AfterDawn: Tech news

Judge tells YouTube to turn over viewing logs to Viacom

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 03 Jul 2008 14:31 User comments (20)

Judge tells YouTube to turn over viewing logs to Viacom US District Court Judge Louis L. Stanton has ruled that Google must turn over to Viacom logs showing what videos have been watched on YouTube and when. The information will include login names and IP addresses for the viewers.
Viacom is suing the search giant for YouTube's allegedl failure to live up to their legal responsibility for actively combating piracy on the service. Google has owned YouTube in 2006.

According to the ruling, "A markedly higher proportion of infringing-video watching may bear on plaintiffs’ vicarious liability claim, and defendants’ substantial non-infringing use defense."

Viacom lawyers are claiming that YouTube intentionally turned a blind eye to copyright infringement because of the traffic it generated, and they're hoping to show that YouTube officials knew, or should have known, the correllation between popularity and piracy.

This is essentially an end-run around Google's claim that they've done everything required by law by responding to DMCA takedown notices in a timely manner.

Viacom hopes to take advantage of the standard established in MGM v. Grokster that a business which is built primarily on piracy isn't eligible to claim a defense of 'substantial non-infringing use.' That would mean the DMCA defense doesn't apply.

Substantial non-infringing use was established as a defense for providing technology which can be used for copyright infringement in the famous Sony Corp. of America v. Universal Studios, Inc. case, also known as the Betamax case.

Google argued that providing usernames and IP addresses to Viacom raises potential privacy issues, but ironically the judge used a statement previously published by a Google software engineer against them.

In February of this year Google's Alma Whitten wrote on the company's Public Policy Blog "data protection laws should apply to any data that could identify you. The reality is though that in most cases, an IP address without additional information cannot."

Google will also be required to turn over copies of all the video that's been removed by YouTube for infringement. Google had requested that Viacom be required to request the specific videos relevant to their discovery. The judge decided this would be prohibitively difficult for the plaintiffs, and saw no harm in simply giving them access to all of it as long as they provide the required hard drives to store it on.

He did turn down a number of other requests that would have given Viacom access to a large amount of proprietary Google code. Judge Stanton felt that the value to Viacom's case would be minimal, while the potential harm to Google from disclosing how things like their highly profitable ad business work under the hood would be significant.

More news

Previous Next

Related news

 

20 user comments

13.7.2008 15:01

So really it was about stealing source code legally. Awesome. A gross overstatement but I can't imagine it being too far from the truth.

23.7.2008 15:44

Going by their usual (lack of) reasoning, they're going to charge you at least $29.99 for EACH of those South Park clips you watched. Their made-up price for the medium on which it was sold, not the download price for those titles that are also available for download.

I've reached the point where, if you told me you were going to nuke Hollywood, I wouldn't warn anyone.

They're lice.

33.7.2008 16:20

A new low....just when you thought it couldn't possibly get any more rediculous.

43.7.2008 22:00

Welcome to the "United States of America"

53.7.2008 22:53

SOAB

63.7.2008 23:52

Quote:
In February of this year Google's Alma Whitten wrote on the company's Public Policy Blog "data protection laws should apply to any data that could identify you. The reality is though that in most cases, an IP address without additional information cannot."

Unfortunately the reality is that you are guilty until proven guilty in the eyes of the media heads. Everyone is a pirate remember?! IP adresses are infallable right... I have to watch my printer closely now!

I am truly convinced these idiots running these companies have a problem... they couldn't find their arse with both hands and directions!

Mark my words this is just the start. First will be "subpeonas" to the isp's to find out who posted what, then legal action, and then bellowing at the top of their lungs from the hollywood hills sign about how they defeated one of the largest pirating problems ever.

74.7.2008 0:08

Thanks for taking my IP away. Please, sniff my lawn and crawl at my door in about a week. You might as well get going now, since you're accusing a lot of innocent people for piracy, but you don't know it.

If anyone pirated a video, why exactly would they watch it off of youtube? You might as well act upon EVERY video service. It seems to me they have more interest in getting "extra" money rather than combating against piracy. One for suing, another for privacy invasion...

84.7.2008 5:12
nobrainer
Inactive

Originally posted by Thoatih12:
Welcome to the "United States of America"
ain't that the truth. but the uk and other parts of europe are not far behind


welcome to the "new world order"

but no problems atm eh, as America is seriously taking the lead, are you trading in the Amero yet or haven't they crashed the economy enough to get the sheep to change quietly?

North American Union 1 Video

North American Union 2 Video


Commercial Propaganda for the VChIP get one today cattle

@ rvinkebob

that is what it is all about, since the internet took off the usual channels for media distribution have been destroyed and the MPAA is not getting as much revenue for their greedy shareholders and executives. Its about GREED.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 04 Jul 2008 @ 5:49

94.7.2008 6:52

Do not go to another movie and and don't buy another dvd. Shut down this world of prima donnas. Make them get a real job. Unemployment would skyrocket. They all live in a different world from the rest of us, it's just plain sickening anymore. They have a new source of income about to be implemented, it's "you looked so now pay me". This is to be followed by "you thought about it, now pay me".

104.7.2008 19:08
atomicxl
Inactive

@No Brainer

Why does everyone call the corporations greedy? They produce this content. Its like everyone is allowed to make money off them except for them. When Google makes millions from ads on pages while you watch content that Hollywood makes and they give Hollywood ZERO in return, how is Hollywood greedy?

I'm not trying to paint big business or big media as some god like entity that only wants to spread kindness. However, I don't understand the idea that its somehow unfair or selfish for them to get paid for the content they spend money to produce.

If you made a product that was designed to be sold and someone was stealing it from you and giving it away for free, I can't believe that you'd honestly feel that its "greedy" for you to want to stop that.

If google just kept a record of all the infringing stuff and was like, "we'll give you a cut of the money we generate from people watching your content," this probably wouldn't even have gotten to court and we'd have way more shows up and easily available for watching.

114.7.2008 19:56

atomicxl, your statement


Quote:
If you made a product that was designed to be sold and someone was stealing it from you and giving it away for free, I can't believe that you'd honestly feel that its "greedy" for you to want to stop that

In another light, your words can be interpreted as government taxation policy and the transfer of wealth from the working class to the welfare class.

So the logic is, if it is good enough for government, why is it not good for the rest of us?

But you say, it is for the greater good, so as it is with nobrainer's case.

What I believe nobrainer is saying is greed (and it is excessive) is bad. If the media giants would sell their product at a fair price (and most would agree, their present pricing structure is anything but fair), few (although there would be some, no matter what the price, ie free) would pirate.


When Howard Hughes (a billionaire) was asked wht he wanted most, he responded "a little more"
What does a billionaire need with a little more ?

The conclusion is greed knows no limits.


Gordon Gekko was wrong, Greed is not good. In the end greed will destroy us all.


BTW


Quote:
If google just kept a record of all the infringing stuff and was like, "we'll give you a cut of the money we generate from people watching your content," this probably wouldn't even have gotten to court and we'd have way more shows up and easily available for watching.

It costs nothing to watch You Tube, so a cut of nothing is nothing
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 04 Jul 2008 @ 20:00

"The flimsier the product,the higher the price"
Ferengi 82nd rule of aqusition


124.7.2008 21:00

Yeah I wonder hwo much the viacom gave judge louis for a bribe. I'm just as confused what goes on behind the curtain. show me a politician who is not corrupt and I can probably show you a white crow.

134.7.2008 21:06

Originally posted by 45colt:
Yeah I wonder hwo much the viacom gave judge louis for a bribe. I'm just as confused what goes on behind the curtain. show me a politician who is not corrupt and I can probably show you a white crow.

The only politicians that I can think of that are not corrupt are all dead.

"The flimsier the product,the higher the price"
Ferengi 82nd rule of aqusition


145.7.2008 0:31

ike I been whining abotu here
http://forums.theeca.com/showthread.php?...ted=1#post81385

CP needs to ignore end user infringement in non profit settings if it dose not we are going to lose all of our privacy rights to the corporations.

It simple folks they wont let us return media and want to lock what we do with the media we buy we can;t even share clips online without the black bots shaking their finger in disgust.

Because of this we need expand fair use to ensure out of publication and old version of media re free to share for the public in non profit settings, if we do not have a protected gray area then the corporations will rob us blind.

155.7.2008 4:34
nobrainer
Inactive

@ atomicxl

the content has already been paid for many times over by advertisers and the cable subscribers, but they want every little snippet to be charged for even your home movies that have a movie playing in the background as you are watching little Johnny act out his favourite scene, but it's not about piracy its an assult on out freedoms and liberties and piracy is the guise just as the war on terror has destroyed our liberties.

When they removed the southpark videos from youtube via the viacom dmca, there were only a handful of full episodes on there, the were removing 30 second joke clips or mashups of a song, or things like southpark "the aristocrats" ect.

The end goal is the Vchip and once we all have one ever time you look at content you will be instantly charged.

Watch 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-xyHjiLY-8&feature=related

Watch 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuBo4E77ZXo&feature=related

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 05 Jul 2008 @ 4:49

165.7.2008 12:22
nobrainer
Inactive

so i am gonna be labelled as sick for watching "two girls and a cup" so many times and have the men in white jackets knocking my door down or the DRM police for watching things like "A Fair(y) Use Tale" "Michael Geist", or the government for watching police brutality videos or subscribing to ppl like Brian Haw, mark Thomas, Robert Newman, representativepress, PBS, GregPalastOffice, ect, well you get the point, or will they use the wealth of FREE data to either sell on, or for target advertising, or both, or worse still let the government snoop on what videos ppl are watching just as they monitor library's!

My IP is private data and should NOT be given to anyone especially in a civil case. i am a uk citizen and my private information should be treated in accordance with our law.


2 girls 1 cup Grandma reaction! (THE ORIGINAL.)

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 05 Jul 2008 @ 13:01

175.7.2008 17:21
gmontalc
Inactive

Originally posted by atomicxl:
@No Brainer

Why does everyone call the corporations greedy? They produce this content. Its like everyone is allowed to make money off them except for them. When Google makes millions from ads on pages while you watch content that Hollywood makes and they give Hollywood ZERO in return, how is Hollywood greedy?..........
*******************************************************************

Not very long ago, when the Entertainment and Movie Corporations released their "product" only available in the theaters or on TV and also the music was available on vinyl, 8 tracks, cassettes (whereas was way more expensive manufacture the content, compared to the digital world.)... etc; and available for a decent un-expensive charge and still were millions of dollars available to make.

Then, nobody complaint about piracy and stealing; Now days, the same Entertainment Industries wants the triple amount of dollars for a crappie movie at theaters, and wants more dollars for the same crap on DVD, more $$$ of the same crap on PPV, more $$$ for the same crap on VOD....And more so they want to know exactly, WHEN, WHAT, and WHERE; that you've been watching their "product".

Now, you tell me is that not GREED!

187.7.2008 18:50

Quote:

Not very long ago, when the Entertainment and Movie Corporations released their "product" only available in the theaters or on TV and also the music was available on vinyl, 8 tracks, cassettes (whereas was way more expensive manufacture the content, compared to the digital world.)... etc; and available for a decent un-expensive charge and still were millions of dollars available to make.

Then, nobody complaint about piracy and stealing; Now days, the same Entertainment Industries wants the triple amount of dollars for a crappie movie at theaters, and wants more dollars for the same crap on DVD, more $$$ of the same crap on PPV, more $$$ for the same crap on VOD....And more so they want to know exactly, WHEN, WHAT, and WHERE; that you've been watching their "product".

Now, you tell me is that not GREED!
Another point of view. (Not meant to start a fight.)

Remember that a long time ago you couldn't download something from someone across the world. Now one person can upload and it can be downloaded by 100's if not 1000's or more in a few days.

Errr. It is not greed. I think the greed part is sueing everyone and their dog for p2p and the other methods they use.

Charging for a movie at the theater, selling dvds, ppv, and vod is just good business sense to make the most money off of a product.

As for selling it for triple the price. Well, if it sell for the price, why change it? If you don't want to pay for new, wait for used ones to show up at the local record store. Just like I do with xbox 360 games. I only buy new when I really really want to play it. Otherwise, I wait a few months and a few used ones show up that are cheaper.

Hey I agree with ya, I would love things to be cheaper, but that is not how it works.

199.7.2008 18:32

One thing that seems to get lost in these discussions is the fact that the law has historically been changed to reflect new technology. If you look at what's generally considered the landmark copyright case of the last half century, the Betamax case, the US Supreme Court basically rewrote copyright law by interpretation. Most legal scholars agree that the studios were actually within their right to go after Sony for the VCR, but it simply didn't make any sense so the court invented a legal doctrine to come up with a sensible decision.

IMO there's a bigger issue than copyright itself. Intellectual property is by definition an artificial legal construct. It's not like actual property where the law exists to codify what's already obvious (ie I made/bought/physically possess something so you can't take it from me). The idea of owning ideas is defined by the law, and our understanding is based on how the law defines it. When deciding what's reasonable from a legal standpoint you need to ask yourself this. If our legal system as it currently exists can't enforce your idea of copyright should an entire legal framework be changed to make the artificial construct work, or should the construct be modified so it fits into our legal framework.

I happen to believe that the underlying principles of the US legal system, which we happen to share with numerous other nations, are a large part of what makes our culture great. If we have to change them substantially to enforce a "right" that we just made up we've lost much more than we've gained.

209.7.2008 18:38

vurbal
wow well said.

So is the right the one of first sale and fair use or the right of the CP owner to bully the populace for undue profit?

Musing on some ideas over the whole data infringement thing most about what data is and how it should be handled
http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/680816

give it a look if you can handle alil zippyisim :P

Comments have been disabled for this article.

News archive