YouTube's profitability or lack thereof has long been debated in the absence of facts. In announcing a mildy high six-figure deal for YouTube, VentureBeat's MG Siegler quotes Forbes numbers that aren't much higher than previous arbitrary estimates. From what I hear, Google has sent engineer after engineer to solve a problem that seems intractible — how to guarantee the site's content is kosher. It's become a point of fail in Google business culture, and the solution lays beyond the company's algorithm-worshipping, individualist ken: aggregating human effort.
Why not leverage an army of Amazon Mechanical Turks to make documented copyright judgement calls in YouTube's favor, opening massive amounts of advertising inventory? They have remote quality raters for search results, and copyright holders have amassed armies of people to take content off the site. Google has the cash, why not throw a few dollars to people who work to keep content on the site? That seems easier.