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TV Networks Don't Want DMCA Protection For YouTube

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the well-of-course-they-don't dept.

Television 197

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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Was it meant to protect (-1, Offtopic)

Coder4Life (1396697) | more than 4 years ago | (#32171146)

first posts?

tough shit (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32171150)

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

Re:tough shit (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32171460)

Yeah, lobbies. Who needs them? [youtube.com]

no, that's what you get for PAYING for vague... NT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32171506)

no, that's what you get for PAYING for vague legislation.

Re:no, that's what you get for PAYING for vague... (2, Insightful)

spazdor (902907) | more than 4 years ago | (#32173116)

That's what he said. "Lobbying."

Re:tough shit (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 4 years ago | (#32171556)

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 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32172314)

looks like another case of "can't have your cake and eat it too".

Looks like another person getting this turn of phrase wrong. The correct way is "you can't eat your cake and have it too".

Re:tough shit (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172814)

Well, the logical way would be to phrase it like that, but the clauses have been reversed since the 1800s, and has been pretty commonly accepted in it's current form. If you realize that "have" in this case means "to posses" and not "to eat" it still works either way.

Re:tough shit (0, Troll)

Chees0rz (1194661) | more than 4 years ago | (#32173158)

you can't point this out and not be a douche bag, too.

Re:tough shit (4, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#32171886)

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 (4, Insightful)

gorzek (647352) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172150)

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.

Re:tough shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32172528)

Even worst, now they want the ISPs act as police.

Re:tough shit (4, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172418)

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."

Boo Hoo (5, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Re:Boo Hoo (1)

Moryath (553296) | more than 4 years ago | (#32171290)

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 (4, Insightful)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 4 years ago | (#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 (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32171656)

The viewers are that product

Fixed that for you.

Re:Fix (4, Insightful)

c++0xFF (1758032) | more than 4 years ago | (#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:Response (2, Insightful)

Zancarius (414244) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172514)

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 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. This is precisely what's been happening to the networks and many printed media services. The consumers may not pay money specifically to the service provider in these cases, but they can still have a very real impact if they go elsewhere.

In effect, consumers of TV programming are still customers in much the same way that purchasing a product through a retailer versus directly from the manufacturer makes you a customer. While you're not an immediate customer of the manufacturer, if a sufficient number of other consumers refuse to purchase a particular product regardless of the retail outlet, it has a very real impact on the manufacturer's bottom line. I think it's time that the networks realize this.

Re:Boo Hoo (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172098)

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 think setting music to a home video clip or picture slide show is automatically fair use.

On the whole, if I look at most clips on YouTube I find they are according to the four points of fair use:
1. Derivative, not transformative. Most are simply the original song playing to a video, even though it is for personal use = 1/2-1/2
2. Use of creative works like songs and film clips = 0-1
3. Often using whole songs or film clips filling the whole video = 0-1
4. From none to a direct competitor to ad supported Spotify at worst. = 1/2-1/2 on average

I guess you can discuss it back and forth but the requirements for fair use is quite strict. It was mostly placed there because copyright would otherwise create a "black hole" around a copyrighted work where you couldn't talk about it. It was never meant as free non-commercial use, I know many people want that but then the law has to change.

Re:Boo Hoo (5, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 4 years ago | (#32171332)

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 (5, Insightful)

DavidTC (10147) | more than 4 years ago | (#32171736)

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 (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Re:Boo Hoo (1)

ajrs (186276) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172206)

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:Boo Hoo (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32172648)

Warner Music would like to speak with you regarding your performances of Happy Birthday.

Re:Boo Hoo (2, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#32171878)

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 (4, Funny)

Fnord666 (889225) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172052)

As my 13 year old daughter says:

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

575? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172106)

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

Good start, but the second line needs three more syllables. Anyone care to finish this poem?

Re:575? (1)

Romberg (1041416) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172188)

cry me a river build me a bridge shore to shore and get over it

Re:575? (3, Funny)

Romberg (1041416) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172266)

gah, let me try again:

cry me a river
build me a bridge shore to shore
and get over it

Re:575? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32172246)

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

??

Here You Go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32172424)

Cry me a river
Build me a bridge to nowhere
and get over it!

Re:Here You Go (1)

MarbleMunkey (1495379) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172980)

As an Alaskan Ex-Pat this was my first thought too....

Re:575? (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172466)

Just add some choice expletives?

Re:575? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32173252)

build yourself a fucking bridge?

Re:Boo Hoo (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32172110)

> Waaaah. Cry me a freaking river

Watch out, you may get sued from copyright holders of "Cry Me A River" by Julie London.

Re:Boo Hoo (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172336)

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.

Re:Boo Hoo (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 4 years ago | (#32173010)

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

With great power comes great responsibility (5, Insightful)

dacarr (562277) | more than 4 years ago | (#32171200)

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.

Re:With great power comes great responsibility (5, Insightful)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Re:With great power comes great responsibility (4, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#32171540)

Sure there is. It is called intimidation.

Re:With great power comes great responsibility (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172284)

Intimidation for what purpose? Just curious.

Re:With great power comes great responsibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32172534)

To create fear. You never know when you might need to wield that against someone else...

Re:With great power comes great responsibility (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172250)

And they'd HAVE to be parodies, seeing as any film of the original will be under copyright until 2015 (death + 70 years). See, they system DOES work !

Re:With great power comes great responsibility (5, Funny)

nlawalker (804108) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Re:With great power comes great responsibility (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#32171568)

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

Re:With great power comes great responsibility (2, Interesting)

HideyoshiJP (1392619) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172004)

Sadly, you can't flag blatant copyright violations unless you own them. I tried to flag some car dealership using a movie clip with their dealership's name pasted over it in a crappy font for an advertisement that I'm pretty sure they did not license, but it screamed at me because I wasn't the copyright holder.

Re:With great power comes great responsibility (3, Interesting)

Changa_MC (827317) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172606)

...car dealership using a movie clip with their dealership's name pasted over it in a crappy font for an advertisement that I'm pretty sure they did not license....

there's your problem.
Since you don't know anything, mind your own business.

Re:With great power comes great responsibility (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#32171944)

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.

Re:With great power comes great responsibility (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172326)

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.

Re:With great power comes great responsibility (1)

ooshna (1654125) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172714)

Who lives in the east 'neath the willow tree? Sexual Harassment Panda. Who explains sexual harassment to you and me? Sexual Harassment Panda. "Don't say that! Don't touch there! Don't be nasty!" says the silly bear. He's come to tell you what's right and wrong. Sexual Harassment Panda.

Re:With great power comes great responsibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32172748)

Wouldn't work. Patents offer no protection to the little guy. You need a mega-million $ legal army to give you patent rights.

Re:With great power comes great responsibility (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#32171966)

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).

Re:With great power comes great responsibility (5, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 4 years ago | (#32171702)

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:With great power comes great responsibility (2, Funny)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172084)

...litigation is cheaper and easier than innovation.

Yeah, there oughta be a law against that..

Re:With great power comes great responsibility (2, Interesting)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172174)

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' BS. Going above and beyond what is remotely required of them by law to stop any form of piracy. And claims abuses where anyone with contraversial views gets banned every once in a while because their enemies got together and reported them for infringement. Putting the onus on the uploader often to proove he was the creator of the content rather than the one with the takedown claim.

I realize that Google is mostly just following the law but... It is one that they should be trying to subvert whenever they can (like restricted-speech in China, or net-neut breaking ISPs everywhere). If not for the people, then do it for the business, one day youtube will have a decent competitor and it will drop like a stone (likely though Google search will take over (ie everyone takes over) as it should have from the start rather than centralizing in youtube).

Re:With great power comes great responsibility (2, Informative)

Zancarius (414244) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172636)

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.

Re:With great power comes great responsibility (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172014)

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.

Putting the responsibility on every website to prevent copyright violations would be *insane*. For example, is Slashdot supposed to go through every post on this site with a group of lawyers, researching and vetting the content of the post for copyright infringement? And what if I quote part of an article from a copyrighted news article? It's probably "fair use", but it's hard to know where to draw the line. Sometimes when a site has been slashdotted, someone will post the contents of the entire article. That's probably not quite fair use, but it's far from being malicious, so do you need to take that to court every time it comes up?

No. Copyright has always been something where it's up to the copyright holders how strictly they want to enforce the copyright. I could produce a movie, copyright the movie, and purposefully choose not to enforce that copyright. Even if I never choose to license it to anyone under any circumstances, I can allow it to be distributed widely simply by refusing to prosecute. Without a license, anyone distributing the content is opening themselves up for legal action should I choose to enforce the copyright, but those people are safe so long as I never ask them to stop or bring legal action.

Re:With great power comes great responsibility (2, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172332)

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.

The brief also shows a lack of understanding of technology. While Youtube (when notified) removes a copyrighted video, it argues this is not enough; Youtube should remove all the videos of the same copyrighted work. This detection is not easy. The problem is that while there exists some technology that assist in this, it's not perfect. The brief seems to imply that this detection is an easy thing technologically and that Youtube simply isn't doing it. Copyright owners should not be responsible for finding all videos and this should be the entire responsibility of Youtube, the brief argues.

Throw em a bone (1)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 4 years ago | (#32171330)

Maybe youtube should try to police the material for a few days as a demonstration of how ridiculous such an attempt would be.

Re:Throw em a bone (5, Insightful)

Captain Spam (66120) | more than 4 years ago | (#32171428)

Maybe youtube should try to police the material for a few days as a demonstration of how ridiculous such an attempt would be.

What human beings think when they see this:

1. Request is made for YouTube to police everything.
2. YouTube grudgingly complies.
3. Obvious difficulties are revealed.
4. YouTube cannot keep up.
5. People see and realize the problems, reconsider.

What executives think when they see this:

1. Request is made for YouTube to police everything.
2. YouTube grudgingly complies.
3. Someone else is doing the work for them; delegation successful, YouTube is now entirely responsible, this is no longer the concern of those requesting it.
4. Any future difficulties in this are obviously failures on YouTube's fault. Report as such.
5. Keep going until YouTube is dead; this is called "beating the competition". Declare victory.

Re:Throw em a bone (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32171518)

And bill Viacom at $500/hr (times, say, the 100+ people checking videos) for "copyright enforcement".

Re:Throw em a bone (1)

Tolkien (664315) | more than 4 years ago | (#32171980)

Pocket change. Add three zeros to the billing rate.

Re:Throw em a bone (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172458)

Not a good idea. They know very well it can't be done - otherwise they'd just do it. What they want instead, is someone to blame. You see if they try it and fail, then they're screwed. If Youtube tries it and fails, then the content industry is free to sue them out of existence (which is what they really want anyways).

Hahahahahahaha (5, Funny)

Eudial (590661) | more than 4 years ago | (#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!

Re:Hahahahahahaha (-1, Troll)

khellendros1984 (792761) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172024)

You are an asshat, if only for the style of your post.

Viacom (and other media companies) are being unreasonable because they issue DMCA takedown notices for things they don't even own, as well as parodies and other protected speech. Youtube is already going above and beyond what they're legally required to do (which is obey DMCA notices), and they've got various pieces of software to help automate looking for copyright infringements. The media is damn lucky Google has chosen to do what it has. Doing more would just be ridiculous for Google/Youtube.

Uh, yes it was... (2, Insightful)

Ossifer (703813) | more than 4 years ago | (#32171472)

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

Re:Uh, yes it was... (1)

Sneeje (1172707) | more than 4 years ago | (#32171612)

Yeah, and if it is too hard for Viacom, exactly how is it easier for YouTube who has significantly less visibility into what is infringing?

Re:Uh, yes it was... (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172478)

More importantly, if the value of the copyrighted material isn't high enough to justify the expense of making sure it is not on Youtube, what's the problem? Or to put it another way, if Viacom's product isn't worth enough to justify ensuring that content infringing on it isn't on Youtube, maybe Viacom should consider creating higher value content.

Re:Uh, yes it was... (1)

forkazoo (138186) | more than 4 years ago | (#32171678)

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 for the harm they have caused you, it's perfectly reasonable to expect that you be aware of the harm. I mean, imagine if there were lawyers following everybody but me around every day, and every time somebody said something mean behind my back, they got sued for harassment without my having to be aware of it or do anything at all. Quote me in conversation without expressed permission: copyright lawsuit. Happen to be going down the same street as me: stalking. 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.

Re:Uh, yes it was... (1)

tagno25 (1518033) | more than 4 years ago | (#32171750)

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.

Re:Uh, yes it was... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32171786)

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 for the harm they have caused you, it's perfectly reasonable to expect that you be aware of the harm. I mean, imagine if there were lawyers following everybody but me around every day, and every time somebody said something mean behind my back, they got sued for harassment without my having to be aware of it or do anything at all. Quote me in conversation without expressed permission: copyright lawsuit. Happen to be going down the same street as me: stalking. 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.

You've almost captured Viacom's argument. Add in "the people being followed have to pay for the lawyers' time" and that's pretty much it.

Re:Uh, yes it was... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32171918)

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.

No, no, no, no no... (1)

schon (31600) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172156)

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... (5, Interesting)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

fourth branch (5, Insightful)

orgelspieler (865795) | more than 4 years ago | (#32171638)

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.

Re:fourth branch (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172222)

You forgot the fifth then.

  • Voting Public - Powering the whole thing and feeding both sides

Too big a burden??? (5, Insightful)

e3m4n (947977) | more than 4 years ago | (#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

Re:Too big a burden??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32172090)

It IS too much of a burden! Think of the length of time they are going to have to police their content for, what is it, 120 years now? And what if it gets extended again? Think of the networks!

Re:Too big a burden??? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172312)

To be fair, all they're asking the ISPs to do is police their own users.

If you're providing a hangout for lawbreakers, is it really too much to ask that you take at least some measures to reduce the harm to others?

Re:Too big a burden??? (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172378)

You're the kind of person who phones the police every time a kid skateboards near his drive, aren't you ?

Re:Too big a burden??? (1)

e3m4n (947977) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172450)

no, this is like requiring GAS STATIONS to make sure that car owners arent stealing fucking car stereo's from WalMart. Its not the gas station's fucking job to make sure WalMart isnt fucking infringed upon just because they buy gasoline for their cars and their cars happen to play stereos. Its WalMarx fucking job to police their own theft.

Safe harbor doesn't apply to YouTube? Bullshit! (3, Insightful)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 4 years ago | (#32171712)

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 (2, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 4 years ago | (#32171720)

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...

Almost every video that is uploaded is protected (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32171890)

"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.

Too big a burden? (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 4 years ago | (#32171892)

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 for Google to sort through all of these. The only option for them might be to shut down YouTube completely. (Which is exactly what Viacom really wants.)

Viacom knows best (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32171932)

If Viacom says that the DMCA wasn't intended to apply in this case, shouldn't they know? After all they should know exactly how the law they bought and paid for should be applied?

Too Much Stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32172058)

If it's too much of a burden for them, then maybe they shouldn't make so much? Or maybe they could release more things into public domain so that they wouldn't have to keep track of all of it.

of course! (1)

jipn4 (1367823) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172068)

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

In fairness to the cronies... (4, Informative)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#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:In fairness to the cronies... (3, Informative)

sburch79 (1790050) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172210)

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.

LMFAO (0)

endus (698588) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172244)

The description is almost too hilarious to believe..that they think it would be too much work to police their own networks. It's just so...its so far out there in hypocrisy land I can't even believe it.

It makes me want to develop a really awesome youtube channel that the networks would show clips of (under completely reasonable fair use provisions) and then sue their motherfucking balls off. I realize the insane hypocrisy of that, but hypocrisy is really all we have left. Anything that brings the collapse sooner is probably a good thing at this point.

If it's too big of a burden, rethink your business (1)

ikegami (793066) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172328)

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. This has led to Viacom mistakenly sending takedown requests for material it itself placed on Youtube. If Viacom can't get it right with regards to its own material, it would be downright impossible for Google to get it right for Viacom's material, much less everyone's material. It would be an even bigger burden for Google, thus the status quo imposes the least burden.

Finally, what differentiates "these sites"? Their size? Their success? By that argument, Apple should be responsible for preventing bank robbers from using an iPhone to organize their crime. That's nonsense. Liability must lie with those who actually perform the illegal act.

The argument is complete garbage.

Re:If it's too big of a burden, rethink your busin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32172400)

too big of a burden to find costumers

Why, don't they teach to use google [google.com] these days in schools?

Hey Viacom ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32172414)

Go fuck yourself!

And thats all I have to say about that.

This may be a silly question (1)

Rastl (955935) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172508)

How is playing a song during a home made video any different than it being played on the radio? In both cases the song is put into the public arena. Actually the home made video is better since it's not paid for by advertising.

Unless the media companies have some kind of shady practice to get radio stations to play their songs they're being a bit two-faced. [/sarcasm]

Re:This may be a silly question (1)

jimrthy (893116) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172872)

Radio stations pay licensing fees to be allowed to play those songs.

Re:This may be a silly question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32173032)

that makes sense only if the song in question is currently in rotation on the radio... the media companies have the right to only release certain songs, and do so however they see fit.

good while it lasted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32172802)

if safe harbor were given to these sites, it would put too big a burden on networks to police their own material

and so the networks die. welcome to capitalism. what are you going to watch now, PIRATES?!#^&)

Misleading summary (2, Informative)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#32173002)

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.

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