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Cuban v. EFF lawyer on YouTube, DMCA 107

Posted by Zonk
from the strange-bedfellows dept.
hamtaro writes "Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and outspoken activist on copyright issues, exchanged some words with an EFF lawyer at this year's EFF 'Pioneer Awards'. The awards, held earlier this week, saw a heated discussion ensue about YouTube. Apparently Cuban feels that 'everyone knows' that YouTube is host to tons of infringing content and therefore it should be exempt from DMCA protections. You read that right: the EFF, defending the DMCA against Mark Cuban. 'Cuban is an interesting spokesman for copyright concerns since he has a broad perspective; as the owner of HDNet, he worries about having his content given away for free without his consent, but he's also someone who has funded EFF campaigns in the past, especially when the group defended Grokster's claim to legality. One of the strangest aspects of the debate was seeing an EFF lawyer defend the DMCA, which usually comes in for a drubbing due to its anti-circumvention provision. But von Lohmann told Ars Technica after the debate that the safe harbor section has actually allowed plenty of businesses to flourish that might otherwise have been mired in legal problems, and that it has generally worked well.'"
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Cuban v. EFF lawyer on YouTube, DMCA

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 30, 2007 @04:28PM (#18548761)
    There's "bad" DMCA and "good" DMCA.

    Bad is what everyone here probably thinks of - anti-circumvention rules, etc. Section 1201 and so on.

    Good is a series of safe harbors for things like network caching, webhosting, and other situations where copying occurs but we don't there to be copyright infringement for policy reasons. section 512 and such.
  • Re:Dragnet time. (Score:4, Informative)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland.yahoo@com> on Friday March 30, 2007 @04:32PM (#18548803) Homepage Journal
    The point is, Youtube is NOT breaking the law. In fact they have always complied with the law.

    Safe harbor is there for a reason. To say YouTube is exempt from safe harbor is unfair, short sighted, and preposterious.

    Everybody knows that sidewalks are used to commit crimes, lets repeal the right against unwarrented search and seizure on sidewalks.
  • by geekotourist (80163) on Friday March 30, 2007 @05:00PM (#18549157) Journal
    (Disclosure: I know people at the EFF and think they're amazing people)

    To be what the EFF is, they have to take positions on issues that might not seem moderate or be popular.

    First- they have to start working on issues long before most people even know that a technology exists- things that are obscure, not popular, so less likely to bring in vast numbers of new members.
    Second- they'll work on the civil liberties implications of what might seem like fine technology- this certainly can make them unpopular.
    Third- they sue corporations, which obviously isn't going to help with corporate donations. (which is why the EFF needs memberships, they're a small, non-profit, member-based organization [eff.org], even though all their cases might make them seem much larger [eff.org]. Grants like the one that got them into the secret EU TV DRM meetings [eff.org] are the exception.)
    Fourth- the defendants they get aren't necessarily going to be angelic posterboys. Governments or corporations (think RIAA) will always try to set precedents with the ugliest and least sympathetic cases first. i.e.The RIAA didn't start with grandmas and orphans, they started with rowdy-seeming college students.


    If you look at the ten major areas where they work:


    How likely is it that a techie (or anyone) will agree with 100% of all 10 areas? (Pretty unlikely, because I don't think you'd get 100% agreement even by the EFF's people themselves.) As one example, Hamidi v Intel [eff.org] can't be called a crowd pleaser here. And that the EFF focuses on the collateral damage to free speech caused by some anti-spam technologies isn't popular- it's probably their Skokie march- but it follows from their core work.
  • Re:Must be Law 2.0 (Score:3, Informative)

    by cdrguru (88047) on Friday March 30, 2007 @05:59PM (#18549939) Homepage
    Maybe you should be allowed to sue Geocities if they (a) allow your content to be uploaded by anonymous parties without restriction or review, and (b) have 1,000 people individually making sure that every time you complain and it is taken down it is reposted five minutes later.

    The problem is not one of dealing with individual owners of a web site (as was envisioned at the time) but public forums where anonymous contributors can completely outstrip the ability of the infringed party to do anything about it.

    Face it, the YouTube user community at large can ensure that any small number of videos simple continue to be reposted and there is nothing that can be done about it within the framework of the DMCA. For every temp Viacom hires to look at YouTube content, 10 more YouTube users can repost whatever is taken down.

    And all the time in the background Google is raking in money from page views and ads.

Money will say more in one moment than the most eloquent lover can in years.

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