Among The Clips That Viacom Sued Google Over, About 100 Were Uploaded By Viacom Itself

from the sorta-demonstrates-the-problem,-doesn't-it? dept

Copyright maximalists who hate the DMCA's safe harbors often claim that service providers can easily tell what content is infringing and which is not. This is, in fact, a key part of the argument made by Viacom in its lawsuit against Google over YouTube. It claims that YouTube must know that the clips are infringing and should be taken down. There's just one problem: even Viacom doesn't seem to know which clips are infringing and which are not. It turns out that, among the many YouTube clips included in the lawsuit, approximately 100 were uploaded on purpose by Viacom. Yes, you read that right:

Viacom sued Google over clips it claimed were infringing, that Viacom purposely uploaded to YouTube.

That alone should show how ridiculous Viacom's claims are in this lawsuit. There is simply no way for Google to know if clips are uploaded legitimately or not. Oddly, however, the court has now allowed Viacom to withdraw those clips, but lawyers like Eric Goldman are questioning how this isn't a Rule 11 violation for frivolous or improper litigation. But, more importantly, it demonstrates that even Viacom has no idea which clips are infringing and which are authorized. Given that, how can it possibly say that it's reasonable for Google to know?

Filed Under: authorized, copyright, dmca, videos
Companies: google, viacom, youtube


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Rasmus, 30 Dec 2009 @ 7:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Its NOT about knowing WHO the user is. Its about knowing if the user uploading content has the rights to that content. And it doesn't matter if you know its Viacom tha officially uploads content or not. Because there is absolutely no way you can know if Viacom actually has the rights to the content they upload, you would have to ask them to provide all legal documents and all contracts with other rightsholders they have to be sure. And that doesn't do it either because you must also investigate all legal documents of the rightsholders that sold or licensed rights to Viacom to make sure they actually had the rights they sold to Viacom. And then you would have to look at the subcontractors subcontractors, and their subcontractors and so on until you actually find the most original rightsholder.

    Problem is, most of these contracts are declared trade secrets and surrounded by non-disclosure agreements. So how on earth is anyone to know who actually has the rights to upload anything?

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: I Invented Email
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.