Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Social Networks The Courts Google Youtube

YouTube Was Evil, and Google Knew It 419

Posted by kdawson
from the those-darn-archives dept.
pcause writes "Silicon Alley Insider has the most damning evidence released in the Viacom/YouTube suit. It seems clear from these snippets that YouTube knew it was pirating content, and did it to grow fast and sell for a lot of money. It also seems clear that Google knew the site contained pirated content and bought it and continued the pirating."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

YouTube Was Evil, and Google Knew It

Comments Filter:
  • So... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by spazdor (902907) on Friday March 19, 2010 @06:34PM (#31544966)

    I'm still waiting for the evil part.

    • me too (Score:4, Insightful)

      by unity100 (970058) on Friday March 19, 2010 @06:40PM (#31545032) Homepage Journal

      im also still waiting for the evil part. if anyone blabbers to the contrary, im ready with a phletora of evidences of REAL evil ranging from monsanto to comcast-nbc, viacom, microsoft, and many many more.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        im also still waiting for the evil part. if anyone blabbers to the contrary, im ready with a phletora of evidences of REAL evil ranging from monsanto to comcast-nbc, viacom, microsoft, and many many more.

        I reckon fighting copyrights is un'merican. Why do you hate 'merica? WHY DO YOU HATE FREEDOM.

        • Re:me too (Score:5, Insightful)

          by unity100 (970058) on Friday March 19, 2010 @07:00PM (#31545290) Homepage Journal

          it is unamerican, because it is feudal. it gives control of the intellectual life over to a few. the needs of the few coming before the needs of the many, is contrary to american revolutionary ideas. leaving all of those aside, those interests are controlling your own government through the candidates and senators they sponsor. currently it is 'by the corporations, by the corporations. it should be 'by the people, for the people'.

          despite the illusion that is 'you can also own a copyright', a very tiny minority of population owns the bulk of copyrights and patents and profits from them, preventing others from getting anything. in a way, situation is no similar than a peasant having a chance at being a baron in middle ages.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by rolfwind (528248)

            it is unamerican, because it is feudal. it gives control of the intellectual life over to a few. the needs of the few coming before the needs of the many,

            Youtube videos are now a need? I think the word "need" is getting greatly watered down...

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by TubeSteak (669689)

              it is unamerican, because it is feudal. it gives control of the intellectual life over to a few. the needs of the few coming before the needs of the many,

              Youtube videos are now a need? I think the word "need" is getting greatly watered down...

              I read "needs" to be referring to "intellectual life" and not "youtube videos".
              IMO, the change in copyright terms from 14 yrs + 14 yr extension to 120 yrs or life + 70 yrs does not reflect the needs of the many.

    • by spun (1352)

      You missed the quote from a Google exec, stating the need to take action, no matter how evil?

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You missed the quote from a Google exec, stating the need to take action, no matter how evil?

        That was from one of the Youtube co-founders prior to being bought by Google. The message was sent by Steven Chen on Jan 26, 2006. Youtube wasn't acquired by Google until October of 2006. This was not a Google employee.

        • Re:So... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by palegray.net (1195047) <philip@paradis.palegray@net> on Friday March 19, 2010 @07:04PM (#31545324) Homepage Journal
          Given the nature of YouTube's content over the years, and the fact that all these emails and IM transcripts are coming out now, don't you think there might have been a need for just a little more due diligence prior to acquiring YouTube? Holy cow, thoroughly research a company before you buy it for over a billion dollars. What a concept.
          • It's not like they could have just Googled them back then. They could now, of course.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          You missed the quote from a Google exec, stating the need to take action, no matter how evil?

          That was from one of the Youtube co-founders prior to being bought by Google. The message was sent by Steven Chen on Jan 26, 2006. Youtube wasn't acquired by Google until October of 2006. This was not a Google employee.

          Agreed. This was from the pre-Google YouTube.

          But it does bring up some questions:

          Did Google execs know of these discussions & "unwrtitten policies" when they bought YouTube?

          What actions (if any) did Google take to change these practices once they took ownership?

    • Re:So... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by palegray.net (1195047) <philip@paradis.palegray@net> on Friday March 19, 2010 @06:54PM (#31545234) Homepage Journal
      The word "evil" is actually used (as in the context of "I don't care how evil we have to be, just do it") in the emails and instant messaging transcripts disclosed in TFA. Other choice expressions include "fucking copyright assholes" and "we don't actually care, we're just doing this to avoid being sued." I'm an open source software author myself (reference rpush.org [rpush.org], among other things), and I choose to license my stuff quite liberally. However, I absolutely demand that others respect the licensing terms I distribute my materials under, and I respect the licenses chosen by others. Violating that is absolutely inexcusable. It irritates me to no end that the open source community will frequently scream bloody murder over a GPL violation, then turn around and say stuff like this "isn't evil."

      If ever there were a case for RTFA, this is surely it. I would have modded you down, but felt it was better to respond in full. Other mods, please mod parent down.
      • Re:So... (Score:5, Informative)

        by GasparGMSwordsman (753396) on Friday March 19, 2010 @07:20PM (#31545458)
        The article is probably the worst one out there covering this topic. They took the subject compeletly out of context. Here is a better article that includes the context:

        http://techcrunch.com/2010/03/18/viacom-may-be-misrepresenting-youtube-founders-call-to-steal-it/ [techcrunch.com]

        Here is the source of the quote. It is a thread of several emails, but only from one side:

        SUBJECT: Re:http://www.filecabi.net/

        Jul 29, 2005 1:05 AM, Steve Chen wrote:

        steal it!

        Jul 29, 2005 1 :25 AM, Chad Hurley wrote:

        hmm, steal the movies?

        Jul 29, 2005 1 :33 AM, Steve Chen wrote:

        haha ya.

        or something.

        just something to watch out for. check out their alexa ranking.
        -s

        Jul 29, 2005 7:45 AM, Chad Hurley wrote:

        hmm, i know they are getting a lot of traffic... but it's because they are a stupidvideos.com-type of site. they might make enough money to pay hosing bills, but sites like this and big-boys.com will never go public. I would really like to build something more valuable and more useful. actually build something that people will talk about and changes the way people use video on the internet.

        Jul 29 2005 6:51 AM, Steve Chen wrote:

        right, i understand those goals but, at the same time, we have to keep in mind that we need to attract traffic. how much traffic will we get from the personal videos? remember, the only reason why our traffic surged was due to a video of this type. i'm not really disagreeing with you but i also think we shouldn't be so high & mighty and think we're better than these guys. viral videos will tend to be THOSE type of videos.
        -s

        Jul 29 2005 6:56 AM, Steve Chen Wrote:

        another thing. still a fundamental difference between us and most of those other sites. we do have a community and it's ALL user generated content.

        -s

        To me, when taken in context that sounds like a pretty reasonable half of a conversation. He does not advocate copyright infringement. He also states that they should not get all high and mighty against file sharers. He then sums up saying that they have a community who makes its own content which other sites do not.

        All seems pretty reasonable to me.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by palegray.net (1195047)
          I'm sorry, but after examining the internal communications myself, I cannot agree with your view. This is a plain old fashioned case of a company doing whatever it wants, regardless of the law, and history coming back to haunt it.
      • by ady1 (873490) *
        I found it very interesting that "was" in the title is formated to stand out. The question is, considering that they were evil and no longer are, why is viacom suing google, and didn't sue youtube? Isn't suing a bigger company just because they have deeper pockets evil?
        • I'm betting they're going after internal Google documents that will prove Google's knowledge about this from the start. I'm not saying such documents exist, but if they don't it sure makes for a heck of a case of failure on Google's part to adequately research YouTube's internals prior to purchasing the company. That alone can be immensely damaging.
        • Isn't suing a bigger company just because they have deeper pockets evil?

          Whether it's evil of not, it's standard practice in the business world.

      • Re:So... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Chris Burke (6130) on Friday March 19, 2010 @07:53PM (#31545752) Homepage

        However, I absolutely demand that others respect the licensing terms I distribute my materials under, and I respect the licenses chosen by others. Violating that is absolutely inexcusable. It irritates me to no end that the open source community will frequently scream bloody murder over a GPL violation, then turn around and say stuff like this "isn't evil."

        If ever there were a case for RTFA, this is surely it.

        Okay I did, and the only truly Evil part was where that Jawed guy was actually posting copyrighted videos himself to drive hits, and the other founders told him to knock it off. As they should have, because that just sucks.

        The rest is basically them making a conscious decision to not care that a lot of user-uploaded videos were copyrighted, and to put the onus on the copyright holder to send them take down notices.

        I get your point about the GPL. I too see a lot of hypocrisy in attitudes on /., though I do understand it has a lot to do with the very human notion that we don't care as much about doing evil to evil people. It may not be just, but it's human.

        Anyway, would I really scream bloody murder over an ftp site that knew people were uploading stuff that violated the GPL, but decided not to care and just act as a neutral hosting service until a GPL software copyright holder contacted them? Even if the decision was made because "neutrality" benefited them? No, not really. I'd be pissed at the one who stripped the GPL notice off in the first place. Not the ftp site that decided not to get involved in the fight and just serve as an ftp site.

        So yeah. Youtube was aware that copyrighted material appeared on their servers. As if there's anyone on earth who was not aware. So what? I'm not seeing the "evil" until they either start ignoring take down notices (which they haven't) or start actively engaging in violations themselves (Which they apparently did at one point and which may end up getting them/google nailed).

        • Re:So... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by palegray.net (1195047) <philip@paradis.palegray@net> on Friday March 19, 2010 @08:00PM (#31545824) Homepage Journal

          I'm not seeing the "evil" until they either start ignoring take down notices (which they haven't) or start actively engaging in violations themselves (Which they apparently did at one point and which may end up getting them/google nailed).

          That is exactly my point. Everything that's public now is pretty damning, and I'm certain Viacom is going to be pursuing any and all internal records at Google that have any relation at all to this matter. Depending on what they find, it could be catastrophic. If they find nothing at all, it shows that Google failed at proper due diligence prior to buying YouTube. Either way, it's bad.

          • Re:So... (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Chris Burke (6130) on Friday March 19, 2010 @08:52PM (#31546238) Homepage

            That is exactly my point.

            Your point is exactly that there's basically no evil except where one guy chose to violate copyright on purpose and was bitched out by the others for it, demonstrating their lack of evilness?

            I don't think so.

            If they find nothing at all, it shows that Google failed at proper due diligence prior to buying YouTube.

            The implication being that Google should have discovered this one instance of actual evil and based on that refused to buy Youtube. "Proper due diligence" is reading every internal email ever, and if you find one instance of something bad, no sale?

            Makes no sense to me. Precious few purchases would ever be made if that was the case. Or, alternatively, practically every company ever fails your definition of due diligence.

            But let's say they did see that email, and said to themselves "well that guy did this, but he stopped when told to, so no biggie." That's how I feel about it. And what would be the horrible crime here exactly?

            Either way, it's bad.

            I'm not seeing it. A few instances of actual copyright infringement would not be the end of the world for Google. It'd barely be anything.

            The rest, hey maybe legally it's an issue, but I don't think it should be. I don't want every hosting service to have to act as copyright police as well. I think that's nuts, and bound to result in over-aggressive policies that stifle free speech.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 19, 2010 @06:40PM (#31545026)

    I find it unlikely that Google considers this evil. After all, given their stance toward books and other literature, they seem to think that they have every right to reproduce and host content at their whim.

    This isn't a double standard at work. Google simply believes that it's above the law, and 'evil' can be conveniently redefined to mean whatever suits the company's interests at the time. Don't fall for the feelgood narrative.

    • by spazdor (902907) on Friday March 19, 2010 @06:43PM (#31545070)

      Google simply believes that it's above the law

      I believe this about myself too, but I prefer to say that the law, in its current state, is beneath me..

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Clever, but I'd like to point something out.

        Youtube tolerated the illegal hosting of copyrighted content with the intention of profiting from it. They abdicated their responsibility to moderate the site in an attempt to avoid litigation afterward. Some Google insiders initially objected, but the company's official position prior to acquiring Youtube was to focus on growth; growth that they knew was being sustained by piracy. Google continues to tolerate the presence of copyrighted content on Youtube rather

    • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Friday March 19, 2010 @06:46PM (#31545134) Journal

      I find it unlikely that Google considers this evil.

      I suggest you RTFA. There is a quotation there, of one of Google's executives, which specifically says that infringing on someone's copyright, or knowingly aiding in such an infringement, is a violation of the "don't be evil" policy.

      So, yes, the title of the story is spot on.

      • by NotBornYesterday (1093817) on Friday March 19, 2010 @07:44PM (#31545660) Journal
        And with Google in charge, there is a hair-trigger copyrighted material takedown policy. Things are a lot different now than they were 4 years ago.
    • by neoform (551705) <djneoform@gmail.com> on Friday March 19, 2010 @06:48PM (#31545162) Homepage

      Google is all for "openess" with content.. as long as its not theirs..

      Google doesn't let anyone use their search results, which they claim to be their proprietary content.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ajs (35943)

        Google is all for "openess" with content.. as long as its not theirs..

        Google doesn't let anyone use their search results, which they claim to be their proprietary content.

        If Hollywood, the music industry and book publishers were half as open with their data as Google, I'd be a happy camper. I can re-publish Google's content (e.g. search results) to my heart's content a long as I do so using their APIs... can you please point me to the Time Warner API for re-publishing the just-released Hollywood blockbuster on my Web site? I'd like to do that.

        Also, Google makes my own data available to me to extract and use as I will at any time across a large number of services from gmail t

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by tomhudson (43916)
          Those search results aren't google content - they're other people's content. The "Cached" link is a gross violation of copyright and there is no argument remotely in favor of fair use for it.
    • by rlthomps-1 (545290) on Friday March 19, 2010 @06:51PM (#31545196) Homepage

      IANAL, but the case about books and literature is much, much more complicated than that and has a wide ranging impact on the basics of referring information on the Internet, what constitutes fair use, and what counts as a "reproduction"

      Don't fall for the feelgood idiot riffing on the "Evil Google" narrative.

    • by bugi (8479) on Friday March 19, 2010 @06:57PM (#31545262)

      My understanding is that the DMCA requires a copyright owner to notify the hosting site of each infringing item. Knowing in general that content is posted without a license isn't infringement.

      Viacom is trying to kill the entire possibility of letting the general public post anything at all, for fear somebody somewhere might think they own it. Google's just a convenient target with deep pockets just in case a court is dumb enough to swallow.

      IANAL. duh.

      • by jesset77 (759149) on Friday March 19, 2010 @09:09PM (#31546340)

        My understanding is that the DMCA requires a copyright owner to notify the hosting site of each infringing item. Knowing in general that content is posted without a license isn't infringement.

        Viacom is trying to kill the entire possibility of letting the general public post anything at all, for fear somebody somewhere might think they own it. Google's just a convenient target with deep pockets just in case a court is dumb enough to swallow.

        This point is accurate. Viacom doesn't care that you can hear it's music or see it's shows on Google's services or on Youtube. Viacom knows as well as we do that it isn't losing any sales, and oftentimes even gains sales [torrentfreak.com] when this happens.

        What Viacom cares about is that in the coming decade indies will compete against it, and indies will rely upon open services to do so. Viacom will use any means available to make it illegal for anyone to upload anything, due to the one in a zillion chance that the content might be copyrighted by someone somewhere.

        Copyright law isn't good enough for the entertainment industry, they don't want the expense of dragging millions of individual infringers into court. They don't want to be on equal footing to the little guy. So they created the DMCA.

        But the DMCA wasn't good enough either, because even when they ask Youtube to take down material scattershot (often opening themselves up to perjury because they do not make qualified humans check their assumptions and oft times sabotage material that clearly legal on a regular basis) many uploaders file a counter-DMCA to bring it back up, and the industry is back to the expensive process of settling matters in court one citizen at a time.

        So now they would much prefer to see open media sharing die completely. They pine for the days when the entertainment oligopoly effectively controlled the global distribution of all media. When media distribution was an economy of scale.

        Viacom wants nothing short of protectionism. Piracy is just a red herring to achieve this goal, and Viacom is glad that it can get some of that herring juice onto Google's brand now.

    • by ajs (35943) <ajs&ajs,com> on Friday March 19, 2010 @07:05PM (#31545332) Homepage Journal

      I find it unlikely that Google considers this evil. After all, given their stance toward books and other literature ... Google simply believes that it's above the law, and 'evil' can be conveniently redefined ...

      That has to be the single most abhorrent abuse of the word "evil" I've ever seen. Google believes that the contents of libraries should be made available of the Web. They have a strong point, and I think I actually agree with them, though I realize that the increased ease of access will cause problems for the current publishing business model. What you appear to be saying is that any attempt to increase the public's access to content that would damage an existing business model is inherently evil. I believe that to be nonsensical (though if you simply disagree, I take no exception to that... it's the demonization of the concept of an electronic library that I think is wrong).

      Now, on to YouTube: YouTube is a tough nut, and I think we'll be doing the world a disservice if we resolve it as if it were a single issue in a vacuum. The core question reverses the library/business model issue. It is suggested by Viacom et al. that the ready access to information creates an environment in which the standard protections afforded to those who provide physical space for information (e.g. cork boards) are not acceptable online and that carriers of that information must be held liable for the use of those spaces. We're not arguing that Google is evil, we're arguing that they knew they were getting themselves into a legal morass which would likely result in Google defending their side of the case in court and shaping the laws of our land with respect to the Internet. That is actually quite the opposite of evil.

      In both cases, I'm cheering for an outcome that happens to coincide with Google's interests, but I would be (grudgingly) rooting for the same outcome were it Microsoft or Monsanto being attacked for the same reasons.

  • Non-Story? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Kotoku (1531373) on Friday March 19, 2010 @06:40PM (#31545034) Journal
    404: Evil Not Found
  • Safe Harbor (Score:5, Interesting)

    by butlerm (3112) on Friday March 19, 2010 @06:40PM (#31545036)

    The ethical status of doing all this notwithstanding, and especially _knowingly_ relying on it as part of one's business plan, it would appear that Youtube had safe harbor to do all this under the online copyright liability limitations enacted as part of the DMCA.

    • Are like morals, they are relative.

    • Re:Safe Harbor (Score:5, Insightful)

      by chaboud (231590) on Friday March 19, 2010 @07:32PM (#31545554) Homepage Journal

      Mod parent +1000.

      One loses the safe harbor protection when they demonstrate awareness or knowledge of user-directed content's infringement. What if one of the users was a representative of a copyright owner? Just because something was expensive to make doesn't mean that your knee-jerk reflex should be removal.

      Profit doesn't come into play in the general case, as they're not selling the content directly:
      Title 17, Section 512.(c).(1).(B)
      "does not receive a financial benefit directly attributable to the infringing activity"

      Even if the majority of your files are infringing, that's not the same as direct attribution of financial benefit.

      This does demonstrate some awareness of materials that have studio copyright naturally attributed to them, but it doesn't mean that the poster didn't have copyright. Basically, there's a DMCA-specified procedure for notification, and many of these conversations discuss exactly how to go about handling those provisions.

      Clips of shows like Leno and Conan could fall under fair use by users (news agencies do it), so, again, where's the beef?

      This just plainly isn't that damning, and it's certainly not that evil. The original poster needs to chill out. Anyone who's ever sat in a meeting with lawyers discussing the ins and outs of the DMCA would find these statements in no way out of place. Put them in the full context of the emails, and it looks like Viacom's just out to make a money grab from deep pockets. The Viacom lawyers must be busy trying to wave shiny objects in front of executives to keep them from noticing the huge revenue loss that came from not sorting things out with Hulu...

  • Wow, that's even debated? Did anyone honestly believe that the biggest search engine in the world was completely blind?
  • bickering (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
  • Don't be evil (Score:5, Informative)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Friday March 19, 2010 @06:44PM (#31545096) Journal

    One interesting quote (by Patrick Walker of Google) was this:

    Top 10 reasons why we shouldn't stop screening for copyright violations: 1. It crosses the threshold of Don't be Evil to facilitate distribution of other people's intellectual property, and possibly even allowing monetization of it by somebody who doesn't own the copyright.

    A handy assessment of copyright and IP from an ethical (as opposed to legal) point of view. Next time the topic on how Google "really" feels about copyrights comes up, you know the answer.

    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Friday March 19, 2010 @07:04PM (#31545322)

      As YouTube's council recently pointed out, more or less any video is copyrighted. If you make a video, it's copyright to you upon time of creation. Few people actually bother to release their stuff in to the public domain, so the works remain copyrighted. Now that does NOT mean they can't be posted on Youtube. The holder of a copyright can determine how it is allowed to be used, including given away for free to anyone.

      Now, as that applies to big media companies the problem is that they themselves, or their agents, like PR agencies, do indeed upload content to Youtube. So just because a work is uploaded that is owned by a big company, it doesn't mean there has been infringement. Perhaps the company themselves did the uploading. They don't always do it through some official account.

      As such it makes sense to respond to infringement notices and remove the content, but not to run around assuming that you know what is and is not ok to be on there. Other than videos by the government (which are public domain at creation) or ones that people have bothered to release in to the public domain, it's all copyrighted material. However a great deal of it the copyright holders WANT to be on there, including when said holders are major media companies.

  • I just upload videos of me and my friends; they're all from hell.
  • Is a way of life, time to get over it and embrace it.

  • You tube ans its employees were the only ones on earth not aware of the stolen content. Oh, and Googlers too.

    Next scoop: bittorrent creator WAS aware of copyrighted content being shared via his protocol.

  • by Foobar of Borg (690622) on Friday March 19, 2010 @06:48PM (#31545164)
    Now, there are three buttons on the Google home page:

    1. Google Search
    2. I'm Feeling Lucky
    3. AARRRRR!!!

  • by drDugan (219551) * on Friday March 19, 2010 @06:51PM (#31545198) Homepage

    http://youtube-global.blogspot.com/2010/03/broadcast-yourself.html [blogspot.com]

    "Pirating" is such a slanted, unhelpful framing of using and sharing digital material without permission.

    • by Tim C (15259)

      "Pirating" is such a slanted, unhelpful framing of using and sharing digital material without permission.

      Perhaps, but the only new thing about it is the word "digital"; piracy has been another word for copyright infringement for the last several hundred years.

  • Google is our friend (Score:3, Informative)

    by cdrguru (88047) on Friday March 19, 2010 @06:53PM (#31545218) Homepage

    Just remember that and keep saying it over and over. Google is our friend. Google is our friend. Google is our friend.

    I don't think people's opinion of Google would change if they installed an application that uploaded to their servers anything that contained the word "copyright" in it and they then sold access to these gathered files. Better yet, just made the files available with embedded advertising. Imagine getting access to movie scripts as works-in-progress with some topically relevent ads sprinkled in. How about design documents for new consumer electronics gear, a year or so before it hit the market. You could market this under the moniker "Open Google".

    The problem with Google is they got so incredibly big so incredibly fast without ever having to learn anything about growth or ethics. A lot of the senior staff are very young and have little experience other than Google. If it can be monetized, there is no reason not to do so in their eyes, especially if it doesn't seem "evil" at first glance.

  • by Endo13 (1000782) on Friday March 19, 2010 @06:54PM (#31545232)

    They probably did need that infringing content to survive. But now, they've reached a point where that's no longer the case. If you really could remove all the stuff on YouTube that's unauthorized and doesn't qualify as fair use, it almost wouldn't matter any more. Nearly all the most-viewed videos now are some type of personal video, or something that's authorized and legit.

    It's also really hard to make a claim that YouTube has hurt content providers more than it has helped them. You don't see full TV episodes or movies for instance. All you find is short clips that, if anything, function as advertising and get more people to purchase them than would have otherwise. Perhaps the same is not entirely true for audio tracks and music videos, but those have been so trivially easy to acquire illegally for years now, I'm not convinced YouTube had a net negative impact for those kinds of content providers either.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jdogalt (961241)
      Your analysis that this did not seriously hurt the content providers, despite being "Evil", is I think, entirely accurate.

      But what needs to be highlighted is the groups it DID hurt. It DID hurt any company, that for reasons of ethics, or not being able to afford as many lawyers as Google, chose to pursue business models that did not involve using "Evil" as a kind of bridge-loan to carry their company to success. My older brother is a VP at Google, and I am pretty disappointed with these attitudes from h
  • They'd have to be idiots not to know YouTube was carrying some kind of infringing content somewhere in its library of user-uploaded videos. The important question is not whether they knew this general and largely inevitable fact, nor even whether they thought they might benefit from it. What's important is whether they knew of specific instances of infringement and did nothing to correct it.

  • If you want to accuse anyone of piracy, then accuse individual users, not the site. The site itself only serves as a distribution media, acting against reported violations upon request.

    The problem is that it's not feasible to request every user to demonstrate that they own the copyright or are otherwise authorize to publish content. If I want to publish movies of myself playing games (which is the only thing that I use Youtube for), the requirement to prove that the movie was in fact my property would be

    • by ady1 (873490) *
      Generally I would agree, however, if you would've RTFA, you would've seen that a youtube cofounder himself uploaded copyrighted contents.
  • Even more damning (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Toonol (1057698) on Friday March 19, 2010 @06:58PM (#31545280)
    I think if they search harder, they may find that as a search engine, google indexed pages about piracy, hate speech, and terrorism. How evil is that?

    Don't get me started about the PHONE COMPANY. They carry all sorts of damnable content. I've heard copyrighted music over a phone, before.
  • What's more evil? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by drDugan (219551) * on Friday March 19, 2010 @07:06PM (#31545340) Homepage

    You know what's evil? Copyright term of "70 years + life of the author".
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_term [wikipedia.org]

    Almost every single thing creative that someone creates today will *never* enter the public domain within our lifetime. Nothing. The owner of the copyright must explicitly grant it to the public domain, or license it for other's use, distribution, sharing, mashing, basically anything more than fair use... Copyright is no longer about promotion of creativity, its a legal exclusivity and an effectively permanent lock on all creative output by business interests. Add WIPO and ACTA and soon within 10 years or so, it will be a global exclusive lock, again driven by business interests.

    The current copyright laws are simply a denial of any sense of balance or social good in intellectual property.

  • by NimbleSquirrel (587564) on Friday March 19, 2010 @07:38PM (#31545596)
    I'm not seeing the evil. All I see is discussions about covering their asses and a few individuals admitting to copyright infringement (with no actual evidence and no indication that this was done by YouTube itself). I see an acknowledgement that much of the material could be potentially infinging, but I also see discussions on how to proceed with takedown processes (whether to have a direct reporting link or wait for a takedown notice). As this kind of thing hadn't been done before, it could be argued that waiting for a takedown notice was a perfectly legal option, instead of having to be proactive.

    There seems to be very little factual evidence in all of these IM and email quotes, not to mention that they are all taken out of context or given new context by Viacom's lawyers (prime example is the personal opinion that rightsholders were assholes being touted as a general disregard for copyright). It seems that much of this could easily be classed as hearsay (mainly the IM conversations) not factual evidence, and is only really useful in establishing character of the Google and YouTube management.

    It seems that if Viacom are dredging up these emails and IM conversations as key evidence, they may not have much of a case, and that putting them out there is more about trying to publically shame YouTube into a settlement. If this is all they have to file for summary judgement, the rest of the case may be pretty flimsy.

    Contrast this with YouTube/Google's filing for sumary judgement that argues that Viacom were placing videos on YouTube through covert and very deliberate means. This shows Viacome were being complete hypocrites, and it can be easily argued that Viacom could have been using this to entrap YouTube. If Google/YouTube have actual evidence of that, it could very easily be a smoking gun.
  • I don't think Google was pirating anything on YouTube. That would be like saying T-Mobile is part of a conspiracy if I make a plan to buy drugs in a cell phone call.

    There are safe harbor laws for a reason. It's up to the copyright holder to police their property, otherwise how is YouTube supposed to know which videos are piracy and which are just being uploaded by Viacom's idiot guerrilla marketers?

  • Most damning? (Score:5, Informative)

    by BoberFett (127537) on Friday March 19, 2010 @07:47PM (#31545698)

    Really? Is this the most damning evidence? On a scale of 1 being least damning and 10 being most damning where does this fall when also considering that Viacom was uploading videos to YouTube in an effort to make YouTube look like it was infringing?

    http://www.engadget.com/2010/03/18/youtube-viacom-would-demand-removal-of-videos-it-covertly-uploa/ [engadget.com]

    Fuck the media conglomerates. I hope they all rot.

"If I do not want others to quote me, I do not speak." -- Phil Wayne

Working...