Maybe Congressman Ted Stevens was right when he said the Internet is a series of tubes. Because one tube is suing another.
Universal Tube & Rollform Equipment — a Toledo-area company that makes tubes, piping, and other objects circular — is suing YouTube — the website which is famous for… well, if I had to explain it to you, welcome to the Internet! The former’s website, utube.com, suddenly received a ton of global visitors because people didn’t know how to spell “YouTube.” Just how many people? Utube.com’s per-month traffic jumped from a couple thousand a month to a couple million.
Yes, because all of us hate extra traffic on their websites. Fight the good fight, Universal Tube.
Of the two websites, the one that doesn’t contain every episode of The Daily Show has been in existence since 1985, and its website was launched in the mid ’90s, way earlier than the one that features rock bands dancing around on treadmills.
Universal Tube president Ralph Girkins said the lawsuit they filed will be considered a “multimillion-dollar” one, or roughly the number of people who saw that one video of the girl who took a picture of herself every day for three years.
All sarcasm aside (for once) I can certainly sympathize with Universal Tube as the situation is reminiscent of Steve Rothlisberger, the Findlay, Ohio native who was bombarded with unsolicited calls asking if he was any relation to Findlay’s native son and Super Bowl-winning quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. (He wasn’t, and note the spelling.)
But Rothlisberger couldn’t really sue Roethlisberger for anything, even though Steve was there first.
While the multimillion demands may not be met by YouTube, this particular Tube-on-Tube conflict may not be YouTube’s only run-in with the courts. Billionaire famous guy Mark Cuban said a couple weeks ago that YouTube could be in trouble soon, namely due to copyright infringement. So they’ll likely want this suit to go away as soon as possible. So odds are — and this is a wild stab — that YouTube could make Universal Tube a court-ordered affiliate and receive some kind of kickback every time someone clicks from utube.com to youtube.com. Even though YouTube didn’t do anything wrong except become too popular thanks in part to that Borat trailer.
And in case you were curious, Hughtube.com is staying out of this one.
I’d rather not take sides prematurely, but just to round off this little news story here’s a recommended YouTube video that violates copyright law.