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iFilm Infringement Could Blunt Viacom's YouTube Argument 119

Posted by Zonk
from the throwing-stones-glass-houses-you-know-the-drill dept.
Radio Silence writes "Infringing videos on iFilm could undermine Viacom's case against YouTube. Although it's arguably not a nest of infringement like YouTube, iFilm appears to host more than a handful of videos for which its corporate parent Viacom does not own the copyright. More importantly, Viacom isn't engaging in the kind of proactive infringement identification practices it expects of YouTube, which may cause problems for them in court. 'if Viacom isn't willing to take the same steps with iFilm that it wants YouTube to take with copyrighted content, Viacom may have a harder time making its case before the judge presiding over the case. "It would have some persuasive value with a judge if YouTube says 'look, they're ranting and raving about all this infringement occurring on my site and they're not doing anything about it themselves,'" said copyright attorney Greg Gabriel.'"
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iFilm Infringement Could Blunt Viacom's YouTube Argument

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  • Skeletons (Score:2, Insightful)

    Does it really surprise anyone that Viacom has skeletons in its own closet?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by j00r0m4nc3r (959816)
      Forget the closet, Viacom has skeletons in its boardroom
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Seumas (6865)
      I don't really even care. Viacom sucks. So does Youtube. I hope they all somehow fail miserably, even though they probably won't. The world is full of idiots that can watch nut-shots all day long and never get tired of it. But really, Youtube is not "the little guy". Youtube started by a rich kid from a rich family (or at least, he married into wealth) and is now owned by google. It's not like there's some deserving indie guy here working hard for us. If it was profitable for Google to crack down on copyrig
      • Re:Skeletons (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Nwallins (1059978) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @01:02PM (#18416869)

        But really, Youtube is not "the little guy". Youtube started by a rich kid from a rich family (or at least, he married into wealth) and is now owned by google. It's not like there's some deserving indie guy here working hard for us.
        Interesting form of judgement you've developed there...
        • Interesting form of judgement you've developed there...

          Class warfare mindedness is par for the course in the /. world so I'm not sure where "interesting" applies. "Business as usual" could be substituted and make sense as in, "Business as usual form of judgement you've developed there", but it seems almost Yoda-ish in its grammar, so feel free to punch it up.
          • by rtb61 (674572)
            It just reflects the approach. Time and time again, you see those with large capital resources routinely break the law because they will make more money than the fine generates, or they will use delaying tactics to put off the application of any penalty and then use lobbyist to make the eventual penalty meaningless.

            So class warfare as it applies to the application of the law whether it be civil or criminal is a reality, no lies, no cheats, no exaggeration's, it is the way it is, and it is wholly and total

            • by Psmylie (169236) *
              I agree completely. You get someone who makes 30,000 a year and has a net worth of, say, 5000 and a guy who makes 5 million a year and has a net worth of 15 million who both do the same thing and face a $2000 fine, obviously the first person is going to have a much, much harder time paying that. The second guy can just laugh it off.

              We should replace all fines with community service. If some rich bastard needs to spend 100+ hours cleaning crap off the side of the roads, delivering meals to invalads, and scr

      • This is very much about right and wrong. It is wrong to try to prevent competition from people who have analyzed the market and the technological situation better than you have. It is wrong to pretend that something (creative output) is property in order to can prevent this competition. It is wrong to pretend that something (unauthorized copying) is theft in order to prevent this competition. It is wrong to pretend that a technology control measure (the DMCA) is a copyright protection law in order to preven
        • by kbro (792022)
          Apparently to you, it is only about wrong.
        • It is wrong to pretend that something (creative output) is property

          And yet, this "wrong" has been part of the law for hundreds of years. How do you justify your stance when confronted with centuries of common and civil law precedent?
          • It was wrong the whole time, but while it was (relatively) expensive to distribute tangible expressions of novel, it was the lesser of two evils. Pretty straightforward.

            The fact that copyright was an unfortunately necessary compromise was obvious to the writers of the Constitution, e.g. TJ.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by arevos (659374)

        don't really even care. Viacom sucks. So does Youtube. I hope they all somehow fail miserably, even though they probably won't. The world is full of idiots that can watch nut-shots all day long and never get tired of it. But really, Youtube is not "the little guy". Youtube started by a rich kid from a rich family (or at least, he married into wealth) and is now owned by google. It's not like there's some deserving indie guy here working hard for us. If it was profitable for Google to crack down on copyrights, they would do so. This isn't about right and wrong or philosophical points. It's about money.

        The case also may set an important legal precedent, and I suspect that's why most people are interested in the case, because it's likely that the result of this decision will later affect smaller content hosting companies and individuals.

      • Re:Skeletons (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @01:42PM (#18417581)
        Youtube makes money by violating copyrights.

        Incorrect. YouTube makes money by providing users with a medium of information exchange. YouTube does not violate the copyrights, the users who upload copyrighted content do.

        YouTube is further protected from claims of copyright violation by the safe harbor laws of the DMCA. They honor all takedown notices, even when there is doubt. So, they actively obey the letter of the law, and as such do not violate copyright.

        "Violate copyright" is a legal term, not a moral term. Legally, they are not guilty of this, as the courts will demonstrate.

        Whether or not you think it is morally wrong for them to allow their users to upload copyrighted content is an entirely different issue, of course, though I am sure you and I would disagree on that one too.
        • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

          by notasheep (220779)
          I find your argument interesting in that you probably wouldn't want it extended to other types of businesses. For example, we hold bars accountable if they serve alcohol to patrons who appear to already be intoxicated - they can't turn the other way and keep serving to people because if they do they are liable for what that patron might do. Another example: Imagine there's a business next door to your house that is set up to allow people to exchange (or share) drugs - not likely, but this is an example. A
          • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward
            But do we hold bars responsible of other people give drinks to obviously intoxicated people? If the bartender refuses to server Patron A because they are drunk but Patron B goes and gets one for A, is the bartender responsible?
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by SquareVoid (973740)
            That is a stupid analogy. Try this one: Do you expect to hold FedEx or UPS accountable for the delivery of drugs to people's houses?
          • by AvitarX (172628)
            For example, we hold bars accountable if they serve alcohol to patrons who appear to already be intoxicated

            I wish they wouldn't (actually they don't). I walk to the bar and have drinken plenty their and not once have I been turned down. In fact in many states the bartender is not liable for damages (for good reason).

            Another example: Imagine there's a business next door to your house that is set up to allow people to exchange (or share) drugs

            There are specific laws against this (crack house laws we can cal
            • Re:Skeletons (Score:4, Insightful)

              by poot_rootbeer (188613) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @05:20PM (#18421339)
              we hold bars accountable if they serve alcohol to patrons who appear to already be intoxicated

              And what we DON'T do is require bartenders to administer a breathalyzer test to every person who places a drink order, which is what Viacom is saying YouTube should have been doing.
              • by Ash Vince (602485)
                As an ex bartender I can say most of us were fairly careful about not serving people who look like they have already had enough to drink - Nobody likes cleaning up puke.
              • by rifter (147452)

                "we hold bars accountable if they serve alcohol to patrons who appear to already be intoxicated"

                And what we DON'T do is require bartenders to administer a breathalyzer test to every person who places a drink order, which is what Viacom is saying YouTube should have been doing.

                Actually, that is what YouTube has been doing, which makes this argument even more silly. YouTube has a catalog of checksums of known videos and will not allow you to upload a clip that matches that checksum. They add to this when p

      • by reidconti (219106)
        Why do I care who started YouTube or who owns it? Is it written somewhere in the emo-hipster code that I can only root for the little guy? I'll root for whomever I want to, whether it is the little guy, or a massively rich corporation. Similarly, if I think you're an asshole, I don't take into account your annual income.
      • by loganrapp (975327)
        How does YouTube hurt you by existing? Without it, the few gems we do have - Ask A Ninja, Mr. Deity, Lonelygirl15, LisaNova - would still be in obscurity. LisaNova got a gig on MadTV due to her popularity on YouTube.

        As with any medium, you're wading through bullshit. How is it any different from TV? The good:bad ratio is pretty much the same.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by RexRhino (769423)
        The morality of an action has nothing to do with the intent. If someone thinks they are helping you by kicking you in the head, they are still doing you harm. And if they think they are harming you by curing a disease, they are still doing good.

        In this case, YouTube might be acting to maximize its profits, but the way it is doing so benifits the rest of us. Society is benifited by having a place where it can freely exchange video, and it would be harmed by effectively criminalizing such a service. Therefore
      • by iamacat (583406)
        Yeah, but you have to be a customer for somebody unless you live in a log cabin. I think most of us agree that it's a more pleasant experience to be a customer of Google and YouTube compared to Viacom. By rewarding the former, we can hope that the later will make watching their content a more convenient and less irritating experience.
  • do (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @12:23PM (#18416161)
    Do as I say, not as I do...
    • Re:do (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TubeSteak (669689) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @12:37PM (#18416411) Journal
      FTFA:

      Viacom responded with the following statement: "Contributions to iFilm are all screened by iFilm employees prior to posting, to ensure that copyrighted, pornographic or other restricted content is not posted to the site." A search using the term "NBA Brawl," however, returns a number of clips of televised footage of both NBA and college football fights and it is not clear that Viacom owns the copyrights on those clips
      Wow... what damning evidence of Viacom's infringement.

      In fact, it looks a lot like what one would find on YouTube.
      Right Ars, a small fraction of YouTube involves sports brawls.
      Now show me on iFilm where I can watch a season of [TV show].
      If Ars can't do that, they're just being asinine.
    • Re:do (Score:4, Interesting)

      by crankyspice (63953) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @12:37PM (#18416421)
      I imagine Viacom is seeking injunctive relief against YouTube (i.e., "don't do that anymore, that's an order!"), which is an equitable remedy. One of the main tenants of equity is "he who seeks equity must do equity," that is, you have to show up with "clean hands." Could be interesting.
    • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

      by ArsonSmith (13997)
      But your honor, if I was speeding then the cop had to speed to catch me and pull me over. You should let me off and charge him!!!!
      • by wolff000 (447340)
        This is a civil case! Your analogy using a speeder is worthless. I am not surprised Viacom has infringed other people's copyright. Any user submitted video site is going to unless you could afford thousands of people to relentlessly research every submission. Even then stuff is going to slip by. The only reason Youtube is a target is because Google has deep pockets. If this was Joe Blow running something out of his basement and not making a dime there would be a fraction of the lawsuits. As usual it
        • Your analogy using a speeder is worthless

          Pointing out the law may not apply to "some animals more equal than others" is not worthless. It breeds contempt for the law.
          • by Fordiman (689627)
            Actually, he was making the distinction between civil and criminal offenses. Infringement is a civil offense (no matter how much content owners would like to call it theft), and as a result doesn't fall under criminal laws and rules. For injunctive relief - what Viacom is asking for - you need to show up with 'clean hands', ie: you need to not be doing what your asking to stop the other party from doing.
      • On-duty police officers are statutorily exempt from many laws.
    • I find it interesting that, unlike how your parents might have raised you, in the legal world, "he started it!" and "everybody does it!" mix together to form the valid legal defense called estoppel [wikipedia.org].
    • by SeaFox (739806)
      Now Google can actually say "Your honor, we move for the dismissal of this case based on the precedent set by the landmark case of Pot v. Kettle."

  • Viacom is suing YouTube for infringing on Viacom's copyright. Viacom is not infringing on its own rights on iFilm. If other people aren't happy w/ iFilm's infringing contents, let them sue Viacom. Two wrongs don't make a right.
    • by Phil246 (803464)
      ...except that the videos this article is on about, are those for which viacom does not hold the copyright.
      Not the ones that it does
      • Re:IANAL, but.. (Score:5, Informative)

        by MsGeek (162936) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @01:07PM (#18416967) Homepage Journal
        IANAL either, but this is the doctrine of unclean hands [lectlaw.com]. It can be used to get the YouTube case laughed out of court. Which it should. Viacom is expecting YouTube to do something Viacom does not do itself on its own, similar website. Buh-bye, Mr. Redstone.
        • by webrunner (108849)
          Particularly since I believe the wording here involves making 'reasonable' attempts to make sure you dont have anything infringing, and with this to light, Viacom cannot claim that what they want is reasonable.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          Not exactly. However, it goes to underscore the unreasonability of Viacom's request, and to further illustrate the fact that even the most stringent procedures in this arena will let stuff through. I'm telling you, though, that under Grokster and Sony Viacom doesn't have a chance to win.
  • I believe the law takes things case by case.

    The judge should see if the first has a case, and tell the other "if you want them to do the same thing, you need to sue them".

    If I hit someones car with mine, and then they hit my car, I can certainly file a claim. If they want damages, they need to file back. They can't just say "we both hit eachother so theres no claim at all". Sure the damages might be equal, but most likely not... for instance, comparing YouTube to Ifilm are not equal at all in infringement.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Dorceon (928997)
      The key thing here is Judicial Estoppel. Anything Viacom says in court in their case against YouTube, they cannot contradict when they are the defendant in someone else's suit against Ifilm.
  • Is it reall a valid argument to say "See, the guys that are suing us for breaking the law are breaking the law too?" Doesn't that make both of them guilty, rather than let You Tube off the hook? Personally I think the whole suit thing is more than a little bogus, but it doesn't make sense to me that this argument hold true...
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by chalkyj (927554)
      YouTube can, however, say "What you're asking for is unreasonable. Sure, you claim it's reasonable, but you're not even willing to do it on your own site and yet you expect us to?" - which does seem to be a valid argument.
    • Re:I'm confused (Score:5, Informative)

      by j00r0m4nc3r (959816) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @12:38PM (#18416427)
      I think it's more like, "Your honor, the industry standard is to not self-police your sites. It's a public site and people can upload copyrighted material. All Viacom has to do is tell us which items are infringing and we can remove them. See, even Viacom doesn't self-police themselves on iFilm..."
      There's sort of a fine line between the two...
    • by Fordiman (689627)
      Nothing to see here, folks. Just another dude who doesn't know the difference between civil and criminal law.
  • by rizzo320 (911761) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @12:31PM (#18416299)
    iFilm has been purchased by Google, and is now being sued for $1 billion by Viacom. Film at 11... (oh wait its copyrighted by Viacom, never mind!).
    • iFilm has been purchased by Google, and is now being sued for $1 billion by Viacom. Film at 11... (oh wait its copyrighted by Viacom, never mind!).

      Actually, the first thing I thought of relating to this story was Viacom may not be suing iFilm because they are in secret talks to purchase them and use it as a stage to compete with YouTube. Personally, I wouldn't be surprised if this came about during the discovery phase.
  • I don't agree (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hey! (33014) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @12:32PM (#18416327) Homepage Journal
    I'm not sure the judge will or should accept a tu quoque ("you're one too") argument. If A steal's B's car, and B steal's C's car, A is not off the hook for car theft.

    I think more to the point is the question of when Viacom became aware of YouTube, and what steps they took when they found out. Even if Google is found guilty of violating DMCA, if Viacom didn't take reasonable looking steps (e.g. using DMCA takedowns), Viacom is going to have a hard time arguing astronomical damages.

    I'm not saying Viacom has to defend its IP to keep its rights. I'm saying that if their actions look like they weren't all that concerned, it makes the notion they lost a billion dollars worth of revenue a bit hard to swallow. If Viacom was issuing takedowns like made, and just couldn't keep up with the new postings, it might be credible.
    • by Spamalope (91802)
      Competition. Viacom's Ifilm property has less of the market, and hopes to block popular activity on Gootube while allowing that same activity on Ifilm to boost market share. That strengthens the arguement a bit.

      I'm not sure the judge will or should accept a tu quoque ("you're one too")
    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      The "Nuh uh! He did it too!" defense usually only works if the judge is an 10-year-old boy.
    • Re:I don't agree (Score:5, Interesting)

      by gurps_npc (621217) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @01:55PM (#18417819) Homepage
      Your claim is not fair.

      The argument is not "You're one too".

      Instead it is:

      This is a new technology. What is legal and illegal has not yet been clearly declared.

      You yourself are doing the same activity that you are claiming is illegal.

      If you REALLY thought it was illegal, you would not do it yourself.

      You are just trying to get us to stop competeing against your own legal actions, not actually claiming we are breaking the law.

    • by terrymr (316118)
      Equitable relief requires that you come before the court with clean hands.

      Remember the napster case when an argument broke out over who's hands were the dirtiest ?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by gnuASM (825066)

      I'm not sure the judge will or should accept a tu quoque ("you're one too") argument.

      Although the fact that Viacom's iFilm also has others' copyrighted material on it, there are other ways of using that information in court. Google could use this information to strengthen their position of the safe harbor provisions by pointing out the "fact" that Viacom currently uses such provisions on its own competing service. I very seriously doubt that Viacom would admit on record that it intentionally violated another's copyright, as this could be used in criminal charges against Viacom, could it

  • It would be better (Score:3, Informative)

    by teflaime (738532) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @12:38PM (#18416423)
    if YouTube could say, "We take proactive steps to limit infringment, and respond within our stated guidelines to complaints of infringement. Viacom does neither." YouTube could be seen as coming up short on the limit side...They do, however, as far as I can tell, jerk videos pretty quickly upon a claim of infringement.
    • Problem is, iFilm also lets you report videos and cleans them up accordingly. So neither part of that hypothetical statement can really be applied.
      • by teflaime (738532)
        In which case, YouTube might be able to say "We are taking the same steps as Viacom. That means Viacom must think what we are doing is sufficient, so this is a baseless lawsuit."
        • If I was Viacom, and I thought that was to be the argument, I'd be issuing a memo saying "What we are doing is insufficient. What other companies are doing is insufficient. We need to be more proactive and improve our response in this area."
          • by teflaime (738532)
            In which case, Viacom admits liability and opens itself to similar law suits of equivelent size. I don't honestly believe that Viacom will admit any liability.
            • An internal memo saying "we would like to improve our processes" would never be taken as an "admission of liability" by any court I can imagine. But yes, you have a valid point, they're walking a tricky tightrope.
  • Citing the $1.65 billion that Google paid for YouTube, the complaint said that "YouTube deliberately built up a library of infringing works to draw traffic to the YouTube site, enabling it to gain a commanding market share, earn significant revenues and increase its enterprise value." The complaint was filed in United States District Court in New York. The lawsuit is the clearest sign yet of the tension between Google and major media companies. With its acquisition of YouTube, Google had high hopes of beco

  • Our own government prosecutes pornographers while overseeing the sale and rental of porn [theagitator.com]. Consistency was never a virtue of any standing government in modern times.
  • irrelevant (Score:2, Redundant)

    by superwiz (655733)
    You can be both a "thief" and a victim of "theft". I am not saying that YouTube is engaging in theft. I am simply saying that the fact that Viacom is engaging in behavior more egregeous than the one of which it is accusing YouTube does not in any way change the fact of whether or not YouTube is stealing or even harming Viacom. Just so we are clear, harming someone who is harming someone else is still harmful and unlawful.
    • by iainl (136759)
      The argument is not "look Viacom break the law too", but rather "What we're doing is a reasonable level of policing to meet DMCA requirements. Let's take another popular video hosting site to compare. See, same policing, same failure to catch every single one. Oh, look, it's owned by Viacom, and so we suggest that they themselves consider the attempts reasonable there".

      So it's not so much two wrongs making a right, but an argument that neither is a wrong in the first place.
  • Being someone who uses neither YouTube or iFilm for his viewing pleasure, it amazes me how much consternation the idea of copyright infringement causes in the marketplace. Remember the VCR? That was supposed to spell doom for television -- people would now tape their favorite shows and watch them endlessly, and wouldn't watch re-runs on TV. Duh!!! It then dawned on the networks that this could be turned to their advantage, because fans of shows would gladly buy merchandise, special video mixes, and eventual

    • by Todd Knarr (15451)

      Because it's not piracy that's the threat to the RIAA/MPAA. It's legitimate electronic distribution.

      Yes, I said legitimate.

      With VHS tapes and DVDs, you need a big checkbook to finance physical duplication and packaging. You need connections to retailers to have shelf space for the product. You need a big operation to move physical objects from the duplication plant to the retail outlets, and to warehouse them while awaiting distribution. You need conventional advertisement and PR to get consumers to notic

  • by reifman (786887) * on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @12:57PM (#18416767) Homepage
    iFilm doesn't have RSS feeds for Daily Show episodes or Colbert Report. I've put together these two feeds using Dapper and Feedburner: Daily Show Clips on iFilm (http://feeds.feedburner.com/DailyShowiFilm) [feedburner.com] Colbert Report Clips on iFilm (http://feeds.feedburner.com/ColbertReportiFilm) [feedburner.com] Link to blog entry on this [idealog.us]
    • Thanks! The Daily Show and Colbert Report clips are the only reason why I even bother with ifilm. You just made my day.
  • While this is embarassing for Viacom, the unfortunate (for Google) reality is that if Google bites on this and points it out, it's bad for Google.

    Google's big defense right now is the safe harbour provisions in the DMCA. Their legal argument is, they aren't required to put in safeguards so they can't be held liable for not doing so. If they, in some motion brief, go and point out that Viacom isn't safeguarding and how hypocritical that is, then Viacom in their reply can say "Oooops, you know, you're righ
    • by rhizome (115711)
      then Viacom in their reply can say "Oooops, you know, you're right, we're not, our bad, we're sorry, we'll pay reparations. And now, Google, since you've agreed it's a bad thing we've both done, you can pay reparations to us for your infraction too".

      How is it bad for Google if they point out that iFilm became compliant in a way that Viacom did not allow YouTube?

    • by Overzeetop (214511) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @01:46PM (#18417663) Journal
      Actually, this can still be played in favor of Google.

      Rather than pointing out that "Viacom is breaking the law, too," they will note that Viacom, via iFilm, is also practicing the industry standard which relys upon the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA. Even if iFilm changes its stance, Google can point out that they were all operating under the same expectation of safe harbor, and the Viacom has only recently changed their policies in order to try and unilaterally change the industry standards. The damage is done. iFilm can try and change their operating procedure, but it can be made to look like a political move by a good defense team.
      • Then, they can also claim that Viacom's claim was an attempt to use a bogus legal action to hurt a direct competitor and ask for damages.
  • by The-Bus (138060) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @01:04PM (#18416915)
    I always wonder why companies rail against this "pirating" on YouTube which is predy ridiculous since YouTube is not and, in its current format, will never be a replacement for mass-market television. The problem is that if YouTube gets away with it, so can others. So they have to squash YouTube infringers, even if it's not really a threat.

    The media companies themselves aren't stupid. Look at the All-Time Most Viewed on YouTube [youtube.com]. We've got OK! Go (a band signed with Capitol Records/EMI, an RIAA member), Nike, SNL (NBC), My Chemical Romance (a band with Reprise, a Warner Bros. label, also an RIAA member). Record labels are on it, production companies/ film studios, and a heck of a lot of networks. Here's a short list of partners [youtube.com].

    YouTube (and sites like it) should be treated a bit different than the Napster of old. It holds a lof of other advantages over "old piracy", all of which is extremely useful to owners of the copyright:
    • Not a worthwhile copy of the real thing. YouTube (as it is now) could never replicate seeing a movie in theatres, or on DVD, or even on cable. The quality is acceptable enough for its free price, but that's about it. Unlike pirated software copies or (to most people) MP3s, this is not a true "copy" of the product you sell.
    • Tracking, tracking, tracking. YouTube collects age and sex information. I don't know if they record this for each video being viewed, but what if CBS suddenly learned that one of its shows seemed extremely popular with females over 50? Let's say it was a show they didn't expect to fit that demographic (like the military drama The Unit). Maybe this will help them sell more advertising.
    • YouTube is soft DRM. It's easier to distribute a link to a file on YouTube than it is to distribute the file itself.


    There's a lot more to this, of course. But networks (finally!) aren't being total idiots. As far as I know, the three major networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) all let you stream shows for free through their sites. Other networks may be doing the same thing (to some extent, Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, Comedy Central, and the Sci-Fi channel do this). I don't think YouTube is the be-all and end-all in matters of online media. I'm speaking alot about them just because they're referenced in the article and they're the 'Video_blog Portal 2.0' (or whatever) that I'm most familiar with.

    It gives me some hope that user response seems about as positive as Napster and the media conglomerate's response has been a hell of a lot more tempered; consumers get content for free, media creators/owners/distributors lose less control. Sure, crazy DRM schemes still pop-up, but this gives me hope that we're progressing positively. I'll take non-intrusive DRM as long as it does no harm and I get content for less (or free), not for the same price or more.

    • by that_xmas (707449)
      OK! Go? You mean that obscure band that became surprisingly super-popular because of a stupid video that was virally spread throughout the video hosting sites?

      Goddammit YouTube! You're destroying the livelyhoods of thousands of A&R men!
  • Again... (Score:2, Funny)

    by fluch (126140)
    ...all are equal, just some are more equal than others. At least a variant of it. :)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Viacom's iFilm is a direct competetitor to Google's YouTube. And I thought Microsoft was evil! This is a case of a company suing its competetitor for legal ("safe harbor") standard industry practices that they use themselves. Pretty damned sleazy. Worse than Microsoft (not as bad as Sony, at least they didn't root my box!)

    Unlike most here, I read the above comments and must say that most of you guys are so full of crap it's coming out of your ears. I'm getting pretty damned tired of hearing copyright infrin
  • Protest Viacom (Score:2, Interesting)

    Protest Viacom
    Upload infringing content to iFilm.

    Well, someone has to say it.

  • This lawsuit will not set any legal precedent because it will be settled out of court. Why? Because it's simply a negotiation tactic by Viacom to get more from Google. The other content companies have already signed revenue sharing agreements; Viacom wants the same but more with more money. Viacom thinks that this lawsuit a way to convince Google that YouTube needs to pay more.
    • by Todd Knarr (15451)

      Except that it may backfire on Viacom. One of the things Google/YouTube depend on to control legal exposure is the DMCA's safe-harbor provision. By attacking that directly, Viacom may force Google to conclude it can't afford not to fight simply to insure it retains that protection. And it's not necessarily just about YouTube, any weakening of the safe-harbor protection impacts almost all of Google's other business. Google may decide this is one fight they can't afford not to fight, and they've surely got th

  • The copyright is enshrined in our history with the noble goal of "encouraging the progress of science and the useful arts." Unfortunately its real goal was to protect the investment in mass manufacure and distribution technology of the Printer's Guild, who controlled the presses - now the the entities who get the most out of copyright haven't created much of anything but plastic and paper - for the same reason. The availability of free content on the Internet is proof positive you don't need an economic in

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