Usenet search engine preps porn for video iPod
LONDON (Reuters) - It may not be quite what Steve Jobs had in mind, but an online search engine called Guba is set to offer vast amounts of pornography and other video files, specifically tailored for Apple's new iPods.
Guba is a subscription-only search engine that culls video files from the Usenet newsgroups, a huge repository of online content -- much of it adult, pirated, or both.
Beginning this month, Guba will convert video files from Usenet into the format used by the iPod, known as H.264. Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs launched the video-enabled iPod last month along with deals to sell downloadable music videos and TV shows.
Although Guba offers up a wide variety of video, from the satirical news programme "The Daily Show" to Japanese animation, its "erotica" section is likely to be the biggest draw.
"We can kid ourselves, but in the end it's probably porn that people want," said Guba Chief Executive Thomas McInerney. He noted that the site offers a "safe mode" to filter out adult content.
Usenet predates the World Wide Web by more than a decade, and it has developed alongside more mainstream file-sharing networks like Kazaa and BitTorrent.
Guba specifically searches through Usenet's multimedia content, which is not indexed by popular search engines such as Yahoo or Google. It also converts video into standard formats, and lets users stream small versions from its Web site.
At a time when movie studios are hyper-vigilant about online piracy, Guba's easily accessible videos could raise hackles among Hollywood's content owners.
Guba counters that it will strictly abide by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which requires search engines to take down any content upon request of the copyright holder. It has also blocked access to music files and videos longer than 70 minutes.
McInerney said Guba is blocking MP3 music files "because there has been so much litigation about music, and the RIAA (Recording Industry of America) has been so aggressive about it." However, Guba does offer TV files, because "the TV guys seem to understand the Internet ... they seem to be the next industry after music to go online," McInerney said.
A search of Guba revealed a wide range of TV shows, including Disney's
"Lost" and "Desperate Housewives," which are both sold online at Apple's iTunes Music Store.
McInerney said that Guba, which charges $14.95 per month, is profitable and has about 15 employees.
"What we'd really like to do, and what we'll need to do, is partner with a large content company," he said. "They're getting wise to the Internet, and they're understanding that they can't litigate it away."
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Usenet Search Engine Preps Adult Content for iPod
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