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Google Deal Allegedly Lets UMG Wipe YouTube Videos It Doesn't Own

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the sounds-about-right dept.

Google 392

Sockatume writes "Ars Technica is reporting that Google has given music conglomerate UMG the right to arbitrarily eliminate YouTube videos. When UMG had Megaupload's 'Mega Song' removed from the site, it was assumed that they had made a DMCA claim, and that YouTube was responding under its 'safe harbor' obligations. Megaupload's legal response argues that UMG has no grounds to request a DMCA takedown. However in court filings (PDF), UMG claims that its licensing agreement with Google gives it the power and authority to unilaterally wipe videos from the site, bypassing the DMCA entirely. If true, that means that your activities on YouTube are not just curtailed by the law, but by the terms of their secret agreements with media conglomerates."

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And you think the DMCA and SOPA are bad. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38399342)

Big Content doesn't need a law to shut you down.

Re:And you think the DMCA and SOPA are bad. (4, Interesting)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | about 2 years ago | (#38399486)

And Google is helping them to abuse little guys. "Don't be evil", huh?

Re:And you think the DMCA and SOPA are bad. (-1, Troll)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | about 2 years ago | (#38399568)

Oh Jesus.

I guess their obligation is to absorb infinite lawsuits on behalf of every kid who puts music on their videos?

How about you go start your own corporation and run it on good intentions.

Re:And you think the DMCA and SOPA are bad. (5, Insightful)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 2 years ago | (#38399712)

Or how about Google changes their motto to reflect their reality.

http://www.google.com/about/corporate/company/tenthings.html [google.com]

Re:And you think the DMCA and SOPA are bad. (5, Insightful)

Pieroxy (222434) | about 2 years ago | (#38399828)

Since you did put the link up, you should have read it.

They don't claim that their motto is "don't be evil", they claim that they believe that you can make money without doing evil. It is different.

Re:And you think the DMCA and SOPA are bad. (5, Insightful)

jeffmeden (135043) | about 2 years ago | (#38399876)

Sweet Cheeses, indeed. When the actions of the service owner directly contradict the very NAME of the service in question, yes it becomes more than "lacking good intentions".

The DMCA has provisions to let UMG and Google settle their disputes without a single lawsuit, but Google (apparently) chose the path of least resistance, giving the content enforcement job to a media company that does not have the user's best interest in mind. Certainly not "dont-be-evil" no matter how you cut it. If the cost of compliance on Youtube is too great for Google to bear, there has to be a better solution than just giving the keys to the castle away to a media company so they have free reign to take what is billed as a free and open video sharing site and turn it into "whatever UMG thinks you should be able to watch".

Re:And you think the DMCA and SOPA are bad. (4, Funny)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 years ago | (#38399990)

When the actions of the service owner directly contradict the very NAME of the service in question,

So they changed it from a series of tubes to a dump truck?

Re:And you think the DMCA and SOPA are bad. (4, Insightful)

jeffmeden (135043) | about 2 years ago | (#38400104)

When the actions of the service owner directly contradict the very NAME of the service in question,

So they changed it from a series of tubes to a dump truck?

Bingo. And not just any dump truck, one of those asshole dump trucks that drives around dropping 2" pieces of rock out the back and has a sign affixed to it proclaiming "Not Responsible For Broken Windshields".

Re:And you think the DMCA and SOPA are bad. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38400014)

Oh Jesus.

I guess their obligation is to absorb infinite lawsuits on behalf of every kid who puts music on their videos?

How about you go start your own corporation and run it on good intentions.

Complying with DMCA would prevent that. If this is true, Google have gone much much further in allowing UMG direct access to bypass due process and practice arbitrarily censorship on Youtube users. If you think that is fully in line with boasting about having much better values than competitors, not doing evil, and that Google shouldn't be kept to that claim when making it, then I guess we disagree about that.

"Don’t be evil. We believe strongly that in the long term, we will be better served — as shareholders and in all other ways — by a company that does good things for the world even if we forgo some short term gains." (Google Founders [wikipedia.org] ) ..."the slogan was "also a bit of a jab at a lot of the other companies, especially our competitors, who at the time, in our opinion, were kind of exploiting the users to some extent.""

And if true, I would put money on it being part of some larger commercial faustian deal with UMG. Can't see any other reason why they should go along with something like that.

Re:And you think the DMCA and SOPA are bad. (5, Insightful)

tgd (2822) | about 2 years ago | (#38399928)

Anyone who believes a "don't be evil" tag from any public corporation is fooling themselves, especially a corporation whose entire reason for existance is advertising. *You* are not their customer. You are a product they sell to their customer -- something its always good to keep in mind with these companies.

And, as they say, the customer is always right.

Re:And you think the DMCA and SOPA are bad. (0, Troll)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 years ago | (#38399978)

Wasnt google sued by several companies due to their resistance to filtering videos?

Yea, but I guess their duty is to run Youtube into the ground through litigation, right?

Re:And you think the DMCA and SOPA are bad. (4, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 2 years ago | (#38400028)

Actually this may be a very good thing. Talk about giving someone enough rope to hang themselves with.
The Megaupload video is so not important. Them taking down the TWIT video podcast really could be a freedom of the press issue and one that overrides their agreement with YouTube.

Re:And you think the DMCA and SOPA are bad. (4, Insightful)

cpghost (719344) | about 2 years ago | (#38399808)

Soon enough, Big Content will own the companies that own the intertubes, so yeah, they'll do as they please. That's our Achilles' heel: we, the public, don't own the infrastructure, i.e. the roads. Of course, we could always piggy back an encrypted p2p network on top of commercial carrier backbones, but it will always remain a matter of goodwill from the backbone operators (and their corporate overlords) whether and how long we could do that.

And so it begins... (5, Funny)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 2 years ago | (#38399348)

This is the start of UMG's war against cats doing funny things

Re:And so it begins... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38399446)

I don't think they are quite that stupid. Cat videos are the primary purpose of youtube (from the viewer perspective) and a loss of cat videos would have serious backlash to all parties involved.

If people are forced to torrent for cat videos, they will quickly learn how to get anything else that way.

Re:And so it begins... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38399820)

People would quickly realize that using a torrent for "cat" videos might pull up an entirely different kind of "cat."

Re:And so it begins... (5, Funny)

tgd (2822) | about 2 years ago | (#38399942)

This is the start of UMG's war against cats doing funny things

If they can stop mine before, say, 6am, I might change my mind on this whole thing ...

Nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38399352)

If that's true, maybe an alternative to YouTube will actually get some traction.

Re:Nice (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38399660)

You underestimate the laziness and complacency of the average internet user

UMG is screwed (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 2 years ago | (#38399360)

This will come and bite UMG in the ass, and hopefully hard. Well, I can hope.

Re:UMG is screwed (4, Insightful)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | about 2 years ago | (#38399416)

How would it bite UMG in the ass? They made a deal with Google. You should blame Google for making such deals when they aren't required to.

Re:UMG is screwed (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 2 years ago | (#38399478)

Lawsuit. Google as well. In fact, if I was Megaload, I'd be suing both of them. However, the actual takedown came from UMG. On the other hand, I said "I can hope" ... so .. I'll keep hoping

Re:UMG is screwed (3, Informative)

mr1911 (1942298) | about 2 years ago | (#38399562)

Lawsuit. Google as well. In fact, if I was Megaload, I'd be suing both of them.

Sue on what grounds? They took an action that is within their TOS that you agreed to. What is your basis for harm? Would a judgement refunding your full subscription price of a full service make you happy?

There is plenty to dislike about this story, but responses to stupid actions do not need to include even stupider actions.

Re:UMG is screwed (3, Insightful)

Kneo24 (688412) | about 2 years ago | (#38399606)

Lawsuit for what specifically? Why wouldn't Google have the right to take down content on it's websites at will? What law says they can't do this? I'm not saying Google or UMG is in the right ethically speaking, but everyone screaming, "ZOMG LAWSUIT!!!!!111oneoneone" is rather pointless.

Re:UMG is screwed (2)

Forbman (794277) | about 2 years ago | (#38399888)

Fair Use. In other words, if UMG bought the copyright to "Happy Birthday", how many vids from YouTube would suddenly be taken down?

Re:UMG is screwed (2)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | about 2 years ago | (#38399954)

Fair use still doesn't matter. It is Google's property. It makes them giant assholes, but they didn't break any fair use or other laws.

Re:UMG is screwed (4, Insightful)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 years ago | (#38400086)

Its a private website, Google is not required to host your content, nor to be unbiased about what content they show, nor are they forbidden from shopping your videos, or taking them down, or deleting them, or killing your whole google account if they want.

You need to take a step back and remember that "free video hosting by google" is not a constitutional right.

Re:UMG is screwed (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#38399610)

On what grounds? Google is entirely within their rights to take down any video on YouTube for any reason whatsoever. Quoth the TOS:

J. YouTube reserves the right to discontinue any aspect of the Service at any time.

Antitrust Grounds. (4, Insightful)

MickLinux (579158) | about 2 years ago | (#38399742)

Just theoretically ... not knowing what I'm talking about, I might guess that MegaUpload probably has a basis for claiming that they are competition. Such a secret agreement, if it existed, would be in violation of antitrust laws.

It wouldn't give you anything against Google, probably, but it definitely would give you something against the media overlords.

The thing to do, actually, would be to search out all *others* who had similar problems, if they existed, and file a joint lawsuit. No, not class action -- only the lawyers benefit from that. Just a joint lawsuit.

Restraint of Trade, and/or Libel (4, Interesting)

billstewart (78916) | about 2 years ago | (#38399886)

Megaupload is a business, and this video is basically an ad for them. UMG is claiming that they've got an agreement that lets them shut down content they don't like, and they're using it to shut down ads for their semi-competition, similar to paying a newspaper or TV station not to carry ads for competitors. IANAL, and I don't know how strong a lawsuit that gives them, but it should at least be enough to subpoena the shutdown requests and the alleged agreement between UMG and YouTube. If the shutdown requests allege violation of copyright, then they're also on the hook for libel.

Re:UMG is screwed (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 2 years ago | (#38399618)

Sue for what? It wasn't a DMCA takedown and Google has no legal obligation to host your videos. The agreement is vile but what statute are they violating?

Re:UMG is screwed (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 years ago | (#38400042)

How are you going to sue a private company with the goal that they be required to host your content whether you like it or not, for free, on their terms? Pray tell, what law are you alleging they have broken?

Im sorry, I fully support the right of any provider of a free service to set their own terms and tell you to get bent if you dont like it.

Re:UMG is screwed (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 2 years ago | (#38399602)

The deal was almost certainly coercive, although we don't know how coercive it is. They are trying to buy EMI right now, so it's poor timing to be an asshole.

Re:UMG is screwed (1)

ZipK (1051658) | about 2 years ago | (#38399756)

You should blame Google for making such deals when they aren't required to.

What does "required to" have to do with the issue? The relevant mechanism is "choose to," as in choosing what's best for Google's business. Cozying up to Universal versus pissing off some minuscule portion of the interweb is a decision denominated in dollars.

Welp (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38399366)

Time to sue Google! I'm sure THAT will end well.

Again and again (4, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | about 2 years ago | (#38399372)

Again and again, Google proves that it's beholden to the big content publishers and does everything they ask. "Don't be evil," indeed.

Re:Again and again (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38399426)

This is the first time I've ever agreed with anyone claiming Google has done something evil.
There is no excuse for this whatsoever.
I, for one, reject our corporate censor overlords.

Re:Again and again (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38399630)

Well, there is an excuse, I assume MGU could have told google, give us a deal or else we gonna sue you for infringing video.
Even with the pockets of google, if you had to defend against that number of lawsuits, it would cost a lot. But I have to agree, this is something very stupid that google did.

Then leave YouTube behind (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#38399430)

I posted the solution [slashdot.org] in a comment to yesterday's story: leave YouTube behind.

Re:Again and again (2)

Allicorn (175921) | about 2 years ago | (#38399470)

It's not longer "do not evil", it's "let someone else do the evil for us!"

Re:Again and again (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38399504)

We outsource evil is more catchy.

Re:Again and again (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#38399582)

I suspect that when your core business depends on building massive caches of copyrighted materials(for what one would hope is a non-infringing purpose; but search engine databases aren't exactly a fully litigated area...), with some side businesses in youtube, Google Books, etc, etc. Team Content is able to make some interesting threats regarding decades of potentially catastrophic legislation...

Now, lest I be misunderstood, I think that the fact that what are commonly thought of as free venues for expression are, on the internet, sometimes governed by secret contracts between unaccountable corporations is rather sinister(it'd be like living in a city where all the sidewalks were privatized and the nearest business given the power to have their rentacops eject somebody from their patch of sidewalk for any reason); but also a more or less inevitable result of the fact that there are no 'natural commons' on the internet. Everything that is 'on' the internet is there because somebody's server is powered up, connected to the net, and responding to HTTP requests. Every last inch of 'the internet' correlates to a piece of private property crunching data somewhere. The only hope, really, is to make it easier(with things like bittorrent, or distributed caching mechanisms) for little people to easily and economically set up their own chunks of the internet...

As for the 'don't be evil' though, do you really think that Google wants to take anything down from youtube, or give anyone a cut of the ad revenue on something they spent money serving? Why would they do that? It would be foolish to expect Google to stand up for you any more than their bottom line dictates; and that may not be very much at all; but I'm not seeing the motivation to reduce the supply of youtube ad-fodder unless their hand is being forced in some way. If they wanted to make youtube smaller, they'd just delete stuff themselves, it'd be trivial.

Re:Again and again (3, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#38399658)

It would be foolish to expect Google to stand up for you any more than their bottom line dictates

That's the exact same line we've heard for decades excusing evil acts from all sorts of corporations. That is exactly the kind of reasoning Google should avoid if they were ever serious about "Don't Be Evil". Turns out that they weren't.

Re:Again and again (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 2 years ago | (#38400076)

I suspect that when your core business depends on building massive caches of copyrighted materials (for what one would hope is a non-infringing purpose; but search engine databases aren't exactly a fully litigated area...)

That 'massive cache' is a side business. Google's core business is advertising, and everything else they run is sublimated to the twin goals of gathering as much personal information on you as possible, and serving you directed ads based on that information.
 
Seriously, it's 2011 (almost 2012) and Google hasn't been a 'search engine' company in a long time.

That would be surprising (1)

andymadigan (792996) | about 2 years ago | (#38399400)

I would be amazed if Google truly signed an agreement with UMG that allowed UMG to basically shut down YouTube whenever they wanted. If there are no limits on UMG's ability to take down videos, why don't they just take down all the videos and eliminate youtube permanently?

Re:That would be surprising (3, Interesting)

bonch (38532) | about 2 years ago | (#38399438)

They don't want YouTube to disappear, because they want to make money off of it. However, they also want to keep Google under their thumbs, and Google will comply like they always do because they're wholly dependent on content publishers in order to have content to put ads around.

Re:That would be surprising (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | about 2 years ago | (#38399994)

The overwhelming majority of YouTube content isn't from big media.

Re:That would be surprising (2)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | about 2 years ago | (#38399464)

Yes, because there obviously is no way for YouTube to reverse damage like that. If UMG chooses to abuse, I'm sure they will just say "Well, that was it. Let's go home guys." instead of, you know, undoing the action.

Re:That would be surprising (3, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | about 2 years ago | (#38399710)

Since google is required to respond to DMCA takedown notices anyways, does this even change anything? It amounts to nothing more than a mutually beneficial arrangement to reduce paperwork.

And let's face it, most of the videos up there have a copyright-infringing music track. I made an infringing video with over a million views, and it's still up. Then I made an infringing happy-father's-day video for my dad which was NOT publicly posted, and it was taken down within 2 hours. Probably because it was a Beatles track (he is a boomer after all).

Anyways, my point is, policing youtube is a herculean task. Since the DMCA gives all the power to copyright holders anyways, I can see why google would want to shirk the costs of enforcement.

Re:That would be surprising (4, Insightful)

ironjaw33 (1645357) | about 2 years ago | (#38399586)

I would be amazed if Google truly signed an agreement with UMG that allowed UMG to basically shut down YouTube whenever they wanted. If there are no limits on UMG's ability to take down videos, why don't they just take down all the videos and eliminate youtube permanently?

UMG probably didn't want the public to know. If they took down everything, people would find out, protests would ensue, and ultimately Google would remove this "feature". However, my making it appear that the takedowns were a result of DMCA claims, nobody would be the wiser. Of course, they would have to selectively remove content, but they were probably removing a lot more than they could get away with using only the DMCA.

It's like the codebreaking that went on during World War II. The Allies had gobs of actionable intelligence but they couldn't act on everything because the Axis would know the codes were broken and switch to something more secure. The Allies resorted to stuff like planting a guy floating in the water with a suitcase full of secrets as a cover for how they learned what the Axis doing.

Re:That would be surprising (1)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | about 2 years ago | (#38399832)

The Allies had gobs of actionable intelligence but they couldn't act on everything because the Axis would know the codes were broken and switch to something more secure. The Allies resorted to stuff like planting a guy floating in the water with a suitcase full of secrets as a cover for how they learned what the Axis doing.

So are you suggesting that UMG drown some guy with a suitcase full of CDs?

Multiple interpretations? (5, Insightful)

danaris (525051) | about 2 years ago | (#38399420)

I have to wonder if Google would agree with this. It's entirely possible (given that we do not have access to the agreement in question) that by one interpretation, it does allow UMG to do exactly that—but that this was never Google's intention.

It would be really fun to watch Google bring out the actual agreement and show how it doesn't, by a reasonable reading, permit this.

(And yeah, I know it's also possible that Google did, in fact, intend this, but in general, that seems unlikely, as it would be simply stupid for Google to allow something of that nature without heavy, heavy restrictions on it.)

Dan Aris

Re:Multiple interpretations? (5, Insightful)

Uhhhh oh ya! (1000660) | about 2 years ago | (#38399842)

I have to agree, I wouldn't be surprised if we are only getting part of the story. It wouldn't really make sense for Google to give someone the power to delete any video they saw fit, and obviously that's not how its being used seeing as this is the first mention we have heard of this secret deal. It seems more likely that they gave UMG delete privileges on the grounds that they only be used on things they have copyrighted. Some mindless office drone at UMG made the mistake of deleting it and Google didn't catch it in time to restore it.

Google has learned that creating a quality product without being sued is not an easy task and sometimes you have to shake hands and play nice with other corporations. There are groups of people who flag videos as inappropriate just because they don't like the message in it and yet no one called Google evil for giving stupid people sitting at home the ability to get videos taken down.

Which is more powerful? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38399434)

So, does this mean that a corporate agreement can trump a national law? Not arguing if the law is good or bad, but allowing a corporate agreement an end-around to a law seems, well, illegal.

Re:Which is more powerful? (2)

Kneo24 (688412) | about 2 years ago | (#38399496)

Corporate agreements can get around law only if they are legal. I doubt there's any law that states company x cannot allow company y rights to do things with company x's property.

Re:Which is more powerful? (4, Insightful)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 2 years ago | (#38399650)

What law is being violated if this isn't using the DMCA? Since when does Google have any legal obligation to host your videos? They can remove any video they want for any reason they want.

Of course, haven't we learned from... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38399436)

That legal agreement that people had to foreswear a class-action lawsuit and force them into individual arbitration?

Soon enough, McDonald's will only sell you the Big Mac with a contract that requires you to never eat at Burger King.

EVER.

Abandon YouTube? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38399460)

Is it time to start abandoning YouTube?

Re:Abandon YouTube? (1)

denis-The-menace (471988) | about 2 years ago | (#38399968)

only if you stop posting anonymous

This is preposterous (5, Funny)

Laxori666 (748529) | about 2 years ago | (#38399462)

<This post is no longer available due to a copyright claim by UMG.>

Re:This is preposterous (1)

nickdc (1444247) | about 2 years ago | (#38399690)

That's nothing I've already posted 9 times in the last hour. Mine were not given a courtesy message like yours...

I'm shocked that you are shocked (3, Insightful)

ciderbrew (1860166) | about 2 years ago | (#38399510)

Sounds like a reach around deal to me to keep each other happy. Youtube isn't a need or a right and they owe you nothing.

Re:I'm shocked that you are shocked (0)

Snaller (147050) | about 2 years ago | (#38400026)

And one day they'll decide life isn't a right, and you aren't owed anything.

Youtube alternatives? (5, Insightful)

sageres (561626) | about 2 years ago | (#38399526)

Can anyone recommend any Youtube alternatives that are just as fast and free storage and at the same time will not be bullied by UMG / MPAA / etc.?

Re:Youtube alternatives? (1)

d4fseeker (1896770) | about 2 years ago | (#38399850)

The main point of Youtube is not just being fast but being found
And every prominent site is bullied by the Corps one way or another

HTML5 and Flowplayer (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#38399854)

It's not free, but web hosting is a lot cheaper than it was in the mid-2000s when YouTube appeared. You could always put .webm and .mp4 videos on your own site on your own domain and use HTML5 <video> and Flowplayer (SWF wrapper around MP4) to show them.

I know this will be an unpopular perspective here- (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38399556)

Why wouldn't you expect that Google (a corporation) can control the content that you give them (youtube videos) any way they wanted?

You're giving them your content, common sense (maybe not so common?) dictates that they can control their service / business as they see fit.

Google has decided that their relationship with UMG is more important than their relationship with the users.

If you don't like it, boycott Google and all their services.

So There's The "Public" YT TOS... (3, Interesting)

BlueStrat (756137) | about 2 years ago | (#38399564)

...The one you read and agreed to before uploading content to YouTube, and then there's the "secret" TOS you aren't allowed to read and agree to before uploading content to YouTube, yet you are held to both?

Methinks YouTube will have some 'splainin' to do to a judge as to how that's OK when all others must disclose their entire TOS.

Strat

Re:So There's The "Public" YT TOS... (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | about 2 years ago | (#38399824)

No. The Terms of Service that apply to you are entirely public. There is a separate, private, secret agreement they have with UMG that basically allows them carte blanche to delete your video, though (or at least, that's what's alleged and supported by their filing).

So, what's new? (1)

Spiked_Three (626260) | about 2 years ago | (#38399570)

Every friggin thing I do, is controled/guided by someone else momentary agreements. I can't run a piece of software, including GPL stuff, I can't use my visa/MC to pay for anything unless I agree to their terms of use. I can't even play XBOX without giving up the right to sue microsoft. and let's not forget what happens when you don't read apple's newest 43 page terms of service (human centipede). If you added up the legal costs it would take to honestly thoroughly review living, it would cost $1,000,000 just to get by. This is capitalism - it's one of the bad parts about it. Things get out of control as science hones in on maximizing profits.
SO I do what everyone else does. I ignore it and hope it never gets me in trouble - there is NO other choice (in america anyhow). Any other thinking is plain la-la land.
I post videos on UTube. if they take them down, oh well. if they sell them for $5,000,000, oh well.
seperate but related - SOPA - this is one are where I actually agree with the republicans in principal - let the market work it out, do not grow government to protect the rich. let the whiney ass BMGs figure it out for themselves.

Re:So, what's new? (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | about 2 years ago | (#38399802)

This is capitalism - it's one of the bad parts about it.

No, this isn't the fault of capitalism.This is the result of a screwed up legal system if the courts don't slap down such a secret agreement about a third party's content when such third party has no chance for an informed decision, i.e. to be informed of such terms and conditions before they agree or disagree prior to uploading content.

Strat

Re:So, what's new? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38399864)

You have a choice, stop using credit cards, stop buying xbox games, stop participating in their crap and... if enough people take that attitude watch how fast they change their ways.
Until then they make money and "we the people" are to apathetic to come together and fight it.

"Do No Evil"? (2)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about 2 years ago | (#38399572)

I think Google needs to rethink either its corporate behaviour or its motto, because the two do not happily coexist.

Tortious interference (4, Interesting)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | about 2 years ago | (#38399576)

If they don't have a copyright claim wouldn't this be Tortious interference? From Wikipedia

"Tortious interference with business relationships occurs where the tortfeasor acts to prevent the plaintiff from successfully establishing or maintaining business relationships. This tort may occur when a first party's conduct intentionally causes a second party not to enter into a business relationship with a third party that otherwise would probably have occurred. Such conduct is termed tortious interference with prospective business relations, expectations, or advantage or with prospective economic advantage."

Re:Tortious interference (1)

robot256 (1635039) | about 2 years ago | (#38400024)

So basically, UMG is dictating to Google what videos it is allowed to host, and in doing so dictates the nature of Google's relationship with the posters. If by "business relationship" you can mean the hosting of a single video, or if UMG's non-DMCA takedown requests can also trigger account sanctions, then I think that is a pretty clear case of interference. The gray area, though is that Google agreed in advance to the terms under which UMG can select who to blacklist, so unless the signing of the agreement can be shown to be involuntary on Google's part I'm not sure if that counts. Basically, it looks like if UMG asks nicely, Google will terminate relations with anyone, but you can't prove they wouldn't have anyways. We cannot know exactly how this stacks up without seeing the text of their agreement.

Yes? (4, Insightful)

Rydia (556444) | about 2 years ago | (#38399598)

I'm astounded that people are, uh, astounded by this possibility. Do you seriously think posting things on YouTube is a right? The site is a service provided by a corporation and is almost certainly awash with "secret" agreements, just because of the subject matter of the site and how popular it is. I use sarcasm quotes for secret because Google has no obligation to disclose its contractual relationships with third parties because you, the user, aren't party to them.

Don't get me wrong, this is a pretty skeezy agreement, but let's not fool ourselves into thinking that YouTube is different from any other business asset. Its operation is governed by a load of inter-party contracts, it is controlled with no external oversight, and it exists to make money. The only difference is that we are now both the resource and the consumer, and I don't think people have quite internalized the logical conclusion of that relationship. Google doesn't owe you anything or exist to safeguard some specious rights. Everything between you and them is business, nothing more and nothing less.

Re:Yes? (1)

thestudio_bob (894258) | about 2 years ago | (#38399714)

Don't get me wrong, this is a pretty skeezy agreement,

Agree, but the thing is Google also has an "agreement" with their users. If the terms of use doesn't mention that they allow this, then Google is breaking their own agreement.

This is definitely bad PR for Google.

Re:Yes? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38399950)

If the terms of use doesn't mention that they allow this, then Google is breaking their own agreement.

They don't have to mention this specifically, as they already say "we can delete whatever we want for whatever reason we want".

Re:Yes? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38399752)

Exactly. YouTube is a private website. They have the right to allow and disallow whatever the hell they like on it. They have the right to delete whatever they want from it. They're under no obligation to host your video. They're under no obligation to bear the brunt of legal claims because users put copyrighted material onto their site without permission. It's their site; why on Earth shouldn't they make whatever changes they see fit to make it suit what they want?

Each and every one of you has exactly the same rights over your own websites. You'd be screaming blue murder if the law took away your ability to remove content from your website if you didn't want it. So why would you expect YouTube/Google not to have that same right?

It's been very nice that they've allowed people to host whatever videos users choose on their site, using their resources. But they're under no obligation to carry on doing it.

Re:Yes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38400048)

YouTube isn't a right. So, would you argue that this deal means that UMG can takedown Democratic/Republican propaganda for any reason even if it doesn't step on their copyrights?

No anonymous competitors? (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 2 years ago | (#38399668)

I'm surprised that there are no anonymous competitors by now. Sort of a bittorrent model where videos are spread across many hosts, and are encrypted such that the hosting computer doesn't even know what it's hosting.

Google is quite Trusting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38399676)

I'm amazed that Google is so trusting of UMG. Now they could basically shutdown YouTube entirely if they so desired.

Google Music (1)

Severus Snape (2376318) | about 2 years ago | (#38399680)

Google needs to keep the labels sweet. Their Google Music product (which is in a US only beta stage for those who aren't familiar with it) needs deals with them to succeed and at the moment I don't think everything is sorted. It's a major product for them and they can't afford another big product to fail. It's fair enough to assume Google will grant them favours, in this case control over content on Youtube to get deals sorted.

Best Part of TFA (5, Funny)

TheSpoom (715771) | about 2 years ago | (#38399706)

But more importantly, Universal argues that its takedown is not governed by the DMCA in the first place. In a statement supporting Megaupload's complaint, CIO Kim Dotcom had stated "it is my understanding" that Universal had invoked the DMCA's notice-and-takedown provisions.

That is the best name for a CIO ever.

Re:Best Part of TFA (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38399946)

Kim Schmitz (born January 21, 1974), also known as Kimble[1] and Kim Dotcom,[2] is a German computer criminal and businessman who has generated much publicity and was convicted of credit card fraud, computer fraud, insider trading, and embezzlement. Schmitz is also one of the leaders of the website Megaupload

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Schmitz

Re:Best Part of TFA (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38399958)

Don't get too excited. His real name is Kim Schmitz [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Best Part of TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38399980)

Are you stupid enough to believe it's not a fabricated fantasy name? Because it is. Moron.

What about Vimeo? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38399724)

Megaupload's song was removed from Vimeo as well as Youtube. Does that mean that Vimeo has a similar agreement in place, or was that one an actual DMCA takedown?

Lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38399726)

All ur free speech r belong to us.

*video complaining about this very news item*

*UMG removes it for "copyright reasons"*

You get what you pay for. (3, Insightful)

rickb928 (945187) | about 2 years ago | (#38399814)

And I've never paid for any YouTube. At least not to see anything.

So better than complaining that free stuff has secrets, we'll complain that the secrets deny us free stuff?

If you want free speech, don't look to corporations to provide it. Eventually, this will come to the point where you'll pick up your truly free speech from a peer-to-peer connection, like a WiFi hotspot somewhere you happen to 'know about', then from phone to phone, or in the cafe. At least until they figure out how to block those outlets.

We are in the fight of our lives, to ensure we can preserve our freedom of speech, assembly, and redress. There is no assurance that we will prevail, either. It's a lot easier to suppress speech when it is under the guise of protecting other rights, despite those being largely the rights of corporations - as if they should have any. But that's another fight. Sort of.

Still brought to you by the DMCA (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 2 years ago | (#38399830)

While this technically has no direct involvement of the DMCA process, it was born of the interest of keeping in compliance with the DMCA and its processes.

This rather reminds me of Sony's request for an exemption to hack into people's computers to search for copyrighted material.

I think at this stage, Google needs to hear from its users (the eyeballs they get paid for having access to) and for them to demand that this practice stop as it demonstrably puts anti-competitive power in the hands of exclusive parties.

Alternatives to YouTube (1)

Animats (122034) | about 2 years ago | (#38399834)

I put my stuff on blip.tv, rather than YouTube, and have since Google acquired YouTube. But it really is my stuff. If you're creating interesting original content, blip.tv is a good place to put it.

So much for Do No Evil (1)

harl (84412) | about 2 years ago | (#38399882)

So much for "You can make money without doing evil"

Google. We're just like every other faceless corporation. Except you gave us all your private info. Thanks!

Great, now what's the DMCA for? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38399918)

Apparently the market has figured out how to handle its own business without the interference of the government. So now we can repeal the DMCA, right? .... right?

Do no evil... (1)

scorp1us (235526) | about 2 years ago | (#38399982)

Just outsource it to someone else...

Google slowly shots itself in the foot. (1)

Stumbles (602007) | about 2 years ago | (#38400012)

Boneheads.

Video has been restored!!! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38400022)

According to this article on TorrentFreak: http://torrentfreak.com/megaupload-video-reinstated-universal-says-you-cant-touch-us-111216/
The video is back. Google gave UMG an ultimatum: Show us a reason it should be pulled, or it's going back up. UMG didn't respond.

Yet another reason to ignore Google (2)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 2 years ago | (#38400054)

Google seem to be trying their best to the biggest douches on the net. I think I can safely say I won't be buying another Android phone again and I'm going to start migrating off of Gmail. I've already started using DuckDuckGo for all my searching.

Suspected all along (1)

uigrad_2000 (398500) | about 2 years ago | (#38400088)

I had suspected this from the beginning.

I really couldn't understand why Megaupload ever went to court over this. Youtube has the right to take down anything that they choose. They are a private corporation.

It seems naïve to think that they wouldn't make deals with big players for exclusive takedown rights. There would be big money in such a contract.

Megaupload would just be best served to just use this publicity as a platform. Give a link to the video on a different site, and hopefully it will hurt youtube's popularity also.

2 more things to consider (2)

X.25 (255792) | about 2 years ago | (#38400112)

1) Message claimed that video was blocked on "copyright grounds". Not on grounds of deal with Youtube.

2) Does UMG have the same deal with Vimeo?

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