And Here Come The YouTube Copyright Lawsuits

from the had-to-show-up-sooner-or-later dept

Just as some were talking about how YouTube had been able to avoid lawsuits from angry copyright holders (though, they receive plenty of cease-and-desist letters), the EFF is pointing out that a news service in LA is now suing YouTube for copyright infringement. As has been pointed out repeatedly, YouTube has a pretty clear defense against such claims: section 230 of the Communications Decency Act means that a service provider isn't responsible for what its users do with the service. In other words, this guy is going after the wrong target. Rather than suing YouTube, he should be going after whoever uploaded the contested video. It's also unclear from the info available if the guy sent YouTube a takedown notice on the content.

However, the lawyers who filed the lawsuit seem to be focusing on two recent, but well known, cases to support their filing. The first is the Grokster ruling, which said companies could be liable if they were found to induce the infringement in some manner. Secondly, the lawyers claim that there's an even stronger case against YouTube than in Grokster because it's a centralized service -- which suggests they're pointing to similarities with the original Napster, which the courts had problems with due to its centralized nature. However, it may be a very difficult case for this news organization to win. YouTube can make a pretty strong case that they don't do anything to "induce" infringement. In fact, YouTube has worked to stop infringement, and generally has a good reputation for taking down infringing content when notified. Also, the sheer number of legitimate uses and content providers embracing YouTube suggests that it just doesn't have the same emotional response that both Napster and Grokster had. While the case may not go back to the "substantial non-infringing uses" of the Betamax case, it's likely that YouTube's lawyers will make a similar case. Either way, it's likely this will be an important case to watch.


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    Amos, Jul 17th, 2006 @ 7:34pm

    Mostly Infringing, except for

    I run computer labs in a couple of high schools and youtube is being used a lot. In almost all observed cases, the kids are watching copyrighted material that violates the site's TOS (as I read it, anyway). They're watching TV shows, movies split into segments, music videos, and the ending CGI from various games. The few legit things I see are accidental at best...like kids looking for "real" music videos and stumbling across a Smosh video instead. Considering the thousands of new movie files that are uploaded to youtube every hour, there doesn't seem to be much in the way of legit content.

    Mostly Infringing = Gonna Get Sued. And since they are HOSTING the infringing content (ala Napster), I imagine the dificulties are just going to be piling up against them.

     

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      YeahWhatever, Mar 14th, 2007 @ 12:23pm

      Re: Mostly Infringing, except for

      You are correct except for one major detail.
      You stated:

      "Mostly Infringing = Gonna Get Sued. And since they are HOSTING the infringing content (ala Napster), I imagine the dificulties are just going to be piling up against them."

      Napster never ever hosted the material on any servers they were the original Bit Torrent if you will, a person would sign on search for a file and download it using P2P (peer 2 Peer) networking making it so that the person downloading could pool the bandwidth between hosts. It was brilliant. They fell do to the fact they were making money off of doing nothing else but allowing infringement to take place not for actually committing the crime. If Napster would have put free learning files or served another purpose they wouldn't have had to change their ways.

       

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    Mark Kitchen, Jul 17th, 2006 @ 7:35pm

    Only a matter of time

    Would happen sooner or later. Perhaps the folks suing should USE Youtube for marketing!

    1st!

     

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      koolaid, Jun 20th, 2007 @ 1:46pm

      fair use

      "Although Google raises a number of defenses in its response, they really come down to two issues: DMCA Safe Harbors and fair use. Under the DMCA's Safe Harbor provision, a web site operator cannot be held liable for infringing material posted by one of its users if it takes down the material once it is notified by the rights-holder."

      I stole this quote from another site. Sue me.

       

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    YouTuber, Jul 17th, 2006 @ 7:58pm

    Re: Mostly Infringing, except for

    Aparently you've never actually browsed around the site yourself Amos. While there is plenty of copyrighted material on there, even I've been waiting for a lawsuit to pop up, there's an enormous amount of completely legal movies. If you've ever bothered to actually LOOK at the new movies posted every hour the majority (even if a slim one at times [although rather large at others]) of them there are legit. There's also a ten minute cap on the length of the clips. If the kids during your computer lab are only watching copyrighted material when there are hoards of other material then that falls straight under
    section 230 mentioned above.

    Now, about the lawsuit, I'm wondering if YouTube's one big downfall in such a case would be Anonymous posting... as there is no verification of any sort, just IPs (which don't actually point out a specific user as we know from suits that have backfired against the riaa) does this put them at any more of a risk?

    Anyways, I don't see this as being anywhere near the extent of Napster... these are small segments we're talking about... not an endless supply of any and practically all music and movies that your heart desires.

     

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    Tashi, Jul 17th, 2006 @ 8:03pm

    Figures someone in LA would take notice of YouTube. the fact is, Hollywood is getting its asss handed to it by YouTube in a very indirect way. While it's true that most YouTube users don't have the knowledge, skills or technology available to rival Hollywood or TV, YouTube is able to access niche markets in a way that Hollywood can't. That is, some goofy video on YouTube will find a demographic that exceeds the typical 80/20 rule. Netflicks is also experiencing this. They are able to carry content that consistently appeals to niche markets. I think the copyright infringement is a just another way to try and salvage a business model that's hemorrhaging.

     

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    Remo, Jul 17th, 2006 @ 9:36pm

    Have to Agree with YouTuber

    Sorry, Amos, but I have to side with YouTuber. There is a great deal of legal videos on YouTube. Kids are uploading videos of themselves and attaining minor celebrity status within the YouTube community, along with the petty feuds and parodies that go with such celebrity status.

    I invite you to Google "emoboy youtube" (without quotes) to find one example where videos uploaded by a user became a mini sensation which even hit some mainstream media.

    There are many more like emoboy on the site and YouTube stands an excellent chance of proving they are not like Napster.

     

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    Sam Sherman, Jul 17th, 2006 @ 9:43pm

    Youtube Lawsuit

    You're wrong about Youtube being protected by the Digital Millenium Act, or even the Federal Decency Act. Youtube is a web site and not an ISP as defined by law. This is strict copyright. LANEWS has won almost all the Fair Use case law in the 9th Circuit.

     

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      Mike (profile), Jul 17th, 2006 @ 10:30pm

      Re: Youtube Lawsuit

      You're wrong about Youtube being protected by the Digital Millenium Act, or even the Federal Decency Act. Youtube is a web site and not an ISP as defined by law. This is strict copyright. LANEWS has won almost all the Fair Use case law in the 9th Circuit.

      Hmm. First of all, we didn't say anything about the DMCA (you forgot the C), so I'm not sure why you brought it up. However, as for the CDA (again, you missed the C, but replaced it with an F), YouTube clearly does fall under the definition: "provider or user of an interactive computer service" Plenty of other similar sites have been held as protected under the CDA, so it would seem they have a pretty good case that they're covered too. The CDA isn't designed to just protect ISPs -- as in connectivity providers -- but any service provider online who provides some sort of platform for others to do things.

       

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      anonymous, Mar 16th, 2007 @ 10:04pm

      Re: Youtube Lawsuit

      Im not a legal expert but what does the CDA have to do with Youtube. After reading your post i went to the library and looked up the CDA and the main point of the act is as follows pertains to a person:

      "knowingly (A) uses an interactive computer service to send to a specific person or persons under 18 years of age, or (B) uses any interactive computer service to display in a manner available to a person under 18 years of age, any comment, request, suggestion, proposal, image, or other communication that, in context, depicts or describes, in terms patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards, sexual or excretory activities or organs."

      I really dont see YouTube either violating that and the purpose of the act was to regulate pornagraphy during 1996.

       

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    Remo, Jul 17th, 2006 @ 10:09pm

    Re: Youtube Lawsuit

    Sam Sherman:

    Please cite your source for your claim. Sites like eBay and Cafepress claim they have to abide by the DMCA, how is YouTube different? They provide a hosting service for video content. Sounds like an ISP to me.

     

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    Eddie, Jul 17th, 2006 @ 10:36pm

    Welcome to America!

    The "American Dream" seems to no longer be what it once was. Now it is get what you can in any way you can by any means necessery, then again look who we have for a "Leader". Just another waste of money and time... I believe the case will be thrown out due to youtubes willingness to stop infringemant and the fact it is OBVIOUSLY the wrong target. Typical though, im not surprised.

     

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    Sam Sherman, Jul 17th, 2006 @ 10:40pm

    Youtube Lawsuit

    Internet Service Provider. It's different than a web site. Think telephone company-Think Verizon ISP. A phone company that provides the communication pathway, much the same as Internet Service Providers, can't be held responsible for illegal acts they are not a party or encourage or promote. Youtube is first and foremost, a web site WITH a central server, publishing other people's copyrighted work. Youtube does NOT provide internet service.

    Secondly, Youtube KNOWINGLY infringes. Hurley and his partners have admitted in at least a dozen articles that I have read, that they are aware of the copyright infringing activities of their site. That's top-end WILLFUL copyright infringement. Saying they're protected by the DMCA is flat out false. Verizon, and other ISPs have immunity-NOT web sites.

    They're in a bad position, due in no small part to, last year's Grokster case, NAPSTER, Los Angeles News Service v Reuters, Los Angeles News Service v KCAL, Los Angeles News Service v AVR, the Sony Betamax case, and numerous other US and 9th Circuit cases.

    I hope this explains the differences:)

     

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      Mike (profile), Jul 17th, 2006 @ 11:55pm

      Re: Youtube Lawsuit

      Sam,

      Internet Service Provider. It's different than a web site. Think telephone company-Think Verizon ISP. A phone company that provides the communication pathway, much the same as Internet Service Providers, can't be held responsible for illegal acts they are not a party or encourage or promote. Youtube is first and foremost, a web site WITH a central server, publishing other people's copyrighted work. Youtube does NOT provide internet service.

      I'm afraid you're ignoring both the actual language of the law and past rulings as well. First, it's not about "internet service providers" but "provider or user of an interactive computer service." That's quite different. So far, the courts have read that to mean any provider of an online service that people use -- and, yes, that includes websites (and mailing lists and forums). So, sorry, it does include YouTube.

      Secondly, Youtube KNOWINGLY infringes. Hurley and his partners have admitted in at least a dozen articles that I have read, that they are aware of the copyright infringing activities of their site. That's top-end WILLFUL copyright infringement. Saying they're protected by the DMCA is flat out false. Verizon, and other ISPs have immunity-NOT web sites.

      Again, this is wrong. YouTube is not the infringing party. 3rd parties may upload infringing content, but YouTube tries to limit that and also takes down any infringing content they're aware of.

      Second, it's not about "knowingly" doing anything. It's about inducing -- actively encouraging -- infringement. That's a much tougher bar.

      Finally, you bring up the DMCA a second time (which we never did) and focus on the wrong definition of service provider -- which we showed was wrong above.

      They're in a bad position, due in no small part to, last year's Grokster case, NAPSTER, Los Angeles News Service v Reuters, Los Angeles News Service v KCAL, Los Angeles News Service v AVR, the Sony Betamax case, and numerous other US and 9th Circuit cases.

      Funny, but in the post itself we explain why Grokster probably doesn't apply. Napster also probably does not apply, since there are so many legitimate videos on the site. The Betamax case again supports YouTube. The specific cases involving LA News aren't specifically related to this case, where it's a 3rd party that should be the target.

      So, sorry...

       

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        MIhalis, Aug 26th, 2012 @ 10:31pm

        Re: Re: Youtube Lawsuit

        I am from Greece/Europe
        I need a lawyer to sue YouTube, which violates my personal copyright. I cannot pay any money. Can anybody help me find a lawyer?

         

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    David Watts, Jul 18th, 2006 @ 6:09am

    YouTube lawsuit

    Section 230 of the CDA does not cover intellectual property law (including copyright law). The DMCA is the relevant statute for YouTube, not Section 230.

     

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    Remo, Jul 18th, 2006 @ 6:44am

    "I hope this explains the differences:"

    Actually, it just shows how you like to pull "facts" out of your arsenal without citing any actual sources. Thanks for the Truthiness.

     

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    Legal shmuck, Jul 18th, 2006 @ 6:47am

    CDA does not apply

    Watts is right -- the CDA is not a shield to copyright infringement.

     

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    Another sad day for end users, Jul 18th, 2006 @ 7:08am

    Don't know the law as others do...

    But, I think this much is obvious...
    The original incarnation of Napster made the same arguments, and eventually went bye bye...

    I guess with the current mickey mouse copyright law, I will never see any material enter into the public domain in my lifetime:-(

     

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    anonymous coward, Jul 18th, 2006 @ 12:46pm

    If this action results in all of those stupid lip-sync videos being taken down, I think we should all support them.

    Plus, those moronic losers that make them will thank us when they don't get beaten up between classes for being gayer than the whole band class.

     

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    Who Cares, Aug 2nd, 2006 @ 1:01pm

    Get Over It

    I am still not happy about the napster thing and it really made me think differently of Metallica so much for their We are in it for the music more like the money, and as far as copyrights go, entertainers make more money than any one person should ever make it is awful the amount of money they get paid and they want to whine about copyrights, people always credit who the material belongs too usually and it actually brings them more attention, at least this is true with Machinima movies.
    People have been copying for as long as its been available, taping off the radio with cassettes, movies off of tv with a vcr making copy of cassettes with double cassette recorders and hooking up 2 vcr's to copy tapes it is not like this is a new thing, its just more available with the net.
    These rich people with all their stuff and want to take away from us average workers the few pleasures we get out of being their fans, like making a machinima movie to your favorite song or making a fan video to your favorite show, that should be flattery, not warrant a lawsuit, and who can afford the price of things lately CD's are overpriced and its not like they don't have enough money as it is, as I say Boo Hoo.

     

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      I Hear Ya, Aug 3rd, 2006 @ 2:17am

      Re: Get Over It

      I can understand the issue of not copying movies and cd's to mass produce and sell them, that is wrong, but for personal use or just to show off fan videos and things like that, I agree who cares, it is flattery, and it is also true that people have been copying things for years not just since the net, if someone likes someone enough they will go buy their movie or cd, but who wants to purchase a whole cd for a one hit wonder or something, please. Metallica I am sure they did their share in their garage days as the music on that cd were just their remakes of other people's songs,but no one cared so why do they, they have changed and now they are crap.
      I do not agree with selling copyright material nor do I agree with taking something of someones and claiming that it is yours, but if you give proper credit and your not making money off of it, then they should not care, they should feel flattered, I have fell inlove with bands and music that I had never heard until watching like Final Fantasy movies and such, so I definately think it benefits the artist, I have even watched movies that were not that good but was like hey I like that song, or seen fan videos of a show and thought hey I may look into renting that, it looks cool. How is this a bad thing for the entertainment industry, I mean really.

       

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      Hard working producer, Jan 5th, 2007 @ 5:36am

      Re: Get Over It

      Bull$hit
      Sorry man, but this "EAT THE RICH" talk makes me puke. Sure they get a lot of money, but there are poeple out there that work hard on jobs and dont get millions.... wake up!
      If you would have been working 330 hours in one month on a project that is available on you tube a week after publishing you´d be pissed too.

       

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    DebateWatcher, Oct 5th, 2006 @ 3:38pm

    Question

    I personally don't want to state my opinion on this topic, but I do have a question. YouTube has agreements with NBC, right? And one of those big music producers, I can't remember which. Will these powerful allies make any difference in a court case? Excuse me if this is a stupid question, I'm afraid I'm not that knowledgable when it comes to legal matters.
    Another question that sort of goes along with my above one is: Will other music producers and networks be swayed into making agreements and partnerships with YouTube because of NBC agreement and the music producers? I know none of us can tell for sure, but what is your opinion? You all seem to know what you're talking about when it comes to this subject.

     

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    Esq., Oct 8th, 2006 @ 1:17pm

    Read the Fine Print of CDA

    This is the most important part of CDA as it regards copyrights.

    "(e)(2) No effect on intellectual property law
    Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit or expand any law pertaining to intellectual property."

    In plain English, that means that the Copyright laws that provide to content creators the right to prevent the copying, distribution, creation of derivative works, or public performance of their works have all the rights of US Copyright law, and International Treaties such as the Berne Convention, to not only SUE THE HELL OUT OF YOUTUBE, but to ask for an injunction against their service. Say goodbye to YouTube!

     

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    Peter Hayes, Oct 31st, 2006 @ 2:36pm

    Youtube lives in cloud couckoo land!

    Answer me this: If Youtube only showed videos made by users how many people would watch? Day after day the most watched videos are the product of other people simply copied and laid on the site. Not only that with "ripper" sites now appearing I can download any of them to my computer.

    If I opened a bookstore would I be able simply buy books shoplifted from one down the street and claim igonorance because the seller told me they hadn't? If a video has a logo on it then you have no agreement with that company then it has to be dubious.

    How can they not know? Have they had their eyes removed?

    The reason why Youtube has got so far is that companies want to sue them for millions - and have a fair chance of getting them. What is the alternative - trying to sell news clips for money, for example? CNN tried that with partners Realplayer - it didn't work.

    Youtube is a break-the-law-and-pay-the-consequences company. That is not what Western law should be about. You make a product you should reap the benefits and control it - not some fly-by-nights who have no artistic skill or have not put a penny in to it.

    Youtube is killing enterprise - if I were to make a short film I know the minute it is broadcast it could appear on Youtube and give me no chance of resale on DVD?

    Yes - lots of people like getting something for nothing (they would like to get everything for nothing!), but that isn't how the world should turn and it won't. Too many people have too much to loose.

     

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    Onus, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 1:11pm

    You tube should not be the enforcers of the law, nor should they bear the brunt of it. Copyright is infringed by those who upload.

     

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    aaaaaaYouTube, Nov 10th, 2006 @ 11:18am

    YouTube gets sued = SHUT DOWN LIKE NAPSTER!!!!!!!!

    Google has 41 Billion US$ in Cash, thats why now everyone sues YouTube!!!!!!!!

    They have uploaded 30000 Videos illegally from Sony!!!

    30000!!!!!!!!

    Basically they employ people to ILLEGALLY upload video and then they sell the company for 1.65 Billion US$!!!

    The media companies should SUE THE HELL OUT OF YOU TUBE AND GET THE JUDGES TO SHUT THEM DOWN LIKE NAPSTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     

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    Fred, Nov 26th, 2006 @ 6:05pm

    Copyright breaches

    There are thousands of videos on youtube that breach copyright. For example, there are at least 400 Sarah Brightman pirated videos on Youtube. The same applies to copyrighted video of thousands of other celebrities!

     

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      Damien Morgoth, Jan 29th, 2008 @ 1:02am

      Re: Copyright breaches

      Poor poor Sarah Brightman! Alana Davis is less successful than her, (although better,) and she uploaded her own video. What does that tell you?

       

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    Keven, Dec 13th, 2006 @ 8:29pm

    Youtube plays the devil (plagiarism)

    I noticed, youtube.com maybe a good place for people to post vidoes. However, people has seen youtube staff play with people's privacy. Specially youtube.com likes to do alot of plagiarism. They side with one user over another one, for no cause. This is worst than eveil.. they are in the business of entertainment (video-uploads) not plagiarism. Also, they are not complying with common sense, which some people might laugh but, an organization of that size should be stright-forward rather than negative on its powers (customers).

     

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    Sam, Dec 13th, 2006 @ 8:35pm

    Youtube.com copyright

    Youtube.com should be sued, since they are letting people to upload anything. What kind of brainer or law would not understand that. While in America we respect the rules and laws but some of our people who writes/enforces these laws are truly short minded people. You have to think - business like youtube.com.. they are there to make money by attracting people...they don't give a fu*k about copyright or whatever. They say we got money ... you got balls .. than sue us... we'll sue you... what kind of democracy is that? think hard.

     

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      opiniondefender, Nov 15th, 2008 @ 10:08pm

      Re: Youtube.com copyright

      No offense Sam

      But I don't think youtube should be sued for what It's users A,K,A customers do.


      First off

      You sign a LEGAL binding contract stating you and only you are responsible for what you upload on youtube. When you sign up to the site.

      Here is an example of why I don't think youtube should be sued:

      Let's say you owned a shop full of let's say wine bottles,
      and a customer buys a bottle of wine from you. Then goes home gets drunk and kills somebody.

      Should the police hold you responsible for selling the wine?

      Or should the police hold the person responsible who committed the crime?

      Think about it You have No control over what your customer does.

      Neither does youtube In fact there is so many users on youtube that the staff is so over whelmed. That there is NO WAY they could police it all.

      And no they don't just let people upload anything. There is millions of accounts on youtube. With a staff that is very small compared to this group. They have even hired people to do nothing but find users that upload infringing material and they still can't find them all It's like 1 man trying to wipe all the crime in the world.

       

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    Lawrence, Dec 13th, 2006 @ 8:51pm

    100% copyright violation by Youtube.com

    The founders of youtube.com always wanted to create a Napste style website. If you do proper research you can find alot of common grounds behind this fact. For example, just look at the http://www.jawed.com/mp3voyeur/ an MP3 site that searches your computer for sharing files. just go to wiki and you'll find more information about their history. The three founders of youtube.com had these things in mind from the start, but they got away with it. Now google is that one that is got deal with it. Google is a hungry giant monster that likes to eat everyone. They should be sued no questions asked. That's is really bad business.... I don't know why google would get into this kind of situation.

     

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    A youtubers message, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 8:32am

    Censorship by YOUTUBE.COM - unfair

    No question, youtube censorship is a bad one. They are censorship is like a judge. If they feel something don't fall into their category they will make a censorship. Copyright, Censorship, Privacy are just a few things youtube.com is really good at and can get away from it. Yet no laws or any body can hold these people responsible. I agree with most of the comments above.

     

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    bubba842, Feb 8th, 2007 @ 10:13am

    Stop whinning, this will never end!

    Do you people honestly believe that by shutting you tube down will stop copyrighted material from being streamed on the internet? If and when youtube is shut there will just be another video sharing site that will take its place. The only reason that you tube is getting so much pressure is because its an american set up web site. Theres another big video sharing site called dailymotion. This site is based in france and is less likley to come under legal pressure. What im trying to say is that the more legal pressure that is put on sites like you tube the more this problem will be harder to police in the future. Countries that have more complicated copyright laws will start setting up these sites and if these media companies think they have a hard time shutting down sites like you tube, its going to be nothing compared to what its going to be like in the future if media companies keep pressure on these websites.These companies need to strike an agreement with you tube or things will only get hardier for them

     

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    Robert Decker, Feb 21st, 2007 @ 11:24am

    Youtube: You want to sue us? Get in Line...

    I've been on the fence with this subject for a while. As someone who once took a lot of free songs off of Napster, I used to be all for the free-speech groups point-of-view. All of the music I downloaded was done guilt-free, because as I reasoned, the artists themselves were already millionaires anyway.
    Yes, it's true that if you took every copyright-violated video down from youtube right now, then there wouldn't be much left to see. At the very least the millions of daily viewers would drop off severely.
    But the more I thought about it, the laws of this land were set up to protect the rights of individuals. If you're the first to come up with an idea, then you should own the rights to it.
    The bottom line is, I think it's wrong to let a few guys start an internet web site that They-Know will violate several laws but just have the attitude that the bigger we get the more money we will have to "buy off" those who choose to sue us. The more money... we will have to "fight" those who are saying that we violate any laws.

    What that says to the world is: You can go start up any website you want. Don't worry about breaking any laws, just get as popular as possible. Then, by the time the legal stuff catches up to you, you will have plenty of money to tie it up in courts for years and years. It's not right.
    Youtube, as much as I like hanging out there, should be Shut Down in it's present form just like Napster was. I hope it's just a matter of time.

     

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      Damien Morgoth, Jan 29th, 2008 @ 1:26am

      Re: Youtube: You want to sue us? Get in Line...

      The thing is there's a contradiction in your statement."The bigger we get the more money we will have." If youtube can earn money, simply on the fuel of their own noteriety, then why can't the artists? It's very vexing. I can't buy the music videos I want because they're not available on Dvd. I can't buy the out-of-print music that I want because, the band's disbanded and the record label has put a stop on all sales of the record. Do you know what this means? It means that if I contacted the artist directly and they had a copy of their cd in their basement, it would be illegal for them to sell it to me. What would I need, an affidavit from the label? But I can watch American Idol, and buy what they tell me like a good little consumer. The thing is, I don't think that the land of opportunity is supporting the individual like you say. It seems to me that the real issue is not so much that the artists are suffering, but rather, the advertising filter is being bypassed. That's what the corperations are really upset about. A million trillion artists could starve to death and it wouldn't bother them one iota, but when we start choosing our own mode of entertainment, then something has to be done!

       

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    Ryan, Mar 16th, 2007 @ 12:18am

    Benefits of infringement

    OK- I tried to dig up an old source I used for a paper in college, but I could not find it. I have no reason to make up this fact, but seeing as how it debunks the arguments of some of you YouTube haters, I don't expect this to sit very well without a reference.

    Regardless... in either 1999 OR 2001 (the detail I cannot remember), more movies were illegally downloaded than EVER in the history of this world. However, box offices saw their best sales since the 50's considering inflation.

    But... that... does... not... make....... I must be lying.

    Either way- outside of 2005, box office sales have been on a steady increase since the early nineties- right about the time the internet was popularized. Again- that's counterintuitive to some of you. Point being, YouTube is a negligible threat, if any at all.

    I personally have never downloaded any copyrighted material from YouTube, nor have any of my friends or colleagues suggested I do so. Rather, I have discovered dozens of creative artists that would have stood no chance in this 'bottom line' entertainment industry we have today.

    If YouTube is a threat, it is because they are putting the power back into the hands of the artist. Maybe people are tired of the million dollar piece of $h!t products (iRobot... for example) and now favor the fifteen cent closet productions of truly creative people. If I was a multi-millionaire in the entertainment industry, I'd be a little scared too.

     

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      Damien Morgoth, Jan 29th, 2008 @ 1:38am

      Re: Benefits of infringement

      Nobody seems to have addressed your issue Ryan, and I think it's really the most crucial point. I hear a lot of talk about the legalities and who is to blame, but what exactly is the crime, and who is the victim? Where is the symptom? Is Britney Spears starving?

       

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    queenblurblab, Mar 16th, 2007 @ 10:37am

    They should stop sueing Youtube because like the terms of use stament put up by youtube they have little say on what users put on the site. There are many people who use youtube too show anime that you can't buy. D:

     

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    Markos, Mar 27th, 2007 @ 9:32pm

    My opinion: Right now, you can get 10 minute clips of copyrighted material in poor resolution by going to YouTube. That's hardly worth cancelling my cable subscription. But what will YouTube be like after 5 or 10 years of computer technology advancement?

    In 5 or 10 years you will be able to get high definition material off of the internet in "real-time". Your Television set will likely be hooked up already to the internet. So....even though YouTube isn't doing alot of damage to the sales of copyrighted material right now, what will happen when everybody with a mediocre computer has the ability to distribute material just as well as your cable provider?

    I don't know what will happen in this court case... but I HOPE that it shuts down YouTube and ANY imitators....otherwise the ONLY programing that will be around in 5 or 10 years will be that crap that YouTube distributes legally.

     

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    troy, May 30th, 2007 @ 5:47pm

    youtube is not the same as..

    napster or bit-torrent or whatever, because the quality is not dvd or even broadcast quality, the files are limited to no more than 10 minute segments, and its hard (though not impossible) to save these clips to the users computer... the media companies should not be looking at these inferior clips as copyright infringement...they should be looking at them as free advertising for the 'real' Tv show, dvd, cd, or film....i have many times came across tv shows or movie clips on youtube that I have never even heard of, and the results have been that I have seeked out the show on tv, went to see it in the theater, or bought or rented the DVD, bringing ratings or sales to the original company...

     

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    Anonymous, Aug 28th, 2007 @ 12:37am

    The BS defense

    If a site allows someone to post something, they should be held liable for ALLOWING the illegal content to be posted in the first place. They make it quite easy to post whatever one wants, but the thing is for certain types of content, like recorded music, the content poster should be able to provide legal release forms that are signed by the people whom have provided part of the content.

    For instance, if Joe Blow records a band and then wants to post the music on-line to be sold. Who makes money? The person that posts the content and the site hosting the content. Then, I believe, BOTH parties should be held liable, since both parties are making a profit.

    there is supposed to be a $150,000 fine for copyright violation. In the entertainment industry, musicians, actors, etc. MUST sign a release form to allow their performances to be sold, distributed, etc. ANY legitimate record label or movie label has lawyers on staff or retainer that drafts and reviews these release forms and they ensure that the musicians/actors, etc. sign them BEFORE they can release that content.

    However, in the Independent market, most people either don't hire an entertainment lawyer because they don't have the money or don't want to spend the money, or are simply ignorant. However, this is part of the industry for it to be legitimate.

    These sites should be scrutinizing content BEFORE it gets posted to ensure that if there is an independent person posting content of video or music that there be signed release forms.

    These sites only have these defenses against the person posting, but anyone who's copyrights they violate should be able to have the content removed without question and the statutory fine be issued immediately.

    There are too many violations out there because these sites don't care about people's copyrights as they just care about posting tons of content not be held liable.

    With YouTube, things get posted, but they are not sold, however YouTube is trying to sell advertising and get as many people to constantly go to their site. Well, they should tell people if they post content of people that aren't the actual poster that they need to get a signed release form from the people in these videos.

    Some people like to have some control over their video, likeness, music tracks, etc.

    yeah, I know a lot of content will be removed in the process, but things are getting out of control. How many videos are on YouTube where the same content is posted by several different people? Doesn't that waste of lot of time?

     

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    Mike, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 8:04am

    YouTube Mystery

    It just mystifies me that YouTube say they will take off any copyrighted material and it's all over their site. I guess they've covered themselves in small print...

     

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    cookie, Nov 7th, 2007 @ 5:00pm

    The YouTube Copyright Lawsuits for the hanging.

    Youtube is a fun place to be, especially for the unfortunate beyond us, and if Youtube goes down with all those legal/illegal crap you take peoples life (you’ll be a murderer) some people will suffer mentally and perhaps will commit suicide. So please do me a favor let it be, Youtube is like an encyclopedia, from historical info to entertainment. Somebody said something about cable, but there’s nothing on it. Those multinationals should stop making problems about audio/video samples.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2007 @ 7:08pm

    They're not as noble as they make themselves out to be. I had to flag a girl's stolen, complete movies about seven times, send three complaints to the staff, and send an e-mail to one of the companies that owned the rights to the stolen material before she finally got banned.

    It's practically the same story now with another person, and YouTube staff hasn't lifted a finger against them in the past two months.

     

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    Damien Morgoth, Jan 29th, 2008 @ 1:50am

    I predict that the polar ice caps will melt and the world will end because of the stupidity of American corperations, long before a single celebrity is unable to pay for her boob job, because of youtube.

     

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    Anonymous coward hater, Feb 27th, 2008 @ 12:47am

    Anonymous Coward is an asshole

    They're not as noble as they make themselves out to be. I had to flag a girl's stolen, complete movies about seven times, send three complaints to the staff, and send an e-mail to one of the companies that owned the rights to the stolen material before she finally got banned.

    It's practically the same story now with another person, and YouTube staff hasn't lifted a finger against them in the past two months.

    Youre an asshole...were the movies yours, or were your just jealous? I hate people who just love to cause trouble for another.

     

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    AvidMovieWatcher, Mar 1st, 2008 @ 10:26am

    Oh the Drama!

    Christ! I agree with Troy. If it weren't for those short segment videos on YouTube by amateur artists, a lot of production companies would not have profitted from their purchased movies in my library.

    It's free advertisement for celebrities, authors and musicians. The quality isn't near as good as what you get on DVD, you can't watch a complete movie from it. If someone wants to purchase a movie or music, they're not going to settle for the piss poor quality on YouTube. They're going to go out and buy it. And how many of those amateur artists who upload videos are doing it for a profit? I'd venture to say next to nada. Most do it for no other purpose than entertainment or to show their friends what they can do with material of different venues.

    Chat rooms all over the net sport icons and avatars with celebrity photos. Is there a big boo hoo about that? As long as the uploaders aren't making a profit from the videos, who cares? I pay a good price for my DVD's and my CD's. As long as I'm not using it with malicious intent or trying to make profit from them, it's no one's damn business what I do with them.

    These people suing YouTube need to get over themselves and so do the people bashing YouTube. Here's a novel idea...if you don't like....don't watch it!

     

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    KatLovesFanvids, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 9:15pm

    Go AvidMovieWatcher!!!

    I am totally with AvidMovie Watcher! I have bought at least 20 songs on iTunes in the past 6 month SOLELY because I heard them on a fanvideo on youtube! I think that copying movies and posting them verbatim could be harmful, but fanvideos are edited to convey a storyline and provide increased promotion of a fandom (think commercials and movie trailers).

    In addition, for people like me who have no life other than school and children, watching and making fanvideos is sometimes an essential outlet for creative expression. I mean, really, as long as no one is being harmed, credit is being given, and no money is being made, what is the big deal???

    Please big corporations, be kind to your fans - or you might lose them!!! (I for one am extremely vindictive)

     

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    Angry Fox, Jan 17th, 2009 @ 8:52pm

    Hrmph.

    I barely even watch TV anymore; to many stupid commericals that repeat the same bleeding idea to a point that their trying to bring a dead horse they quartered and sold on the four corners of the world ten years ago back to life. I find either reading or writing more entertaining then the half-done hak-jobs they throw on because I'm not apart of the increasingly larger target demi-graphic their taking aim at. Some of the Music Videos to songs are so horriable I normally just walk out of a room and let the music play (then again, its rare to see any videos at all when a spesific music channel plays more reality emo-pill-popping nonsence that has nothing to do with songs. Even more so rare that the TV isn't plugged to a game system that I can't name, because I might get sued for unwanted advertisment)
    Most of the Sarcasm Aside.
    I use Youtube to see if I like certain songs on montages to video games I enjoy before I go out and spend the money on the CD's so I can try to make my own or just place them on my MP3.
    I look to Youtube for video games that are out, take a look at first hand gameplay, watch old movies to see if their worth buying to view on a larger screen, AND to simply entertain myself by watching hard to see episodes to shows that no longer air in the first place. Its bascialy 'TV' for us Computer Geeks (and Jocks) who use the tube more and more as a dusty paper-weight when we're not playing a Console or watching a DvD.
    All in all, the Lawyer's Employers are worrying about the money they're still getting, just not as fast so they can lord over the people even faster with the "We're Rich, So We're Special," attutide. And if it squashes on the creativity of certain folk (like the guys who like to do montages or people who hand-draw flash animations and cartoons; forgot about them, didn't we?) who have more natural talent then the fifteen morons they hired half a million dollars each to film a commerical we either flip through or don't care to watch because the product doesn't fit our cup of tea, who are they to care? >_>

     

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    Zachary Miletich, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 7:42am

    Bad idea

    I think YouTube is a big bunch of idiots corrupted by capitalism! Plus, the capitalists are enslaving YouTube into keeping their work from being uploaded there.

     

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    Stella, Feb 15th, 2010 @ 7:59pm

    What ever

     

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    Lola, Feb 15th, 2010 @ 8:09pm

    Leave youtube alone!!!

    Seriously, get over it.
    youtube is great :)
    To: 'Zachary Miletich': Noone cares what you think. Stop wasting everyone's time!

    Angry Fox is right;; Just because YOU might not like youtube doesn't mean OTHER people can't like it.
    Think of Youtube as cammomile tea. Some people prefer black or green or Chai or whatever, just coz you don't like cammomile tea, doesn't mean you have to ruin some one else's favourite flavour.
    Seriously, if you have such big oppinions, waste your time telling a real person, instead of a website.
    Honestly, GET OVER YOURSELF!!

     

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    Jon, Aug 6th, 2010 @ 10:01am

    Agreed with Opiniondefender; a service the size of YouTube can't constantly monitor what the users upload, which is why it has the contract that every user must agree to in order to use the service. Does this not place the accountability on the user? YouTube is a service and just like any other service company it can't be held responsible for it's customers actions. Run over someone in a rental car? Rent a couch and drop it on someone? Borrow a knife and stab someone?

     

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    dui attorney dude, Nov 12th, 2010 @ 1:13pm

    really?

    I'm surprised that there aren't more lawsuits. People are always putting stuff on youtube that shouldnt be up there. Youtube should create a campaign to explain what copyrights entail.

     

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    estate attorney dude, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 2:44pm

    really?

    That's not a big surprise. So many people have the ability to publish all of the sudden with the internet and they don't even know the consequences of their actions. It's important to educate people on the legalities of posting copyrighted content. Sooner or later someone is going to get burned.

     

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    Albuquerque Lawyer, Oct 24th, 2011 @ 9:26am

    Albuquerque Lawyer

    I dont know why everybody is getting worked up because even if they could shut down YouTube do you think that there wouldnt be a site just like it to take its place. Although the people that own the trademarks are angry because they lose money on some sales they gain a lot more in publicity that is global not only in the country of origin.

     

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