Bolt, one of the larger independent online video sites, is selling itself to GoFish to escape its copyright battle with Universal Music Group. We had been tracking this story as it developed, but the New York Times now reports the deal has gone through. GoFish is […]

Bolt, one of the larger independent online video sites, is selling itself to GoFish to escape its copyright battle with Universal Music Group. We had been tracking this story as it developed, but the New York Times now reports the deal has gone through.

GoFish is a publicly traded video aggregation and search company. It went public through a reverse merger last October. GoFish had 1.4 million visitors in December, as compared to 5.3 million visitors to Bolt, according to comScore. GoFish is paying up to $30 million in stock for Bolt, out of its market cap of $134 million.

In an interview before the deal was done, Bolt CEO Aaron Cohen told us Bolt would be changing its focus, once acquired, to content creation. He said video aggregation, along with its legal intricacies and stiff competition, was no longer an interesting business. Bolt, he explained, would offer its skills at attracting and fostering an internet audience to would-be online video stars.

Bolt-GoFish would look to develop a roster of web content creators, and allow them to keep ownership of their content, Cohen said. This is a similar to efforts from companies such as CNET, blip.tv, and PodTech.

As for its existing content, Bolt is paying a settlement of several million dollars to Universal, and agreeing to pay royalties on any future videos that contain Universal’s music. While Bolt and other sites had defended themselves by citing the DMCA safe harbor — which allows them to wait a takedown notice about copyright infringement rather than using filters to screen videos– it seems that the law is carrying less weight these days.

Since the courts weren’t involved in the case, the law does not change. However, with sites under increasing pressure to police their clips or cut content licensing deals to support them, the precedent is being revised.

Cohen and Bolt president Jay Gould are also involved in a new project, called WikiYou, which has received seed funding from First Round Capital and Mayfield Fund.

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  1. GigaOM » Bolt gets its exit: $30M from GoFish Sunday, February 11, 2007

    […] company GoFish for $30 million in stock. Get the full take on NewTeeVee. No comments Share/Send Sphere Topic: Reporter’s Log Tags: Bolt, GoFish,NewTeeVee […]

  2. Howard Lindzon » GoFish.com is a great example of a Stock Promote Sunday, February 11, 2007

    […] Now tonight I am reading at newteevee that they have bought bolt.com with their ridiculous penny stock, reverse merger, inflated stock. Price tag for this gem – a mere $30 million in paper. […]

  3. Jason L. Baptiste Sunday, February 11, 2007

    This is the most retarded reverse merger/CRACKquisition so far in the Web 2.0 space. 30 million for a company that has about 4x the unique users, even though you’re worth 154 million. Oh wait, that’s the OTC Pink sheet garbage penny stocks. Just because this dog can do some cool tricks, does NOT mean it can escape its legal woes. I got my laughs for the night.


  4. Bolt Sells to GoFish to Pay Universal Music Settlement Sunday, February 11, 2007

    […] Liz Gannes at NewTeeVee reports that the Bolt CEO now plans on moving into the content creation business, as video sharing technology is no longer an interesting business.  While you can understand why he’d say that, this seems to me like a sad end to the story. If it’s a part of market maturation, though, things could certainly be worse. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some interesting things come out of GoFish and Bolt in the future. No Tags Sphere It […]

  5. Gandeste.net » Selectie 12 februarie Monday, February 12, 2007

    […] 1. Bolt.com, unul dintre cele mai mari site-uri independente de video, a fost vandut lui GoFish pentru a scapa de procesul de copyright cu Universal Music Group. Blot urmeaza sa isi schimbe scopul, concentrandu-se pe crearea de continut. CEO Bolt, Aaron Cohen, a declarat ca agregarea video, cu toate implicarile legale si competitia dura nu mai este un domeniu de interes. […]

  6. Hey Liz,

    A lot of people have been misinterpreting the motives of the acquisition. I just wanted to comment to give a little clarity from our perspective.

    We are merging Bolt with GoFish, settling our disputes, and refocusing our efforts on growth. The New York Times had unfortunately misquoted Aaron significantly in the article today. He never stated that we violated copyright law, rather we are settling to resolve litigation. There is no admission of wrongdoing on Bolt’s behalf in the settlement.

    Thanks for the coverage and as always you can reach Aaron or I on AIM to discuss!


  7. aligrator – Teen Site Bolt.com Selling Itself Out Monday, February 12, 2007

    […] From New Tee Vee  […]

  8. Bronte Media » Chapter Endings Monday, February 12, 2007

    […] GigaOm has the best depth on the story, including that Cohen’s new venture will be called WikiYou and that as well as first round capital, Mayfield had also agreed to invest.   […]

  9. TechCrunch Japanese アーカイブ » Bolt、Universal Musicへの賠償金支払いのためGoFishに身売り Monday, February 12, 2007

    […] NewTeeVee reportsのLiz Gannの記事によると、BoltのCEOは今、ビデオ共有はもはや興味あるビジネスではなくなったとして、ビジネスをコンテンツ制作に移そうとしているという。彼がこう述べるようになった経緯は理解できるが、やはり悲しい結末と思える。しかし、これが市場の成熟の結果であるならば、事態はこれより悪くなることもあり得たわけだ。将来、GoFishとBoltから興味あるニュースが生まれてくることを期待したい。 […]

  10. Ari Paparo Dot Com Monday, February 12, 2007

    Bolt Exits…

    Silicon Alley old-timer, Bolt.com was sold for $30 million in stock. Congrats to Aaron Cohen, the CEO. I had run…

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