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Mediaset sues Google, YouTube; seeks $800 mln
poster_boy




msg:3711174
 2:12 pm on Jul 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

Mediaset Sues Google and YouTube [reuters.com] For $800Million
MILAN, July 30 (Reuters) - Italian broadcaster Mediaset has sued Internet search company Google Inc. and its unit YouTube for illegal use of its materials, seeking 500 million euros ($779.3 million) in damages, Mediaset said on Wednesday.

Mediaset, controlled by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, joins a series of leading broadcasters to have sought compensation from YouTube, a video-sharing website, for alleged copyright infringement.

Mediaset filed suit in a Rome court, the company said in a statement. A YouTube spokeswoman said it did not see the need for the legal case.

"YouTube respects copyright holders and takes copyright issues very seriously," the spokeswoman said in London. Google bought YouTube in 2006.

[edited by: engine at 2:36 pm (utc) on July 30, 2008]
[edit reason] added quote [/edit]

 

Lts95




msg:3711210
 2:49 pm on Jul 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

Obviously you have no right to distribute copyrighted works that you don't own or have license to use, but how do they come up with these damage figures?

Mediaset said a sample analysis of YouTube at June 10 found "at least 4,643 videos and clips owned by us, equivalent to more than 325 hours of transmission without having rights".

Mediaset said this was equal to the loss of 315,672 days of broadcasting by its three TV channels.

For those who don't have a calculator handy, Mediaset is claiming a loss of over 864 years worth of broadcasting thanks to YouTube.

zett




msg:3711216
 2:54 pm on Jul 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

*chuckle*

Also, please note the fine print: filed in A ROME COURT. Italy is run by Berlusconi. Mediaset is owned by Berlusconi. It'll be fun to watch how Google will get out of this one.

Crush




msg:3711246
 3:25 pm on Jul 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

I guess it is individuals who upload the material not youtube. Also you click taht you are not violtating copyright. If youtube remove the files when asked I guess they are going to get away with it.

Murdoch




msg:3711255
 3:34 pm on Jul 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

Italy is run by Berlusconi. Mediaset is owned by Berlusconi

How true.

Google should just tell them to bugger off and threaten to remove its presence from the entire country. That will put that corrupt "Prime Minister" back in his place.

Silvio Berlusconi is, in my mind, worse than Rupert Murdoch.

gibbergibber




msg:3711261
 3:38 pm on Jul 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

--For those who don't have a calculator handy, Mediaset is claiming a loss of over 864 years worth of broadcasting thanks to YouTube.--

That does seem odd if we were talking about TV channels, but if you have all your programmes available individually and simultaneously on the internet that is possible, because it's like having thousands of channels broadcasting simultaneously.

For example if you have a thousand one hour programmes available on a website, that's 1000 hours of broadcasting in just 1 hour of real time.

I'm not defending the claim by the way, just trying to understand their reasoning.

<snip>

[edited by: goodroi at 7:39 pm (utc) on July 30, 2008]
[edit reason] Please keep the discussion focused on Mediaset and Google [/edit]

aleksl




msg:3711485
 7:31 pm on Jul 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

<snip>

Maybe Google can pull some high-end globalist strings to get Berlusconi, ha-ha ;)

[edited by: goodroi at 7:40 pm (utc) on July 30, 2008]
[edit reason] Please keep the discussion focused on Mediaset and Google [/edit]

StoutFiles




msg:3711500
 7:42 pm on Jul 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

Why doesn't Google just hurry up and develop a log in system to make users liable for submissions? Do they enjoy being sued every week for millions?

Lord Majestic




msg:3711501
 7:42 pm on Jul 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

<snip>

In Italy as well Berlusconi does not control the voters either - he is not the first time in power and everytime it happens but a fairly low margin, if he was in real control he'd never leave the power place alive, yet he did a number of times.

That said the compensation part of the lawsuit in my view is without merit.

[edited by: goodroi at 7:50 pm (utc) on July 30, 2008]

Receptional Andy




msg:3711511
 7:53 pm on Jul 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

Surely the claim would depend on how many times the videos were viewed? A 1/2 hour video viewed 100,000 times = 50,000 hours broadcasting time.

Lts95




msg:3711547
 8:27 pm on Jul 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

A 1/2 hour video viewed 100,000 times = 50,000 hours broadcasting time.

Is that how Mediaset computes their own "broadcasting time", Content time x Estimated Viewers? This may be as apples to oranges as Internet vs. TV, but in the US, when broadcasting hours are referred to, such as laws requiring stations to provide 3 hours of childrens progamming per week, the size of the audience is not a consideration.

Receptional Andy




msg:3711550
 8:30 pm on Jul 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

I've no idea, but it would seem to me that damage is done every time the copyrighted material is viewed - each one is like a separate broadcast. I haven't looked at this case at all though, so I may be way off the mark. It was just my assumption when I saw the total hours.

Lts95




msg:3711571
 9:01 pm on Jul 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

Again, this is a US centric point of view, but I've seen some TV sites say that if you could've recorded it for later viewing, then you have the right to view it. I don't think this has ever been legally tested, and I'm no lawyer, but I can certainly see the logic in that. What is the material difference between me watching a show I recorded on my TiVo, or watching the same thing someone else TiVoed and then uploaded to YouTube?

No doubt the laws are somewhat different in Italy, but if you are allowed to make personal recordings there, and MediaSet's channels are all "free" over the air broadcasts, it would be hard to claim that anyone in Italy didn't have the right to view a personal recording of its shows.

The real answer is to realize that consumers habits are changing and change your business model appropriately. US Broadcasters seem to be doing a fairly good job of delivering content over the web. Most videos I've seen on YouTube are fairly low quality, I'd much prefer to watch TV shows in higher quality streams from the broadcasters website even if they force a few commercials on you.

koan




msg:3711640
 10:12 pm on Jul 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'd much prefer to watch TV shows in higher quality streams from the broadcasters website even if they force a few commercials on you.

The problem with these media companies (as opposed to tech companies) is their web sites are usually badly organized and they are more interested in converting you into a customer instead of actually giving you a user friendly experience. That's how companies like youtube (for videos) and iTunes (for music), steps in with a better understanding of technology and drink their milkshake. It's also easier to have everything in one central place than having to track which web site might be hosting a particular segment.

When I visit these media sites, it's usually long loading flash presentations all over the place, often incompatible with anything but IE and the dreaded windows media player, without an ounce of usability.

bakedjake




msg:3711705
 12:31 am on Jul 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

Silvio Berlusconi

Right or wrong, crook or not, that guy always looks really good in photographs. Suit and smile.

I want to know who his tailor is and who cleans his teeth.

tangor




msg:3711771
 3:33 am on Jul 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

What is the material difference between me watching a show I recorded on my TiVo, or watching the same thing someone else TiVoed and then uploaded to YouTube?

The difference is a copy for yourself NOT SHARED WITH OTHERS is okay. Sharing with others is an infringment of copyright, here, there, and just about everywhere.

bears5122




msg:3711904
 9:20 am on Jul 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

The problem with these media companies (as opposed to tech companies) is their web sites are usually badly organized and they are more interested in converting you into a customer instead of actually giving you a user friendly experience. That's how companies like youtube (for videos) and iTunes (for music), steps in with a better understanding of technology and drink their milkshake. It's also easier to have everything in one central place than having to track which web site might be hosting a particular segment.

When I visit these media sites, it's usually long loading flash presentations all over the place, often incompatible with anything but IE and the dreaded windows media player, without an ounce of usability.


But that's their perogative. They own the material and can do whatever they want with it. In fact, they could hoard it inside a vault if they choose.

Just because a site is user friendly doesn't give it the right to steal copyrighted material from others. I have a bigger living room than my neighbor, but it doesn't give me the right to steal his TV simply because it would be better suited for my place.

bears5122




msg:3711906
 9:26 am on Jul 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

Does YouTube ever become too much of a liability for Google? I mean from all reports, YouTube isn't that profitible for the company. I understand other reasons for owning it and don't think it's a bad purchase from that standpoint.

But these massive lawsuits have to be some kind of liability against the company. If the Viacom suit is succesful, it opens the floodgates for everyone and their brother to sue Google (I'm sure lawyers are just waiting for this ruling to go down). It seems in the long run that YouTube could turn into a high risk, low reward situation.

StoutFiles




msg:3711976
 12:26 pm on Jul 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

Once again, the guys who created and sold YouTube have to feel so relieved they escaped just in time.

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