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Viacom Says "YouTube Depends On Us"

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the one-sided dept.

Media 163

Anonycat writes "Michael Fricklas, a lawyer for Viacom, has an opinion piece in the Washington Post laying out Viacom's side in their $1 billion lawsuit against YouTube. Fricklas asserts that the DMCA's 'safe harbor' provisions don't apply because YouTube is knowledgeable to infringement and furthermore derives financial benefit from it. He also argues that putting the onus of spotting infringement onto the content providers represents an undue burden on them. Fricklas caps the argument by stating, 'Google and YouTube wouldn't be here if not for investment in software and technologies spurred by patent and copyright laws.'"

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163 comments

There's the real danger of Grokster (4, Interesting)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486345)

Grokster, if you recall, was explicit about saying that the company was guilty of contributory infringement only because they *encouraged unauthorized copying. The argument that "they benefited" from this copying was insufficient to that holding. Now here's the argument again...

Double dipping with the same argument should just get a case thrown out on the same day it's filed.

Re:There's the real danger of Grokster (3, Insightful)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486547)

I thought a part of the Napster opinion was that a significantly large share of their material was infringing. Now I know this isn't true for Youtube as it seems most of their content is user created. But expect Viacom to use this argument.

Re:There's the real danger of Grokster (5, Informative)

StormReaver (59959) | more than 7 years ago | (#18487037)

IANAL, yada, yada...

"Grokster, if you recall, was explicit about saying that the company was guilty of contributory infringement only because they *encouraged unauthorized copying. The argument that "they benefited" from this copying was insufficient to that holding. Now here's the argument again..."

I think you misinterpreted the decision. The ruling said that the plaintiffs didn't need to show that the defendants benefited from unauthorized copying by 3rd parties because the defendant's software's primary purpose was to encourage that unauthorized copying. The latter was sufficient to show liability for 3rd-party copyright infringement.

That being said, it's quite a stretch to apply that reasoning to YouTube. In fact, that ruling works in YouTube's favor as YouTube is marketed for the purpose of sharing user-created content. That it is being used (even substantially) for 3rd party copyright infringement is not solely the issue to determine if YouTube is liable for its user's actions. In the Sony case, the Justices noted that VCRs were largely used for 3rd party copyright infringement, but were still protected because they had substantial non-infringing uses. Since YouTube is complying with the DMCA by providing a means for copyright holders to mark their content for removal (and the DMCA requires copyright holders to shoulder the responsibility for finding and marking infringing materials), and assuming that YouTube removes the infringing content upon notification, then I think YouTube will readily prevail.

In the Grokster decision, Justice Breyer noted that the Court cannot possibly decide whether a technology has future non-infringing uses when even professionals in the field cannot agree. As such, it strongly implies that if a reasonable argument can be made for probable substantial non-infringing uses, then it's better to err on the side of the new technology than to decide against it and stifle future commerce.

Grokster is little more than a footnote regarding YouTube, and seems to have very little applicability to it.

Still valuable without Viacom content (4, Insightful)

Random BedHead Ed (602081) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486351)

I've watched plenty of Colbert and other Viacom clips on YouTube, but I think it would still be valuable without them. I frequently view non-Viacom stuff, so saying that YouTube is dependent upon Viacom is an overstatement.

Re:Still valuable without Viacom content (1)

tijmentiming (813664) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486443)

If they are jealous, let them start there own youtube then.
Just like the Mafiaa should make their own bittorrent sites.

Re:Still valuable without Viacom content (2, Informative)

Phil246 (803464) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486673)

they are
Viacom bought ifilm, and other studios are working on their own version
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/03/22/nbc_newsco rps_newtube/ [theregister.co.uk]

Re:Still valuable without Viacom content (1)

aplusjimages (939458) | more than 7 years ago | (#18487029)

Let's see how well those sites do as far as users. No one will use them if they are heavily controlled. If they aren't heavily controlled then expect some non-viacom copyright material to show up on there. Expect Viacom to be in Youtubes shoes.

Re:Still valuable without Viacom content (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486677)

You mean like ifilm?

Re:Still valuable without Viacom content (4, Insightful)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486909)

I've never watched a Viacom clip on YouTube. Whenever YouTube makes the news (Other than when they're being sued) it's never because of a Viacom clip. Pretty much everything exciting about Youtube is due to what some guy created on his home computer, not something that Viacom created. What really has Viacom execs shitting their pants is the idea of thousands of users creating compelling works that Viacom doesn't own. It's the idea that you don't need billions of dollars to create content and reach millions of users. It's the idea that millions of users might actually want to watch something that some guy created in an evening's worth of work on his home computer.

Re:Still valuable without Viacom content (2, Insightful)

*weasel (174362) | more than 7 years ago | (#18487265)

At this point, youTube definitely doesn't depend on Viacom content.

But the problem with your broader argument is that the most popular youTube clips are predominantly not-legally posted. Just stroll through the most-viewed clips [youtube.com] every now and again and tally up home-made vs capped videos.

Sure, Viacom is the free-preview of video broadcasters following the RIAA's road to nowhere - but in the interim youTube really is deriving quite a bit of its value from not-legally-posted videos.

Re:Still valuable without Viacom content (1)

freakmn (712872) | more than 7 years ago | (#18487571)

One thing that I noticed when looking at the clips is that some of the content that is not homemade is still legally posted. One example of this is content from the user NBC [youtube.com] . There are quite a few SNL clips that are in the most-viewed videos, but they are put there by NBC, so they are legit. I don't know about any of the others there, but it is possible that some of the other videos that are not homemade are still legally posted. Just something to keep in mind when looking at those results.

top 20 at 9:40 central time (1)

paladinwannabe2 (889776) | more than 7 years ago | (#18487859)

Of the 20 most viewed clips, 10 are non- U.S. soccer games (may or may not be infringing, depending on copyright law and permissions in home country) 1 is a U.S. Basketball game (probably infringing) 1 is a Comedy Central clip (infringing) 3 are from NBC, 3 are user-created, and 2 seem like Japanese newscasts. So of the top 20, we have 2 infringing, 12 maybe infringing, and 6 legal. In the top 10, though, we have 1 infringing, the 6 legal, and 3 probables (the japanese newscasts and one sports clip).

So based on this totally non-statistically sound survey, it seems like YouTube gets a third to a half of its traffic from clearly legitimate content, and the rest of it is users ripping off someone else's clips/movies without consent (but might still be legal, depending on the country). Also, only 10% of the content seems to comes from Viacom (the two obvious infringements) so YouTube doesn't seem to depend on Viacom specifically.

Al gore still... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18486361)

Al Gore still has the one up on creating the internet. We should all just sue him.

Anonymous Cow.

Re:Al gore still... (-1, Redundant)

Azathfeld (725855) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486745)

This joke is not, and has never been funny, and the whole incident was a smear campaign [snopes.com] in the first place.

Re:Al gore still... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18486799)

During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet.

This is a quote from Al Gore, in the article you linked to. It's funny to me.

Re:Al gore still... (3, Informative)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 7 years ago | (#18487669)

Forwarded email from Vint Cerf (vcerf@MCI.NET), September 28, 2000:

Al Gore and the Internet
By Robert Kahn and Vinton Cerf

Al Gore was the first political leader to recognize the importance of the Internet and to promote and support its development.

No one person or even small group of persons exclusively invented the Internet. It is the result of many years of ongoing collaboration among people in government and the university community. But as the two people who designed the basic architecture and the core protocols that make the Internet work, we would like to acknowledge VP Gores contributions as a Congressman, Senator and as Vice President. No other elected official, to our knowledge, has made a greater contribution over a longer period of time.

Wrong (-1, Troll)

CasperIV (1013029) | more than 7 years ago | (#18487049)

It's pretty damn funny. He's so arrogant that he actually states, even in your article, that it was his efforts to create the internet... he just likes to link his name to whatever is important at the time and hopes no one will check to see what he really contributed. Besides, no one needs to launch a smear campaign, just look at the guy. Yeah, and don't whip out the political card, I'm pretty much neutral (Not Democrat or Republican). I just hate stupid people.

Re:Wrong (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18487641)

no one needs to launch a smear campaign, just look at the guy...I just hate stupid people.

So apparently you hate stupid people, and judge people on their appearance. You're revealing far more about yourself than of Al Gore.

Re:Al gore still... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18487411)

It *is* funny, if only to light the touchpaper. The world and their dog knows that the quote was taken out of context/modified/made up/whatever because people like you whine and bitch every time it gets brought up. It's not like it was the first smear campaign in the history of politics (not that that makes it an acceptable tactic before you go off on one about that too).

they know.... (4, Insightful)

gravesb (967413) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486375)

They know Grokster doesn't really apply. They are pushing the envelope, and hoping to widen the precedent. If they can, it makes future legal battles much easier. Of course, it also eliminates DMCA protection for anyone who makes a profit, thus eliminating the only thing about the DMCA that was good for consumers.

Re:they know.... (1)

pmc (40532) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486489)

Of course, it also eliminates DMCA protection for anyone who makes a profit

There is (probably) no DMCA protection if you make a profit - I say probably because that clause is particularly badly-worded. The point of that get out I think was if an ISP let server space to somebody who infringed copyright then provided that the ISP didn't make any money out of the fact of the infringement then they were in the clear (but they could make money in the normal course of business by renting the server space).

What YouTube are doing does seem to be in breach of this - they (and not a customer) are directly advertising on infringing pages. Their argument that "We're advertising, but we don't know what we're advertising on" doesn't seem to fall within the clause above. This makes them liable. I'm not convinced of their argument that they are genuinely ignorant either - enough stuff seems to get pulled at quickly for decency reasons makes this seem weak. But that probably doesn't matter.

Re:they know.... (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486561)

Actually youtube doesn't have advertisements on the actual video pages just the rest. This is probably purposeful.

Re:they know.... (4, Insightful)

thebdj (768618) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486563)

How is what YouTube any different? Say your mythical ISP in question was, Geocities (now Yahoo). They have given you server space to host with for free, but this free page comes with advertising. Now, you are the one uploading infringing content, but they are the ones directly making money off of the pages with infringing content. Using your argument, the hosting company no longer is protected by the safe harbor clause and is now liable for damages. Of course, the company in question is not the one uploading the content, merely hosting it. Also, a request could be sent (and probably would be sent) to the host company for removal and not the "owner" of the page, since anonymity usually means going through the host company first anyway.

In the end, I think YouTube is no different then a web hosting company offering free space, so long as you put up with their ads. They do not directly control what is uploaded and therefore cannot be liable for its uploading. The fact that they make money should have absolutely nothing to do with it, since the DMCA does not say, "if you make money, this clause does not apply." I believe any ruling against YouTube that went against the safe harbor clause would go all the way to the Supreme Court, which might actually agree with what Congress apparently intended with this horrible law.

If any argument saying they make money off of infringement, and are therefore liable, is successful, it would destroy the safe harbor clause.

I'm not convinced of their argument that they are genuinely ignorant either - enough stuff seems to get pulled at quickly for decency reasons makes this seem weak.

I am pretty sure YouTube works on a reporting system for decency issues. As such, if someone tags an item it gets reviewed and pulled. I do not think many people are going around YouTube tagging infringing content, their reasons could be various. The DMCA puts the responsibility on the copyright holders to provide takedown notices. Viacom is not on good ground with the law in this case.

Re:they know.... (1)

Pollardito (781263) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486769)

exactly, YouTube isn't the only one that'd be gutted by this lawsuit and videos aren't the only copyrighted items that are posted on websites. if profiting by the service is the decider, ESPN had better hope that no one uploads a copyrighted image for use as their fantasy team logo. text can be copyrighted also, so you'd better hope no one reposts copyrighted text onto your blog that has advertisements. what are the provisions that Slashdot needs to have in place to prevent posting of text that violates copyrights on published works?

Re:they know.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18486789)

YouTube is a Website, not an ISP.

The DMCA does not provide any safe harbor for a Website. The DMCA provides a safe harbor for service providers (such as an ISP). YouTube will have a hard time arguing they are a service provider under the terms of the DMCA, because to use YouTube, one doesn't establish a customer-supplier relationship. That's different than buying bandwidth from an ISP.

Re:they know.... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18486899)

How do you figure? Free web hosters are not ISPs, you are not buying anything from them. You are getting free space in exchange for dealing with ads. YouTube is no different. It is offering you a place to host your content without charging. This content is just videos instead of webpages. Blogger is not an ISP, they are offering the same basic service (and happen to be owned by the same company). Are you saying that if I upload copyrighted images or place copyrighted text on my blog that Google is liable? They are the ones making money from that page, not me. By limiting safe harbor to ISPs, you effectively cripple the web.

Re:they know.... (1, Insightful)

pmc (40532) | more than 7 years ago | (#18487449)

By limiting safe harbor to ISPs, you effectively cripple the web.

There are several people replying to my comment with words to the effect of "That can't possibly be true because if it was the effects would be devastating." Sorry - that is not how the law works. It looks, from the badly worded clause, that YouTube are liable.

Here is the clause

In general.-- A service provider shall not be liable for monetary relief, or, except as provided in subsection (j), for injunctive or other equitable relief, for infringement of copyright by reason of the storage at the direction of a user of material that resides on a system or network controlled or operated by or for the service provider, if the service provider--
(A)
(i) does not have actual knowledge that the material or an activity using the material on the system or network is infringing;
(ii) in the absence of such actual knowledge, is not aware of facts or circumstances from which infringing activity is apparent; or
(iii) upon obtaining such knowledge or awareness, acts expeditiously to remove, or disable access to, the material;
(B) does not receive a financial benefit directly attributable to the infringing activity, in a case in which the service provider has the right and ability to control such activity; and
(C) upon notification of claimed infringement as described in paragraph (3), responds expeditiously to remove, or disable access to, the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity.


To fall within this safe harbor YouTube would have to claim that they fall within clause A(ii) - if they are genuinely not aware of facts or circumstances from which infringing activity is apparent, then they are the only ones on the planet. Perhaps firing up their own search engine and looking for "The Daily Show" may be a clue.

The (B) clause is a bit more subtle that has been made out - in the case of the free ISP they are likely to lack the ability to control such activity. The fact that you can still find violating videos on YouTube by using search terms like "The Daily Show" is a bit of a red flag that the controls (such as vetting any contentious terms before publication) which could be used are not being used.

There's a practical reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18486893)

"I do not think many people are going around YouTube tagging infringing content, their reasons could be various"

Well, the most practical reason is... How can a person tell it's infringing? I know that seems like a stupid question, but when you dig a little deeper... yea, if you see an episode of "Colbert", it's probably infringing. But to the average person, if you go to Comedy Central, the same clip is there, free to view, and so I get why it matters, but do you think it matters to the average person? They're both free videos.

And if somebody posts the latest TV commercial for Chevy, it's infringing, but the owner probably doesn't care. On the other hand if someone posts a video they've taken out their front door of random people, is that legal to put up?

The point is that legality of any kind of media is so convolute and complex, companies like Sony (at this point, anyway) exist primarily to clear the copyrights on this stuff (Ask someone from Sony if you don't believe me, I've heard a speech by the CIO of Sony America basically tell the audience how they do it). You can always find the easy case of infringement (a.k.a. Colbert), but if you saw a 1935 episode of Flash Gordon, you have no idea if it infringes. And no easy way to tell.

Re:they know.... (1)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486669)

People tend to mark the decency stuff alot faster than copyright stuff.

Re:they know.... (4, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486717)

This makes them liable. I'm not convinced of their argument that they are genuinely ignorant either - enough stuff seems to get pulled at quickly for decency reasons makes this seem weak. But that probably doesn't matter.

Probably due to the community clicking the "flag as appropriate button" and selecting the appropriate item from the drop down.

Note that any member of the site can mark any video as offensive; however, there is no way they provide for you to report a video as a copyright infringement, unless you are the copyright owner. There is a separate procedure for that. I believe the flag/'mark as offensive' feature means that Youtube is able to remove offensive content without personally reviewing every video -- in fact, potentially: the site can programmatically remove content, possibly automatically close the uploader's account and wiping out their other videos, without any administrative intervention whatsoever, if enough of the Youtube users clicked "flag as offensive".

For one thing, only the copyright owner can really be sure the content is infringing -- for all Youtube knows, you have made a private deal with the copyright owner allowing you to display the content.

Almost EVERYTHING with any artistic merit that is uploaded to Youtube is automatically copyrighted, without question, the question of whether something is infringing or not is more complicated than "Does your video contain copyrighted material?".

There is a possibility that a video includes copyrighted material, AND the copyright owner DISAPPROVES of its use, and it can still be allowed fair use within copyright law.

Youtube has no way of knowing whether a court would find your video to be infringing or whether it would be protected fair use (free speech).

Re:they know.... (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 7 years ago | (#18487053)

thus eliminating the only thing about the DMCA that was good for consumers
Was it actually good for consumers? I thought it was only good for those who own sites like YouTube or MySpace. How does the average consumer benefit from this exactly?

Re:they know.... (1)

gravesb (967413) | more than 7 years ago | (#18487311)

By having a rich variety to consume from. If this case goes forward and Viacom wins, then sites with similar business models will either become much more restrictive or disappear entirely, and that is bad for consumers.

Copyright and patents baloney (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18486395)

> 'Google and YouTube wouldn't be here if not for investment in software and technologies spurred by patent and copyright laws.'

Google exists in spite of copyright laws, not because of them. Can't someone remind Viacom that Google runs Linux and that Linu xix copyleft?

As for patents, the fact is most of the world still doesn't have software patents.

No, copyright and patents haven't assisted Google's rise, only impeded it.

Re:Copyright and patents baloney (2, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486615)

True, to an extent. Without copyright, we would have computers, and the hardware makers would have created operating systems and software inorder to sell hardware.

Not so sure computers would have progressed so rapidly without hardware patents though. Perhaps they would, but there has been a lot of microchip development from smaller players who would have been elininated by the big companies if they hadn't had any patents.

Re:Copyright and patents baloney (-1, Troll)

Oligonicella (659917) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486755)

You're naive, shallow or disingenuous. Go to Google's and YouTube's home pages. Scroll down to the bottom. What do you see?

"©2007 Google"

"Copyright © 2007 YouTube, Inc."

Apparently, copyright is ok for them to declare (and sure's hell would prosecute infringement on), but because they serve the geek communitiy, they can infringe indescriminately? Bullshit.

Re:Copyright and patents baloney (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18486975)

Ya, because fundamental advances in computing science, of which most of everything in the software industry derives from, was spurred by copyright. Right...

If Viacom would ... (5, Insightful)

Organic Brain Damage (863655) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486405)

lobby Congress to alter copyright law in the USA to change the duration to something more reasonable, like 50, 60, hell, even 70 years from the date of original publication, I'd be more sympathetic to their case. With the current: "nothing from the date of the creation of the Mouse will ever enter the public domain situation", I've got zero sympathy for copyright holders.

Re:If Viacom would ... (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486433)

With the current: "nothing from the date of the creation of the Mouse will ever enter the public domain situation", I've got zero sympathy for copyright holders.

Oh, that was uncalled for :(

Signed, the copyright holder of over 1500 Slashdot comments.

Re:If Viacom would ... (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486809)

I remember back in college when we had to study copyright issues in our graduate level history classes ("fair use" for academics and all that). We were taught the whole "70 years and it's in the public domain" thing. The law has been changed so many times since, and thinned out so much, that no one even bothers TRYING to teach copyright issues anymore. Essentially, the new paradigm is "If it's not in public domain already, it probably never will be." And FORGET trying to teach fair use in the post-DMCA era.

Re:If Viacom would ... (1)

Oligonicella (659917) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486957)

Yeah, because of Disney we should rip off any small artist, writer, composer, etc. Nice outlook there. Got a good rational for ripping.... not.

Re:If Viacom would ... (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 7 years ago | (#18487691)

Who are you trying to kid? Disney already got to that small artist first.

Re:If Viacom would ... (1)

zettabyte (165173) | more than 7 years ago | (#18487051)

And I thought I was the only one pissed off by that. One need look no further than Disney's permanent copyright for evidence of lobbying buying votes.

Disney sucks. It'll be nice when my kids are older so I don't have to consume any more of their crap.

As a pre-emptive defense, judge my unwillingness to say no to my kids Disney habit only if you have kids yourself. If you do have kids and do say no to Disney, I bow to your superior parenting skills.

Re:If Viacom would ... (1)

sporktine (639092) | more than 7 years ago | (#18487387)

I read my kids "Brother's Grimm" stories and tell them that Disney is for pussies.

Re:If Viacom would ... (1)

necro81 (917438) | more than 7 years ago | (#18487073)

nothing from the date of the creation of the Mouse will ever enter the public domain situation
Are you referring to this Mouse [google.com] , or this Mouse [google.com] ?

I think that the current issues of copyright are nicely bracketed by the two: the advent of the Internet making copyrighted content easier to sell, spread, and steal; and the hard-nosed tactics of Disney to keep their stuff copyrighted indefinitely.

Simple solution (2, Insightful)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486417)

They need to take responsibility and self police. The company started out as viewer clip oriented but when large numbers of copyrighted clips started appearing they looked the other way. They had to know this was coming they were just milking the situation as long as they could. Given the volume of copyrighted clips they are ineffect claiming them as assets but they have no right to gain benefit from them. They can just say tell us what is copyrighted and we'll take it down but you might as well have a warehouse of a few hundred thousand items with say a third of the items that belong to another company. Is it reasonable to say just tell us what is your's when you removed the items without their permission. It's obvious in this case what belongs to the wronged party but you are saying you'll only return the items the other party identifies. They need to start an approval process like most other sites. Some one has to review at least part of the clip before it's posted. This should be done to begin with to avoid illegal content from being posted. I'm not talking copyrighted I'm talking kiddie porn and such.

Re:Simple solution (2, Informative)

pipatron (966506) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486613)

How do you know if a clip is legal to share or not? It could fall under fair use, it could be released to the public domain, it could be completely user created, etc. In some cases, it's obvious, but in most, it's not.

The only one that knows for sure is the content owner, which is why YouTube says that the content owner has to inform them about any clips that gets uploaded without permission, in order to be able to remove them. No one else can.

Self-police? Brilliant! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18486661)

Let them get right on that. Have someone look at every video, and then check with that magic Copyright Database...oh wait, we don't have one of those. Uhm...so...just...check with every copyright holder in existence?
 
What was that about "undue burden"?

Precrime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18486839)

Slashdot should take responsibility and self police. Posters have been liberally quoting copyrighted works and Cmd Burrito has looked the other way.

ISPs should take responsibility, before letting anyone upload anything to a website, they should screen it to check for copyright violations. I'm not just talking about copyright either, I'm talking kiddie porn and such.

Email providers should take responsibility and self police. I'm not just talking about snippets of text either, people are sending whole infringing clips and songs to each other. Email should be pre-screened to prevent violations.

That doesn't even begin to touch on real life. Nobody should be allowed sharp knifes incase they cut someone with them. If they need a sharp knife, they should get a committee to approve it first.

Re:Simple solution (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 7 years ago | (#18487357)

This should be done to begin with to avoid illegal content from being posted. I'm not talking copyrighted I'm talking kiddie porn and such.

My god, what a "think of the children" argument. The first normal guy to see it would flag it, it'd be promptly taken down and the logs handed over to the FBI. Perhaps there should be a mandatory review for free webhosts (and on each update) too? Myspace? Blogs? Photo album sharing sites? Yahoo groups? Taking content down is the common approach, not preapproving it. Copyrighted content is just a whack-a-mole, YouTube can take one down, two more pop up and as long as the sources aren't made responsible that'll continue to happen. The copyright holders just want YouTube to go on that death march instead of themselves, instead they can hold the whip and say "you're not doing a good enough job".

As for "serious" things, I'm imagine that they're at least as smart as the warez groups. Post a passworded zip/rar on Rapidshare or whatever, and at whatever site, forum, chat or whereever you exchange info you post the password there. Sharing over YouTube only happens as long as there's no real consequences.

Re:Simple solution (1)

balloonhead (589759) | more than 7 years ago | (#18487489)

-----* -- joke
0
_____ ---you
¦
/\

apologies for crap ascii art

Pfft (3, Funny)

porkThreeWays (895269) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486419)

We all know the real reason youtube is here is for candy mountain.

Re:Pfft (1)

YourMoneyOrYourDuck (1033800) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486587)

is she out of jail again now?

Re:Pfft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18487643)

Candy Mountain? Let's get Charlie the Unicorn [superdeluxe.com] !

In other news : Viacom invented internet (1, Funny)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486425)

"A viacom representative earlier today has revealed that Viacom was the main driving force and innovator behind Internet. Representative also shed light on the misassumption that internet was an unlimited number of computers networked, saying that internet is in fact "a series of tubes".

Re:In other news : Viacom invented internet (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18486859)

And in conclusion... "all you tube are depend on us"

We could use this... (2, Insightful)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486427)

Let's file a class action suit against Viacom! After all, they do depend on us, the consumer...

I don't watch any "big producer" content on YT (5, Interesting)

Webcommando (755831) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486473)

Top favorites: "Chad Vader", "God Inc.", DoogTunes, "Ask a Ninja".

Strangely, it appears YouTube will continue to be supported by me because of the non-infringing material. Actually, in my opinion, all the Viacom, et. al. material makes it difficult to find the real gems.

Re:I don't watch any "big producer" content on YT (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486605)

I agree 1000%. My favorite stuff on YouTube is the homemade videos. I like some of the funny satirical stuff, some of the parodies, some off the wall stuff like the "Mentos and Diet Coke" phenomenon (when it first began making the rounds), and eyewitness videos of news items, natural disasters, etc. in particular. Who cares about anything else? If I want to watch the Colbert Report that I'm going to miss, I've got a DVR. If I want to watch movies, I've got a Netflix membership and free movies on-demand on my cable system.

Re:I don't watch any "big producer" content on YT (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486697)

I can't really speak for anything else, but I don't see why people would watch stuff from the Colbert Report on YouTube. Comedy Central's website has about 95% of each episode (I don't know if they bother with the intro and tag) available for free anyway.

Undue Burden? (5, Interesting)

Luscious868 (679143) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486479)

From the summary:

He also argues that putting the onus of spotting infringement onto the content providers represents an undue burden on them.

Oh please. You want an easy solution. Setup a website where users can create an account, provide contact information and then search the web and/or P2P networks to report instances of copyright violation. When a particular instance has been reported a certain number of times have a real person check the link to determine if a violation has occurred and then take appropriate action. Reward the volunteers who are reporting the violation with points for those instances where a verified violation has occurred and after a certain number of points are accrued reward users with a free DVD or CD from the catalog.

The amount of money that the RIAA and MPAA would save if they implemented this kind of system would more than offset the free DVD's or CD's they would be giving away if their own figures on losses due to piracy are real.

With the Internet, you've got a whole army of users who can be the watchdogs for you. All you've got to do is give them an incentive and have a verification system in place to weed out fake entries.

Re:Undue Burden? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18486539)

Are you kidding me? They are using this "undue burden" argument to put pressure on governments to do the policing for them. The content companies figure since they already have the Fed's in their pocket why not get more out of them.

Re:Undue Burden? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18486543)

Setup a website where users can create an account, provide contact information and then search the web and/or P2P networks to report instances of copyright violation

Yes, lovely idea. You could call it something like "Snitch On Your Fellow Man For Fun & Profit".
How about extending the idea? Maybe the government could run something similar... see someone [jaywalking / stealing / uttering Forbidden Hate Speech* / voting for the wrong party], report them, and You Could Win Big Prizes!
*actually that one should involve the mandatory death penalty. We live in a free-speech democracy, dammit, and that'll all go to hell if we allow people to go round saying whatever they want.

Re:Undue Burden? (2, Insightful)

Detritus (11846) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486705)

The problem is that your volunteers have no way of knowing if something is a copyright violation. Gut feelings and hunches don't cut it.

Re:Undue Burden? (1)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 7 years ago | (#18487339)

The problem is that your volunteers have no way of knowing if something is a copyright violation. Gut feelings and hunches don't cut it.
Which is why the work of the volunteers is only used to flag files that may need further review, not automatically issue takedown notices. If they only give out points for files that really are infringing, then the system will tend to self-correct since there will be no reward for reporting bogus infringements.

Very undue. (3, Insightful)

remmelt (837671) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486737)

Especially since the DMCA specifically provides the RIAA with this handy tool. The only thing they have to do to have any content pulled is claim their employers own the copyright. No need to prove it, no need to show any kind of evidence, no official papers needed. They send any ISP a letter saying: the content on page X is ours, the ISP pulls it, since they can't prove who owns the copyright at all, so they'll just take the easy way out. At the moment, they have more to fear from the RIAA than from their own users. (Isn't that nice? You pay these people and they serve another master. That's for another post, though.)
Now they want to take this a step further and have the ISPs police their own network, without any interference from the RIAA. In short, they want to sit back and have you throw your money at them.

The arrogance in claiming that Google wouldn't exist without Viacoms patents is beyond me.

Re:Undue Burden? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18486759)

Setting up the servers, designing the software, maintaining the environment, and having a staff to check violation reports... these are not costs?

There's a problem with that... (1)

Torvaun (1040898) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486781)

The system, as you describe it, is extremely vulnerable to being gamed. Something like, I upload copyrighted files from an anonymous account that I only use at the local Internet cafe, or whatever. Then I go home, wait a half hour, and win a CD. When the same people who cause problems are rewarded for fixing them, the incentive is to make more trouble, not clean it up.

Re:Undue Burden? (1)

StormReaver (59959) | more than 7 years ago | (#18487079)

From the summary:

        He also argues that putting the onus of spotting infringement onto the content providers represents an undue burden on them.
Yet this is exactly what the DMCA (the law purchased by the MPAA) says must happen. Content providers are responsible for notifying web sites of infringement, and then proceeding from there.

Re:Undue Burden? (2, Insightful)

OECD (639690) | more than 7 years ago | (#18487409)

Oh please. You want an easy solution. Setup a website where users can create an account, provide contact information and then search the web and/or P2P networks to report instances of copyright violation.

The irony is, this would be easy to do if copyright was still "opt-in", as it was for the first two hundred years. As it stands now, there's no easy way to determine what is or isn't copyrighted. This was due to the content industry, which wanted to save themselves a few bucks on the "burden" of establishing copyright. Now they find that determining copyright is a burden they want to push off onto everyone else. If **AA's IP was as valuable as they say, and if they were losing as much money to piracy as they claim, it would make business sense to police it themselves. Heck, they'd be at a competitive advantage because they have resources to do this that the smaller guys don't. The fact that they find this burdensome is telling.

Re:Undue Burden? (1)

wiz31337 (154231) | more than 7 years ago | (#18487465)

When a particular instance has been reported a certain number of times have a real person check the link to determine if a violation has occurred and then take appropriate action.
I think this is a great idea. Where do I apply for this job? Surfing YouTube all day in the comfort of my own home vs sitting in my cramped cubical sounds great! But DVD/CD awards points won't work for me. I've got a mortgage to pay.

Depends on what "aware" means. (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486499)

Does it mean being aware that infringement of some sort is happening, or being aware of a specific instance of infringement?

Clearly, it means being aware of a specific instance of infringement. Otherwise the law could and should have been written to put the entire burden of copyright enforcement upon the service provider, since that that is the effect of the other interpretation. Any company providing a service on which copyright infringement was possible must surely be aware that it is almost certain to be happening.

I think the business model clearly eliminates the "financial benefit" hurdle, and it muddies the "awareness" issue since the service has to be in some sense "aware" of the content. However, I think it should be enough to show that the technology is incapable of distinguishing infringing and non-infringing content to argue that YouTube is not "aware". However more reasonable notions than this have been rejected in a court of law, so we'll just have to see.

Viacom Says "YouTube Depends On Us" (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486515)

``Viacom Says "YouTube Depends On Us"`` -> well, we're not part of their game, so sending empty messages out there does us no good.

From our point of view, there's only one way to prove YouTube is dependent on Viacom or not: Viacom, either do whatever you'll do, or shut the hell up.

Stephen Colbert: Star Defense witness. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18486597)

It's going to suck for viacom when youTube calls Stephen Colbert to the stand. He's highlighted original content from youTube, He had representatives of a small comnercial venture (the band OK go) on to talk about how they used youTube to publish an Ad (their music videos), and he has multiple times asked people to make fair use parody content going so far as to make green screen segments to make it easier.

following through (1)

AceJohnny (253840) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486603)

Well, the least we can say is that they're not being half-assed in their accusations. They're tying everything up in a nice coherent package of victimization.

Good on you, Viacom! (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486629)

Keep on stopping those filthy thieves from stealing "your" property! [slashdot.org]

Umm.. (1)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486681)

knowledgeable to infringement

On the 30 second segment or an entire 30 minute show? Cause you're only infringing if the clip is of extended length.

Re:Umm.. (1)

jkhuggins (460033) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486865)

Not exactly. While length of material is one of the tests of the fair use exception, it's only one. Another test is the importance of the material to the overall work. If the 30 seconds you use is the best 30 seconds of the whole show, and perhaps the only reason that people watched the whole 30 minute show, then your use is much more likely to be infringing. (For example: posting the last 30 seconds of Citizen Kane, where we find out what Rosebud really is, even though it's only 30 seconds out of two hours worth of movie, would likely be seen as infringing.) Disclaimer: IANAL. But I really love watching JAG.

Re:Umm.. (2, Interesting)

russotto (537200) | more than 7 years ago | (#18487707)

Nonsense. The best 30 seconds of the show (or movie, or whatever) is the LEAST valuable part. It's the part they give away, constantly showing over and over again in clips and trailers, trying to sucker you into watching the rest.

And while posting the last 30 seconds of Citizen Kane might be obnoxious, it certainly wouldn't necessarily be a copyright violation. Besides, by now doesn't everyone know that "Rosebud" was Kane's;lAS ){A*R7}}}}}}}}}d}}d}}d

NO CARRIER

YouTube put's itself in fair use trouble. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18486743)

In addition to being a direct video content provider, YouTube is also an embedded video content provider, which is to say that many of the videos on YouTube are put their to be part of a larger webpage. By not really discriminating between the two in how it serves the video YouTube has given viacom a lot of unneccesary ammunition. There are lots of websites that make legitimate fair use of embeded copyrighted clips that are served from YouTube. However when YouTube also makes those clips available raw, without the additional original content that made having the clip on the internet fair use, they no longer meet the standard of fair use.

So by publishing what they server for other sights they make it so that there is more infringing content then there really is, and make viacoms case that much stronger.

YouTube depends on Viacom... (1)

robcfg (1005359) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486761)

That is also true for Viacom. I mean, the general quality of YouTube videos is very crappy, but if I see an interesting clip, I might be interested in purchasing the whole show on DVD, and that would be revenues for Viacom. They cannot close our eyes, our ears or our brain, so there would be always a way to copy or distribute copyrighted content. So, if they don't want their content to be copied, they should not take it to the public light, it's quite simple. And if they want the people to buy their content, it must have value, not only price.

Points I disagree with (1)

MassEnergySpaceTime (957330) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486817)

"Protecting intellectual property spurs investment and thereby the creation of new technologies and creative entertainment."
- So far, the protection of intellectual property seems to spur lawsuits that prevent new technologies from appearing or staying on the market, such as XM receivers with digital recording capabilities. What new technologies exist from the protection of IP? DRM-type technologies that customers didn't ask for?

"Google and YouTube wouldn't be here if not for investment in software and technologies spurred by patent and copyright laws"
- I thought Google and YouTube were here because they created useful tools that consumers want. What patent and copyright laws enable Google and YouTube to exist?

Can Google "Manage" Content? (1)

qazwart (261667) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486835)

There is actually an interesting question. As long as Google doesn't actively manage the content of YouTube, they can claim "safe harbor" provision of the Copyright Act because they are not acting as an editor. You Tube is like a public bulletin board. The minute they start scanning their content, they can be held accountable because YouTube becomes more like a "newspaper" than a bulletin board.

If Google made it a policy to track all copyrighted material, they are expressing an editorial decision of what can and cannot be posted. Therefore, anyone who finds their copyrighted material on Google, and Google didn't take it down, that copyright holder could hold Google legally responsible for the material.

And its not just copyrighted material they could land in trouble for. They could be held for libelous material too. Or for material that violates some user's right to privacy. For Google to start scanning material leaves Google open to many different charges.

I bet the licensing provision Google is asking for merely makes Google an agent to the copyright holder. That would allow Google (acting as the copyright holder's agent) to remove material without becoming an "editor" of the content on YouTube.

I know Google does scan for hate speech and pornography, but the laws allow for banning of such content without removing Google from the Safe Harbor provisions. What Viacom is asking is for Google to take editorial control of YouTube, and to become legally responsible for anything posted on YouTube. That is something Google certainly isn't willing to do. If Viacom wins this case (and I don't think they necessarily will) Google would probably be forced to close down YouTube.

What Viacom really wants out of all of this is for users to come to their websites to watch the content, so Viacom gets the ad revenue instead of Google getting it. Truthfully, Google really hasn't figured out a way to make money on YouTube since you can post YouTube content embedded in another Webpage without any ad content.

I think Google will go with a "box" approach where the video is surrounded by a box with one or two text ads embedded in the box. Then when it plays copyrighted material, it could track the revenue per play, and when a copyright holder finds their material on Google, Google could offer the ad revenue to the copyright holder as compensation. That would weaken Viacom's argument about the cost of policing YouTube.

Re:Can Google "Manage" Content? (1)

aplusjimages (939458) | more than 7 years ago | (#18487071)

Google is removing the content when it is brought to their attention, right? In the end, who's responsibility is it to see if copyright material is on Youtube? Is it Google or the person who owns it?

I'm seriously asking.

If youtube should be sued out of existance for (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18486881)

"Copyright infringement" and "potential copyright infringement" then every web host should be sued out of existance as well as every business that has an online presence for the same thing. HTTP, FTP, GOPHER, BITTORRENT, et al should be made illegal for supporting copyright infringement. Hell, let;s make all technology illegal since there is a way to infringe on their little copyrights. Remember, INFORMATION WANTS TO BE FREE.

BTW, The new tag "vofdoom" should be used from now on with any story pertaining to Viacom.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgGXLAc7F-c& [youtube.com]

Lying bastards... (1)

Heddahenrik (902008) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486885)

I can't see how spreading lies will help them:

>'Google and YouTube wouldn't be here if not for investment in software and technologies spurred by patent and copyright laws.'

Companies doesn't invest in software because of patents. They invest in paying for lawyers and juridic weapons to destroy for their competitors. You can just as well say that bribing politicians protects investments and benefit development.

But the truth is that companies like Google don't need patents and are generally hurt by them, but SCO lives on them. So... Does this world need more good-for-nothing legal terrorists or companies that actually do something?

IANAL but... (1)

faloi (738831) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486919)

How responsible is it for a lawyer for one of the litigants to write an opinion piece in a national journal prior to the litigation going forward? Can't opposition lawyers just file something claiming it's bound to be prejudicial to the whole process? Sure, vague comments about how "we're right and they're wrong" are to be expected, but laying out the meat of a case?

Never happened until google bought youtube... (1)

NIN1385 (760712) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486981)

Funny how this never happened until Google bought you tube, now that the website has a corporate identity why not sue it and make some money. Viacom should just stick to dumbing down America's youth with MTV. If only Stephen Colbert could see what his employer is doing to this fine country.

slope (1)

kurtis25 (909650) | more than 7 years ago | (#18486991)

I don't like these arguments on a social philosophical level. Yes Google depends on other website for its existence if you build it they will Google would be a nice cliché motto to have. At the some time sites depend on Google, I'm old enough to remember going to the library to pick up the BBS directory, it was no Google (it was made of paper). The existence of these directories begged the question, if you aren't in the book are you on the net? By that I mean if people didn't know you existed or couldn't find you were you effectively part of the internet. In that way the catalog was necessary to the BBS as a way to find places to connect to. Without Google I wouldn't find the rest of the internet, I can't name a single one of Viacom's site so I can't watch their videos or see their advertisements. So yes, Google works because of their content but if I can't find their content why bother having it. I also wonder how much Google makes from hosting this content. I thought I heard to YouTube (pre Google) was loosing money due to the expense of running it. Does this mean Google can sue Viacom for lost money because their content costs Google money?

Viacom already lost anyways (1)

Vexorian (959249) | more than 7 years ago | (#18487005)

Over inflated law suit amounts... 1 billion dollars! how in earth are they gonna prove that youtube made them lose at least 5% of that ?

Stretching the DMCA to suit his whims (2, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#18487007)

This lawyer is obviously trying to cram the square peg of the DMCA into his round hole. Does Google know that, in general, some people put content up on their site that they're not supposed to? Sure. Does Google get revenues from advertising? Sure. But Congress already contemplated both of those details when they passed the DMCA.

Google may know that, in principle, some of the videos that people have posted are in violation of copyright law. But they don't know which ones, or who the copyright holder is, until they get a DMCA takedown request. This was an intentional feature of the DMCA, to protect service providers from the actions of their users. The sheer fact that this protection is necessary is a clue to any service provider that some of their users will, in principle, post content that violates copyright law.

And yes, Google gets revenues from advertising. But the DMCA requires that the financial benefit that a service provider gains be a direct benefit from the infringement. Numerous free web hosts (Angelfire, Geocities, etc.) have been foisting ads on the people who view their users' web pages for years, and some of the content on those web pages infringes on copyright. This puts those web hosts in exactly the same position as Google, yet those web hosts have never been sued, because the financial benefit those advertisements provide is indirect to the infringing content posted by their users.

The only thing left that the DMCA requires is that a service provider take down infringing content upon receiving a takedown notice, and Google complies with those notices in a timely fashion. Whether Viacom likes it or not, Google qualifies for the safe harbor provision, and this lawyer guy is full of... hot air.

poor babies they don't want to be burdened (1)

bazorg (911295) | more than 7 years ago | (#18487019)

He also argues that putting the onus of spotting infringement onto the content providers represents an undue burden on them.

no, taxpayers' money will not be used to solve MAFIAA members' problems. forget it. end of discussion.

we can test this... go to youtube (2, Interesting)

gsn (989808) | more than 7 years ago | (#18487175)

click on vieos.
click on All Time under Time.
click on Top Rated on Most Viewed.
Lets all look for Viacom clips shall we.
Hmm, there are a few that *might* be infringing - I'm going on Video names here alone.
Hardly depends on viacom here.

The overwhelming majority of stuff looks like the standard youtube crap.
AHHHH!! I understand Viacom's problem - they cant distinguish their crap from the rest of the crap.

I propose an experiment (3, Funny)

N8F8 (4562) | more than 7 years ago | (#18487249)

Let's all drive Viacom out of business and see if YouTube is still around. Works for me.

Viacom Needs Another Strategy (1)

johndmann (946896) | more than 7 years ago | (#18487291)

I knew that when YT stated that the copyright holders need to report the infractions, there would be trouble. We users can not even flag a video on YT as being a possible copyright infringement - You have to be the actual holder of the copyright to do so. Viacom is definitely overstating that YT "depends on" them. This could not be further from the truth. If you removed every last YT video which broke copyright and were able to somehow keep them off, YT would still be just as big as ever.

When I view videos on YT, I'm not there to view illegal material. I like to watch the user-created of public domain videos - the copyrighted stuff I can watch legally on the networks own websites as well as the television that's gathering dust in the other room - yep, the lure of homebrew and public domain video is much greater than the junk they try to show on television.

With the exception of one or two Hollywood movies a year, all of the big budget stuff is a waste of time and money. Due to this, having Viacom's (or any other company's) content on YT is only helping to get their content to more eyes. I understand how it violates copyrights, but Hollywood and television are dying breeds.

Why not offer your content on your own website with maybe a banner or in-video advertising? Not 100% of internet users like dealing with it, but I'm willing to bet it will work out for you like it is working for other networks who are doing the same thing by bringing in revenue and steering at least some of the eyes back to the legitimate thing. Try as hard as you like, you will always have this problem, be it in a public place like YT, or simply on the underground file-sharing networks such as P2P and IRC. Get with the program Viacom: YT poses no threat to you.

Take It to Congress (2, Insightful)

SwashbucklingCowboy (727629) | more than 7 years ago | (#18487293)

He also argues that putting the onus of spotting infringement onto the content providers represents an undue burden on them.
His fight isn't with YouTube - it's with Congress. If it's an "undue burden" then Viacom should approach Congress to change the law to alleviate that burden.

Copyright law puts the burden on the providers (1)

TemporalBeing (803363) | more than 7 years ago | (#18487569)

He also argues that putting the onus of spotting infringement onto the content providers represents an undue burden on them.
Sorry, but while IANAL in so far as I am aware, Copyright Law requires that the content owners/providers/etc have the burden of spotting and proving infringement. That onus is on them exactly for the same reason that it is the trademark owners and patent owners burden to do the same in order to maintain it. That's how the law works, like it or not. If that is too big a burden for you to bear, then get out of that market, and/or realize that what you might be calling infringement might not necessarily be infringement, but be provided under "fair use" or citations.

May be you should rework your contracts so that the content owners/producers have the burden, but then if you did that then may be they would go elsewhere...

Oh, and you have been sending copies to the Copyright Office and paying the registration fee for everything, right? Because while yes you do get a copyright regardless, you cannot necessarily enforce it if you do not [copyright.gov] . (Gotta love that gotcha.)

WTF did he say? (2, Insightful)

BemoanAndMoan (1008829) | more than 7 years ago | (#18487585)

"thank Big Brother for raising the chocolate ration to twenty grammes a week."
--George Orwell, 1984

Only in America could a Corporation have the audacity to suggest...no, not suggest, *say* that technology has been spurred by patent and copyright laws. Perhaps it was, originally, until they got a hold of the fact that it could be used, along with corporate-leaning litigation laws, to stifle competition.

Following this, I'm assuming that Viacom is going to announce that a lack of national health care has made the country healthier by forcing Americans to take better care of themselves.

I use YouTube and other such video sites for ... (1)

mochan_s (536939) | more than 7 years ago | (#18487683)

I use YouTube and other such video sites for computer seminars, lectures, symposium videos. Google videos is better for that since they don't have the 10 min time limit and don't have to hunt down part x of 8 and such. If you're defending your dissertation or giving a talk on something cool, please record it and post it on Google videos or youtube.

Also, for live performance of artists (not big name label artists but indies and such) but small artists and just musicians playing their instruments.

I think youtube and such is really pushing the video production aspects of amateur producers and soon people will make really decent videos.

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