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Content-owners attitudes to YouTube vary wildly. On the one hand some (like Viacom) have decided on high-stakes legal battles for "massive intentional copyright violations". On the other, some conventional broadcasters (like NBC) have created their own official YouTube landing pages. In the NBC case, they have taken the decision to engage with YouTube and bring more international eyes to their content, with all the promotional and advertising benefits that can come with that. Somewhere in the middle you get companies like the BBC, who neither condone nor violently oppose their content arriving on YouTube: some clips are taken down, while some others remain.
This is an uncomfortable time for companies established in the traditional world of television, while at the same time many others have seized the opportunity to find a new audience via Internet technology, for example YouTube, Hulu, Zattoo. Even the traditional video/DVD rental business has suffered, with companies in that sector also diversifying into video streaming via the net (e.g. Blockbuster and LoveFilm). The type of entertainment available encompasses everything from full movie delivery to live TV to clips and short content for 'snacking'. In the area of TV to the mobile, this idea of 'snacking' has taken hold, with attention spans on those small screens being below 10 minutes on average.
Technology has a role to play in protecting and measuring streamed content (e.g. DRM, and digital watermarking), and this will be important as not all content can be 'free'; movie and TV production is an expensive business, and there are still writers, actors and musicians that need to pay their mortgages. YouTube has showed us the way in terms of a new business model and a powerful new entertainment medium, but a balance must still be found in terms of what we must pay for and what we get for free.