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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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  • So... (Score:4, Insightful)

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

    I'm still waiting for the evil part.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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:Piracy? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Friday March 19, 2010 @06:48PM (#31545160) Journal

    No, what YouTube (and Google) was allegedly involved in was gross copyright infringement. Quit calling it piracy already.

    Of course. I mean, it's a mere 400 years of precedence for the word "piracy" having the meaning of "copyright infringement"; nothing to bother about, right?

  • by neoform ( 551705 ) <> 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:Piracy? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CorporateSuit ( 1319461 ) on Friday March 19, 2010 @06:49PM (#31545174)
    Nowadays, words have more than one meaning. If you think that's bad, you should probably avoid the topic of "Abbreviations" altogether.
  • 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.

  • Re:So... (Score:5, Insightful)

    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 [], 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.
  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Re:So... (Score:5, Insightful)

    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.
  • by ajs ( 35943 ) <ajs AT ajs DOT 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.

  • 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". []

    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.

  • Re:Piracy? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DarkKnightRadick ( 268025 ) <> on Friday March 19, 2010 @07:08PM (#31545358) Homepage Journal

    I know that, but calling 'gross copyright infringement' is nothing more then a marketing tactic (which has worked) to paint copyright infringers in the same light as those who go out on the high seas and steal stuff from ships when it isn't even the same thing. In piracy you steal a physical product. In gross copyright infringement you COPY something and then share that copy. The original product (legally bought or not is not the case here) is still able to be sold for fun and profit. Unfortunately the MPAA, the RIAA and other such organizations have yet to join the Intarwebs in selling their products at competitive prices.

  • Re:So... (Score:4, Insightful)

    As I responded elsewhere, this stuff is coming out now, which means there's absolutely no way Google performed any kind of real due diligence prior to spending over a billion dollars for YouTube without knowing about it. To believe otherwise is simply ridiculous, or to say you think we've been witness to one of the most epic due diligence failures in history.
  • by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Friday March 19, 2010 @07:13PM (#31545392) Journal

    I agree with this position, actually. It was not my intention to challenge it. I merely pointed out that Google seems to believe that knowingly infringing copyright on a specific work is evil, at least for the purpose of their "don't be evil" policy.

  • Yes, Piracy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RobotRunAmok ( 595286 ) on Friday March 19, 2010 @07:21PM (#31545462)

    Quit calling it piracy already.

    It's piracy. Get over it. The word has evolved beyond parrots and yarrh's to include appropriation and distribution of files for which no license to distribute was provided by the content creator.

    Language grows. "Hacker" used to mean a really bad golfer. And "Geeks" bit the heads off chickens.

  • 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...

  • Re:Piracy? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ajs ( 35943 ) <ajs AT ajs DOT com> on Friday March 19, 2010 @07:32PM (#31545558) Homepage Journal

    Propaganda isn't just a 20th century thing - the nazis and americans refined it to an art in the 20th century

    I'm sorry, but you just can't call out the Nazis and the United States for refining propaganda in the 20th Century and leave out the Soviet Union [] and China [].

    It's true that Western propaganda was heavily influenced by Viennese and American concepts and put to the test in the U.S. in order to push the country into World War I by Woodrow Wilson []. However, that occurred in parallel with the development of Russian revolutionary efforts to sway the populace which would be enshrined as a central element of Soviet rule.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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:me too (Score:2, Insightful)

    by angelwolf71885 ( 1181671 ) on Friday March 19, 2010 @07:56PM (#31545792)
    the founding father also knew the for there to be true creativity copyrights had time limits that lasted 14 years with ONE 14 year renewal but retards like the MPAA and DISNEY have pushed it out to 70 years + 50 years after original creator dies if someone was to argue in front of the supreme court that current copyrights are UNCONSTITUTIONAL because a constitutional convention was never held to extend copyright terms they would almost surely win thus cause every artwork made from Disney before 1995 automatically in the public domain
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 19, 2010 @08:09PM (#31545916)

    So what? I don't get to work on what I want. I work on what makes me profit. If they don't profit from $WHATEVER, they should stop fucking doing it. Fine by me. The world doesn't need hollywood. The world sure as hell needs total freedom of communication, it's the only thing protecting us from authoritarians.

    I am extremist in defence of liberty, and that is a good thing.

  • by unity100 ( 970058 ) on Friday March 19, 2010 @08:29PM (#31546076) Homepage Journal

    your 'founding fathers' ( i cant understand why you people separate them as if they were not just participants in age of enlightenment as revolutionaries) founded and supported the patent system because otherwise british would screw it up for everyone because they already had a patent system. its basically the equivalent of acta. in 100 years brits would come demanding rights on anything in america with their patents. so, they had to set it up to compete.

    'patent systems spur innovation' is the biggest bullshit that is perpetrated around. there was a patent system long in existence in dutch republic circa 1590 AD. and trade and enterprise was SO free that it was even possible to trade with the enemy city while your own army was laying siege to it, and sail into the city port under the noses of your own army's guns, citing 'free trade is a legal right', and get away with it easily.

    yet, it didnt spur anything. industrial revolution didnt start in 1590, it started 150 years after. why the hell didnt industrial revolution start in dutch republic, if patents were so encouraging, despite they had that much trade and entrepreneurial freedom there ?

    BECAUSE PATENTS DONT SPUR ANYTHING. markets do. there wasnt enough markets to sell mass produced goods back in 1590. industrial revolution was to start only after sufficient markets in colonies and conquered places like india came into being for europe.


    The reason that "most of the copyrights are in the hands of large companies" is that people SELL the rights to their creations. What's wrong with that? Or are you of the opinion that people don't deserve to be able to do that?

    im of the opinion that it is beyond stupid to allow people to lay claim to logical constructs and designs. for if you do, you will eventually end up with companies like monsanto coming suing farmers into oblivion and taking their lands off them because the monsanto seeds which another farmer bought cross pollinated with the neighboring crops, and therefore created 'an infringement of intellectual property'.

    and it happened. in YOUR country. but it appears, like you dont know about history of science (and therefore patents and patent systems), you dont know zit about what's happening in your country either. yet you are still able to come here talk arrogantly, and accusingly.

    acquire a broader horizon and enough knowledge first.

  • Re:So... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Miseph ( 979059 ) on Friday March 19, 2010 @08:39PM (#31546142) Journal

    The potential liability is huge, the likelihood they will have to pay on that liability is huge, but the likelihood that they will actually have to pay the potential liability is fairly low. Most likely they will pay pennies on the dollar in an out of court settlement, maybe Viacom will somewhat work their way into decision-making at Youtube. Also likely is that, once all is said and done, Youtube will become the exclusive online outlet for Viacom content (remember Apple Corp. vs. Apple Inc.?) and Google will see a greater return on their investment.

    The real bottom line here is that Google is very unlikely to pay Viacom more than they've made from Youtube, and at the end of the day this will probably increase, not decrease, their profit potential.

  • 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.

  • Re:me too (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Stormwatch ( 703920 ) <> on Friday March 19, 2010 @09:05PM (#31546322) Homepage
    The copyright clause says "limited times". Well, they could extend copyright to a billion years, it'd still satisfy the letter of the constitution. But NOT its spirit.
  • 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 [] 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 Mr2001 ( 90979 ) on Friday March 19, 2010 @09:25PM (#31546420) Homepage Journal

    They understood that without a way to protect the intellectual creations, such as books, music, architectural designs, inventions, et al, there would be less motivation for people to spend the time, and energy, to create them.

    They thought there would be insufficient motivation. But like many other 18th century beliefs, they were mistaken: don't forget that many of the founders owned slaves, too.

    We in the 21st century now know that copyright is not required to motivate people to spend time and energy to produce such content: millions of people do it every day, for free, just because they like to share their creations.

  • by jdogalt ( 961241 ) on Friday March 19, 2010 @09:29PM (#31546442) Journal
    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 him, from Google, and more importantly, from the world's society and economy in general. I don't judge him harshly, because I absolutely do see that Google here is just playing the money game the way the money game is played. Sure, it is a moral hazard that Google used their facilitation of the oppression of human rights in China to leverage their position of corporate strength today. Sure it is a moral hazard that even if years later, they stop that "Evil", and stop the "Evil" of knowingly leveraging copyright infringers to gain momentum and market share.

    Bottom line, it's a sad sad world, and everywhere you look, the good guys that play by the rules get crushed monetarily by the players who are willing to break the rules, even if years later after they have established themselves and are under more scrutiny, have to start playing by the rules. I view Google's malfeasance here as but a tiny fraction compared to what happened with the banks and the bailouts.

    I'd say that it's going to get worse as the decades go by, but really, if you look at sexist and racist oppression, these moral hazards don't look all that scary. The world will muddle through. Fringe elements will commit terrorist acts. Probably ending up like the comical world of the movie Brazil. I.e. the occasional terrorist bomb will be as common as a traffic accident and ignored. With dental torturers getting the last laugh, and the tortured retreating to the safety of fantasies.

  • Re:So... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by WeatherGod ( 1726770 ) on Friday March 19, 2010 @09:47PM (#31546530)

    I agree. I really want to hear what palegray sees as evidence of a "company doing whatever it wants." It looks a lot more like a "what is it that this site is doing right that we can learn from, or are we still on the better path?" kind of email. The "steal it" comment reads more like "let's take over this site". It also appears that the statement in context had multiple meanings because the replier said "steal the movies?" and was told "haha, ya, or something," which indicates to me that the person wasn't primarily thinking about stealing content.

    Lastly, the end of the email exchange reads like the guys wanted to foster the community-driven portion of the website more than the professional content anyway. Also, keep in mind that DMCA is in effect at that time (2005), and therefore, they were not liable for unauthorized content on their website so long as they take down the content upon notification. Acknowledging that some people are submitting unauthorized content is hardly damning evidence since there is still no crimee being committed.

  • Re:me too (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Inner_Child ( 946194 ) on Friday March 19, 2010 @09:48PM (#31546536)

    But remember, thanks to Texas revisionist history textbooks, kids need never read that!

  • Re:me too (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rolfwind ( 528248 ) on Friday March 19, 2010 @10:37PM (#31546808)

    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...

  • To be fair... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by symbolset ( 646467 ) on Friday March 19, 2010 @11:38PM (#31547144) Journal

    Another article: []

    Meanwhile, Google says, Viacom "regularly uses so-called 'stealth marketing' to get its content onto YouTube. The goal is to create the appearance of authentic grassroots interest in the content being promoted." Google cites a marketing executive at Viacom's Paramount studio who said that clips posted to YouTube "should definitely not be associated with the studio -- should appear as if a fan created and posted it." To accomplish that, Google says that "Viacom employees have made special trips away from the company's premises (to places like Kinko's) to upload videos to YouTube from computers not traceable to Viacom."

    Also, "Viacom has altered its own videos to make them appear stolen." Indeed, Google says that a former president of MTV, not named, testified that Viacom didn't take down clips from The Daily Show and The Colbert Report because "we were concerned that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert believed that their presence on YouTube was important for their ratings as well as for their relationship with their audience."

    So... who's evil here?

  • Re:So... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cyberllama ( 113628 ) on Saturday March 20, 2010 @01:03AM (#31547438)

    The DMCA provides a Safe harbor if they take stuff down any time the *rights holder* submits a takedown notice. So yes, they knew there was copyrighted stuff and this is effectively what all those quotes amount to:

    "Why do we have users submitting reports on copyrighted materials when the law doesn't require such a step? It's the rights holder's job to complain, not the users -- and for all we know the users may be complaining about stuff the real rights holder wants to stay up there for promotional reasons.

    We're doing all this extra enforcement on material people want to see that the law does not require, and it's not very smart of us. Let's just scale back and only remove stuff if the right's holders complain. "

    It turns out that this is a very reasonable philosophy for two reasons:

    1) Most rights holders don't care. Pretty much every major media company but Viacom has recognized the value of having content on Youtube, as long as it's only partial clips of a show or a low-quality music video. It's a very effective and cheap form of promotion. They could object, but they choose not to. Thus making Youtubes decision to stop *pre-emptively* removing it based on user reports the correct one for those companies.

    2) Many of those clips may in fact have been uploaded by the rights holders themselves. In another recent batch of documents from this lawsuit we saw that Viacom was hiring companies to promote their shows and one of their tactics was to upoad clips to Youtube. In other words, *much* of the "infringing" content on Youtube was put there on behalf of Viacom. Does it make sense to have users reporting these clips to be removed when they might be there *officially*?

  • Re:me too (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Saturday March 20, 2010 @01:32AM (#31547512) 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,

    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.

  • Re:Piracy? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 20, 2010 @01:38AM (#31547556)
    Admittedly, the text gives me a headache, but the author's reference to "Word-Pirates" seems to be a jab at poets whose work he holds in contempt. Here's the relevant passage translated into Modern English:

    Those goblins whom I am now conjuring up have bladder-cheeks puffed out like Swiss breeches (yet being pricked, there comes out nothing but wind), thin-headed fellows that live upon the scraps of invention and travel with such vagrant souls and so like ghosts in white sheets of paper, that the statute of rogues may worthily be sued upon them, because their wits have no abiding place, and yet wander without a passport. Alas, poor wenches (the nine Muses!), how much are you wronged to have such a number of bastards lying upon your hands? But turn them out begging, or if you cannot be rid of their rhyming company (as I think it will be very hard), then lay your heavy and immortal curse upon them, that whatsoever they weave (in the motley loom of their rusty pates) may, like a beggar's cloak, be full of stolen patches and yet never a patch like one another, that it may be such truly lamentable stuff that any honest Christian may be sorry to see it. Banish these word pirates (you sacred mistresses of learning) into the gulf of barbarism!

    The author thinks these guys are puffed-up buffoons and that they are murdering the English language and poetry itself. That's how he comes to the piracy metaphor. There is nothing about copyright infringement here.

  • Re:me too (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spazdor ( 902907 ) on Saturday March 20, 2010 @02:13AM (#31547706)

    I'm gonna have to disagree respectfully. If Congress has taken to making laws that violate the intent of the constitution, I think it's the Supreme Court's job to strike these laws down - or at least, to force Congress to put up or shut up. If Congress's aim is to change the constitution, then the Supreme Court, to me, has a clear duty to force them to do it via a constitutional amendment, rather than getting away with mere statutory law.

  • Re:So... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by patSPLAT ( 14441 ) on Saturday March 20, 2010 @03:12AM (#31547896) Homepage

    Thanks for the clean dismissal of 1 of the 27 slides. Obviously the lawsuit has no merit</sarcasm>

Would you people stop playing these stupid games?!?!?!!!!