Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Now on YouTube: The Obama Inaugural Everyone Just Saw, Over and Over Again

YouTube may have been the only big Web site that didn’t provide a live stream of Barack Obama’s inauguration. But its users are rectifying this as we speak: They’re currently uploading clips of the ceremony to the site at a staggering pace of 3.52 videos per minute, according to video tracking service TubeMogul.

To put that in context, TubeMogul normally tracks uploads by the hour: Last fall, when the “Saturday Night Live” Sarah Palin skits were the hottest thing on the Web, users were sending clips to the site at a rate of 9.5 per hour, says marketing director David Burch.

Yet another testament to Google’s (GOOG) reach, and to the powerful appeal Obama has to the Web generation. And, if we’re going to get technical about it, yet another example of how hard it is for the site to grapple with copyright issues–if copyright holders wanted to, they could probably require the site to take down the majority of these clips for copyright violations, since they’re being lifted from broadcasters’ and other news organizations’ streams. But I’m betting these clips stay up.

In any case, I can’t imagine there’s anyone out there who didn’t see the event live. So here’s a different take from a YouTube uploader, Achangein09, who contributed this clip a few minutes ago:

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik