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Google Files Amicus Brief in Hotfile Case; MPAA Requests It Be Rejected

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the complying-with-the-law-is-insufficient dept.

Google 214

An anonymous reader writes "Google has once again stood up in court for the rights of users and services online, this time defending Hotfile from copyright infringement accusations. [Quoting the article]: 'Google takes a sort of hard-line approach via the DMCA, telling the court that however the MPAA may try to mislead them, Hotfile is in fact protected under safe harbor provisions. And furthermore, Google suggests that the MPAA's approach is contrary to the language in and precedents surrounding the DMCA. The onus is on copyright holders to alert a service to the nature and location of an infringement, and the service's responsibility is to alert the user if possible and remove the material within a reasonable period of time.'" The full brief has been uploaded to Scribd. The MPAA, naturally, has requested that the amicus brief be rejected by the court: "Google's proposed brief appears to be part of a systematic effort by Google, itself a defendant in ongoing copyright infringement cases, to influence the development of the law to Google's own advantage — as well as an effort by Hotfile (whose counsel also represent Google) to circumvent its page limits. Google is acting as a partisan advocate for Hotfile, making arguments that Hotfile has or could have made in its own opposition to summary judgment. The parties here are well-represented and have the incentive and wherewithal to make all the arguments the court will need. Although Google purports not to take a position regarding summary judgment here, Google unmistakably seeks a ruling against plaintiffs. Google's motion should be denied"

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Google Gov (0, Offtopic)

lexsird (1208192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39411983)

Let's just elect Google.

Re:Google Gov (1, Interesting)

adamchou (993073) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412023)

Corporations are people!

Re:Google Gov (3, Insightful)

Monoman (8745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412043)

Can corporations serve jail time or be put to death?

Re:Google Gov (2)

rioki (1328185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412081)

A corporation can be disbanded by a judgment, that is basically the death penalty. It does not mean much though, since if the real criminals (CEO & friends) are not convicted of some crime, they can simply open a new one.

Re:Google Gov (2)

Monoman (8745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412153)

It is not the same. Penalties for breaking laws are established to discourage unacceptable behavior. I think most would agree that the death discourages behavior more than disbandment.

Re:Google Gov (5, Interesting)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412437)

Let's push that whole analogy a little farther:

One of the arguments against the death penalty being a deterrent is that many of the people it gets applied to are not capable of looking ten years or so down the road and seeing themselves in the position of a condemned killer actually strapped into an electric chair or on a lethal injection table. Our worst criminals tend to be strongly socially stunted and fixated only on immediate gratification and immediate consequences. They severly lack the empathy to put themselves in another's position, whether it's with their victims, or with other killers who have gotten caught and punished.
              Sounds like a corporation - relentless focus on a point no father away than the next quarter's profit statement, little or no concern for the long term consequences of their actions... The very act of calling disbandment a corporate death penalty says corporations have the mentality of criminals, and we are hoping we have come up with something severe enough to get them to look past the immediate gratification mode they are in.

Re:Google Gov (2)

Monoman (8745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412603)

I'm not arguing for or against the death penalty. I see your point and agree somewhat. Yes, some corporations exhibit criminal behavior. However, corporations aren't people. Corporations are run by people that make the decisions and create the corporate culture yet the people in the corporations are too insulated from the punishment.

Re:Google Gov (5, Funny)

machine321 (458769) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412301)

More importantly, can corporations get gay married?

Re:Google Gov (2)

hideouspenguinboy (1342659) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412499)

Or teen pregnant?

Re:Google Gov (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412613)

For shareholders and profit? That can't be right.

Re:Google Gov (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39412719)

More importantly, can corporations get gay married?

Technically yes, if you can find a suitable company for Apple to merge with.

Yessssss, Google... (0, Flamebait)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412085)

Because when I think "Google," I think "Oh, hey, golly, THERE's a corporation that's looking out for my rights, yes-sir-ree-bob!"

Jeezus... you fanbois are starting to get dangerous...

Re:Yessssss, Google... (5, Insightful)

synapse7 (1075571) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412173)

Google standing up for our rights is a side effect of Google picking indirect fights to protect their interests before the battle is in their own backyard.

Re:Yessssss, Google... (5, Insightful)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412391)

Exactly right, which doesn't change the fact that this is an argument we want Google to win because if the don't, we will lose along with Google and everybody else.

Re:Yessssss, Google... (4, Insightful)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412477)

The only reason Google is doing this is because this could directly effect them. If they link to copyrighted content, they could be held liable. This has nothing to do with 'standing up for the rights of geeks everyone' or whatever drivel the summary is espousing.

I agree, the fanboi responses to this are sounding dangerous, if not outright delusional.

This is a business decision, and a smart one on Google's part. The fact that it's good for joe user is a side effect. Nothing more.

Re:Yessssss, Google... (5, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412665)

Isn't that why people on Slashdot often speak out in defence of victims of the MPAA's crusade too? Because they think it's unjust, and realise if it carries on then they could be a victim themselves one day?

Or what, you thought it was all goodwilled altruism with no vested interest in supporting a specific stance?

Or were you just trying to troll Google?

Let's be honest, the only reason most people support anything like this is for self-interest, but importantly that doesn't mean it's wrong. Sometimes an outcome backed for reasons of self-interest is still the right outcome regardless of reasons for backing it.

Re:Yessssss, Google... (4, Interesting)

Hierarch (466609) | more than 2 years ago | (#39413001)

That's the point to good legal engineering: laws are written such that greedy self-interest tends to work toward the common good. It's a pity most laws aren't written that way....

Re:Yessssss, Google... (3, Informative)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412191)

Because when I think "Google," I think "Oh, hey, golly, THERE's a corporation that's looking out for my rights, yes-sir-ree-bob!"

Your point is valid, unfortunately, when it comes to privacy rights (essentially nonexistent in the US).
I say "unfortunately" because it seems that on most other measures Google is probably the least evil of the large corporations (most are incomparably worse), and tries occasionally to do something we can cheer them for.

Re:Yessssss, Google... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39412257)

Name someone better to do the job or get out of the way and shut your mouth.

Re:Yessssss, Google... (3, Funny)

El Torico (732160) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412505)

How about our elected representatives? Bwahahahaha...damn, I knew I couldn't say that with a straight face.

Re:Yessssss, Google... (2)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412275)

Because when you elect politicians you are not indirectly electing an other set of companies?

Re:Yessssss, Google... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39412379)

When it comes to our civil liberties, we should have no permanent friends, no permanent enemies, just permanent interests...

(10pts to anyone who knows where that line originates)

If this is an occassion that you find Google fighting in defense of your rights, support them with a cautious eye. If you find Google fighting against your rights, oppose them with everything else.

Re:Yessssss, Google... (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412467)

When it comes to our civil liberties, we should have no permanent friends, no permanent enemies, just permanent interests...

(10pts to anyone who knows where that line originates)

DuBois?

If this is an occassion that you find Google fighting in defense of your rights, support them with a cautious eye. If you find Google fighting against your rights, oppose them with everything else.

Which is brings to mind another old canard: "Politics makes strange bedfellows."

Re:Google Gov (1)

cpghost (719344) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412221)

Not available in your country: Google didn't roll out gOvernment yet.

Re:Google Gov (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412995)

Let's just elect Google.

After reading this I'm seriously thinking of removing google-analytics.com from Noscript's banned site list.

They aren't "defending rights of users" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39411991)

They are defending themselves, and only themselves, because Google owns several services that violate copyrights on a huge scale. Hotfile, or someone else, losing would be really bad for Google. Now, you may think this is noble effort, but do not twist it, tell it honestly.

Re:They aren't "defending rights of users" (-1, Troll)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 2 years ago | (#39411997)

[citation needed]

This isn't Wikipedia. "Citations" are not needed. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39412071)

What the fuck kind of "citation" are you looking for? This isn't the kind of shit that useless academics write useless academic papers about!

In fact, this is the kind of topic where citations are useless. This is at a much higher level than academic papers which merely state the obvious. This kind of analysis depends on experience, intuition, a knowledge of history, a knowledge of technology, a knowledge of business, an understanding of corporate relations and the impact of the law.

The broad range of knowledge needed in a case like this actually flies right in the face of academia. Academia today is about hyperspecialization. It's about one person knowing a useless amount about one very specific thing, while knowing next to nothing about everything outside of this very tall and very narrow silo. In an environment like this, you just don't get papers worth citing in the real world.

Re:This isn't Wikipedia. "Citations" are not neede (2)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412129)

Fine. Let's take it a step up:

Court fines and successful injunctions against Google relating to copyright infringement. With links to said cases.

Innocent until proven guilty, I believe that is what America is all about, right?

Re:This isn't Wikipedia. "Citations" are not neede (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412303)

I'm sorry? Are you really suggesting that there isn't huge amounts of copyright infringement on youTube? Google themselves may technically not be guilty of infringement according to the law, but since the OP wasn't suggesting they were, it's sort of a moot point.

Innocent until proven guilty, I believe that is what America is all about, right?

No, that's a principle in law. In terms of forming our own opinions, we can presume whatever we want.

Re:This isn't Wikipedia. "Citations" are not neede (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39412409)

several services that violate copyrights

Services can not violate copyrights; only people can.

Re:This isn't Wikipedia. "Citations" are not neede (3, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412579)

So are we just going to be nitpicking?

Let's rephrase entirely.

There's a whole bunch of stuff on youTube that is posted in violation of the copyright holder's exclusive rights to do so. Google knows this. They are also aware that if this ruling goes against Hotfile, it will lead to a precedent that could cause considerable inconvenience for them.

Google's main concern is not about the morality, or finding who's responsible, or even reducing piracy. It's simply about mitigating a potential risk to Google's current business model.

Re:This isn't Wikipedia. "Citations" are not neede (5, Insightful)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412849)

Youtube and similar services have a legitimate business model. YouTube goes above and beyond what they should ever be required to do, and their current policies are unbalanced to the point that they have a chilling effect on clearly legitimate speech. That the MPAA et al are still asking for more and more is irrelevant.

Also, I have no idea why you brought up morality, because copyright is not a moral system, but a practical one, and practically speaking, there are no further benefits to the public that can arise from any strengthening of copyright, and a lot of benefits that would arise from weakening it or enfrocement.

Re:This isn't Wikipedia. "Citations" are not neede (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 2 years ago | (#39413025)

Youtube and similar services have a legitimate business model.

Yes, but it seems the MPAA are trying to get a ruling that would put the legitimacy in question.

Also, I have no idea why you brought up morality,

I thought I was quite explicit that it's not about morality. I brought it up because the way people were arguing suggested that they felt Google's ethics were being called into question. I want to make it clear that this is not what the argument is about.

Re:This isn't Wikipedia. "Citations" are not neede (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39412489)

Oh yeah? Excellent. I just formed an opinion that the earth is flat.

Re:This isn't Wikipedia. "Citations" are not neede (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412513)

Good for you. Hope that works out well for you in life.

Re:This isn't Wikipedia. "Citations" are not neede (2)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412481)

Innocent until proven guilty, I believe that is what America is all about, right?

Not anymore. Now it's "due process is not the same as judicial process", and you are free to go about your business until we drone you.

Re:This isn't Wikipedia. "Citations" are not neede (1)

Stormthirst (66538) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412633)

This kind of analysis depends on experience, intuition, a knowledge of history, a knowledge of technology, a knowledge of business, an understanding of corporate relations and the impact of the law.

That is what a citation is - a demonstration that other people understand can relay experience, intuition, history, technology, business corporate relations and the law.
An example for you:
Chambers Online Dictionary:
citation noun
1 the quoting or citing of something as example or proof.

Re:They aren't "defending rights of users" (4, Informative)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412151)

[citation needed]

This whole thread is already overrun with AC's, all posting bad stuff about google in sync and their are only 19 posts at present. Please do not respond to them, it is a waste of time and if they had any real interest in posting here they would set up an account and make constructive contributions.

Re:They aren't "defending rights of users" (1)

Zeromous (668365) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412397)

Or they work in the industry and don't want to get caught talking crap publicly about their competitors/vendors.

Just saying...AC has its place.

Re:They aren't "defending rights of users" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39412417)

So by your postulate ONLY registered users can make good comments? Hmm interesting idea, but wrong...

Re:They aren't "defending rights of users" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39412641)

their != there are

Re:They aren't "defending rights of users" (4, Insightful)

Americano (920576) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412485)

http://www.youtube.com/ [youtube.com]
http://picasa.google.com/ [google.com]
http://plus.google.com/ [google.com]

Three enough?

Ah hell, I'll throw one more in for free: Google Music (specifically, the "locker" feature) - remember, they never got official signoff from the labels that the music locker service was legit and they were okay with it. Labels could still go after Google for that service, though it's not clear that they'd actually win.

You don't think Google is *intensely* interested in the outcome of cases regarding uploads of copyrighted materials to online sharing services, given that they own & operate sites intended for sharing, and which can - easily & trivially - be used to share copyrighted content?

It's cool that Google is advocating for this, but make no mistake: filing this brief is also serving their own interests.

Re:They aren't "defending rights of users" (5, Insightful)

intellitech (1912116) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412021)

Perhaps their efforts are fueled by a more private agenda, but I still see Google as the least evil in the crowd.

Re:They aren't "defending rights of users" (2)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412109)

Perhaps their efforts are fueled by a more private agenda

PERHAPS?!?!!

Great. Now I have coffee all over my monitor, thanks to you...

Re:They aren't "defending rights of users" (2, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412227)

I still see Google as the least evil in the crowd

Then you are delusional. Google is acting in the interests of Google. The MPAA is acting in the interests of... no one actually, but they think they are acting in the interests of the MPAA. The interests of Google at the moment align vaguely with the interests of the population at large (actually, so do the interests of the MPAA members, they just haven't worked this out yet so keep fighting themselves), but there is nothing altruistic about either.

Re:They aren't "defending rights of users" (4, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412725)

Google's interests align with mine about 100x more often then the MPAA or RIAA's do, and this case is no exception. That may not make them less evil, but it does mean that in cases like these, where I feel they are unequivocally correct in their arguments, they'll have my support. In fact, the most evil thing Google's ever done to me is collect my information and use it to sell advertising space, which given the quantity and quality of the software and services I receive in return I fell is well worth it. If only congress would enact legislation that guaranteed my right to a delete button on that information (in case Google's behavior changes in the future) I'd be 100% happy with the arrangement.

Re:They aren't "defending rights of users" (5, Interesting)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412889)

Why does one need to be altruistic to not be evil?

Re:They aren't "defending rights of users" (5, Informative)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412287)

Perhaps their efforts are fueled by a more private agenda, but I still see Google as the least evil in the crowd.

In fact, the Google Amicus brief is quite candid about Google's interest in the case. It's clearly explained in the very first section, right after the tables of contents and authorities, and before any of the brief's arguments.

Re:They aren't "defending rights of users" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39412525)

As the ...AA is quoted right in the summary: "to influence the development of the law to Google's own advantage".

Reminds me of the saying about politicians: The only time when you can believe a politician is when he calls another politician a liar.

Re:They aren't "defending rights of users" (1)

Dr Damage I (692789) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412039)

Astroturf?

Re:They aren't "defending rights of users" (4, Insightful)

an unsound mind (1419599) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412041)

You mean "Google owns several services that allow user-submitted content".

Because this is the current angle the MPAA is attacking competitors from. And we all know the MPAA won't be satisfied until every site has either shut down or been bought by their members.

Re:They aren't "defending rights of users" (4, Insightful)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412139)

Because this is the current angle the MPAA is attacking competitors from. And we all know the MPAA won't be satisfied until every site has either shut down or been bought by their members.

Yeah. Have you seen the argument they're using now? It basically goes like this: Sites where the most popular material is infringing are illegal.

Now let's think this through. The MPAA owns most of the copyrights on the most popular material. Which means all they have to do is not license it, and most of the most popular material users post will be infringing. What they are actually arguing, then, is that all user-generated content sites not licensed by the MPAA are illegal. They get a veto over technological innovation because all they have to do is do nothing, and not license their stuff to the new technology, and then the site immediately becomes illegal because the users post it anyway, and the MPAA can sue and destroy the site at will.

It seems pretty obvious why that should not be the law.

Re:They aren't "defending rights of users" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39412441)

It's the law because our society has decided that money=speech and that means those with money speak the loudest. You know, with Jack Abramoff out of jail and running around the country selling his book, I wonder what it will take for our country to figure out that his illegal activity was the LEAST TROUBLING compared to what he did that was (and still is) legal when it comes to lobbying our government.

Chris Dodd now out of Congress, represents the MPAA. Does anyone suppose Congressmen's, Senator's, and Staffer's future aspirations beyond government figure into the calculus of the laws they create to "regulate" who will in many cases become their future employers?

Re:They aren't "defending rights of users" (2)

Hierarch (466609) | more than 2 years ago | (#39413029)

There's still the compulsory licensing option. Not a great option, but it works around your argument. Even if we take your MPAA argument to the logical extreme, they can't engage in total censorship at will. They can just make speaking expensive.

Google avoids prior knowledge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39412427)

Google are not defending the internet here, its purely profits, it's in this clause here:

"Plaintiffs bear the burden of proving disqualifying knowledge."
"Courts have consistently held that to disqualify an otherwise eligible service provider under the DMCA’s knowledge or awareness provisions, the plaintiff must come forward with evidence that the provider had knowledge or awareness of particular infringing material but did not expeditiously remove it"

See, Google accepts DMCA takedown notices from the copyright holder, as it's required to do. However if it ever had prior-knowledge of copyright infringement, it would lose DMCA protection if it failed to act on that. You don't get the DMCA protection if you have prior knowledge of the infringement.

So what Google does is REFUSE to be told about infringement outside of a DMCA request from the rights holder.

They could have the latest Harry Potter movie on Youtube, uploaded by 'Bobski1972' from Moscow you could try to report it, as you click through their website to find the form to report it, you'll find you cannot report the infringement, only the copyright holder can. You hit a dead end page saying they only accept copyright infringement information in the form of DMCA take down notices from the copyright holder.

They refuse to be told of the infringement to keep the DMCA provision intact. Without that they would have to accept a lot more copyright infringement notices and would have to evaluate each individually to see if they are plausible.

But that would be expensive and they want to avoid that expense.

Re:Google avoids prior knowledge (2)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412957)

Why the hell should they make a system where they have to take complaints from third parties that are not experts on copyright and don't know if any permission was given? We know that companies have a history of uploading files themselves to make films appear 'viral', and there are lots of idiots that don't understand what fair use is, meaning that Google would waste a lot of time on false positives.

Re:They aren't "defending rights of users" (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412075)

Which of their services infringe copyright?

Re:They aren't "defending rights of users" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39412233)

Google acts in its self interest, nontheless what they have written in the brief is true. The DMCA safe harbor specifically puts the burden of proof of copyright works on the copyright holders. Who then inform the web service to have the infringing material cancelled. The MPAA instead wants the DMCA upholded and the revocation of the safe harbor provision. So yeah I guess every website that manages user generated content (Google in primis of course with youtube) isn't exactly cheering for the MPAA.

Hypocrisy much? (5, Insightful)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412005)

Google's proposed brief appears to be part of a systematic effort by Google, itself a defendant in ongoing copyright infringement cases, to influence the development of the law to Google's own advantage

Isn't this what the MPAA and RIAA have been trying to do with SOPA/PIPA and all these other bills? I guess it's only ok when they do it though.

Re:Hypocrisy much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39412031)

Yes, it is.

Re:Hypocrisy much? (5, Insightful)

firex726 (1188453) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412045)

That's the part that stuck out with me too.

It's a nice microcosm of our current legal/political system.
"Accuse your opponent of the same bad shit you're doing"

Hypocrisy as a pointer to particular bad behaviors (2)

davecb (6526) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412833)

That's amazingly common: IMHO, the folks who accuse others of X are often terrified that they will be accused of X, and strike out at other without realizing what they're implying.

This has the pleasant effect of making it easy to discover what they're doing, and afraid of being called on (;-))

--dave

Re:Hypocrisy much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39412127)

Isn't this what the MPAA and RIAA have been trying to do with SOPA/PIPA and all these other bills? I guess it's only ok when they do it though.

To me, this sounds like the MPAA is trying to keep their pet DMCA theirs.

Re:Hypocrisy much? (5, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412137)

Yes.

The legal system isn't about fairness, and those who are involved don't even seem to pretend it is any more. The goal of the lawyers is to win the case. If that involves making an argument that contradicts the one they made the previous week in every way, that's just how the game is played.

Re:Hypocrisy much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39412161)

The tone of Unknown Lamer's summary suggests that that would be wrong to do with an amicus brief.
Doing that using other means is fine, apparently.

(Frankly, I doubt the first. What would be the point of an amicus brief if you don't want to influence the outcome? Saying hi to the judge?)

Re:Hypocrisy much? (4, Insightful)

Trailer Trash (60756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412203)

Isn't this what the MPAA and RIAA have been trying to do with SOPA/PIPA and all these other bills? I guess it's only ok when they do it though.

More to the point: This is what they did with the DMCA. The irony here is that the MPAA's lawyers are arguing against the law that they or their cronies wrote.

oh, ffs, slashdot, get some journalistic integrity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39412049)

An anonymous reader writes

Google writes. (But that's not important.)

Google has once again stood up in court for the rights of users and services online,

Bullshit. Google's data acquisition power is, to my mind, the biggest threat to a free Internet. And it's standing up for its "right" to collect, index and distribute as much data as possible, including data from these services.

Google's proposed brief appears to be part of a systematic effort by Google, itself a defendant in ongoing copyright infringement cases, to influence the development of the law to Google's own advantage

Of course. That's typical of amicus curiae. A shame the submitter tries to twist this into some pro-Google propaganda.

Re:oh, ffs, slashdot, get some journalistic integr (2)

Theophany (2519296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412079)

Whilst I agree with your post - Google as a corporate with significant business interests that could be affected by this case will incontrovertibly attempt to protect itself - if it comes down to a question of mafiAA or Google, I'll take the latter every time. Better the devil that knows you than the one that tries to stick your ass in jail.

Re:oh, ffs, slashdot, get some journalistic integr (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39412189)

Google's data acquisition power is, to my mind, the biggest threat to a free Internet.

Why?

No, seriously, I'm intrigued. How does the information Google may have on you make the Internet less free?

Does any information Walmart or Visa might have on you make you less free when you're in a mall?

Re:oh, ffs, slashdot, get some journalistic integr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39412291)

- Data mining homogenises culture. You find out what people seem to like and emphasise it, either for them specifically or in general, entrenching habits and interests and reducing the opportunity for admission of new ideas. This results in stagnation and, if history is anything to go by, decline. Hell, Google's very "Pagerank" is based on making you more likely to see what other people have already approved.

To raise your Walmart example, while it looks like you're awash with choice (lots of differently coloured shiny boxes), coming from Europe I couldn't understand just how little there was in the way of good quality fresh food in the average US supermarket. And how the same flavour enhancers were in so many things. The whole supermarket experience in the US seems to have been refined to addict people to particular eating behaviour - analyse, reduce, analyse, reduce. A couple of decades on, it's as true in some of Europe.

- A single powerful entity collecting information about you reduces your ability to make meaningful dissent. You will be ignored until you start making a difference, at which point it is only natural for anyone to use any means possible to collect information to use against you. This is already a real problem in the UK, where various "anti-terror" laws providing wide-ranging government powers at central and local level have been applied for trivial offences.

Put another way, 17 years ago on the Internet I would happily discuss anything and distribute anything, at the very most employing something like anon.penet.fi. Every idea and every method of implementing that idea was fair game - you were responsible for using the information responsibly. I can't do that today. Most people are too scared of the consequences not of their actions but of expression of their thoughts.

Re:oh, ffs, slashdot, get some journalistic integr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39412365)

Does any information Walmart or Visa might have on you make you less free when you're in a mall?

Actually were it not for the law then yes, Visa or Walmart could make you less free. Consider this, Visa already has a very good profile on its customers. Think about it, every time you use your magic card, the transaction is recorded and the item you have bought. Now what's to forbid Visa from datamining all those profiles and then selling the information to insurance companies ? Hey customer X just bought several medical books on cancer. After 2 days you get a nice message from your health insurance that your costs have just gone up 'cause you're now considered a risk.
What about if you buy gay literature ? The examples are infinite.

Google has many different services. As long as those services are INDEPENDANT no problem. But right now they're not and they represent a danger to every single user of their system. Unfortunately the law simply hasn't been fast enough to deal with these new situations. But yes if you use google or facebook be very afraid. Your freedom is just one step from being sold to the highest bidder. And once its done, you can't push the reset button.

Re:oh, ffs, slashdot, get some journalistic integr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39412419)

Actually were it not for the law then yes, Visa or Walmart could make you less free.

Emphasis mine.

Your post was just a very long way of saying "No".

Re:oh, ffs, slashdot, get some journalistic integr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39412435)

If you think it is not a loss of freedom for a gun to be held at your head merely because the law prevents a man from shooting it (just yet), then you are a fool.

Re:oh, ffs, slashdot, get some journalistic integr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39412475)

Uh huh. Your life must be miserable. How can you function if you live in constant fear of someone doing hypothetical yet highly unlikely things all the time? Do you worry that the mob might plant a bomb under your car? Do you worry that a meteorite may fall from the sky and strike you dead? Do you worry that some crazy person might poison your water supply?

If the answer to the above is "No", then why do you worry about these other hypothetical scenarios that you've concocted with no evidence?

Re:oh, ffs, slashdot, get some journalistic integr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39412653)

Are you stupid or just trolling? The issue is not one of fearing anything which might possibly happen, but with giving someone so much power that all that's required is a minor change in the law for you to be fucked. Anyway, it's commonplace for people to be found out selling medical records in a legally dubious manner [google.co.uk] (why do you guys think you have HIPAA - or, rather, why do you think it took such a long time for HIPAA to appear?) - if you concentrate hard enough you might also find some fairly strong government [thisislondon.co.uk] pushes to sell medical data to private companies, part of the reason there was such a backlash at attempts to NHS records [thebigoptout.org] .

And anyone with the most basic security clearance will know that you do disclose information on your purchases because they will find out and ask you about it anyway otherwise. It used to be that homosexuality was considered a liability for certain intelligence work (Martin+Mitchell, Cambridge Five...). In the UK for tax or welfare investigations various public bodies (not just the police!) have the power to obtain copies of financial transactions without your consent, and government has repeatedly tried in the last decade to use its investigative powers to discover and freeze the accounts of suspected terrorists and their families - although some such orders have fortunately been quashed by the courts after years of fighting (HM Treasury v. Ahmed (2010)). So, in short, centralised databases of everything are used to abuse power all the time.

Re:oh, ffs, slashdot, get some journalistic integr (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39412827)

The issue is not one of fearing anything which might possibly happen, but with giving someone so much power that all that's required is a minor change in the law for you to be fucked.

So worry about it if they try to change the law!

And anyone with the most basic security clearance...

What the hell has the UK government and security clearance got to do with data held and used by private companies? Of course your government want to know everything about you if you're being trusted with state secrets!

Re:oh, ffs, slashdot, get some journalistic integr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39412977)

So worry about it if they try to change the law!

OK, you're stupid. 1) I gave an example of a present attempt to change the law on dissemination of health records; 2) waiting until "they try to change the law" is the worst possible apathy. If the law is successfuly changed then you're fucked, as you can't claw back that information.

What the hell has the UK government and security clearance got to do with data held and used by private companies? Of course your government want to know everything about you if you're being trusted with state secrets!

Well, let's see... firstly "security clearance" doesn't necessarily mean working as a CIA agent - it might mean something as trivial as working in a CCTV room for the police (to give an example from my family). And why should your government or, increasingly, a private contractor know the intended orifice of the dildo you bought three years ago? Why is this relevant?

Really, you ought to just sell me your full financial transaction and medical history for $5.00 on the condition that I sign a document stating that I will not reveal the information to a third party. After all, you now have the protection of the law, so there's no need to worry about everything I know.

Are you going to address the whole post or just a couple of sentences?

Google should fight the Copyright Alert System... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39412059)

If anyone should be trying to protect their revenue stream on this one, it's google...

If enough users hit their 5th or 6th strike, that would impinge on googles money.

We need someone like Microsoft (antitrust experience) to help fight this crap. Also, it couldn't hurt Microsoft to gain a little positive press.

Re:Google should fight the Copyright Alert System. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39412091)

I'd +1 interesting you if I had points.

Re:Google should fight the Copyright Alert System. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39412819)

We need someone like Microsoft (antitrust experience) to help fight this crap.

Except they lost, and only got off easy due to a change in political leadership that was more friendly to large, monolithic, monopolistic companies that occurred right when the trial was over.

Really? (1, Insightful)

wbr1 (2538558) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412135)

Google takes a hardline aproache to the DCMA? Why the hell don't they with Youtube takedowns then? I will answer my own questions, because DCMA takedowns are not threatening revenue streams there. Money with a facade of resppnsibility is all the are. Many companies have dispensed with the facade, google will too someday.

Re:Really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39412717)

Why the hell don't they with Youtube takedowns then?

Because goof balls that post content that is an obvious infringement of a copyright just use up their storage. Youtube has done more to get the truth out of Syria and other places around the world than the UN and the international media. In short with youtube Google has created something which can and has changed media on the WWW.

To suddenly force Google to suspend youtube for promoting the theft of property the way the MPAA, the RIAA and their shills at Microsoft and in Washington would have it would be a really stupid move. Most of the studios are actually putting trailers up on youtube and most likely have some interest in not having the MPAA get too aggressive with Google. The legal point that Google is trying to get across is that going after a service provider to punish those who use it in a way that they do not have the right to is not how to enforce copyright.

I watch and listen to Andres Segovia on Youtube and I am sure that if the European broadcast companies that originally broadcast the AV content or sold the DVDs that are now on Youtube wanted to take them down they could. However that would be just plain stupid as most of the content can be readily retraced and ordered if you use Google to hunt it down and then order it on line.

To my way of thinking Google and content providers can easily work together to make great content like some of the European broadcast AVs available for purchase by those who want it. I give you a for instance....there are great recordings done in 1965 of Wes Montgomery playing in Holland and England. The owners of the content put a snippet of the DVD "Wes Montgomery Live In 65" up on Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrSqVnzonhI They even did it without having to pay google as you can see there is no add even though the snippet is obviously just a promotion for the dvd....I bought the DVD and the audio on the DVD is great because it was done by Naxos not some bunch of goof ball rocker engineers! Mind you the VID is not exactly HD...but who the hell buys a Wes dvd just to watch him other than someone who is tone deaf ;-)

however as you can see,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1N4FaquZTw

Google does not allow people to do this without permission then again some really great stuff is obviously done with permission

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZEUjDoji3Y&feature=fvsr

Essentially Youtube is great because it can do all of this as well as being a window on the world that dictators like Assad cannot control. Hopefully the asshats at the MPAA and the RIAA will finally wake up and smell the coffee before the real potential of what is happening leaves the great parts of industry they control in the dust. In short Google is fighting the good fight here and if it loses this round then Microsoft, their shills in Washington, the MPEGLA, the MPAA, the RIAA and all the other institutions that are currently working together on the Microsoft sponsored "screw Google" campaign will have one more bit of legal amo in the ongoing fight to lock down access to media on the internet.

Face it the whole strategy is to have Silverlight based DRM become the only legally acceptable form of digital media on the net.
These bastard have been working on this for years and are not about to surrender even though WMV is essentially useless the idiots are still trying to force it down our throats.

The war is far from over but you can bet it will heat up big time if Google loses this round.

Re:Really? (2)

Hierarch (466609) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412875)

The "hardline" is with respect to the 512(c) safe harbor provisions of the DMCA. That is, the "Neener neener, you can't sue our deep pockets" part. And in that, Google takes a very hard line indeed, since reinterpretations here could cost them tremendous amounts of money.

MPAA: Accusing others of what they do themselves. (5, Insightful)

s-whs (959229) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412141)

Google's proposed brief appears to be part of a systematic effort by Google, itself a defendant in ongoing copyright infringement cases, to influence the development of the law to Google's own advantage

Pointing out the facts is not a 'systematic effort to influence the development of the law'. In fact it's been the MPAA and similar organisations that have been doing that, and the only ones who have been doing that, not by pointing out facts, but by describing their own fantasies (about how much they could earn, of course without thinking that if more money is spent on MPAA stuff, less is spent on other sectors in society) , and nightmares (about how much they're getting ripped off), and with their bribes (a.k.a. lobbying).

And of course these people don't even understand their clients: The obnoxious 'don't copy' ads at the start of DVDs is almost enough to make me want to 'pirate' stuff.

Accusing others of what they do themselves is something I found to be a typical trait of sociopaths in humans, and corporations are designed and geared to be exactly that, which shows the problems involved with corporations. Reduce liability: If a corporations spout such nonsense as this, they should be held in contempt of court, i.e. everyone responsible: The lawyers, and the entire board of directors etc.

Re:MPAA: Accusing others of what they do themselve (2)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412401)

Pointing out the facts is not a 'systematic effort to influence the development of the law'.

[Begin MPAA Mode]
Why, of course it is! How dare they bring up facts that run counter to the MPAA's case! Don't they know that piracy costs content creators eleventy bazillion dollars every nanosecond? Don't they know that piracy results in twelve thousand lost jobs per second, cancer of the ear lobe, muggings, global warming, and the hiccups? Google should be immediately turned over to the MPAA to operate for the good of us all!!!! (Is that enough exclamation points yet? No, I think it needs three more) !!! (There, perfect.)
[End MPAA Mode]

Re:MPAA: Accusing others of what they do themselve (1)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412669)

Pointing out facts seems to be a perfectly reasonable way to influence the law. Preventing it to be bend out of shape by fantasies is also influencing it. Just in a reasonable way.

Poster beware: pasting here out of the filing... (3, Funny)

American Patent Guy (653432) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412265)

This is the MPAA you're quoting, after all. I recognize your right to a fair use of their work of authorship, but it's doubtful their lawyers would with the positions they take... A C&D letter might be in your future...

Interesting legal argument (4, Insightful)

kikito (971480) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412325)

"Our opponents are trying to defend their interests, therefore their request should be denied"

Well played, MPAA lawyers.

Seriously. How much are these guys billing per hour?

Re:Interesting legal argument (4, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412949)

One of the arguments that the RIAA and MPAA always make against amicus curae briefs like these is that they are not impartial. By definition amicus curae briefs are third-party. They are gambling that the judges do not know that third party is not the same as impartial.

MPAA/RIAA becoming increasingly shrill (4, Interesting)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412329)

At this point they're starting to sound like a petulant child, repeatedly throwing temper tantrums and screaming "NO NO NO!!!" over and over again. Or would a better analogy be a guy standing in the middle of a flood, trying to stop the rushing waters by holding out his hands?

Re:MPAA/RIAA becoming increasingly shrill (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39412769)

They've become used to getting what they want, whenever they want it and being able to use the spectre of "piracy" - usually linked to terrorism and paedophilia - to have laws passed left and right to benefit them and now that people are starting to get wise to it they've run out of actual reasonable arguments.

All they have left now are ad hominem attacks and loudly raging about how it's unreasonable that anyone else should be allowed to exercise their rights in a way they don't like.

Google or MPAA? (1, Insightful)

halfkoreanamerican (2566687) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412335)

Choosing between two groups that may not have my best interests in mind... The MPAA never did, but google doesn't want to destroy the internet. In the future I cannot say this will be true, but for now I would stop at nothing to stop the MPAA. Bastards.

Wow... (3, Funny)

ilsaloving (1534307) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412385)

"Google's proposed brief appears to be part of a systematic effort by Google, itself a defendant in ongoing copyright infringement cases, to influence the development of the law to Google's own advantage"

Talk about projecting your feelings...

Re:Wow... (1)

Kleen13 (1006327) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412831)

How valid is the MPAA's statement? When I read this I see a kid in the playground with his hands on his hips saying "Not Fair!" to the teacher.

Re:Wow... (1)

Kleen13 (1006327) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412953)

Sorry, I'm redundant. crazyjj beat me to it.

What we have Google to THANK for... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39412501)

We have Google to thank for helping our congress figure out that the Entertainment industry isn't the only private interest with money to spend... er--uh-- contribute. When you have pro-corporate politicians on BOTH sides of the isle coming against SOPA and PIPA when both measures formerly enjoyed so-called elusive bipartisan support, that can only mean one thing:

It started raining money on the other side of the issue.

The tech companies are now large enough and rich enough to make themselves both felt and heard. It's only a matter of time before the entertainment industry stops their offense and goes for a negotiated settlement. Their business models are in jeopardy and as they lose their ability to rig the game in their favor their days are only going to get darker not brighter. They're scared and they should be.

Absurd statement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39412733)

"Google has once again stood up in court for the rights of users and services online"

Oh my God... I can't hold it back... BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! What an idiot.

Proposed reply (3, Interesting)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412903)

Google should just change a few words and use the MPAA quote as a template:

The MPAA's proposed prosecution appears to be part of a systematic effort by the MPAA, itself a prosecutor in ongoing copyright infringement cases, to influence the development of the law to the MPAA's own advantage. The MPAA is acting as a partisan persecutor of Hotfile, making arguments that the MPAA has or could have made in its own support of a summary judgment. The parties here are well-represented and have the incentive and wherewithal to make all the arguments the court will need. Although the MPAA purports not to take a position regarding summary judgment here, the MPAA unmistakably seeks a ruling in favour of the plaintiffs. The MPAA's charges should be dismissed.

Yeah, but...Google is right (2)

crndg (1322641) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412971)

There seems to be a lot of discussion about Google's motives and how the MPAA is acting. But at least from my understanding of the law, Google is right. The safe harbor provision to DMCA was made for exactly the reason Google says, and the MPAA is trying to grab more legal power, beyond the vast powers DMCA already grants them.

I'm not a knee-jerk Google fan-boy, and I understand Google has a dog in the fight, but in this case, Google is right.

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