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by Mike Zazaian October 9, 2006 - 12:39pm, 6 Comments

YouTube to Feature Video from Universal, Sony, CBS

Amid rumors that YouTube may be acquired by Google, the web’s most popular video-sharing site has inked a deal to feature video content from three studio giants.

The agreement will make video and music content from Universal Music Group, Sony BMG Music Group and CBS to be available for download. YouTube’s announcement didn’t specify what the cost of the content will be, or exactly how the studios will be compensated for their content, but some sort of pay-per-play system seems to be the goal. The studios will also reserve the right to approve the use of copyrighted content published on YouTube. From an article by Candace Lombardi of cnet news:

The Sony BMG deal will be similar to that with UMG, allowing both artist music and video content to be used with permission. YouTube’s deal with CBS will allow users to purchase content such as news, sports and prime-time programming from its CBS brand television channels. It also includes technology that will allow CBS to find unauthorized CBS content on YouTube and remove it, or choose to keep the content up and stream advertising next to it.

The deal comes just a few weeks after YouTube inked a similar deal with Warner Brothers that granted YouTube users the right to use video and music from the Warner Music Group in their own videos and artistic works. Like the deals with UMG, Sony and CBS, Warner retained the right to remove user content that uses its media in an inappropriate manner. Unlike the other three, however, Warner’s content, primarily music videos and interviews, was released to users free of cost.

Warner’s approach seems more conducive to the free-sharing philosophy emboded by YouTube. Warner is likely aiming for a more advertising-oriented campaign on YouTube, while new deals with the three aforementioned studios seek direct profit through sales. And while media from UMG, Sony and CBS is sure to get some publicity from its YouTube venture, YouTube’s 35 million daily users might find it difficult to adjust to paid content on a site that thrives on its freedom and openness.

[via cnet]