Reed Smith steps up to the platform for Bebo web initiative

Reed Smith Richards Butler senior associate Gregor Pryor has bagged a role advising social networking site Bebo on an open media content-sharing platform.

Reed Smith steps up to the platform for Bebo web initiative” />
Reed Smith Richards Butler senior associate Gregor Pryor has bagged a role advising social networking site Bebo on an open media content-sharing platform.

As part of the initiative Bebo has allowed media partners, including CBS, MTV, ESPN, BBC, Channel 4, ITN and Yahoo!, to access its site and share content with Bebo’s online community of 40 million users.

The platform was launched simultaneously in the UK and US, with DLA Piper Palo Alto partner Maureen Dorney advising Bebo in the US.

Pryor, who won the instruction on the recommendation of internet company Last.fm, worked alongside London-based associates Krista James and Dan Barnett.

According to Pryor, the scheme is innovative as Bebo allows other media companies to have free space on its website with editorial control, giving them access to all its users.

Pryor said: “Bebo is a Web 2.0 company – it is driven by what users do. The idea is that users are engaged with the website for a long period of time, so giving them entertainment products is to the benefit of the site. On the one hand Bebo hasn’t paid for some really good content, but on the other it hasn’t been paid for the access it provides.”

Pryor added that the deal was complicated both because it had to be completed in a short timeframe and because there was a large number of rights issues that had to be sorted out for the media partners and for Bebo.

“Bebo wanted to launch a huge amount of content in a very short space of time,” Pryor said. “If we were building channels for someone such as Sky it would take two years, but this had to be done in two months.”

The bulk of the media partners that signed up to the initiative used in-house counsel on the deal.