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"Here there is a law which is specifically designed to give Web hosts such as us, or... bloggers or people that provide photo-album hosting online ... the 'safe harbor' we need in order to be able to do hosting online," said Alexander Macgillivray, Google's associate general counsel for products and intellectual property.
"We will never launch a product or acquire a company unless we are completely satisfied with its legal basis for operating," Macgillivray told Reuters in an interview.
Google suffers setback in copyright case [news.zdnet.com]
Google loses trademark case in France [news.com.com]
And when Google loses, they claim victory-
>>"We will never launch a product or acquire a company unless we are completely satisfied with its legal basis for operating," Macgillivray told Reuters in an interview.
Simple posturing that's the the equivalent of saying, 'we will never admit any wrongdoing'. Sound legal advice maybe, but not quite the same as saying 'bring it on'.
On the other hand, if you ask Viacom, they say that unless they knew they'd win they would not have sued. Judge and appeals court will decide. My bet is that Viacom wins--or that goog settles on Viacom's terms.
"In order to qualify for safe harbor protection, an OSP must:
have no knowledge of, or financial benefit from, the infringing activity
provide proper notification of its policies to its subscribers
set up an agent to deal with copyright complaints"
the following area is going to cause them serious problems
-have no knowledge of, or financial benefit from, the infringing activity
Another followup article by Reuters.
Many popular clips on YouTube have come from shows that air on Viacom's family of television stations, which include Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and MTV.
Viacom said nearly 160,000 unauthorized clips had been uploaded onto YouTube and viewed more than 1.5 billion times.
This is so deja vu - ala Napster - all over again.
-have no knowledge of--
They could show me a picture of my roof-top, but they can't tell whats under it?/
I spoke to my "friend", his car has Orange Tires, I have BBB as ISP, he does too. I search and I find that he likes sushi, I know that, he posted it on tube. He was eating it of ....
So if they could tell me that he had sushi 3 days from yesterday and i have a rooftop then they did have knowledge "of power",
they even slapped the Ads on it. otherwise why would they want to....
have no knowledge of, or financial benefit from, the infringing activity
Seems like if they are running advertising on the site they're benefitting financially, especially if those are some of the more popular videos.
What does "knowledge of" mean? Does that mean a court could request either YouTube access logs or Google corporate computer logs and scour through them to see if no Google employees ever saw copyrighted material on YouTube or if they did, then they imediately took it down, or is "knowledge of" applied to the Google corporate entity somehow?
yeah, no youtube employee ever checks the stats to see what are /were the most viewed videos. Oh wait, they didn't know that shows are copyrighted.
"A YouTube search of "Saturday Night Live" turned up nearly 5,200 clips, with the top results including a sexually themed Christmas song by pop star Justin Timberlake that had racked up 18 million views." [news.yahoo.com...]
tell the judge with the straight face that no one noticed that...with 18 million views.
My guess: Goog knew of the problems, but they thought they'd settle them /strike deals one by one instead of going to court. Essentially they gambled.
As I understand it you do not have permission to share copyrighted content (be it through filesharing or through hosting it for streaming or downloading on your site). If you do you those who hold the copyright can take you to court.
I agree, Google is clearly responsible for this as everyone knows the majority of YouTube's revenue comes from advertising alongside pirated videos. You only have to take a look at YouTube's own official "most watched" charts in various categories to see it's chock-full of stolen material.
The grey area here which Google will try to exploit is whether the courts see Google as the company running the site, or more like an ISP which just allows individual users to run their own sites.
ISPs obviously can't be held responsible for the illegal actions of users on their network, just as a phone operator can't be held responsible for crimes committed using their phone network.
IMHO though there's no way Google can claim this ISP-like defence because they know that the main use of YouTube is for illegal activity and that's where most of YouTube's profits come from. They have knowledge of what's going on, and they make money from what's going on. That can't possibly comply with this "safe harbor" legislation.
Google said it was in the process of removing the Viacom content, but legal experts said that process is key to the dispute. Under federal law, the onus is on the copyright holder to inform Web sites like YouTube that it is infringing on copyrighted material. As a result, even as YouTube pulls down material, users can post more. By filing a lawsuit, Viacom strongly indicated it had tired of this cat-and-mouse process.
By Eric Benderoff Tribune staff reporter Published March 14, 2007
This same article goes on to infer that kids may be responsible for uploading most of the material....
And let's not forget that Google/YouTube has already signed deals with CBS, BBC and the NBA for rights to show clips. Viacom and others will eventually come on board with YouTube, or create their own version. As a model, people want this material on the web as well as their TV's.
I think Google's position is weak on this case, and they will pay. Who among us believes they never expected this?
For Google it's a Lose-Win deal.
This case is likely to hinge on "knowledge". If the court decides that Google/YouTube has been guilty of (and profited from) willful ignorance, then they are toast - safe harbour laws won't save them.
Not just that, but "revenues". Google clearly made money from this pirated material, so they clearly broke the safe harbor laws.
With an ISP or webhost, they don't make any money from users' illegal activities. They just charge for the service, so they don't mind cracking down on illegal activity.
With YouTube, Google makes most of its money from illegal uploads, so they DO mind cracking down on illegal activity.
If Google really wanted to get rid of pirated material, they'd do what the ISPs do and verify people's addresses by credit card before hosting their material. Once people lose anonymity, they get a lot less cocky about uploading hour upon hour of pirated video.
Anybody that runs a forum, accepts on-line classified ads, search content submitted from the web, link submitions, pictures and more is protected. The DMCA is there to give each of us the opportunity to act diligently and remove copyright violating content on notice.
How many here have the technology in place to identify potential and actual copyright protected material? Honestly, only the copyright holder can know for sure..
BTW, I'm not defending Google, I'm defending the DMCA.
The DMCA is there to give each of us the opportunity to act diligently and remove copyright violating content on notice.
Does one act diligently when they have tens of thousands of videos that allegedly violate copyright, when these videos may be the pages that generate the most traffic, page views and ad revenue?
At what point is it obviously happening on such a massive scale that it is essentially a business of using copyrighted material to generate revenues?
If Google operated a policy of vetting by popularity, that might be enough to protect them - they would at least have a fighting chance, but without such a policy, we are back to "willful ignorance".
If Viacom and others are able to easily find copyrighted material (by keyword searches, etc.) then they have a rock-solid case in law that Google should be expected to find (at least some of) that material and premptively delete it and possibly block that user from further uploads.
However, if Google puts its house in order, a jury may forgive them. But if this goes to court with the copyrighted material still being regularly viewed without vetting and this can be demonstrated live in court Google are nuts to think they will win (but courts do come to some bizarre decisions).
Google physically hosting them, allowing feedback, allowing user voting & interaction as well as selling ads that probably are contextually applied to all of the data in context is blatantly violating the law.
If google wanted to play a legitimate safe harbor they could simply transcode the video on the fly from the original source or offer it in its original form/entirety as the owner has it published. But they don't. Infact isn't against TOS to snagg the resulting youtube video and re-distribute it yourself?
Seems kind of stupid for google to complain safe harbor when they don't even support the safe harbor of what they "publish".
Google will be forced to find a better way to
a) Monitor the uploads
b) Ensure quick action on all complaints
That's not an easy task, but would be key to defeating future lawsuits. One possibility is to employ a small army of volunteers for the monitoring, and paid staff to oversee the volunteers and compliance. It could be a similar structure to WP or DMOZ.
Viacom is rich enough to hire the "best" lawyers as well. Being able to afford the more expensive lawyers will not be the deciding factor.