Media companies large and small have lost patience with YouTube.com's inability to curb illegal posting of copyright-protected content on its site, and those that have large collections of digital content they want distributed under their terms are taking action.
YouTube says it will -- someday -- use filters and algorithms to provide those protections, but only for media companies that sign distribution agreements with the site. Not surprisingly, it's too little, too late.
Today, Reuters reports that media giant Viacom has made an agreement with up-and-coming file-sharing site Joost to offer full-length programming free to users.
The copyright protections Joost is building into its site are garnering the bulk of the attention. (Viacom very recently demanded that YouTube.com take down over 100,000 of its videos from its site, and the dispute may end up in court.)
But we think what will tip the scales for other media companies is the fact that Joost is sweetening the pot with provider control of advertising around offered content, as reported in The Mercury News. Exactly how many dollars that portion of the deal will translate into for Viacom isn't known yet, but a Sci-Tech Today article says similar deals the company has struck have netted two-thirds of the advertising take.
Joost is the latest brainchild of Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, founders of peer-to-peer site Kazaa and Skype, the IP telephony company that made its name in the consumer space and is now infiltrating the enterprise. The two entrepreneurs are no strangers to intellectual property skirmishes, nor to bringing to market business models that quickly create or contribute to significant change.