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YouTube Was Evil, and Google Knew It 419

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."
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YouTube Was Evil, and Google Knew It

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  • bickering (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 19, 2010 @06:43PM (#31545078)
  • 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.

  • In other news... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 19, 2010 @06:45PM (#31545116)

    Napster knew that they hosted copyrighted material, SCO knew that they didn't own Linux, and Mark McGuire's trainer knew that he took steroids. This knowledge was related to personal gain. Film at 11.

  • Re:So... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 19, 2010 @06:45PM (#31545122)

    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.

  • 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 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.

  • 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.

  • Re:Piracy? (Score:5, Informative)

    by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Friday March 19, 2010 @07:10PM (#31545380) Journal

    From Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] on copyright infringement:

    "Even prior to the 1709 enactment of the Statute of Anne, generally recognized as the first copyright law, the Stationers' Company of London in 1557 received a Royal Charter giving the company a monopoly on publication and tasking it with enforcing the charter. Those who violated the charter were labeled pirates as early as 1603."

    And, yes, there is a reference there. Go look it up yourself.

  • 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.

    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.

    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.


    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.

  • by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Friday March 19, 2010 @07:25PM (#31545500) Journal

    As noted in a previous post, you're wrong. Said quote a) comes from a YouTube executive who was, at the time, in no way associated with Google and b) it was essentially an IM bragging about how he was going to make the company look valuable, not about copyright infringement

    I think you're confused about which quote I'm referring to. It's slide 24 in TFA, which begins with "Google executive Patrick Walker an email ...", and the text is "... why we shouldn't facilitate ...". The complete citation is in my other comment [slashdot.org] in this story.

    I note, however, that I was incorrect in saying that email was sent by Walker. Rather, it was sent to him but the text is cut off, so we don't know who it was - except that it seems to be done by someone else in Google.

  • 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.

  • Re:So... (Score:5, Informative)

    by palegray.net ( 1195047 ) <philip.paradis@p ... net minus author> on Friday March 19, 2010 @07:50PM (#31545722) Homepage Journal
    This is much, much worse than what you're describing. Please read through all the materials provided in the article (it'll take a while). These are records of intimate knowledge of, flagrant disregard for, and active encouragement of copyright violations on a massive scale, including documented specific instances where employees are aware that copyrighted materials were being posted and not only did absolutely nothing, they were laughing about it.
  • Re:me too (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 19, 2010 @08:18PM (#31545998)

    Hate to break it to you, but the Disney copyright extensions were argued up to the Supreme Court, and they were found to be constitutional.

  • Re:Piracy? (Score:3, Informative)

    by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Friday March 19, 2010 @08:59PM (#31546282) Journal

    FYI, a "reference" is not necessarily a link. So long as it specifies the title and author of the work, it's still a valid reference - JFGI. Or check a local library.

    Since this, apparently, poses an insurmountable challenge to some people, here [uoregon.edu] is a direct link to the text of the work in question (PDF).

  • Re:me too (Score:3, Informative)

    by spazdor ( 902907 ) on Friday March 19, 2010 @10:36PM (#31546806)

    This is true, and a Supreme Court should find this persuasive, but it already happened in Eldred v. Ashcroft, and the court found (or rather, decreed) that retroactively extending copyrights indefinitely was constitutional.

    Because the system of judicial precedent sort of sucks, that's going to be a lot harder to overturn now.

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