Would You Believe The RIAA Doesn't Agree With The Judge In The Viacom/YouTube Ruling?
from the what-a-shock dept
Add our voice to those who disagree with a recent summary judgment ruling in the court case between Viacom and YouTube.This is both wrong and amusing at the same time. The court's ruling was hardly "expansive." It covered the same ground as numerous other cases and basically kept the status quo. It was Viacom that was trying to expand the meaning of the law in effectively wiping out the safe harbor provision.
We believe that the district court's dangerously expansive reading of the liability immunity provisions of the DMCA upsets the careful balance struck within the law and is bad public policy. It will actually discourage service providers from taking steps to minimize the illegal exchange of copyrighted works on their sites. As the White House recently noted in its strategic plan to combat intellectual property theft it is essential for service providers and intermediaries generally to work collaboratively with content owners to seek practical and efficient solutions to address infringement. We need businesses to be more proactive in addressing infringement, not less. We expect the Court of Appeals will better understand the balance Congress struck when it enacted the DMCA.
The idea that this ruling discourages providers from trying to minimize infringement (not theft -- and it's really silly that the industry keeps calling it theft) has already been debunked. Most of the serious companies in the space want to work with the entertainment industry and have put in place voluntary filters -- not because the law requires them, but because they feel it makes business sense. So the ability to work collaboratively is still very much there. And, frankly, it's pretty insulting that the RIAA thinks that tech companies will only work with the RIAA if the law requires them to do so. Of course, it's so very typical of the entertainment industry mindset, where everything is a fight and everyone is in competition. It's as if they don't understand non-zero sum games. The internet world has never needed legal forces to work collaboratively with the entertainment industry. They've wanted to do so time and time again. Napster tried very hard, and the RIAA hit them with a lawsuit. The number of innovative startups sued by RIAA members to force those companies to cough up some equity is too long to list here.
RIAA labels don't work collaboratively. They sue. Arguing that this particular ruling will make it somehow harder to work collaboratively is ridiculous. The tech firms were never the ones running to the lawyers. They were always willing to partner. But, of course, at this point, I guess expecting intellectual honesty from the likes of the RIAA remains a pipedream.