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Viacom Wins Reversal In Landmark YouTube Case

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by CatfishRivers, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    UPDATE 3-Viacom wins reversal in landmark YouTube case | Reuters (click for full article)

    * Google's YouTube to face copyright claims over videos


    * Tens of thousands of videos said to infringe copyrights


    * Premier League, film/TV studios also sued YouTube


    * Google shares fall, Viacom shares rise


    By Jonathan Stempel and Yinka Adegoke


    April 5 (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court dealt Google Inc a major defeat by reviving lawsuits by Viacom Inc , the English Premier League and various other media companies over the use of copyrighted videos on Google's YouTube service without permission.


    The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday reversed a June 2010 lower court ruling in favor of YouTube, which had been considered a landmark in setting guidelines for websites to use content uploaded by users.


    "It's hard to characterize this as anything other than a loss for Google, and potentially a significant one," said Eric Goldman, director of the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University School of Law. "It has given new life to a case that Google thought was dead."


    The $1 billion lawsuit filed by Viacom in 2007 to stop the posting of clips from "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," "South Park," "SpongeBob SquarePants" and other programs addressed a crucial issue for media companies: how to win Internet viewers without ceding control of TV shows, movies and music.


    It was seen as a test of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a 1998 federal law making it illegal to produce technology to circumvent anti-piracy measures, and limiting liability of online service providers for copyright infringement by users.


    In his June 2010 ruling, U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton in Manhattan said YouTube could not be liable simply for having a "general awareness" that videos might be posted illegally, and that it need not monitor for such activity.


    But writing for a two-judge panel of the 2nd Circuit, Judge Jose Cabranes concluded that "a reasonable jury could find that YouTube had actual knowledge or awareness of specific infringing activity on its website."


    The plaintiffs had accused YouTube of broadcasting about 79,000 copyrighted videos on its website between 2005 and 2008.


    ADVERSARIES, AND PARTNERS


    A YouTube spokeswoman said in an e-mailed statement: "All that is left of the Viacom lawsuit that began as a wholesale attack on YouTube is a dispute over a tiny percentage of videos long ago removed from YouTube. Nothing in this decision impacts the way YouTube is operating."


    Viacom, in a statement, said the appeals court "delivered a definitive, common sense message to YouTube: intentionally ignoring theft is not protected by the law."


    Other plaintiffs also welcomed the decision. "
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2012
  2. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    Wow, I think this is really bad news for Google.
     
  3. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Judge revives Viacom copyright suit against YouTube - latimes.com (click for full article)

    From the article:

    "The federal appeals court asked the District Court judge to reconsider the extent of YouTube's knowledge with respect to certain English Premier League soccer footage, prime-time television shows, Bud Light commercials and broadcast footage referred to in corporate email exchanges and correspondence dating from 2005 through 2007.


    In one such email exchange cited, YouTube founder Chad Hurley urged his colleagues to "start being diligent about rejecting copyrighted/inappropriate content," noting that a CNN clip of the space shuttle was on the site, asking whether "the boys from Turner" might be angry.


    Co-founder Steve Chen resisted, writing, "we should just keep that stuff on the site," adding that the clip could be removed after YouTube received legal notice.


    The correspondence suggests YouTube knew about the alleged infringement.


    "On these facts, a reasonable juror could conclude that YouTube had actual knowledge of specific infringing activity, or was at least aware of facts or circumstances from which specific infringing activity was apparent," Cabranes wrote. "
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2012
  4. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    I have to say that in my opinion YouTube gains more "premium content" - and thus more viewers (and sells more ads) - by maintaining a "loose" policy abouting removing copyrighted material.


    While not as bad or flagrant as what Megavideo was doing - it seems to me that YouTube makes the burden of having copyrighted material removed squarely on the shoulders of the copyright holders.


    YouTube has a copyright recognition system (In which videos are automatically flagged) - however the copyright holder must register their content with it. And Yes YouTube will take down copyrighted material if a copyright holder makes a specific claim to YouTube.


    But even if content is flagged for removal - YouTube will then give the rights holder the opportunity to monetize it and keep it on YouTube at their discretion.


    So I think YouTube is probably aware of some copyrighted material on their site - but will sometimes "look away" and leave the "burden" of having it removed with the rights holder. Ultimately they hope that a lot of it will "be allowed" to stay up IMO. And a good deal of it does.


    It seems that they also give several "strikes" to YouTube account holders that upload copyrighted material - it's not like if you upload a copyrighted video onto YouTube for the first time - that YouTube will immediately ban you. They give several warnings first.


    I've seen several YouTube channels where the owners state right in their introduction that YouTube has warned them about copyright violations (and that their channel "might" be taken down) - but these channels are still up & running with certain "premium content". This is content that perhaps was brought to the copyright holders attention - but they decided to allow it to stay up.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2012
  5. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    French court backs Google in TV piracy case - chicagotribune.com (click for full article)

    "Paris (Reuters) - A French court ruled that Google is not responsible for filtering content on YouTube, dealing a blow to French broadcaster TF1 which sought damages for copyrighted sports and movies which ended up on the video-sharing website.


    TF1 claimed 141 million euros in damages but was ordered to pay 80,000 euros of Google's legal fees.


    The decision mirrors an earlier case in France in 2011 in which video-sharing website Dailymotion was classified as a 'platform' for content and not an 'editor' of content.


    The two French decisions mean that the websites are not legally responsible for ensuring that pirated content does not appear, as long as they take steps to remove it once the copyright owner indicates its presence.


    Google faces other cases in the United States involving media giant Viacom and in Italy involving broadcaster Mediaset over whether its YouTube site is responsible for pirated content.


    A German court ruled in April that YouTube was responsible for the content its users published and should take down copyrighted clips or face a hefty royalties bill.


    In April a U.S. appeals court also dealt Google a blow by reviving lawsuits by Viacom Inc, the English Premier League and other media companies over the use of copyrighted videos on YouTube.


    In France the courts have sided with Google.


    "The defendant is not responsible in principle for the video content on its site; only the users of the site are," the decision reads.


    "It has no obligation to police the content before it is put online as long as it informs users that posting television shows, music videos, concerts or advertisements without prior consent of the owner is not allowed."


    The case can still be appealed because it was made by a civil court of first instance in Paris.


    A spokeswoman for TF1, which is France's biggest broadcaster, said it saw the decision as "surprising in several respects."


    "For that reason, TF1 is studying whether to appeal the decision," she added.


    Google welcomed the decision, saying it was good for the company and for Internet users.


    Christophe Mueller, head of partnerships for YouTube in Southern Europe, Middle East and Africa, welcomed the decision as allowing the site to continue as an "open platform for everyone."


    "We continue to oppose any demands to systematically filter or pre-screen YouTube content and are confident that future court rulings will uphold the need to allow innovative Web services to flourish," Mueller said in a statement.


    Google shares were up 0.9 percent to $596.75 per share at 1443GMT."
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2012
  6. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Google wants greater French acceptance after winning TF1 copyright case — paidContent (click for full article)

    "Google is waving its victory in front of French culture makers, after emerging winner from a copyright infringement case brought by France's largest TV network.


    TF1 sued YouTube and Dailymotion for intellectual property abuse in 2008, claiming YouTube was hosting thousands of clips of TV shows and movies for which it owned rights, including La Môme and Halloween.


    TF1 claimed more than €130 million in damages. But a Paris judge on Tuesday finally dismissed the claims. The Dailymotion verdict is due in September, Dailymotion tells paidContent.


    Christophe Muller, YouTube's head of southern Europe, Middle East and Africa partnerships, used a company blog to drape the result in the cloak of internet freedom:


    "The overall decision is a victory for everyone who uses the Web. ... After this decision, creators can be secure to post their materials on YouTube and other platforms and we can host their content without fearing a giant liability. The end result will be more videos posted on the Net, more revenue generated for creative artists, and more exposure to a global audience for these artists."


    And Muller used the case to make a play to French lawmakers, who are notoriously sceptical of how the large U.S. firm might impact on French language and culture:


    "The verdict demonstrates how the Internet is enriching French culture. Over the past year, we have signed contracts with five French collecting societies to pay royalties to French writers, musicians, and other artists. More generally, we have a major investment plan for the French economy and culture, demonstrating how committed we are to France.


    "By embracing the Web, this verdict moves France a step forward to further benefit from Internet's massive economic and cultural opportunity. We hope this judgement will allow us to build constructive partnerships and bring more French language content online."


    When asked about the "major investment plan" Muller referred to, Google later pointed to this announcement of a new HQ and its ambition to take on French engineers.


    YouTube's travails have been mixed in Europe. In December 2009, it lost a copyright case brought by Italy's Mediaset. But in September 2010 it defeated similar claims from Spain's Telecinco. And YouTube has convinced many broadcasters across the continent to officially add clips and to use its ContentID copyright filter tool, plus has added full TV catch-up shows in the UK from ITV, Channel 4 and Channel Five.


    The TF1 case gave an interesting insight in to how one broadcasters values its content. At one point, it used a metric of €20,000 per copyright breach to claim damages.


    But the judge ordered TF1 to pay YouTube €80,000 in costs."
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2012
  7. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    Several of the YouTube users with many public domain movies I have been watching are now gone. Apparently among the public domain movies were some copyright violations, and I believe all were unintentional. I don't have any inside information on how YouTube deals with copyright infringement but to put YouTube in the same sentence with MegaUpload is about the same as comparing a kid that killed a frog with Charles Manson. A few of the users I identified in the Project Free TV thread are no longer up and running.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2012

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