This week’s news was quite a hodgepodge so without delay, let’s end the week with a diverse version of Drama 2.0’s The Web Week in Review.
Somebody else thinks that Google is liable for the massive copyright infringement that has been and is taking place on YouTube.
Italian television company Mediaset SpA, which is controlled by Italy’s prime minister, has sued Google for “at least” €500mn.
In its lawsuit, which was filed in Italy, Mediaset claims that over 4,500 videos infringing its copyrights were found on YouTube during a “sample analysis” conducted on June 10, 2008.
Bloomberg reports that Mediaset claims that it has “lost the equivalent of 315,672 broadcasting days.“
Apparently, in an email response, Google feels that there is “no need for legal action” since it “prohibits users from uploading infringing material.“
As I pointed out, however, in my post on Viacom’s lawsuit against Google, Viacom content is still freely available on YouTube.
While the outcome of the lawsuits pending against Google for YouTube copyright infringement are obviously unknown, it’s worth noting that the potential liabilities from ongoing lawsuits exceeds the amount Google paid for YouTube.
That certainly isn’t happy news for Google shareholders.
While the legal battles around the allegations that Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg “stole” Facebook from his former Harvard classmates have received far more attention, competitor MySpace has an equally debated history.
Shareholders of Intermix, the company that owned MySpace, had sued the Intermix executives behind the sale of MySpace to News Corp. alleging that they were defrauded to the tune of “billions of dollars” because Intermix executives knew the value of MySpace was significantly higher than the $580mn it was sold to News Corp. in 2005.
On July 14, 2008 a California judge ordered that the case go to trial as he denied a motion to have it dismissed.
Brad Greenspan, who founded eUniverse, the company that created and launched MySpace, has alleged that the sale of MySpace to News Corp. was orchestrated by Intermix CEO Richard Rosenblatt for personal gain at the expense of shareholders.
Based on the information Greenspan has provided, I think there is the possibility that this could get very interesting if any of it is accurate.
Can you buy an ugly website with potential, build it up and sell it for a decent profit?
According to the New York Times, buying and “fixing up” underperforming and undervalued websites is a viable business for many entrepreneurs.
While big acquisitions make all the headlines, it’s easy to overlook entrepreneurs like David Hermansen, who paid $1,800 three years ago for an online store called birdcage.com, redesigned it, monetized it and sold it in December 2007 for $173,000.
While there is certainly money to be made doing this, much like the “fix it and flip it” approach to real estate, there are risks and it’s easy to fail.
According to the New York Times, “the average selling price of Web sites on eBay was $78 last month.“
Nothing to write home about.
That said, buying a website for a reasonable sum and hoping to turn it into an asset that can be sold for 5 or 6-figures is quite a bit more realistic for most entrepreneurs than starting an internet company, raising venture capital and flipping it 3 years later for $500mn.
It’s all about the cloud.
With cloud computing taking center stage in the minds of many in the technology industry, Yahoo, Intel and HP announced a partnership that looks to “advance the development and adoption of large-scale, data-intensive internet-hosted applications and IT infrastructure.“
Say that 3 times fast.
While there’s no doubt that the cloud is interesting and valuable, I still categorize the cloud as being a bit more sizzle than steak.
Cloud computing is not without its issues and in my opinion, not everything needs to be moved to the cloud just because it can be.
That said, I can state that this partnership makes a lot more sense than IBM’s partnership with Linden Lab, the creator of Second Life.