NLPC Continues Bogus Campaign Against Google Video

from the addressing-actual-questions-doesn't-make-headlines dept

Back in July, the National Legal and Policy Council put out a headline grabbing report about how (gasp!) there was copyrighted content on Google Video. We blasted the study for a variety of points that the folks at NLPC either didn't understand or chose to ignore in order to generate headlines. One would hope that a group that wants to be taken seriously would address those concerns. Instead, they simply waited a couple months and came out with a nearly identical report that makes the exact same mistakes the first one did. For a group that claims its whole purpose is to promote ethics, that's quite disappointing. It's also rather amusing that the group, which claims to be promoting transparency and corporate integrity, doesn't appear to make it easy to find out who is funding its activities.

The latest report highlights how the folks at the NLPC found copyrighted content on Google Video. What they fail to mention is that all new content is covered by copyright at the point of creation under US law -- so pointing out that there is copyrighted content on Google Video is like saying that water is wet. What they meant to say (but didn't) was that they found unauthorized content on Google Video. Perhaps the reason they didn't say that, though, is because it's impossible to know what is and what is not authorized without asking the copyright holder. There are plenty of major media companies who have learned to embrace YouTube and other video sites and they want their content shared on YouTube. However, the NLPC doesn't even bother to consider that this is a possibility. It also doesn't acknowledge the simple fact that there is no way for Google to know whether or not the companies approve of the way the content is being used, unless the content companies notify them -- which is exactly how the process works. In other words, Google is doing everything exactly as it should and is required to under the law. The NLPC also (again) blames Google for the actions of its users, never bothering to distinguish between the two and point out how the law clearly separates the responsibility of a service provider from the actions of users. Finally, the NLPC quotes bogus stats on the "costs" of copyright violations, never noting that the stats they're using have been widely discredited. Much of this was pointed out to the NLPC back in July, yet they don't appear to have addressed a single concern. Once again, for a group that focuses on integrity, ethics and accountability, you would have expected much more.
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Filed Under: copyright, nlpc, video
Companies: google, nlpc


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  • identicon
    RandomThoughts, 27 Sep 2007 @ 9:22am

    Mike, debate tactics and skills aside, you first ask about who funds this group. I believe you think it is the movie industry. If your assumption is true, don't you think maybe the examples given of movies violating copyright laws in the report would in fact actually be violations?

    Does Google host copyright material in violation of the law? Of course it does. Does it take it down when asked? Yep. Could they do more to keep it off there in the first place? Should they?

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

    • icon
      Mike (profile), 27 Sep 2007 @ 9:47am

      Re:

      I believe you think it is the movie industry.

      I don't necessarily think that at all. I'm just curious who it is. For a group that talks about corporate transparency and responsibility, I just found it amusing that they don't appear to disclose this info at all.

      don't you think maybe the examples given of movies violating copyright laws in the report would in fact actually be violations?

      You seem to be missing my point. The report purposely confuses "copyrighted content" with "unauthorized content" which is the key to the whole argument they're making. If they mean unauthorized content that has been confirmed as unauthorized, then they should back that up. Otherwise, there entire report is meaningless and misleading.


      Does Google host copyright material in violation of the law? Of course it does.


      See, that's exactly the type of mistake that is made in the report. Your statement implies that *Google* is violating the law. That's not the case. The individuals who upload may be violating the law, but as a service provider, Google is protected from the actions of its users.

      Could they do more to keep it off there in the first place?

      Again, no one has explained how Google is supposed to know which content is authorized and which is not. Everyone seems to think that there's some magic system where they automatically know. If so, it would be great if you could share it with us and the folks at Google, because otherwise I don't see how they know which content is authorized and which isn't.

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

      • identicon
        Huh, 27 Sep 2007 @ 7:59pm

        Re: Re:

        Are you saying that Google shouldn't develop a review process that protects the copyright holder BEFORE the content is made publicly available? Other video sites do it, (blip.tv, metacafe, revver, yahoo ). What makes Google so sleaz is that they're totally willing to screen for porn or snuff, but not for anything else. And they've been doing this little dance at the expense of smaller creators...

        The elephant in the room is that the DMCA gets used SELECTIVELY by Google and YouTube, and screw any of us creators who have to chase them down playing whackamole with takedown notices. And everyone cheers them on, as if it's only about viacom vs. google.

        They suck, bigtime, for this. And I hope one of these big media monsters kick their collective asses in court. Bigmedia sucks bigtime but Google sucks worse as they sleaze their way through this issue every day,and they deserve a whupping.

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

  • identicon
    RandomThoughts, 27 Sep 2007 @ 9:57am

    Mike, you misunderstood my mispeak. I Didn't mean to say that Google was violating the law by hosting the copyright material, just that there is material up that violates copyright laws.

    It seems that Google things there might be some "magic" system, because they are working on exactly that. Not sure if they consider it Harry Potter quality though.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Sep 2007 @ 10:41am

      Re:

      RT: "Didn't mean to say that Google was violating the law by hosting the copyright material, just that there is material up that violates copyright laws."

      MIKE: "What they meant to say (but didn't) was that they found unauthorized content on Google Video."

      ..."all new content is covered by copyright at the point of creation under US law -- so pointing out that there is copyrighted content on Google Video is like saying that water is wet." ... "Perhaps the reason they didn't say that, though, is because it's impossible to know what is and what is not authorized without asking the copyright holder."

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

  • icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), 27 Sep 2007 @ 10:18am

    Heh

    Mike may not assume that it is the movie industry, but I will. That and the recording industry. Just another shill company meant to make it look like "more" people are on their side, when their numbers are actually decreasing over time (this is an assumption on my part based on other stories showing that more and more people are waking up to the value of promotion).

    The day Google enacts that 'magic bullet' system, is the day many many users will be looking for new services.
    You KNOW it is going to end up removing TONS of perfectly legitimate content. It is unavoidable. And people do not want that. So they will find something new, that is better and doesn't bend over for the dying industries that fail to improve their business models.

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

    • identicon
      Logan6, 27 Sep 2007 @ 11:12am

      Re: Heh

      Where they will end up going is the new VideoBay, which is going to be put up by the people who run The Pirate Bay.

      This will end the copyright fight and spell the doom of YouTube.

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

  • identicon
    RandomThoughts, 27 Sep 2007 @ 10:36am

    Well, I guess its not so magic after all, as MSN and Myspace have something like this in place already.

    Truth be told, if others can do it (or at least try) and Google (or YouTube) doesn't, that could open up some liability there.

    Safe Harbor isn't a get out of jail free card.

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

    • icon
      Mike (profile), 27 Sep 2007 @ 11:30am

      Re:

      Well, I guess its not so magic after all, as MSN and Myspace have something like this in place already.

      Yeah, and it doesn't work. Would you rather they put in place solutions that don't work?

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

  • icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), 27 Sep 2007 @ 10:52am

    Re #5

    Yup, and visit just 5 people's pages on myspace there RandomThoughts. Go ahead, 5 random pages. I will bet you that their pretty little system doesn't work.
    Also, please note that many people are moving away from Myspace and heading to Facebook.
    Every forum or discussion topic I have seen covering myspace over the past 6 months I have seen people commenting how Myspace sucks and they left / are leaving for Facebook.
    Either myspace is yesterdays news (I have seen more stories on facebook recently too) or there are an awful lot of shills for Facebook out there.
    I believe my point still stands.
    Also note that just because one company decides to throw the section230 protections, doesn't mean that completely invalidates the law and opens up everyone else to liability.

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

  • identicon
    RandomThoughts, 27 Sep 2007 @ 12:10pm

    Well then I guess its not magic if other companies have at least something and Google is working on it now, is it? And define "doesn't work". Maybe it works a little.

    That being said, I think Google is working on this and fully expect them to bring something out that somewhat works. Will it work everywhere? Of course not, but it will catch some.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Sep 2007 @ 12:30pm

      Re:

      Well then I guess its not magic if other companies have at least something and Google is working on it now, is it? And define "doesn't work". Maybe it works a little.


      "doesn't work" means "mistakenly takes down authorized content and doesn't take down unauthorized content"

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

  • identicon
    Matt, 27 Sep 2007 @ 1:04pm

    NLPC

    Ok so the NLPC is headed by Peter Flaherty who was involved in "Citizens for Reagan" a lobby organization of 100,000 members. They are a 501c3 but appear to focus on a right wing agenda more than "corruption." There are a few republicans listed in the section about corruption in politics on the first page there is a "story/report" about Wal*Mart "Embracing" the left. So who cares who funds them they are just a puppet org. I would hope that, and I know this will not happen, any respectable news org would at least visit the site before reporting this stuff as factual unbiased "news." But alas I know that is way too much to ask for.

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

  • identicon
    RandomThoughts, 27 Sep 2007 @ 1:29pm

    "doesn't work" means "mistakenly takes down authorized content and doesn't take down unauthorized content"

    So if it takes down work that it shouldn't and leaves up work that it should, just reverse it. Perfect solution.

    Funny thing is, most folks here don't believe any should be taken down, so whats the point?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Sep 2007 @ 6:34pm

    Fence

    I'm surprised the copyright shills aren't running screaming that "Goolge is fencing stolen property" or some such nonsense.

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


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