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
    Killer_Tofu (profile), 6 Jan 2009 @ 5:53am

    Re: I can see some of the arguement

    Aside from the previous poster's reply, I would like to add a few things.
    You are also completely forgetting fair use.
    Say you purchased a DVD. Now it is all scratched up. So, you make a copy of your friends. Aside from getting around any copy protection (which is stupid to begin with, but that is a different argument) you are perfectly within your rights to own a backup. You already purchased the movie. Thats just your own personal fair use right. Under your own beliefs, would you go back and purchase the movie a second time, or just make a copy of your friend's? From what you claim, you should be giving them more money, which to me seems rather stupid. Whether your friend's copy is illegal to begin with at that point really doesn't make any difference. Actually, the fact that his copy was illegal puts you even more in the right, because any possible copy protections would already be removed, so you have broken no laws for your copy. You are guilty of following the laws for your copy, not breaking them. And your friend could not be charged with illegal distribution because you had a right to your copy.
    Also, please note where you say "they two are now infringing on the rights of the owner."
    1) It is too, not two.
    2) They own their copy. You must mean to say they are infringing on the rights of the copyright holder.

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