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Google Video Sued For Copyright Infringement 60

Posted by Zonk
from the other-shoe-drops dept.
PadRacerExtreme writes to mention an Associated Press article about a lawsuit against Google Video over copyright infringement. The company provided no additional information about the case, which it disclosed in an SEC filing on Wednesday. Some analysts are viewing this as a preview of what may happen to the company after it completes its takeover of the YouTube site. From the article: "Because it indexes so much material owned by others, Google has become accustomed to fielding complaints about copyright infringement. Some of the disputes have triggered lawsuits for everything from Google's efforts to make digital copies of library books to its search engine's ability to display snippets of news stories and photos appearing on other Web sites. Those suits haven't become a big financial drain on Google yet, and investors so far appear confident the company's lawyers will minimize the damage from any claims brought on by the YouTube purchase."
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Google Video Sued For Copyright Infringement

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  • by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Friday November 10, 2006 @10:13AM (#16793084) Homepage Journal

    The cultish Scientology/EST offshoot known as The Landmark Forum [rickross.com] has claimed copyright infringement against Google and YouTube. The EFF has extensive details [eff.org] and are trying to squash that case.

    Background: In 2004 a French TV channel had someone with a hidden camera go to a Landmark Forum indoctrination weekend. The expose was shown to 1.5 million viewers. Soon after the broadcast, Landmark left France. A similar situation occured in Sweden a few years before.

    Landmark has no valid copyright in either case but, having learned a lesson from Scientology, are now resorting to intimidation and abuse of the DMCA and court system [rickross.com].

    In any event, fire up BitTorrent and get the French video with English subtitles at Pirate Bay [thepiratebay.org] and a Swedish expose on Landmark, sans subtitles at the moment, at this link. [thepiratebay.org]

    You will definately want to see these in case one of your family members or friends starts to push you to take a weekend course "that will create new possibilities"...

    Spread the word, knowledge is power.

    • Operation Clambake (Score:5, Interesting)

      by paladinwannabe2 (889776) on Friday November 10, 2006 @10:26AM (#16793220)
      Hey, the 'Reply' button is back!

      Seriously, though, Scientology has a long history of suing people who talk about Scientology for copyright infringement. "You're showing people our secret dogma? How dare you distribute our papers without our consent!" Xenu.net [xenu.net] and Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] have lots of information on Scientology now. (Disclaimer- Xenu.net is strictly anti-Scientology. Wikipedia has mostly facts, which, as we know, have a decidedly anti-Scientological basis).
      • In a lot of cases all Scientology needs to do is send a notice. Slashdot caved rather quickly with just a notice, that cases never made it to the lawsuit stage.
        • In a lot of cases all Scientology needs to do is send a notice. Slashdot caved rather quickly with just a notice, that cases never made it to the lawsuit stage.

          After they crushed the first few, all the rest gave up without a fight. Nothing worse than a cult with a crack legal team.

          • by KDR_11k (778916)
            Every time I hear about crack legal teams I want to grab a rifle.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by tehcyder (746570)
        Hey, the 'Reply' button is back!
        Is it? How can you tell?
      • Not even the Freemasons are that litigious wrt: their secret whatnots. That could be because, like, all the major players in Scientology are apparently rich and litigious Hollywood-types anyway...
      • by MS-06FZ (832329)
        Scientology has a long history of suing people who talk about Scientology for copyright infringement.


        Why would someone talk about Scientology for copyright infringement? Is Scientology really the best means for infringing on someone's copyright? Do people perform Scientology versions of Beatles songs for patrons in their bars?
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      My cousin did "The Forum" a while back. She called me during it crying her eyes out asking me to forgive her for her "being a bitch". WHAT THE HELL? That's when I started googling Landmark and realized she had been sucked into a cult. Now she eats and breaths Landmark. All their fucked up jargon just drives a wedge between them and reality. I will NEVER go to a Landmark Forum, my money is better off with me rather than some brainwashing cult.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by thorholiday (970488)
      You will definately want to see these in case one of your family members or friends starts to push you to take a weekend course "that will create new possibilities"...

      I hate doing this, but it's definitely. DEFINITELY.
    • You will definately want to see these in case one of your family members or friends starts to push you to take a weekend course "that will create new possibilities"...

      Right, because I always uncritically accept any new-age self-help bullshit spouted by family or friends... oh wait, no, I'd tell them to go fuck themselves and never speak to them again. (Seriously. I once split up with a girlfriend mostly because she just couldn't get it through her head that Carlos Casta-frickin-neda was a charlatan.)

      • "oh wait, no, I'd tell them to go fuck themselves and never speak to them again."
        If your mom got wrapped up in a cult and tried to pull you in, you'd cut off all ties to her instead of trying to intervene and get her out? I suppose you could say, "My mother is too smart to get fooled by a cult." but let's suppose we're living in a hypothetical world where your mother isn't as wise as she is in the real world. Would you really behave the way you describe?
        • My Mum's a devout member of the Church of England - in fact she's on the PCC and is a churchwarden. So, IMO, she /has/ been brainwashed by a cult.

          What I actually do is to make it a joke whilst still making clear what nonsense I think it is.... "Hi Mum, back from mumbo-jumbo land, 'eh? Was it a good session of fairy stories this week?"

          • Had trouble reading my hypothetical situation? I said, "If your mom got wrapped up in a cult and tried to pull you in..." Where did you address that in your reply? I see nothing there about your mother trying to pull you in.

    • The cultish Scientology/EST offshoot known as The Landmark Forum

      To be precise, Landmark Forum is a direct offshoot of EST (which is the source of a lot of self-improvement 'cults'), but it has - to the best of my knowledge - no relation to Scientology. Unless you go by the claim that EST itself is an offshoot of Scientology. Now, Werner Erhard, creator of EST, admitted influence by Scientology, but that was among a long list of other things. Really the man took whatever he wanted from a lot of sources.
    • by amchugh (116330)
      I worked across the hall from a Landmark Forum office, and it was pretty weird to come out at 10PM to find a bunch of people sitting around in the hallway listening to tapes of themselves repeating affirmations over and over and over. It was easily recognizable as the ego rebuild half of the classic cult brainwashing technique. It was years later that I recognized the ego tear down half in my sister's experience with the cult^H^H^H^H Landmark Forum. She went to one of their introductory sessions, and the
  • by Salvance (1014001) * on Friday November 10, 2006 @10:16AM (#16793124) Homepage Journal
    This just reconfirms my belief that Google should have waited a few months/years to buy YouTube. I think Mark Cuban was right, YouTube was a big ole lawsuit waiting to happen. Google could have waited until the copyright lawsuits hit then sweeped in to buy it for a fraction of the price. Now they've just increased their liability.
    • by darkchubs (814225)
      EGGGSACTLY!!!! it was insane "me too-izum" that prompted that billion dollar buy?!? and all they got was this lousy law suit
    • by Ariastis (797888) on Friday November 10, 2006 @10:30AM (#16793250)
      I believe what Google assument is that YouTube alone might end up being squashed by the lawsuits and lost a lot of its marketshare/value if it had to face lawsuits on its own (Since it was starting to lack funding). Also, YouTube might have been pressured to ink bad deals in the long term to fend off some of those lawsuits.

      By buying it now, they decided to play it the other way around by dealing with the problems themselves, the Google Way, with all their ressources & influence backing up the dealmaking process.

      While I agree this was a costly move, I believe it was a smart one to appropriate themselves the First Mover Advantage.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Zadaz (950521)
        I can't see how there would be any other answer. A company doesn't spend $1.7 billion without kicking the tires and having a plan.

        (Well, the other answer would be "They're snakeshit crazy" but every other action the company has taken indicates they're stone cold sane, if not downright clever.)
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by LotsOfPhil (982823)
        That's an unusual typo:
        I believe what Google assument is that YouTube...

        It seems you should have typed assumed, but the d key is pretty far from the n and t keys. Parlez vous francais? Je parle seul un peu. Plus lentemente, s'il vous plait.
      • You have summed up my thoughts very nicely, they bought it just when things were starting to go a bit wobbly, a smart investor will "buy trouble" if he knows he can deal with it. It would have been a wasted opportunity watching youtube wither to save a few bucks. I belive Google has the experience, muscle and a long term plan to tip the copyright regime in the consumer's favour, it will gobble up and almagamate good/popular content along the way.

        The only downside to Google is it's wedded to and limited b
      • Google is also probably looking at it this way. Since Youtube is the most likely to get hit with a lawsuit they would rather have their crack legal team take on the first suite. As long as they can make the first suite go in their favor they can get legal precedence set more on their terms. Just my idea though.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Everyone always seem to be saying the same thing: Google should have waited to buy YouTube, because of potential lawsuits. Everyone though seems to forget about Google Video... that is really no different to YouTube. Google have a lot of lawyers at their disposal, and I'm sure they were told of all the possible lawsuits and copyright cases that could follow, but they'll have been though all this when they set up Google Video surely?

      And of course the age old saying: There's no such thing as bad publicity.
      Goo
    • by vertinox (846076)
      This just reconfirms my belief that Google should have waited a few months/years to buy YouTube.

      You don't even have to RTF but to RTS to know that the person is suing Google Video not Youtube.
    • This just reconfirms my belief that Google should have waited a few months/years to buy YouTube. I think Mark Cuban was right, YouTube was a big ole lawsuit waiting to happen.

      Why does Mark Cuban get any reference here? I don't get it. Saying that Google was a target for lawsuits because it bought YouTube is certainly not a novel idea, and I highly doubt that Cuban was the first to point it out. Has Cuban EVER been relevant? He's a billionaire - that's it. He happened to sell a company at the best pos

  • The money...!! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bogaboga (793279) on Friday November 10, 2006 @10:19AM (#16793156)
    I am sure that by now, folks at Google know that it's all about the money.

    My advice to Google is this: Prepare some form of profit sharing and all potential suits will be stopped din their tracks.

    • One of the big problems is that sites like YouTube and Google Video generate loses, not profits.

      AFAIK, YouTube has never made a profit, or even broken even. They were bankrolled the entire time. You ever wonder who got most of that billion dollars for the YouTube deal? Whoever it was that spent $100m and bankrolled YouTube since it's existence, that's who.
  • Everyone said it was going to be GOOTUBE that would get in trouble for copyright infringement, but it's Google Video instead.
  • That's what it comes down to. Sites like Google Video and YouTube wouldn't be allowed to become saturated with illegal content if the MPAA and RIAA didn't think there was some massive profit in it. Don't give me that DMCA crap either. You think if I start a website tomorrow called MovieUpDownLoad.com and basically just make it into a FTP that you can upload to, and encourage people to throw on whatever pirated content they have, that I'd last a week? You think the DMCA is going to protect me if I simply sa
  • I expect there are probably assault lawyers out there whose biz model is based on suing Google.
    • by paranode (671698)
      Now if we could only convince them to start suing each other for violating business model patents...
  • The large media companies will probably want to make deals with Google. Why not make some money instead of paying lawyers for years? Google will probably set up a service similar to Microsoft's Xbox Live television sales or Apple's Itunes. And it will examine material more closely. Copyright lawsuits are mostly based on intimidation anyway. It's easy to intimidate a scared teenager. A huge corporation with the best lawyers in the world is another matter. The media companies are in the process of movi
  • by rickkas7 (983760) on Friday November 10, 2006 @11:28AM (#16793946)
    The text in Google's 10-Q [edgar-online.com] looks like the standard sort of thing companies always put in their 10-Q: We've been sued; we may get sued again. The same text (minus the YouTube sentence of course) appeared a year earlier.

    Legal Matters

    Certain companies have filed trademark infringement and related claims against us over the display of ads in response to user queries that include trademark terms. The outcomes of these lawsuits have differed from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Courts in France have held us liable for allowing advertisers to select certain trademarked terms as keywords. We are appealing those decisions. We were also subject to two lawsuits in Germany on similar matters where the courts held that we are not liable for the actions of our advertisers prior to notification of trademark rights. We are litigating or recently have litigated similar issues in other cases in the U.S., France, Germany, Italy, Israel and Austria. Adverse results in these lawsuits may result in, or even compel, a change in this practice which could result in a loss of revenue for us, which could harm our business.

    Certain entities have also filed copyright claims against us, alleging that features of certain of our products, including Google Web Search, Google News, Google Video, Google Image Search, and Google Book Search, infringe their rights. In addition, our planned acquisition of YouTube may also subject us to additional copyright claims upon the closing of the transaction. Adverse results in these lawsuits may include awards of damages and may also result in, or even compel, a change in our business practices, which could result in a loss of revenue for us or otherwise harm our business.

    From time to time, we may also become a party to other litigation and subject to claims incident to the ordinary course of business, including intellectual property claims (in addition to the trademark and copyright matters noted above), labor and employment claims, breach of contract claims, tax and other matters. Although the results of litigation and claims cannot be predicted with certainty, we believe that the final outcome of the matters discussed above will not have a material adverse effect on our business, consolidated financial position, results of operations or cash flow.

  • by jackjeff (955699) on Friday November 10, 2006 @12:19PM (#16794582)
    Ahaha.. whoever made that claim, will soon disappear from the google enginer index altogether !!
  • why hasnt this story been tagged 'itsatrap' yet? Hey, paranoid guy where are you?
  • The DMCA is a terrible, terrible law for a bunch of reasons. One of the gems is section 512 [cornell.edu], which effectively allows anyone willing to engage in a little perjury to silence someone else for ten to fourteen days. This has been used to silence legit speech before. In practice there is no penalty for the perjury, after the two weeks just drop the claim with an, "Oops, I guess I was wrong, sorry." In theory you can countersue for damages, but you'd have to prove it was intentional, not a mistake, and that y

  • "...what may happen to the company after it completes it's takeover of the YouTube site"

    [it's] = [it is]

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