'Project Caterpillar' Set to Rival YouTube

Dennis Faas's picture

After countless threats of legal action and allegations of a carefree approach to copyrighted material, two of the most powerful media companies are embarking on a joint venture that will showcase their own material on some of the Internet's biggest websites.

The move puts the two media giants in direct competition with YouTube and the other online video-sharing sites that hold no copyright for the material they provide.

The News Corporation and NBC Universal will distribute their latest content, like television episodes and movies, on AOL, Yahoo, MSN and MySpace. It is estimated that 96 percent of the Internet's audience will be reached through these online outlets. (Source: ca.news.yahoo.com)

A separate new video site will also be created and run by both News Corp. and NBC Universal, and will be financially supported by advertising sponsors. The two media giants are so determined to defeat YouTube at their own game, that all copyrighted material will be made free to viewers.

The site is also expected to include several new features. Users will be able to edit the content provided on the website, while uploading their own videos; a popular feature on many other video sites. In addition, users will be able to purchase complete movies from 20th Century Fox and Universal Studios. (Source: nytimes.com)

News Corp. and NBC Universal, like many other media companies, have had a complex relationship with Google. The content from these companies continues to flood YouTube, without any consent from the copyright holders.

Viacom is in the process of suing YouTube for $1 billion on the grounds of copyright infringement.

The News Corp. and NBC Universal venture has been given the code name "Project Caterpillar," among some of the most affluent media companies in the industry.

Analysts have called Project Caterpillar one of the boldest efforts made by conventional media companies to try and maintain control over their content and advertising relationships on the web. (Source: nytimes.com)

News Corp. and NBC Universal wished to create a "one-stop shop" for users and advertisers, while giving the major media companies more leverage in negotiating and distributing their material on popular online media outlets. (Source: nytimes.com)

While no formal name has been given to the joint venture, the website is expected to be up and running by early summer.

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