I'm not sure that I really want to help perpetuate the rumor that as part of its YouTube acquisition Google is paying off media companies. Mark Cuban published the anonymous source's claims on his blog.
If this "experienced veteran in the digital media business" wants to make such bold claims, he should NOT do it anonymously. It's a cheap and dirty trick, expecially since he admits that some of his claims are "speculation based on my experience working in the industry, negotiating settlements and battling in court." He doesn't say WHICH allegations are pure speculation.
No doubt some are true. After the acquisition was announced, it came out that several media companies had made an investment in YouTube, so they get some of the stock. Mr. Anonymous claims Google is holding out half a billion in stock to fight copyright suits and offer settlements. Sounds reasonable to me.
Then Mr. A says that Google gave the media companies equity in lieu of royalties so that big media would not have to share royalties with the artists. That could be the media companies' choice, but it does not mean google had this intent. Why not give them equity to keep them from suing?
After this, Mr. A makes some really bold claims. google got them to agree to "look the other way" and ignore copyright violations for six months. I'd like to see the language of that agreement. Then Google convinced them to sue YouTube competitors. Maybe the media companies did decide to sue others but leave YouTube alone, which makes sense because they have a deal with YouTube and not the others. But to say this was part of Google's agreement is an outrageous claim from an anonymous source. My speculation is that this is part of Mr. A's speculation. He implies this was Google's "request" without citing any evidence this is so. It's based only on the fact that Universal sued Bolt and Grouper.
Without facts and without sources, this is a sleazy accusation. I'm rather disappointed in Cuban for letting this source include "speculation" in his claims.
I'm waiting for Google's response.