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How the DMCA Protects YouTube 144

Posted by Zonk
from the that's-gootube dept.
bartle writes "Slate is running an article that analyzes the question of how much legal trouble Google may get in having bought YouTube. Not much, according to the author, and thanks seem to go to a provision in the DMCA that may provide more protection for YouTube than torrent services." From the article: "But what about Mark Cuban's copyright argument? Why isn't YouTube in trouble in the same way Napster and Grokster were? The first difference, as indicated, is that Napster simply wasn't covered by the 512 safe-harbor law, and YouTube is. Napster wasn't "hosting" information at the direction of its users, but rather providing a tool for users to find and download predominantly infringing content. It may sound odd that Napster gets in more trouble for helping you find illegal stuff than YouTube does for actually hosting it. But that's the law and why YouTube should really, really thank its friends at Bell."
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How the DMCA Protects YouTube

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  • by pilgrim23 (716938) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @06:13PM (#16601582)
    You mention Youtube...posts copyright material, safe harbor provison...Grokster, Napster; no Safe Harbor protection, for posting copyright materials and then you mention Torrent sites that post....wait. a Torrent is the copyright material itself? I thought it was merely a seed for a server-less system, that is a table, an index. Now I am confused. Is an index part of someone's copyright material now?
  • Re:Yes (Score:3, Interesting)

    by 91degrees (207121) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @06:25PM (#16601756) Journal
    So, what would you suggest th law should be, assuming that society considers anauthorised sharing of other people's content to be harmful.
  • Re:WTF? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 26, 2006 @06:33PM (#16601848)
    It's a totally bogus argument, someone searching for infringing content will find "predominantly infringing content". All I get out of this is that the Napster ruling was wrong and that yougoog have a PR agency at work trying to put some distance between the 2 in themselves and Napster in the eyes of potential litigants.
  • Sure about that? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by raehl (609729) <raehl311 AT yahoo DOT com> on Thursday October 26, 2006 @06:52PM (#16602088) Homepage
    If someone hosts a website of songs, and I go to that website and I download them, then the RIAA may very well come after me.

    So if I go to a website with videos, and I download those, what's the difference?

    What if I watch a video which includes a song? Am I just as guilty of infringement as if I had downloaded the song only?

    Actually, there is a difference, in one case you keep a copy of the material locally and in YouTube's case you don't. But if you download a video from YouTube to your hard drive that has a song on it, I can't see how you're any less guilty of infringement than if you had just downloaded the song alone.
  • by cptgrudge (177113) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {egdurgtpc}> on Thursday October 26, 2006 @06:53PM (#16602124) Journal

    One thing I've always wondered about. Why wouldn't the RIAA/MPAA just hire a third party to cull IP addresses from the trackers by joining the swarm? They can record the IP addresses that upload data. Why would they need to bother piratebay (or whatever tracker site) to get the IP addresses? I mean, you could get have a bittorrent client log every single IP that uploads data to you. Blow the data away and start again. Leave it on for weeks, and you'll get thousands of IP addresses from the more popular torrents.

    Since they are now part of this method, would the act of their agent joining the download swarm (and consequently uploading the content) be an implicit admission that a torrent is an accepted distribution channel of the copyrighted material? Or is the fact that it's only little chunks of the data from any individual host that poses the problem? Really, who cares about the tracker? You can get the IP addresses of people through much more direct means.

    Please, someone tell me why you can't use this method.

  • by raehl (609729) <raehl311 AT yahoo DOT com> on Thursday October 26, 2006 @07:17PM (#16602380) Homepage
    Just because the armchair QBs kept going on about the legal trouble(s) google was going to end up in

    That's not what the armchair QB's kept going on about. That YouTube isn't liable for posting the infringing content doesn't change the fact that SOMEONE is liable for posting the infringing content. When the content owners start sending subpeonas to YouTube for the IPs of the people posting the content and then the ISP's of those users to get names and addresses and file those RIAA-style $150,000-per-download lawsuits, then people stop posting content to YouTube, and with a lot of YouTube's content gone, YouTube's value decreases substantially.

    Think about it. Those 'hey' clip girls are liable for TRILLIONS* in damages!

    *TRILLIONS computed using RIAA math. 1 song * 10 million downloads * $300,000 = $3 billion. Your results may vary.
  • by bartle (447377) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @07:18PM (#16602398) Homepage

    Please, someone tell me why you can't use this method.

    HBO did use this method [wordpress.com] not too long ago. In my opinion it's a lot more effective than just about any other. HBO doesn't even have to upload anything - they just use custom peers to download a packet from each client they come across in a popular swarm. Then they can just show in court how that piece can be mathematically proven to be part of an episode of their show.

    I should point out, to HBO's credit, they haven't yet gone sue happy even though their technique seems much more likely to stand up in court. They're just firing a lot of warning shots.

  • Re:Sure about that? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 26, 2006 @07:21PM (#16602430)
    Maybe. But, the problem is that you are trying to apply human logic to law.
    It doesn't work like that. Law is about power (people with guns) telling you
    (the little people) what you can and cannot do. All this talk about what is best
    for "society" is merely the smoke and mirrors that lends an air of legitimacy to
    the psychopathic agenda.

    Don't try and rationalise with lawyers, you will do no better than Alice in Wonderland.
    The lawyers will beat you every time because they define the rules of the game
    as they go.

    This is the 21st Century. Everything you do is now either illegal or potentially illegal
    and you are deliberately kept in the dark about exactly what the law is. Nobody
    knows anymore. It's whatever your great Emprorer Bush wishes it to be that day.
    The "peoples rule of law" is exhausted, the courts and judges have proved themselves
    corrupt and unworthy of respect. Democracy is finished. The only way you will ever know
    fairness and justice again is when you have the balls to rise up and take back what is yours.
  • by Wesley Felter (138342) <wesley@felter.org> on Thursday October 26, 2006 @09:08PM (#16603454) Homepage
    Also, if this precedent is set, what would stop someone from setting up a "company" that hosts MP3s on a website, same as YouTube hosts videos? The RIAA would swamp the company with requests to take down specific songs, and the community could respond to it.

    I think you just described Usenet. However, watch out for ALS v. Remarq.
  • Re:WTF? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Artifakt (700173) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @09:15PM (#16603514)
    'infringes'

    "I do not think that word means what you think it means." - Inego Montoya

    Everything on YouTube has a copyright.* Since most of it was posted by the copyright holder, that holder has in effect given permission to distribute, so there is no infringement.

    * even this is a maybe - there may just possibly be a few film clips so old their copyright's have expired.
  • by PlasticArmyMan (967433) on Friday October 27, 2006 @02:06AM (#16605516)
    What I love is in the BBC News this morning a completely uneducated politician says that YouTube basically doesn't police the videos that come in. My point is how can they? They get an absolute deluge of videos in every single day. Do they expect an entire warehouse of people checking it? The fact is with the number of videos they get every single day the ONLY option is to have it community moderated and quite obviously, the community likes what they're getting so unless you want a small selection of videos policed by a number of YouTube stuff you're always going to get "copyright infringement". I hate people making comments on things that they know nothing about...

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