February 15, 2007
Move Over Henry--Clay-mation Gumby is the New "Great Compromiser"

While YouTube has been in the news most heavily this week for complying to Fox's request for names, the company has also struck another significant deal in its continued negotiations with copyright holders. While dealing with Viacom may have gone sour, the company has struck a deal with the Digital Music Group (DMGI), so that users on YouTube will be granted th right to use particular DGMI songs for clips. According to Mike Shields with MediaWeek, the company "owns or controls over 40,000 musical recordings."

But wait...that's not all. The company has also agreed to make a variety of classic TV shows available through YouTube's video sharing services, including I Spy, My Favorite Martian, and Gumby. Ahhh...what classics.

DMGI gets a cut of the ad revenue from these videos, and YouTube will detect videos that use songs from their music library and will give DGMI an appropriate cut on ad money from those videos as well.

Rick Aristotle Munarriz, in When Google Met Gumby, points out that DMGI owns a variety of video content that would be potentially very valuable for the niche audiences that scour YouTUbe. "Besides, many of the claymation shorts--like Gumby Adventures and The Mr. Bill Show--in Digital's arsenal are perfect fodder for YouTube's short-attention-span audience."

See my post earlier this month about the squabble between Google and Viacom leaving the consumer on the sidelines.

For a while, we've been writing about Google's plans to deal with copyright holders.

Last October, Warner Music Group and Sony signed a similar deal to the one by DMGI. As I wrote then:

The partnership is with Sony BMG and Warner Music Group, with the videos debuting later this month. Both Google and the record labels will share in the profits, and the long-term plan is to make this content available through other Web sites as well, sites that features Google AdSense advertisements. The Sony videos had been available for download since January through the Google Video Store.

In addition, according to their recent statement, the company wants to create copyright-safe places for user-generated content, such as a space that would allow them to create videos using footage from the Google music video repository that can be repurposed and then posted to Google Video. In other words, the company is looking to create ways to do what YouTube does without facing the barrage of lawsuits that have been threatened in the past few months.