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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  1. identicon
    Angry Fox, 17 Jan 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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