Users Get Raw End of YouTube v Viacom Decision

Ainsley Jones

The scales of justice have yet to balance in the YouTube versus Viacom legal battle.

 

DailyTech reports that the court has ordered Google (YouTube's owner) to turn over a complete log of user activity on YouTube. The data will include usernames, user IP addresses and videos each account has viewed in the past.

 

Viacom intends to use the information to bolster its copyright infringement case by proving YouTube's users watch videos that violate copyright laws more than true user-generated content.

 

The ruling prompted an immediate response from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, says this WebProNews article. The organization said the decision is not in accordance with the Video Privacy Protection Act and a setback for privacy rights. The WebProNews article does note that back in February Google made the argument to the European Commission that IP addresses identified computers and not people.

 

This TechCrunch post eviscerates the action of the court, saying it show little concern for the law and leaves Google open to a massive class action lawsuit should it turn the data over to Viacom.


 

The court did side with Google on one issue, reports ZDNet. Claiming it would be detrimental to Google, the court will not force the Internet company to turn over YouTube's source code for search and video ID.



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Jul 3, 2008 9:50 AM JohnQPublic JohnQPublic  says:
1. Make shlocky home video2. Take steps to legally copyright said video3. Have friend load video onto YouTube4. Sue Google/YouTube, demand user logs for all content ever accessed on site5. "Leak" (for a *ahem* modest fee) said logs to various corporations who would love to have the user list6. Profit! Reply
Jul 3, 2008 10:12 AM Todd Glassey Todd Glassey  says:
This is actually amusing - Google/YouTube has to tell Viacom what was watched (i.e. which streams and video's), and from where it was watched. From a Court's perspective this makes perfect sense, and the EFF's claims that IP Addresses dont represent the end user's is so far out in left field its typical of those folks. The scary part is how closely tied the Stanford Law School is to the EFF and yet they (the EFF lawyers) still try and force the concept that there is no copyright down the worlds throat. Being a native here in Menlo Park living right behind the Univiersity itself this is really offensive to me as well. Personally IMHO the people to sue are the Stanford Law School and the EFF itself for their total BS view of the world and their insistance that we pay for their needs.TSG// Reply
Jul 3, 2008 11:24 AM John Doe John Doe  says:
I agree with John q public. What company would not mind having the data of what You tube users like to watch. When the turnover of the "complete" logs for who knows how far back it goes. People are sharing Viacom entertainment products all over the internet. You tube/Google is a big target. Reply
Jul 3, 2008 11:35 AM George Riddick George Riddick  says:
Ding dong ...the witch is dead!...or at least she is starting to melt!Wow ...I would say this is very good news to the entire copyright industry.While potentially inconvenient to YouTube viewers, and understanding the importance of privacy protection in the complex world of the Internet these days, this decision by the judge in the Viacom v.Google/YouTube case may be the best thing thing that has happened to the copyright industries in this country, and to our overall economy, in practically a decade.I have been following this case, and others like it, now for several years.I, for one, am sick and tired of the Google's of the world blaming their own customers for all of the infringing activity that occurs day in and day out over the Google sponsored networks.Who do you think gains the most financially from these obvious infringements - Google or the poor smuck in Louisville who does not have a clue what is right or wrong, let alone what is infringing and what is not?In fact, if it is true that an individual typically adapts his or her production and viewing habits from what they see and are taught by the larger media, entertainment, Fortune 500, and technology companies in this country ("if this weren't legal, certainly mighty Google wouldn't encourage it as they do or run AdSense ads on the infringing sites, and Exxon/Mobile wouldn't be placing ads on the sites that are displaying the "shared" works, either").It is an unfortunate reality today that many of the copyright defense lawyers, and their clients out to make the big bucks regardless of the rules, have made a mockery of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (the DMCA), which was signed into law in 1998 by President Clinton.Like the music industry has learned in the school of hard knocks (aka "the real world"), it is virtually impossible today to hold the middlemen in these unlawful distribution channels and networks accountable.So, what do the copyright companies have to do to protect their valuable property?Go directly after the often innocent "end users" who are often sucked into this game, more often unknowingly than not.It is shameful.Perhaps this New York court decision will help to turn those tides.Google enables widespread copyright infringement activity like no other company on this planet.Google subsidizes entire networks of infringers through it Adwords and AdSense marketing and advertising programs.Google facilitates willful copyright infringement.Google enables widespread copyright infringement.Day in and day out.Google causes enormous damages to legitimate copyright holders every second of every single day.Google has been doing this for years.They earn a substantial portion of their overall revenue and profits by sponsoring illegal activities over the Internet.And their operations outside the U.S.are far more egregious than the infringement activity we see referenced in this Viacom case, which is largely within our borders.I, for one, have had enough.Baseless, if not ludicrous excuses and piracy defense strategies, implemented by what used to be some of the finest copyright law firms in this country, - "fair use", "safe harbor", "no harm", "unclean hands", "de minimus damage", "copyright misuse", "DMCA safeguards", "willful blindness", "laches", and on and on - haven't we seen it all?What do they all mean in Google's true vernacular?How about this."We are big.We are powerful.We can do anything we damn well please.Quit complaining, copyright owners, or we'll cut you off from all the online revenues streams, as well". Reply
Jul 3, 2008 11:36 AM George Riddick George Riddick  says:
Better yet, "...if you don't conform, we'll simply run some of this stuff from our operations in Brazil, Russia, India, and China (those BRICS have plenty of money), and let them beam it all back here to the states." Aren't you tired of watching Google hide behind the skirt-tails of their customers."They were the ones who loaded the illegal videos onto our system, not us." Or , better yet, "how were we to know that Bart Simpson wasn't already in the 'Public Domain'?" Is Google alone in this?Unfortunately, the answer is no.Microsoft, AOL, Yahoo, and others are moving as fast as they can to mimic and duplicate Google's cash cow system, whether the law is violated or not.Cash is the king.And copyrights from the creative industries are not the only victims.Haven't you seen lately, similar claims (and penalties) levied against these giant Internet companies for their advertising efforts to support, or even subsidize in many cases, the distribution of harmful pharmaceutical drugs and counterfeits over the Internet, sponsor illegal gambling and pornography web sites, and many others too numerous to mention.Billions and billions and billions of dollars every single month."What do you expect us to do, your honor.Try out every single drug our customers illegally deliver just because we provide the advertising revenues for them to survive?" This activity not only helps to destroy our economy, it breaks down the moral fiber of our society.What makes you think this young generation that has grown up witnessing these wide scale unlawful activities delivered to them (usually "free of charge") via the Internet, will be able to draw a distinction between the virtual world and the physical world where STEALING in concerned as they get older and have to put food on a table full of their own babies and elderly parents?The jury is still out on that one.I applaud the nerve, and the intelligence, of the judge up there in New York who presides over this case between Google and Viacom.Maybe your recent ruling will cause all of these Internet parasites to wake up and see the error of their ways before it is too late for all of us.As a pleasant footnote to copyright holders.Do you think the judge would have allowed the complete user logs of YouTube to be released in this case if the outcome of this case was not leaning in Viacom's direction?I certainly do not.This may, indeed, be one of the most important weeks in the history of protecting the original works of copyright owners in this country ...one of the few absolute rights that was guaranteed to all of us in our Constitution over 200 years ago.Congratulations New York.Congratulations copyright holders.It must feel good to know you have some judges up that way who have your best interests at heart in enforcing our critically important (and "endangered") copyright laws and maintaining the delicate balance between managing and policing unbridled growth (i.e."growth at ANY cost") over the Internet and maintaining our vital and long standing ethical, moral, and legal business practices going forward, while looking out for your best interests....which old witch ...the wicked witch!George P.Riddick, IIIChairman/CEOImageline, Inc.griddick@imageline2.com Reply
Jul 7, 2008 7:11 AM ernie weeks ernie weeks  says:
A google in the case of the above "witchy" post is interesting....see laws.findlaw.com/4th/021121p.htmlfully headed as......XOOM, INCORPORATED; AZTECH NEWMEDIA INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION(Joined); MEDIA GRAPHICSINTERNATIONAL, INCORPORATED(Joined),Plaintiffs-Appellees,andMACMILLAN DIGITAL PUBLISHINGUSA, a division of Prentice-Hall,Incorporated (Joined),No. 02-1121Plaintiff,v.IMAGELINE, INCORPORATED; GEORGE P.RIDDICK, III,Defendants-Appellants,andCOMPLIANCE SERVICES, INCORPORATED;WAYNE K. NYSTROM; SPRINTSOFTWARE PARTY LIMITED,Defendants. Reply
Sep 23, 2008 7:58 AM Substrata Substrata  says:
George P. Riddick, III is a man with a mission. A man with a singular and almost fanatical crusade to seek out and destroy those he claims to have violated his copyright and therefore should be burnt in hell (or pay out substantial amounts of cash, whichever the courts decide first, I guess)!What George P. Riddick, III is possibly unaware of however, is that his collection of bitmap clip art is vastly out-dated crap that no one in their right mind apart from the odd backwater church community or primary school would ever nowadays use. Although he still viciously pursues and targets those as well.With the immense and truly wonderful power of the Internet, search engines as powered by Google and Microsoft collect and index information that makes it easier for everyone to find images. Mr Riddick is ferociously against this as he believes they infringe his copyright by holding his images on their servers, and therefore people can search and use them freely.(Read his comment to an article here:seekingalpha.com/article/48337-microsoft-banks-170-million-in-first-day-of-halo-3-release)Well, I guess of course this would be correct them if the images you are so fiercely protecting do not have a copyright watermark on them!Oddly enough too, Microsoft, one of his hated targeted companies belongs to the Copyright Alliance Organization, of which George is also a proud member and hypocritically uses this fact when dishing out one of his so-called 'official' emails.The ironic twist to all this is that the bitter and resentful George P. Riddick, III should look no further for international infringement than within his own collection of shoddy and archaic bitmaps. I noticed one example of the United Nations flag here:www.imageline2.com/pages/ipics2_MAPSFlags.htmNow, even though such flags are ineligible for copyright they are still protected by 'Article 6' of the Paris Convention (Protection of State Emblems, and Names, Abbreviations and Emblems of International Intergovernmental Organizations).I wonder if Mr Riddick therefore realizes that depicted images (including but not limited to photographs and two dimensional drawings) representing partly or in whole of the UN emblem, name and flag are STRICTLY PROHIBITED FOR DISTRIBUTED COMMERCIAL USE without going through proper channels of procedure and obtaining permission.Mr Riddick claims to have never been accused of any violations within the last 25 years, well I have news, now you have. Yes George P. Riddick, III, you too are seriously infringing the industrial property rights of an international organization, how does it feel?So Mr Riddick, before you continue your tiresome, pointless and self-indulging evangelistic campaign, maybe you should look nearer home, hold yourself accountable and add Imageline, Inc. to that All Company Listing you so condescendingly produce. And how about sending the United Nations a grovelling apology and one of those huge out-of-court settlement fees that you so enjoy collecting from everyone else.And remember, an ignorant plea is never a defence in a court of law. Reply
Nov 28, 2008 8:55 AM RiddickTheFool RiddickTheFool  says:
George Riddick is a fine and upstanding netizen:georgeriddickisafool.blogspot.com/Thats all I'm saying on this matter ;) Reply
Nov 28, 2008 9:03 AM RiddickTheFool RiddickTheFool  says:
> Dear copyright infringer:>> Please identify your outside counsel for us immediately. On November 1,> 2008, Imageline will begin the process of turning over all unresolved> infringement cases to our new contingency law firms, filing the> appropriate lawsuits, and serving papers on you and the other officers> and directors of your company, as well. We would be happy to work> through your outside attorneys if you provide us with the requested> information in a timely manner. Reply
Dec 20, 2008 8:27 AM George Riddick George Riddick  says:
Here is the latest threatening email from George Riddick IIICONFIDENTIAL - FOR THE PURPOSE OF SETTLEMENT DISCUSSIONS ONLY Hello Latest Riddick Victim, By now you certainly have me designated as the copyright "kid who criedwolf".We have been late implementing all of our plans.I really hate itwhen this happens.The primary reason for this 2008 delay has been that wewanted the new copyright laws (and a new administration, for that matter) tobe in place before we officially launched the Copyrights:Code (Red)anti-piracy campaign we have been working on now for the past two years, andbegan filing lawsuits against those who choose to not to settle.As I have told you all along, one of two things will happen with all thecompanies we have discovered infringing our proprietary works (and there arehundreds of them ...unfortunately!) since January of 2007:1.We will settle amicably (settlement releases both the company, itsofficers and directors, and all of its infringing end user customers);or 2.We will file a lawsuit with one of our new contingency law firms (wenow have top notch IP law firms retained in Atlanta, Washington D.C., LakeTahoe, and Los Angeles, with another one almost set to go for Canada), andgo for the maximum remedies available to us under the law, both civil andcriminal, if those, too, apply.Well, guess what?We are finally ready to launch.On Monday of this week wemet with Marybeth Peters (Register of Copyrights) and Marybeth's "right handwoman", Maria Palante, for three hours in Washington D.C.We are workingwith the U.S.Copyright Office to shape new legislation that makes it evenharder for Internet piracy to survive, let alone thrive.All companiesinterested in the protection of their copyrighted digital property availableover the Internet will benefit from our efforts.While in Washington this week, we also briefed the Executive Directors ofboth the Copyright Alliance (www.copyrightalliance.org ) and Software and Information IndustryAssociation (www.SIIA.net ), both of which areinvolved in extensive anti-piracy activities and include Imageline amongtheir executive members, regarding our new Copyrights:Code (Red) campaign.They response we have gotten thus far is very encouraging.Hear are some of the recent and upcoming events that are shaping ourpriorities and enhancing our confidence - The 'Pro-IP Act' will be implemented starting in January.(more resourcesavailable to chase down pirates and stricter penalties for infringement)- The proposed 'Orphan Works' legislation will now include some additionalclauses designed specifically to protect visual artists.- New programs are coming out in 2009 that will force web site operators tochoose between copyright compliance or severe consequences.- A new district court ruling just out from Minnesota adds precedent for theenforcement of Section 1202 rights for copyright holders of between $2,500(minimum) and $25,000 (maximum) per image (over and above any copyrightinfringement claims), regardless of registration status (a HUGE win fordigital graphic artists and one that is causing us at Imageline, and a fewof our select partner web sites, to adjust our settlement per image numbersby over 100% upward to $6,500 per infringed image).Sir, you DO NOT want this infringement case with you and your otherweb sites to go to court.Believe me.The results, and exposure, coulddestroy your companies and your reputation. Reply
Dec 20, 2008 8:27 AM George Riddick George Riddick  says:
You know that.We have nevertaken a case to court yet that didn't cost our opponents hundreds ofthousands of dollars in legal fees, alone.And we have NEVER lost a case.You know you have no valid defenses under the copyright laws of this county.Why have you not considered settlement more carefully?Your actions make nosense to me at all.I simply do not understand your logic, unless, ofcourse, you concluded that this east coast "kid who cried wolf" wasbluffing.Well.We are not.I can assure you of that.I am a fair-minded entrepreneur.I know how difficult it is to survive outthere in the jungle .and especially the Internet jungle.I am oftencreative in the settlements I agree to.Our lawyers are not.I won't allowthem to be.If you would like to attempt to settle this dispute amicablybefore year end and avoid the cost of a protracted lawsuit, please give me atime either later today, tomorrow, over the weekend, or on Monday where youwould be available to talk.Thank you.I hope to hear back from you today.If I don't I will assume thatis a clear indication of your desire that we proceed with a lawsuit againstyou and your organizations as discussed now for quite some time.Sincerely, George George RiddickImageline, Inc._ Reply

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