Homo homini rodentius est

Gootube We Hardly Knew Ye

The news about Google being hit with a $1B lawsuit over copyright infringement throws a bit of a monkey wrench into the froth over Web 2.0 and user-generated (*cough* stolen) content. One envisions the superannuated CEO Sumner Redstone rising from a creaky rocking chair on the porch of his antebellum mansion, Viacom, and shaking his walking stick at those disrespectful upstarts in New Media.

He’s right, of course. They built their business on facilitating dissemination of copyrighted material (going so far as to helpfully transmute uploads into a standard format and slap their logo on it) and have been, for some reason, dragging their heels on setting up licensing deals. Mark Cuban, who has a dog or two in this fight, has been [practically lactating] over the news. But it’s also the talk of the town over on Mike Arrington’s [Techcrunch] and at [Scobleizer]. Aside from the 20-year-olds yelling “Fuck Viacom”, the consensus seems to be that Google will either settle or lose. The question is, why did the “geniuses” at Google allow it to come to this point?

For oh about… 3 seconds I considered taking down the YouTube videos I’ve used on this siite. I don’t want to be complicit in theft. But I’d much rather pay a nominal fee to host the videos. That I don’t have the option to do so points right back at those Stanford-minted geniuses at Google.

Another reason I’m glad I went to Columbia…

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