VEOH decision about copyright

Its a good day for social media sites – a judge just threw out a case against Veoh (the video sharing site) and ruled that such sites are protected under the safe harbor law provided they do the below things. Copyright is a of concern to anyone running a social media site and this ruling is welcome. Copyright has not been a really big problem for SlideShare. We get the occasional DMCA and act on it immediately. Sometimes content uploaders are really upset when they approach us, but usually calm down after our swift response. We are lucky that the content owners in question are not the music companies!

TechCrunch’s analysis of the ruling is that as long as video sharing sites (and I am extending that to presentation sharing sites) do below, they are protected under safe harbord provision.

– Let users know that they should not upload copyrighted material. (we point this out)
-Act immediately DMCA takedown notices (we try to respond within 24 hours)
-Use technology to detect copyrighted material (we dont do that, but we do have community flagging mechanisms for pointing out copyrighted materials)
-Control infringing users, especially repeat offenders. (we do this)
-Most importantly, the court ruled that sites don’t need to check every video. This is important – there is no way we could check every file that is uploaded.
-Most of the content should be non-infringing (this is definitely true for us – we receive complaints for a very small proportion of content – much less than 1%)

Why did Google acquire Omnisio?

For those who live under a rock (read don’t read Techcrunch/Techmeme), Google just acquired Omnisio – a company that lets you synchronize YouTube videos with SlideShare slideshows. At first I was wondering if they are planning to use Omnisio to mashup Google Presently with YouTube. But I think I just found the answer in the YouTube blog.

Omnisio, a small California-based startup that’s focused on making online video more useful and collaborative. The Omnisio team has tremendous technical expertise when it comes to advanced video tools and having this kind of talent at YouTube should help us further explore ways to enhance your YouTube experience.

Its a talent and some technology acquisition. Its about video annotations and comments. Makes complete sense.

Video is a continuous stream. Omnisio lets you annotate and tag particular points in this continuous stream. Imagine coming to a video and rather than start it from beginning, go to particular points that have been tagged or commented. Imagine a layer of social metadata that lives on top of video (a la notes on Flickr pictures).

Our slidecasting technology does essentially the same thing – but for audio rather than video. Slidecasting allows you to link particular points in the audio stream and thus annotate them.

I ran into Ryan, one of the Omnisio founders, at the last Startup2Startup dinner and he mentioned there was interesting news upcoming. All the best to Ryan and other members of the Omnisio team!