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YouTube AntiPiracy Policy Likened to 'Mafia Shakedown' 103 103

A C|Net article discusses reactions to YouTube's newly proposed antipiracy software policy. The company is now offering assistance for IP holders, allowing them to keep track of their content on the YouTube service ... if they sign up with the company for licensing agreements. A spokesman for Viacom (already in a fight with YouTube to take down numerous video clips) called this policy 'unacceptable', and another industry analyst likened it to a 'mafia shakedown.' YouTubes cites the challenges of determining ownership of a given video clip as the reason for this policy, and hopes that IP owners will cooperate in resolving these issues. Some onlookers also feel that these protestations are simply saber-rattling before an eventual deal: "'The debates are about negotiations more than anything else--who's going to pay whom and how much,' said Saul Berman, IBM's global media and entertainment strategy leader."
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YouTube AntiPiracy Policy Likened to 'Mafia Shakedown'

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  • by Nicholas Evans (731773) <OwlManAtt@gmail.com> on Sunday February 18, 2007 @05:27PM (#18062086) Homepage

    Unfortunately, copyright law is not that simple. YouTube is a 'safe harbour' under the DMCA 512(c). 512(c) is a magical section of the law that grants an online service provider which hosts content from users on their own servers immunity from IP infringement provided that they meet certain criteria.

    To summarize, YouTube has to designate an agent [copyright.gov] to receive notice of infringement, publish their copyright infringement policies [google.com], disable access to repeat offenders, and respond reasonably to takedown / counter notices.

    So just as long as they're processing those DMCA takedowns and tossing users out, the DMCA (in theory) shields them from litigation. So, eh, surprisingly, this is copyright law.

    Disclaimer: IANAL. Go read copyright.gov/onlinesp/ or ChillingEffects.

  • Re:Screw YouTube... (Score:2, Informative)

    by JoeRandomHacker (983775) on Sunday February 18, 2007 @05:38PM (#18062158)

    The screwed thing is that unless you take a lot of trouble with 3rd party apps you cannot download a YouTube .FLV. [ ... ]
    The Fast Video Download plugin for Firefox https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/3590/ [mozilla.org] will grab your FLVs easily. I have no Flash plugin for my platform, so this plus mplayer is the only way I can watch the stuff.
  • by Ansoni-San (955052) on Sunday February 18, 2007 @06:03PM (#18062338)
    You have no idea of what you're talking about. This isn't about Youtube charging people before they'll comply with the law. The law says the media companies have to name everything they want taken down (also if I remember correctly with links to the offending material).

    The media companies want Youtube to do their work for them and blanketly take down any and all of their content because they don't want to have to search themselves.
    The law doesn't legally allow for this kind of copyright enforcement so Youtube are saying
    "There are lot of problems and work involved in this rediculous demand, so if we do help you we're sure as hell getting something in return"
    which is a very big favour on Youtube's part since I doubt any deal would be worth much more to Youtube than the traffic the offending material would bring.
    I think the point here is that Youtube have to show willingness to help so that the media companies don't have any legal leg to complain on whatsoever.
    As long as Youtube isn't just ignoring the offending material but searching for it at a reasonable speed (reasonable being in comparison with the amount of manpower they can possible be expected to spare), then I can't see any problems a court could find with it.

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