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October 06, 2006

Skype Founders Launch The Venice Project - A YouTube Killer? Skipping Out on eBay Inc.

posted by MR WAVETHEORY at 10/06/2006 02:05:00 AM
The Skype founders are incredible entrepreneurs - adaptive, malleable, big thinkers. They are notorious for skirting the law, earning back their good grace, and making billions all in the last 10 years. There was great controversy in their first success, Kazaa. If anything, Janus Friis and Niklaus Zennstrom are the quintessential Internet entrepreneur of the late 90s - except they ended up with the big bucks and their big dreams while everyone else lost their shirts. Now, they are skipping out on eBay Inc. (NASDAQ EBAY) and launching The Venice Project. The Venice Project is supposed to do for video sharing what Skype and Kazaa did for VOIP and music sharing. Om Malik did a wonderful interview with Janus and Niklaus. You can sign up for the beta by visiting the home page of the Venice Project. But before doing so, I would read the privacy policy. Kazaa was notorious for installing spyware on users' computers and it looks like The Venice Project will be making great efforts to do data collection on users. This is just the boilerplate from the web site on what the software will collect:

When you register to become a user of a TVP website, service or software, TVP collects certain information such as your first and last name, e-mail address, location, and birth date, as
well as information about your use of TVP features and contributions of content.

Also, The Venice Project may not be appropriate for your kids:

TVP websites, software and services are designed and maintained for an audience at 16 years old and above. For this reason every user registration asks for date of birth and our best efforts are made to ensure the integrity of our minimum age policy. Accordingly, we will not knowingly collect personal information from any child under 16 years of age.

It doesn't sound like it is child safe. I wonder what kind of content they intend to serve up. Hmmm.

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