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Judge rules in favor of YouTube over Viacom
Brett_Tabke




msg:4157944
 10:03 pm on Jun 23, 2010 (gmt 0)


[marketwatch.com...]
Viacom has divulged internal YouTube emails that seemed to acknowledge copyright infringement on the service, while Google has charged that Viacom itself has posted its material on YouTube for promotional purposes.

Viacom spokesman Jeremy Zweig said in a statement that the ruling Wednesday is "fundamentally flawed," adding that, "We intend to seek to have these issues before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit as soon as possible."




Viacom's US$1 billion copyright infringement lawsuit against Google's video-sharing site YouTube has been dismissed by the court, ending for now an acrimonious legal battle between the companies that has been going on for more than three years.

On Wednesday, Judge Louis L. Stanton, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, granted Google's motion for summary judgment. [computerworld.com...]


related:
ViaCom Finds Smoking YouTube Gun
[webmasterworld.com...]
Stalemate In YouTube Identity Protection Between Google and Viacom
[webmasterworld.com...]
EBay, Facebook, Yahoo, Want An End To Viacom YouTube Lawsuit
[webmasterworld.com...]

 

blaze




msg:4157954
 10:09 pm on Jun 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

This is not the end by any means.. Appeals will be coming out the yin yang.

However, I agree with the judgement. You tube is built on a lot more than copyright infringement.

StoutFiles




msg:4157961
 10:18 pm on Jun 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

The Viacom copyright infringement case against Google and YouTube has been a long strange journey since it started, but it looks like the first major chapter is over: the federal court today ruled that Google falls under the "safe harbor" provision of the DMCA which protects service providers from liability for user content. Roughly, that means Google isn't liable for copyright infringement on YouTube in general: it can only be liable for infringing specific copyrighted works, and since YouTube pulls videos as soon as anyone complains, it can't get in trouble.



Oh boy. The countersuit will take years so score a big one for Google. I'll be celebrating by downloading a bunch of free music off of YouTube tonight!

This also opens the flood gates for the rest of you. Want to run a site with plenty of illegal content to easily make money? Have users upload it and claim ignorance!

Demaestro




msg:4157970
 10:47 pm on Jun 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

Great news for sites hosting user generated content.

In my opinion this model is the only way a site like Youtube can operate. It is too bad the people who use Youtube can't use it for it's intended purpose. They are the problem, not the site.

Hopefully Viacom will start going after the actual infringers, uploaders and downloaderes and let the original content creators on YouTube do their thing.

StoutFiles




msg:4157976
 10:56 pm on Jun 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hopefully Viacom will start going after the actual infringers, uploaders and downloaderes and let the original content creators on YouTube do their thing.


I definitely hope Viacom and others go after the uploaders, assuming Google would even release that information. I hope you realize it would be a huge mess to go after the downloaders, considering you are officially a downloader by just watching the movie.

kaz




msg:4157979
 11:12 pm on Jun 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

Uploaders? then you mean themselves. google released information that viacom employees often uploaded the videos

Alcoholico




msg:4157996
 11:34 pm on Jun 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

Uploaders? then you mean themselves. google released information that viacom employees often uploaded the videos

That's not exactly true. Viacom employees uploaded videos mostly to prove G didn't care or didn't want to know they were hosting stolen goods. Sad day for original content creators, good day for scrapers like google, youtube and the like.

Want to run a site with plenty of illegal content to easily make money? Have users upload it and claim ignorance!

Agree, I reckon now we have a precedent which opens the door to many into the stolen contents industry.

Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4157997
 11:35 pm on Jun 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

The judge made the right call. As for viacom revealing internal youtube emails, pathetic, any email can be made to seem sinister to uninvolved parties and viacom's legal team knows better. I'm glad their attempt at rounding up public opinion failed to influence anyone.

Demaestro




msg:4158065
 1:56 am on Jun 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

I hope you realize it would be a huge mess to go after the downloaders, considering you are officially a downloader by just watching the movie.


Actually I don't know that and neither does anyone else because it isn't correct.

The way Youtube streams the video and audio no copy is made to the viewers computer. There is a distinct difference on Youtube between a viewer and a downloader. One who downloads a video and/or audio from Youtube does so using circumvention and does it outside the normal operation and allowed use of Youtube. They should be gone after to. After all they are the "thieves" making unpaid copies of music and shows for themselves and storing it on their hard drives. That is making an illegal copy.

Want to run a site with plenty of illegal content to easily make money? Have users upload it and claim ignorance!


This is a horrible advice, first the money it takes to host and stream all that data has Youtube losing money not making it, so this is not a good model to "easily make money"

Second you cannot "have" users upload content to which they don't hold the copyright to because then it wouldn't be content outside your control. If you are directing people to upload things they shouldn't be. You would lose your protection.

Today original content buries Viacom content as far as views go. Check the top viewed content from Today, This Week, This Month... all original content.

[edited by: Demaestro at 2:02 am (utc) on Jun 24, 2010]

kaz




msg:4158072
 2:00 am on Jun 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

That's not exactly true. Viacom employees uploaded videos mostly to prove G didn't care or didn't want to know they were hosting stolen goods. Sad day for original content creators, good day for scrapers like google, youtube and the like.


Do you have a source for that. here is an example of it being reported previously.

Levine accuses Viacom of "continuously and secretly" uploading its own content to YouTube for years. While openly complaining about the presence of infringing, Viacom-owned video on YouTube, the media giant allegedly hired no fewer than 18 marketing firms to upload content on the video-sharing service. Levine even says that those firms added a handful of impurities to make the video look as though it were taken from a second-hand source. Then the firms would send out their employees to create anonymous YouTube accounts under fake e-mail addresses and upload videos from their local Kinko's copy center.

Source: [pcworld.com...]


That is from "YouTube's Chief Counsel Zahavah Levine wrote a post on the official YouTube blog about Google's defense".

Do you have a source for your explanation, as it differs greatly from what google's legal counsel stated?

Demaestro




msg:4158073
 2:05 am on Jun 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

Viacom employees uploaded videos mostly to prove G didn't care or didn't want to know they were hosting stolen goods.


What is funny/weird about that is that if an employee of Viacom was directed by Viacom to upload a video Viacom holds the copyright to then it wouldn't have infringed on Viacom's copyright because they are the copyright holder and they authorised their employees to publish the copies on Youtube... making them legal copies, not infringing ones.

Why would G care about them? They were legal copies, not stolen goods as you put it... this is why only the copyright holder can truly know which copies are legal and which are not, in this case Viacom made it very hard on anyone to know which were legal copies and which were not.

StoutFiles




msg:4158153
 5:35 am on Jun 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

One who downloads a video and/or audio from Youtube does so using circumvention and does it outside the normal operation and allowed use of Youtube. They should be gone after to. After all they are the "thieves" making unpaid copies of music and shows for themselves and storing it on their hard drives. That is making an illegal copy.


How do you propose Youtube tracks this information?

This is a horrible advice, first the money it takes to host and stream all that data has Youtube losing money not making it, so this is not a good model to "easily make money"


Who says it has to be limited to videos? It can be ANYTHING, as long as users are uploading it and I'm not inspecting it.

Second you cannot "have" users upload content to which they don't hold the copyright to because then it wouldn't be content outside your control. If you are directing people to upload things they shouldn't be. You would lose your protection.


I won't be directing them, I'd just be giving them the option. Just like Youtube.

Imagine yourself as a copyright holder for a great video. You think it's annoying constantly filing take down notices for your content on YouTube? Now try that stretched over hundreds of cloned sites. How is this fair again?

What if I made a site about fanfiction but people were also uploading real books? Couldn't the site be run just like YouTube, but as a pdf viewer instead? The question is, what is stopping anyone from making a site just like YouTube and running it just like YouTube? There are no more repercussions if you don't check the content uploaded, people WILL take advantage of this.

micklearn




msg:4158176
 6:06 am on Jun 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

Dear, Judge,

Please visit YouTube when you get a chance.

I'm a bit puzzled by the outcome of this case.

Lexur




msg:4158190
 6:35 am on Jun 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

It's amazing. I simply can't understand how it's working.

I can let the 'users' upload copyright protected content to my site and let it there until I'm advised by the copyright holder? And once the content is removed from this link, can the 'user' re-upload the content to another link? Can I do it with movies, music and news?

IanKelley




msg:4158195
 6:45 am on Jun 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

Putting personal opinions about copyright aside, there is no question that it is a huge win for user generated content websites of every kind, and therefore the internet in general.

It remains possible to run these kinds of services free of charge. Which IMO is the only way can exist. No one is going to pay for the number of employees it would take to review every user upload, least of all the users themselves.

Emilio




msg:4158210
 7:34 am on Jun 24, 2010 (gmt 0)


Dear, Judge,

Please visit YouTube when you get a chance.

I'm a bit puzzled by the outcome of this case.

LOL I'm sure the judge has been to Youtube. Do you know anyone that hasn't?

piatkow




msg:4158268
 9:36 am on Jun 24, 2010 (gmt 0)


No one is going to pay for the number of employees it would take to review every user upload, least of all the users themselves.

I use a free photo hosting site for some of my photo galleries. They check what new users upload and after that a sample. The size of the sample decreases as your "trust" increases. That seems like a perfectly reasonably compromise to me. If G can't afford a reasonable level of oversight then that is just bad financial planning on their part.

moTi




msg:4158354
 12:57 pm on Jun 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

ok, time for everyone to rename their business model to "service provider". from now on, i'm not a web publisher anymore, i'm officially a "content host", because i want to get rid of all the responsibilities regarding copyrighted material. this is a free ticket. if youtube is allowed, everyone is allowed, right? broadcast yourself!

only thing is, i'm not located in the u.s. i know in my country, there would be little chance to get away with this. there is no "safe harbour" ruling for commercial websites, that i have to take down unauthorized content not until some user calls attention one day. instead i have to approve the content beforehand or at least delete it within a reasonably short time without being noticed by someone else. i'd say this is a big locational disadvantage.

J_RaD




msg:4158373
 1:31 pm on Jun 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

whoooops!


only thing is, i'm not located in the u.s. i know in my country,

hey don't worry, i'll run the servers you just make sure users upload lots of movies TV shows and music ok?


I KID I KIDDDD, but yea piracy just got a new business model.

zett




msg:4158407
 2:17 pm on Jun 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

OMG. What a bad and utterly sad day for creators of original content.

Now off to creating my own UGC site, with lots of videos, music, books, photos, and software. Cooooooool. ;-)

loner




msg:4158441
 2:47 pm on Jun 24, 2010 (gmt 0)


I can let the 'users' upload copyright protected content to my site and let it there until I'm advised by the copyright holder? And once the content is removed from this link, can the 'user' re-upload the content to another link? Can I do it with movies, music and news?


Apparently.

-

Demaestro




msg:4158463
 3:14 pm on Jun 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

What a bad and utterly sad day for creators of original content.


How so? I think it is a win for original content creators. They don't lose the #1 place for original content on the Internet today.

Youtube shutting down would be horrible for original content creators.

Demaestro




msg:4158482
 3:30 pm on Jun 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

Here you have a company (Viacom) sending employees out into the world to upload videos in an attempt to trick Youtube into hosting content that Viacom holds the copyright to. Which has the side effect of making the videos not in violation of copyright protection since the copyright holder was directing (aka allowing) the content to be posted there.

In this case we have a percentage of Viacom videos being legal copies on Youtube and a percentage of Viacom videos that infringe on Viacom's copyright on Youtbe. The legal copies were put there using tricky methods, like anon accounts, using known public IPs ranges (kinkos).

How is it reasonable to ask Youtube to sort that all out when ONLY Viacom can know which videos they uploaded? How can Youtube know which were put by authorized employees and which weren't?

Only Viacom can know which videos they gave permission to their employees to upload and only Viacom truly knows all the accounts that this was done from. So how can anyone expect Youtube to sort this out for Viacom?

I am sorry but I am done being nice.

I will just say it.

You are STUPID and even NAIVE if you honestly believe that it is possible for Youtube to screen each video with even 90% accuracy determine if a video uploaded by user a violates any other copyright in the known world. It isn't possible, and if anyone here can figure out how to do it you have a million/billion dollar idea that sites like Hulu would love to buy from you. The fact is that they are trying to come up with a system and are spending millions and still haven't succeeded, and yet there are no less then 10 people on this site who claim it would be a simple task. If it is simple then develop it and you will make more money then Youtube could ever hope to.

Until then the DMCA is a sane and proper way of dealing with this issue and Youtube is protected and rightfully so.

This had nothing to do with tricky lawyer arguments or double legal talk, the judge ruled that Youtube is protected by the safe harbor act.

As it should be. As is WebmasterWorld. If it had gone the other way............ a WebmasterWorld user with no morals about making illegal copies for themselves decides to upload a page from a book to WebmasterWorld and Brett nor any of the mods recognize it as being from a published book. Then the book publisher sees it. They could sue and have this site shut down for hosting content that violates someone's copyright. How can any webmaster think that would have been a good ruling? Honestly?

Demaestro




msg:4158494
 3:39 pm on Jun 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

How do you propose Youtube tracks this information?


I don't know how they would, I just hope they can.

I guess I could help by reporting your thieving ass.

remove




msg:4158497
 3:41 pm on Jun 24, 2010 (gmt 0)


"That's not exactly true. Viacom employees uploaded videos mostly to prove G didn't care or didn't want to know they were hosting stolen goods. Sad day for original content creators, good day for scrapers like google, youtube and the like."


Actually, that's not exactly true. It was revealed during the trial that Viacom marketers uploaded their own copyrighted material to YouTube and intentionally degraded the quality to make it look like it was pirated (ripped from MTV, etc). Then their legal team accidentally requested YouTube to remove the material, only to later go back with their tail between their legs asking them to re-instate it when they discovered it was their own team secretly putting the material up there for marketing purposes in the first place.

Another interesting tidbit revealed during the trial: when Viacom filed a flood of 100,000 DMCA notices, YouTube managed to remove all the infringing content by the next business day. If that isn't damn impressive and efficient, I don't know what is.

Demaestro




msg:4158499
 3:46 pm on Jun 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

there is no "safe harbour" ruling for commercial websites, that i have to take down unauthorized content not until some user calls attention one day


Gee I hope you never become as successful as Youtube.

120,000,000 videos currently on youtube

Number of videos uploaded per day -- about 200,000

Time required to see all the videos -- over 600 years

Amount of content uploaded every minute -- 13 hours

Number of accounts on YouTube -- over 300,000,000

instead i have to approve the content beforehand or at least delete it within a reasonably short time without being noticed by someone else.


Good luck if you ever get numbers like this ^^. It is weird to hope your site doesn't become popular because as you can see it would not be possible to keep up with the reviewing.


Percentage of videos (120,000,000 videos) violating copyright -- over 12%

kaled




msg:4158573
 5:08 pm on Jun 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

Here's a thought for the lawyers...

Viacom have lost a case based on copyright (which will go to appeal) but could they bring an entirely new case based on the distribution of counterfeit goods. For instance, copying and distributing designer handbags is illegal. Why should videos that are given away be different?

That said, the technical solution is easy...
  1. Allow major copyright owners such as Viacom to register as such so that they may upload their own material.
  2. Display the copyright owner with official uploads and invite users to report missing copyright.
  3. When a single video has streamed more than a given amount of data, e.g. 100GB initiate a manual review. If it appears to be copyrighted but not posted by a registered copyright owner, suspend it (and possibly pay compensation).
Difficulty factor - about 1/10.

Or how about this...
Limit uploading to registered account holders only and accept only traceable (not anonymous) email acounts for sign up which must must also be validated. That way, there's no question as to blame.

Personally, I couldn't care less about YouTube (wouldn't notice if it vanished) but I do care about copyright infringement.

Kaled.

moTi




msg:4158645
 6:24 pm on Jun 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

Demaestro, great, that you defend youtube's business case with such an empathy. i for one don't see the point in worrying about problems a website like youtube has. instead i care about my own stuff. it is not my problem if a company can't handle the amount of user submissions.

but i know that i - most probably like anyone else here on this forum - have to check my website content in order to avoid legal trouble - because i as the website owner am responsible for content shown on my website. it's current jurisdiction if you didn't know. even in the u.s., i think.

"safe harbor" only applies to hosts. google knows, that presenting youtube as a hosting platform is the only way out of responsibility. but in fact they are no host. they are a commercial publisher like you and me.

what if you did the same thing, let "users" upload copyrighted content onto your platform. you think "save harbor" would apply to you as well? if not, where's the difference? you really think volume is an argument and those market players who can't handle it for whatever reason deserve lax treatment? that's insane.

did it ever come to your mind that a business model like youtube is flawed from the start? if your only chance to get along is by legal tricks (in this case labeling as "hosting service"), there's something seriously wrong with your operation (or the legal ruling for that matter) in the first place.

Youtube shutting down would be horrible for original content creators.

indeed, life would be worthless without youtube. geez..

[edited by: moTi at 6:38 pm (utc) on Jun 24, 2010]

ChanandlerBong




msg:4158647
 6:28 pm on Jun 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

YT is NOT a host in a million years.

"but there's too much content for them to check" is also a non-argument. But today's judgement does not surprise me in the least. I have two UGC sites ready to roll, both using the "youtube model". In 2015 when we're all looking back at where it went wrong, this will be up there with the Google IPO as the moment the walls came crashing down.

StoutFiles




msg:4158684
 6:58 pm on Jun 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

You are STUPID and even NAIVE if you honestly believe that it is possible for Youtube to screen each video with even 90% accuracy determine if a video uploaded by user a violates any other copyright in the known world. It isn't possible, and if anyone here can figure out how to do it you have a million/billion dollar idea that sites like Hulu would love to buy from you.


We've been over this. You're absoultely correct, expecting Google to screen every video is impossible. Even if they could screen with software at 99% accuracy there would be workarounds. I still don't see the argument though of "since it is impossible to fix, it should be allowed".

There already are easy fixes for this though. If YouTube made everyone sign up with a credit card and said "if you upload copyrighted material, we will let others prosecute you". Guess how long YouTube would have the copyright problem after the first wave of people being sued?

Whatever, if this just snowballs to the point where I can get everything for free easily again, then so be it. I fear for my unique content though in a bleak "user content" future, where anything goes and no one takes responsibility.

This 63 message thread spans 3 pages: 63 ( [1] 2 3 > >
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