Eric Schmidt Discusses Numerous Hot Issues

    May 21, 2009
    Chris Crum

The other day, Google CEO Eric Schmidt gave quite an inspirational speech at the University of Pennsylvania, in which he shared his interpretation of the meaning of life. He talked about technology and the importance of the organization of the world’s information – Google’s ultimate goal.

Schmidt was interviewed by the Financial Times, with whom he shared a lot more interesting thoughts and insight, but focused more on the business side of things this time. In the interview, he discussed:

– The news industry
– Fair use
– Online video
– Twitter
– Acquisitions
– The future
– The economy

The interview is quite lengthy, but certainly worth reading. Following are a few choice quotes from Schmidt:

On Paying Newspapers More for Aggregating Content…

Eric Schmidt "The real issue here is that when people are reading the news online, we’re not monetizing it in aggregate, so if we were to transfer money we would be taking money from something unrelated to newspapers and just paying them, which doesn’t seem like a good sustainable model for anybody."

On Fair Use…

"We have evolved in the United States a fair use doctrine that’s pretty broadly agreed to. And my experience with lawyers is that they’re always arguing on the corners of, you know, is it 30 seconds or is this 15 seconds? But there’s clearly a document for use that’s been around for a very long time; it’s unlikely to be changed."

On YouTube Monetization…

"We think YouTube is a huge success… It’s an audience far larger than what traditional television sees; it’s a global audience. And we will, over time, develop the advertising models and subscription models eventually that will make that a very good business for us."

On Hulu:

"We actually like the Hulu structure, we’re glad that the industry has such a structure and we think that the more players getting content online, even if it’s not something that we directly control, that’s good for the industry."

On Twitter:

"I can’t comment about buying anybody; we certainly think Twitter is very successful and people are using Twitter in the most amazing things. The most obvious use of Twitter is everybody is watching a play and are busy talking about the play while the play is underway. So this notion of real-time updates from people is very, very powerful."

He also talks about how he doesn’t intend to do anything else after his stint with Google. He says that’s it for him (and especially no politics).

There is a whole lot more from Schmidt in the Financial Times article. As usual, he has plenty of interesting things to say.