YouTube May Soon be Home to Full-Length Feature Flicks

Dennis Faas's picture

At one time, the Internet was targeted by the Motion Picture Association of America as a serious threat to the industry. For most of the last decade, file-sharing protocols and Torrents have been home to many free, pirated flicks for greedy movie fans with the tech-savvyness to download and burn them for free.

However, it looks like that cynical attitude towards the world wide web is about to change -- primarily because the movie industry now recognizes that big bucks can be made online. According to reports, Hollywood is seriously considering posting full-length movies on YouTube, the home for a number of copyright controversies in the past. In fact, not all that long ago Viacom Inc. and subsidiaries MTV Networks and Paramount Pictures filed a massive $1 billion lawsuit against Google, owner of YouTube, for allowing users to upload copyrighted materials. (Source:

However, YouTube's new plan is completely legit. Google has been in talks for several months with a number of major film companies about a plan that would see advertisements placed within streaming movies. An executive with the search giant told the media that although it's not yet a done deal, "it's going to happen. I would say you can expect to see it, if all goes well, sometime within the next 30 to 90 days."

The first step towards that end came this past summer, when prominent Canadian film company Lionsgate (the studio behind 'Saw V' and 'W') agreed to let YouTube display short movie clips.

The balance between ads and content may be difficult to strike given the funding necessary to make the plan profitable. At least one report suggested that Google is being extremely adamant that movie companies use one particular ad format for the flicks, and that kind of intransigence might prove the deal's undoing. (Source:

Regardless, it seems pretty inevitable that the next frontier for movies will be online. Already a number of television channels run popular programs on the world wide web, and it makes sense that the silver screen would follow in kind. The big loser may not be Hollywood at all, but cable and satellite companies that watch customers progressively shift from the boob tube to the moron monitor.

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