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Viacom Demands YouTube Remove Videos 225

Posted by Zonk
from the moment-of-zen-everybody dept.
AlHunt writes "According to the folks at PCWorld Viacom has publicly scolded YouTube for continuing to host throngs of Viacom videos without permission. They are demanding that over 100,000 of its clips be removed from the site. This includes content from Comedy Central (no more Daily Show), MTV, Nick at Nite, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures, and VH1. YouTube has acknowledged receiving a DMCA request from Viacom, and the article notes what a dire precedent this could be if Google can't reach an agreement with Viacom and its fellow IP holders."
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Viacom Demands YouTube Remove Videos

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  • by CrazyJim1 (809850) on Friday February 02, 2007 @11:36PM (#17869488) Journal
    You need to make deals with copywright holders to show/sell their product online. The hard part is negotiating deals with everyone, not just having a site that supports video.
    • You don't. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by BasilBrush (643681) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @12:03AM (#17869700)
      Actually you don't. The DMCA says that the user that upload the videos are the ones who may be breaching copyright. Online Service Providers such as YouTube have safe harbour from copyright liability provided that they remove content if and when they receive a take down notice from the copyright holder. What YouTube are doing is perfectly legal as it is.

      Reaching agreement with the big media companies might make reduce YouTube's workload and reduce news stories such as this one. But it's absolutely not necessary.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jkabbe (631234)
        But, honestly - what does the DMCA have to do with this anyway? This is a plain old copyright case (no measures taken to secure content on tv).
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Wordsmith (183749)
          The DMCA is about more than the anti-circumvention clause. It also lays out a framework for how to get your copywritten material removed from (allegedly) infringing sites or distribution points, and the conditions service providers must adhere to when notified of (alleged) infringement.
        • by Daffy Duck (17350)
          DMCA covers a number of different sections of Title 17 of the US Code. Safe Harbor for ISPs is covered under section 512. The part you're thinking of is the anti-circumvention provision of section 1201.
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by iminplaya (723125)
          DMCA is copyright on steroids...No wait. DMCA is copyright with syphilis...rabies?...dysentery. Haemorrhoids. Worms. Fleas. Crabs!
        • by Kijori (897770)
          The Digital Millenium Copyright Act has a few things to say about copyright, strangely enough. In this case, it provides safe harbour for providers if their users upload infringing files, as long as they remove the copyrighted files when they receive a request.
          • by LO0G (606364)
            AIUI, One of the other requirements of safe harbors is that they make no profit off of the content they host. Last I heard it, YouTube had advertisements on the same pages as the videos they host, which makes their claim of being a safe harbor somewhat suspect.
      • That's simple copyright law. The DMCA says that whoever hosts or links to a infringing material is also breaking the law. That's why everyone got hyped about it being illegal according to the first amendment and such.

        Youtube was simply banning these videos before, but I think they realized they weren't going to keep their audience long by doing that. It's probably in their best interest to just make a deal with viacom.
  • Bad for Viacom (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ZachPruckowski (918562) <zachary.pruckowski@gmail.com> on Friday February 02, 2007 @11:38PM (#17869516)
    Honestly, the reason I watch the Colbert Report is Youtube. If I hadn't seen Colbert at the White House Correspondents' Dinner, I might not watch the show. I mean, they should complain about full episodes, but if there's 3 minutes of Colbert or Stewart on there, it's just advertising to watch those shows.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by eln (21727)
      Viacom does not object to their content being on YouTube as such. What they don't agree with is that YouTube gets ad revenue from their videos, and Viacom doesn't get a cut. YouTube (Google) has already negotiated deals to pay a portion of ad revenue to other content providers, such as CBS. Viacom, however, feels (probably rightly so) that their content provides far more traffic to YouTube than the other providers that have deals, and so they want a sweeter deal than the others got. Until they have that
      • Re:Bad for Viacom (Score:4, Interesting)

        by modecx (130548) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @02:39AM (#17870718)
        But they don't stop to think: "Hey, someone liked this part of this program enough to go through the effort of editing our clip, and uploading the clip to let other people watch. His time wasn't free, and he deemed that our product had enough value that other people should also enjoy it. We aught to let those other people watch it, so they will be more inclined to watch our show live when they see it on their cable box, and those eyes will see our ads, too!"

        I mean, it's one thing to upload a whole program to these sites, those videos should, and undoubtedly will be taken down as they are uploaded... A smart company, however, would KILL for advertising like this. It's free, it takes no effort beyond the initial investment whatsoever, and it's highly effective because it targets a niche market which is proven to enjoy your product. If anything, Viacom's stockholders aught to be lynching the management for not figuring out a way to make this phenomenon *more effective*, to establish more mindshare, to draw in more viewers, to up the ratings, and to make more money in the end!
      • by rifter (147452)

        Viacom does not object to their content being on YouTube as such. What they don't agree with is that YouTube gets ad revenue from their videos, and Viacom doesn't get a cut. YouTube (Google) has already negotiated deals to pay a portion of ad revenue to other content providers, such as CBS. Viacom, however, feels (probably rightly so) that their content provides far more traffic to YouTube than the other providers that have deals, and so they want a sweeter deal than the others got. Until they have that de

        • If Viacom hold out too long they may eventually find they are not that "special", youtube has divided some of the big media players, only a matter of time until it conqueres them.
    • No, it's not just advertising, it's infringement. Your opinion is totally irrelevant in this, as is mine. The opinion of the copyright owner is the only one that matters when it comes to distribution.
  • by TubeSteak (669689) on Friday February 02, 2007 @11:39PM (#17869524) Journal
    ...part of me wants to say "fuck 'em"
    because someone will re-upload those clips whether Viacom likes it or not.

    OTOH, I understand why GooTube doesn't want to piss off the big players in the media industry & will eventually compromise in one way or another.
    • by vistic (556838) *
      Really the only way these sites that allow user uploads to not ever violate any copyrights is to just shut down completely.

      Of course that sucks and the alternative sites suck even more.

      But if YouTube shut down that would also be the end of a lot of cool non-copyrighted stuff... there's lots of things I think to find, so I search on YouTube and lo and behold, there it is.

      I think the major corporations should just shut up, for the good of the people.

      • by rifter (147452)

        But if YouTube shut down that would also be the end of a lot of cool non-copyrighted stuff... there's lots of things I think to find, so I search on YouTube and lo and behold, there it is.

        That's a good point. YouTube has done a lot of good, particularly for democratizing the process of content publishing (like for movies, music videos, etc). They even have a special account for amateur filmmakers that allows you to upload much longer clips. There was a story on one of the conventional news channels abou

      • True, they cannot prevent uploading, but they could provide copyright owners with the names of the uploaders. This would allow them to direct their attentions to the actual culprits.

        Do you also think the little guy should just "shut up for the good" when his content is illegally uploaded?
  • Viacom has rights (Score:4, Insightful)

    by alshithead (981606) * on Friday February 02, 2007 @11:44PM (#17869562)
    Viacom is just saying, "It's our content, give us what we want or you can't host it...pay to play suckers!!!". Fault them if you wish but they are well within their rights. Viacom is operating from a position of having the law behind them. Because of that, they get to dictate terms. If they don't like the offer they can tell YouTube to fuck off and die. Maybe the folks uploading the content are ultimately at fault for the copyright violations but YouTube has the responsibility for removing that material at Viacom's demand. Would you want your content out there for free if you could otherwise get paid for it?
    • Re:Viacom has rights (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Sancho (17056) * on Saturday February 03, 2007 @12:12AM (#17869786) Homepage
      Absolutely, however GooTube is pretty good about removing material when asked to do so by copyright holders. The problem is that it keeps getting re-uploaded, and the DMCA doesn't (as far as I know) allow for blanket removal. That is, each instance of infringement must be included in the DMCA takedown request. So Viacom has to constantly monitor the site and send out the requests, and someone at Youtube has to take them down, one by one. Viacom can't say, "Please remove all Daily Show content," or, "Please remove all of our content." It just doesn't work that way.

      This is one reason that negotiating a deal would be beneficial to both parties. There are many more users willing to upload content than Viacom employees working to search it out, or Youtube employees capable of removing it. The money lost in fighting the infringement is probably significant.

      That said, as long as it continues to be (financially) worth it, Youtube will continue to host videos and will simply have to deal with the takedown notices. And Viacom (and other copyright holders) will have to continue to monitor these sites for infringing content.
      • "Absolutely, however GooTube is pretty good about removing material when asked to do so by copyright holders. The problem is that it keeps getting re-uploaded, and the DMCA doesn't (as far as I know) allow for blanket removal. That is, each instance of infringement must be included in the DMCA takedown request. So Viacom has to constantly monitor the site and send out the requests, and someone at Youtube has to take them down, one by one."

        I agree completely. While Viacom has the right to ask for the materi
        • Funny how it always seems to be the copyright holder that's considered the dick and not those illegally hosting/posting illegal content some people want for free.
    • by slughead (592713)
      Viacom is just saying, "It's our content, give us what we want or you can't host it...pay to play suckers!!!". Fault them if you wish but they are well within their rights.

      Blasphemy! Any media company that sues to protect its IP must be stopped!

      Because if we get rid of viacom, then we wont get sued for stealing their stuff! ... wait, but they wont make any more stuff... uh OK, I got it! we'll make it a law that they HAVE to make good quality content FOR FREE and not do a damn thing about it when people uplo
      • "Blasphemy! Any media company that sues to protect its IP must be stopped!
        Because if we get rid of viacom, then we wont get sued for stealing their stuff! ... wait, but they wont make any more stuff... uh OK, I got it! we'll make it a law that they HAVE to make good quality content FOR FREE and not do a damn thing about it when people upload copies online!
        And somehow, we'll convince ourselves that it was in viacom's best interest, because we saw the clips and then watched the shows on TV... even if that's B
    • by zakezuke (229119)
      Would you want your content out there for free if you could otherwise get paid for it?

      That depends... if I happened to release a music video then by all means I'd want that sucker on youtube. If I happened to have an interest in a television program or a movie and someone wants to take a 3min blip-vert and post it on youtube, I'd be pleased as punch. The only reason I saw the new Pink Panther movie was because I saw the "english lesson" [youtube.com] on youtube.

      The big theme in this thread is "free advertising". It'
      • "Would you want your content out there for free if you could otherwise get paid for it?

        That depends... if I happened to release a music video then by all means I'd want that sucker on youtube."

        We're mostly on the same page but I think you and others are missing a crucial point I'm trying to make..."if you could OTHERWISE get paid for it". Yeah, free publicity is GREAT!!! But, we're talking about Viacom. They have plenty of publicity and a big following already. If my small, minor, mostly unnoticed conte
        • by zakezuke (229119)
          We're mostly on the same page but I think you and others are missing a crucial point I'm trying to make..."if you could OTHERWISE get paid for it". Yeah, free publicity is GREAT!!! But, we're talking about Viacom. They have plenty of publicity and a big following already. If my small, minor, mostly unnoticed content was getting play I'd be happy as shit. Viacom is huge already. They are a business and expect their content to bring in revenue. They have to protect their content. If they don't then their reve
          • "But as big as viacom is, their income depends on viewership. Viewership depends on awareness, and to promote awareness, they do employ advertising."

            I'm talking about their content; entire shows, movies, etc. being out there for free. No advertising revenue! "Hey, we were number one on YouTube! Yeah, well your commercials were cut out of the show/movie...but, we were number one!" There might be a slight market because of product placement in the content but that won't cut it with the comp
            • by zakezuke (229119)
              I'm talking about their content; entire shows, movies, etc. being out there for free. No advertising revenue! "Hey, we were number one on YouTube! Yeah, well your commercials were cut out of the show/movie...but, we were number one!"

              And i'm talking about blip-verts, short 3min segments, like the "Colbert Report" from the daily show. I'm sure there are whole shows available on youtube, not that i've seen any. I have seen short segments which from time to time resulted me taking the time to watch a show
  • Dear Viacom (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Call Me Black Cloud (616282) on Friday February 02, 2007 @11:45PM (#17869578)
    Our business model is to host content made by others and become fabulously wealthy. If you don't allow us to freely show the material you've paid for our bottom line will be negatively impacted. Please reconsider, for at least as long as it takes to sell our Google stock.

    Sincerely,

    YouTube
    • Re:Dear Viacom (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 02, 2007 @11:55PM (#17869658)
      Dear Youtube,

      Our business model is to provide content which is trivially easy for people to duplicate and distribute, but to sue anyone who actually does that. You are next on our hit list.

      Plan A was to take control of all the hardware in the world away from its rightful owners, but that didn't work out so well. This has left us with no alternative but to sue you and everyone else.

      Sincerely,

      Viacom
      • by BrynM (217883) *
        To all Affected Parties,

        Have at it. We'll be right by your side when you (WILL!) need us.

        Gleefully awaiting our retainer,
        The Lawyers
      • by kjart (941720)

        Our business model is to provide content which is trivially easy for people to duplicate and distribute, but to sue anyone who actually does that. You are next on our hit list.

        Actually, their business model is basically the same as youtube - make money via advertisements while distributing content (and both mediums are trivially easy to duplicate to boot). The only difference here is that Viacom made the content. Should they be pissed? Sure, it's their right since it's their content.

        Also, did you miss t

      • So then, you would favor a return to a non-electronic medium? No? Then provide legal coverage for the content producers and quit the lame cannard that the media dictates whether the owner has rights or not.

        It is unbecoming to whine because an access to 'free' illegal material is made to dry up.
  • fucking it up for the rest of us since 1971 (or 2005, depending on how you want to judge these things).
  • Rutube? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Sax Maniac (88550)
    If allofmp3 is a guide, maybe we need rutube.ru. Eh, dot com. Eh, dot whatever.
  • ...Cagematch to the death! Two shall enter, one will leave!
  • With about 10 lines of perl you can rip down all of The Daily Show clips from the akamai servers
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by DogDude (805747)
      Rumor has it that all of the major bit torrent sites have all of the Daily Shows soon after they are aired, complete and ad-free. But, that's just a rumor I heard...
  • I wonder if the complaint will ever show up in the Chilling Effects [chillingeffects.org] clearinghouse list?
  • by ConfusedSelfHating (1000521) on Friday February 02, 2007 @11:57PM (#17869672)

    This just means that you have to find and download a high quality version of the show that you want to watch. You can still get it for free, but you have to work a very little for it. It will only stop piracy committed by the very lazy or very stupid.

    This move helps keep YouTube pure. Only people who take a picture of themselves everyday for years will be permitted to post content. Until the RIAA/MPAA copyrights their faces. You thought that we would only get mandatory full body coverings with a totalitarian Islamic government. Wait until you have to wear a burqa to avoid copyright violations.

    • Only people who take a picture of themselves everyday for years will be permitted to post content. Until the RIAA/MPAA copyrights their faces

      To be fair, videos of treadmill-dancing, mock solo light saber fights and soda fountain videos will also be allowed so long as the music is licenced for redistribution like that. Those people can use podsafe or creative commons music for that end anyways.
    • by drix (4602)
      You don't even have to really look. Colbert Report and Daily Show via RSS, downloaded automatically in the middle of the night and ready hot and steaming when I wake up each morning. Ta-da [tvrss.net]!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by whoever57 (658626)

      This move helps keep YouTube pure. Only people who take a picture of themselves everyday for years will be permitted to post content.
      Until tattoo artists start asserting their copyrights against people who post pictures of themselves including said tattoos!
      • Funny, but inaccurate. The tattoo belongs to the person who paid the tatter. The tattoo is a piece of art created for the express purpose of allowing the owner to show it. My son's a tatter.
    • by Hatta (162192)

      It will only stop piracy committed by the very lazy or very stupid.
      So what you're saying is, it will stop a lot of piracy.
  • by MsGeek (162936) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @12:03AM (#17869704) Homepage Journal
    Lots of content disappeared yesterday. A lot of it was Viacom stuff. I'm fully expecting more of my favorites to come up with "content removed" notices.

    Viacom has been known for its actions in the past. For example: yanking Ren & Stimpy from its creators because Viacom wanted more control. This is par for the course with these folks.
    • by u38cg (607297)
      I'm not the only one who's noticed this, then? I'm a Dylan fan, and Youtube has been fantastic for discovering loads of rare videos - TV appearances from the sixties and so on - and they're now dissapearing. What's sad is that I own three albums that I had thought weren't any good because I found these videos. Now who's losing money?
    • http://www.toonopedia.com/renstimp.htm [toonopedia.com]

      The creators sold it, it wasn't stolen.
  • by dgun (1056422)
    Short clips of their programs are just free advertising and add to the popularity of the shows. I can understand wanting to eliminate whole episodes, however.

  • Is unmanaged user uploads.

    Did anyone not see a potential problem with this?

  • The ugly truth (Score:5, Insightful)

    by edwardpickman (965122) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @12:43AM (#17869998)
    Viacom owns the material and they can do what they want with it. Youtube didn't pay to produce it so they have no right to benefit financially from it. They may not charge to watch the videos but they use them to create value for the company. Viacom may actually want to leave the clips on Youtube but I'm guessing their lawyers advised that it sets a dangerous president. If they allow the clips they may loose control of the shows themselves. In some ways this is up to the court system and where they draw the line. Viacom can provide them with clips but it gets dicey when some one other than Viacom posts the clips without Viacom's permission. Whoever puts the money into producing the material should control it. If you make something it belongs to you unless you give or sell the rights to some one else. That isn't copyright that's been true for roughly twelve thousands years or more.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 03, 2007 @01:14AM (#17870188)
      it sets a dangerous president

      So true. We already have a stupid President, don't want a dangerous one now, do we? Oh wait...
    • Viacom is getting greedy. Fair use allows for clips, etc. Viacom could bitch if the entire show was uploaded, but copyright is not ownership, it is just exclusive right to publish for a limited time ( well, sorry Mickey ) with the ability of others to use excerpts, and make parodies.

      There is no such thing as IP OWNERSHIP.

      I hope Google fights this, but I am sure they will just settle with the whiners.

      Cheers

      • "There is no such thing as IP OWNERSHIP."

        Ah, the lament of the "I want it free" crowd.

        "Fair use allows for clips, etc. Viacom could bitch if the entire show was uploaded, but copyright is not ownership, it is just exclusive right to publish for a limited time ( well, sorry Mickey ) with the ability of others to use excerpts, and make parodies."

        Well, lookie look, you just shot YouTube in the ass. YouTube ignores the content creater's exclusive right to publish. Those excerpts are entire segments,
    • by Lehk228 (705449)
      youtube must take down the material when presented with a DMCA takedown notice, not whenever some lawyer from viacom gets his panties in a bunch
    • Youtube didn't pay to produce it so they have no right to benefit financially from it.

      You know, that simply doesn't reflect how the economy works. If I put up a cinema, there's no reason, moral, legal or otherwise, why you shouldn't open up a restaurant next door and make a profit from the customers I draw. True, you have no positive right to do so, but there's no restriction on such activity either. Do you want to live in a world in which companies and individuals can control all positive externalit

  • Viacomm is too f*ing stupid to realize they get a massive ratings boost from You Tube. Both Colbert and Stewart not only regularly mention the site, they obviously use it for show content.
    • But they also know that the value that YouTube is creating with their service is gigantic. That is: sure, YouTube is sending Viacom some free business---but YouTube has the potential to make far more than that themselves.

      Put another way, YouTube has far more to lose here than Viacom does.

      So Viacom is in fact quite smart to push hard for some sort of revenue stream from YouTube for their content.
  • by troll -1 (956834) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @01:01AM (#17870118)
    Viacom's action could establish a precedent and have serious consequences for YouTube ...

    There may be consequences for youtube but perhaps the proverbial cat is out of the figurative bag. The real problem here is that the Internet is such an effective and efficient distribution system. I find myself watching more and more news content on youtube simply because it's there when I want it. I don't have to read a program guide or program a TV. I don't even have to own a TV.

    If what happened after Napster [wikipedia.org] (as a file-sharing service) was shut-down is any indication, the forces of supply and demand combined with the ubiquity and amorphous characteristics of the Internet are unstoppable, even if youtube were shut down tomorrow, you could expect to see the Daily Show popping up more prevalently on P2P, BitTorrent, or some obscure Russian site.

    And if the failure of all those DMCA P2P lawsuits to stop file-sharing from reaching an all-time high is any indication of the world in which we live, people are going to get the content one way or another, no matter what the copyright holders or the law says. All moral judgments aside, that just a fact based in reality.
    • by drix (4602)
      The Daily Show is already on BitTorrent within about 2 hours of its East Coast airing. It takes me about a half hour to download, it's a digital satellite rip and when I play it on my television it actually looks better than cable since I don't have digital cable. Ditto the Colbert Report. I'm a cable subscriber but I don't have TiVo and not having to stay up late to watch the episodes, and/or being able to take them on the road with me, makes all the difference. I don't know if what I'm doing is illegal bu
    • I find myself watching more and more news content on youtube simply because it's there when I want it. I don't have to read a program guide or program a TV.

      No, you find yourself watching more and more news content on youtube simply because you have no life.

  • by supersat (639745) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @01:08AM (#17870150)
    It looks like Viacom automated their DMCA complaints, and included several videos in their DMCA notifications that they clearly don't hold the copyright to. One of the affected users also writes a Harvard law blog, and posted about it [harvard.edu].
    • "A statement under penalty of perjury that the subscriber has a good faith belief that the material was removed or disabled as a result of mistake or misidentification of the material to be removed or disabled."

      Odd, what if the subscriber believes that it was not a mistake or misidentification but rather done on purpose to interfere with his business or rights?

      Why not just plain wrong?

      all the best,

      drew
  • by theurge14 (820596) * on Saturday February 03, 2007 @01:32AM (#17870268)
    NBC has been using YouTube to their advantage to drum up interest in their shows. Recent clips that come to mind are Lazy Sunday and D*** In a Box from SNL:

    http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=NBC [youtube.com]

    Viacom should be taking notes.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by BobSutan (467781)
      CBS did this as well. If it wasn't for YouTube I'd never known about Jericho. Its got an interesting premise and is worth checking out despite the imperfections in the show's execution. Looking back at the show's post-catastrophe storyline, it strikes me as a contemporary version of Battlestar Galactica (which is by far the best show on TV these days).
  • ...and it's going to happen, because, well.. we always have.

    Find a new, more neutral video transport method.

    Could someone make a YT web "site" based on the Bittorrent protocol?
  • I'm pretty sure it's them I can blame carpel tunnel on.
  • The real problem is not the fact that many companies want their copyrights protected within the bounds of the law. That is okay, and even welcome as long as the goal of copyright -- rewarding creativity and fostering more of it -- is achieved by the law.

    Rather, the problem is the abuse of the copyright laws (and legislature in general) that is done by some of the corporate copyright holders. The laws are constantly extended for longer and longer period in many countries, often by pressure from countries lik
  • One of my posted videos, "Cheap Beer in Montréal" was removed based on a Viacom complaint yesterday. The problem with the situation is that I shot the video myself and the only people in it are my friends. There is no Viacom content in it whatsoever. In effect, they have stifled my right to have others access material which holds my own copyright.

    What method did Viacom use to specify which videos violate their copyright? Is there no penalty for false accusation? Is it possible that Viacom targette

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