I'm wondering if there's more to this, because it seems rather "un-Google-like." The makers of a set top box that can display internet content are complaining that Google is blocking them from displaying YouTube content
, unless they agree to "partner" and commit to buying lots of ads (the amount is in dispute). If this sounds quite a bit like the ongoing battle between Hulu and Boxee
, you might be right. However, in that case, at least you could sort of understand the (misguided) thinking behind it, since Hulu is owned by the colossally short-sighted content companies. But what's Google's excuse? If all these set top boxes are really doing is accessing free internet content and formatting it better for a TV, why stop it? They're really no different than accessing content via a computer and a browser -- it's just that the "computer" is a set top box and the "browser" is formatted for a television. That shouldn't require a special agreement, or any sort of ad buy commitment. Update
: Received a confused and angry email from YouTube PR linking us to the very Wired article we linked to and demanding we add their PR statement (which is already in the Wired article). However, it does not actually answer the questions raised or change the point of this post. The fact that YouTube restricts set tops from accessing the content still does not make sense.