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YouTube No Friend of Copyright Violators 149

Posted by Zonk
from the isn't-that-their-breadbasket dept.
ncstockguy writes "YouTube appears to be fully aware of their copyright vulnerability and is now actively moving to head that problem off. They're now taking active steps to aid copyright holders in pursuing litigation against violators." From the article: "Its prompt legal capitulation suggests that YouTube users who post copyrighted material should not expect the company to protect them from media-business lawsuits, said Colton, whose firm wasn't involved in the Paramount subpoena or lawsuit and who learned of them from a MarketWatch reporter. The 'Twin Towers' episode is reminiscent of the way the entertainment industry vanquished the first version of Napster Inc. and other digital-music sites that made it easy to download copyrighted songs over the Internet. Music company lawyers first warned and then sued individual users who downloaded their songs. Now it looks like piracy hunters for the movie studios are using the same technique against YouTube users."
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YouTube No Friend of Copyright Violators

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  • Fair use? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by caseih (160668) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @05:29PM (#16531217)
    Will clips from shows like the Simpsons and the Family Guy start disappearing from youtube? I believe they are legal due to fair use. But we all know how copyright holders feel about that these days.
    • Re:Fair use? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Saturday October 21, 2006 @05:39PM (#16531301) Homepage

      The definition of "fair use" depends entirely on the type of media in question. Sure, with a lot of text, from academic or journalism sources, one is able to quote small snippets fairly freely for scholarly purposes. With literature, the vise tightens; publishers feel unsafe if their authors quote more than a single line from a work of poetry without permission from the poet or estate. With music scores, you'd best not even try quoting, because even a single barline copied without the publisher's permission will get you sued--the RIAA gets a lot of bad press on Slashdot, but I think music publishers are even more vicious.

      With a television program, you'd probably only get away with making use of stills, not an entire animated sequence, let alone one that encapsulates an entire joke.
      • Re:Fair use? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by suv4x4 (956391) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @06:14PM (#16531521)
        With a television program, you'd probably only get away with making use of stills, not an entire animated sequence, let alone one that encapsulates an entire joke.

        Pitty isn't it. I didn't have a clue about Family guy until I saw a clip of it on the Internet on some site, somewhere. Now I own all complete seasons on DVD.
        • by pipingguy (566974) *
          Similar thing here. After seeing Futurama on TV I ended up buying the whole series on DVD. Is watching a show on TV vs. YouTube all that different?
          • by rucs_hack (784150)
            from their point of view, yes, since someone paid them for the right to broadcast on tv, but they get no royalties for unauthorised web broadcast.

            Posting clips on youtube might be legal of they were done as satire, as in with voiceover, or edited in some other way, but straight off pasting of entire clips, or collections of clips is not defensible under satire, so comes under copyright violation.

            Fair use means you have the right to make your own copies, or (so far as I recall) use as satire. It does not imp
        • And lets not forget the Peanut Butter Jelly Time joke that Family Guy used, without permission from the creator. Of course, the creator used materials from other sources (w/o their consent) to create the original PBJT short. So if a YouTuber put that up, would it be 1st, 2nd, and 3rd hand copyright infringement? I bet the **aa lawyers are salivating over that one . . . .
        • Now I own all complete seasons on DVD. Got a .torrent?
      • Re:Fair use? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by sgtrock (191182) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @06:54PM (#16531799)
        I remember reading someplace that the makers of a documentary about a traveling opera troupe wanted to show a scene of the crew backstage while the performance was underway. Apparently, there were 3 or 4 guys sitting around playing cards while a TV showing the Simpsons was playing in the background. It was a very short scene, about 8 seconds or so, but the lawyers for the documentary company felt that even that short segment was liable to be challenged by Fox. The documentary's director eventually, reluctantly, decided to drop the scene rather than approach Fox to see if they would have a problem with its use.

        This is completely asinine. If ever there were a fair use case to be made, that was it. Yet everyone is running scared because the cost of defending an action just isn't worth it.
        • by OECD (639690)

          That story is related in this comic [duke.edu] (don't let the format fool you, it's an extremely good intro to the problems with current IP law.)

          Oh, and don't worry about D/Ling it. It's under Creative Commons.

        • Re:Fair use? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by stinerman (812158) <nathan DOT stine AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday October 21, 2006 @08:24PM (#16532441) Homepage
          It was in the book "Free Culture" by Lawrence Lessig. Apparently Fox wanted a very large sum of money (I thought it was over $50,000) for a license to use that clip in the documentary.

          You speak of obvious fair use. In many ways fair use is just like the problem with patents. The patent might be obvious or have prior art, but you can't invalidate it since it would take a small army of lawyers and a few suitcases of cash to do so. Similarly, the use of a clip may be obvious fair use, but if the copyright holder decides he wants to go after you, you're toast. A trial will most likely be more expensive than the licensing fee. The cheap option in both cases is to either not use the patented technique or not use the clip.
          • by rockhome (97505)
            A lot of these situations are, in part, the making of the fair users. Fox has no leg to stand on if the using the footage is fair. there was no intent to include, and the piece was in no way related to the copy righted material, it was incidental to the environment. If more people would stand up and refuse to pay for fair use, then many of these problems would go away.
        • by pipingguy (566974) *
          On a related issue, what is with the deliberate blurring of product names in some programs? Is it a result of a request from the rights holders or a form of marketing?
          • Speaking of which, how much trouble would it have been to blur the screen and audio enough to become 'mumbling'?
          • On a related issue, what is with the deliberate blurring of product names in some programs? Is it a result of a request from the rights holders or a form of marketing?


            In a word....Trademark.

            If trademarks are not defended, you could lose the trademark. Of course, trademark is about name recognition which is marketing.

            B.
      • Re:Fair use? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Artifakt (700173) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @07:29PM (#16532075)
        Up through about 1970, there was a general rule of thumb, that you could not be sure of remaining within the law if you quoted more than 1/4 of a work under fair use. This was invoked re. purposes such as criticism or teaching that were themselves basic to fair use, and I personally heard it used by both legal departments and judges in copyright cases.
              Since that time, it's dropped out of use. That's one way laws become draconian - unofficial guidelines that worked get dropped in favor of 'rigorous interpretations' that benefit only one party. All your examples are quite accurate under current law (to my admittedly limited knowledge - read my sig goldarnit). All of them are also enormously, almost mind-numbingly less than the old 1/4 guideline would imply they should be.
              This happened at the start of the 'war on drugs', back in the first decades of the 20th century with the anti-opium laws - the laws included not too rigorous guidelines about some quite practical exceptions, such as doctor's perscriptions. Then the courts just started ultra-narrowly interpreting everything that wasn't spelled out in detail, saying for example that Doctors couldn't perscribe just to treat addiction itself, couldn't treat the pain from disease "X" because "X" wasn't painful enough, couldn't specialize in treating addiction, etc., and as it gathered momentum; 10,000 doctors lost their liscences or were actually jailed within the next few years.
                  According to some pretty reputable historians, you could add: the nation tried a costly experiment with prohibition of alcohol based on the opiate law model, we had Doctor shortages that lasted, in some once well served areas, for more than a generation, medical prices began their still ongoing rise at rates much faster than general inflation, and the average addict had virtually no chance of getting treatment rather than incarceration for the next 35-40 years, until we had to deal with a huge influx of addicted veterans from WW2 burn wards, and the general reluctance to just jail them forced a few changes on the system.
                I don't know if an IP issue can screw the whole country up as bad as that did, but I'm pretty sure the current policies will do the maximum damage possible within their sphere. Personally, I think it will be blamed for at least a literary dark age, when we lost a lot of media before they became common culture.
        • That "general rule of thumb" certainly didn't apply to novels or recordings. If so, you're saying you could quote fifty pages of most novels and a full minute of many popular songs and be within limit. Nope, don't buy it.
    • by CheeseburgerBrown (553703) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @05:43PM (#16531327) Homepage Journal
      IANAL or other IP professional, but how would excerpting copyright materials for public display fall under fair use? The audience is undifferentiated (this ain't "education") and advertizers (depending on where the clip is embedded) are potentially reaping the rewards of the traffic generated without license or authorization.

      Or did you mean "fair" in the sense of actual fairness? This, sadly, is only a distant cousin of "fair use" fair.

    • Re:Fair use? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Dachannien (617929) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @05:51PM (#16531389)
      Posting short clips from TV shows alone (i.e., not in any context other than simply to allow others to view the clips) is probably not fair use. But it would be stupid of the TV networks to remove such clips from sites like YouTube. It's free advertising for their shows, though that's never stopped a media executive from having said free advertising taken down anyway.

    • Legally they are not fair use. They are infringement.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by ArizonaJer (585786)
      To be more precise about the definition of "fair use" under US law, ask these four questions about the use being made (summarized in a Wired article from 2003):
      1. Is the use transformative?
      2. What's the nature of the copyrighted work?
      3. How much did you change?
      4. What's the effect on the market?

      The full, but short, Wired piece is here:

      http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/11.11/start.htm l?pg=13 [wired.com]

      More fair-use links are here:

      http://www.screensite.org/index.php?option=com_boo kmarks&Itemid=28&mode=0& [screensite.org]

  • by Spazntwich (208070) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @05:30PM (#16531231)
    There's nothing special about YouTube to keep people there and away from their competitors. Once they earn a reputation like this, I think we'll quickly see a mass migration to more "people friendly" sites. Whether they want it or not, the anti-establishment teens are going to see them as corporate shills and take their eyeballs elsewhere.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 21, 2006 @05:36PM (#16531275)
      Alright, Spazntwich, lets chopper to Sealand and co-create VideoHaven. We'll have that Simpsons clip on the front page, the one where Homer says: "There are no laws here: We can do anything we want!"

      Although bandwidth might be a problem...
    • by suv4x4 (956391) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @06:38PM (#16531681)
      Re:And now they're fucked.

      There's nothing special about YouTube to keep people there and away from their competitors. Once they earn a reputation like this, I think we'll quickly see a mass migration to more "people friendly" sites. Whether they want it or not, the anti-establishment teens are going to see them as corporate shills and take their eyeballs elsewhere.


      1.65 billion. BILLION.

      1 650 000 000 USD

      Maybe Google was f*cked with YouTube, but damn... I think the founders achieved all they could ever want:

      - Get a HUGE LOAD OF CASH (in google stock IIRC but anyway, they can cash it anytime)
      - Avoid the whole entertainment business suing them for infirngements
      - Leave YouTube in good hands (Google).

      Now, of course Google will sort things out on the copyright front, but Google already has this image of "anti-establishment" and "cool". So as long as YouTube is associated with them, and they don't change it too much to displease the fans, it'll keep running for some years to come.
  • A major threat? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by elronxenu (117773) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @05:31PM (#16531239) Homepage
    Because of course I like to watch my hollywood movies on a tiny screen, transcoded and fuzzy.

  • posting agreement (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheSHAD0W (258774) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @05:35PM (#16531271) Homepage
    When these people posted the videos, they affirmed that they had the right to do so. That certainly opens them up to legal trouble if they did not. I don't know how long the concept of intellectual property will hold out, but until that point everyone needs to be careful about what they upload.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I don't know how long the concept of intellectual property will hold out, but until that point everyone needs to be careful about what they upload.

      No. Because that risks reifying the concept further. It's vital that people are as careless as possible.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    this is going to destroy youtube. If people are afraid to post anything with copyrighted material, whether it's the music in the background or clips from a show, then the whole thing is going to fall apart. I know I'm just repeating what's already been said a million times over, but why the hell did google buy youtube in the first place if they were just going to turn around and do this?
    • by Paradise Pete (33184) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @05:55PM (#16531411) Journal
      I know I'm just repeating what's already been said a million times over, but why the hell did google buy youtube in the first place if they were just going to turn around and do this?

      Ya got me. But I never understand this stuff. Years ago, before there were any, I was approached to develop a live online poker site. I declined, saying it will never work because you can't stop people from cheating. And you can't, but it turned out not to matter. Then a few years ago I was approached to develop an site similar to youtube, and I said it would never work because people will always post copyrighted material and you'll get sued into oblivion.

      How's that for business acumen? ;-)

      • by ocelotbob (173602) <ocelot AT ocelotbob DOT org> on Saturday October 21, 2006 @07:22PM (#16532033) Homepage
        Could you let me know next time you're presented with another unworkable idea you want to turn down? I'd kinda like to become rich and famous.
      • by Sancho (17056)
        As others have said, you can make some good bank developing the software... Nothing says you gotta run the company--it kinda looks like you were being asked to do some contract work, which would have paid regardless of the success of the site (unless they were paying you in stock, I guess, but I'd really rather not take that risk no matter what the job is.)
      • by 0123456 (636235)
        "Years ago, before there were any, I was approached to develop a live online poker site. I declined, saying it will never work because you can't stop people from cheating."

        I've read at least one plausible-sounding verifiable online poker system in the last few years: it may have been in one of Bruce Schneier's books. I seem to remember it involved letting each player 'shuffle' the deck and hand out cryptographic hashes of their 'shuffle' so the other players could reproduce the starting deck afterwards and
      • by naoursla (99850)
        In 96 or 97, the consulting company I worked for was writing a system to help a brick and mortar auction house to manage their auctions. We kept talking about creating an online auction site, but thought that people would scam each other and not pay. The idea was unworkable and we talked ourselves out of it.
    • If people are afraid to post anything with copyrighted material, whether it's the music in the background or clips from a show, then the whole thing is going to fall apart. I know I'm just repeating what's already been said a million times over, but why the hell did google buy youtube in the first place if they were just going to turn around and do this?

      Because they wanted to destroy YouTube. It is basically the biggest competition for their own Google Videos product. It was only a matter of time before

  • How are copyright holders identifying whoever uploaded a given video? By their username (I thought everyone faked that info)? By their IP address (what if they used tor, a public library computer, or an open access point)? I would think that hunting down individual uploaders would be impossible. Shouldn't the copyright holders be going after youtube since they are a clearly identifiable hoster of material that they do not have the rights to archive and/or distribute? Yet no one will go after youtube be
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by nwbvt (768631)

      "By their IP address (what if they used tor, a public library computer, or an open access point)? "

      I doubt thats very common from most YouTube users. We are not exactly talking about master criminals here. I'm failry positive the vast majority will be kids using a computer in their parent's basement.

      "Shouldn't the copyright holders be going after youtube since they are a clearly identifiable hoster of material that they do not have the rights to archive and/or distribute?"

      They could, which is why Y

      • by crossmr (957846)

        I doubt thats very common from most YouTube users. We are not exactly talking about master criminals here. I'm failry positive the vast majority will be kids using a computer in their parent's basement.

        Exactly. And most of these non-master criminals can't even secure a wireless access point with something as simple as WEP. I can pick up 65 wireless networks from my apartment using netstumbler. Very few of them are set to anything but defaults. Their parents aren't any smarter in most cases. Even a closed ac

  • Inaccurate (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Henry V .009 (518000) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @05:41PM (#16531311) Journal
    Music downloaders were never sued. Music uploaders were sued. The same will happen with Youtube, because Google isn't interested in getting sued to hell themselves. This will kill Youtube, of course, and Google will have wasted a lot of money on nothing.
    • Re:Inaccurate (Score:5, Interesting)

      by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Saturday October 21, 2006 @05:45PM (#16531343) Homepage Journal
      This will kill Youtube, of course, and Google will have wasted a lot of money on nothing.

      You're making the presumption that Google intended to keep Youtube as it was when they bought it.

      Seriously, Youtube kicked Google Video's butt in the market. Google realized that if you can't beat 'em, you should join them. So they bought off Youtube, and now their major competitor is themselves. They can do whatever they want with Youtube because it can only be positive for Google Video.

      Being Google, I don't expect them to shut the doors like Oracle & PeopleSoft. Rather, I expect that Google will aim to take whatever it is that makes Youtube successful, and merge it with the Google Video backend. In theory, this fusion would improve both services. In practice... well.... (*rocks open hand*) eh, we'll see.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Henry V .009 (518000)
        Youtube was never going to make any money. Its popularity came from copyright violation, and it still lost money hand over fist.

        Google Video is just an unpopular Youtube without the copyright violation. Its #1 function is to waste Google's money.

        So the only competition that Youtube offered Google was in the money wasting biz. And now Google has cornered it.
      • by interiot (50685)
        If true though, that would mean that Google paid $1.6billion for only: 1) the brand name, 2) the extra software features that YouTube had over and above Google Video that made YouTube more popular, and 3) the people who built those features. Certainly those are valuable, but are they really $1.6B valuable?
      • by suv4x4 (956391)

        Seriously, Youtube kicked Google Video's butt in the market. Google realized that if you can't beat 'em, you should join them. So they bought off Youtube, and now their major competitor is themselves. They can do whatever they want with Youtube because it can only be positive for Google Video.

        And you assume YouTube's success would last long enough to matter. The matter of fact is they were in highly unstable situation.
        No tangible solid revenue source, and the whole entertainment industry targeting their ass

    • Re:Inaccurate (Score:4, Insightful)

      by gg3po (724025) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @05:57PM (#16531431)
      This will kill Youtube, of course, and Google will have wasted a lot of money on nothing.

      Paying to see to it that your competition is destroyed is not a waste of money.

  • Like I said before [slashdot.org], YouTube has the same legal problems Napster did.

    If they're not yet doing so, I'd expect the RIAA to start running a song recognition program [tyberis.com] against YouTube content. That will catch all those videos with commercial music attached.

    • by Threni (635302)
      > Like I said before,

      Ooh, you pro!

      > same legal problems Napster did.

      Napster were tiny - that was the "legal problem" Napster faced. Google, however, are huge, so who's going to win any legal battle?

      Google will host whatever people upload, and if there's a complaint, it'll be pulled. That's it.
  • by viking80 (697716)
    YouTube probably should follow the law. They are quite exposed as it is. In the US today, consumers have lost almost all fair use rights, and and copyright law have gotten quite draconical and exclusively favoring the copyrightholder aganst the common good. Both democrats and republicans are receiving generous financial support from companies like Disney, and are *solidly* on the side of copyright holders against consumers and fair use.

    So battle must be fought in Washington by supporting and electing off
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      YouTube probably should follow the law. They are quite exposed as it is.

      Actually, YouTube is following the law - they're complying with DMCA to the letter.

      Title II [wikipedia.org] limits their liability if they follow the conditions for safe harbor, namely that they warn users in their terms of service, and promptly take down content if it infringes copyrights. This they are doing.

    • Posting a whole TV show is not fair use.
    • They've made a $1.6B bet that they can make youtube work. Their net cap is probably quite a bit bigger than every major record company and movie studio combined, and they appear to have plenty of cash in the bank.

      It's an election year. Why the hell aren't they trying to buy off Congress and the Senate? 435 Congresscritters and 100 Senators, a $100K campaign contribution to each (or in the case of R/MPAA leadership, to their opponent) would only cost $53.5 million dollars. This would dwarf campaign contrib
  • by daeg (828071)
    In all the upcoming legal battles, will YouTube be able to fend off hungry media empires? I honestly doubt it. Napster didn't protect users, either, but they still got slammed (and appropriately, at that). YouTube is a party to massive copyright infringement, even if they didn't upload the clip themselves. It is obvious that YouTube knows that there is a plethora of copyrighted work in their system, and they continue to profit from it even if they do remove it.

    Analogy: If a store knowingly sells bootleg DVD
  • by Bertie (87778) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @05:46PM (#16531347)
    These guys are scam merchants of unparalleled skill.

    Invite the world to post whatever they like on your site, take the massive bandwidth costs on the chin thanks to the venture capital money. Gain countless users virtually overnight due to your easy-to-use site and cavalier attitude to copyright law. Sell the site to a competitor keen to see you out of the market so they can have it to themselves, get yourself a ridiculous amount of Google shares. Days after selling the site, turn on the users that have just made you mind-bogglingly rich, and watch them desert in their millions while you laugh all the way to the bank, leaving the people that have just bought your site with a worthless asset.

    Google: you've been mugged.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by daigu (111684)
      Ever consider that the change in attitude might be due to the new Google ownership?
      • by Bertie (87778)
        Google aren't exactly known for shopping their users to the authorities. Remember when some department or other of the US government asked them to hand over a load of search data, and they told them to fuck off?
        • by bky1701 (979071)
          Remember when some department or other of the Chinese government asked them to hand over a load of search data, and they told them it's right over there in the blue binder?
        • by Tim C (15259)
          There's quite a difference between denying a blanket request for data on lawful activities, and complying with a more targetted request for data on unlawful ones.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by roman_mir (125474)
      take the massive bandwidth costs on the chin thanks to the venture capital money - are you sure the entire thing was not the actual business plan? After all, the sale will make the VCs all the money back and then some.
      • by Bertie (87778)
        Oh, I'm sure it was. They never seemed to have any intention of trying to cover their costs. It was the classic dot-com approach all over again - get as big as you can, as quick as you can, then worry about how to turn a profit. Or don't bother trying to make a profit and just hope somebody can be persuaded to buy you out. I know they've started to bring in ads lately, but how much ad revenue can you expect to make when people are free to embed content from your site in their own pages with their own ad
    • by xtal (49134) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @08:05PM (#16532289) Homepage
      They buy YouTube, and with a little tightening of the noose, they're removed as a threat and they've been made an example of for anyone else who thinks to follow - for example, Microsoft.

      Google can then move into this market at will. I'm all for draconian copyright enforcement, because it will lead to widespread civil disobedience and ultimately, a changing of the laws in what the public deems it's interest. It needs to get a little worse still, but the seeds are already there.
      • by dangitman (862676)
        I'm all for draconian copyright enforcement, because it will lead to widespread civil disobedience and ultimately, a changing of the laws in what the public deems it's interest.

        Yeah right. In happy fantasy land with little green elves, that will happen. In the real world, people won't engage in civil disobedience. How many people do you know are willing to go to jail over "unjust copyright law"? Please get a grip. Civil disobedience is extremely unpopular. If people get caught doing something illegal, they

        • by zoftie (195518)
          extend it further, most people aren't as rich and don't employ loudmouth lawyers and pr people, who should have their teeth smashed out with a large hammer. this is capitalist/imperialist country, what makes dollars, makes sense, everything else gets swept under the rug. civil disobedience doesn't pay. but i think people are getting sick of the status quo, biggest budget deficit in years, i wonder if china won't finance this budget deficit with their reserves. people depend on wealth and strength of north a
    • by drsquare (530038)
      Google: you've been mugged.


      Actually they know exactly what they're doing: it's the classic Microsoft tactic of simply buying out competition in order to conquer the market. They didn't even buy it with money, just shares that they can make up out of nowhere.

      So effectively, Google have closed down their biggest rival in the online video market for NOTHING.
  • by peripatetic_bum (211859) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @05:48PM (#16531367) Homepage Journal
    I've got some google stock and it has done nothing but go up (when it hasn't been going down) and I was wondering what exactly they were thinking. Well. I've noticed that many news sites including slate.com are using YouTube as sort of repository for things they dare not touch but like to have the reader look at. take for instance the recent article on Weird Al (http://www.slate.com/id/2151657/?nav=tap3). It's a great article and is made immensely better by the ability to look at the videos the guy is talking about. If this doesn't sell more stuff for Weird Al and his corporate company than I don't understand advertising (if I don't get it, please explain, because I will be impressed if you can).

    What I am trying to say is that I think (and this has been said before) that Google and YouTube are betting on the fact that there is no such thing as bad press, i.e., anything that gets you out in the public is a good thing and that media companies will in the long run benefit: Think of comedy central and all the clips of The Daily Show that seem to be there. Don't tell me that doesn't turn on more viewers to the real show or tell me and then explain why it wouldn't.

    Ie. Media companies benefit from exposure which gains them sells. This is called advertising. YouTube is the best advertising vehicle I've seen in a long time and because of this, Business perception will change. Or we can hope. :)
    • Don't tell me that doesn't turn on more viewers to the real show or tell me and then explain why it wouldn't.

      The way I understand it is not that it doesn't turn more viewers onto the show but that the studio execs are pissed off that they're not making any money from the online distribution of those clips. So basically, they don't want to wait for the online clips to bring in more viewers - they want to get paid as soon as any person sees anything that has ever been on the show.
    • YouTube is the best advertising vehicle I've seen in a long time and because of this, Business perception will change. Or we can hope. :)

      You've hit the nail on the head here. The problem is, YouTube faces serious problems primarily because their technology is so easy to reproduce. Competitors, like Revver, provide a much better option for people who want to share videos because they offer a share of earnings that the video creates. If I was the Daily Show, or Fox or any major content producer, I would post

  • Caught this deep down in the bowels of reddit:

    It's About the Copyright, Stupid [blogcritics.org]

    [...]

    So let's summarise so far. Luminaries like Robert Scoble cannot make video on the web work economically, even with their advertising and audience pull. The economics are against him.

    YouTube is assumed to be worth $1.65 billion yet it relies on pirated content to a degree we cannot ascertain. What we can conjecture is that it is not viable without pirated content.

    Raising this theft issue invites ridicule -- something here doesn't add up.

    Copyright also emerged this week as an issue for top flight talent like the Beatles and in actions taken by the music industry against 8,000 illegal filesharers.

    The other side of the coin is that many media enterprises don't respect authors' copyright. Copyright abuse by newspapers in Europe is not uncommon. When it applies to freelance writers there is a wrongful assumption that a newspaper can sell and resell in the print and onlline syndication market without reverting to the content producer.

    [...]
    We tend to take the "technology first" view of this -- we have the technology to share files so we should; likewise newspapers can exploit the technology of databases to continually resell content, so they should. But rights are trampled on in the process. There's no point in ignoring that. It's like assuming vidcasting is viable. It seems to be until you try it without a loss maker called YouTube.


  • I'd say two thirds of the content and interest of Youtube was from copyrighted materials. Where's the long-term value? And when I say value, I mean $1.6 BILLION in value.
  • One show at least has disappeared from Youtube if you type in its name. You get nothing other than small clips. Until, that is, you type in the initials that make up the shows name. And, hey presto, there are a bunch of episodes there - nearly the whole series in fact.
  • by Fyz (581804) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @06:34PM (#16531645)
    YouTube just jumped the shark!
  • Anybody who didn't see this step coming didn't pay attention to Napster. The very elements that made YouTube popular were the elements that they are now having to avoid - Free Content from Everywhere.

    Really, I think the **AA folks should be cheering Google for this one - it may just save them a lot of legal costs going after people as YouTube cleans up on its own.

    This will just keep happening - people want free stuff and the copyright holders don't want free stuff. Nothing complicated here, folks.

    The only
  • by xirtap (955611)
    I guess we can now forget things like this? http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/07/22/031424 8&from=rss [slashdot.org]
  • Did anyone else not expect this after the buyout?

    It was nice while it lasted. Now if you sneeze the wrong direction your video will be taken down, and might get sued to boot.
  • Why is YouTube different to Photobucket, GeoCities, Rapidshare or any other service that allows people to upload stuff and have it hosted on their server for others to download.

    Is GeoCities being sued because people have uploaded illegally copied content to a GeoCities homepage?
    Is Photobucket beung sued because people have uploaded illegally copied photos to a Photobucket account?

    If I upload a copyrighted video to Rapidshare without permission, the copyright holder can ask rapidshare for it to be removed. B
    • by David Off (101038)
      > So why cant Google Video

      Google does comply with the DCMA but it is quite a complex procedure you have to go through to show you are the copyright holder. It is not just a question of blasting off an email or tagging a video you can see violates your or someone else copyright.

      DCMA seems to be getting a bit overused. It is designed to extend common carrier type status to ISPs. Having read the relevant sections it is not obvious that it covers an online service that is sytematically profiting from copyrig
  • by the_raptor (652941) on Sunday October 22, 2006 @01:09AM (#16533574)
    Seriously is the only reason that people go to YouTube about viewing copyrighted material? Thats why I first went, but now I mostly watch the user created content. I actually think what makes YouTube popular is not all the copyrighted material (though it does increase popularity), because normally the format is only good for small clips or cartoons (most of the non-user content I have watched was Robot Chicken). If you really want to watch movies and TV series in decent quality you will use traditional P2P methods to obtain them.

    So I don't actually think that YouTube cracking down harder on people who post copyright material will matter. They have been removing any copyrighted materials reported to them for a long time. This is not a new thing.

    If YouTube is popular only because of the copyright material it will die, otherwise there won't be much of a change. Personally I think it is popular because of the community it has encouraged and help build, and the free content that community creates.
  • by aeschenkarnos (517917) on Sunday October 22, 2006 @09:59AM (#16536194)
    Google's directors know very well that they have provoked a fight. My guess (I don't think I'm smarter than them, so I stress that this is a guess) is that their intention is:

    1. Acquire YouTube.

    2. Do a merge-and-sort operation on YouTube with GoogleVideo.

    3. Heavily promote the new service.

    4. Publicize attacks from copyright-holders, while staving them off with court delays, offers of settlements, etc.

    5. Repeat 3. and 4. until the great unwashed masses wake up to the annoying disconnect between what they want to do and what some rich bastards will let them do, and because Google has been telling them a lot lately, they realize that this is due to those rich bastards having bought copyright laws.

    6. Use the popular momentum to get the parts of copyright law that are bothersome to Google's business--and probably, also those parts that the removal of which wouldn't harm Google's business--carved out.

  • Music company lawyers first warned and then sued individual users who downloaded their songs.
    Good thing thats perfectly legal in my country.
    • by David Off (101038)
      || Music company lawyers first warned and then sued individual users who downloaded their songs.

      |Good thing thats perfectly legal in my country.

      In Eastern Europe there are more effetive ways of dealing with copyright infringers :-)
      • Yeah BSA regularly pays off the police. "Murder happened? Can't investigate citizen as I've got a more important copyright infringment warrant to serve..."

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