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The language in a Google statement, which also discloses the deal has been closed, only describes the funds as being earmarked for "certain indemnification obligations."
While the language is very general, it does hint broadly that the money to be held in escrow for the next 12 months is meant to cover expenses related to copyright-infringement lawsuits, or content licensing fees YouTube already has agreed to pay, or may be forced to pay, in the future.
YouTube has angered many in the entertainment industry for letting users freely upload material without the appropriate OKs. In many ways, the extensive amount of pirated material available on the site is both YouTube's biggest problem and its biggest draw.
MarketWatch article [marketwatch.com]
"The former is not true," Schmidt said in response to the question of whether a "very large sum of money was set aside to buy peace" between YouTube and big media companies.- Nov 9th
Why tell everyone that you've got a pile of money for potential lawsuits and content sydication deals? Sounds like your asking for every sleeze to come out of the woodwork and go after Google's money.
There must be something I'm missing here. Can someone smart tell me why Goog would set themself up like this?