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Cuban v. EFF lawyer on YouTube, DMCA 107

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 davidwr ( 791652 ) on Friday March 30, 2007 @04:25PM (#18548729) Homepage Journal
    Sometimes encouraging people to break the law is the right thing to do.
    The American Revolution. The Underground Railroad. Rosa Parks. Need I go on?

    Sometimes it's counter-productive.

    Every day you, me, and everyone else has to look himself in the mirror and ask, "Can I better serve society by staying within the law, or by breaking it."
  • by Jherek Carnelian ( 831679 ) on Friday March 30, 2007 @05:26PM (#18549493)
    Everybody knows that Google is loaded
    Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
    Everybody knows that the DMCA is over
    Everybody knows the good guys lost
    Everybody knows the fight was fixed
    The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
    Thats how it goes
    Everybody knows

    Everybody knows that copyright is leaking
    Everybody knows that hollywood lied
    Everybody got this broken feeling
    Like their father or their dog just died

    Everybody talking to their pockets
    Everybody wants a box of chocolates
    And a long stem rose
    Everybody knows

    Everybody knows that you love youtube baby
    Everybody knows that you really do
    Everybody knows that you've been faithful
    Ah give or take a night or two
    Everybody knows youve been discreet
    But there were so many videos you just had to see
    only with downloads
    And everybody knows

    Everybody knows, everybody knows
    Thats how it goes
    Everybody knows

    Everybody knows, everybody knows
    Thats how it goes
    Everybody knows

    And everybody knows that its now or never
    Everybody knows that its me or you
    And everybody knows that movies live forever
    Ah when you've done a line or two
    Everybody knows the deal is rotten
    Old black joes still pickin cotton
    For your ribbons and bows
    And everybody knows

    And everybody knows that the MPAA is coming
    Everybody knows that its moving fast
    Everybody knows that the happy man and woman
    Are just a shining artifact of the past
    Everybody knows the scene is dead
    But theres gonna be a meter on your tv set
    That will disclose
    What everybody knows

    And everybody knows that you're in trouble
    Everybody knows what you've been through
    From the bloody sign on top of Hollywood
    To the beach of Malibu
    Everybody knows its coming apart
    Take one last look at this movie backlot
    Before it blows
    And everybody knows

    Everybody knows, everybody knows
    Thats how it goes
    Everybody knows

    Oh everybody knows, everybody knows
    Thats how it goes
    Everybody knows

    Everybody knows
  • bad analogy time! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Animaether ( 411575 ) on Friday March 30, 2007 @05:45PM (#18549763) Journal
    I'm a service provider... the service I provide is to make my hands do things (no, not that... you pervs).

    A user comes along, and uses my hand to slap you in the face anytime somebody says "Hello".

    Somebody comes along, says "Hello", and through the user's directive I slap you.

    You tell me to cut it out and I say "Ok.", and the next time somebody says "Hello"...

    I slap you again. You tell me to fqn cut it out already, like you told me last time. I say "Ok." again. Somebody comes along again, says "Hello"...

    And I slap you again. Now you're thinking "whatthefuck mate? STOP IT!". I say "Ok.".. again. Somebody says "Hello"...

    And once more, I slap you. Now you might be thinking "what gives?" and instead of telling me to stop it, you check into why I slapped you. And you realize that the first time I slapped you because User A told me to do so whenever somebody said "Hello". The second time it was User B. The third time it was User C. The fourth time it was User A again. And then you realize - no matter how often you tell me to stop slapping you in the face, somebody else will just tell me to do do it all over again anyway.

    Bad analogies aside, that's what the provision is allowing YouTube. Yes, you can ask them to remove a video (actually, it's not as simple as an e-mail saying "Hi, I'm Viacom - that's our material, please remove." It involves legal paperwork and all that stuff costing a small amount of money (well, small to Viacom)). But that same video (bit-for-bit) may be re-uploaded and YouTube can wash its hands in innocence pointing to the provision and saying they complied completely.

    I.e. they comply with the letter of the law(directive/thing/whatever), but I think we all know it's not quite within the spirit of it. Any more than people complying with GPLv2 using the code to build server-side applications/etc. and ticking off a bunch of people are complying with the letter of the GPLv2, but not the spirit. Hence (and for other readsons) GPLv3. Same reason why the DMCA should be revisited as well - and while they do so, they can get rid of the utterly bad parts (stuff about not being allowed to break decryption/etc.).
  • by cpt kangarooski ( 3773 ) on Friday March 30, 2007 @09:22PM (#18551919) Homepage
    No, he's pretty well on target. Let's remember that prior to the enactment of the 512 safeharbor, there were suits brought by copyright holders against ISPs for copyright infringement committed by the ISPs because they were hosting web sites on which infringing material had been put by users. The ISPs won some and lost some, and the uncertainty of the whole thing prompted them to lobby for the safeharbor lest they have to quit being ISPs due to the legal risk involved.

    But in the cases where the ISPs won, they generally won on the argument that they provided a means for users to do things, but that they didn't police those means. The common analogy was that of a photocopier which was made available for the public to use without supervision; the courts didn't feel that it would be right to hold the owner responsible there, and thus, not to hold an ISP responsible in the ordinary case. Probably the leading case is Religious Technology Center v. Netcom.

"Mach was the greatest intellectual fraud in the last ten years." "What about X?" "I said `intellectual'." ;login, 9/1990