look at where we were (just after Google acquired the company), versus two and a half years later and the tremendous amount of that mass media that's been filled in. In January 2007 you were still talking primarily about music, which is still a place where we have an incredible corpus. But since then, having added some long form television in the sense of classic TV or syndication TV, short form content from partners like CBS, ESPN, yesterday's sports highlights, NBA, BBC.
I think it continues to accelerate and my big bet is this content will continue to migrate to YouTube. But because the channel of you is so powerful that consumer will increasingly make consumption decisions based upon the content that is easily accessible to them and consumable by them on their terms.

Q: Could the rapid rise in popularity of Hulu make it harder to get full episodes and other professional content onto YouTube, and the ads that come with them?

A: I think the existence and growth of a site like Hulu has helped companies to decide to commit to online strategies and very often these strategies include YouTube and that is very productive for us.
Hulu is focused on one very particular niche of official content, and it's broadcast television that happens to be on air right now and it's largely content provided by its three majority owners. There's an incredible amount of content that goes beyond that definition and when you look at where that content is aggregating, YouTube is the place.
We're not a media company, but what I do think is we're a media catalyst. We use our platform, we use our technology, we use our monetization tools to accelerate the creation of media and the distribution of media. That's a vision and a mission that's very much in line with Google's broader strategy, which is about information and access to information.

Q: One analyst I spoke to made the point that, while it's all well and good that YouTube may be getting closer to profitability, it's still been three years after a nearly $2 billion acquisition and who knows how much additional money since. By this point they should be contributing a lot more on the revenue side to Google. What's your take on that concern?

A: From just about any objective metric if you look at YouTube's business, you'd be happy. The revenue growth over the last few years; the growth to the second largest search engine ... the impact that YouTube's been able to have on news and politics in the world.
We increasingly have generations of consumers who are looking at YouTube as the new TV, this is what's bringing them a visual on the world around them. Time spent on YouTube is incredibly high, I think it's almost 150 minutes per user a month and only growing.
I don't think there's a way to look at YouTube and be anything but bullish, whether you're looking at our business, whether you're looking at the general trends of how people are interacting with video online and via technology, and then when you look at the actual performance metrics of the site.

Tom Pickett, director of online sales and operations, began the conversation by talking about efforts to make money at YouTube:

A: We are on a great positive trajectory with respect to revenue growth and we've done a lot of work to streamline our operations on the cost side. We've seen tremendous success with selling (ads on) the home page, particularly in the U.S. market and we're starting to get traction with that internationally as well, which represents a big opportunity. More recently (we launched) in-stream advertising (that plays before, during or after the video) on what we call our watch pages. That, I think, is going to be a big opportunity ahead of us as we monetize more and more of the video content that we have on YouTube.
We focused on a lot in the past on big brand advertisers and we're trying to move much more into a broader offering across the whole long tail of advertisers as well.
The way we think about content on YouTube is we want to be the place for all kinds of content, from premium content you might find on TV, to mid-sized content producers who are producing content directly for the web to users who have been able to generate an audience over time on YouTube. All of that content is very attractive to users and we also think very attractive to advertisers. It's going to be a very effective way for advertisers to reach their audience in the future.

Q: What are the broader goals and long-term opportunities of YouTube?

A: The more our partners make, the more we make. And the more content we have on YouTube creates more users coming to YouTube ... In the end, we're really about expanding the pie and we want to share that with our partners.
The home page has gotten us to a great start in getting traction with advertisers and now we're expanding on that, really going much deeper, with using the video content we have as an advertising mechanism.
We do have a viable business here. There have been a lot of doubts about that in the press and what we're saying is that we see ourselves on a really nice trajectory.
Our goal is not just to be a profitable company. Our goal is to be a huge economic force for our partners and for our advertisers -- and in the end, that will benefit our users.

Posted By: James Temple (Email) | August 22 2009 at 09:00 AM

2009年8月8日 星期六

Google book/ settlement.

August 7, 2009, 4:55 pm

William Morris Advises Clients to Say No to Google Settlement

William Morris Endeavor, one of the largest entertainment agencies, has advised the clients of its literary department to opt out of the Google book settlement.

The settlement, of a lawsuit brought by publisher and authors who argued that Google was violating their copyright by scanning books in libraries, would give Google the right not only to digitize those books, but also sell them either as part of databases or individually. Copyright holders who agree to the settlement would have the right to dictate how Google displayed content from the books, and could ask Google not to sell them.

In a memo to clients obtained by The New York Times, William Morris advises writers to opt out of the settlement because it would “bind copyright owners in any book published prior to January 9, 2009 to its terms.” The terms of the agreement call for authors and publishers to split 63 percent of any revenue that Google generates from the sale of a digitized book either individually or in a database, as well as ad revenues from pages where an author’s work appears.

“Now they’ve got this license to sell your books at a pre-negotiated one-time royalty that you’re stuck with unless a court changes the settlement,” Eric Zohn, an attorney in business affairs at William Morris, said in an interview. “It’s like a legislative change. Under copyright law, you don’t have anything without express written consent from the copyright holder. Now the court is saying Google is free to sell your book unless you expressly tell them not to.”

Mr. Zohn said that he was advising clients to allow Google to keep their digitized books in the Google’s database so that the books may be searched. He said he had no problem with snippets of clients’ works appearing in search results, and in fact believed that such uses would be largely beneficial to authors seeking publicity for their work.

from joan chung



免費圖書檢索 http://books.google.com.tw/books