Fox Decides That Irreparable Harm From YouTube Not Worth Suing Over

from the perhaps-it-wasn't-so-bad,-then? dept

Back in January, Fox made a big stink about sending subpoenas to Google to get access to the identities of some folks who had uploaded some of their TV shows. Fox, at the time, claimed that the uploads caused "irreparable harm," though they fail to explain how. Certainly other TV shows have discovered that they've benefited greatly from having people upload clips on YouTube. A recent AP report showed how the show "How I Met Your Mother" increased its audience noticeably after clips of a recent episode showed up on YouTube and Fox competitor CBS said that having its shows on YouTube helps increase viewership. Yet, Fox insisted that this was a really serious offense... and yet, a month later, Fox is now admitting that for such an egregious offense, it's not planning on going after those who uploaded the content (though it apparently did turn some information over to authorities). What's unclear is why Fox made this decision. Did the folks at Fox realize that suing people who were promoting its shows for free was a bad idea? Did they realize that YouTube actually helped provide them more viewers? Did they realize that suing its fans is a good way for people to get pissed off at other Fox properties... such as MySpace? Probably none of the above -- but all of those seem like pretty good arguments not to sue (and a few of them seem like reasons to encourage more people to upload stuff to YouTube, but that's another issue entirely).


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    Sanguine Dream, Mar 6th, 2007 @ 10:39am

    If I were the party in question...

    that Fox demanded the identity of I'd sue just to find out EXACTLY what they did with the info. Fox could very hold onto that info and try to monitor her/him/them. Or even worse pass it on to the **AA Mafia.

     

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      DittoBox, Mar 6th, 2007 @ 10:50am

      Re: If I were the party in question...

      If that person doesn't do anything but upload clips of American Idiot...er American Idol, what does the **AA have to do with it?

      You might want to take off your tin foil hat there, my friend. ;)

       

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        Sanguine Dream, Mar 6th, 2007 @ 11:02am

        Re: Re: If I were the party in question...

        My tin foil hat of quite comfy thank you...

        I meant that remark as saying TV networks are starting to act like the **AAs. Crying copyright infringment and crying about irreparable damages.

        Now that I reread that comment I have to say I said it all kinds of wrong.

        But the tin foil hat goes nowhere!

         

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    DittoBox, Mar 6th, 2007 @ 10:47am

    YouTube as an advertising model is sliced bread

    YouTube as an advertising model is the best thing since sliced bread.

    It's free for people to search and watch. Generally free to upload, and the end product on the television itself is also free. The consumer has nothing to lose by trying out a new TV show other than an hour or so of their time.

    If they watch an extended clip of House MD on YouTube (which was uploaded and then watched for free), discover that they might like the show and then watch the show on their TV set then that's one more pair of eyeballs free of charge.

    It's free advertising. FOX has no monetary loss here, nor does the guy watching the show. What more could they want?!

    This is probably one of the most ingenious advertising models ever, and FOX can't see three feet in front of their noses!

     

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    Buzz, Mar 6th, 2007 @ 10:54am

    VHS

    This reminds me of the situations regarding TV networks freakin' out that people were recording their shows on VHS for "future viewing" (I'm not sure what ELSE you'd do with a blank VHS). Ah, the days before Video-on-Demand... :)

     

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    Joe, Mar 6th, 2007 @ 11:43am

    You Tube....

    Why is anyone concerned at all? How can something that is such poor quality be so important to so many peoples lives?

    If folks are worried that this is the future of video and we should be afraid of it.....

    I've seen some decent content on You Tube, but quality wise..... Maybe I'm a dinosaur and just don't get it. Maybe the net is really just for people 25 and under anymore....

    I'm going to watch my 52 inch HDTV and have a beer....

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2007 @ 12:35pm

      Re: You Tube....

      I suppose the real fear comes in the fact that a lot of those 25 and unders have their PCs hooked into their 42 inch HDTV (cant afford the 52 plasma) With a graphics card that sports a great package for video on tv adjustments its exactly like watching hdtv from cable, you know at request and w/o the commercials.

      Unfortunatly the crowd at you tube isnt really reliable on tv shows. Sure you can get the really popular ones/episodes but trying to get an entire season of something less known is impossible (for now). Thats what torrents are for.

       

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        Joe, Mar 6th, 2007 @ 2:15pm

        Re: Re: You Tube....

        perhaps I should have added that I'm watching TV from my DVR which is networked to my home system which supplies streaming everything including what i get from torrents, while i drink my beer :D

        just for clarification purposes only.. :D

        Oh, I can't afford a plasma either.... and even though we're straying even further off topic... no matter how you connect it, it still doesn't validate anything that you tube presently offers, IMHO.

        and now back to our regularly scheduled meandering.....

         

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        Joe, Mar 6th, 2007 @ 2:15pm

        Re: Re: You Tube....

        perhaps I should have added that I'm watching TV from my DVR which is networked to my home system which supplies streaming everything including what i get from torrents, while i drink my beer :D

        just for clarification purposes only.. :D

        Oh, I can't afford a plasma either.... and even though we're straying even further off topic... no matter how you connect it, it still doesn't validate anything that you tube presently offers, IMHO.

        and now back to our regularly scheduled meandering.....

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2007 @ 12:27pm

    Why don't the get the identity of the people that uploaded the videos and HIRE THEM since it is clear that no one at Fox has a clue...

     

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    brilliant f@(kin Idea!, Mar 6th, 2007 @ 2:58pm

    I have a

    Fox/CBS/Communist News Network/every other idiot should put the videos on there first...hang with me...it's a good idea...
    So there they are...posting the entire show...and then *WHAMMY* they don't edit out the commercials!
    There they sit, still making their money, plus the free advertising...
    Hand over fist, and these idiots wouldn't know what to do with the money.
    Tell me if that doesn't make for a successful business model. They can slowly stop broadcasting over RF at all...in a good world anyway...that is just wishful thinking.

     

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    PNess, Mar 6th, 2007 @ 7:04pm

    100 bucks

    says it ended up beings someone really important's kid who works in the mailroom....


    lol

     

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