Free Poker TV ! ?

by , Aug 2, 2007 | 8:38 am

Mark Cuban has long contended that YouTube is going to run into all sorts of copyright problems, akin to Napster. I hope not, because I love being able to embed YouTube vids and watch them on whatever site I happen to be visiting at the time. But I recently ran across this new-ish site — — and based on the bulk of their content that provides no benefit to ESPN … I have a hard time seeing how this sorta thing is legal:

NOTE: There seems to be some trouble embedding from Pokertube. Not sure if this is a technical guffaw or related to what we are talking about here.

Don’t get me wrong … I philosophically think it should be legal, or at least appreciate the viewing ease embeddable players provide. But beyond brand recognition, I’m not sure ESPN will see enough value in this form of distribution to stand idly by. I mean heck, what’s to stop a site like, say, Pokerati, from becoming the unofficial home of 12-minute clips of the WSOP, and then profit off the fruits of ESPN’s labor? But PokerTube is based out of Sweden, so how ESPN would be able to enforce their copyright remains to be seen. Interesting international internet economics issues for the 21st century, to be sure.

One short-term solution, of course, would be for ESPN (and any others who have copyrighted video content they are looking to protect) to embrace the embedding — the always cheaper “if you can’t beat’em, join’em” concept — and offer up virtually the same stuff on their own site. They could get the benefit of brand exposure if they made their own RawVegas-style player … and figure out the best way to include their own commercials, which may or may not be different from what airs on TV. So long as they made it easiest for other sites to find (and embed), then there would be no need for internet traffic middlemen to go elsewhere for that content … and they would therefore maintain control of a hypermajority of all the viewings out there.

UPDATE:Click here to watch the episode of the WSOP I was trying to embed, on which Tom makes his first appearance.

And click here to see a really cool interview of Phil Hellmuth auditioning for a role on European TV as a caped Superhero/villain … which would look cooler and get more viewings if folks could watch it right here, instead of one page away.

One Comment to “Free Poker TV ! ?”

  1. DanM

    NOTE: The people at PokerTube seem to be quite friendly chaps — what’s Swedish for “chaps”? — and even though this post calls them out on the legally questionable nature their entire business model, they say they have their techie people working on figuring out why their vids aren’t working on Pokerati. Special jus’ for us.