Magazine article Variety

YouTube's Emmy Is a Statue of Limitations

Magazine article Variety

YouTube's Emmy Is a Statue of Limitations

Article excerpt

Award shows how far Google has come, yet still has far to go

YouTube will officially receive its first Primetime Engineering Emmy Award later this month.

Yes, it's a signal of the thawing of enmity between the entertainment industry and YouTube, which streams an astonishing 6 billion-plus hours of video each month. But TV networks and studios still have plenty of concerns about how YouThbe and Google have altered the way video is distributed and consumed, believing that the Internet giant should do more to fight piracy, for example.

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences is giving YouTube the engineering kudos for the site's massive content-processing and delivery infrastructure. YouTube execs will accept the award at an Oct. 23 ceremony the Loews Hollywood Hotel.

"Since YouTube's founding in 2005, the world is surprised on a daily basis by the creativity, inspiration and passion that the planet's most creative people bring to the YouTube platform," the Academy said in announcing the award. The website's technical innovations "have fundamentally changed the way an entire generation thinks of and experiences television."

That's a far cry from the lawsuit Viacom lobbed at YouTlibe in 2007, alleging massive and intentional copyright infringement in seeking upwards of $1 billion in damages - though the Emmy Award also references YouTube's Content ID system for flagging copyrighted material, which the video site created in response to Viacom's lawsuit and other legal threats from content owners.

In fact, Content ID shows how the company has evolved to work in partnership with movie studios, TV nets and music labels. The system lets 4,000 content partners either block uploaded material that they own or let it remain on the service to generate advertising dollars.

"Initially there was uncertainty and tension (with entertainment companies) about, ?Hey, this is a new business model and distribution platform,"' said Jason Gaedtke, the engineering director at YouTube. "But I think Content ID is a great example of a win-win-win. It benefits content owners; it benefits us to keep high-value content on the platform; and it benefits consumers."

Google acquired YouTube for $1.7 billion in 2006, before YouTube had established any kind of business model. …

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