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Google Defends Actions in Front of Viacom Lawsuit
engine




msg:3659782
 11:46 am on May 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

A one billion dollar lawsuit against YouTube threatens internet freedom, according to its owner Google.

Google's claim follows Viacom's move to sue the video sharing service for its inability to keep copyrighted material off its site.

In court documents Google's lawyers say the action "threatens the way hundreds of millions of people legitimately exchange information" over the web.

Viacom Lawsuit On Google's YouTube Threatens Internet Freedom [news.bbc.co.uk]

 

Habtom




msg:3659795
 12:02 pm on May 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

What part of keeping 'copyrighted material off the site' threatens 'internet freedom'? Freedom to use someone's copyrighted material for your own financial gains?

StoutFiles




msg:3659799
 12:06 pm on May 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

Sadly I agree with Viacom here...all video sharing sites have tons of illegal content. I guess they feel that letting people upload whatever they want and then taking certain content down later because of complaints is legal enough.

If Google was to lose this lawsuit though there would be a lot of panic from all the video sharing sites as none of them seem to be completely legal.

pontifex




msg:3659816
 12:20 pm on May 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

As a site owner of a large digital goods store (where people upload stuff to sell) I feel the pain. If the DMCA is not considered to be enough, we would be in serious trouble. Even with more manpower it is hard to spot these copyright infringements! Nonetheless is Viacom right with their concerns. IMHO the possible threat for the webmaster community will be the interpretation of a conviction afterwards. Will that open the gates for a flood of lawsuits for every picture, document or quote that could be a copyright violation? Now youtube is abusing the system for its own success. Afterwards the system will abuse thousands of sites for a lawsuit flood - that is the problem in the long term, me thinks...
P!

digitalghost




msg:3659832
 12:48 pm on May 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

It's not what people say, it's what people hear. What people will hear in this case is Google's propaganda.

threatens the way hundreds of millions of people legitimately exchange information" over the web

It's total BS, but that doesn't matter. That statement is the equivalent of saying laws threaten people that abide by them. But the Google spin machine wants people to hear that Internet freedom is threatened, and sadly, that's what the majority of the people will hear.

It's easy to get people to rally around a threat to freedom, it doesn't have to be a real threat. How about,

Copyright Infringement Threatens The Legitimate Exchange of Information

Just too truthful to make a good headline eh?

How about,

Viacom's Lawsuit Threatens Google's Business Model Nah, still too much truth involved.

Maybe,

Google Wants To Make A Profit On The Works of Others, Finds Legalities Bothersome

Every time the Google spin machine mentions 'freedom' it seems that it is really about their freedom to do as they wish, and profit from it.

Edge




msg:3659836
 12:54 pm on May 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

This seems to be a narrow fence to walk on for both Google and Viacom. Is YouTube (Google) really responsible for verifying that every video uploaded does not violate a copyright or is the individual whom uploaded the video responsible? Better yet, is it practical for every webmaster with a forum or other user contributed media or data to verify that copyrights are not violated for every contribution? Is this post by me already copyright protected somewhere and will WebmasterWorld verify?

Don't get me wrong, copyrights should be protected and I sure don't want my material redistributed all over the place without permission. This is an issue near and dear to all copy and media creators hearts. The DMCA process and rules are there to help us webmasters stay in business as long as we respond properly and in the interest of the copyright holder. Copyright infringement is rampant on the internet and both webmasters and surfers are guilty. I don't feel that most casual internet users respect copyright or in many cases care. I have users whom will go to great lengths to take my copy and I even have users email me and complain when their access is blocked for taking copyright protected media and copy. These users really think they have a right to take my stuff.....

When does the responsibility get pinned on the individual whom uploaded the copyright protected media or copy in the first place?

[edited by: Edge at 12:58 pm (utc) on May 27, 2008]

hakre




msg:3659843
 1:08 pm on May 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

Copyright will kill your freedom of speech faster then you can take care of. Think about someone would "copyright" the copy atom-by-atom of sound in the air. No-one would. In the digital world of bits'n'bytes any "Media Company" crawls out to fight for their "right" of what? That the free air has been digitalised and the waves continue to wave when converted back to air? Is Media left here? Which kind of shift has happened? Is there less air left after digitalisation or not? Is there a way for the masses to profit from mass communication or should it be only for the companies who can afford their right to be done right? Who incorporated the law and whom is it affecting to? Just my 2 cents.

Murdoch




msg:3659860
 1:30 pm on May 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

When does the responsibility get pinned on the individual whom uploaded the copyright protected media or copy in the first place?

When the websites start requiring credit card information in order to upload content.

Of course that would decrease visitors, thereby decreasing share values, so even though it's the proper thing to do, nobody is going to do it.

Miamacs




msg:3659864
 1:36 pm on May 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

this is pathetic.

...

again - once you decode the message could read as:

"we're done for with this. we have nothing to lose for Viacom is RIGHT, they will be able to push this through legally and morally. So we gotta turn to some intangible, user-backed FUD/hate campaign to make THEM look evil, even though it was US who bought a pirate ship that still had the loot all over its deck."

if this affected internet freedom it'd be sole responsibility and work of YouTube ( the VCs backing it ) and now Google. if they really wanted to avoid that ( and they should ), their job right now would be to NOT FAKE innocence and minimize the damage to the internet freedom they're talking about by confessing to the same sins that brought down far better - and not $$$/F500 backed - sites before. And since that's not gonna happen, agree to pay 'some' damages and set up REAL* moderation. So that lawmakers didn't get any new ideas, and wouldn't set a precedence for something that never happened: the innocent little video community site's unavoidable accident making them illegal.

*: doesn't need to be 100% effective, but at least... be there

...

coming from a company that makes $$$ with stolen copyrighted content this is just a pathetic excuse of an argument ( if this is turning to users for some sympathy, sure but based on what? ). YouTube founders never really tried to make it legal, and Google didn't ( couldn't ) do anything about moderation either. pushing the responsibility (!) back to the owners' side was a move I couldn't believe to go uncommented from the legal system.

perhaps it's time for a reality check

but that goes to YouTube and YouTube alone, as most other major video sharing sites seem to be able to keep away from the fire. because of their size? sure not. their harsh policies in place from the first moment of their launch ( and those that don't have them can go down for all I care ).

...

[edited by: Miamacs at 1:40 pm (utc) on May 27, 2008]

StoutFiles




msg:3659868
 1:41 pm on May 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

Viacom isn't trying to kill freedom of speech...they want what anyone in their position would want, their content protected. Google and other upload sites think that they can sit back and not claim responsibility for videos uploaded when they're the mass provider.

The internet won't be like this forever; there will eventually be a crackdown because anyone computer-savvy person can get files for free. I haven't had to buy a song, movie, book, program, etc. for a long time and until they decide that the middle man is at fault it will continue.

Rosalind




msg:3659871
 1:44 pm on May 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

I've got to agree with Viacom's stance. The fact that it may be difficult for Google or anyone else to police this sort of thing doesn't make it any less of an issue. It should not be Viacom's job, or that of any other copyright holder, to police YouTube.

mikedee




msg:3659876
 1:52 pm on May 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

To anyone who thinks Viacom is right:

How exactly will this be enforced? Will each one of the millions of videos uploaded have to be manually approved by on of the major copyright holders (do not think this judgment will help the little guy)?

Then there is legitimate use, a short clip from a Southpark episode isn't necessarily infringing, who would decide that if Viacom won this case?

Next up, how will this judgment affect every site that publishes ANYTHING, will we all have to submit our text to the Copyright Industry of America before we are allowed to post a blog?

So long as Youtube responds properly to takedown requests then there is not a problem. The courts have to decide individually on each case, just because you quote someone does not mean you are infringing their copyright, likewise a story which is about a young wizard may be infringing even if no words are copied verbatim.

StoutFiles




msg:3659891
 2:19 pm on May 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

How exactly will this be enforced? Will each one of the millions of videos uploaded have to be manually approved by on of the major copyright holders (do not think this judgment will help the little guy)?

I would assume so.

Then there is legitimate use, a short clip from a Southpark episode isn't necessarily infringing, who would decide that if Viacom won this case?

You can't define short, it's still infringing. What if I had 40 short clips but when put together I made an episode? Unless you're editing the clip for parody purposes(aka adding something unique/original to the content) you are stealing their work.

Next up, how will this judgment affect every site that publishes ANYTHING, will we all have to submit our text to the Copyright Industry of America before we are allowed to post a blog?

This is about the movie and music industry losing money because of Youtube; this isn't about censoring everything. It is blatant copyright infringement and it's been going on for years. Don't believe Google's spin that we lose our freedom fro everything by imposing some legality on internet content.

So long as Youtube responds properly to takedown requests then there is not a problem.

As said previously, it's not Viacom and others jobs to police Youtube.

Take Bob. Bob posts a video online. Tom and Fred watch it and download it before Company notices it. Company has it removed. The next day, Tom and Fred upload the video. Company has it removed again but even more people have seen it this time. Company cannot keep up.

mikedee




msg:3659902
 2:44 pm on May 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

You can't define short, it's still infringing. What if I had 40 short clips but when put together I made an episode? Unless you're editing the clip for parody purposes(aka adding something unique/original to the content) you are stealing their work.

That is exactly my point, each video must be looked at on its own merits by an independent party, the RIAA and MIAA cannot be trusted to be independent (nor can Youtube). Viacom are suggesting that they should be able to decide what does and does not get uploaded to a video sharing site, which some think would impact the freedom of the internet.

This is about the movie and music industry losing money because of Youtube; this isn't about censoring everything. It is blatant copyright infringement and it's been going on for years. Don't believe Google's spin that we lose our freedom fro everything by imposing some legality on internet content.

It happens just as much with the written word, if this case was won by Viacom then there would be nothing differentiating video from sound from words and everything that is copyrighted would have to be approved by the Copyright Industry of America.

As said previously, it's not Viacom and others jobs to police Youtube.

I agree, but Viacom seem to think that it is YouTube's responsibility with them setting the rules. They seem to think there is a magical solution to the problem and Google is just trying to profit from their loss (which is debatable).

If I want to see South Park for free, I would just go to their site and download it, their site proclaims ALL EPISODES, ALL SEASONS FREE! Who loses money every time someone downloads their shows for free from their own site?

Now I am really confused...

short low-quality clip on youtube = major losses for everyone
full season high-quality on southparkzone = profit

Maybe I am just too logical and don't think enough about those starving actors and record execs.

zett




msg:3659903
 2:46 pm on May 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

As a site owner who offers unique copyright protected content I'd applaud if the courts decide in favor of Viacom. Google KNOWS that the success of Youtube is (mainly) built upon copyright infringing works (regardless of what they claim), and now they start their propaganda machine to make people aware of the problem ("if this is not decided for us, it threatens your ability to share any content you want, and by the way, we would like to earn some money off other people's content").

Should Youtube fall, I see all the other sites with similar business models falling, too, including sites like that "document sharing service" that is seen as the Youtube of documents. (Too sad to see so many good [copyright protected] books go down the drain.)

Go, Viacom, go!

StoutFiles




msg:3659935
 3:18 pm on May 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

If I want to see South Park for free, I would just go to their site and download it, their site proclaims ALL EPISODES, ALL SEASONS FREE! Who loses money every time someone downloads their shows for free from their own site?

They run commercials during the episodes. Also, the newer episodes are withheld until Comedy Central can drain as much money as they can from repeated viewings...usually 1-2 months. Everyone wins if you go to South Park's official site and not the illegal ones.


short low-quality clip on youtube = major losses for everyone
full season high-quality on southparkzone = profit

Sites like southparkzone embed those videos from big sites like Youtube. Kill the big guys and you shut down the entire web of copyright infringement.

zett




msg:3659942
 3:26 pm on May 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

short low-quality clip on youtube = major losses for everyone
full season high-quality on southparkzone = profit

One point is often ignored by those cheering for a free and unrestricted distribution of copyright protected material: It is still the owner of an intellectual property who gets to decide how the material is going to be used. (If this is impossible, the whole content producing industry -writers, photographers, filmers, singers- will be changed forever, and not for good.)

IF the owner decides that he wants to build traffic for a web site by offering high definition episodes for streaming or download, then this is their GOOD RIGHT. Maybe they put advertising around the video player? Maybe they run a merchandise shop? Maybe they have an (affiliate) link to Amazon where the DVDs can be purchased? Maybe they just want to build the traffic and promote a new format they have developed? Or maybe they just want to build traffic and worry about monetization later? Really, we don't know, but any dilution (i.e. traffic being withdrawn from that site and directed towards Youtube, for example) can be seen as an unwanted scenario that decreases the value of the content.

And so it is their GOOD RIGHT to fight against such obvious ways to decrease the value of their intellectual property. And I wish them luck on their crusade.

US courts have once shut down Napster, and I would be surprised if Youtube could get away with the blatant copyright infringements on their site (by their users).

mikedee




msg:3659943
 3:26 pm on May 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

Lets just shut off the internet altogether except for people using official MIAA approved restrictednet access devices. All copyright producers can pay a fee to have their rights allowed onto the restrictednet (just to cover admin expenses obviously), once the MIAA has the right to disallow anything, who will prevent them from stopping unregistered artists (movie directors/authors)?

I think this is the terrible end that the BBC is worried about. Once the politicians get in on the act, we will be free from copyright infringement and freedom of speech.

This will almost certainly bring rise to the blacknet which people will use to publish their work if they cannot afford the copyright protection fee. Anyone caught using the blacknet will be sent to jail and have restrictednet access revoked forever. Sorry if all your bill payments, banking and voting is now done on CIA approved restrictednet.

I do not hear anyone from the pro restrictednet come up with any solution which protects our freedom, but gives them the right to make a profit. They all seem to hold the extremist view that all copyrighted works should be locked down at the expense of other freeedoms.

There were 3 billion videos on YouTube in March, according to Viacom, there are 150,000 copyright infringing videos - that is ONLY 0.005% of all videos on the site. It is a TINY blip on the radar, it is not their main business.

Receptional




msg:3659948
 3:39 pm on May 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

People here have been saying YouTube is a lawsuit [webmasterworld.com] waiting to happen time and again [webmasterworld.com].

Miamics has it spot on:
[Google]: campaign to make [Viacom] look evil, even though it was [Google] who bought a pirate ship that still had the loot all over its deck

Excuse the paraphrasing - but a brilliant analogy in this instance.

Dixon.

maximillianos




msg:3659975
 3:53 pm on May 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

For those of you who feel YouTube is in the wrong, think about this:

The problem here is not limited to video/file sharing sites. This relates to every website that allows consumers to contribute content (ie - user comments, etc).

If you allow user comments on your site, you would now be held accountable for verifying that every comment posted was not copied from somewhere else. Does anyone have the resources to do that? And we are not talking just comparing to other online sources. You would need to verify that the comment was not copied from any copyrighted print book, magazine, etc.

It would basically mean the end of user-generated content as we know it.

It is an completely unreasonable request to expect such resources from every online business, when the responsibility should (and is right now) be placed on the author of such comments/posts.

incrediBILL




msg:3659981
 3:58 pm on May 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

They all seem to hold the extremist view that all copyrighted works should be locked down at the expense of other freeedoms.

if( ( Infringing == Stealing ) && ( Stealing == Jail ) && ( Jail != Freedom ) ) {
print( "Infringment isn't Freedom" );
}

mikedee




msg:3659985
 3:59 pm on May 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

pirate ship that still had the loot all over its deck

According to Viacoms own figures, the loot is spread over 0.005% of the deck. You would not even be able to see it at all, it would take a forensics team to find it.

If the MIAA and RIAA want to stop piracy, why don't they just lobby for the Great Firewall of the USA to ban sites like The Pirate Bay, nobody in their right mind would go to YouTube for a movie or TV show. Please be realistic here.

mikedee




msg:3659993
 4:03 pm on May 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

Infringment isn't Freedom

I never said that, this case would raise all types of prescient which would make it very hard or impossible to publish anything on any site in case their works infringed on others.

Think what the internet would be like if you had to pay $10,000pa for a site owners license and $20,000pa for a 'physical goods' license (just in case you try to sell copied clothes etc).

P.S. Your if statement would short-circuit at this statement "Infringing == Stealing". It only makes people sound extemist when they make assertions like that, even Viacom is in on the act which cannot help their case. Judges are normally sensible people and they can see through this corporate bluster.

We cannot tolerate any form of piracy by anyone, including YouTube...they cannot get away with stealing our products.

He cannot be a lawyer if he thinks YouTube is stealing their products.

[edited by: mikedee at 4:10 pm (utc) on May 27, 2008]

StoutFiles




msg:3660008
 4:10 pm on May 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

why don't they just lobby for the Great Firewall of the USA to ban sites like The Pirate Bay, nobody in their right mind would go to YouTube for a movie or TV show.

People who use BitTorrent sites are hunting for illegal content...you can't block all of them as it is right now. But YouTube? Everyone and their mom uses YouTube...Google search is also biased towards directing people to YouTube content. Most of these people weren't even looking for illegal content but they found it there.

The MIAA and RIAA have been trying to shut torrent sites down; it's a long haul.

mikedee




msg:3660017
 4:16 pm on May 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

People who use BitTorrent sites are hunting for illegal content...you can't block all of them as it is right now.

I can name about 10 off the top of my head that would stop 90% of people in their tracks. It is not a long-haul, just block them at the border routers and cut off their DNS. If China can do it, why not the USA?

Why don't they at least do that if they want to send out a message, they can even block YouTube since that seems to be the hub of piracy these days.

Can anyone point to one video that is over 5 minutes long that is infringing on someones content (even 5-6 streamed together). I will find a much higher quality version of the entire film/tv show within 5 minutes.

If I search Google for South Park then I do not see any YouTube clips, if I search YouTube then I only get a few short clips and parodies.

randle




msg:3660025
 4:23 pm on May 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

He cannot be a lawyer if he thinks YouTube is stealing their products.

Their not stealing but they are definitely profiting from stolen products. It’s like a pawn shop owner knowingly dealing in stolen goods; you can’t do that.

Google’s stance of “if your copyrighted material is being displayed on our platform, let us know and we’ll take it down” doesn’t cut it. By then they have already profited from it. The second someone’s copyrighted material is on their platform, and being downloaded, their liable. I’m amazed Google is taking the stance they are.

lawsuit against YouTube threatens internet freedom, according to its owner Google.

You gotta be kidding, they better get better lawyers, and a much better defense than that.

Webwork




msg:3660029
 4:26 pm on May 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

Definitions 2.0.

"Disruptive technology": Technology that inevitably makes the creator of the technology your new, unsolicited business partner.

"Disruptive technology profit margin": Externalized costs.

[edited by: Webwork at 4:46 pm (utc) on May 27, 2008]

StoutFiles




msg:3660030
 4:27 pm on May 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

Can anyone point to one video that is over 5 minutes long that is infringing on someones content (even 5-6 streamed together). I will find a much higher quality version of the entire film/tv show within 5 minutes.

Well obviously...but I have gone to YouTube for illegal content simply out of convenience. Google Search said "Hey, come to Youtube, the link's right here, and here's a picture of the video to clarify". People are stumbling upon illegal content on Youtube; they don't even have to hunt for it. But you go after YouTube for four reasons.

#1. Accessible to everyone quick and easy. BitTorrent sites take some work, time, and usually a software download.

#2. Google has the money to actually pay lawsuits.

#3. You send a message to all the sites out there; get rid of your illegal content, user submitted or not, or face the consequences.

#4. YouTube is king of video sharing. If your content is there more people will see it faster than anywhere else.

Murdoch




msg:3660032
 4:28 pm on May 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

This relates to every website that allows consumers to contribute content (ie - user comments, etc).

I think what we are talking about here is a bit more defined than fair use in comments. If this was true there would be a precedent for not allowing me to do what I just did in the above line by quoting your text.

I am not trying to defend Google or Viacom in any sense here. I am trying to offer a solution. That solution is the following:

1. YouTube et al should require credit card information in order to allow users to upload digital media.

2. Should illegal content then be found, Google can forward the blame to said user who has given verifiable contact information.

3. Users who do not give CC information may still WATCH videos on YouTube.

Granted this isn't a perfect plan and does not cover people whose credit card information has been stolen, but I think even MikeDee can agree that your own personal information is YOUR responsibility (provided it hasn't been stolen from some company you gave it too) and if it is compromised then YOU are responsible for the consequences of whatever happens with it. I feel this is the best solution for BOTH companies.

edit - changed "upload content" to "upload digital media"

[edited by: Murdoch at 4:31 pm (utc) on May 27, 2008]

zett




msg:3660045
 4:40 pm on May 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

YouTube et al should require credit card information in order to allow users to upload content

Yep. One of the major problems today is the accountability for the uploaded content. People can join under a nick and will be protected by the anonymity of the service. Of course, they can usually be tracked down, and those who know this do not upload infringing content. But it takes some effort to find the person who actually infringes.

With a validation process this would be different. People then KNOW that they can [and will] be tracked, and they will think twice before they upload infringing material.

But clearly, this is not in the best interest of Google, because Youtube would quickly die. That's why they started the propaganda machine.

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