GUBA and the MPAA’s Usenet suits

I wonder if Guba has anything to do with the MPAA’s recent Usenet suits.  Guba indexes Usenet video and is accessible via a browser. You can then watch video using Flash in your browser or download the video file.  The service costs $14.95 per month.

Guess who probably wants a cut?  If the MPAA is starting to get concerned about YouTube having advertising, then this has got to concern them.  Guba certainly isn’t as popular a site, and MPAA had reasons to target Usenet anyway, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this was meant as a warning shot across the bow of companies like Guba.

Note that Guba, like YouTube, has a takedown policy and they also use filters to screen out images reported as infringing if they get reposted.  Whether they’re planning something similar for videos, I don’t know. 

Recommendation Systems and Social Networking

Digital Music News reports on Pandora’s deal with Friendster.  I talked about this sort of combination a little on Berkman’s site last week and want to say a bit more here.

The connection between these two tools goes in both direction.  Chris Anderson is right that my friends won’t necessarily produce good recommendations.  But sometimes they might, and, at the very least, you might like to know what your friends are listening to, even if you don’t actually end up wanting to listen to it yourself.  You could tie that into finding out what concerts your friends are going to.

And when you find someone who produces good recommendations, you might want to make them a “friend.” Last.fm and MusicStrands do this.  They recommend similar people to you as “neighbours” and let you add “friends” or “influencers.”  This is similar to subscribing to an MP3 bloggers’ RSS feed, or, more on point, a playlist publishers’ feed.  At the same time, it allows the possibility for a little more sense of connection with the publisher.