Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

YouTube Was Evil, and Google Knew It

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the those-darn-archives dept.

Social Networks 419

pcause writes "Silicon Alley Insider has the most damning evidence released in the Viacom/YouTube suit. It seems clear from these snippets that YouTube knew it was pirating content, and did it to grow fast and sell for a lot of money. It also seems clear that Google knew the site contained pirated content and bought it and continued the pirating."

cancel ×

419 comments

So... (4, Insightful)

spazdor (902907) | more than 4 years ago | (#31544966)

I'm still waiting for the evil part.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31545010)

Yo they be fucking up the english.

me too (4, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545032)

im also still waiting for the evil part. if anyone blabbers to the contrary, im ready with a phletora of evidences of REAL evil ranging from monsanto to comcast-nbc, viacom, microsoft, and many many more.

Re:me too (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31545148)

im also still waiting for the evil part. if anyone blabbers to the contrary, im ready with a phletora of evidences of REAL evil ranging from monsanto to comcast-nbc, viacom, microsoft, and many many more.

I reckon fighting copyrights is un'merican. Why do you hate 'merica? WHY DO YOU HATE FREEDOM.

Re:me too (5, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545290)

it is unamerican, because it is feudal. it gives control of the intellectual life over to a few. the needs of the few coming before the needs of the many, is contrary to american revolutionary ideas. leaving all of those aside, those interests are controlling your own government through the candidates and senators they sponsor. currently it is 'by the corporations, by the corporations. it should be 'by the people, for the people'.

despite the illusion that is 'you can also own a copyright', a very tiny minority of population owns the bulk of copyrights and patents and profits from them, preventing others from getting anything. in a way, situation is no similar than a peasant having a chance at being a baron in middle ages.

Re:me too (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31545314)

is no similar? do you no english? no you don't.

Re:me too (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31545540)

You sire, are a inflammatory, rhetoric filled, moron.

The founding fathers supported the patent and copyright systems, to promote industrial and artistic creativity. They understood that without a way to protect the intellectual creations, such as books, music, architectural designs, inventions, et al, there would be less motivation for people to spend the time, and energy, to create them.

The reason that "most of the copyrights are in the hands of large companies" is that people SELL the rights to their creations. What's wrong with that? Or are you of the opinion that people don't deserve to be able to do that?

Re:me too (1)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545564)

Surely the GP was being ironic?

Re:So... (1)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545058)

You missed the quote from a Google exec, stating the need to take action, no matter how evil?

Re:So... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31545122)

You missed the quote from a Google exec, stating the need to take action, no matter how evil?

That was from one of the Youtube co-founders prior to being bought by Google. The message was sent by Steven Chen on Jan 26, 2006. Youtube wasn't acquired by Google until October of 2006. This was not a Google employee.

Re:So... (5, Insightful)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545324)

Given the nature of YouTube's content over the years, and the fact that all these emails and IM transcripts are coming out now, don't you think there might have been a need for just a little more due diligence prior to acquiring YouTube? Holy cow, thoroughly research a company before you buy it for over a billion dollars. What a concept.

Re:So... (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545464)

It's not like they could have just Googled them back then. They could now, of course.

Re:So... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31545382)

You missed the quote from a Google exec, stating the need to take action, no matter how evil?

That was from one of the Youtube co-founders prior to being bought by Google. The message was sent by Steven Chen on Jan 26, 2006. Youtube wasn't acquired by Google until October of 2006. This was not a Google employee.

Agreed. This was from the pre-Google YouTube.

But it does bring up some questions:

Did Google execs know of these discussions & "unwrtitten policies" when they bought YouTube?

What actions (if any) did Google take to change these practices once they took ownership?

Fool! (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545110)

If you had been privy to the ACTA preceedings, you'd know "evil" has been redefined. Fools.

Re:So... (5, Insightful)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545234)

The word "evil" is actually used (as in the context of "I don't care how evil we have to be, just do it") in the emails and instant messaging transcripts disclosed in TFA. Other choice expressions include "fucking copyright assholes" and "we don't actually care, we're just doing this to avoid being sued." I'm an open source software author myself (reference rpush.org [rpush.org] , among other things), and I choose to license my stuff quite liberally. However, I absolutely demand that others respect the licensing terms I distribute my materials under, and I respect the licenses chosen by others. Violating that is absolutely inexcusable. It irritates me to no end that the open source community will frequently scream bloody murder over a GPL violation, then turn around and say stuff like this "isn't evil."

If ever there were a case for RTFA, this is surely it. I would have modded you down, but felt it was better to respond in full. Other mods, please mod parent down.

Re:So... (1)

jketch (1485815) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545336)

Yes, but all statements of that nature were made by YouTube founders/employees prior to Google's purchase. The emails establish that Google was aware of the copyrighted content prior to purchase, but no where is there any proof or even strong evidence that Google encouraged this material in any way after their purchase. The closest they come is some weak email where some Google executive instructs the people in charge of YouTube (now owned by Google) to increase traffic, with a completely unfounded assertion that this included laxness on copyright issues. Now was it evil for Google to buy Youtube, knowing that their current size was based on copyright infringement? I wouldn't say so, though I suppose an argument could be made. Though, the net effect of the YouTube acquisition was to DECREASE copyright violations. Really, this is all irrelevant though. YouTube is most likely liable for the copyright infringements due to their policy of willfully ignoring them and such liability was transferred to Google at the time of purchase, which is all Viacom really cares about anyway.

Re:So... (3, Insightful)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545368)

As I responded elsewhere, this stuff is coming out now, which means there's absolutely no way Google performed any kind of real due diligence prior to spending over a billion dollars for YouTube without knowing about it. To believe otherwise is simply ridiculous, or to say you think we've been witness to one of the most epic due diligence failures in history.

Re:So... (5, Interesting)

Sique (173459) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545436)

And... you know, until the end Viacom was up to buy YouTube. They just lost to Google.
So Viacom also knew how evil YouTube was -- and they were still trying to buy it.

Re:So... (0, Troll)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545510)

That's ridiculous.

Please provide proof that Viacom would have gone through with the deal after discovering this kind of information. I'll state that (1) they wouldn't have bought YouTube, and that (2) they would have instead started massive legal action against the company had they been in possession of this data. I suppose it's possible that had YouTube opened the internal records floodgates for Viacom's perusal, maybe YouTube would have been bought for $10 and subsequently dismantled or converted hastily into a full blown paid subscription-based site in short order (with the alternative being getting sued out of existence). Somehow, I just don't see it.

Again, that's absolutely ridiculous.

Re:So... (1)

Marcika (1003625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545476)

As I responded elsewhere, this stuff is coming out now, which means there's absolutely no way Google performed any kind of real due diligence prior to spending over a billion dollars for YouTube without knowing about it. To believe otherwise is simply ridiculous, or to say you think we've been witness to one of the most epic due diligence failures in history.

Or maybe they did the due diligence, knew about how much infringement was going (after all even John D. Random from the internet knew that) and decided that despite the multimillion-dollar-liability it would still be worth buying? And maybe they would have turned out to be right?

Re:So... (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545562)

This is certainly possible, although given the massive potential for repercussions, such an action could easily be called one of the gravest errors in calculation in memory. Given the fact that Google is a publicly traded company, the potential for damage here is just absolutely insane.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31545566)

They've bought the thing for ONE BILLION dollars. I'm pretty sure they did their research, and they did quite a lot of it. Whatever this was, it was not a diligence failure.

Re:So... (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545594)

I think you're right, and if you are it's very, very sad.

Re:So... (5, Informative)

GasparGMSwordsman (753396) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545458)

The article is probably the worst one out there covering this topic. They took the subject compeletly out of context. Here is a better article that includes the context:

http://techcrunch.com/2010/03/18/viacom-may-be-misrepresenting-youtube-founders-call-to-steal-it/ [techcrunch.com]

Here is the source of the quote. It is a thread of several emails, but only from one side:

SUBJECT: Re:http://www.filecabi.net/

Jul 29, 2005 1:05 AM, Steve Chen wrote:

steal it!

Jul 29, 2005 1 :25 AM, Chad Hurley wrote:

hmm, steal the movies?

Jul 29, 2005 1 :33 AM, Steve Chen wrote:

haha ya.

or something.

just something to watch out for. check out their alexa ranking.
-s

Jul 29, 2005 7:45 AM, Chad Hurley wrote:

hmm, i know they are getting a lot of traffic... but it's because they are a stupidvideos.com-type of site. they might make enough money to pay hosing bills, but sites like this and big-boys.com will never go public. I would really like to build something more valuable and more useful. actually build something that people will talk about and changes the way people use video on the internet.

Jul 29 2005 6:51 AM, Steve Chen wrote:

right, i understand those goals but, at the same time, we have to keep in mind that we need to attract traffic. how much traffic will we get from the personal videos? remember, the only reason why our traffic surged was due to a video of this type. i'm not really disagreeing with you but i also think we shouldn't be so high & mighty and think we're better than these guys. viral videos will tend to be THOSE type of videos.
-s

Jul 29 2005 6:56 AM, Steve Chen Wrote:

another thing. still a fundamental difference between us and most of those other sites. we do have a community and it's ALL user generated content.

-s

To me, when taken in context that sounds like a pretty reasonable half of a conversation. He does not advocate copyright infringement. He also states that they should not get all high and mighty against file sharers. He then sums up saying that they have a community who makes its own content which other sites do not.

All seems pretty reasonable to me.

Re:So... (2, Interesting)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545526)

I'm sorry, but after examining the internal communications myself, I cannot agree with your view. This is a plain old fashioned case of a company doing whatever it wants, regardless of the law, and history coming back to haunt it.

Re:So... (0, Flamebait)

mandelbr0t (1015855) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545468)

It irritates me to no end that the open source community will frequently scream bloody murder over a GPL violation, then turn around and say stuff like this "isn't evil."

Yeah, well too bad. You need to work on your self-righteousness. Piracy is not evil in the face of laws that take away our Free Speech rights. It is definitely unlawful, but that's the nature of moral action when laws dictate amoral or immoral behavior.

Re:So... (2, Interesting)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545556)

What free speech laws of yours are being abridged? I published software under the Artistic and BSD licenses, which is my right under the law. People can use the things I create under very liberal terms because I want it that way. Others choose different licensing mechanisms; how precisely are they abridging your rights? Am I abridging your right to free speech if I take you to court for incorporating my software into a commercial product without following the license? I don't want to hear about pie in the sky philosophical "what if" scenarios, I want to hear specific references to United States law.

Re:So... (1)

ady1 (873490) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545528)

I found it very interesting that "was" in the title is formated to stand out. The question is, considering that they were evil and no longer are, why is viacom suing google, and didn't sue youtube? Isn't suing a bigger company just because they have deeper pockets evil?

Re:So... (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545576)

I'm betting they're going after internal Google documents that will prove Google's knowledge about this from the start. I'm not saying such documents exist, but if they don't it sure makes for a heck of a case of failure on Google's part to adequately research YouTube's internals prior to purchasing the company. That alone can be immensely damaging.

Double Standards, or Above the Law? - (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31545026)

I find it unlikely that Google considers this evil. After all, given their stance toward books and other literature, they seem to think that they have every right to reproduce and host content at their whim.

This isn't a double standard at work. Google simply believes that it's above the law, and 'evil' can be conveniently redefined to mean whatever suits the company's interests at the time. Don't fall for the feelgood narrative.

Re:Double Standards, or Above the Law? - (5, Insightful)

spazdor (902907) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545070)

Google simply believes that it's above the law

I believe this about myself too, but I prefer to say that the law, in its current state, is beneath me..

Re:Double Standards, or Above the Law? - (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31545260)

Clever, but I'd like to point something out.

Youtube tolerated the illegal hosting of copyrighted content with the intention of profiting from it. They abdicated their responsibility to moderate the site in an attempt to avoid litigation afterward. Some Google insiders initially objected, but the company's official position prior to acquiring Youtube was to focus on growth; growth that they knew was being sustained by piracy. Google continues to tolerate the presence of copyrighted content on Youtube rather accommodatingly, but with their money, reach, and prestige now backing the company, content providers are warming to the idea of using Youtube as a distribution medium. However, it's interesting to see how we've arrived at this point, and it's also a little naive to pretend that 'the pirates won' here. Youtube won, by proving that piracy can be immensely profitable, and now Google is trying to win by proving that the content distribution methods used by pirates can be profitable for content owners.

When you download movies, do you intend to profit from them? Petty piracy and real 'dollar bills' piracy are two completely different acts deserving of their own consideration, don't you think?

Re:Double Standards, or Above the Law? - (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31545472)

Youtube tolerated the illegal hosting of copyrighted content

Not actually evil. Copyright law is evil. I support its complete abolition.

Re:Double Standards, or Above the Law? - (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31545086)

It's easy to be good when you can decide what's evil and what's not on a whim. By those standards the guys from Enron were saints.

Re:Double Standards, or Above the Law? - (5, Informative)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545134)

I find it unlikely that Google considers this evil.

I suggest you RTFA. There is a quotation there, of one of Google's executives, which specifically says that infringing on someone's copyright, or knowingly aiding in such an infringement, is a violation of the "don't be evil" policy.

So, yes, the title of the story is spot on.

Re:Double Standards, or Above the Law? - (0)

ajs (35943) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545384)

As noted in a previous post, you're wrong. Said quote a) comes from a YouTube executive who was, at the time, in no way associated with Google and b) it was essentially an IM bragging about how he was going to make the company look valuable, not about copyright infringement c) I have no idea how well his voice survived the transition to being a Google employee, but I'm not willing just assume that such an attitude was welcomed with open arms without some evidence.

Re:Double Standards, or Above the Law? - (2, Informative)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545500)

As noted in a previous post, you're wrong. Said quote a) comes from a YouTube executive who was, at the time, in no way associated with Google and b) it was essentially an IM bragging about how he was going to make the company look valuable, not about copyright infringement

I think you're confused about which quote I'm referring to. It's slide 24 in TFA, which begins with "Google executive Patrick Walker an email ...", and the text is "... why we shouldn't facilitate ...". The complete citation is in my other comment [slashdot.org] in this story.

I note, however, that I was incorrect in saying that email was sent by Walker. Rather, it was sent to him but the text is cut off, so we don't know who it was - except that it seems to be done by someone else in Google.

Re:Double Standards, or Above the Law? - (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31545484)

That rings exceptionally fucking hollow when you look at the last slide, and then measure Google's words versus its deeds.

Stop polishing Google's knob. Regardless of your position on copyright law, both parties knew why Youtube was such a money machine. Just because Google is trying to turn Youtube into TV 2.0 by enticing content providers into playing nice with them doesn't mean that either party was justified to begin with. The only redeeming part of this sequence of events is how Youtube proved the efficacy of the Internet as a content distribution medium, but even that is purely by accident. Youtube was acting in purest self interest by using pirated content as the foundation of their get-rich-quick scheme, not to prove a point or develop a new service, and Google was perfectly okay with this, as evidenced by later statements from Eric Schmidt and the eventual acquisition. Had the latter two been true, this might even have been justifiable.

But since the past is done, the only thing Google can do now is either lean against the wind and fight for whatever copyright reforms that would be necessary to make this kind of thing legal, or clean up Youtube and turn it into a proper and legal broadcasting service. Or continue believing that it's above the law.

Re:Double Standards, or Above the Law? - (3, Insightful)

neoform (551705) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545162)

Google is all for "openess" with content.. as long as its not theirs..

Google doesn't let anyone use their search results, which they claim to be their proprietary content.

Re:Double Standards, or Above the Law? - (2, Interesting)

ajs (35943) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545428)

Google is all for "openess" with content.. as long as its not theirs..

Google doesn't let anyone use their search results, which they claim to be their proprietary content.

If Hollywood, the music industry and book publishers were half as open with their data as Google, I'd be a happy camper. I can re-publish Google's content (e.g. search results) to my heart's content a long as I do so using their APIs... can you please point me to the Time Warner API for re-publishing the just-released Hollywood blockbuster on my Web site? I'd like to do that.

Also, Google makes my own data available to me to extract and use as I will at any time across a large number of services from gmail to search history to profile settings to map data. The Data Liberation Front [google.com] works hard to make sure that this data is made available to users so that they can migrate to other services, should they wish. That's something that the music industry makes easy for artists, right?

Re:Double Standards, or Above the Law? - (4, Insightful)

rlthomps-1 (545290) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545196)

IANAL, but the case about books and literature is much, much more complicated than that and has a wide ranging impact on the basics of referring information on the Internet, what constitutes fair use, and what counts as a "reproduction"

Don't fall for the feelgood idiot riffing on the "Evil Google" narrative.

Re:Double Standards, or Above the Law? - (3, Insightful)

bugi (8479) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545262)

My understanding is that the DMCA requires a copyright owner to notify the hosting site of each infringing item. Knowing in general that content is posted without a license isn't infringement.

Viacom is trying to kill the entire possibility of letting the general public post anything at all, for fear somebody somewhere might think they own it. Google's just a convenient target with deep pockets just in case a court is dumb enough to swallow.

IANAL. duh.

Re:Double Standards, or Above the Law? - (5, Insightful)

ajs (35943) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545332)

I find it unlikely that Google considers this evil. After all, given their stance toward books and other literature ... Google simply believes that it's above the law, and 'evil' can be conveniently redefined ...

That has to be the single most abhorrent abuse of the word "evil" I've ever seen. Google believes that the contents of libraries should be made available of the Web. They have a strong point, and I think I actually agree with them, though I realize that the increased ease of access will cause problems for the current publishing business model. What you appear to be saying is that any attempt to increase the public's access to content that would damage an existing business model is inherently evil. I believe that to be nonsensical (though if you simply disagree, I take no exception to that... it's the demonization of the concept of an electronic library that I think is wrong).

Now, on to YouTube: YouTube is a tough nut, and I think we'll be doing the world a disservice if we resolve it as if it were a single issue in a vacuum. The core question reverses the library/business model issue. It is suggested by Viacom et al. that the ready access to information creates an environment in which the standard protections afforded to those who provide physical space for information (e.g. cork boards) are not acceptable online and that carriers of that information must be held liable for the use of those spaces. We're not arguing that Google is evil, we're arguing that they knew they were getting themselves into a legal morass which would likely result in Google defending their side of the case in court and shaping the laws of our land with respect to the Internet. That is actually quite the opposite of evil.

In both cases, I'm cheering for an outcome that happens to coincide with Google's interests, but I would be (grudgingly) rooting for the same outcome were it Microsoft or Monsanto being attacked for the same reasons.

Wish I had mod points. Parent +1 Insightful (1)

xant (99438) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545542)

Yes.

Non-Story? (5, Funny)

Kotoku (1531373) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545034)

404: Evil Not Found

Re:Non-Story? (3, Funny)

Elshar (232380) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545274)

Actually, 405: Evil Method Not Allowed

Re:Non-Story? (1)

Kotoku (1531373) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545422)

Perhaps that came after they discovered: 403: Evil Forbidden

Re:Non-Story? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31545326)

404: Evil Not Found

Actually, the code for "Evil Not Found" error is 0666.

Re:Non-Story? (1)

ZeRu (1486391) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545494)

One might argue that piracy is evil, but RIAA is far greater evil. I'm downloading sogs because it's the lesser evil :)

403: Access Forbidden (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31545530)

Now the serpent was craftier than anyone else the Lord God had let loose on the network. He asked the user, "Did God really say, 'You must not access any URL on the website'?"

The woman said to the serpent, "We may access most pages, but He did say, 'You must not load any URL from this particular IP, or you will die.'"

"You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows that when you load of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

When the woman saw that the response from the server was pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she bookmarked it. She also sent the link to her husband, who was following her twittering, and he clicked on it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they quickly searched for free antivirus software.

Safe Harbor (4, Interesting)

butlerm (3112) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545036)

The ethical status of doing all this notwithstanding, and especially _knowingly_ relying on it as part of one's business plan, it would appear that Youtube had safe harbor to do all this under the online copyright liability limitations enacted as part of the DMCA.

Ethics (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545172)

Are like morals, they are relative.

Re:Safe Harbor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31545236)

Possibly, because you get into areas of "contributory copyright infringement" which took down Napster etc. These emails admit what everyone knew - YouTube was a filesharing site with a thin veneer of social networking.

If YouTube wasn't owned by an influential firm with deep pockets, its almost certain they would have been sued off the net years ago.

Re:Safe Harbor (4, Insightful)

chaboud (231590) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545554)

Mod parent +1000.

One loses the safe harbor protection when they demonstrate awareness or knowledge of user-directed content's infringement. What if one of the users was a representative of a copyright owner? Just because something was expensive to make doesn't mean that your knee-jerk reflex should be removal.

Profit doesn't come into play in the general case, as they're not selling the content directly:
Title 17, Section 512.(c).(1).(B)
"does not receive a financial benefit directly attributable to the infringing activity"

Even if the majority of your files are infringing, that's not the same as direct attribution of financial benefit.

This does demonstrate some awareness of materials that have studio copyright naturally attributed to them, but it doesn't mean that the poster didn't have copyright. Basically, there's a DMCA-specified procedure for notification, and many of these conversations discuss exactly how to go about handling those provisions.

Clips of shows like Leno and Conan could fall under fair use by users (news agencies do it), so, again, where's the beef?

This just plainly isn't that damning, and it's certainly not that evil. The original poster needs to chill out. Anyone who's ever sat in a meeting with lawyers discussing the ins and outs of the DMCA would find these statements in no way out of place. Put them in the full context of the emails, and it looks like Viacom's just out to make a money grab from deep pockets. The Viacom lawyers must be busy trying to wave shiny objects in front of executives to keep them from noticing the huge revenue loss that came from not sorting things out with Hulu...

Really? REALLY? (1)

justin12345 (846440) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545052)

Wow, that's even debated? Did anyone honestly believe that the biggest search engine in the world was completely blind?

Piracy? (-1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545074)

Really? I didn't realize that YouTube (and Google) was illegally taking physical goods from ships at sea.

No, what YouTube (and Google) was allegedly involved in was gross copyright infringement. Quit calling it piracy already.

Re:Piracy? (4, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545160)

No, what YouTube (and Google) was allegedly involved in was gross copyright infringement. Quit calling it piracy already.

Of course. I mean, it's a mere 400 years of precedence for the word "piracy" having the meaning of "copyright infringement"; nothing to bother about, right?

Re:Piracy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31545210)

It was propaganda then and it's propaganda now - "pirate" was the "terrorist" of its day. It was a cheap attempt to blacken the name of people who didn't agree with the evil of copyright law by likening them to the much more serious real pirates.
Propaganda isn't just a 20th century thing - the nazis and americans refined it to an art in the 20th century, but it existed long before then.

And remember- 400 years isn't a particularly long time by european or chinese standards.

Re:Piracy? (2, Insightful)

ajs (35943) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545558)

Propaganda isn't just a 20th century thing - the nazis and americans refined it to an art in the 20th century

I'm sorry, but you just can't call out the Nazis and the United States for refining propaganda in the 20th Century and leave out the Soviet Union [wikipedia.org] and China [wikipedia.org] .

It's true that Western propaganda was heavily influenced by Viennese and American concepts and put to the test in the U.S. in order to push the country into World War I by Woodrow Wilson [wikipedia.org] . However, that occurred in parallel with the development of Russian revolutionary efforts to sway the populace which would be enshrined as a central element of Soviet rule.

Re:Piracy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31545238)

400 years of precedence you reckon?
the first 'copyright' law was from 1709, so how does that work? nothing to bother about, right?

Re:Piracy? (4, Informative)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545380)

From Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] on copyright infringement:

"Even prior to the 1709 enactment of the Statute of Anne, generally recognized as the first copyright law, the Stationers' Company of London in 1557 received a Royal Charter giving the company a monopoly on publication and tasking it with enforcing the charter. Those who violated the charter were labeled pirates as early as 1603."

And, yes, there is a reference there. Go look it up yourself.

Re:Piracy? (0, Flamebait)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545320)

It does? Prove it.

Re:Piracy? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545410)

See reply to other commenter who asked for it first.

Re:Piracy? (2, Insightful)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545174)

Nowadays, words have more than one meaning. If you think that's bad, you should probably avoid the topic of "Abbreviations" altogether.

Re:Piracy? (2, Insightful)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545358)

I know that, but calling 'gross copyright infringement' is nothing more then a marketing tactic (which has worked) to paint copyright infringers in the same light as those who go out on the high seas and steal stuff from ships when it isn't even the same thing. In piracy you steal a physical product. In gross copyright infringement you COPY something and then share that copy. The original product (legally bought or not is not the case here) is still able to be sold for fun and profit. Unfortunately the MPAA, the RIAA and other such organizations have yet to join the Intarwebs in selling their products at competitive prices.

Re:Piracy? (1)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545208)

Quit calling it piracy already.

But The Copyright Infringer Bay just doesn't have the same ring to it...

Yes, Piracy (4, Insightful)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545462)

Quit calling it piracy already.

It's piracy. Get over it. The word has evolved beyond parrots and yarrh's to include appropriation and distribution of files for which no license to distribute was provided by the content creator.

Language grows. "Hacker" used to mean a really bad golfer. And "Geeks" bit the heads off chickens.

Re:Piracy? (3, Funny)

istartedi (132515) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545470)

Maybe someday, the people who argue over semantics will win. It'll go something like this: Congratulations. You won the semantic argument. We won everything else.

bickering (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31545078)

Don't be evil (4, Informative)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545096)

One interesting quote (by Patrick Walker of Google) was this:

Top 10 reasons why we shouldn't stop screening for copyright violations: 1. It crosses the threshold of Don't be Evil to facilitate distribution of other people's intellectual property, and possibly even allowing monetization of it by somebody who doesn't own the copyright.

A handy assessment of copyright and IP from an ethical (as opposed to legal) point of view. Next time the topic on how Google "really" feels about copyrights comes up, you know the answer.

But it isn't that easy (4, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545322)

As YouTube's council recently pointed out, more or less any video is copyrighted. If you make a video, it's copyright to you upon time of creation. Few people actually bother to release their stuff in to the public domain, so the works remain copyrighted. Now that does NOT mean they can't be posted on Youtube. The holder of a copyright can determine how it is allowed to be used, including given away for free to anyone.

Now, as that applies to big media companies the problem is that they themselves, or their agents, like PR agencies, do indeed upload content to Youtube. So just because a work is uploaded that is owned by a big company, it doesn't mean there has been infringement. Perhaps the company themselves did the uploading. They don't always do it through some official account.

As such it makes sense to respond to infringement notices and remove the content, but not to run around assuming that you know what is and is not ok to be on there. Other than videos by the government (which are public domain at creation) or ones that people have bothered to release in to the public domain, it's all copyrighted material. However a great deal of it the copyright holders WANT to be on there, including when said holders are major media companies.

Re:But it isn't that easy (3, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545392)

I agree with this position, actually. It was not my intention to challenge it. I merely pointed out that Google seems to believe that knowingly infringing copyright on a specific work is evil, at least for the purpose of their "don't be evil" policy.

Youtube is evil (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545100)

I just upload videos of me and my friends; they're all from hell.

Dark Helmet says (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31545102)

Druish princesses are often attracted to money, and power, and I have BOTH, and YOU KNOW IT!

In other news... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31545116)

Napster knew that they hosted copyrighted material, SCO knew that they didn't own Linux, and Mark McGuire's trainer knew that he took steroids. This knowledge was related to personal gain. Film at 11.

Article by our correspondent, Captain Obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31545118)

It also seems clear that Google knew the site contained pirated content

Well, yeah, it seems likely that they had in fact heard of YouTube before buying it and therefore knew that it contained pirated content. I think you need a little bit more than that to hang them or else the trial is going to be very very short.

Piracy (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545152)

Is a way of life, time to get over it and embrace it.

Re:Piracy (0)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545292)

When I download films, I like to dress up like this. [cinematicwallpaper.com]

It gives some occasion to the otherwise mundane activity of torrenting.

Nope (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545154)

You tube ans its employees were the only ones on earth not aware of the stolen content. Oh, and Googlers too.

Next scoop: bittorrent creator WAS aware of copyrighted content being shared via his protocol.

Now 3 buttons... (4, Funny)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545164)

Now, there are three buttons on the Google home page:

1. Google Search
2. I'm Feeling Lucky
3. AARRRRR!!!

Re:Now 3 buttons... (1)

nebaz (453974) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545372)

3.AARRRR!!!

I'd hit that.

Slashdot doesn't think so (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31545202)

It's perfectly viable that someone can run a site where up to 99% of the content is pirated and be completely oblivious about this fact.

damm youtube (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31545212)

for creating a global repository for audio/visual culture spanning every single country on this marble, people said they could never deliver the bandwidth but amazingly they did

Viacom is just pissed that their content is no more popular than cat videos filmed with a mobile phone hence they have to employ marketing agencies just to get the views they do

Google is our friend (2, Informative)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545218)

Just remember that and keep saying it over and over. Google is our friend. Google is our friend. Google is our friend.

I don't think people's opinion of Google would change if they installed an application that uploaded to their servers anything that contained the word "copyright" in it and they then sold access to these gathered files. Better yet, just made the files available with embedded advertising. Imagine getting access to movie scripts as works-in-progress with some topically relevent ads sprinkled in. How about design documents for new consumer electronics gear, a year or so before it hit the market. You could market this under the moniker "Open Google".

The problem with Google is they got so incredibly big so incredibly fast without ever having to learn anything about growth or ethics. A lot of the senior staff are very young and have little experience other than Google. If it can be monetized, there is no reason not to do so in their eyes, especially if it doesn't seem "evil" at first glance.

"Evil", maybe... but they were right (4, Interesting)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545232)

They probably did need that infringing content to survive. But now, they've reached a point where that's no longer the case. If you really could remove all the stuff on YouTube that's unauthorized and doesn't qualify as fair use, it almost wouldn't matter any more. Nearly all the most-viewed videos now are some type of personal video, or something that's authorized and legit.

It's also really hard to make a claim that YouTube has hurt content providers more than it has helped them. You don't see full TV episodes or movies for instance. All you find is short clips that, if anything, function as advertising and get more people to purchase them than would have otherwise. Perhaps the same is not entirely true for audio tracks and music videos, but those have been so trivially easy to acquire illegally for years now, I'm not convinced YouTube had a net negative impact for those kinds of content providers either.

When knowing isn't the same as knowing (1)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545242)

They'd have to be idiots not to know YouTube was carrying some kind of infringing content somewhere in its library of user-uploaded videos. The important question is not whether they knew this general and largely inevitable fact, nor even whether they thought they might benefit from it. What's important is whether they knew of specific instances of infringement and did nothing to correct it.

Youtube is a public service... (1)

Deorus (811828) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545256)

If you want to accuse anyone of piracy, then accuse individual users, not the site. The site itself only serves as a distribution media, acting against reported violations upon request.

The problem is that it's not feasible to request every user to demonstrate that they own the copyright or are otherwise authorize to publish content. If I want to publish movies of myself playing games (which is the only thing that I use Youtube for), the requirement to prove that the movie was in fact my property would be enough to turn me off, especially since I may well not even be the owner of those movies since they can be considered derivative works.

Re:Youtube is a public service... (1)

ady1 (873490) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545506)

Generally I would agree, however, if you would've RTFA, you would've seen that a youtube cofounder himself uploaded copyrighted contents.

Even more damning (5, Insightful)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545280)

I think if they search harder, they may find that as a search engine, google indexed pages about piracy, hate speech, and terrorism. How evil is that?

Don't get me started about the PHONE COMPANY. They carry all sorts of damnable content. I've heard copyrighted music over a phone, before.

Check the date on the slides (1)

mwolfe38 (1286498) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545302)

25 of the 27 slides on that site were from dates prior to google's acquisition.. I'm not sure if that excuses them but none the less its not quite the "google is evil" mantra the OP is trying to deliver.

Quality? (1)

OrangeCatholic (1495411) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545316)

Was the quality good enough to call it "pirated"?

I don't remember ever watching an entire commercial show or movie on YouTube. It has a pretty bad reputation for clip length and resolution, so it's not exactly my first choice for watching, say, The Office.

Is it for anyone else?

Re:Quality? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545374)

I've watched Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and a fan cut of Superman II on YouTube, and neither was what I'd great viewing experiences. YouTube is great for clips, and maybe watching music videos and the like, but beyond that, it's the most awkward way to watch things. For example, I watched Echoes from David Gilmour's 2006 Gdansk concert, and it had to be chopped into three pieces, and particularly with music, it just ruins it.

[citation needed] (1)

aBaldrich (1692238) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545338)

pirate == bad?
The law is not 'fair'. It can be changed. It should be changed.

"Don't be evil" =! "Be legal"

What's more evil? (5, Insightful)

drDugan (219551) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545340)

You know what's evil? Copyright term of "70 years + life of the author".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_term [wikipedia.org]

Almost every single thing creative that someone creates today will *never* enter the public domain within our lifetime. Nothing. The owner of the copyright must explicitly grant it to the public domain, or license it for other's use, distribution, sharing, mashing, basically anything more than fair use... Copyright is no longer about promotion of creativity, its a legal exclusivity and an effectively permanent lock on all creative output by business interests. Add WIPO and ACTA and soon within 10 years or so, it will be a global exclusive lock, again driven by business interests.

The current copyright laws are simply a denial of any sense of balance or social good in intellectual property.

Re:What's more evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31545538)

It is impossible to actually donate something completely to the public domain in many places. This is a side effect of laws that slightly reduce the ability of the media conglomerates to rape artists of all rights to their creative works in return for the slavery of a record contract.

Free the electoralons (1)

pubwvj (1045960) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545376)

Seems consistent with "Information just wants to be free" (as in beer?).

Slide Show Warning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31545444)

Am I the only one who wants to freak the fuck out about a 27 page slide show with thirty words max of content each!?

It's publishing like this that makes me happy I don't have TFA's web site in my Ad-block plus whitelist. Fuck'em.

I'm not seeing the evil. (2, Insightful)

NimbleSquirrel (587564) | more than 4 years ago | (#31545596)

I'm not seeing the evil. All I see is discussions about covering their asses and a few individuals admitting to copyright infringement (with no actual evidence and no indication that this was done by YouTube itself). I see an acknowledgement that much of the material could be potentially infinging, but I also see discussions on how to proceed with takedown processes (whether to have a direct reporting link or wait for a takedown notice). As this kind of thing hadn't been done before, it could be argued that waiting for a takedown notice was a perfectly legal option, instead of having to be proactive.

There seems to be very little factual evidence in all of these IM and email quotes, not to mention that they are all taken out of context or given new context by Viacom's lawyers (prime example is the personal opinion that rightsholders were assholes being touted as a general disregard for copyright). It seems that much of this could easily be classed as hearsay (mainly the IM conversations) not factual evidence, and is only really useful in establishing character of the Google and YouTube management.

It seems that if Viacom are dredging up these emails and IM conversations as key evidence, they may not have much of a case, and that putting them out there is more about trying to publically shame YouTube into a settlement. If this is all they have to file for summary judgement, the rest of the case may be pretty flimsy.

Contrast this with YouTube/Google's filing for sumary judgement that argues that Viacom were placing videos on YouTube through covert and very deliberate means. This shows Viacome were being complete hypocrites, and it can be easily argued that Viacom could have been using this to entrap YouTube. If Google/YouTube have actual evidence of that, it could very easily be a smoking gun.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...