In a move which it’s understandably hyping in terms of Andy Warhol’s famous saying, Google has extended the maximum length of clips uploaded by most users to 15 minutes.
Exactly why it’s doing this is somewhat unclear. Google claims it is because of the success of efforts such as the Content ID system and the resulting increase in the number of legit clips from TV and movie studios, though what that has to do with storage capacity is a complete mystery. Perhaps the company is splashing out some of the case it had previously burrowed away for copyright lawsuit defenses.
In any case, Google is marking the occasion by running a “15 minutes of fame” contest, with people encouraged to upload clips on the premise: ” Imagine that this video is all the world will ever know about you: what would you want to communicate?”
Perhaps I’ll be surprised and there will be some genuinely moving or inspiring entries, but my fear is that an extra five minutes of some of the personal clips people upload to YouTube is the last thing we want. Anyhow, if you fancy giving it a go, you need to upload your clip by next Wednesday and tag it “yt15minutes”.
It’s still quite tough to think of many cases of legitimate clips where the extra five minutes will be of any help. For most content I’d suspect that the type of clip which can be done in 15 minutes can probably be done just as well in 10.
Ironically the most useful result of the change is that it will make illegal content slightly more manageable: a 30 minute sitcom episode will now take two clips rather than three. And on stations which only have one commercial break during the program, it now becomes much easier to neatly split the show into clips.
So what would you do with 15 minutes rather than 10?