updated 04:20 pm EDT, Tue April 26, 2011
Fox, Paramount blame piracy for YouTube exit
Fox and Paramount have supposedly backed out of YouTube's imminent major movie service in an attempt to force action on piracy. Unofficial comments from the two claim that they won't get onboard as long as Google is indexing pirate video sites in its search engine and allowing them AdSense placement. Disney, not mentioned before, was also leaning the same direction, The Wrap said.
Their holdouts might have been causing problems. An anonymous Warner executive purportedly confirmed his studio's plans to be on YouTube's movie service day-and-date with the launch but said YouTube was bent on "trying to get everybody," leading to delays.
Those onside with YouTube mostly saw the sheer number of visitors, 130 million each month, as too large to ignore. They also have faith the company would help steer viewers towards buying movies and eventually develop the technology to match. It's not clear whether YouTube promised it to studios or if it was simply a hope.
While unconfirmed, they mirror reasons most of the same studios gave for blocking Google TV and largely neutering its web video support for mainstream viewers. Google has prioritized legitimate content, but CBS and others haven't so far been convinced it was doing enough. Google's light touch on active filtering and blocking has brought it to a House subcommittee to answer on its involvement.
Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and other established companies haven't faced this issue since none run a search engine that could be used to find bootleg content. YouTube may be pressured into a compromise since its parent Google may be eager to give Android and Chrome OS a universal movie service that OS limitations and a lack of outside interest have prevented until now.