YouTube Wins Viacom Copyright Case

YouTube Wins Viacom Copyright Case

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A court has found Google not liable for users' copyright infringement.

A New York judge has thrown out a $1 billion lawsuit brought against Google by media giant Viacom over Google and YouTube's role in hosting copyrighted material without permission. District Judge Louis Stanton said that simply being aware that users might post copyrighted material to YouTube was not sufficient to hold the company liable.

"Mere knowledge of prevalence of such activity in general is not enough," said Judge Stanton. "The provider need not monitor or seek out facts indicating such activity ... YouTube was given notices, it removed the material ... it is thus protected from liability."

Viacom said that the ruling was "fundamentally flawed" and said that it planned to appeal. Google welcomed the judge's decision, and in a post on the company blog, Vice President and General Counsel Kent Walker said: "This is an important victory not just for us, but also for the billions of people around the world who use the web to communicate and share experiences with each other."

As important as the victory may be, however, some think this is just the first battle of many. "These issues are really important for content creators to protect their intellectual property against the usage by online aggregators. It is really important for content creator to get paid," said Laura Martin, an analyst for investment banking and asset management firm Needham. "This is the beginning, not the end. Sumner [Redstone, Viacom's chairman] won't roll over and die over on this."

Source: BBC

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Eventually the content producing companies will need to get smart. They need to figure out a means by which they can watermark their content, and then work with Google to have that watermarking automatically generate notices back to themselves, which they can then use to notify Google and have the stuff taken down.

Done correctly, the entire process could be so automated that the first time some content gets played on the web is the moment it gets taken down. You could even do it smartly such that the file contains multiple watermarks, so that you can embed a 10 second clip (ala fair use) but can't go over 30 seconds.

Wasn't copyright infringement the cause of the banning of Downfall parodies?
If so, then I want this sort of thing to happen more. I want my angry hitler back!

Good. Youtube can't entirely stop the content users are uploading and to stop them is pointless as they will find other sites or manage to upload the videos by getting through youtube security methods.

At any rate I'm glad youtube wasn't found guilty and I'm glad Viacom have to pay a shed load of legal fees

Too bad I already stopped supporting Youtube.
I mean, yeah, it's definitely the triumph of justice here but unless it makes the guys running the site change their flagging and copyright policies, that really means nothing.

I think the judge applied the safe harbor rules correctly in this case. Viacom has to learn that if they want the infringment to stop, they'll have to go after the actual guilty parties... the people posting the stuff. Google can not be aware of everything that is on Youtube, and can't necessarily know if a particular posting is even infringing without being told by the rights holders. Viacom is being more than just unreasonable about this, they are expecting the impossible.

Well, I suppose its a victory of sort...just wish Viacom would shut up though...

I think this is going to be a handy precident for the torrent community as well. Torrent sites on their own are no different than youtube; they operate as a file sharing site but they do not control what people place on the site. The same can be said for p2p programs as well. I doubt there could ever be a reverse of the ruling for places like napster and kazaa, and pirate bay will never recover from the raping they recieved from the legal system, but this could change things going forward.

I think part of the problem is, they quite fairly don't want full episodes and full movies available on youtube, but all the time they're hammering people using small clips, or background music clips, they're not going to look like a wounded victim.

to me, allowing clips, instead of stomping around with legal orders the moment anyone so much as mentions your content, is free advertising, not lost revenue, after all , who here has never gone 'hey, you mean you've never seen show x? Here, go to this site and have a look, I bet you'll like it.'

elephant in the room... Was this because of draw mohammed day and Viacom pulling down south park's involvement?

Kwil:
Eventually the content producing companies will need to get smart. They need to figure out a means by which they can watermark their content, and then work with Google to have that watermarking automatically generate notices back to themselves, which they can then use to notify Google and have the stuff taken down.

Done correctly, the entire process could be so automated that the first time some content gets played on the web is the moment it gets taken down. You could even do it smartly such that the file contains multiple watermarks, so that you can embed a 10 second clip (ala fair use) but can't go over 30 seconds.

Aaaand how exactly are you planning to avoid companies from abusing this, by for example slapping watermarks on for example controversial news footage if nobody is ever going to see what exactly is being censored?

The audacity from Viacom. Seriously, I have seen plenty of Youtube videos being wooped because of copyright infringment and still they bitch. It's impossible to track down all of them but they sure as hell try hard to get rid of those, which is a sad case.

Soviet Heavy:
Wasn't copyright infringement the cause of the banning of Downfall parodies?
If so, then I want this sort of thing to happen more. I want my angry hitler back!

I wondered what happened to those. They were hilarious.

OT: Score one for Google. I never liked Viacom anyway.

The biggest problem with this is that Viacom constantly ignores the Fair Use and Parody clause...

Asehujiko:

Kwil:
Eventually the content producing companies will need to get smart. They need to figure out a means by which they can watermark their content, and then work with Google to have that watermarking automatically generate notices back to themselves, which they can then use to notify Google and have the stuff taken down.

Done correctly, the entire process could be so automated that the first time some content gets played on the web is the moment it gets taken down. You could even do it smartly such that the file contains multiple watermarks, so that you can embed a 10 second clip (ala fair use) but can't go over 30 seconds.

Aaaand how exactly are you planning to avoid companies from abusing this, by for example slapping watermarks on for example controversial news footage if nobody is ever going to see what exactly is being censored?

Because obviously this would only apply to those files with the watermarks in them. If it's some sort of controversial footage, then presumably the people who filmed it won't have it watermarked because they *want* people to see it. Whether a company then watermarks other copies of it is irrelevant.

Works for me. Youtube's still going to be enforcing these things, admittedly, but it's a good thing that at least they're not going to be paying out the ass for not being perfect at it.

Hooray! Youtube aren't all pussies! Now for that darn communitiy of theirs...

$1 billion dollars?

Seriously?

Anyway, Youtube shows due diligence in these matters. There is no way of them policing everything people upload. But when told to take shit down, they do. What more can anyone expect? Penalties for users who upload copyrighted stuff? I think that's excessive.

I'm with the judge on this one.

This judge has the right idea... Viacom actually gets content they don't even own disabled for periods of time, it's insulting how they treat people.

I am pleased that the court ruled in favor of Google. I disagree with Viacom in general, I don't think even the supreme court would agree with Viacom. All things considered.

I hope Viacom continues trying to go after Google, just so it can bankrupt itself. Pretentious media company vs. Corporation bigger and more influential than the Chinese Government. Which will win?

 

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