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The Courts Google Music Your Rights Online

Music Rights Holders Sue YouTube Again 145

Posted by Soulskill
from the if-at-first-you-don't-succeed dept.
bennyboy64 writes "NewTeeVee reports on a criminal investigation that has been launched against senior executives of YouTube and parent company Google in Hamburg, Germany over allegations of copyright infringement. The case started after a complaint was filed by German music rights holders. Hamburg's prosecutor has formally requested assistance from US colleagues to compel YouTube to produce log files identifying who uploaded as well as who viewed 500 specific videos."
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Music Rights Holders Sue YouTube Again

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  • by LtGordon (1421725) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @09:22AM (#29856075)
    Can somebody please explain to me why it is apparently illegal to simply receive or observe a performance that violates a copyright? I was of the impression that only the distributing party would be liable.
    • by sopssa (1498795) *

      Previously only downloading computer software (including games of course too) was illegal. I think that changed in many EU countries some years ago, and now also downloading music and movies and other copyrighted content is illegal. That would obviously include listening aka downloading from YouTube too.

      • by Jarik C-Bol (894741) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @10:34AM (#29856549)
        The problem with this is, say you watch a video on youtube that someone has put music on. Now, you don't know the song or artist, and you watch your video of some cats doing funny stuff, and go on your way.
        Now with what they are trying to do, you might get your happy, cat-loving self sued, because the guy that put the video up was using copyrighted music, and you watched it. Now, i know there is the whole "not knowing the law is no excuse for violating it" thing, but there has to be a practical limit.

        At this point, we know that youtube mutes videos with copyrighted music, or replaces it with music that is public domain, or removes the video entirely at times, just to protect grouchy rights holders. Armed with this knowledge, you expect to be able to watch videos on youtube, without the risk of getting in trouble for 'receiving stolen goods' and/or 'pirating music' (Because it got loaded into your ram in a temporary cache?) Who set this stupid precedent anyways?).

        Hopefully, this case will set some decent standards so that don't treat the public like guilty before proven innocent criminals.
        • by sopssa (1498795) *

          The good thing however is that courts are usually quite sensible (well here atleast, probably not in USA) and look in to the purposes too. They would most likely laugh off a company that sues a person for randomly watching a video from YouTube that contained copyrighted music track. You'd have more ground when you bring in a case where the person had downloaded 100,000+ music tracks from P2P networks, knowing well that they were copyrighted.

          That being said, even the antipiracy companies here have never went

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Idiomatick (976696)
            Relying on the government to be sensible is a horrifying proposition.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by icebraining (1313345)

          Well, when I'm forced to go to court, I'll b sure to bring a small boombox so the judge can be liable for copyright infringement too.

          • by gilgongo (57446)

            Well, when I'm forced to go to court, I'll b sure to bring a small boombox so the judge can be liable for copyright infringement too.

            That's a good point. Of course I've not RTFA, but how is YouTube different from traditional radio in this respect? After all, if I am painting my house while listening to my radio, and the radio plays Britney Spears, and my neighbour hears that track, Sony don't sue the radio station, much less us. What gives? Is there some subtlety in the fact that the songs are part of videos that is the issue here?

            • I think a lot of confusion comes when the Euros try to figure out our law, and we try to figure out their law. Worse, we often forget that there IS a difference.

              There was a story about a shop owner in the UK who was forced to remove a radio from her shop, because she wasn't paying the mafiaa any royalties. So - she goes about her business without music, singing to herself. They came back, wanting to charge royalties!! Under UK law, they had a case, but only backed down after the public expressed it's ou

    • Can somebody please explain to me why it is apparently illegal to simply receive or observe a performance that violates a copyright? I was of the impression that only the distributing party would be liable.

      Because you copy the work into your computer's RAM to view it. There is an exception in countries' copyright laws covering necessary short-term copies, such as 17 USC 117 and foreign counterparts, but a lot of these exceptions cover copies only from those copies that are lawfully made.

      • by Rich0 (548339)

        That is a pretty ridiculous argument (spare me the citations, I'm sure there are 14 judges out there that have upheld it nonetheless).

        When I listen to music from the radio it ends up being embedded in my memory - and yet I don't need a license to listen to the music.

        I don't really have a major problem with copyright, but it is something that should be exclusively applied to people distributing things, not people who receive them. P2P technology is a gray area - I'm actually not opposed to liability there b

        • When I listen to music from the radio it ends up being embedded in my memory - and yet I don't need a license to listen to the music.

          Wetware is not a "tangible medium in which works can be fixed". RAM is, according to at least United States case law. I am not familiar with the copyright law of Germany, but I'll assume it isn't much different from that in other Berne Convention members.

          • by Rich0 (548339)

            I wasn't trying to suggest that this wasn't in keeping with the letter of the law. I was trying to suggest that the law is dumb if this is the case, and I doubt this was the original intent of those who wrote the law.

            If a software needs to be installed for it to be used, then that installation should not be considered copying/distribution under copyright law. Yes, I realize that it does require bits to be copied. However, copyright law doesn't exist because copying is evil - it exists to ensure that thos

            • If a software needs to be installed for it to be used, then that installation should not be considered copying/distribution under copyright law.

              And if you are installing from lawfully made media, this copying does not infringe under U.S. law and under the laws of countries that have more or less harmonized to U.S. law. But if you are installing from unlawfully made media, the defense may not apply.

              The a legitimate of law is to facilitate commerce. Sane copyright policies can help do that. Insane policies do not.

              It does facilitate commerce among organizations that have captured the legislature [wikipedia.org]. Anything "insane" about the status quo occurs precisely where it discriminates between organizations with vs. without the capital to capture a legislature.

      • by lpq (583377)

        Uh...

        That doesn't work for me -- I copy a image into my brain cells when I look at it. The image may be modified or compressed in real time, as my visual subprocessors ignore or tune out parts of the visual stimuli around me, but if I don't make a copy I can't see anything. The information goes from the external world, through my eyes and is copied into my internal representation of the world.

        Isn't everything we receive as information copied, in some form, into our brain?

        How can one respond to what someon

    • by Ant P. (974313)

      Those with money make the rules.

      It's a fucked up state of affairs, and the general public is hopefully hard at work trying to put the MAFIAA out of the rule-making business, but it's going to get worse before it gets better.

      • by DarkOx (621550) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @10:40AM (#29856573) Journal

        That may be true but if the majority of the rules don't at least maintain a somewhat convincing pretense of being for the good of everyone than everyone starts to loose respect for all the rules not just the stupid and or unjust ones. You end up with the collapse of society into a state of practical lawlessness.

        Then if your lucky you get a fairly popular revolution that leads to a fairly stable new society for a period of time. If you are less lucky you get an endless parade of strongmen slugging it out for power. These folks in turn produce equally abhorrent laws that the majority appear to respect out of fear but passive aggressively work to undermine the system until its weak enough that the next strongman takes his turn.

        You can see the pattern across just about every culture and time period in history.

      • by shentino (1139071)

        The MAFIAA needs to be boycotted.

        But heaven help us if their litigation machine ever proves profitable even without sales to back them up. Then there will be no stopping them.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Personally I think this is great. The country I live in (Sweden) has made downloading illegal, as well as uploading. Everyone assumes that copyright infringment is something that only takes place on piratebay. Here is an example that shows how unintelligent it is to criminalize the person downloading something since more or less everyone assumes that if it's on youtube, it must be legal.

      Imagine the law Nicolas Sarkozys is trying to pass in EU (three accusations of copyright infringment and you're banned fro

      • But what if I want to have a laugh at the Lumberjack song and view it? A copyright holder could definately claim that the uploading of the Lumberjack song is infringement, and thus also the downloading.

        Your point is generally correct, but Monty Python is not a good example. That comedy group actually has its own YouTube channel, where they have uploaded clips http://www.youtube.com/user/MontyPython [youtube.com]. The channel includes at least one performance of the Lumberjack song http://www.youtube.com/user/MontyPython#p/c/CDFEA6D52E5CC0EC [youtube.com], so they probably would not mind if you watch it...

      • by gilgongo (57446)

        I think it's more likely that copyright will become irrelevant and that contracts (eg Sony BMG have a contract with YouTube that says XYZ) will become the norm. Contract wins over copyright already, and seeing as copyright is plainly stupid in the digital age (it was meant to protect the owners of printing presses for god's sake), it's just going to have to go away.

        That don't mean our lives get any easier though.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Heppelld0 (1003848)
      the copyright owners are trying to support a failing system. the laws and rights that applied years ago aren't relevant any more but they're still stupidly being enforced.

      i think the world needs to view the internet as a separate country from the rest of the world. there has to be a set of regulations governing the use of the internet. for that to happen, a group has to be set up to agree what is universally and globally seen as criminal behaviour and then apply it to the internet. it can't be "this count
    • Because Copyright is Sacred.

      Copyright now essentially resembles a religious institution. Modern proscriptions on the copying and redistribution of data in the digital age resemble, if anything, proscriptions on the distribution of translations of the Bible in the 1500's at the advent of the printing press. In both cases the technology exists that enables people to transmit information freely and cheaply. In both cases, this new ability threatens the monopoly of an established order. In both cases, that order goes to extreme and unreasonable lengths to defend a status quo that has become farcical.

      So, like the bishops of old, the copyright industry is forced to extreme measures. Attack anyone, at any time, anywhere who seeks to defend or aid or in any way comfort those who break their canon, and do so with the utmost ferocity possible. Our modern legal system enables them to be as vindictive as they like with all the power of the courts behind the. Youtube is and always will be a prime target of their ire, being as it is, the bazaar of modern user content generation and distribution. If they can, they will send the state to smash and tear down the stalls seen here, and send all the meddlers packing. But, they are forgetting the forces that created the bazaar in the first place.

      As the supply becomes infinite, what happens to the price? As people have the ability to copy and now distribute data, text, music and movies at virtually zero cost, why is this data worth anything anymore? Trying to argue about creators rights or fairness or legalities is to sidestep the main issue; the data is fundamentally worth zero. Attempt as you like to construct sophistic or legal or moral arguments around this. But you have sidesteped this main issue, and its fundamental and central issue is aptly demonstrated by the stampede of ordinary people from all walks of life crashing through it and filesharing as they see fit. The public has made its decision.

      You can protest. You can condemn. You can litigate. But ultimately your position is like that of church leaders who protested against the popular printed Bible. People aren't listening. No argument or law or sermon is going to dissuade them from breaking laws they think are silly or unjust. The concept of copyright is too abstract a thing for most people to see breaking it as criminal. The cost of digital distribution too low for most to see its content as being worth anything. The internet has fundamentally changed the nature of content and copyright in a way just as profound as the printing press and the general public has very quickly woken up to this fact. It's time for our legal system to do the same.

      • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

        Modern proscriptions on the copying and redistribution of data in the digital age resemble, if anything, proscriptions on the distribution of translations of the Bible in the 1500's at the advent of the printing press. In both cases the technology exists that enables people to transmit information freely and cheaply. In both cases, this new ability threatens the monopoly of an established order. In both cases, that order goes to extreme and unreasonable lengths to defend a status quo that has become farcica

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          "The copyright system was designed with concepts like the internet in mind."??? No it wasn't bud. It was designed to give the cronies of the crown rights to make money from someone else's work. Then the idea came along that it would be better for the ARTIST to get the rights and not be under the whips of the DISTRIBUTORS so copyright was given to the ARTIST.

          Well 180 years later and we have the distributors again owning the rights and stomping all over both sides.

          Given you got that so horrendously wrong, wha

        • by icebraining (1313345) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @12:07PM (#29857193) Homepage

          This breakdown of the cost of a typical major-label release by the independent market-research firm Almighty Institute of Music Retail shows where the money goes for a new album with a list price of $15.99.

          $0.17 Musicians' unions
          $0.80 Packaging/manufacturing
          $0.82 Publishing royalties
          $0.80 Retail profit
          $0.90 Distribution
          $1.60 Artists' royalties
          $1.70 Label profit
          $2.40 Marketing/promotion
          $2.91 Label overhead
          $3.89 Retail overhead

          http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/6558540/walmart_wants_10_cds [rollingstone.com]

          When the label _profits_ are greater than the artist royalties, and when online retailers want to charge me almost the same as if they were selling me a CD, the moral urge to buy music is weak.

          • That's your prerogative; you may choose whichever artist you like based on their label. That still doesn't justify piracy. In that case, the artist's royalties would be less $1.60 per album.

            As a side note, part of being with a label is that you have the highest chance of getting good sales, and the label takes half (or more) as insurance. If the artist didn't like it, they shouldn't have signed with them.

            • In that case, the artist's royalties would be less $1.60 per album.

              This isn't a particular case, it's "the cost of a typical major-label release".

              So I should just listen to different artists because those I like receive peanuts for each album? That's stupid. I like *those* artists, not some artists per label. If I can't buy that specific albums, I'm not buying "cheaper" ones, albums are not like blenders.

              Giving most of my money to the labels and retailers isn't helping the artists (and hence helping produce

              • So I should just listen to different artists because those I like receive peanuts for each album? That's stupid. I like *those* artists, not some artists per label. If I can't buy that specific albums, I'm not buying "cheaper" ones, albums are not like blenders.

                Well, unfortunately, there's no country on Earth who recognises the right to acquire the albums of a specific artist on your terms. The labels have something that you want, and it's up to you to decide whether you want it on their terms or not at all

                • I'm sure if he pirates their offering, we can still enjoy it and pay for it ourselves as well.

                  • Well, that's exactly what's happening. Everyone who pays for works end up paying for the people who don't. The problem is that some people aren't happy paying such high prices for the sake of pirates.

                    • Well, that's exactly what's happening. Everyone who pays for works end up paying for the people who don't. The problem is that some people aren't happy paying such high prices for the sake of pirates.

                      That is fundamentally flawed. Things are not priced to recover an investment but to what the market will bare.
                      The difference between me and j k rowling is that people will pay more often to read what she writes.

                      I've probably earned more per copy than J K Rowling with some things I have written but there really wasn't an alternative for the companies that needed my product.

                      Under your thinking J K should have slashed the cost of her books once she made her first million since that was enough but she didn't be

                    • You think we'd have Itunes and .99 songs on Amazon if the labels could still get away with only selling CD's for $20? The only reason we now have these cheaper digital purchase option is because of the pirates.

                      Except that you're wrong. You're seeing a correlation and interpreting it as causation. What is it about piracy that causes media companies to start using the internet? Absolutely nothing; the internet was there, the capacity for cheaper distribution was there, and the demand was there without the inf

                    • Piracy does not raise the cost of anything for the consumer, but it does reduce the profitability of particular items per unit.

                      What makes you think that they aren't linked? As profitability decreases, the natural and correct response for a company is to either raise prices, or decrease expenditure. Either way, legitimate customers get less value.

                      Piracy may increase demand and create a market for some items or the complete opposite (where exclusivity sets the price).

                      No, actually, piracy unlocks more potentia

                    • At the absolute minimum at least in the music industry, piracy with Napster woke the industry up to the large demand for digital music.

                      We'll probably never know for sure. It certainly encapsulated the demand for downloadable music. Of course, it simultaneously encapsulated the ever present demand for free music, so it's hard to say how much of a wake up call it really was.

                      And since the digital stores like Itunes and Amazon are competing with free, I believe that has actually lowered the price.

                      You can't comp

          • by makomk (752139)

            Also, as I understand it, production costs are paid for out of the artist's royalties, not the record company's share.

        • Now, one of the many things that anti-copyright arguments sidestep is that "everybody is doing it" does not equate with "you can't stop it", and especially "it is good".

          This is indeed true. But, as in the case of copyright infringement, when so many people across political, social, cultural, economic and national boundaries have all simultaneously reached the same conclusion with regard to filesharing, this tells us at least that our current copyright laws are in need of modernisation and reform.

          At this poi

          • But, as in the case of copyright infringement, when so many people across political, social, cultural, economic and national boundaries have all simultaneously reached the same conclusion with regard to filesharing, this tells us at least that our current copyright laws are in need of modernisation and reform.

            I see what you're saying, but I disagree. I think laws should be based on what people want, not what they say they want. If the only evidence that they can come up with against copyright are scapegoat

        • by tkrotchko (124118)

          "if we can make copyright infringement criminal"

          We'll make criminals of pretty much everyone.

          "we can simultaneously improve enforcement, and get some government oversight into the process"

          Great, my tax dollars go making sure the MPAA and RIAA members meet their quarterly revenue goals. When I first read the cautionary essay "The Right to Read" back in 1997, I thought it was silly, but I think folks like yourself read it and agree with it.

          Society shouldn't revolve around copyright, copyright should revolve

          • "if we can make copyright infringement criminal"

            We'll make criminals of pretty much everyone.

            Pirates are so quick to accuse their fellow man. For some reason, it seems to ease their consciences.

            The idea is that they already willingly made themselves liable for massive damages. We're just scaling that back to the lesser status of criminal. And, of course, they have option of, y'know, just not doing it anymore.

            Great, my tax dollars go making sure the MPAA and RIAA members meet their quarterly revenue goals.

            Ri

            • by tkrotchko (124118)

              "I don't actually view copyright as a matter of fairness"

              But unless the bargain is fair it will never stick. I don't think you can get around that.

              No offense, your position on copyrights seems to be a bit like King Canute; you think that all that need to be done is educate and prosecute and that nothing else needs to be changed and that the law will be observed. But the king cannot command the sea.

              Copyright laws and enforcement have gotten progressively more stringent and yet copyright violations continue

              • But unless the bargain is fair it will never stick. I don't think you can get around that.

                Fairness is relative. Some people believe that enjoying the fruits of someone's labour, against their will, without paying them for the trouble, is unfair. Others seem to believe that preventing people from doing the above is unfair.

                You see, the public's perception of fairness can change. What can't, is the outcome of destroying copyright.

                No offense, your position on copyrights seems to be a bit like King Canute; you t

                • by tkrotchko (124118)

                  "What we have here is a classic free market setup."

                  We have the opposite of a free market today; we have large companies that effectively use congress as a tool to maximize profit.

                  I respect your position, but I think you're hearkening back to a day that cannot be brought back. Copying is trivial now and always will be trivial. You can put in all sorts of laws to punish people, but you can't stop people from copying a movie or music for their buddies. That bargain that used to exist before all media was di

                  • We have the opposite of a free market today; we have large companies that effectively use congress as a tool to maximize profit.

                    But... that's exactly what a free market setup is! Companies maximise profits, consumers maximise value. Copyright is a tool that gives us the options required to do so. It allows us to work towards a sweet spot, where we get decent value, and the company gets decent profits.

                    Piracy forces the system to tend towards a $0 price, and hence the companies into 0 production, which is bad

      • Price != Value (Score:4, Informative)

        by jonaskoelker (922170) <.jonaskoelker. .at. .gnu.org.> on Saturday October 24, 2009 @11:34AM (#29856941) Homepage

        As the supply becomes infinite, what happens to the price? As people have the ability to copy and now distribute data, text, music and movies at virtually zero cost, why is this data worth anything anymore?

        I disagree with your terminology here. Not your argument or conclusion (I have yet to take a stand on those), but your terminology.

        (maybe that makes me a pedantic, but so be it. If the mods don't like this, oh well; I have karma to burn and I'm willing to have it be burned to say what I want to say.)

        Value and price are two differen things. Value is, roughly speaking, how much we like having something and/or how badly we want it. Price is the amount of resources we trade away to get it.

        I value much of the software I run. I value listening to JT Bruce's "A skeptic's Hypothesis". I value watching "Big Buck Bunny". But I pay aprice of 0 for all of these. (There's a transaction cost toall of these, sure, but no price).

        What will happen to the value as supply rises? Pretty much nothing. The price will likely drop to zero. Also, people might get a closer approximation of their real preferences if there is more competition.

        But they'll still like listening to $BAND just as much.

        (someone used to call this "value in trade" versus "value in use"; I think it was a greek, but you're armed with the power of Google, so use it if you need.)

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by molnarcs (675885)
        Parent's comment must be one of the most insightful ones I saw regarding copyrights. When we look at the scope and significance of change a particular technology can bring about, the significance of Gutenberg's invention's the only one that matches that of the Internet... I know, I know... the Internet has many "dependencies" (electricity, cables, whatnot), but I'm referring to the impact on culture.

        It can be argued that printing made culture possible. Before the invention of printing, the production of c

    • There's no law against receiving or observing copyrighted material. In that case, the liable party would indeed be the distributing party. If you seek it out, or copy it yourself, then you may be liable yourself.

      • by sopssa (1498795) *

        Downloading copyrighted material (without having the right to do so) is illegal atleast in Sweden and Finland since some years ago, and since Germany is in EU too and they're trying to get info on the downloaders aswell I suspect it's the same thing there.

    • by jonbryce (703250)

      Because on computers, everything is a copy.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...can we sue the musician?

  • by RobertM1968 (951074) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @09:29AM (#29856121) Homepage Journal
    Looks like business as usual. Guess they will keep trying until (a) they can no longer afford to or (b) they set a precedent by actually having such a case go through the courts and win.

    Nothing beats a failure like failing again!

  • Crazy (Score:4, Informative)

    by Mechanist.tm (1124543) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @09:40AM (#29856177)
    Logs to get who viewed the videos. Is that not crazy?
    • That goes without saying except for one caveat... there is a precedent... when Viacom sued Google (YouTube) for... wait for it... "One B i l l i o n Dollars" they requested the "viewing" logs and Google rolled-over for them (http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2008/07/judge-orders-yo/). Granted, they were ordered to, but the Judge used their own prior arguments about the meaningfulness of IP addresses to support his argument.
  • i suppose (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Heppelld0 (1003848) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @09:42AM (#29856189)
    the way i see it is that there's two types of artist. those that produce works for money, and those that don't and get money anyway. the former tend to be the one's doin' the sue-in'. that doesn't mean to say that they don't produce good works of art, it's more the situation "you WILL pay to enjoy my art" as opposed to "if you like it, pay me to produce more". it just doesn't feel right somehow
  • Free advertisment (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Seriously?
    Youtube is free advertising, not piracy.
    Many times i've seen a band on youtube and then went and bought music from it. Not just listened to youtube to avoid buying stuff.

    • sudo, mod this one up.
      i could not agree more. there are lots of things that i've found clips of on youtube that lead me to finding and buying CD's of that work.
  • by maxwell demon (590494) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @09:56AM (#29856305) Journal

    They have no business in knowing who viewed the videos. After all, since YouTube explicitly disables videos which are infringing, I have to assume that if I see a video on YouTube, I have the right to do so. If a video happens to be uploaded illegally, that's not my fault as viewer, and I cannot be made responsible for the fact that I was shown that video.

    Just for the record: I don't have any idea whether I've seen any of those videos. Since those are just 500 videos, and YouTube has so many more, I suspect I haven't. But even if I have, I have done nothing wrong, and therefore they clearly have no moral right (and I really hope also no legal right, although in these times you never can be sure) to demand to find out whether I've seen any of those videos.

    I hope I'll not have to start using anonymous proxies to protect myself when just doing normal, legal activities!

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Tanuki64 (989726)
      Whether or not you can be held responsible for viewing the videos does not matter. For all non-Germans who might not know: This is the court in Hamburg. When it comes to copyright and internet you cannot find a more stupid court with more imbecile or corrupt judges than the one in Hamburg. You have enough money? You can get any ruling you like. Usually it does not hold before a higher court, but this is not necessarily expected by the "plaintiffs". The main task for the court in Hamburg is to be used to thr
      • by DarkOx (621550)

        If there is any successful attempt to hold viewers accountable for infringement by watching the videos than it seems to me that entire Internet is useless for anyone withing reach of German law. How can an end user ever begin to ensure that any of the content on any site they might be visiting has been licenses appropriately or is not otherwise infringing?

        • by Tanuki64 (989726)
          Don't tell me, tell the judges in Hamburg. Good luck. :-)
        • by maharb (1534501)

          That does bring up a good point. How does one explicitly know they are breaking copyright law while on the internet. I could click a link that someone says is their own original music, I download it, start playing it, and THEN find out it is a work that is protected under copyright. The very nature of the net allows you to accidentally break all sorts of copyright laws based on what people put on their sites. If someone put the whole text to harry potter on a html page, maybe even in a comment so you do

    • by Kjella (173770)

      I have to assume that if I see a video on YouTube, I have the right to do so. If a video happens to be uploaded illegally, that's not my fault as viewer, and I cannot be made responsible for the fact that I was shown that video.

      Not that US law is relevant to Germans, but USC 17504(c)(2):

      (...) In a case where the infringer sustains the burden of proving, and the court finds, that such infringer was not aware and had no reason to believe that his or her acts constituted an infringement of copyright, the court in its discretion may reduce the award of statutory damages to a sum of not less than $200.

      Or the short version: Yes, you can.

      • Or the short version: Yes, you can.

        That's.... messed up. I'm not even sure what else there is to say about this. At least $200 for damages, even if you had no idea that what you were doing was copyright infringement? How the hell are you supposed to stay out of this?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by broken_chaos (1188549)

          You aren't. You're supposed to pay up for each and every item you ever view, hear, watch, or play.

        • Civil copyright infringement is virtually always a strict liability offense. It's a bit like speeding (it doesn't matter if you didn't know what the speed limit was) or statutory rape (even if a minor tells you they are over the age of consent, it doesn't matter).

          As for the provision the earlier poster cited, 17 USC 504(c)(2) it is of little use. When an infringement suit is for statutory damages, the range is $750 to $30,000 per work infringed (n.b. not per infringement). Being a so-called 'innocent infrin

          • I like your speeding analogy - although it seems to me that the proper analogy would be that you're responsible for knowing the speed limit without the speed limit being posted anywhere on the road. And that the speed limit changes in an arbitrary fashion.

            Yeah, there are two possible courses of action for me: I either don't consume any entertainment at all outside the patently free of copyright (20000 leagues under the sea, etc), or I don't care about whether I infringe at all.

            Either which way, the content

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by TavisJohn (961472)

      Plus, how are you (the viewer) supposed to know if the video infringes anything until you have WATCHED it? You can not possibly go by the title! Have you seen how some of the vids are titled? They often have little or NOTHING to do with the video content.

      And even after you have watched it, how are you really supposed to know the legal status of the video? It is not like you know if the uploaded has written permission or anything!

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Yvan256 (722131)

        They often have little or NOTHING to do with the video content.

        Not to mention that YouTube always takes the middle of the video for the thumbnail. Some uploaders are abusing that to post completely unrelated videos with the middle few seconds being what they want the thumbnail to be.

        YouTube should make the thumbnails from random places so that uploaders can't fake them so easily.

        • by pjt33 (739471)

          Not true. If you upload a video with an embedded thumbnail then YouTube lets you choose - so it's not necessary to pick a frame from the actual video at all, if your editing software is good enough.

        • bzzzt wrong.. Youtube give you a choice of three thumbnails from the video...
  • ...as well as who viewed 500 specific videos

    The possibility of being dragged into a German court just because you viewed something is a game-changer, I'd say.

    You'd have to weigh the potential time and money lost responding to German legal proceedings against just how bad you want to see any website that is within reach of the German legal system - unless you know the contents of all Flash animations and other media for the entire website in advance .

    Does Google accept !GermanContent as a query modifier?

  • Just wait until Hitler finds out. He's going to snap, man.

  • ...you have to explicitly say "Music Rights Holders" instead of "Musicians".
  • instead of the video so we can all see exactly who is asking for this.

    It would make an acceptable policy for me and let me know that working for objected to this.

    It would let us know who's who exactly and would stop the lawyers from scurrying back under their rocks.

    Shine a bright light on these copyright infringements, the infringers and the protectors.

    Something like:

    "This video removed on order on working for pursuant to a decision taken on .
    Click here for a link to a PDF of the court decision.
    Click he

  • Sorry. It was just the first thing that popped into my head when I read this: "Hamburg's prosecutor has formally requested assistance from US colleagues to compel YouTube to produce log files identifying who uploaded as well as who viewed 500 specific videos."

    I better build a secret room above my neighbors' house so I can hide. Once the Germans get ahold of my name I'll be doomed.

  • The greed of the music/video industry is only exceeded by those in the oil business.

  • News at eleven.

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