NBC Continues Love/Hate Relationship With YouTube

from the or-is-that-passive-aggressive? dept

It seems like NBC just can't make up its mind about YouTube. After the Saturday Night Live video "Lazy Sunday" showed up on YouTube and helped make both YouTube famous and SNL somewhat cool again (at least the Andy Samberg skits), NBC lawyers decided to cut off YouTube. A few months after that, NBC signed a deal with YouTube to upload videos to the site, and the two sites were friends again. In fact, NBC admitted that there was tremendous promotional value to putting its shows on YouTube, but still felt the need to limit how much content would be shared. Some have wondered if NBC Universal would follow in the footsteps of Viacom in suing YouTube. While it hasn't done that, it has joined Viacom in filing an amicus brief against YouTube in a smaller case. If you remember, before Viacom went nuclear on YouTube, there was a small LA news publisher who sued YouTube alleging copyright infringement. That case is ahead of the Viacom case, and will probably serve as the key test case in determining whether or not Google/YouTube really are protected by the DMCA's safe harbor provisions. It seems like NBC wants to embrace YouTube while at the same time killing it. Given the way NBC keeps taking one-step forward, one-step back in dealing with YouTube, perhaps it's not a surprise. Hopefully, a judge recognizes the many reasons why the safe harbor protections do apply and NBC finally recognizes it has more to gain by embracing it than killing it.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Jerk, May 7th, 2007 @ 11:50am

    Frivilous lawsuites

    The world is coming to an end, and it will be finished by all these stupid lawsuits. I can't decide if the companies are trying to get publicity, or if they really are that ridiculously protective of their so-called copyrights...

    Oh, and FIRST

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    RandomThoughts, May 7th, 2007 @ 11:56am

    You assume YouTube qualifies for safe harbor. That could be a bad assumption.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Apennismightier, May 7th, 2007 @ 12:28pm

    I'm suing the Anonymous Jerk, or should I say "tool" for infringing on the copyrighted posts of all the other douchebags who wrote that they posted first.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Poster, May 7th, 2007 @ 12:29pm

    I agree that these stupid lawsuits need to be killed.

     

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  5.  
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    Mike (profile), May 7th, 2007 @ 12:30pm

    Re:

    You assume YouTube qualifies for safe harbor. That could be a bad assumption.

    If you follow the links, I've already explained why they should qualify for safe harbor. If they don't, then the safe harbor provisions are entirely meaningless.

    If you assume they were put in place for a reason, then it seems likely that YouTube should qualify.

     

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  6.  
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    Buzz, May 7th, 2007 @ 12:33pm

    Hmmm

     

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  7.  
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    Buzz, May 7th, 2007 @ 12:34pm

    WTF?

    My comment showed up empty. Ugh...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    IronChef, May 7th, 2007 @ 1:01pm

    We're legislating outselfs out of the global economy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    TheDock22, May 7th, 2007 @ 2:22pm

    Re: Re:

    Actually, I disagree.

    http://www.chillingeffects.org/dmca512/

    One of the provisions is:

    In order to qualify for safe harbor protection, an OSP must: have no knowledge of, or financial benefit from, the infringing activity

    And the one thing YouTube can not prove is they had no knowledge of the infringing material. Of course they know. They get take down notices all the time. And unfortunately this provision is not a per case basis. So...let us say YouTube had no knowledge of NBC content being on their site, but know there is plenty of Viacom content. They would not be able to prove safe habor, since they knew there was at least SOME infringing material being hosted on their website.

    Unfortunately in cases like this, YouTube has the burden of proof; not Viacom, NBC, or whoever. Also, I can not think of a good way for them to prove they had no knowledge of any infringing content being hosted on their website.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Theoden, May 7th, 2007 @ 4:12pm

    Re: Disagree

    There is a loophole though, based on a part of the DMCA:

    If [the OSP] does discover such material before being contacted by the copyright owners, it is instructed to remove, or disable access to, the material itself. [512(c)(1)(A)(iii)], [512(d)(1)(C)].

    I guess it goes back to the question of IF they KNOW, and even Viacom can't figure out what is theirs and what is not. So there is some hope that they will get the Safe Harbor status.

     

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  11.  
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    Mike (profile), May 8th, 2007 @ 2:28am

    Re: Re: Re:

    And the one thing YouTube can not prove is they had no knowledge of the infringing material.

    Sure they can. Much of the content up there is there with the approval of the content owners, but YouTube has no way of knowing which content has the approval of the owners, and which the owners want taken down -- unless the owner sends a takedown notice. And, that's exactly what happens.

    So, yes, YouTube can absolutely show that they had no knowledge over what content owners wanted on the site, and which they wanted taken down.

    Of course they know. They get take down notices all the time.

    Right, and every time they do, they take down the content. That's exactly why they qualify for safe harbor provisions.

    They would not be able to prove safe habor, since they knew there was at least SOME infringing material being hosted on their website.

    No. That's an incorrect reading of the law. If that were true, it would make the safe harbor provisions meaningless. Any ISP knows that somewhere, some of its customers are infringing content. By your reasoning, they then get no safe harbor provisions.

    The ENTIRE POINT of the safe harbor provisions is that it's ridiculous for a service provider to police every bit of content when they have no way of knowing what should be there and what shouldn't be there.

    So, I'm sorry, but you're read of the DMCA provisions makes no sense.

    Unfortunately in cases like this, YouTube has the burden of proof; not Viacom, NBC, or whoever. Also, I can not think of a good way for them to prove they had no knowledge of any infringing content being hosted on their website.

    Again, this is incorrect. I'm sorry, but if you look at similar cases relating to the CDA (which has similar safe harbor provisions for libel), the burden of proof is not on the service provider. They just need to make it clear that they're a service provider, have nothing to do with the content, and respond appropriately when alerted. YouTube does all these things.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Jerk, May 8th, 2007 @ 5:28am

    Re:

    I'm suing the Anonymous Jerk, or should I say "tool" for infringing on the copyrighted posts of all the other douchebags who wrote that they posted first.

    Ahh, but not all the other posters have put a copyright on their 'First' posts, so I'm within my rights.

    This post and its contents are Copyright 2007 Anonymous Jerk Enterprises. All rights reserved

    lol

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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