Though Missed By Few, Microsoft's Soapbox Makes Its Return
from the back-from-the-dead dept
Back in March, Microsoft announced that it would temporarily suspend Soapbox, the company’s YouTube clone, while it worked on technology to filter out copyrighted content. At the time, it seemed like this might simply be an excuse to quietly pull the plug on the service (which never seemed to go anywhere), especially considering the poor track record of this type of filtering technology. But the company is ready to give it another go, as Soapbox is back, sporting new technology that promises to filter out copyrighted content. It’s not really clear, however, why Microsoft thinks this will really help the site. The challenge is, as always, actually getting users, not making nice with the entertainment companies. Microsoft keeps getting it backwards though, putting the cart before the horse, as it did with the Zune when it offered Universal Music a cut of every player sold. Perhaps the company is hoping that by making this overture to the entertainment industry, it can force Google to follow suit, potentially hamstringing YouTube. But the move could backfire, as it’s easy to imagine hackers flooding Soapbox with copyrighted material just to see if they can outsmart the filters.