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TV Networks Don't Want DMCA Protection For YouTube 197

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the well-of-course-they-don't dept.
sburch79 writes "A brief filed in the Viacom v. Google case asserts that the DMCA Safe Harbor provisions were never meant to apply to sites like YouTube. It also goes on to say the if safe harbor were given to these sites, it would put too big a burden on networks to police their own material."
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TV Networks Don't Want DMCA Protection For YouTube

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  • tough shit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @11:48AM (#32171150)

    that's what you get for lobbying for such vague legislation then.

    • by v1 (525388)

      looks like another case of "can't have your cake and eat it too". They just want money to magically fly itself into their bank accounts. Time for them to start working for it. So, you want to abuse the law, and you want the entire world to waste their time looking out for your "rights"? silly people.

    • Re:tough shit (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TubeSteak (669689) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @12:37PM (#32171886) Journal

      that's what you get for lobbying for such vague legislation then.

      They got exactly the legislation they wanted.
      The butthurt started once they realized "holy shit the internet is big!"

      Ever since then, they've been trying to get someone else to police it for them.

      • Re:tough shit (Score:5, Insightful)

        by gorzek (647352) <gorzek&gmail,com> on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @12:52PM (#32172150) Homepage Journal

        Content providers have learned the hard way that the laws they've bought don't amount to much.

        Sure, copyright infringement is illegal. Who is out there arresting and locking up infringers? Nobody, really. Only the most egregious offenders ever get busted.

        Still, you can go after someone civilly, right? Too bad it's shitty PR to wipe out the life savings of single mothers because their kids downloaded a few songs. And you don't get much money out of it, either.

        They'll keep fighting against the inevitable, but a self-policing Internet just isn't going to happen, and copyright infringement isn't going to stop. It is technically unfeasible and not the least bit cost effective.

        • but a self-policing Internet just isn't going to happen

          Yeah, but a non-self policing internet that's simple (enough) to police is easy to legislate. We're only one big "cyber attack" or large terrorist attack which was mediated by the internet away from the MIRROR-SUC (Mandatory Internet Registration, Restriction, and Operation Requirements for Software, Users, and Computers) Act of 20xx, which will require all internet users and all connected nodes to have registered unique identity credentials, and all

          • by gorzek (647352)

            That sounds utterly unenforceable and would pretty much bankrupt any company that depends on networked computers for any part of their business. Hell, it would be worse on companies than private users!

            • by anyGould (1295481)
              Nah, when the "internet" becomes too overenforced, the geeks will move to the "outernet" (or whatever they come up with). Always new frontiers to hide from the idiots (for a time, anyway).
          • by Kreigaffe (765218)

            If that was possible china would be doing it. They're not, so I don't believe it is possible.

        • Re:tough shit (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Warhawke (1312723) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @04:31PM (#32175266)
          I'd contest that the most egregious offenders ever get busted. Look at most of the RIAA suits, and they're going after people who download 10-100 songs, not filling up terabyte drives with music. I have acquaintances who download compulsively as "archivists" who could never listen to the entirity of what they've infringed. It's not that the bigger infringers are any harder to bust, it's that if the RIAA goes after these major downloaders, the overall damages would be absolutely absurd, and people would realize how ludicrous the claims of damages truly are. For example, 1 TB drive = 1024^2 Mb = 1,048,576 Mb. Assuming an Mp3 is 3 Mb in size, you could fit 349,925 Mp3s (ignoring drive constraints and spare change). At $80,000 a pop from the Capital v. Thomas jury award (though later reduced by the judge, the jury found this to be the appropriate damages for infringement), you're talking $27,994,000,000. Twenty-eight billion dollars for a single drive. Fill it with eBooks instead just for fun and you're talking around $84 billion. No single human could do that much damage on the internet, not even Mitnick. So if the RIAA went after the big seeders, their whole scheme would unravel. If you want to pirate, pirate so big you become "too big to fail!"
      • The butthurt started once they realized "holy shit the internet is big!"

        More like "holy shit, there's companies like us that have the deep pockets to pay lawyers to search the DMCA for loopholes. And they're NOT on our side!"

    • Re:tough shit (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @01:11PM (#32172418) Homepage

      I think it's more like, "sorry, you don't have some inherent right to have special laws for yourselves." I think the problem is that these companies don't think copyright protections should apply to authors and individuals and tech companies. In the minds of the "content industry", all copyright protections are devised to uniquely benefit them and provide them with a guarantee of profitable business dealings. I'm sure Viacom will only really be happy if they manage to get copyright law rewritten to say, "If you enjoy any piece of video, you must pay Viacom. Viacom is permitted to use material which you produce however they want."

      • Re:tough shit (Score:4, Insightful)

        by bit01 (644603) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @05:45PM (#32176096)

        Copyright law give profit per copy (rewarding the distributors appropriately) not profit per unit of creative effort (rewarding the creators appropriately).

        Since distribution costs virtually nothing (whatever marketing parasites might like to claim) copyright is intrinsically biased against creators and for middlemen.

        ---

        Marketing in a saturated market is a zero-sum game. When one player wins another must lose. In a saturated market; marketing = un-marketing = arms race = parasites.

    • by erroneus (253617)

      That's one way of putting it to be sure. I would say something more along the lines of "The law applies to everyone equally or to no one at all." Law is not meant to create to sustain specific and particular businesses. It is meant to create a fair and level field in which people can work, play and compete with one another. (Yes, I know that's not how it actually works, just stating that's how it's SUPPOSED to work.)

      I think it is plenty hilarious that a plaintiff actually has the nerve to argue in favor

  • Boo Hoo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by whisper_jeff (680366) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @11:49AM (#32171166)
    My sympathy for major media companies being forced to do some work for their money is pretty much non-existent. Welcome to the real world with the rest of us. Enjoy your stay. Get to work.
    • by Moryath (553296)

      Big Media translated: "waaah we're too lazy to do our own work so we want the government to shut down Youtube."

      Response of customers: "I've had it up to here with DRM, 'copy protection', and all the other anti-consumer shit. Big Media can go fuck themselves."

      In addition: most of the stuff I've seen on Youtube should be covered under Fair Use, especially parodies. So double-fuck-you to the MafiAA.

      • Response (Score:5, Insightful)

        by TheMeuge (645043) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @12:15PM (#32171560)

        Big Media translated: "waaah we're too lazy to do our own work so we want the government to shut down Youtube."

        Response of customers: "I've had it up to here with DRM, 'copy protection', and all the other anti-consumer shit. Big Media can go fuck themselves."

        In addition: most of the stuff I've seen on Youtube should be covered under Fair Use, especially parodies. So double-fuck-you to the MafiAA.

        Big media response to the viewers: "See, piracy is affecting out business".

        Btw - viewers are very rarely "customers". Certainly for TV programming they are not, the advertisers are.

        The customers are those who pay money to receive a product or service. The viewers are consumers.

        • Fix (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @12:21PM (#32171656)

          The viewers are that product

          Fixed that for you.

          • Re:Fix (Score:5, Insightful)

            by c++0xFF (1758032) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @01:47PM (#32172902)

            It's a shame you posted AC. Now nobody will see your comment unless the mods help out.

            Everything that Big Media does is to get eyeballs for their advertisers. Thus, the advertisers are the customers and the eyeballs are the product.

            Now look at the copyright battles. The core issue is of control -- who can use the video/song/etc to attract consumers for their customers. Right now, it's YouTube that is getting the page hits. Big Media doesn't like that one bit, so now they're putting up a fight.

            It's not a copyright violation that they're worrying about, but theft of their actual product: viewers.

            So, what happens when the consumer and customer become the same person? That's the model Hulu and others have talked about. It's such a radical shift that it's no wonder Big Media has no clue how to handle that business model.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Zancarius (414244)

          Btw - viewers are very rarely "customers". Certainly for TV programming they are not, the advertisers are.

          The customers are those who pay money to receive a product or service. The viewers are consumers.

          Actually, I would suggest there are two customers: Advertisers and network providers (such as Comcast, Dish Network, etc.). Regardless, I think it's that exact viewpoint that's gotten the networks into the mess they're in. e.g. "We don't need viewers, they're not our customers."

          This, of course, puts them int

          • by TheCarp (96830)

            > This, of course, puts them into a bind: Without enough viewers, you can't justify the advertising
            > costs for specific slots so you either charge less for a specific time slot in order to attract
            > advertisers or you lose them. If you lose them, you're not bringing in the revenue

            Of course, anyone with cable or equivalent should know already.... the upside is, that for any given time slot, there isn't all that much competition. Nearly every time I hit "guide" and look for a show to relax and watch f

            • I feel your pain. The routine is usually flipping through the guide, then sighing and settling for the n-th repetition of some mummy feature on the History Channel...

          • No, viewers are not really customers. Basically, they're the product. Much like fish are a product in a fish farm. Sure, you have to feed them and raise them, but essentially it's the fish you're selling to someone making fish sticks, it's not like you're selling fish food to the fish. If the fish should notice that there's a hole in your farming tanks and they can escape to the ocean where they can get food without your aid, you're out of a product.

            But it's not like the fish are worse off, if you ask me. S

        • by spike2131 (468840)

          Btw - viewers are very rarely "customers". Certainly for TV programming they are not, the advertisers are.

          And yet, my cable bill arrives every month...

          • by anyGould (1295481)

            Btw - viewers are very rarely "customers". Certainly for TV programming they are not, the advertisers are.

            And yet, my cable bill arrives every month...

            The cable bill is the cable company selling the channels to you.

            The examples are a bit simplistic - any good business these days makes money on both sides of the equation. They sell your eyeballs to advertisers, and sell the rights to your eyeballs to the cable companies.

        • Big media response to the viewers: "See, piracy is affecting out business".

          Viewer's response: "Tough shit. But I think you want to talk to someone who cares. You go out of business, do I care?"

      • by Kjella (173770)

        In addition: most of the stuff I've seen on Youtube should be covered under Fair Use, especially parodies.

        Many people have an exaggerated impression of what that means. Parody is not comedy in general, everything that gives you a cheap laugh on YouTube is not fair use. The reason parody is given as an example of fair use is because parody can be a form of commentary on the original work, which would be covered by the first amendment. If it's just a prop to make fun of something else, it shouldn't be given any more protection than using the clip to create a drama or thriller or action clip. Also, a lof people th

        • On the whole, if I look at most clips on YouTube I find they are according to the four points of fair use: [1-3 in favor of copyright owner]

          But are things like Cryptomnesia: Vertigo [youtube.com] like most clips? WMG content ID muted the audio on this one for a couple weeks, despite what I believed to be obvious commentary on the works in question.

    • Re:Boo Hoo (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dgatwood (11270) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @12:00PM (#32171332) Journal

      Agreed. Hear that sound? That's the sound of the world's tiniest violin playing the saddest song in the world.

      Sorry, Hollywood, but YouTube is precisely the kind of site that safe harbor exemptions are for. It is an ISP whose material is provided exclusively by its users. What, you thought that somehow a site shouldn't count because it is getting too big for you to bully? Waaaah. Cry me a freaking river.

      • Re:Boo Hoo (Score:5, Insightful)

        by DavidTC (10147) <slas45dxsvadiv.vadiv@neverb o x . com> on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @12:27PM (#32171736) Homepage

        Cry me a freaking river.

        Especially as they were forced to make the 'safe harbor' provision in the DMCA to be allowed some of the more egregious stuff.

        'Safe harbor' may seem to be fair and sane to most people, but it's important to note it's not particularly supposed to be fair, it's actually intended to be rather lax. It's a compromise reached to allow tougher laws against people who knowingly facilitate the distribution of copyrighted material.

        And now they're bitching and whining about it, complaining it is doing exactly what it was intended to do...not require companies to police their customers.

        So, of course, now they want to use the harsher laws that they only have because of 'safe harbor' to go after YouTube.

        We might all whine about companies issuing DMCA takedown notices, but at least those are under the threat of perjury and are actual filed legal documents. Too many people have forgotten about the universe before that, when companies would call other companies and have some non-lawyer hint heavily about lawsuits and have them remove content that they had no legal ability to object to or sue over, but the host company didn't want to risk it.

        I am, of course, in favor of actually filing some perjury charges here and there over obviously bogus takedown notices, but even without that, the system is still better, both for hosting companies and end users. So of course content providers object to it.

      • Re:Boo Hoo (Score:5, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @12:31PM (#32171776)

        Agreed. Hear that sound? That's the sound of the world's tiniest violin playing the saddest song in the world.

        Careful, that song is probably copyrighted.

        • by ajrs (186276)

          Agreed. Hear that sound? That's the sound of the world's tiniest violin playing the saddest song in the world.

          Careful, that song is probably copyrighted.

          That is why the song is so sad. Happy songs are in the public domain and get performed all of the time!

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nomadic (141991)
        Sorry, Hollywood, but YouTube is precisely the kind of site that safe harbor exemptions are for.

        I don't think Hollywood is reading this.
      • Re:Boo Hoo (Score:5, Funny)

        by Fnord666 (889225) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @12:46PM (#32172052) Journal
        As my 13 year old daughter says:

        cry me a river
        build me a bridge
        and get over it.

      • I am on YouTube's side, but I've never heard of a web site being called an internet service provider (ISP). I've always heard it used the type of company that sells you a connection to the internet. For most people, Google doesn't actually connect you to the internet in that manner.

        • by Coren22 (1625475)

          They provide a service on the internet. It is a literal usage rather then the typical one.

  • by dacarr (562277) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @11:52AM (#32171200) Homepage Journal
    Part of copyright is that one should be watching out for their own material, and have any documentation to back it up. While many people do so as a courtesy, it is generally not the responsibility of somebody else to make sure that material they are not responsible for does not wind up in places it doesn't belong.
    • by AndersOSU (873247) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @12:05PM (#32171410)

      I think it's also worth noting that copyright isn't like trademark. You don't have to enforce it to maintain it. So ... if there's little commercial value in yanking Hitler parodies off You Tube, there's no reason to continue to do so.

    • by nlawalker (804108) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @12:08PM (#32171452)

      it is generally not the responsibility of somebody else to make sure that material they are not responsible for does not wind up in places it doesn't belong.

      Actually, this is a great idea. Let's make every YouTube user responsible for policing themselves. If they upload infringing material, they can issue themselves a takedown request, respond to themselves with a fair use claim, and then sue themselves for copyright infringement. Look how streamlined this makes the process: The publishers won't have to lift a finger! They should be paying me for coming up with such great ideas.

      • by shentino (1139071)

        YouTube DOES have a community based flagging system, and admins are paid to review those.

      • by TubeSteak (669689)

        Actually, this is a great idea. Let's make every YouTube user responsible for policing themselves. If they upload infringing material, they can issue themselves a takedown request, respond to themselves with a fair use claim, and then sue themselves for copyright infringement. Look how streamlined this makes the process: The publishers won't have to lift a finger! They should be paying me for coming up with such great ideas.

        I suggest you patent the process just in case any enterprising **AA lawyers try to co-opt your brilliant idea.
        That way, you can force the **AA to sue themselves for patent infringement and pay you a licensing fee on the patent so that they can drop the lawsuit against themselves.

        • by daveime (1253762)

          Gerald Broflovski already has prior art, in the sexual harassment suit Everybody vs Everybody.

          And now, something to "bear" in mind ...

          "Hello, cubs. I'm "Don't Sue People" Panda, with an important message for you! Lawsuits damage our society. I know it's tempting to make money, but just remember: that money has to come from somewhere. And usually, it ends up hurting a lot of innocent people."

          Pity the **AA missed that episode, never mind, I'm sure it's on YouTube.

      • You got it all wrong, you should be paying THEM for the privilege of building on their previous art (namely being a lazy douchebag and frivilous lawsuits).
    • by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @12:25PM (#32171702) Homepage Journal

      This isn't even about copyright infringement. Hell, much of the copyrighted content on YouTube was uploaded by the copyright owner on purpose, to get people to watch it. As for the other stuff that was uploaded without authorization, as TFA says, Google has gone above and beyond by scanning through their archives with sophisticated software that automatically sends notices to the copyright holder, asking them if they want to A) take it down or B) make money off of it.

      Google has gone out of their way to get along with content owners. All Viacom is trying to do is eliminate their competititon. People visit sites like YouTube often in lieu of watching television or Hula, or whatever. YouTube is the most popular video site on the Web, and Viacom would rather have people watch their stuff than go to YouTube.

      IOW, litigation is cheaper and easier than innovation.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by fustakrakich (1673220)

        ...litigation is cheaper and easier than innovation.

        Yeah, there oughta be a law against that..

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Idiomatick (976696)
        I would go further and say that google has gone along with copyright holders SO much and so excessively that if youtube had any sizable competition it would die in a matter of months.

        Audio being removed from tons of videos (such as the background music of an arcade game in japan my gf filmed). Accounts deleted, a bass player (MarloweDK) giving free online lessons had over a million views on many videos, banned because some of the music he taught was copyrighted. All of the 'not available in your country'
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Zancarius (414244)

        This isn't even about copyright infringement. Hell, much of the copyrighted content on YouTube was uploaded by the copyright owner on purpose, to get people to watch it.

        Or, IIRC, in the case of Metallica: Their label sent a take-down notice, had the music video pulled, and then re-uploaded a different version.

        Bittersweet irony.

    • Part of copyright is that one should be watching out for their own material, and have any documentation to back it up.

      Right. The thing that people *need* to understand is that displaying copyrighted material is not necessarily illegal, even if you're not the copyright holder. I swear, really it's not. In fact, most stuff on the Internet is copyrighted and owned by someone, and a lot of stuff is hosted in various places without any violation. For example, I believe the terms of use for Slashdot are such that I remain holder of the copyright of this post, yet Slashdot will continue to display this post on their site.

      Put

      • by dacarr (562277)
        In your case, by posting, one merely grants copyright to Slashdot - but you don't lose it. All it is, by definition, is "right to copy". Now if the publishers would figure out that it is not a big stick to wield (which will just piss people off), we might suss this whole debacle.
        • Yeah, I think that the Slashdot situation is that you agree to allow Slashdot the right to republish your writings when you sign up for an account... though I don't know if there's anything particular when you post as an AC. Most sites have some page somewhere where they say, "By posting on our site, you agree that we have [such and such rights] over whatever you post." You're not giving Slashdot the copyright, you're effectively giving Slashdot a license to publish and distribute. Of course, there's rar

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by UnknowingFool (672806)

      The brief basically spends most of the time rehashing the DMCA and the Safe Harbor intentions. While it mentions that the Safe Harbor protects those providers who are meeting the obligations of the DMCA, it fails to credit Youtube with doing enough. Youtube does comply when notified; however, the brief faults Youtube with relying too much on being notified. The other thing to note is the tone of brief. It all but accuses Youtube of encouraging massive copyright infringement and doing nothing about it.

      T

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sjames (1099)

        ...argues this is not enough; Youtube should remove all the videos of the same copyrighted work

        I argue that if they think it's so damned easy, then what are they griping about?

  • by Eudial (590661) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @12:01PM (#32171360)

    Hahahahahahahahaha *gasp* I just read the hahahahahahah TFA hahahhahaha *gasp* So there's this lawyer right hahahahahahah, and he argues hahahahahahahhahahahahahah *gasp* that the law should be enforced according to the spirit of the law, instead of the exact word! hahahahahahahhahahaha!

  • Uh, yes it was... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ossifer (703813) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @12:10PM (#32171472)
    The DMCA safe harbor provision was intended for exactly this case.
    • by forkazoo (138186)

      The DMCA safe harbor provision was intended for exactly this case.

      Yeah, that certainly seems to be the case, and I've never heard such an alternate reading being seriously considered previously, so it would seem like a matter of fairly established case law that *should* be fairly difficult to cast aside at this point.

      And for their complaint about it being too great a burden... Well, they certainly aren't obliged to give a damn about it. They choose to. If you want to bring a civil action against somebody

      • by tagno25 (1518033)

        I'd just get checks delivered to me every day for all the lawsuits from all the things people ever said about me. That's basically what Big Media wants for themselves.

        Except you would never receive the checks, the layers of lawyers would receive all the money for their pay, and you might get .01% of each check.

    • It was most definitely not meant to apply to this.

      Viacom paid for the law so that they could be shielded when their users do something wrong, not for when someone else's users do something wrong.

      Sheesh! Why on earth would they buy a law that would apply to them?!?!

    • Re:Uh, yes it was... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jimicus (737525) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @12:52PM (#32172164)

      Re-posting because I forgot to log in and I didn't want to say this as AC:

      The record industry and the film industry are two sides of the same coin - hell, in many cases they're different arms of the same company. What we see now with the MPAA is an almost exact action-replay of what we've seen with the RIAA over the last 10 years.

      The first thing the record industry did was ignore the existence of the Internet, MP3s and other such things. Then came Napster and suddenly ignoring it wasn't an option.

      The second thing the record industry did was sue Napster into the ground and attempt to force ISPs to block file sharing (they're still doing this to a certain extent, though I'm not sure how much is being driven by the MPAA and how much is being driven by the RIAA these days).

      Next up, we've got "refuse to license songs for distribution over the Internet, put draconian DRM on CDs which doesn't really achieve the desired aim and just hacks off your customers". Erm... anyone see any parallels with DVDs and BluRay?

      After that, we had "License songs on condition that DRM is used to 'protect' them". iTunes used to apply DRM, and there didn't used to be any such thing as a company selling plain unencumbered MP3s unless you count dubious Russian site allofmp3.com. I would say we're somewhere between this and the "refuse to license for Internet distribution" stage for movies and TV shows.

      Today we have "License songs without the DRM conditions", and several companies are selling plain unencumbered MP3s quite legitimately without having to set up shop in some part of the world where copyright is considered broadly optional. Despite all the screams of how MP3s would kill the music industry, I know of no major record label which has gone out of business, and alas it seems we still have squeaky-clean teenage Britney Fucking Spears (seriously, "Fucking"'s her middle name) clones churning out dross. I don't think we've entirely moved on from the record-exec induced hysteria, but for the most part it seems that we can at least have a sensible adult discussion as to how the Internet can be used to help a band, which is more than we could 10 years ago.

      My prediction is that in 5 years time, the movie industry will have gone in much the same direction, and in 10 years time most of us will have forgotten all of this. Until the next thing that forces them to re-think their business comes up.

    • The DMCA safe harbor provision was intended for exactly this case.

      Well, the question with "intended" is "intended by whom?"

      Remember that its the media company lobbyists that largely wrote the DMCA and pushed for its adoption: I would expect that the safe harbor provision was intended merely as a sop to alleviate the potential fears of other powerful business interests (e.g., Google) that the DMCA would be expensive for them, so that there wouldn't be moneyed interests with a strong of a financial interest i

  • fourth branch (Score:5, Insightful)

    by orgelspieler (865795) <w0lfie AT mac DOT com> on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @12:20PM (#32171638) Journal
    Remember from your social studies classes in elementary school, there are four branches of government:
    • Executive - Enforces the law
    • Judicial - Interprets the law
    • Legislative - Votes on the law
    • Corporate - Writes the law, re-interprets the law, and helps enforce the law

    Anybody who taught you otherwise hadn't read through the fine print in the EULA at the end of the Constitution. It's all right there.

  • by e3m4n (947977) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @12:23PM (#32171672)

    it would put too big a burden on networks to police their own material.

    awww.. poor fucking babies. So instead its MY responsibility as an ISP to police YOUR fucking material? Who the fuck at your network do I send my invoices for my labor to do your fucking job for you? Either police your shit or dont prosecute for infringement. Anywhere else in society the financially harmed has to take civil suit action against those that do the harm for a tort claim

  • by Adrian Lopez (2615) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @12:26PM (#32171712) Homepage

    YouTube hosts content posted by third parties which it makes available to others without prior review. It is exactly the kind of situation the DMCA's safe harbor provisions are meant to address.

    Fuck you Viacom for expecting to reap the benefits of copyright law while rejecting those aspects of it you dislike.

  • Oh boo f#$%ing hoo (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MikeRT (947531) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @12:26PM (#32171720) Homepage

    Yeah, it's so onerous to have the power to send automated C&D letters that carry full legal weight if ignored, but carry no practical threat of legal reprisal if machine error caused them to be sent to an innocent party's ISP.

    You're right, that's too much to ask of you...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "The problem that Google has is that almost every video that is uploaded is protected by copyright."

    Amazing thing. You create a system that is an opt-out system for copyright, rather than an opt-in system, everything is indeed protected by copyright unless that right is relinquished. Even home videos! Not everything that is copyrighted has any commercial value. And, a lot of the stuff that the holder feels has commercial value, doesn't.

  • And it wouldn't be too big a burden on YouTube (or pretty much any other site) to police their user uploaded content? Let's say I upload a video. There's a copyright on that video so should YouTube prevent it from being uploaded? Well, what about if I was the one who made it? Should they allow it now? What if I made it for a studio who now owns the copyright? Deny it? What if the (enlightened) studio is working with me to promote their products by putting the video online? Allow it?

    There is no way f

    • by sjames (1099)

      Or, in the case of Viacom, what if their own marketing people legitimately uploaded it for promotional purposes and failed to properly document it?

  • The safe harbor only applies to sites that don't actually publish anything! How could we have been so stupid not to realize that!

  • by BobMcD (601576) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @12:49PM (#32172124)

    The summary and the article linked within are (purposely) doing a poor job of representing the actual position of the attorneys. I wasn't comfortable thinking they were that blatantly stupid and greed, and so dug a little deeper:

    (From http://copyrightsandcampaigns.blogspot.com/2010/05/viacoms-friends-lend-support-in-youtube.html [blogspot.com])

    Viacom's friends lend support in YouTube case [blogspot.com]

    Two groups supporting major copyright owners have filed amicus briefs in support of Viacom in its copyright suit [justia.com] against Google and YouTube.

    The first [scribd.com], filed on behalf of a coalition including ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, Disney, NBC Universal, Warner Bros., and others, makes three main points:

      - Congress enacted the DMCA to combat -- not protect -- copyright infringement;

      - The DMCA Section 512(c) safe harbor does not provide a defense to inducement liability [cornell.edu];
    and

      - Section 512(c)(1)(B)'s language denying the safe harbor where a site derives "a financial benefit directly attributable to the infringing activity, in a case in which the service
    provider has the right and ability to control such activity," should be interpreted consistent with the "right and ability to control" standard from common law vicarious liability.

    The second [scribd.com], from the free market-oriented Washington [wlf.org]
    Legal Foundation, focuses on the legislative history and purpose of the DMCA's safe harbors, arguing that the law mandates a "shared responsibility" among copyright owners and online service providers in addressing infringement, and does not relieve sites like YouTube of all obligations to fight illegal use of others' works, especially while profiting from it.

    So their argument goes a little deeper than 'waaaaaaaa' as some of my fellow slashdotters have summarized it.

    Against the actual argument, however, I think YouTube's most logical response would be to stop policing the content themselves at all. The position here seems to be that YouTube is a facilitator by not completely blocking copywritten content. A fair response would be for YouTube to step out of that role and give the content providers the power to do this directly. Vis-a-vi, allow the big media companies to sue those providers directly. By the way, if you haven't noticed, the providers are the individuals making content and posting it to YouTube... you know, the end users.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by sburch79 (1790050)
      Did you read the brief filed by the Washington Legal Foundation? That is the brief the article is writing about and the article accurately represents the position. They don't believe that the Safe Harbor provisions were meant for sites like YouTube.
  • It also goes on to say the if safe harbor were given to these sites, it would put too big a burden on networks to police their own material.

    So what if it's a big burden for Viacom? That's Viacom's business problem, not Google's. It's just as laughable as hearing an entrepreneur say "it's too big of a burden to find costumers".

    But let's say that "it's too big a burden" is a valid argument for a second. Viacom is known to intentionally hide the fact that its the one uploading its own material to Youtube.

  • Misleading summary (Score:3, Informative)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @01:57PM (#32173002) Journal

    The argument that "it would put too big a burden on networks to police their own material" is not at all the primary one in the amicus curae being discussed [scribd.com] - go ahead, read it for yourself (yes, yes, I'm new here etc).

    Rather, they argue that DMCA is supposed to protect providers only in cases of "innocent infringement", i.e. when they're not aware that material they host is infringing. They furthermore claim that, in YouTube's case, Google does know, or reasonably suspects (which is "good enough"), that most of material being posted onto the site is infringing, even if they do not know that about every individual video being posted - they refer to it as "willful blindness". They furthermore claim that Google, while knowning this, essentially ignores that, and "abuses" DMCA safe harbor by only performing post-infrongement take-down by request, while profiting from ads displayed while playing all those infringing videos before they're taken down.

    I believe this is a reference to those claims -made by YouTube owners and Google managers in private during the take-over, which we've seen in previous court documents - with stats for overall count of infringing material (which was way over 50%).

    Now, whether this is a valid legal argument or not, I do not know. They do reference DMCA there, as well as some relevant court cases, which they claim support this point of view, but, of course, we'd need a legal expert to clarify that.

  • Look forward to it being passed someday. The Selective Enforcement Act will allow companies to enforce their legal claims against some entities as they choose, but won't be penalized for not enforcing it against others. For example, they might say that YouTube is costing them revenue and issue take down notices for all of their content (and related and derivative works), but they might turn around and allow a site (we'll call it MediaLackey) to have them remain up. Of course the second site won't be offi

  • Can we play this game some more?
    Why does it matter what they want? They can want to be emperor of the world.
    What is it with people thinking the law should be what they want it to be instead of what it is?

    How about we just revoke copyright for anything transmitted through an FCC licensed RF signal?
    For public good anything transmitted/broadcast by an FCC license cannot be copyrighted, but must be public domain
    I like my way better.
  • This may be news to all those media-pimps, but laws apply equally to everybody, including to those you don't like.

  • Then YouTube is in good company. A lot of shit has been done in the name of the DMCA that was "never meant to be".

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