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· Charter Gold Club Member
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Just what I was thinking...
OTHER VOICES: by Evie Haskell [email protected]

Here's one you gotta love: Steve Ballmer says Google is a blooming monopolist which poses a ... hang on now ... threat to "all media."

Yep, CEO of the company best known for its repeated attempts to gain, and hold, a monopoly on all things computing is now pointing a finger at Google as the potential monopolist de jour.

What Ballmer actually said in an interview with BusinessWeek: "What Google is doing now is transferring the wealth out of the hands of rights holders into Google. So media companies around the world are all threatened by Google." If a strong competitor doesn't step up quickly, Ballmer continues, "You can short all media stocks right now."

Aside from the obvious, and self-serving, pot-calling-the-kettle-black aspects of this, Ballmer makes some interesting points. Having paid more than 1 percent of its market cap ($1.6 billion) to acquire internet phenom YouTube, and having a finger in just about every currently "hot" web-based property via either advertising deals or direct investment, Google is arguably poised to dominate all things internet. That, of course, includes video via internet. And if you believe that the internet will continue to take up an ever larger piece of the consumer media pie, then yes ... Google is moving into position to gobble us all. Why else would Google honcho Eric Schmidt be crisscrossing the country to assure various media barons that Google is "not in the content business" and will vigorously defend the copyrights of said barons?

Of course, the barons themselves are not so convinced. Time Warner's Dick Parson's, for one, is on record as most definitely planning to defend his company's rights over miscellaneous pieces of video and music flitting across the 'net. Speaking to The Guardian, he recently noted, "If you let one thing ignore your rights as an owner it makes it much more difficult to defend those rights when the next guy comes along."

So here we are folks, back in the trenches of digital media rights with questions on exactly how the internet kaleidoscope might impact our futures. It's not that we think the 'net will eclipse such forces as DirecTV, Comcast, DISH etc anytime in the near future ... Just look at the techno glitches currently hobbling various movie download services to get your answer to that. But fact is that all things internet are moving much, much faster than most media pundits have expected. So keeping an eye on the latest wanna-be monopolists is probably a very good idea.

www.SkyReport.com - used with permission
Ed. Note: Hosting copyrighted video footage and allowing users to view and/or
download same violates copyright laws, which, IMO, makes YouTube.com, now
Google, the new Napster.
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