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BoingBoing / Xeni: What will Yahoo Current be?
Al Gore: Four broadband channels, each consisting of a combination of professionally produced and viewer-contributed content. For Yahoo Current Buzz -- see Yahoo's Buzz Index for an idea of what this will be. We brought Madeleine Smithberg on board for this channel; she was a co-creator of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show." Yahoo Current Action will offer sports programming. Yahoo Current Driver will be an auto destination. And Yahoo Current Traveler is our travel channel. That will include video postcards submitted by viewers, as well as Bono's directorial debut with a video he recently made. I've seen it, it's very interesting and very funny.
BB: Why is Current TV partnering with Yahoo for this?
BB: What should we expect in the way of format? Will the video we see online at Yahoo Current also be broadcast on Current?
Al Gore: Yes, there will be some crossover. We're talking about short form video, updated constantly, and some of it will also show up on TV. These four channels are each based around parts of the Yahoo community, and the idea here is that this online community can generate a lot of interesting content.
BB: Sports, pop culture, travel, automotive -- are you planning additional channels for the future, based on other interests or lifestyle themes? Al Gore: Well, we've got a lot on our plate with these four for now. We're going to focus on making these four channels the best they can be, and see where that goes.
Update from Xeni: As with Current TV's satellite programming, Yahoo Current will also pay viewers for selected contributions, as if to woo video authors away from uploading to non-paying sites like YouTube. You'll get $100 for each video featured on the broadband network, and if your video is selected to air on Current TV, you receive an additional $500. The Yahoo! Current site does include lawyertalk worth reading before you submit, naturally. By uploading your file, you grant Current a
...worldwide, exclusive, royalty-free, fully paid, restriction free license for a term of three (3) months (...) to distribute, reproduce, copy, record, modify, add to, combine with other materials, remove, adapt, publicly perform, publicly display, sublicense, freely assign, create derivative works from and otherwise use and exploit any of same, or any part thereof, in any medium now known or hereinafter known, in any language and by any means or manners now or hereafter developed. Further, you hereby grant Current an option to acquire the exclusive right to broadcast, exhibit or otherwise distribute the Submitted Material in all media throughout the world in perpetuity (the “Option”), which Current may exercise within three (3) months of the date you provide us with Submitted Material.The new partnership between Current and Yahoo is particularly interesting because until now, the television network had close ties with another search and online video titan: Google. Brief Google zeitgeist segments about top search topics aired twice hourly on Current TV. Additionally, Mr. Gore served as Senior Advisor to Google (more on that in this Wired Magazine story from just four months ago).
The Current.tv/Google site is still live for now, and spotlights a Google Current episode that ran today about the Thong Girl debacle. No word from Google or Current on the present or future status of the companies' relationship.
The San Francisco Chronicle's "Tech Chronicles" blog has an item about the deal, with details on the sort of craziness former Daily Show producer Madeleine Smithberg is planning for the "Yahoo Current Buzz" channel:
One of the first bits: She sent a correspondent to patrol the U.S.-Mexico border with one of the female members of the anti-immigration Minutemen organization. The woman wants to rename Los Angeles the "City of Angels" and prefers the term "spicy folders" to tacos.Update: the terms and conditions blurb above came from current.tv/terms.html (I can't seem to access that page right now). A Current spokesperson writes to say that two licensing options are now possible with Yahoo! Current, and they are detailed at these links: one, two. Alex Dolan of Current says,
There are actually two license options: one exclusive, and one non-exclusive. If producers choose the exclusive option, their videos that are featured on the Yahoo! Current Network will receive $100 and be eligible to air on Current’s TV broadcast for additional payment starting at $500. For producers who choose the non-exclusive option, their videos featured on Yahoo! Current will not be compensated or eligible to air on Current TV. We also have only one month from upload to option the piece.
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. His new book is Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects