Google Video Goes Live; No Porn Allowed

Matt O'Conner
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Just days after Google co-founder Larry Page indicated that the company’s upcoming video submission service would welcome adult content, the company has changed its position.

Google launched its Video Upload program Wednesday after creating buzz last week, when Page told an audience at a telecommunications show: “In the next few days, we’re actually going to start taking video submissions from people. We’re not quite sure what we’re going to get, but we decided to try this experiment.”

At the time, Page said there would be no restrictions on the type of content allowed.

However, a Google FAQ page outlining the program states, “The video must contain no pornographic or obscene material.”

When InternetWeek.com reporter Paul Kapustka emailed a Google spokesperson to ask who would determine whether material is obscene, the spokesperson replied, “We will,” but offered no details on how such a determination will be made.

Although the company has started accepting video submissions, it has not made public the date when videos will be available for viewing by surfers pending unresolved licensing issues.

Jennifer Felkin, director of Google Video Upload, said content owners will retain all copyrights on material they submit, control distribution rights and be allowed to direct surfers to the websites and set prices for viewing of their material.

However, Felkin added that all submissions must allow surfers to preview video clips for free; and Google will take a small share of revenue from viewing fees in order to cover costs.

According to the FAQ page, Google is accepting video in QuickTime, Windows Media and RealVideo formats but prefers MPEG4 and MPEG2 submissions. To assist with indexing, content owners can include metadata, captions and transcripts with their video files.