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People watching Google Video closely noticed a change this week in the upload area – the restrictions on uploading “pornographic or obscene” material is now just a restriction on “obscene” material. They’ve also added a “mature and adult” category to the genres and removed (I believe) a box on the initial uploading page that must be checked where the uploader certifies that the “video is not pornographic or obscene material”.

This may or may not mean Google is allowing, or preparing to allow, porn. Videos containing nudity are clearly available on the site, and many were uploaded months ago (for example, is this porn?). But nothing hardcore seems to be on the site.

Also, the box requiring uploaders to certify that content is not pornographic is still in certain areas, such as the “edit video” area of the site. And the terms and conditions still prohibit pornographic material.

It’s strange that Google is allowing classification of content as “mature and adult”, and allowing video containing nudity (which is arguably porn), but still restricting pornography through the terms and conditions and in the video edit section. Either they’re just testing the boundaries of what their users will allow, or in the middle of making changes that could allow more hardcore content. Either way, porn is big business, and I’m sure Google has thought long and hard about how to get their piece of it.

More if and when this develops, and see Google Blogoscoped for their view. Thanks for the tip Razvan.

See our profile of Pornotube, a porn specific YouTube competitor, as well.

Note: There are some statements above about Google removing the no-porn check box, etc. that I can’t confirm. If there are any hard-core users of Google Video out there that have corrections or clarifications, please let me know. Better yet, if you are a Google employee and know what the real story is, please leave a comment. :-)

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