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Case Against Video-Sharing Site Dismissed 131

Posted by timothy
from the separating-tool-from-tools dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "A California copyright infringement case brought by an adult video maker against a video sharing web site, Veoh Networks, has been thrown out, based upon the 'safe harbor' provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ('DMCA'). In a 33-page decision (PDF), the Court concluded that Veoh was covered by the DMCA, and had carried out its duties to comply with takedown notices in a reasonable manner. The Court rejected the plaintiff's arguments showing possible ways that users could do an end-around, saying that the law requires 'reasonable' compliance, rather than perfection, and noted that the DMCA is 'designed to facilitate the robust development and world-wide expansion of electronic commerce, communications, research, development, and education in the digital age'."
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Case Against Video-Sharing Site Dismissed

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@@@gmail...com> on Thursday August 28, 2008 @01:51PM (#24782177) Journal
    I read this in Wired [wired.com] and found this quote from YouTube:

    "It is great to see the Court confirm that the DMCA protects services like YouTube that follow the law and respect copyrights," YouTube Chief Counsel Zahavah Levine said in a statement. "YouTube has gone above and beyond the law to protect content owners while empowering people to communicate and share their experiences online."

    And this quote from Viacom:

    "Even if the Veoh decision were to be considered by other courts, that case does nothing to change the fact that YouTube is a business built on infringement that has failed to take reasonable measures to respect the rights of creators and content owners. Google and YouTube have engaged in massive copyright infringement â" conduct that is not protected by any law, including the DMCA."

    Probably not far from what one would expect either to say but I'm afraid this isn't going to do much for YouTube.

    • I read this in Wired and found this quote from YouTube:

      "It is great to see the Court confirm that the DMCA protects services like YouTube that follow the law and respect copyrights," YouTube Chief Counsel Zahavah Levine said in a statement. "YouTube has gone above and beyond the law to protect content owners while empowering people to communicate and share their experiences online."

      And this quote from Viacom:

      "Even if the Veoh decision were to be considered by other courts, that case does nothing to change the fact that YouTube is a business built on infringement that has failed to take reasonable measures to respect the rights of creators and content owners. Google and YouTube have engaged in massive copyright infringement â" conduct that is not protected by any law, including the DMCA."

      Probably not far from what one would expect either to say but I'm afraid this isn't going to do much for YouTube.

      eldavojohn, with all due respect..... do you seriously think that just because they put out conflicting press releases that somehow nullifies the power of this decision as a judicial precedent? Do you really think the judge in Viacom v. Youtube [blogspot.com] cares about the press releases?

      If so, I beg to differ. Not all the press releases in the world can deflect the clear and faultless reasoning exhibited by Judge Lloyd. We are having a sudden [blogspot.com] outbreak [blogspot.com] of sanity [blogspot.com] and respect for the plain meaning of statutes [blogspot.com]. This is so important. It is another nail in the coffin of the MPAA's frivolous suit against YouTube.

      IMHO.

      • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@@@gmail...com> on Thursday August 28, 2008 @02:36PM (#24782835) Journal

        eldavojohn, with all due respect..... do you seriously think that just because they put out conflicting press releases that somehow nullifies the power of this decision as a judicial precedent?

        Ray Beckerman, with all due respect, that is not at all how I see it. I have just resigned myself to the fact that a court case with a billion dollars at stake will not be lost because a California judge knocked down an infringement case about ten pornographic videos that were immediately taken down anyhow. Lawyers do not say goodbye to a billion that easily!

        You are the lawyer however! It would bring me great joy to hear otherwise but I would expect Viacom's lawyers to play the same card they played in their press release--attempting to convince the judge that there are too many differences between these cases to consider Io Vs Veoh to be precedence.

        It is another nail in the coffin of the MPAA's frivolous suit against YouTube.

        The MPAA has a suit against YouTube? What is it? All I know of is Viacom's suit and, though a member, they are not every single Movie Picture Association of America Member.

        Also, I think the 'nail in the coffin' phrase is being used to soon here. The cases I've been following seem to point to the entire US Justice System being in **AA's pet attack dog in witch trials. While there's been a few cases of common sense, the vast majority of cases are being settled out of court because the judge is a corporate pawn and insolent technology-wise.

        • eldavojohn, with all due respect, your sister's a whore.

          Nothing personal.

          (joking, or i'd be AC)

          • Not AC? Now that's commitment to a bit!
            • What cracks me up is that someone modded me a flamebait for making a joke that was marked as a joke. Either someone didn't read the exchange i was replying to (wl, or people are abusing their mod points. Do i have karma stalkers?

              "When you mod me flamebait, i was JOKING!"
              - Krusty the Slashdotter

              • Not only did you mark it as a joke, but your satire of the earlier exchanges was clear, and the joke was funny, to me at least.

                I guess we can assume that the flamebait modding is effectively someone else playing a joke on you :/
        • eldavojohn, with all due respect..... do you seriously think that just because they put out conflicting press releases that somehow nullifies the power of this decision as a judicial precedent?

          Ray Beckerman, with all due respect, that is not at all how I see it. I have just resigned myself to the fact that a court case with a billion dollars at stake will not be lost because a California judge knocked down an infringement case about ten pornographic videos that were immediately taken down anyhow. Lawyers do not say goodbye to a billion that easily!

          Of course that is not why the YouTube case will be lost. The YouTube case will be lost because the California judge was right.

          You are the lawyer however! It would bring me great joy to hear otherwise but I would expect Viacom's lawyers to play the same card they played in their press release--attempting to convince the judge that there are too many differences between these cases to consider Io Vs Veoh to be precedence.

          Thing is, they can say anything they want to in a press release. In court, though, it's not so easy. If you make factual claims that aren't so, you will get burned. And if you make legal arguments that aren't supportable, you will get burned. Unfortunately, all Viacom has to work with is factual claims that aren't so, and legal arguments that aren't supportable. The end result of the YouTube case, if it is not settled, will be a multimillion dollar attorneys fee award against the plaintiffs.

          It is another nail in the coffin of the MPAA's frivolous suit against YouTube.

          The MPAA has a suit against YouTube? What is it? All I know of is Viacom's suit and, though a member, they are not every single Movie Picture Association of America Member.

          You are right, I stand corrected. I had remembered it as being a gang of plaintiffs, but actually it was just a few.

          Also, I think the 'nail in the coffin' phrase is being used to soon here. The cases I've been following seem to point to the entire US Justice System being in **AA's pet attack dog in witch trials. While there's been a few cases of common sense, the vast majority of cases are being settled out of court because the judge is a corporate pawn and insolent technology-wise.

          Well point me to some monstrous decision, of recent vintage, supporting your thesis (and in doing so please confine yourself to cases where the defendant could afford a lawyer).

          • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@@@gmail...com> on Thursday August 28, 2008 @03:31PM (#24783569) Journal

            Of course that is not why the YouTube case will be lost. The YouTube case will be lost because the California judge was right.

            The difference between what is morally right and what is financially backed to be right has slowly become irrelevant for my country's justice system. Do I sound Jaded? Do I sound a bit like Philip Nolan [wikipedia.org] in my disgust for our "justice department?" From shill trials and hearings against big oil/tobacco to using political or ideological criteria to hire new lawyers into the department, it's a bright shining example for my country's ebbing greatness.

            These days, the few court cases that seem to make sense come from the lowest courts in the country. The highest courts are too busy licking the soles of some lobbyist's shoes or siding with a political party to do their jobs.

            YouTube maybe morally correct but Viacom is monetarily correct--make no mistake about that. A thousand lawyers will find a way.

            Thing is, they can say anything they want to in a press release. In court, though, it's not so easy. If you make factual claims that aren't so, you will get burned.

            That's strange, wasn't it you who showed us [slashdot.org] that judges were taking advice from 'expert' witnesses about IP addresses in Kazaa and using those logs to find defendants guilty? Screenshots and text files that would take me five minutes to doctor cost citizens $20,000 to avoid the legal battle! And those are 'factual claims!?'

            Viacom will convince the judge that YouTube is creating revenue for Google using content that isn't licensed. And they won't have a hard time convincing a judge that doesn't understand the technology behind it ... nor will the judge need to know how ad supported revenue works. Viacom will point to services like NBC.com or ABC.com or maybe even Hulu on how ad supported licensed content should work and it's going to take one example of a full episode of SouthPark on YouTube to make the judge agree.

            Well point me to some monstrous decision, of recent vintage, supporting your thesis (and in doing so please confine yourself to cases where the defendant could afford a lawyer).

            You're right that there hasn't been a lot where the defendant could afford a lawyer but I've already flogged the issue of money making someone right into the ground.

            I'm not attacking you here. I'm not attacking YouTube here. Hell, I'm not even really attacking Viacom. I'm criticizing our Justice Department in several regards. Don't take this personally!

            • I'm not attacking you here. I'm not attacking YouTube here. Hell, I'm not even really attacking Viacom. I'm criticizing our Justice Department in several regards. Don't take this personally!

              I didn't. And I know you didn't take my disagreement with you personally either. I'm a big fan of yours. I just love a good argument.

              I don't mean to say our justice system is perfect. Far from it, I've recently been quite critical [blogspot.com] of the way the RIAA cases are being handled, and made 15 specific suggestions on how the federal judiciary could improve its track record and provide a more level playing field. But I will tell you that in the big cases -- where the party litigating with the content-maniacs is a corporation which has the resources to get good lawyering -- the results have not been so terrible. And even in the RIAA cases, where the defendants are invariably overmatched, the judges are starting to wake up to the fraud that has been perpetrated on them.

              By the way, if you think Io v. Veoh didn't worry Viacom, why do you think they requested permission to submit an amicus curiae brief in support of Io? The judge denied their request [beckermanlegal.com] (PDF), but no doubt read the brief and heard everything Viacom, and its lawyers, had to say. I don't think he was impressed.

              Viacom can say whatever it wants to say in its press releases. But I don't think Judge Stanton will be even remotely impressed. He will want to know why they tied up his docket, when they had nothing.

              • by homer_s (799572)
                where the party litigating with the content-maniacs is a corporation which has the resources to get good lawyering

                That, precisely, is the problem many see with the legal system. You may not agree that that is a problem, but then, I see you as part of the system.

                ..the judges are starting to wake up to the fraud that has been perpetrated on them.

                Anyone with a little bit of technical knowledge knew what these cases were full of BS when they started. Yet, it took the legal system how many months to
                • where the party litigating with the content-maniacs is a corporation which has the resources to get good lawyering

                  That, precisely, is the problem many see with the legal system.

                  I agree wholeheartedly that that is one of the major problems with the legal system. And many judges agree with that, too. Which is why the Judicial Section of the American Bar Association published an issue of its quarterly magazine devoted solely to the problem of providing "equal access to justice", why they invited me to write an article on the problem with "unequal" access to justice in the RIAA litigations, and why I spent many many hours writing that article [blogspot.com].

                  That is why You may not agree that that is a problem

                  I can't for the life of me see how you cou

                  • by homer_s (799572)
                    Well, I must've misunderstood your positions then - my apologies.
                    • No problem, homer_s.

                      I fully agree with you that the courts need to watch out for those cases where one side has all the money in the world to burn on litigating, and the other side doesn't have any. I was just saying to eldavojohn that Viacom v. YouTube [blogspot.com] isn't one of them. Google has all the money it needs to defend itself. And Viacom is going to get..... buried.
                    • by homer_s (799572)
                      I guess my broader point was that, the way the courts are setup (not just in the USA), people with money to spend will always have the upper hand over people with little money or time to spend. There is no law or regulation that can change that. The problem is inherent to the system.

                      We just had to settle with a large credit card company about a patent that (we believe) does not apply to us at all. But, just to contest that in court will take about a million dollars - money that we just don't have and mon
                    • Most of the cost comes about because lawyers and judges have an incentive to make things more complex. There is no incentive for the court system to make things simpler so a normal person can litigate. A good example of this is the laws against regular people practising law.

                      There is no law against people representing themselves in court.

                      As to non-lawyers representing other people...... well I don't think you'd want me taking your appendix out. The risk of mortality would go way up.

                    • by homer_s (799572)

                      As to non-lawyers representing other people...... well I don't think you'd want me taking your appendix out. The risk of mortality would go way up.

                      If that is truly the reason, then that would be true only in cases where there is a threat of death, correct? There wouldn't be any problem with me representing my friend in a divorce or immigration case - is that correct?

                      Come on now, we both know why that law is on the books.

        • by gorckat (960852)

          While there's been a few cases of common sense, the vast majority of cases are being settled out of court because the judge is a corporate pawn and insolent technology-wise.

          I always thought members of a lawsuit were advised to not make public statements like that.

      • by Hatta (162192)

        If so, I beg to differ. Not all the press releases in the world can deflect the clear and faultless reasoning exhibited by Judge Lloyd. We are having a sudden outbreak of sanity and respect for the plain meaning of statutes. This is so important. It is another nail in the coffin of the MPAA's frivolous suit against YouTube.

        Until the next Congress rewrites the law in favor of big media yet again.

  • so... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by N!k0N (883435) <dan@djph.net> on Thursday August 28, 2008 @01:52PM (#24782187)
    it's OK to share pr0n, but not last week's episode of Southpark?

    I KNEW the lifeblood of the internet was pr0n!

    • Re:so... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by 77Punker (673758) <spencr04@highpoin[ ]du ['t.e' in gap]> on Thursday August 28, 2008 @02:48PM (#24783001)

      Actually, if you look at sites like puretna.com they have a list of video publishers whose videos you are not allowed to upload. I presume this is because they have been asked not to publish those torrents.

      It just looks to me like the porn folks aren't quite as sue-happy.

      • by dave562 (969951)
        And they offset their losses with malware distribution and identity theft from compromised computers. ;)
        • by 77Punker (673758)

          I don't think they've been the victim of any lawsuits (yet). They appear to keep the site afloat by some gigantic banner ads. The site actually looks very good with adblock, otherwise it gets to be a little harder to read.

    • Trekkie Monster: "Why you think the net was born? Porn, porn, porn!!!"
  • Sweet! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Quasar1999 (520073) on Thursday August 28, 2008 @01:52PM (#24782189) Journal
    From what I read in the summary, I assume this means free porn for all? Right???
  • With this decision, sites like Youtube win. I can now upload all those NBC, ABC, CBS clips on my PC. That's sweet.
  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Thursday August 28, 2008 @01:58PM (#24782287)

    One thing I never understood, why is prostitution (paying someone to have sex with you) illegal but making pornography (paying someone to have sex with you or another person in front of a camera) is legal? Would a John be able to beat a pandering rap by waving a camera and saying he was planning on filming the act and putting it on the internet? I like Carlin's thinking on the matter. "Selling's legal, fucking's legal, why isn't selling fucking legal?" Only in Vegas.

    • by garett_spencley (193892) on Thursday August 28, 2008 @02:13PM (#24782513) Journal

      I'm not an expert but I do have a few points that might help you out.

      1) Prostitution laws vary greatly from one area to another. Even municipally. For example, my city issues escort licenses to effectively legalize prostitution and to "help protect the safety of sex workers" but street walking (the ones you see on tv where coked out whores are going up to cars) are still illegal. In some places it's ok to advertise but not to solicit directly. In other areas prostitution itself is legal but advertising it is not etc. So it's not as simple as "prostitution is illegal". It depends on the area and there are varying degrees of legality. The Wikipedia article on prostitution [wikipedia.org] has lots more info.

      2) Pornography is considered an artistic expression and the US constitution and Canadian charter among other bill of rights in other countries protect free speech. In the 70's there were supreme court cases in the US that helped set precedent protecting pornography under the federal-granted right to free speech.

      • ...protecting pornography under the federal-granted right to free speech.

        Of course, it's awfully hard to speak when you've got a.... never mind.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        2) Pornography is considered an artistic expression and the US constitution and Canadian charter among other bill of rights in other countries protect free speech. In the 70's there were supreme court cases in the US that helped set precedent protecting pornography under the federal-granted right to free speech.

        Stop right there. The constitution does not grant any rights, it protects them. The difference is huge, especially when it comes to bill of rights issues.

      • 2) Pornography is considered an artistic expression and the US constitution and Canadian charter among other bill of rights in other countries protect free speech. In the 70's there were supreme court cases in the US that helped set precedent protecting pornography under the federal-granted right to free speech.

        Which, if taken to it's logical conclusion, would mean that prostitution itself is protected. After all, what is prostitution, if not "performance art"?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by claytonjr (1142215)

      One thing I never understood, why is prostitution (paying someone to have sex with you) illegal but making pornography (paying someone to have sex with you or another person in front of a camera) is legal? Would a John be able to beat a pandering rap by waving a camera and saying he was planning on filming the act and putting it on the internet? I like Carlin's thinking on the matter. "Selling's legal, fucking's legal, why isn't selling fucking legal?" Only in Vegas.

      They are paid as actors, not as prostitutes. The sex is considered consensual.

      • by rgviza (1303161)

        Aren't most hookers great actors? Since both agree to have sex isn't it consensual?
        Can't you pay the hooker for her acting skill when performing the act and not the act itself? /confused

    • by Krinsath (1048838) on Thursday August 28, 2008 @02:14PM (#24782519)
      I believe the loophole here is that there's a story (albeit a terrible, perfunctory one usually) and the sex is part of the this story. So they are not being paid "just" to have sex...they're acting and are being paid to be actors. Since restricting filmmakers from recording graphic sex in the course of a story is considered an infringement of free speech, that's why what appears to be plain old prostitution is legal.

      What I've always wondered is why prostitutes didn't set up a similar model. Obtain a business license to sell some sort of product like...I don't know...yarn. Have a certain price on the yarn like $300 and collect the appropriate taxes and what not on the yarn...after all, you're free to charge whatever you want for your products. After you sell an actual good, then have sex with the purchaser. They aren't paying you for sex, they bought item X and incidental to that purchase you decided to have sex with them. Much like the actresses in porn movies are not being paid to have sex, they're having sex incidental to their role as a character in a sexually-themed story.

      It'd be an interesting tactic, but meh...probably too much work for the average working girl I suppose. Easier to do it on the side and hope you don't get caught I guess.
      • by ais523 (1172701) <ais523(524\)(525)x)@bham.ac.uk> on Thursday August 28, 2008 @02:20PM (#24782605)
        Allegedly a similar tactic used to be used by companies in the UK to sell goods on a Sunday (back when that was still illegal, which is way before I was born); they would sell perishable goods like fruit (which could be legally sold on a Sunday) for a lot more than its real price, and throw in whatever product they actually wanted to sell free.
        • "Buy this basket of fruit for 500 pounds, and we'll throw in this computer for free!" I wonder if it sounded as ridiculous then as it does now?

      • Here in Oklahoma, things like palm reading and tarot reading are still illegal to do for money--despite similar provisions having been knocked down as unconstitutional in other states. It's not strongly enforced, but if you keep your ear to the ground, you'll hear about an arrest every couple of years. Fortune tellers get around the law by just that strategy--selling gaudy trinkets and providing readings as an incidental bonus.

        Tattoo parlors used to do the same kinds of things until they were fully legal
      • by Eil (82413)

        There might be a flaw in your plan, though.

        What happens when grandma walks in and just wants to buy yarn?

    • by Kingrames (858416)

      Paying for sex is illegal because it's accepted that using money to get sex is wrong. in much the same sense that using money to get votes is wrong (like that works) or declaring that using money to get people to do things like change a report to be more favorable to you is wrong.

      If you're caught bribing a news reporter, both of you could be fired, and you'd face legal action, even though it's perfectly legal for the news reporter to like you and paint you in a positive light. (though unprofessional)

      • by Hatta (162192)

        Paying for sex is illegal because it's accepted that using money to get sex is wrong.

        First, why would using money to get sex be wrong? Your analogies are silly, buying votes harms the entire electorate. Buying sex harms no one who doesn't consent.

        Second, show me a guy who hasn't used money to get sex and I'll show you a virgin.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Rob Kaper (5960)

      "Selling's legal, fucking's legal, why isn't selling fucking legal?" Only in Vegas.

      And other countries, of course.

      But even though it's not new, your point can't be stressed often enough. I also really don't understand how worker unions and health care for legal hookers is so much worse than drug-addicted underage kids getting pounded at trucker stops.

      And I don't understand why I can fuck the shit out of a 16 year old in any way she conscents to, legally, yet a topless picture of her might get me in trouble for possesion of child porn.

      (YMMV.)

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MozeeToby (1163751)

        And I don't understand why I can fuck the shit out of a 16 year old in any way she conscents to, legally.

        Please note, this highly dependent upon where you live. In Wisconsin, for instance, having sex with a 16 year old is a felony. Having sex with a 17 year old is still a misdemeaner.

        Of course, if I understand things correctly that is exactly where the contradiction comes from. The age of consent is a subject of law that is determined largely on a state by state basis where as child pornography is enforced at the federal level. The US government has decided that 18 is the age of consent, where as you state

        • by Rob Kaper (5960) on Thursday August 28, 2008 @03:24PM (#24783471) Homepage

          My state is in a different union than the American. I suppose it can be confusing I used mileage and not something metric. ;-)

          You make a point I hadn't considered yet, although I'd like to add that most of these laws predate significant use of the Internet (or even photography itself, but I'd have to verify that). And in (nation) states where abortion is still illegal consensual sex could also cause permanent damage. And that mere possession alone isn't damaging and therefore should not be illegal, especially not in a consenting case.

          Anyway, the whole problem is that age is completely arbitrary, period. I know quite a few people my age (31) who I don't think will ever reach the maturity, rationality and awareness of some of my teenaged friends.

          Some years ago I got a call from a fourteen year old friend who had just fought of an ex-boyfriend because she refused to have unprotected sex and then telling you "I'm going to stay away from dodgy folk like him". Quite an eye-opener when that same week you learn of another STD someone your own age contracted.

          I've been trying to fight ageism ever since.

    • by MarkvW (1037596)

      A person could open a storefront and call it "Sex Movie Production, Incorporated (SMPI)." SMPI would furnish everything except the star. The star, let's call him "John," would come in off the street to make a movie. SMPI would furnish "John" everything for $50.00: (a) a set (consisting of a cheap videocamera, a tripod, and a bed); (b) a videocassette; and (c) a co-star. "John" and his co-star would then act together.

      COME ON NOW!

      . . . Just because the porno people are doing it doesn't necessaril

    • I like Carlin's thinking on the matter. "Selling's legal, fucking's legal, why isn't selling fucking legal?" Only in Vegas.

      No, NOT in Vegas. I wish people would stop making this claim. Prostitution is legal is certain counties of Nevada but it is NOT in Las Vegas.

      • I like Carlin's thinking on the matter. "Selling's legal, fucking's legal, why isn't selling fucking legal?" Only in Vegas.

        No, NOT in Vegas. I wish people would stop making this claim. Prostitution is legal is certain counties of Nevada but it is NOT in Las Vegas.

        It's easy to understand why people get confused. They go to Vegas and are handed dozens of flyers for "escorts" as they wander around, most of the hotels have ads for "escorts" and they are approached by numerous prostitutes offering their serv

    • by nsayer (86181) *

      Only in certain counties in Nevada, none of which includes Vegas

      There. Fixed that for you.

    • In fact, a number of producers were successfully prosecuted for exactly this. They sued, it went all the way to the Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court said "we already ruled this is legal. It is well settled law that the government cannot use otherwise-perfectly-legal means to accomplish an unconstitutional objective."

      Put another way: it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of race. Suppose a riot broke out, and the government arrested only the black rioters. Should that be legal? No. Since sell
  • Different results (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Exanon (1277926) on Thursday August 28, 2008 @01:58PM (#24782289)
    I am sorry to be so cynical as to suggest that if the claim had been brought by the MPAA, the result would have been different.
  • Contradictory laws (Score:4, Insightful)

    by suck_burners_rice (1258684) on Thursday August 28, 2008 @01:59PM (#24782307)
    The DMCA should be repealed and replaced with a law that compels people to make illegal copies of copyrighted material. This way, if you obey this law, you'll be infringing on copyright. If you don't obey this law, you'll be breaking the law. Then, the government can selectively enforce one, the other, or neither, depending on who is friends with whom and deliberately messing with those who look at a government official or copyright holder the wrong way. Mutually contradictory laws are the only way to go in the new millenium, especially as our physicists learn the ins and outs of M-theory.
    • by Rob Kaper (5960)

      Or we just remember our inalienable right to overthrow out-of-control governments when diplomacy and democracy fail to do so and no longer seem to be capable of doing so anytime soon.

      (Don't worry Mr. Fed, I'm presently only entitled to overthrow the Dutch government and so far I can tolerate their share of gross incompetence.)

    • by nsayer (86181) *

      a law that compels people to make illegal copies

      ...

  • The DMCA take down provision doesn't get enough credit on /.

    While I'm no fan of the DMCA on the whole, I actually like the takedown provisions. They provide valuable protection for ISPs.

    My only problem with the provision is that in practice, it has been widely abused. The law itself provides a remedy against abuse. Those abusing the law can be charged with perjury. Unfortunately, no one has ever been charged with perjury for false take down notices, so the abuse continues. It would only take a few perjury charges a year to keep everyone honest...

    • There was a recent Slashdot article where a judge ruled that the sender of the takedown notice must consider fair use rights. I think that will minimize the number of frivolous cases where someone just wants to suppress free speech.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by John Hasler (414242)

      > My only problem with the provision is that in practice, it has been widely abused.

      Takedown notices could and would be sent in the absence of the DMCA.

      > The law itself provides a remedy against abuse.

      Which would not exist without the law.

  • What? (Score:2, Funny)

    by arizwebfoot (1228544)
    You mean there is actually one judge in the entire judicial system who knows where the "any" key is?
  • One would think that this builds up Google's defense against Viacom. I hope Google doesn't back down or cut a deal with Viacom. This case is proof they are in the right.

    • One would think that this builds up Google's defense against Viacom. I hope Google doesn't back down or cut a deal with Viacom. This case is proof they are in the right.

      I agree. YouTube is clearly entitled to the "safe harbor" afforded by the DMCA, and the Viacom case should be thrown out. The mere pendency of such cases partially defeats the purpose of the DMCA, since it costs time and money to defend this nonsense.

      The best thing about Io v. Veoh is that it dismisses the case on summary judgment, avoiding the necessity for a trial. Hopefully the Courts will start dismissing these types of cases even earlier, at their very outset.

  • DMCA (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Mooga (789849)

    the DMCA is 'designed to facilitate the robust development and world-wide expansion of electronic commerce, communications, research, development, and education in the digital age'."

    I'm sorry, but which DMCA is he reading? Because the last time I read the DMCA, it was written to do the complete opposite.

    • Go back and read it again. Then read up on copyright law and on the legislative history of the DMCA. Takedown notices could and would be sent in the absence of the DMCA. The difference is that without the DMCA providers could and would be sued for copyright infringement even when they obeyed the notices, there would be no effective remedy for frivolous or malicous notices, and copyright owners would not be obligated to send notices at all before filing suit.

  • So if the RIAA detects infringing music files on my computer I can demand that they send a properly compliant DMCA takedown notice. And as long as I comply with that notice and take down the specifically infringing file(s) -- remembering that they must also be the copyright owner to make this demand -- then I'm in the clear from their lawsuits.
    • No (Score:3, Interesting)

      by sirwired (27582)

      The "Safe Harbor" provisions of the DMCA only protect unmoderated public machines. If you were to give your users the ability to place whatever music files they wished on your computer, then you are protected.

      You putting files on your computer and sharing them will not allow you to take advantage of the "Safe Harbor" provisions.

      SirWired

      • The "Safe Harbor" provisions of the DMCA only protect unmoderated public machines. If you were to give your users the ability to place whatever music files they wished on your computer, then you are protected.

        Your "users" are your other family members, yours and their friends and family, plus whatever hackers break into your machine and plant stuff. Does that qualify?

  • ...that an industry that promotes immoral behavior seeks redress in a court that is grounded in morals.
    • Courts are about law. They have nothing to do with morals, nor should they.

      • Under that reasoning then thieves, bank robbers, and murderers would escape the law. It is immoral to steal and immoral to kill. Whether you like it or not, courts deal with morals. Live with it.
        • by jasmak (1007287)
          Stealing, Robbing, and Murdering are all against the LAW... how is it about morals?
          • "Thou shalt not steal"

            "Thou shalt not kill"

            • How about one through four? Don't you think they should be law as well? Is it not also "immoral" to make idols? To forget the Sabbath?

            • by Tim C (15259)

              So in this case the law and morals are in agreement. That does not mean that the one necessarily springs from the other.

              The law is about what society deems to be acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. Morals help shape the law, but they are not synonymous.

            • Ever hear of murder one, murder two, murder three, manslaughter, etc?

              Law takes circumstance into account. It's not as cut and dry as you make it out to be.
        • First, you confound the courts with the legislature. The former interprets law. The latter makes it. Second, you make (probably deliberately) an error of logic. Nothing I wrote implies that that which is immoral is neccessarily legal.

  • And once again... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jimand (517224) *
    ...porn leads the way in internet progress!
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  • Has anybody wondered why the Porn Industry has been virtually silent when it comes to piracy? It's simple: The more people pirate and distribute their material, the more people become interested in their products (considering they already have a captive audience anyways). And it works!

Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.

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