Stage6: The Beginning of the End for Streaming Video…

March 10, 2008

” Inefficiency is not the only reason the service is no more, while the vilified Pirate Bay, Mininova et al. are still with us. Stage6 was also a lot more illegal than a BitTorrent tracker — whether it pretended to be complying with the DMCA or not. Surprisingly under reported after the abrupt demise of the service was the 6th Feb US court ruling against DivX’s attempt to establish its protection under the DMCA’s safe harbour provisions ahead of a legal battle with Universal Music Group. My reading of the company’s consequent, speedy exit from the stage (and correct me if you think I’m wrong) is that Stage6 didn’t have the cash or confidence to test its luck any further. (How much this affects DivX as a whole remains to be seen. But only six days after the court decision, Jerome Vashisht Rota, the inventor of DivX and a major shareholder in DivX corporation, was openly dumping stock.)It’s not hard to read the tea leaves. While GooTube (famously being sued by Viacom on pretty much the same grounds) probably won’t lose sleep, smaller players eating their lunches off of pirate content will be paying very close attention. VCs burning money on pushing streaming media to the masses will at least want to imagine some returns on their investment rather than the further expense of executives in the dock.

So why is the exit of Stage6 a step in the right direction? Because for all the hyperbole in the mainstream (and sometimes online) media about the YouTube or Google Video or Stage6 ‘revolution‘, the relationship to media they offer us is far too traditional. Come to this place. Be served your media (and suck down your advertising along with it). Go away again. Yes, we can upload material, but I’m not the only one who feels that this wasn’t the primary function of Stage6, even if it did distribute about 50,000 copies of STEAL THIS FILM II before its demise. No need to share, no need to understand the technology, no need to think. It’s what they called ‘lean back’ media: millions of people slouching thoughtlessly in front of an marketing-emitting portal. ”

Read rest of article on TorrentFreak


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