Three weeks ago the US District Court issued a subpoena against YouTube demanding the company hand over details of a user going by the name of ECOTotal. The action, brought initially by 20th Century Fox, was in reaction to the user posting videos of 24 on the site, before they had even aired on television.
While some reports suggest (and I think it is likely) that the episodes were already available on BitTorrent, and the user simply cross posted them to YouTube, the fact remains that this user is going to get a nasty surprise.
YouTube and its new owner Google face a big challenge this year. While there is no doubting the size and popularity of YouTube, the proverbial knives are being sharpened all around. There have been rumours of a ‘YouTube killer’, run by the television networks themselves, young people can very quickly turn against it (although sheer size here is arguably sufficient), and upcoming offerings from the likes of Joost may make this a difficult year for the company.