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Will YouTube Drink Miramax's Milkshake?

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As it stands, YouTube is your go-to spot to find surprised kittens, autotuned news reports, and preteens sustaining severe injuries. But Google plans on aiming higher and, according to the New York Post, is in negotiations with Filmyard Holdings to gain digital distribution rights to Miramax's archives.

With Hulu, Vudu, iTunes, and Netflix in its sights, Google wants YouTube to also specialize in full-length features. It's experimented with rental distribution before, but that hadn't taken off like the company hoped. But the Post's sources assert that Google is sticking to the plan and pursuing Miraxmax's backlog of over 700 films to host on YouTube. However, it has to act fast -- or dip further into the budget -- because Netflix is also gunning for the digital distribution rights.

In July, the studio was sold by Walt Disney to Filmyard Holdings for more than $660 million. Former News Corp exec Mike Lang is expected to fill the role as its chief executive, which could add some friction to the talks -- given News Corp's rocky relationship with the search giant.

In the meantime, both sides are remaining tight-lipped. A Google spokesman told the Post: "We're always talking to the studios about different things and Disney remains a valuable YouTube partner. Outside of that, we don't comment on rumor or speculation."

Sounds as if Google and YouTube commenters are vastly different creatures.
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