More and more people are watching TV on the web through Youtube and Hulu. This phenomenon proved everyone wrong in the television industry because they believed people will not sit to watch an hour long show on their computer screens. That comes naturally to all industries, they are just too slow to react to revolutions in technology. The music industry is still fighting tooth and nail to maintain its hegemony on distribution and wrestling with iTunes over pricing and control.
So, naturally, television production studios and companies will try to head towards the same track as the RIAA and the music industry and try to fight the evolution. In the end, it only helps alienate their customers and shows them for their true colors. A bunch of greedy and hypocritical fat cats. A prime example of that hypocrisy is the legal fight between Youtube and Viacom.
Court records have just recently gone public and Youtube seemed to be eager to share their frustrations about Viacom. Viacom has filed a lawsuit against Youtube claiming that they haven’t been doing their best in protecting their copyrighted content, and they don’t have the authorization to stream that content on their website without prior permission. Whether they have grounds for the case or not is an entirely different discussion. The sleazy and hypocritical thing about Viacom is that some of the exhibits that they used in their case where infringements by employees in Viacom on behalf of Viacom itself! The reason that they were doing so is because it worked; it was free marketing for their shows and it created the buzz for new series and provided exposure for their shows without costing an arm and leg.
Therefore, while executives at Viacom MTV and Comedy Central were publicly voicing their complaints about Youtube, they were secretly uploading and promoting their content on it. In order to disguise their efforts, they hired marketing companies to do the uploading for them: they would “rough up” the pictures to make it seem that they’re stolen, and they even went so far as to send their employees to Kinko’s to upload the content so that it wouldn’t be traced back to them.
That pissed Youtube so much that they publicly released exhibits and examples of Viacom by Viacom content and published them on the Google press page. The whole thing just smells so foul, it’s exactly like a police officer planting evidence on a suspect and then busting him, except in this case, it’s not only the suspect that will get bruised up, it is the entire Youtube ecosystem. I sure hope that Google bitch slaps Viacom when Google TV takes off.
Would You Like a Side of Ads With that?
That brings me to the second rant in this post. Not only are people watching TV on the net, but a lot of people are using the internet on their TV’s. Since people will be connected on the net, and the net is Google’s dominion, then Google should get its hands in it one way or another and that’s probably the chain of thought that went through the head of a business developer at Google.
Accordingly, Google decided to team up with Intel and Sony to bring us Google TV, which should hit stores sometime this summer. Based on Google Android system, a new generation of TV’s will come equipped with the service or you’ll be able to buy a set-top box to get the same functionality. The service promises to be as easy to use as Twitter and they hope that the fact that it’s open source will make the creative juices of developers ooze. Essentially, they hope to bring the internet browsing and searching experience to a television set near you.
That all sounds dandy, except that it’s starting to feel like Google wants to be present wherever I am so that they would serve me ads… Oh wait! That’s exactly what they are doing and it seems sinister, especially since they already know too much about me to begin with. So, what will be next? Maybe a Google Toilet?
Either way, I hope every evil company in the world gets what’s coming for it, and I honestly miss the days when Google lived by it’s motto of “Do no Evil”. Still, it’s funny that I’m still more inclined to take Google’s side whether it’s in the case of Google vs. China or Google vs. Viacom, and hopefully I won’t be fully disappointed in the long run.
What do you think should be the consumer reaction if a company is perceived as evil or is that the MO of corporate America?
Share with us your thoughts below.