03:19 AM

Newswatch 5.31.07: eBay buys StumbleUpon

Why eBay bought StumbleUpon

[Om Malik] By marrying the toolbar to Skype client, eBay can do an end run around Google’s dominance of the search business. A simple search box inside Skype client is all it would take. It is not that far fetched: Skype has been slowly integrating various different services (including PayPal) into its client, and slowly becoming eBay’s desktop backdoor.

Dead.net relaunches as social net

The new version of Dead.net was created on the Drupal content management platform and features extensive archives cataloging Grateful Dead history, songs, photos, memorabilia, and shows, indexed and searchable by tags. Dead users will be able to participate in forums, upload their own photos, and bookmark concerts and shows they have attended. Fans will also be treated to exclusive free mp3 show downloads.

Lessig in the lion's den

[Orlowski] No matter how much Lessig says he believes in copyright, his "movement" of evangelical network utopians wants to tear it down. Why? Because copyright, and in particular the aspect known as droit d'auteur (the author's moral rights to assert how it used), creates "friction" for network utopians, who dream of a universe running like a smoothly oiled piece of clockwork machinery. When they need to ask for copyright - or pay a creator - it messes up what they think is the perfect, smooth running of the network. The licenses are a minor technical bugfix to a borderline problem, that of obtaining rights clearance rapidly in a digital age. But Creative Commons isn't sold as a minor bugfix, so much as a moral crusade. Every time the scheme is launched in some new territory, pointed out Brett, it is accompanied by a cacophony of anti-copyright rhetoric. This rhetoric lumps creators in with The Enemy - The Man.

YouTube cuts deal with EMI

[Reuters] YouTube has agreed to a breakthrough deal with major music label EMI Group Plc to give users of YouTube's video sharing site broad access to music videos by EMI artists. The company said YouTube users would be allowed not only to watch and play authorized videos and recordings from EMI artists, but also to incorporate elements of these videos in YouTube users' own "user generated content."

Calcanis launches human-powered search

[TechCrunch] The service has features that are similar to the new Netscape news finder product that Calacanis launched last year at AOL: expert guides will determine the most relevant results. The main search results are provided by guides (Mahalo employees), who find relevant results for search terms. User submitted results are also included.

Valley, SF nets going nowhere

[Om Malik] The Palo Alto Daily News says the plan to build a Wi-Fi network for Silicon Valley is “mired in delays.” Construction of the network hasn’t started yet, cities have yet to sign certain important agreements, and the test network which was expected to be ready as early as February, won’t be ready until sometime in the summer. Optimistic? After all June is knocking on the door.
We’ve all heard the San Francisco story by now, where the mayor’s plan for a muniFi network via EarthLink and Google, has been sucked into a bureacratic wormhole.

$4 million for Metaverse

[VC] "We believe that Multiverse will play a fundamental role in the growth of virtual worlds and multiplayer games. Based on the Multiverse team's experience and creative vision, we believe they could become a $1 billion leader creating breakthrough applications for business, education, government and entertainment."