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Some television networks have banned Google TV from accessing their online episodes out of piracy frustrations. Will customers simply move on to more open networks?  (Source: Reuters)
Fox and MTV Networks haven't blocked their content yet

Your plans to watch those missed new episodes of Chuck on your shiny new Google TV may have to be put on hold.  ABC, NBC, and CBS have all blocked Sony's new HDTVs that pack Google TV from accessing their treasure trove of online episodes that are accessible from the PC for free.

ABC, owned by Walt Disney Co., and NBC, a unit of General Electric's NBC Universal, both still allow the Google TVs to access free teaser clips.  CBS, a part of CBS Corp., does not appear to even allow access to teaser clips.

Other television providers have clearly come out in support of Google.  Among those who provide Google TVs with optimize content include Time Warner Inc.'s HBO, Turner Broadcasting networks, and -- ironically -- NBC Universal's CNBC.

Still other providers like MTV Networks and Fox, a piece of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp empire, remain on the fence with content still accessible, but no official endorsement has been announced yet.  A Fox spokesperson is quoted by 
The Wall Street Journal as saying, "A firm decision has not yet been reached."

It appears that ABC, NBC, and CBS are blocking Google TV both out of fear that they'll draw less ad revenue from the online episodes, and out of anger at Google's unwillingness to apply filtering to its internet search results.  Google TV says it has "optimized" its built in search to show legal episodes first, though illegally uploaded episodes may still pop up.

The internet firm has long clashed with networks on the topic of piracy.  Viacom, owners of Comedy Central and other television channels hoped to spearhead the issue bringing a blockbuster suit against Google.  That suit ended in disaster for Viacom when Google exposed that Viacom employees had been secretly uploading video clips to YouTube under fake usernames, seeking to incriminate Google.  The case was quickly dismissed after that revelation.

A Google spokesperson delivered a tersely worded response on the topic to 
Reuters, commenting, "[Google TV] enables access to all the Web content you already get today on your phone and PC, but it is ultimately the content owner's choice to restrict users from accessing their content on the platform."

Despite its frustrations, the largest internet company in the world says that it is continuing to actively negotiate with the networks to try to restore the content.

Ultimately Google's official statement seems apt -- the biggest losers in this mess are the customers.  And the blocking networks have plenty of cause for concern.  If Google TV gains enough traction, they may find viewers switching to watch TV episodes on more open networks like Fox (assuming Fox doesn't decide that it wants to block too, of course).

Google TV is a specialized version of Android OS optimized to run on Intel's new consumer electronics hardware.  The hardware and OS can be incorporated into Blu-Ray players, or directly into flat-screen TVs.  Past internet-access options relied on an extra set-top box.  

Google makes no money directly from televisions sold with Google TV.  However, it does gain ad revenue from ads that are served when the user searches for content.  It also is using the OS to help funnel more traffic to its property YouTube, which is currently the web's most-visited source of video.

The platform is open to any TV product manufacturer, but thus far only Sony has embraced the operating system.



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Pirated Materials
By DaftDev on 10/22/2010 8:46:27 AM , Rating: 5
So they want to prevent the viewing of pirated materials on Google TV by making those pirated materials the only on-demand source of their shows on the platform? Brilliant!

The ad revenue could be a valid concern, but that could be offset slightly by offering Hulu Plus on Google TV.




RE: Pirated Materials
By Denigrate on 10/22/2010 8:56:44 AM , Rating: 5
Most "entertainment" outlets have been well behind the times for years. They are being dragged kicking and screaming into the digital age. I hope that items like Google TV bring the age fo ala carte TV viewing to reality. I simply don't want 95% of stations offered by Cable/Satellite which is why I only have a Netflix sub and an antenna in my attic for OTA channels.


RE: Pirated Materials
By quiksilvr on 10/22/2010 9:18:00 AM , Rating: 5
It's not that they are behind the times. It's what they saw happen to the music industry that has them nervous.

They don't want it to be a simple 5 minute download of their shows to the point where essentially everyone does it (I mean, seriously, EVERYONE downloads music for free).

So what is the solution? Throttle the speed of certain sites? Fine grandma up the wazoo for downloading that season finale of Scrubs?

The solution is simply this: Do it Netflix and Hulu style. Put every show, movie, etc. in one place and offer it for a low price with limited commercial interruption NOW before that massive pirating goes nuclear.


RE: Pirated Materials
By Murst on 10/22/2010 9:27:46 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
I mean, seriously, EVERYONE downloads music for free

Where did you get that statistic? Or is that how you justify your downloads?


RE: Pirated Materials
By Murst on 10/22/2010 9:30:44 AM , Rating: 1
Oh, I almost forgot...

quote:
The solution is simply this: Do it Netflix and Hulu style. Put every show, movie, etc. in one place and offer it for a low price with limited commercial interruption NOW before that massive pirating goes nuclear.


If that is the solution to movies & shows, why isn't that the solution for music? For a while now, there have been services that allow you to do just that for music, and yet you still claim that everyone pirates music.


RE: Pirated Materials
By Spivonious on 10/22/2010 10:11:08 AM , Rating: 2
I would wager a bet that most people download their music through iTunes or other similar online music stores. Microsoft's Zune Pass is a great option for those who don't want to spend a lot but still want to listen to a large collection of music.

The OP is just trying to justify his illegal downloads by claiming that everyone does it. iTunes passed the 10,000,000,000 songs purchased mark this past February.


RE: Pirated Materials
By DaftDev on 10/22/2010 11:28:37 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Microsoft's Zune Pass is a great option for those who don't want to spend a lot but still want to listen to a large collection of music.


It's a good service, and the 10 DRM-free downloads per month are a good way to justify the cost if I ever stop using it.


RE: Pirated Materials
By Modeverything on 10/22/2010 1:44:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If that is the solution to movies & shows, why isn't that the solution for music? For a while now, there have been services that allow you to do just that for music, and yet you still claim that everyone pirates music.


I'm not trying to argue, but I would love to find a place that offers this service. Can you tell me where I can go?

The only things I can find are places to buy music and download it. I cannot seem to find a place like Netflix and Hulu, like you stated there are, that offer a low monthly subscription where I can choose what I want to listen to via streaming and the content is updated regularly.


RE: Pirated Materials
By Murst on 10/22/2010 2:25:28 PM , Rating: 2
http://www.zune.net ( Unlimited streaming + 10 DRM-free downloads per month for $15 )

http://www.rhapsody.com ( Unlimited streaming for $10/mo ).


RE: Pirated Materials
By SlyNine on 10/23/2010 4:29:25 PM , Rating: 2
It also says "•Burn the song to CD up to seven times." That doesn't sound DRM Free to me??


RE: Pirated Materials
By quiksilvr on 10/24/2010 8:59:55 PM , Rating: 2
*facepalm*

Put every show, movie, etc. in one place...NOW before that massive pirating goes nuclear.

It happened too late. That is the point I am trying to make.


RE: Pirated Materials
By zzeoss on 10/22/10, Rating: 0
RE: Pirated Materials
By therealnickdanger on 10/22/2010 11:46:09 AM , Rating: 2
If you can't afford it, then don't buy it. Don't steal it either. Derp.


RE: Pirated Materials
By twhittet on 10/22/2010 12:20:01 PM , Rating: 2
jw - where is this?


RE: Pirated Materials
By chick0n on 10/24/10, Rating: 0
RE: Pirated Materials
By Lerianis on 10/25/2010 4:05:51 AM , Rating: 4
There is a big difference in most people's minds between stealing an ACTUAL PHYSICAL PRODUCT and downloading music, movies, etc. online, where you are stealing NO physical product.


RE: Pirated Materials
By Spivonious on 10/22/2010 10:06:42 AM , Rating: 2
I don't download music for free unless the artist is the one offering it. I like being paid for my work, so I pay others for their work. And don't bring the RIAA into this. The artists I listen to are not on labels that are members of the RIAA.


RE: Pirated Materials
By Sazar on 10/22/2010 10:11:16 AM , Rating: 5
If everyone downloads music for free, how the heck is the music industry making billions and billions of dollars a year?


RE: Pirated Materials
By RjBass on 10/22/2010 1:27:19 PM , Rating: 3
By suing every grandma and soccer mom with a kid and Kazza.


RE: Pirated Materials
By BruceLeet on 10/22/2010 2:40:15 PM , Rating: 1
Mostly by tours, continental or intercontinental. Shit performers or non-shit performers.


RE: Pirated Materials
By omnicronx on 10/22/2010 2:50:53 PM , Rating: 2
No.. That would be where most artists make their money, not the labels.

Artists usual make money touring, they get a small percentage of actually media sales. You can certainly make a lot of cash a few percent in sales, but that is only if you are a big name. Many bands get a mere percent or fraction of a percentage of sales.


RE: Pirated Materials
By AEvangel on 10/23/2010 10:22:34 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Artists usual make money touring,


The only one making money from CD, I-tunes sales are the record company which does nothing but promote the music they like or they want us to hear.

The major labels are sort of like organized crime. If your an artist that wants to reach a large audience then you have to sign a contract with a major label. The major label then promotes you, sort of like a protection racket offered by the Mob so you can do business in the music industry.

The reason this exists is due to the Govt that has allowed all the radio stations to be bought up by 2-3 companies thus furthering making it impossible for you to get your music out there prior to the internet with out signing with a label.

It's always been that artists only ever made any real money from touring due to the strangle hold that labels have on the tools used to promote music. This is why we have Govt agencies like the FCC. To limit the general public's access to broadcast on television or radio airwaves, by doing this the powers that be can not only control the message that gets out but be the only ones that profit from it.

This is why the internet has become the great equalizer and one of the only places to find the truth anymore.


RE: Pirated Materials
By xkrakenx on 10/22/2010 8:57:45 AM , Rating: 2
providers can stall for a better cut of ad revenue, but eventually they will have to figure out how to join google if the android OS becomes popular on TVs in the same way it is spreading on smartphones.

like the previous poster mentioned, piracy will be the only option for viewing blocked content and google will be the only company making money from serving ads in that case.


RE: Pirated Materials
By VahnTitrio on 10/22/2010 10:19:10 AM , Rating: 2
I know, this is funny.

Watching TV show directly on my TV, bad. (I assume they are afraid you can DVR it).
Watching TV on my computer (which might as well be a very large DVR), just fine. Proceeding to use my TV as the PC display, also not a problem.

But more than likely I won't go to the site and stream it, I'll dl the episode and use the convenience of my Xbox to watch it on my TV. Sometimes I wonder if executives who specialize in produces electronic media understand technology at all. Thankfully I work at a company with an EE as CEO.


RE: Pirated Materials
By rvd2008 on 10/22/2010 11:24:22 AM , Rating: 2
It may sound funny, but content providers figured that out (or so they think). Basically, there is minority of people watching TV on a computer. Even less have TV connected to their PC via some sort of media extender. We are talking about 1% of TV viewers here.
Now if Google will make it simple ubiquitous "push a button" experience for ALL content providers have a problem. Google in effect redirects ads revenue stream from content providers into Google bank account, so they block :-)


RE: Pirated Materials
By phazers on 10/22/2010 11:53:05 AM , Rating: 1
From http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39784907/ns/business-b...

To reduce its overseas tax bill, Google uses a complicated legal structure that has saved it $3.1 billion since 2007 and boosted last year's overall earnings by 26 percent. While many multinationals use similar structures, Google has managed to lower its overseas tax rate more than its peers in the technology sector. Its rate since 2007 has been 2.4 percent.

According to company disclosures, Apple, Oracle, Microsoft and IBM—which together with Google make up the top five technology companies by market capitalization—reported tax rates between 4.5 percent and 25.8 percent on their overseas earnings from 2007 to 2009.

"It's remarkable that Google's effective rate is that low," says Martin A. Sullivan, a tax economist who formerly worked for the U.S. Treasury Department. "This company operates throughout the world mostly in high-tax countries where the average corporate rate is well over 20 percent." The corporate tax rate in the U.K., Google's second-largest market after the U.S., is 28 percent.

In Bermuda there's no corporate income tax at all. Google's profits travel to the island's white sands via a convoluted route known to tax lawyers as the "Double Irish" and the "Dutch Sandwich." In Google's case, it generally works like this: When a company in Europe, the Middle East or Africa purchases a search ad through Google, it sends the money to Google Ireland. The Irish government taxes corporate profits at 12.5 percent, but Google mostly escapes that tax because its earnings don't stay in the Dublin office, which reported a pretax profit of less than 1 percent of revenues in 2008.

Irish law makes it difficult for Google to send the money directly to Bermuda without incurring a large tax hit, so the payment makes a brief detour through the Netherlands, since Ireland doesn't tax certain payments to companies in other European Union states. Once the money is in the Netherlands, Google can take advantage of generous Dutch tax laws. Its subsidiary there, Google Netherlands Holdings, is just a shell (it has no employees) and passes on about 99.8 percent of what it collects to Bermuda. (The subsidiary managed in Bermuda is technically an Irish company, hence the "Double Irish" nickname.)


RE: Pirated Materials
By RjBass on 10/22/2010 1:31:28 PM , Rating: 2
nice


RE: Pirated Materials
By Suntan on 10/22/2010 1:50:20 PM , Rating: 1
hmmm... I'd love to find a smoking broad that would be willing to do a "Double Irish" or a "Dutch Sandwich" to me.

-Suntan


RE: Pirated Materials
By Danish1 on 10/22/2010 2:28:50 PM , Rating: 2
all the corps. do that.

have operated in Denmark for decades without ever posting a profit because their earnings also goes to Ireland.

It's something that really should be dealt with by the western world in unison but those companies are paying enough politicians to make sure nothing will ever happen.


RE: Pirated Materials
By Danish1 on 10/22/2010 2:34:04 PM , Rating: 2
hmmm it ate some of my reply.

It was supposed to say:

Companies like McD, Nestle and Coca Cola have operated in Denmark for decades without ever posting a profit because their earnings also goes to Ireland.


RE: Pirated Materials
By SlyNine on 10/23/2010 4:38:30 PM , Rating: 2
You lost me at "use the convenience of my Xbox to watch it on my TV."

Are you using a hacked firmware or are you talking about the 360's native capabilities?


RE: Pirated Materials
By omnicronx on 10/22/2010 10:57:51 AM , Rating: 2
If the ad revenue is a concern, I have no sympathy for them as this is where the market is heading.

If piracy is their main concern, I kind of agree with them. Its one thing to allow the use any local content, its quite another to scour the internet and bring up this content in your search results.

There is absolutely no reason Google needs to ship GoogleTV with this functionality. If they have a way to filter legal content to the top, then it should be easy to filter out illegal content in general.

Its not like they will not be able to user the browser to watch flash content on illegal sites anyways if they want too. I just don't think it should come up via the native gui. It could actually harm the advancement of the devices more than it will help it.


RE: Pirated Materials
By nolisi on 10/22/2010 12:08:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
There is absolutely no reason Google needs to ship GoogleTV with this functionality. If they have a way to filter legal content to the top, then it should be easy to filter out illegal content in general.


I can see a certain logic behind not filtering out the content. What if the filtering mechanism mistakenly filters legal content? What if there are no legal options for certain content?

All in all it comes down to user choice. The market seems intent on diminishing the choices that users have, whereas Google allows you to make the decision yourself.


RE: Pirated Materials
By omnicronx on 10/22/2010 12:57:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I can see a certain logic behind not filtering out the content. What if the filtering mechanism mistakenly filters legal content? What if there are no legal options for certain content?
Quite frankly that is Google's problem, I'd be quite happy if I could access all the legal sources of content i.e Hulu, or direct from NBC/FOX/ABC etc, with ability and then leave it up to 3rd party developers to add the functionality to do anything else.

Otherwise Google along with the distributors are selling consumer devices meant for media consumption. The fact that Google chooses to leverage its search engine is irrelevant, in the end its a device meant for media consumption, and as such the device does not fall under the same rules as the basic Google search engine on your desktop or phone.

Its just not the same as undescriminantly showing all search results in Google web searches in which they do not directly make money from the search results.

With GoogleTV, its a consumer device that manufacturers are making money from, Google/the manufacturers will see a direct impact from this content.

Seems like an incredibly stupid move on Googles part, as without content, you are doomed to failure. Its not going to reach mass market on illegal content alone.

They should have left it up to third party devs to allow such content period! That would keep them out of hot water, but keep others who want access to whatever they want happy.


RE: Pirated Materials
By SlyNine on 10/23/2010 4:42:19 PM , Rating: 2
What about legal content that is not offered by those sources. If google is blocking everything that is not "offical" then those get blocked to.

Google could also be making it easier for people to create content without these stations, like internet TV shows.


RE: Pirated Materials
By marvdmartian on 10/22/2010 12:17:46 PM , Rating: 1
To me, it sounds as though they are blocking the videos that they are streaming from their websites, for free to anyone with a computer, to a device that is just streaming them from the same website.

And that the only reason they're doing it is because it's possible that the person watching could obtain that streamed show from a source other than the network (the legal owner)??

Exactly how is this piracy on Google's part???

I think, perhaps, that the networks have been listening to the MPAA idiots for far too long now, and it has corrupted their logic circuits!


RE: Pirated Materials
By omnicronx on 10/22/2010 1:03:11 PM , Rating: 2
Its a boycott, they are not actually calling streaming from the legitimate sites piracy.

They are calling streaming content from non legal sources via a simple Google search thats cooked right into GoogleTV piracy...

Not that I'm convinced that is the only reason though.. I'm going to guess its the advertising losses that will be the most troublesome to the networks... But that they are going to have to live with..


"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer














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