Yes, YouTube, it's safe to have your virtual passport stamped in Brazil again. The site was ordered back up and accessible to Brazilians yesterday after a temporary court-ordered outage late last week.
This all started when a risque video -- featuring model Daniela Cicarelli frolicking on a barren Spanish beach with her boyfriend -- popped up on the site. The video was in violation of YouTube's decency standards, yet users kept uploading the unauthorized sex tape before Google's
YouTube has relied on the policing efforts of its users in the past. If enough users flag a video as inappropriate, YouTube yanks the video off the site. With the gargantuan amount of videos posted to the site, it would be difficult for YouTube to function as a profitable (yet free) site if it has to invest in staff to manually review each upload.
Will this be another headache for Google, above and beyond the music and video producers that have been angling for legal fisticuffs over unauthorized uploads? Google acquired YouTube in its never-ending quest to find billable online real estate to sell ads on, yet this move has ramifications for other online juggernauts like Yahoo!
The video-sharing revolution has helped spur interest in broadband access and television conversion. Even the otherwise sleepy Logitech
This battle appears to have ended peacefully, but it should remind us all that YouTube is now a global powerhouse; its most-viewed videos list is full of Latin American soccer clips and bikini-clad Japanese models. But isn't it a little ironic that Brazil, the country that brought us the thong and the revelry of Rio's Carnival, is complaining about indecency (partly because the model happens to be the ex-wife of its beloved soccer star)? That would be a near-sighted observation; Brazil is much more diversified than that. By the same token, this overseas tussle also reminds us that Google can be held accountable for YouTube's need to please all foreign markets. That may take some of the fun out of whipping out that passport in the future.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz isn't a YouTube junkie, but he does find himself on the site more often than he would care to admit. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.