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Google execs convicted in Italy
zeus




msg:4086266
 10:36 am on Feb 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

An Italian court has convicted three Google executives in a trial over a video showing a teenager with Down's Syndrome being bullied.

The Google employees were accused of breaking Italian law by allowing the video to be posted online.

Judge Oscar Magi absolved the three of defamation but convicted them of privacy violations.


more here

[news.bbc.co.uk...]

In Italy 3 Google executives seeing bad times after the 2006 transmission of a video showing the bullying of a youth with Down syndrome.



Now of cause Im against Googles way of handling Privacy and the collection information about each user, like 1984 book, but how should they watch every video uploaded thats impossible, so I think this time its not really what we want to see Google convicted for there 1000 other cases which are more important.

[edited by: engine at 11:38 am (utc) on Feb 24, 2010]
[edit reason] added quote [/edit]

 

rogerd




msg:4086284
 11:37 am on Feb 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

Here's an AP version of the story:

[msnbc.msn.com...]

Google has said it considered the trial a threat to freedom on the Internet because it could force providers to attempt an impossible task prescreening thousands of hours daily of YouTube footage.


Oddly, it seems that at least two of those convicted were Google's own in-house lawyers. That must be a real shocker for legal pros who are usually above the fray and responsible for keeping the rest of the company out of trouble.

piatkow




msg:4086295
 11:53 am on Feb 24, 2010 (gmt 0)


but how should they watch every video uploaded thats impossible

The photo hosting service that I use reviews the first upload. After that a random proportion of uploads are checked, reducing as the customer becomes established.

man in poland




msg:4086296
 11:57 am on Feb 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

This is big news.

I sense a sea change in accountability now being demanded of Google and its ilk. It is notable that this wave (no pun intended) now bearing down on Google is being led by Europe. Google's honeymoon period of 'publish and be damned' is finally over - as it should have been some years ago. The age-old cycle of Hubris and Nemesis is being played out before our eyes.

A huge opportunity now exists for a new 'kid on the block' who really 'does no evil' to step into the breach.

rogerd




msg:4086315
 12:10 pm on Feb 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

I think this decision could be a threat to any site that permits user-generated content.

The test should be whether Google was aware of this inappropriate video and failed to take action, not whether it was posted.

If Google had many reports that it was offensive, reviewed it, and left it in place, that's a different story. That could be either poor judgment by them, or a TOS that doesn't match appropriate laws.

The thought that sites would be required to review every video (or photo, or forum post) before publishing to the Web is somewhere between scary and ludicrous.

oodlum




msg:4086327
 12:25 pm on Feb 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

My site runs on user-generated content but I wouldn't dream of publishing it without review.

wheel




msg:4086328
 12:27 pm on Feb 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

but how should they watch every video uploaded thats impossible,

that's Google's responsibility to figure out.

lammert




msg:4086331
 12:40 pm on Feb 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

Oddly, it seems that at least two of those convicted were Google's own in-house lawyers.

Seems to be a conviction of the heart of the problem then. Let's see how fast their colleagues will react on this. Don't know about the exact procedure of Italian law, but they will certainly fight this to the highest possible court, just because their own species is involved now. Could take some years to hear the final court decision on this subject though.

graywolf




msg:4086335
 12:43 pm on Feb 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

so I think this time its not really what we want to see Google convicted for there 1000 other cases which are more important.


I'm sure the government really wanted to convict Al Capone of something more serious than tax evasion too, but sometimes you have to go with what "sticks" legally.

StoutFiles




msg:4086343
 1:10 pm on Feb 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

that's Google's responsibility to figure out.


Indeed. It's like saying that if your traffic levels hit a certain high mark that you're now immune from what your traffic does.

Even with these legal problems, I still don't see YouTube changing its model this year.

bears5122




msg:4086354
 1:41 pm on Feb 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

but how should they watch every video uploaded thats impossible

Their country, their laws. If Google can't abide by the laws of that country, they should not be running their business in it.

moTi




msg:4086357
 1:55 pm on Feb 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

that's Google's responsibility to figure out.

exactly. no need to worry about problems a giant content provider faces which has grown to a range that things get out of hand.
there's no question people benefit from youtube's extensive supply of online videos, but user convenience is not the point here. when a company is unable to handle the volume, they simply need to shorten down their service. even if that means, in last consequence, shutting down the website.

webmasters and moderators have the duty to supervise member postings on their platform. this is perfectly workable to a certain extent. trusting in "cloud intelligence" for removing offensive videos is just weaseling out of obligation. volume can never be an excuse.

JS_Harris




msg:4086375
 2:08 pm on Feb 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

So kids with downs syndrome are safe from being bullied now, right?

The real problem, tolerance, is being missed and even this thread wreaks of intolerance (mostly towards google).

[edited by: JS_Harris at 2:09 pm (utc) on Feb 24, 2010]

zett




msg:4086376
 2:08 pm on Feb 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

My site runs on user-generated content but I wouldn't dream of publishing it without review.


that's Google's responsibility to figure out.


Exactly.

Just because Google WANTS to save money (by not reviewing manually) and publish videos without delay does not mean that it HAS TO BE that way. It's just the hubris of the folks in MV that made such thinking possible. "Do no evil", geddid?

I have always been very very cautious with publishing user generated content. Those with a more conservative approach to the web will wholeheartedly agree here.

Also, IIRC, Google did some kind of manual check on uploads on their own service, Google Video, when it was still competing against Youtube. At that time they were cautious, too. That caution vanished with the acquisition of Youtube.

I think this will indeed change the way they will offer their service in certain countries (e.g. Italy). Others will follow.

Finally, the Italian court made a point that an operator of a web site can not simply look away, pretending they did not know about a specific video (a commonly used argument also for copyright issues). That's over now. Whether you know about what's on your site or not, you are responsible for what's published on your site on the web. At least in Italy, it seems.

yaix2




msg:4086380
 2:21 pm on Feb 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

Come on, Google, close down YouTube in Italy!

But seriously, what court was that? I expect that some higher Italian court will invalid this decision later on. And if not, the European Court of Justice will.

marcel




msg:4086388
 2:34 pm on Feb 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

Also, IIRC, Google did some kind of manual check on uploads on their own service, Google Video, when it was still competing against Youtube. At that time they were cautious, too. That caution vanished with the acquisition of Youtube.

This case has nothing to do with YouTube, the video was uploaded to Google Video.

zeus




msg:4086403
 2:53 pm on Feb 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

graywolf - hmm you could be right there.

ABout checking every video, well I also got a user content site, I do check every pics/video but what im a little scared of if we with time also have to control if they did the video/picture and have to see through docs/proof for every single thing before publishing, then you can close the site, it just takes to much time, so thats also why I like DMCA.

About the checking a video/pic for bad stuff, as said I also do that, so maybe I was just thinking in "to big to fail" lines, be cause there are so many videos uploaded a day, but if I check why should Google not check also.

StoutFiles




msg:4086415
 2:59 pm on Feb 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

The real problem, tolerance, is being missed and even this thread wreaks of intolerance (mostly towards google).


I don't think people are against Google, we all just want a level playing field when it comes to the rules. If I couldn't get away with not moderating my content, then neither should Google just because they're bigger than me.

How are small businesses supposed to compete if larger businesses get to constantly bend the rules in their favor?

incrediBILL




msg:4086444
 3:18 pm on Feb 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

For starters, can anyone say MODEL RELEASE?

There it is, I knew you could.

How is Google permitted to display videos of people that have not consented to be in those videos?

If it's not NEWS, where consent typically isn't needed, then it's entertainment where consent is needed for everyone in the video.

The issue with a Down's patient is they may or may not even legally have the capacity to give consent, regardless of how they were portrayed.

Plus the fact that these are under age minors, not even 18, so they aren't even legally able to enter into a binding contract with Google regarding the video no matter what the rules are for uploading videos.

So many problems with this story I could go on and on but I think those are the key elements that are problematic and the more people start demanding their rights be upheld regarding the use of their own images, the more Google will be held accountable.

The real problem, tolerance, is being missed and even this thread wreaks of intolerance (mostly towards google).


Yes, we should be tolerant of a multi-billion dollar company that refuses to preview content to protect copyright violations and personal privacy violations.

Not.

rogerd




msg:4086453
 3:25 pm on Feb 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

>>If I couldn't get away with not moderating my content, then neither should Google just because they're bigger than me.

I don't think that size should matter. Users today expect their content, whether it is a video or forum post, to appear immediately. On busy forums, you will see threads that are updated so quickly they are more like IM chats. Pre-moderating every submission would kill the conversation.

And, while establishing "trusted" members makes a lot of practical sense, I don't see the Italian court distinguishing between a new member who uploaded a video and one who had previously uploaded 100 acceptable videos before the objectionable one. The standard, it seems, is that Google allowed this particular video to be uploaded without first examining it for objectionable content.

incrediBILL




msg:4086474
 3:51 pm on Feb 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

Pre-moderating every submission would kill the conversation.


This isn't a conversation, it's a video and people in videos have rights to privacy.

For instance, America's Funniest Home Videos requires personal releases for every person and voice in their videos:

TO BE SIGNED BY PERSON(S) WHO APPEAR AND/OR WHOSE VOICE CAN BE HEARD IN VIDEO


You think Google is above this?

Hello, can we say Model Release again?

[edited by: incrediBILL at 3:54 pm (utc) on Feb 24, 2010]

Demaestro




msg:4086480
 3:53 pm on Feb 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

that's Google's responsibility to figure out.


Seriously? So you think that WebmasterWorld should mod every post before it appears on this site?

What about web-hosts? By the same logic they should be required to review the content of every site they host before they allow that site online or any content update.

Like many have tasked G with here you are also saying the same for web-hosts.... when a host is unable to handle the volume, they simply need to shorten down their service, even if that means, in last consequence, shutting down their hosting services.

It isn't even the checking of each piece of content that is the time killer, it is what you have to compare it against that is the real time killer. How many articles, laws and content would it have to be checked against before being approved? What body of work do you check it against? Every news paper article, every dissertation, every college paper, every other webpage, every book, and so on.... you could spend a year on 1 piece of content and still not be sure if it violated something somewhere.

THIS IS INSANE. If you really think that Google, Youtube, WebmasterWorld, GoDaddy and so on, should implement a manual review of every piece of content before it appears on their network then you might as well just turn off the whole thing because that isn't viable and the suggestion that we do this is laughable.

Imagine asking your web-host to review every piece of your site's content before you put it up. Imagine being told it will take up to 3 weeks before it can be approved. Are you people who are suggesting this model even aware of the implications involved in this?

Yes, we should be tolerant of a multi-billion dollar company that refuses to preview content to protect copyright violations and personal privacy violations.


Refuses? Think about what you are asking and think about how you would accomplish it in their shoes... is it that they refuse or is it that the suggestion isn't feasible in any sense.

I honestly want to know, if you were Google how would you review all that content and how would you post content with 100% certainty that it didn't violate ANY copyright, law, or personal privacy. It just isn't possible.

StoutFiles




msg:4086486
 4:02 pm on Feb 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

I honestly want to know, if you were Google how would you review all that content and how would you post content with 100% certainty that it didn't violate ANY copyright.


You couldn't, it's impossible. There are only four options here as I see it.

A: Google wins their court cases and we can all now let users post content freely under the "We'll remove it if people complain" Google Protection Act.

B: Google loses their court cases and pays people off quietly with their pool of money to keep their video sites as they currently are.

C: Google blocks all countries from their video sites that can't have their citizens held responsible for uploaded content. Individuals start getting sued for their copyrighted content. Copyrighted material starts to disappear from YouTube; YouTube becomes a shell of its former self. This likely leads to Option D.

D: YouTube shuts down. All sites supported by non-moderated content go on high alert.

zett




msg:4086496
 4:26 pm on Feb 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

I honestly want to know, if you were Google how would you review all that content and how would you post content with 100% certainty that it didn't violate ANY copyright, law, or personal privacy. It just isn't possible.


So be it.

And I do not see a problem here, unless of course your business model relies heavily on user generated content and you are unwilling to introduce mechanisms to comply with the laws in those countries you're doing business in.

For example, Google could introduce a verification service. You only get access to service XYZ if you send in a copy of your passport, and they send you a letter with some verification code to complete registration. And then enter a legal contract that you are responsible for every item you upload to XYZ. Also they could verify that you are of legal age to enter that contract. And should an item face problems, they simply point to you. Done. (Sure, it is inconvenient and takes time and costs a ton of money, but hey, it would be an option, right?)

Again, just because you can not do something in an automatable, highly-profitable fashion does not mean it has to be done otherwise.

incrediBILL




msg:4086501
 4:29 pm on Feb 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

You couldn't, it's impossible.


Nothing is impossible, it's just daunting.

For starters, most of the blatantly copyrighted content such as SNL skits or other TV show or bootleg movies are pretty easy to spot and could quickly be discarded after fast forwarding through a few bits of content, mere seconds, no need to watch the whole thing.

Besides, with all of Google's billions they could hire a small village anywhere in the world to do nothing more than watch these videos and classify them all day long.

It isn't a question of can it be done, it's a question of are they willing to pay to do it.

So what if a backlog ensues, you'll get published when you get published.

The trick here is to charge people for EXPRESS PUBLISHING if they want immediate consideration and immediate distribution and that in itself can pay for the people sitting around reviewing videos all day.

If the reality is that nobody is willing to pay for EXPRESS PUBLISHING, then you don't worry about how long it takes to publish new content, you review it as fast as you can with whatever resources you have, because if the public isn't willing to pay to publish, then it's obvious the product has no value.

If it has value, they will pay.

What about web-hosts?


Besides, Google isn't a "web host", they run advertisements on the pages, in the videos, they are commercializing the content.

The web host merely charges you for a place to upload your content, the web host doesn't get involved in commercializing or monetizing the content.

When Google displays ads over the content, they're 100% involved, and need to review what they're publishing because they are a publisher, not a host, in this instance.

glitterball




msg:4086502
 4:34 pm on Feb 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

IMHO it should be the poster of the problem content that is liable and the website should simply be obliged to comply with any court orders to discover the identity of the poster.

zeus




msg:4086507
 4:43 pm on Feb 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

zett - sent in passports, private info to a company be cause you want to upload some funny videos, NO one would take such risk, to sent such private/important info just be cause of uploading videos and Google probably already have it ;)

zett




msg:4086510
 4:47 pm on Feb 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

sent in passports, private info to a company be cause you want to upload some funny videos, NO one would take such risk


And so?

Youtube would disappear, because there apparently is not enough demand for such a service.

That's the whole point of this discussion. It is not impossible to manage user generated content, it is perfectly possible. But it may not be possible to do it in a convenient way with huge profits attached.

claus




msg:4086512
 4:48 pm on Feb 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

IMHO, that court decision is very wrong and even a restriction on freedom of speech. Everybody should be free to say or post (or record on video) whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted, and for whatever reason they wanted.

Expression is not a crime.

Either you have freedom or you have not. There's no middle ground.

mack




msg:4086515
 4:52 pm on Feb 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

Regarding YouTube and copyright material... have you noticed they seam very able to spot copyright music, and provide a link enabling you to purchase the music? The technology for removing or flagging potential copyright material is there. They only seam to want to use this technology to generate revenue.

Mack.

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