Viacom Takes YouTube Lawsuit Into The Court Of Public Opinion

from the and-rewrites-the-DMCA-in-the-process dept

The Washington Post has handed over column space to Viacom's general counsel Michael Fricklas to explain the company's position in its lawsuit against Google/YouTube. It seems like Viacom is realizing that plenty of people seem to think it's making a pretty big mistake here (including some of its own employees), and thinks that a little explanation can sway public opinion. It's unlikely to help. Fricklas explains why Viacom thinks that the DMCA's safe harbor provisions don't protect Google -- something some legal experts disagree with. However, Fricklas may damage his own case towards the end where he talks about how unfair it is to put the burden of tracking the content on companies like Viacom, noting how difficult it is: "Putting the burden on the owners of creative works would require every copyright owner, big and small, to patrol the Web continually on an ever-burgeoning number of sites. That's hardly a workable or equitable solution." Yet, somehow it's "workable and equitable" to expect Google to do the same thing? The safe harbor provisions of the DMCA are there for very good reasons: to keep the platform providers from being responsible for what their users do. If Viacom is upset that fans are promoting their shows for them (and we still haven't quite figured out why), then why don't they do what the law says they should, and sue the fans uploading the content?

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  1. identicon
    reed, 26 Mar 2007 @ 12:18pm

    Get with the 21st century!

    Wisdom said,

    "Anyone who advocates uploading copyrighted materials, or the failure to police such uploads, is like a squatter. They take over another person's house, use it as their own, always claiming they have a right to so because of some imagined "wrong" done by the owner , the government or "society."

    You can't compare squatting on actual physical property with reproducing digital media and uploading it. They are not even close to the same.

    "If people were moral and ethical they would report all copyright infrigments themselves to Google, then there would be no need for lawsuits like this one."

    Yes, everyone should protect corporations interests because corporations are always protecting our interests LOL.

    "But people are not moral or ethical, people are corrupt. Their lives are so empty that they see something and they automatically think they own it and are free to share it."

    Great generalizations! Considering all people are corrupt then of course the whole idea of "owning" art and media must also be completely corrupt.

    These corporations that think they can own a millions of individual works of art and media that they had little or nothing to do with other than buying them are insane. They prey upon humanity's natural ability to create art and then expect the people who created the culture in the first place to pay for it.

    I will make this plain and clear, a closed copyrighted society only benefits the top 2% of people. It is an unfair system that gives a minority group of people an advantage in acquiring wealth and manipulating popular culture.

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