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by Mike Zazaian October 26, 2006 - 2:07pm, No Comments

Warner Partners with Brightcove, Mimics YouTube

Warner Music Group signed a deal with Internet video provider Brightcove that will spread Warner-owned videos around the web in a free, ad-supported form.

The deal will bring videos from Warner Music Group’s (WMG) Sire, Atlantic, and Elektra labels to embedded video players on the pages of Warner’s own websites. Users will be able to view and share artist performances, interviews and music videos for free, with Warner taking a cut of the advertising revenue that their videos generate. Warner signed an a similar deal with video-sharing leader YouTube on September 19th, where it also brought video content to users in a free, ad-supported form. Unlike the YouTube deal, however, Brightcove will simply manage and publish the Warner videos on Warner’s own websites rather than that of a third-party/

A key element of Warner’s strategy in both partnerships seems to be maximum exposure. Warner has granted users of both YouTube and Brightcove the right to use Warner videos on personal blogs, websites, MySpace pages or any similar Web venture. In addition for benefiting from joint ad revenues, WMG seems to recognize that such viral sharing of their content on the ‘Net is likely worth more in word-of-web advertising than any ad revenue could ever be.

The counterpoint to WMG’s web-friendly approach has been the Universal Music group, which has taken a hard-line stance against sharing of its copyrighted video content. Universal filed a lawsuit against YouTube clones Grouper and Bolt.com last week for allegedly facilitating the illegal exhibition of UMG-copyrighted video clips. The lawsuit seeks damages in the sum of $150,000 per video from the two firms, all but ensuring that a successful suit for Universal would sink the diminutive Grouper and Bolt.com, who boast only 1.8 million and 8.1 million visitors per month respectively. Said a spokesperson for Universal:

[Grouper and Bolt.com] cannot reasonably expect to build their business on the backs of our content and the hard work of our artists and songwriters without permission and without compensating the content creators.

Prior to filing suit against Grouper and Bolt it seemed that Universal had YouTube in its sights as a primary target. Universal hadn’t explicitly said how it would deal with YouTube, but noted, We believe these new businesses are copyright infringers and owe [us] tens of millions of dollars … How we deal with these companies will be revealed shortly.

Google’s acquisition of YouTube could have soured Universal’s plans, as a suit against the Google-YouTube behemoth, backed by well over $100 billion in cash and assets would likely cost the company far more than monetary gains from a potential lawsuit. That said, Google and YouTube aren’t invincible, and the coming months may well test the legality and business model of YouTube and similar sites.

Via cnet news
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