Italian Courts Continue To Attack YouTube; Demand It Remove All Content From Berlusconi-Owned Mediaset

from the and-how-will-that-work? dept

It seems that the Italian legal system really has problems with YouTube. We’ve already detailed the absolutely ridiculous criminal lawsuit against Google execs over a video of some kids taunting another kid (why Google execs are criminally responsible for this still remains unexplained). Then there’s the Italian politician who has tried to sue a bunch of YouTube commenters. And now comes the news (via Michael Scott) that a court has ordered YouTube to remove all content from Mediaset, an Italian broadcaster owned (of course) by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. It’s unclear how the court thinks YouTube can somehow figure out what content is from Mediaset, but it doesn’t appear that Italian law cares about such practicalities.

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Companies: google, mediaset

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Comments on “Italian Courts Continue To Attack YouTube; Demand It Remove All Content From Berlusconi-Owned Mediaset”

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47 Comments
:Lobo Santo (profile) says:

Re: Re: standard answer

I concur, block Italy. Problem solved.

(I don’t know why I keep responding to trolls, guess I’m just easy.)

If you have something on your site and you don’t know the source, and you don’t know if you have the rights, you should remove it.

You do realize that’s logically and logistically impossible for any site which has user contributed content? For example: EVERY FORUM ON THE GODDAMN INTERNET (you pucking futz), Wikipedia, Youtube, Yahoo Answers, EVERY NEWS SITE ON THE GODDAMN INTERNET, and tons more than you or I are even aware of.

(calm breath…)
I suffer a moment of disbelief. Seriously, I’d always held the optimistic belief that no living sentient entity could actually be that DUMB. Either you’re simply ignorant and misinformed(doubtful), willfully ignorant (probable), or simply a shill/troll who has no opinions of his own but substitutes spoon-fed ideology and simple contrition in place of thought-out opinions(likely).

aguywhoneedstenbucks (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: standard answer

I hope you were talking about the Anti-Mike when you spoke of Trolls. I’m a (mostly) reformed troll. Honestly I’m more of a jackass than anything at this point.

I’m a huge proponent of “If they complain about their access, remove it”. Make them promise to act like adults before giving them back their toys.

The Anti-Mike says:

Re: Re: Re: standard answer

I am sorry, but I don’t get your point.

If I make a post on a chat board (such as this) I have granted rights to them to use the post. Text like this is rarely an issue.

Wikpedia will not use images that it doesn’t have rights to.

News sites will not run columns without having rights to them.

Why should Youtube be allowed to run videos that they don’t have the rights to?

Further, and this is important: Almost every media in the world assures that they have rights before they run something. Every image in a magazine, every part of a movie is checked and confirmed. Why should online be the exact opposite? Why should offline media be “run only with rights” and online should be “run it no matter what, until someone complains”?

User submitted is not an excuse. All that is required is for the user to be properly identified as the source, retain records to match content to source, and when the lawyers come knocking on the door, point at the user as the source.

Put it another way: If you ran a corner store, and a guy came in to offer you 1000 cartons of cigarettes for 50 cents a carton, wouldn’t you want to know where they came from? Wouldn’t you want to know why they are so cheap? Wouldn’t you be liable when the ATF came in and found illegal tabacco products in your store, or that the product had been stolen from your competitor down the street?

Just because things are online doesn’t suddenly remove common sense in the process. Youtube (and other “user submitted” sites) operate on the assumption that everyone is nice and legal, and they don’t check a thing. It is incredible frustrating to rights holders to have youtube granted a defacto license until they complain (sometimes over and over again) about their works appearing on youtube without a license. The assumption of a license is something that I hope is removed completely in the future.

:Lobo Santo (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 standard answer

Ah. Willfully ignorant spouting ideologies (and filled with mixed, metaphors, might I add).

From your thought patterns, I’d say you’ve some lawyerly learning. I took a few law courses, and some logic courses. Would you believe the two are mostly incompatible?

Henceforth, I shall refuse to be baited by your rhetoric. You’re re-hashing that which has been already debated and decided long before; and attempting to muddle the difference betwixt ‘physical’ and ‘abstract’.

Also, replying to your muddled non-applying cigarette example:
Economically speaking, there are quite a few reasons and situations wherein a person or company can sell goods at far below cost without losing money. (Read that sentence again, I’ll wait.) As a show of good faith, when you can answer to me how, I will debate these issues with you.

Until then, I’ll just say “Hello Igtor” to you. (Igtor will be short form for “ignorant troll.” I know you can do better than being an ignorant troll, so apply yourself, learn a little. You might be surprised at how capable your unused brain is once you turn in on.)

Michael (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 standard answer

“If I make a post on a chat board (such as this) I have granted rights to them to use the post. Text like this is rarely an issue.”

Ok, so if you re-type a book in these comments and submit it, TechDirt should be liable for it? What you are missing is that YouTube is not the provider of the content, they provide the platform and the users provide the content.

“User submitted is not an excuse. All that is required is for the user to be properly identified as the source, retain records to match content to source, and when the lawyers come knocking on the door, point at the user as the source.”

That is what is happening. The content owner can submit a DMCA takedown notice and see the courts for information about the user. The fact that the users are protected in the anonymity from just a “I want the information” request is because those requests would quickly be abused. Unfortunately, the content owners at the moment are not going after the user when YouTube is pointing at them, they are just suing YouTube. Again, this is like suing AT&T because someone heard music playing in the background of a phone call.

The Anti-Mike says:

Re: Re: Re:3 standard answer

The content owner can submit a DMCA takedown notice and see the courts for information about the user. The fact that the users are protected in the anonymity from just a “I want the information” request is because those requests would quickly be abused.

See, that by itself is a problem. The requirement to post a video is NOTHING, the requirement to prove that it shouldn’t be up is huge. That is an unfair situation, and one that could be very simply avoided by requiring the sites to (a) properly indentify their users, and know who is uploading what, and (b) be an active participant in support of legal actions against users who violate copyright. They should also (c) be required to get statement (electronic) from the submitting user that they have rights to the material, and take action to terminate access for users who make false statements – and potentially take legal action themselves.

In Masnick land, everyone yells “230! 230! 230!” every time a copyright issue comes up, and that is that. It’s sort of like drug dealer lookouts yelling “50! 50!”. It is laughable but apparently legally functional.

As for your “type a book” example, Techdirt should have some liablity if they are allowing such large posts on their site without control, and for not knowing who is in fact posting on their site. In absense of knowing who is posting on their site, they should be in a position to accept some of the liablity. SODDI isn’t an acceptable defence, they need to actively be able to identify the OD.

As for the question of platform, I could make an argument that a TV station is just a platform for broadcasting, and they could sell the time to anonymous people who could run movies and tv shows they don’t have the rights to, and it would all be okay. It isn’t.

Michael (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 standard answer

“That is an unfair situation”

I’m not sure why you think it is unfair and to whom, but I will leave that for now.

“As for your “type a book” example, Techdirt should have some liablity if they are allowing such large posts on their site without control”

Ok, what if it is just a poem – which could be much sorter than your post? Where is the line of how much information is it ok to allow people to post? Remember that you and I have been having a conversation on this platform in near real-time. If someone were reading these posts, ensuring there is no infringing content (by looking it up where may I ask?) and then allowing the posts to continue, would you and I be where we are in this debate, or would both of us stopped caring after the second post?

“could make an argument that a TV station is just a platform for broadcasting”

TV and Radio stations broadcast. Coming up with some way to change the fundamental business and attach it to the old platform is not a useful argument here. YouTube is what you describe. It’s new, the old rules can’t be practically applied. Again i ask what you think the phone companies should be required to do as phone and mail services are much closer to the internet as platform examples.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 standard answer

“That is an unfair situation, and one that could be very simply avoided by requiring the sites to (a) properly indentify their users, and know who is uploading what, and (b) be an active participant in support of legal actions against users who violate copyright.”

I think the privacy of users and their freedom to post what they want anonymously is more important than useless and often times harmful intellectual property laws. If something as worthless to society and harmful as intellectual property (ie: copyright) is going to get in the way of (or make the process more expensive) Google’s ability to post whatever I upload online anonymously or if it’s going to get in my way of uploading videos online then I say we do away with intellectual property. Current intellectual property laws are designed to only benefit the rich at public expense and we should never allow something as useless to society as intellectual property to hinder something far more useful (ie: anonymous video postings). I do think that some degree of intellectual property can be a good thing but any benefits it can potentially provide certainly do not outweigh our rights to post anonymously or Google’s rights to upload such content and we certainly should not allow it to make the process any more expensive for anyone (including YouTube/Google).

ChurchHatesTucker (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 standard answer

“The requirement to post a video is NOTHING, the requirement to prove that it shouldn’t be up is huge”

Huge how? You send a notice, it gets taken down. The original poster then has the burden off proof, whereas it should be the other way ’round (if you’re at all concerned about protecting speech, that is.)

Luci says:

Re: Re: Re:4 standard answer

Let me explain what is wrong with what you suggest by showing you how stupid it is.

What you suggest is the same as you getting a speeding ticket before you ever get in your car. Hey, it’s you’re car. You’re the one driving. Prove that you weren’t speeding.

Fortunately that isn’t the sort of world we live in. The more you speak, the more certain I am that you are 1) a lawyer, 2) an IP maximalist, and 3) a shill. We’ve already established that you’re an idiot.

Michael (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 standard answer

“Put it another way: If you ran a corner store, and a guy came in to offer you 1000 cartons of cigarettes for 50 cents a carton, wouldn’t you want to know where they came from? Wouldn’t you want to know why they are so cheap? Wouldn’t you be liable when the ATF came in and found illegal tabacco products in your store, or that the product had been stolen from your competitor down the street?”

Ok, your analogy is a bit off. Let me adjust it to fit the situation.

Rather than running a corner store, you run UPS. The guy ships the cigarettes to the corner store owner via UPS. Is UPS responsible? It’s clear you don’t believe YouTube is the sketchy guy selling cartons of cigarettes, but you misinterpret YouTube’s part here. They just offer a way to deliver the content. They don’t actually look at it – not because they don’t want to ensure everything is ok to ship, but because it makes the process impossibly slow and expensive. I think you would agree that UPS is good for society as a whole, but I am sure they ship as much illegal content and YouTube.

YouTube allows for some nefarious activity – nobody here disputes that. However, the service they offer has a net benefit for society as a communication platform (you can argue against that, but i’m not sure if you do) and that is a big reason why they are protected by safe harbors for this kind of thing.

tracker1 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 standard answer

If you post a work that is under copyright to a message board, such as this, you don’t own the right to assign to the message board. That is the issue with YouTube, their TOS already states you aren’t to post material you don’t have rights to post, it doesn’t magically stop people from posting it. It also doesn’t magically tell Google/YouTube the material is infringing.

Michael (profile) says:

Re: standard answer

Why should your solution only apply to websites?

Shouldn’t the phone companies have to remove any conversations that are happening when there is music playing in the background? They would have the same problem YouTube has – without blocking everything and having a review process before letting anything through, they would not be able to prevent this type of behavior.

This has been explained to you before. The internet is a COMMUNICATION platform, not a BROADCAST platform. Any attempt to make it a broadcast platform in which all content is reviewed will make it unusable for two-way communication.

That is why the DMCA has section 230 to take the liability away from the communication platform providers. When this section was written, it was done so with a fundamental understanding that what you are suggesting is both impossible and unnecessary.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: standard answer

If you have something on your site and you don’t know the source, and you don’t know if you have the rights, you should remove it.

If I am reading this correctly, I should now remove all of your comments.

Give me a good reason not to do so. After all, I have no idea what the source of your comments are. They could be copied and pasted. I don’t have the rights, as far as I know. Therefore, on your logic, all your comments should be deleted.

Obviously, if I were to do that, you wouldn’t complain, would you?

The Anti-Mike says:

Re: Re: standard answer

Mike, the site is yours, not mine. You can do anything you want with my posts.

I post with no assurances that my posts will be shown or retained. As your site lacks terms and conditions, there is no way for me to be entirely certain under what terms my posts are taken (nor have you clearly defined what rights you are expecting in accepting a post).

It should be clear to you, however, that once you start censoring or deleting posts from any user, you start down the road of censorship and looking like you have something to hide. You have way too much of a reputation to protect to go that direction, I think.

Oh yeah…

http://www.citmedialaw.org/blog/2009/barnes-v-yahoo-section-230-does-not-insulate-online-service-provider-from-contractual-liab

Have a nice day! 🙂

The Groove Tiger (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: standard answer

I knew a guy who ran a forum. He had a very very tolerant policy about banning people. Basically, anyone who would constantly yell “ban me, I dare you! what are you, chicken?” got the banhammer. So don’t go crying if you’re the only one argueing in favor of removing all content that hasn’t proven beyond any doubt that it isn’t infringing, and then your content is the only one that gets removed.

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: standard answer

> If you have something on your site and you don’t know the
> source, and you don’t know if you have the rights, you should
> remove it. That would fix most of the issues.

Actually, Google cutting off Italy entirely would solve all of Google’s issues. However, I think it would be only the start of the issues for the Italian politicians as their constituents came after them with pitchforks.

The Groove Tiger (profile) says:

Re: standard answer

So, to have a site that allows you to upload videos, they should ask for proof that for example, you filmed the video yourself? Which is… what? That you mail them the camera so they can determine if the grooves in the lens match the ones in the video? Satellite photos that place you at the location where the video was taken at the time the footage was taken? Forensic evidence? A letter signed by the Emperor of Earth saying that the video is yours?

Maybe there should be a process in which every camera sold on the planet embed into the video that “this video is not property of Mediaset”.

Why stop there? Whenever you go somewhere to print family photos, for example for some event in your house, you have to submit evidence that said pictures are not property of Mediaset.

How do we know that your posts are yours? Maybe you’re copying them from some other website in the internet and they are copyrighted. Since we can’t tell without visiting every single website, Mike should preemptively remove your posts (since we don’t know the original source).

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Anyone else...

…find it weird that the Italian PM is still allowed to own a private business while serving in the public arena? Am I being naive in thinking that our federal politicians in America suspend any involvement in daily operations of business while serving their terms?

That quote from Mussolini on the definition of fascism being the combination of industry and state seems rather relevant here….

It Appears to be the Case says:

Re: Anyone else...

“Am I being naive in thinking that our federal politicians in America suspend any involvement in daily operations of business while serving their terms?”

No, not naive. Federal politicians in America remove any appearances that they are still involved in business, (emphasis on appearances). Otherwise there would be Conflict of Interest. And as we are all well aware, our political leaders do not have any conflict of interest. For example, it was once said that they are the best policians money can buy.

:) says:

Rarely do I condone violence but...

The guy who hit berlusconi is my hero even if he is demented.

And bush dodging a shoe was funny, guess berlusconni should exercise more and train ducking more often 🙂

Maybe bush and berslusconi could found a company to train CEO’s from banks and politicians on how to dodge miniature cathedrals and shoes LoL

The name of the company could be “Blood & Dodgers” 🙂

:) says:

Anti-mike do you have a blog?

I would love to hear about it.

Do you have an e-mail, IM(instant messenger), use any online tools?

So if people should be responsible for what happens with what they use obviously you wouldn’t mind if I target you with porn all day long and call the copyright dogs from the porn industry right?

Your logic gives me the power to frak you up and you know what you can’t touch me.

I can use your forums to post magnet links that link directly to porn torrents how would you like that?

People could just say “hey last go to that forum from that guy anti-mike and trade illegal stuff there”.

There is no asking, what would you do when people from nigeria in internet cafes starting pouring there?

By your own logic you are responsible for knowing anything that happens in your virtual space right?

Please be so kind and disclose where you work so people can flood the email addresses with unauthorized porn and see how you being responsible for it makes so much sense LoL

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