Scott Brown
October 10, 2006 AT 08:52 PM EDT

YouTube, the groundbreaking Web-video utility that brings together funny old men, lethargic, possibly diabetic pets, lip-synching preteens and copyright infringement, has gone down the Google gullet. The staff will be retained, officials for both companies say. And the essence, we’re told, won’t change. But something will — whenever this much money changes hands, whenever this many interested parties are involved, something changes. The only question is… what?

Well, CBS has already made a deal, in which their content, when pirated, will be identified as such with new filtering techniques utilized by YouTube/Google. (Yougle? GooTube?) At that point, CBS will have the option to either take the clip down, or leave it up and hitch on some advertising.

Does this mean unskippable video ads are in our future? Does this mean I’ll have to wait whole seconds before watching a dog playing piano if the King of Queens happens to be on in the background? Will I still be able to watch TV the way it was meant to be watched?

I hope so. We’ll certainly know in the coming year. But just in case… gather ye Webster while ye may!


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