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RIAA Calls YouTube-Viacom Decision Bad Public Policy 260

adeelarshad82 writes "The Recording Industry Association of America voiced its opposition to the recent decision in the YouTube-Viacom copyright infringement case, stating that 'the district court's dangerously expansive reading of the liability immunity provisions of the [Digital Millennium Copyright Act] upsets the careful balance struck within the law and is bad public policy.' Cary Sherman, RIAA president, also wrote in a blog post, 'It will actually discourage service providers from taking steps to minimize the illegal exchange of copyrighted works on their sites.'"
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RIAA Calls YouTube-Viacom Decision Bad Public Policy

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  • Uhhh... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Daas ( 620469 ) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @08:48PM (#32767208)

    'It will actually discourage service providers from taking steps to minimize the illegal exchange of copyrighted works on their sites.'

    Since when is it their job?

  • Suck it, RIAA. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NeutronCowboy ( 896098 ) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @08:52PM (#32767240)

    'It will actually discourage service providers from taking steps to minimize the illegal exchange of copyrighted works on their sites.'"

    In other words, minimizing the illegal exchange of copyrighted becomes the responsibility of the copyright holders, by forcing them to identify which works are their copyright, and which works they would like to not have floating around on the Internet. Go cry me a river. It's bad public policy only in the world where 'public" is defined as "corporations under the RIAA umbrella".

    The more you steal from the public domain, the less I care about abiding by copyright law. I haven't bought a new CD in years, my movie buying is exceedingly limited, and care less and less about ripping any movie/song that I like.

    Before someone accuses me of not wanting to pay for content that I use - nonsense. I actually donate money to a completely silly online game because even FB game developers need to eat, and I donate to NPR because I listen to them. I pay if I think I'm getting something in return, or if I feel that I'm supporting a deserving cause. I feel that I don't get anything from the media conglomerates.

    Go suck it, RIAA.

  • Arrrrr! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @08:53PM (#32767246)

    It will actually discourage service providers from taking steps to minimize the illegal exchange of copyrighted works on their sites.

    Aren't you guys trying to force service providers to pick up the tab by changing the law -- you sit back and collect the profits while they pay the costs? I recently calculated that for about $33k worth of hard drives filled with infringing MP3s (average 4MB in size) I could be sued for statutory damages greater than what this country's entire economy made in 2009.

    Don't cry to me that you can't pass the buck to service providers here when you've got that kind of legal power at your disposal.

  • Re:Suck it, RIAA. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @09:02PM (#32767354) Journal

    >>>I feel that I'm supporting a deserving cause

    Ditto. I recently subscribed to Asimov's Science Fiction because I heard they were in bad shape (dropped below 15,000 subscribers). I enjoy short stories so I decided it was worthwhile to give them ~$30 a year to keep this literary genre alive. I'm supporting art for the sake of art, because I don't want to see it disappear.

    But I feel absolutely no compunction to buy a Britney, Lady Gaga, or Black Eyed Peas CD. Maybe I'll pick-up their greatest hits CDs circa 2020, but that's about it. It's bubblegum, not art. I don't care how much RIAA browbeats me and others to go buy every single CD/song they ever produced. I refuse. I have that right.

  • by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @09:12PM (#32767438) Journal

    "But we have treaties!" - Londo

    "Words on a page. Ignore them." - Refa

    POINT: I don't consider treaties to be higher than the Supreme Law of the Land (Constitution) or the People (ultimate authority). They can be signed today and nullified ten years from now, if we so wish. When the Russian Federation took-over for the collapsed Sovyet Union, they said they would honor the treaties but they didn't have to. The new government could have just as easily nullified them as being "illegitimate acts" by a defunct government. Another example is when Japan walked-out of the League of Nations, nullified their treaties, and started building tons of battleships.


  • The key word (Score:5, Insightful)

    by IndustrialComplex ( 975015 ) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @09:21PM (#32767518)

    The key word in public policy is 'Public'. I think the RIAA doesn't seem to get that. The Public is what grants them copyright in the first place. The Public's interests should come first with respect to anything which the Public granted them in the first place.

  • by WiglyWorm ( 1139035 ) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @09:21PM (#32767520) Homepage
    I may be picking nits, but the DMCA makes NO specifications at all about what a company must or mustn't to when it receives a takedown notice. If I'm hosting a video which is clearly fair use, I don't have to take it down because I receive a takedown. It's just legally safer that way.
  • Careful Balance (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 01, 2010 @09:22PM (#32767528)
    I never knew there was a "careful balance" with the DMCA.
  • Re:Too Fucking Bad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by russotto ( 537200 ) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @09:24PM (#32767548) Journal

    Guess they didn't bribe^H^H^H^H^H lobby enough...

    Worse than that (from their perspective)... they got the law they lobbied for, but didn't realize that
    a) It would be applied as written
    b) That anyone could actually afford to comply
    c) That a financial model would exist where it made sense for the service provider to defend the ability to post content against a hail of RIAA/MPAA member lawsuits.

  • by DMiax ( 915735 ) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @09:35PM (#32767648)
    Where is the careful balance in DMCA?
  • Re:Uhhh... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 01, 2010 @09:40PM (#32767688)

    Since they've pretty much bought their way into the Justice Department, and White House, and want to do the least amount of work policiing the internet, while maximizing their profits.

    This response by the RIAA shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. If anything, it paints their message very loud and clear. YOU the consumer, have no fair-use rights, and we believe you should pay for every instance of every copyrighted work transmitted, copied, or used, on or off the net.

  • Re:Arrrrr! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @09:46PM (#32767746)

    For a few rare individuals, the world would improve if they ceased breathing.

    When we indulge that kind of thinking, we devalue human life. If the RIAA CEO died, he would simply be replaced by a carbon-copy duplicate. Do you know what he looks like? Does he have a family? Do you know anything else about him, other than he's the CEO of RIAA? CEOs -- They talk, mostly. Sometimes they sign things. That's not a reason to kill.

  • Re:Uhhh... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TENTH SHOW JAM ( 599239 ) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @09:47PM (#32767752) Homepage

    "As the White House recently noted in its strategic plan to combat intellectual property theft it is essential for service providers and intermediaries generally to work collaboratively with content owners to seek practical and efficient solutions to address infringement," Sherman wrote. "We need businesses to be more proactive in addressing infringement, not less."

    Can someone please inform Mr Sherman, that removing 10,000 videos in 24 hours is pretty much as proactive as you are going to get?

  • Re:Uhhh... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Spy der Mann ( 805235 ) <<spydermann.slashdot> <at> <>> on Thursday July 01, 2010 @09:47PM (#32767754) Homepage Journal

    'It will actually discourage service providers from taking steps to minimize the illegal exchange of copyrighted works on their sites.'

    Since when is it their job?

    Worse. They're saying it's an ILLEGAL exchange.

    The DMCA makes it legal UNTIL a takedown notice is issued.

  • Re:Uhhh... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 01, 2010 @09:52PM (#32767792)
    Some days I think that another event like the Black Plague would be the very best thing that could possibly happen to humankind. Ideally the highest fatality rate would be experienced among the fat and the stupid, especially the stupids who have zero situational awareness and are completely oblivious to the fact that other human beings exist and can be inconvenienced by their carelessness and inconsideration. I think that describes about 2/3 of the population. The people left would be so much better off in so many different ways.
  • by tinkerghost ( 944862 ) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @09:53PM (#32767798) Homepage

    Where is the careful balance in DMCA?

    That would be where they carefully balanced your right to make backups with the prohibition on selling or distributing software that would allow you to actually do it.

  • Re:Suck it, RIAA. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Drishmung ( 458368 ) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @09:57PM (#32767844)

    You can't steal from the public domain. ...

    But you can steal 'the public domain'.

    The law doth punish man or woman
    That steals the goose from off the common,
    But lets the greater felon loose
    That steals the common from the goose. []

  • Re:Arrrrr! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 01, 2010 @09:58PM (#32767858)

    ... just like I smiled when Saddam Hussein was terminated.

    Yes. Let's congratulate ourselves for holding a mock trial and brutally murdering someone because we were emotionally outraged over the alleged crimes he committed. Nothing as enjoyable as succumbing to the same base desires as the perpetrator, aye?

  • Their sites? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JThundley ( 631154 ) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @10:00PM (#32767876) Homepage

    'It will actually discourage service providers from taking steps to minimize the illegal exchange of copyrighted works on their sites.'

    Do they really think that ISPs exchange copyrighted works on their own sites? Or do they think that because an ISP serves a site that makes the site belong to the ISP?

  • Re:Arrrrr! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @10:08PM (#32767932)

    It is very rare that a single person is the cause of large problems. There are a few cases, but they are vanishingly few. Most of the time the individual doesn't make a whole lot of difference and the parent is correct that the RIAA is one of those. Getting rid of the management would cause nothing to change. The problem is endemic of the whole system. The media companies have a corporate belief in this, and the RIAA is their mouthpeice/enforcer. Getting rid of a few individuals would change nothing.

    The only way to change it is to change the culture, and really the only way to do that is to hit them in the wallet. If people stop putting up with their shit and start buying from independent sources, which is becoming easier and easier in the Internet age and which Google's TV and WebM strategy stands to expand, it'll change. They'll either adapt to the new system to continue to make money or go out of business.

    However killing someone in their organization would do nothing but validate their beliefs that their opposition are extremists.

  • Re:Suck it, RIAA. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) * on Thursday July 01, 2010 @10:35PM (#32768132) Journal

    Every work under copyright is a legal landmine waiting to go off.

    But, as is clear from TFA, land mines don't pick and choose their targets.

    There's still a little part of me that believes the entertainment industry itself will eventually realize that what they're currently trying to do will also kill their own industry. A very little part. And I'm not holding my breath.

    I grew up during a period when local TV stations had film libraries covering the entire history of American movies and a big chunk of foreign films. After the 10pm news, they'd play these old movies, and another one after that and another after that until the "Sunrise Semester" public service programs ran at 6am. I was able to get a comprehensive education in American Film, including film noir, iconic westerns like those of John Ford, the great films of Fritz Lang, Otto Preminger, John Huston, Douglas Sirk, Billy Wilder, right down the list, from the Marx Brothers to Busby Berkeley musicals, Hitchcock to Don Siegel. And foreign films from Fellini to Michael Powell to De Sica (sometimes badly dubbed, but still...) When I got to college and majored in writing, I had a rich vein of great storytelling to draw from, thanks to these film libraries. Today, such things would be completely impossible. How much harder it is to develop both a love of cinema and the wealth of experience of seeing such a huge number of great films.

    Most of these local stations pulled their own plugs by replacing the late movie with two episodes of some lame late '70s TV show, but that kind of exposure to a great art form is no longer possible to young people, without expensive cable television subscriptions.

    I used to haunt the record stacks of the Chicago Public Library, listening to classical music from Early Music through contemporary, and jazz, and blues, and everything.

    I used to think that the internet could recreate this experience for future young people, but it looks like these goons who represent the entertainment industry are trying to kill that off entirely.

  • by Jafafa Hots ( 580169 ) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @10:43PM (#32768186) Homepage Journal

    They already own many senators. That's why they're upset - they bought the DCMA, and now they found out it's not entirely what they thought they were buying.

    You know, sort of like buying a CD and finding out the only song you know is the only good song on it.

  • by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @10:51PM (#32768240)
    You might not consider them to be so, but you'd be wrong about that. It's been a pretty consistent ruling that treaties do indeed get placed ahead of the constitution. Which is what is so troubling about things like the WTO and ACTA. Definitely not in the interests of the American people, but the politicians write and sign them anyways.
  • RIAA's ploy (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 01, 2010 @11:09PM (#32768372)
    RIAA's next big idea is to get the government or the FCC to enforce their hopeless business model. Expect to see more of this "it's everyone's job to protect our intellectual property" mentality. The ACTA is their next big hope to get laws passed that protects their music online. Personally I think it delays the inevitable, but as long as there are lobbyists and crooked politicians there's going to be a recording industry that is locking down the internet in a very self serving manner. Anyone who reads Slashdot should have the dignity to write their statesmen and tell them that further copyright regulations only takes money from hard working artists and puts it in the hands of an obsolete middleman.
  • Re:Uhhh... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MobileTatsu-NJG ( 946591 ) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @11:18PM (#32768416)

    Liability, ie paying money or going to jail has pretty much been the way to make people do the right thing for quite a while.

    It was a bunch of lawsuits against file sharers that made iTunes successful, right?

  • What about the smoking gun emails from YouTube's founders? Hopefully they will be considered on appeal, as the DMCA safe harbor never was intended to allow content providers to leave stuff up that they found infringing copyright to make money from the resulting page-views or things like that and the fact that they were finally taken down when Viacom sent it's takedown notice is no excuse. But they are correct that it never required active monitoring or filtering or anything like that.
  • Re:Uhhh... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by angelwolf71885 ( 1181671 ) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @11:37PM (#32768558)
    response to a DMCA take down notice is voluntary; but most people comply anyway because there to chicken shit to tell the RIAA & MPAA to go fuck themselves!
  • Re:Uhhh... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LandDolphin ( 1202876 ) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @11:39PM (#32768574)
    I thought not even the RIAA could justify Viacom's side of this case.

    c'mon.. you know RIAA could justify anything.
  • by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @11:39PM (#32768576) Journal

    Actually nullifying the League treaties worked GREAT for Japan..... until they rather stupidly decided to attack a continent-sized nation. If they had not done that, they could have walked-out of the League with no further repercussions and existed independently.

  • Re:Uhhh... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Cylix ( 55374 ) * on Thursday July 01, 2010 @11:48PM (#32768626) Homepage Journal

    Let's not forget the detection algorithm's which are really damn good.

    It's not like I wouldn't expect them to use the DMCA frivolously and then complain when everyone uses it to the letter of the law.

    I suppose in the end the only way to appease the beast is with large sums of money. Feed it now to quell it's anger!

  • Re:Arrrrr! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Friday July 02, 2010 @12:00AM (#32768692) Journal

    >>>When we indulge that kind of thinking, we devalue human life.

    Yes but if we allow murderers (saddam) or thieves or tyrants (RIAA CEO) to continue abusing other humans, that THAT is a devaluation of life. It is because we are sick of seeing our these crimes that we hope the Idiot will die, and the suffering stop.

    >>>be replaced by a carbon-copy duplicate

    Yeah but maybe his fear of being shot in the head would make him tread more carefully, and not piss off the voters. He might even reverse policy and form a gentler, kinder RIAA. (As Obama did when he replaced Bush as president.)

  • Re:Uhhh... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by JockTroll ( 996521 ) on Friday July 02, 2010 @03:03AM (#32769628)

    Honestly, what can one person do? When you have a family to feed and a job to hold on to, can you afford to take on the MAFIAA legal juggernaut that has proven itself ready, willing and able to drag grandmas into court? When you have to appear in court, you cannot work and risk being fired. The MAFIAA has enough power to get the laws warped in their favour every given Sunday and even if they lose, they don't care. The message is clear: disobey us and we squash you like a bug.
    With these premises, it's natural that the majority of the people decide that their "online rights" are not worth having to get your next meal from the dumpster.
    And that's why violent action against the corporate gangsters is now the only way. You sue a citizen? We firebomb your offices - with everybody inside. Are you a lawyer working for the MAFIAA? Your family will be killed. Are you a low-level MAFIAA employee? You will die in a "robbery attempt" or your hands will be blown off by a letter bomb. Are you a MAFIAA high-level executive? You will be kidnapped and tortured to death.
    Until they're made to bleed real blood, they won't notice. They're smelling victory. With treaties like ACTA on the way, the whole world will soon fall under their rule.

  • Re:Uhhh... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by silentcoder ( 1241496 ) on Friday July 02, 2010 @04:56AM (#32770168)

    It goes way beyond that though. This is corporatism at it's worst. The RIAA carefully hides here the fact that they are not the holders of the majority of the copyright out there. Under international law, every time I take a picture, write a /. comment or a blogpost or make a recording on my cellphone I own the copyright to it.
    That makes ME a rightsholder.

    The system as it stands, despite the problematic parts of the DMCA actually rather works okay here. The balance struck wasn't struck where the RIAA says it was, with damn good reason. Say I post a video of something silly to my blog, you like it and upload it to youtube. Technically you've committed copyright infringement -but chances are, if you credit me and link the blog I would be grateful rather than angry.
    But it's impossible for youtube to know how I would feel. What the current DMCA means is -if I don't like it, I can file a takedown notice and get it down if I want, or say thank you and leave it up if I want.
    What the RIAA wants here would remove that level of self-decision from the millions of rights-holders who are NOT the RIAA and turn ISP's into a police force. Youtube would have to somehow verify that you either created the video yourself or have an agreement with me about it everytime you do an upload !
    That's a massive legal overhead and in the very vast majority of the cases it would be a complete waste. That's not even considering that a video you don't own, nor know the creator of may have been published under a CC license - and now youtube has the duty to go find the original web-page and check that ?

    I agree with the judge here - the onus for identifying and reporting should belong to those rights-holders who desire to excercise control, not with the ISP's whose job ought to be to build reliable fast servers that are not so congested as to be unusable. The moment and IT company has more lawyers than developers things go to hell for customers. Just look at Microsoft. Let's not force that to be the case for every ISP and 1-man hosting company in the world as well !

  • by Xenographic ( 557057 ) on Friday July 02, 2010 @05:16AM (#32770272) Journal

    > What about the smoking gun emails from YouTube's founders?

    What about the OTHER smoking gun where Viacom uploaded videos altered to appear to be leaks?

    Copyright is a matter of *permission* Nobody but Viacom knows who they gave permission to upload the videos to. And they not only could, but did give people permission to load certain videos (that would appear infringing to anyone who didn't know that). Worse, Viacom's expensive lawyers couldn't figure that out, even after performing a detailed investigation.

    The problem was so bad that Viacom had to withdraw certain clips from its case after the fact. Twice.

    If Viacom's own highly paid legal team can't figure it out who Viacom gave permission to upload what after spending many billable hours (at rates on the order of $300/hour), how the hell is YouTube supposed to do this millions of times a day? And if humans can't figure it out, how is Google supposed to find people who can program a computer to do it? Yes, they now do automatic matching of MAFIAA content based on the assumption that *nobody* has the right to upload it, but they're just making the best guesses they can. They don't actually know.

    They can't actually know. This is a social problem, not a technical one.

  • Re:Uhhh... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by silentcoder ( 1241496 ) on Friday July 02, 2010 @05:46AM (#32770418)

    Actually - here's an even better example. As any WoW player will tell you before engaging a raid it's common practise to watch videos on youtube showing screencasts of the fight. This is among the best way to study tactics for it.

    Those videos usually have three core parts:
    1) The actual gaming things captured. This is copyright blizzard (Actually it's a derivative work, the art in the game belongs to them but the screencast is not the art itself and has more to it) - but blizzard has already given explicit permission for the creation and distribution of such derivative works.
    2) Usually there is a voice-over explaining the tactics you are looking at. This is copyright whoever is reading it, it may even have another owner if it was written by somebody else.
    4) Then there is usually a lot of guild-chatter as well. This is even trickier. Every single person typing there owns the copyright to the line of text they wrote which appeared on screen during the video. For most raids - that's 25 people, if the caster had the guild window open it could be 100 or more people's copyright - in one short video.

    So let's say 80 copyright holders involved. Only ONE of them is a major media company and that company HAS already given permission for this to be created. Of the remaining 80 all but one is nearly impossible to identify as their only available identification there is a character name. Youtube may not even know on which realm - to find them youtube would have ot demand their account details from Blizzard who because of their strict security measures would demand a subpoena.

    78 subpoena's, a note from the voice-over guy ... all this so that you could show a video of how to defeat Sartharion ?

    That's what the RIAA's system would demand of youtube. Well it doesn't work like that because it would be, let me see, batshit insane !
    Instead doesn't it rather make sense to let such actions be handle BY those right's holders ? That even takes care of the rare case where blizzard may actually have a valid reason for wanting a video pulled that isn't covered by the permission they gave- say if you had posted a screencast of Cata taken during the NDA period that they felt was sufficiently problematic to want pulled.

  • Re:Uhhh... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SirGarlon ( 845873 ) on Friday July 02, 2010 @07:27AM (#32771042)

    'It will actually discourage service providers from taking steps to minimize the illegal exchange of copyrighted works on their sites.'

    And that is a Good Thing. I do not *want* service providers spending time and money policing their networks; both as a customer and a shareholder I see no benefit to me in a service provider cooperating with the {RI,MP}AA beyond the absolute minimum required by law. That minimum just got lower. :-) If the media companies want to crack down on copyright infringement, let them do it at their own expense.

  • Re:Uhhh... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Friday July 02, 2010 @10:01AM (#32772622) Homepage Journal

    I don't think it made a significant impact, IMHO. The vast majority of downloaders, when asked why the downloaded music illegally, replied that there was A. no way to try before you buy on most songs, and B. no store that sold tracks individually. Is it any wonder, then, that when such a store came along (and also provided better ease of use) that most of those people started using it? Who would have thought that maybe those people really were telling the truth when asked their reasons?

    The people who didn't feel that way---the ones who were really just doing it to get free content---assuming they got scared by those commercials, would simply have moved to FreeNet, BitBlinder, Tor, or any number of other means of concealing your identity while continuing to obtain free content.

    Those commercials might have had an impact, but the impact would primarily be in discouraging new people from joining the illegal download movement, not in scaring off people who were already doing it regularly.

What this country needs is a good five cent ANYTHING!