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


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  1. identicon
    J. Sibley Law, 24 Feb 2010 @ 8:57am

    Rights, Content Ownership, & Business Models that Work

    Every conference in the digital media space has sessions, workshops, and panel discussions about rights issues, content ownership, and business models. The fact that Viacom and Google (both very large organizations) find themselves in court over the matter demonstrates the complexity of the issues involved.

    The fact is that distribution models like YouTube and even more so BitTorrent networks are weening the cyber-public off old models of distribution. Unfortunately, there is no dominant and completely successful business model to fill the void and pay all the people who contribute to creative content.

    Viacom's bottomline is their bottom line, which allows for payments on contracts for content (and to shareholders).

    There is still room for exciting new business models that ensure content creators (and contributors) get paid and still allow for the public to engage the content they love in the ways they expect (or to have their expectations changed).

    These are exciting times!

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