Update: Should have been more clear in the post. Splashcast’s core product isn’t 100% dependent on third-party video, you can use many media types to create and syndicate your own channel. It’s pretty cool and pretty powerful stuff.
Techcrunch reports that Grouper, the online video service owned by Sony, issued a C&D today to Searchles.com. Searchles in a Washington D.C. based start-up that is essentially a social search engine that lets you bookmark, tag, etc. things you like. They also show videos leeched from others through their own video player, and thats what caught Grouper’s attention.
There are a ton of start-ups that re-broadcast videos found on YouTube, Revver, etc. but do it through their own skinned video player, removing the originating site’s player functionality, branding, and sometimes even the watermark! It’s the easiest way to get your very own YouTube up and running and without any bandwidth costs because the video hosting and costs stay with the originating site.
Great idea if you aren’t staking a business on it. Bad idea if its your core product. My advice to start-ups is: If the core of your product depends on someone else letting you leech their service then you have no business.
Obviously common sense and not a revelation, but it amazes me at how many companies think that they can sustain a product when they are 100% dependant on someone else letting them use what isn’t theirs. A few examples are AdBrite’s InVideo product, Splashcast, PeekVid, and Cut‘s video editing. Although they are great ideas and services, they are based on leeching video that isn’t theirs. So, unless the hope is of a re-broadcast license from YouTube, then they run the risk of being out of business tomorrow.
Hey, YouTube. Want to make money and get those elusive re-broadcast licenses you need to stay alive? Re-license your content! Your welcome for the thought…now go work out the legal issues 🙂