Bill Gates Explains Why Microsoft Would Never Copy YouTube…. Oh Wait…

from the knew-we'd-heard-that-somewhere... dept

With all the buzz over Microsoft’s new YouTube clone, something kept bothering me, and I couldn’t quite figure out why. Then I remembered. It really was just a few months ago that Bill Gates insisted Microsoft wouldn’t do a YouTube clone. While this interview with the Wall Street Journal got lots of attention, most of it was for the idea that Gates had been violating copyright infringement by watching unauthorized content (Harlem Globetrotters movies) on YouTube. But, the key part of the quote was: “If we did YouTube, we’d be in a lot of trouble. First of all, people would say, “How do you make money?” Second, they’d say, what about all that copyright violation taking place up there. It’s a neat site. I saw a bunch of old Harlem Globetrotters movies up there the other night, it’s great.” So, um, Bill: How do you make money? And… what about all that copyright violation taking place up there? Thanks.

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Comments on “Bill Gates Explains Why Microsoft Would Never Copy YouTube…. Oh Wait…”

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Brad says:

Slam against Bill...but why?

So I don’t get it….this post seems like a slam against MS for…not doing anything? Because a founder visited a website?

Serriously, there’s pleanty to bash M$ over. The fact that Bill Gates watched YouTube and doesn’t think it’d be a good investment (minimal return, legal problems) to try and copy is a slam against him?

YouTube makes money by tying advertising in (esp. front page videos). MS wouldn’t make as much money off the ads, and because everyone would be lusting after their deep deep pockets, every copyrighted work that ends up on YouTube would result in a multi-million dollar lawsuit against MS.

The burden of guilt in a Copyright Infringement case is on the Infringer, not the specator. If I buy a shirt that says “Nike” on it, and it was made by a guy with a printer and an iron, no one’s going to haul my ass into jail for it.

People follow the money chain. Viewers (even bill!) aren’t where it’s at.

And lay off, this isn’t even something you can REMOTELY slam MS for. Not even close.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Slam against Bill...but why?


Please read the post again. We’re not slamming MS for “not doing anything.” We’re pointing out that Bill Gates said Microsoft would never launch such a service, just a few months before they actually did launch such a service. It’s the opposite of doing nothing. They did something right after he explained why it wouldn’t make sense for Microsoft to do exactly what it did.

As for how YouTube makes money and the issue of copyright infringement, if you read this site regularly, it’ll come as no surprise to you that we agree with you on those points… but that’s not the issue. Gates said Microsoft wouldn’t launch a YouTube clone for those two reasons… and yet Microsoft still did it.

David says:

I must not understand.

I don’t see where you’re coming from when you talk about the contradictions and hypocrisy. If someone says they won’t do something and lists reasons, then turns around and does that ‘thing’ for those reasons, that is hypocritical is it not? So if a man says he will not do something because of specific reasons, then that’s what should be paid attention to right? Basically, where do you see this man creating a youtube clone and ignoring the reasons that he has listed especially of you have not seen the final product. This is all speculation and should be treated as such, citing sources and using quotes would help less informed readers grasp the intent of this article.
To the other people who have commented, let’s try and stay on topic, this shouldn’t be about your “oh so trendy” association with hating Microsoft because of your parents gospel and the things you’ve heard though hear-say. Most likely you’re not old enough to understand what happened, but you’re ignorant enough to run with every radical piece of information you may hear in blogs or post such as these. Please take the time to research and form fact based opinions.
Thank you for the article Mike, I intend to look further into this.

james says:

apple copied from xerox, then ms copied apple, then linux copied unix and ms and apple, then apple copied linux and ms, then ms copied linux and apple, and then….

this is a little thing called progress.

however, both apple and ms (and adobe, etc…) are rather overprotective of their copied stuff, and for that, they should be (mildly) hated.

and if a thing walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck… it is either a duck, or an ms clone of a duck.

Craig says:

You gotta admit though, a person claiming to be anti-piracy pirating movies is a funny read. It just goes to show you how much hypocracy is in this world. Kinda like when Jim Brady’s wife claimed to be anti-gun, and bought her son a rifle through a straw purchase. 😛

Don’t believe me? Look up “Straw purchase” on Wikipedia. 😀

Oh, and most likely, Bill Gates would most likely win if a lawsuit was ever filed against him, because his money would speak *VERY* loudly. Just look at OJ Simpson.

I’d be interested to know how many lawsuits the MPAA have brought against Bill Gates for watching the movies. I’d LOVE to be proven wrong on my theory that they only go after the “financially weak” in such lawsuits.

matilda2007 says:

Take YouTube Videos with you today announces YouTube Robot 2.0, a tool that enables you to download video from onto your PC, convert it to various formats to watch it when you are on the road on mobile devices like mobile phone, iPod, iPhone, Pocket PC, PSP, or Zune.
Product page:
Direct download link:
Company web-site:

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