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Court Slams Record Companies in New Vimeo/DMCA Ruling (arstechnica.com) 23

Remember when Capitol Records sued Vimeo over copyright-violating videos? They just lost in court again, when an Appeals court overruled three lower court decisions. Slashdot reader NewYorkCountryLawyer shares the specifics of the Appeals court's findings: [T]he Copyright Office was dead wrong in concluding that pre-1972 sound recordings aren't covered by the DMCA... the judge was wrong to think that Vimeo employees' merely viewing infringing videos was sufficient evidence of "red flag knowledge"... a few sporadic instances of employees being cavalier about copyright law did not amount to a "policy of willful blindness" on the part of the company. "The decision once again affirms that the DMCA extends immunity to a service provider for the infringement of their customers if the service provider removes material at the request of the right holder," writes Ars Technica.
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Court Slams Record Companies in New Vimeo/DMCA Ruling

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  • The story as published implies that the ruling overruled the lower court on the 3 issues. In fact, it was agreeing with the trial court on the third issue -- that the sporadic instances of Vimeo employees making light of copyright law did not amount to adopting a "policy of willful blindness".
    • I was afraid you'd abandoned us, NYCL! Have you been keeping up to date on the new guy's attempts to improve things around here?
      • Actually whoever the new guy is, I don't find the site to be "improved" at all; seems a little crummy. The story was butchered and incorrectly interpreted, and the all important software for interaction seems less interactive.

        But what do I know?

        As to my absence I've been a bit overwhelmed by work stuff, sorry about that, it's no excuse :)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 18, 2016 @01:45PM (#52343875)

    The record companies are always trying to make it someone else's responsibility to police their own property, but this is ridiculous because no one else *can* properly monitor for infringement.

    This is because copyright infringement relies on a lack of permission. If someone has permission from the copyright holder to upload something, it's not infringement! As we learned in the Viacom v. YouTube case, they might in fact upload "leaked' material as a part of their marketing, which would appear to anyone but the copyright holder as obvious infringement. Thus, I question whether infringement can every be truly "obvious." Sure, I have a pretty good idea that the Photoshop on some warez site probably isn't legit, but I don't actually know who Adobe has and has not given permission to. I have no way to reach inside their head and get a list of everyone they've ever authorized. Heck, Viacom proved that even they can't always keep track of it: even after high-dollar lawyers spent hours reviewing material, they had to drop videos from the case because Viacom itself had authorized the videos! And they didn't survive just one round of legal review, but two. That's right, TWICE they had to correct themselves.

    So what chance does some site owner have of guessing who they have and have not given permission to? How can a 3rd party be expected to keep accurate track of everyone that every one of the billions of copyright holders in the world (yes billions--copyright is automatic and we hold copyright on every trivial thing we make or write) has put out?

    Obviously, it's an untenable burden for anyone, but the copyright holder is simply the only party with the information to do this and it's their property to begin with. So in no way and at no time will it or can it ever be appropriate to shift this burden onto some third party and every attempt to shift this burden onto someone else should be ridiculed for its thoughtlessness.

    • by NotInHere ( 3654617 ) on Saturday June 18, 2016 @02:10PM (#52343967)

      This.

      Giving a car analogy: if you operate a bridge, you maybe have surveillance cameras on that bridge. While you can easily scan the license plate numbers and check for cars that have been reported as stolen, trying to find out which car was stolen yourself is simply impossible. Is it the owner driving? Is it their spouse? Maybe they had a quarrel and the spouse stole the car? You can't look into the brain of the car owner (and there are hundreds of millions, if not billions on this planet) trying to find out who they have allowed to use their car.

      Requiring from everybody who operates a bridge or owns a road to 1. equip it with surveillance technology and 2. find out which car has been stolen without reports from the owners is just simply ridiculous.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        The RIAA/MPAA would assume every car is stolen. We should stop everyone and toss them in jail just in case, and if there are any mistakes, it's not like they'll be held accountable anyway.
    • by v1 ( 525388 ) on Saturday June 18, 2016 @02:13PM (#52343971) Homepage Journal

      the copyright holder is simply the only party with the information to do this and it's their property to begin with. So in no way and at no time will it or can it ever be appropriate to shift this burden onto some third party and every attempt to shift this burden onto someone else should be ridiculed for its thoughtlessness.

      This sounds a lot like the argument a lot of irresponsible parents make, trying to get laws passed to make society take over more of the parent's responsibility for educating, raising, and protecting their child. "It was your responsibility to begin with, you're in the best position to DO it, and you're the obvious choice. Why are you fighting this?" (makes up all sorts of wild excuses) Boils down to: You want me to do it for you because you don't want the burden of doing it yourself, and you're looking for someone else to force the responsibility onto. (ie lazy)

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Kjella ( 173770 )

        Well we don't let kids buy porn magazines and we don't let kids buy liquor and we don't let them buy guns, it's not like third parties can disclaim any and all liability for everything because if the parents weren't there to stop them it must have been okay. Not saying I completely disagree with you, but the whole "the copyright holders have the primary responsibility so they have the sole responsibility" logic doesn't add up.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          > the whole "the copyright holders have the primary responsibility so they have the sole responsibility" logic doesn't add up.

          No, it's because they have the only *knowledge* and this knowledge is *required* to determine whether some use is infringing. It's not at all like beer or porn where the the stores have a good way to know who should and should not be buying beer (ID cards).

          Even something marked as an illegal release can (and has) been authorized by copyright holders. So third parties CANNOT know

        • by Anonymous Coward

          It's not an unreasonable burden to require businesses to check IDs when certain products are purchased. It's pretty easy to tell whether someone can lawfully purchase a product and it only takes a few moments during the purchase. Determining whether an uploader can legally upload a video is far more difficult. Not all works are licensed in the same manner and there is no reasonable way for a website to know who is actually licensed to distribute a particular video. It places an unreasonable burden on a vide

        • You might be surprised, but there are far less restrictions on children owning guns than you would expect.

          https://www.washingtonpost.com... [washingtonpost.com]
          http://smartgunlaws.org/minimu... [smartgunlaws.org]

          Buying guns can happen at 16 in Vermont, and some states don't appear to even have minimum age laws.

    • The record companies are always trying to make it someone else's responsibility to police their own property, but this is ridiculous because no one else *can* properly monitor for infringement.

      This is because copyright infringement relies on a lack of permission. If someone has permission from the copyright holder to upload something, it's not infringement!

      They have repeatedly shown they don't even have a grasp of this. For example, multiple cases where videos or music content has been obtained from YouTube videos, which is then incorporated into another broadcast program, which is followed by a DMCA takedown to YouTube to remove the original videos that were the source of the clip or music, which are items the broadcaster does not own.

      There have been cases of musicians doing original songs which they post for sharing or enjoyment, and the music is noticed a

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