Veoh Gets Another DMCA Safe Harbor Win, This Time Against Universal Music

from the good-decisions dept

You may recall that last year, the video hosting website Veoh had a big win when a court ruled that the site was protected by DMCA safe harbors from infringement committed by users. Of course, that particular lawsuit was only one of a few that Veoh is involved in. In a separate case, brought by Universal Music Group, UMG made some somewhat twisted arguments as to why Veoh shouldn't qualify for DMCA safe harbor protections. Basically, it said that Veoh gave up its safe harbors by creating copies of the video in transforming their format and creating copies that were in smaller "chunks" than the original. UMG also went out on a limb claiming that the fact that users could stream videos and download whole videos also took away their safe harbor protections. It's hard to see how those arguments make any sense at all, and it sounds like UMG lawyers were just throwing every possible argument against the wall, knowing they had little to work with.

The good news is that the judge has rejected all of those arguments, saying none of them seemed to mean Veoh gave up its safe harbor protections. The lawsuit isn't over yet, and the court hasn't ruled on whether Veoh (overall) is protected by the DMCA, but in rejecting UMG's weakly reasoned arguments for why Veoh had given up those protections, it suggests that Veoh is likely to prevail here too.
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Filed Under: dmca, safe harbor
Companies: universal music, veoh


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  1. icon
    Mike (profile), 6 Jan 2009 @ 10:57am

    Re: Re: Re: I can see some of the arguement

    Most of your analogies fail due to the fact that the primary purpose of sites like YouTube, etc is to allow users to *publish* their content for the world to see.

    Actually, you seem to have missed the point. The fact that the primary purpose of those sites is to publish content fits with the analogy perfectly. In the same way that the purpose of a phone system is to communicate and the purpose of a car is to drive.

    What's illegal is using any of those services to break the law: i.e., drunk driving, committing a crime by phone or uploading unauthorized videos. And, in all 3 cases, it's the USER, not the tool, that should face the liability.

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