AfterDawn: Tech news

L.A. News service sues YouTube over riot video

Written by Ben Reid @ 17 Jul 2006 17:08 User comments (34)

L.A. News service sues YouTube over riot video Popular video streaming service YouTube was dealt a lawsuit on Friday in federal court for allowing its users to upload copyrighted video footage onto its website which included the beating of trucker Reginald Denny during the 1992 riots.
The owner and operator of Los Angeles News Service, Robert Tur, states in the lawsuit that within one week, one version of the Denny beating was viewed & downloaded 1,000 times via the site, which on Friday announced that its users are now viewing more than 100 million videos per day.

"The scope of the infringements is akin to a murky moving target, in that videos uploaded are not identified by copyright owner or registration number but rather by the uploader's idiosyncratic choice of descriptive terms to describe the content of the video tags making it extremely impractical to identify plaintiff's copyrighted works," Tur alleges in the lawsuit filed by attorney Francis Pizzulli of Santa Monica.

Tur is an award-winning journalist and helicopter pilot who has registered numerous copyrights for newsworthy footage. He also believes that YouTube is violating the U.S. Supreme Court's 2005 landmark decision in MGM v. Grokster.

" is not merely Grokster redux," Tur claims. "For unlike the peer-to-peer file sharing systems at issue in the Grokster case, YouTube provides the computer servers and 'world-class data centers' which allow users to upload video clips directly to YouTube's servers."

From there, they can be publicly viewed and copied via downloading at no charge, the lawsuit states.

Tur is seeking $150,000 for infringed works and a court order prohibiting YouTube from allowing his work to be uploaded and broadcast on the site.

YouTube could not be reached for comment.

Hollywood Reporter, ESQ

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34 user comments

117.7.2006 17:34

Just one question. If the video took place in 1992 what took so long for the law site?

217.7.2006 17:42

The video was taken in 1992, but the UPLOADING took place not too long ago (I would have thought that would be obvious! :( ) Though, what is L.A.News getting so worked up about? The footage is OOOOOLLLLLDDDDD! They can't be having too many people, if ANY requesting it. This is a case where the best thing to do would be to just ignore what is going on, until something more recent was shared. I have a feeling the judge is going to laugh this out of court.

317.7.2006 18:27

"From there, they can be publicly viewed and copied via downloading at no charge, the lawsuit states." Since when do people pay money to watch the news on tv?

417.7.2006 18:41

I get all the articles crapp but what does it have to do with P2P?? go figure. Again I feel the video is too old to really effect anyone period. If the trucker has an issue why did'nt he deal with it back then after the recovery?

517.7.2006 20:29

Are they talking about the 10 min video of news footage? I dont no theres a couple on there, He stuck his g-mail address on top of the video Thats kinda stupid. Now that I look theres a couple videos by him about the LA riots.

617.7.2006 21:11

you know the real reason behind this MPAA and RIAA are somewhere behind this one which is obvious since who was it the RIAA or MPAA that was sending out warnings to youtube or its users for posting music videos an so on an so forth.....well youtube is going to go byebye like napster or charge some money for their site so enjoy.....and if the MPAA or RIAA aint in this someone is jsut looking to make some money off a lame lawsuit.......everyone now-a-days sueing ppl for everything...........

717.7.2006 21:59

L.A New is all worked up maybe over the copyright issue here. If the video is shown in youtube, you can expect that it can be viewed by all..
time waits for no one...

817.7.2006 23:31

i wanna see the video

918.7.2006 6:12

UGH I really think this is stupid just like any other thing that people complain about. It isn't like any one gained anything from watching the video in question, other than wasting there time watching the clip in question.

1018.7.2006 10:44

Isnt the real question thats begging to be asked is when a file or video becomes public by broadcast from this station does it still remain intulecual property of the news organization or does it become public property for the masses .. the same could be said for the 911 video of new york or the assanation of jfk. some of those video files get posted or used in movies as public files... now that the Denny beating video was used in court dosnt it become public property?

1118.7.2006 12:39

Tur is an award-winning journalist and helicopter pilot who has registered numerous copyrights for newsworthy footage. He also believes that YouTube is violating the U.S. Supreme Court's 2005 landmark decision in MGM v. Grokster.
I think that is how he is trying to get the money he feels that his work has copyrights. But I do feel that information belongs to the people that it is made for. It is dumb to say that you made your work for people to see but now you don't want people to see it unless your going to get paid. That is why you create a porno site or something and make people give you there credit card numbers not show it on national tv.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 18 Jul 2006 @ 12:43

1218.7.2006 13:39

Nothing like TV news or cable news for that matter sueing you over showing soemthign that they have showen time and time again......get over yourselfs already.... frist off news cant be copy righted to the point of no pay no show some movies and such mabye can be news? gimme a break....

1318.7.2006 14:26

now that the Denny beating video was used in court dosnt it become public property?
No. If you enter a book into evidence, does it lose it's copyright? There was a song played in court when the parents sued, saying that it made their kids attemp suicide. That song is still copyrighted.
frist off news cant be copy righted to the point of no pay no show some movies and such mabye can be news? gimme a break....
Well, the "news" isn't copyrighted, but the audio & video are. Have you ever heard "...Exclusive video at 11:00"? One TV station cannot re-broadcast another station's video (without permission). If you happen to catch a plane crash on video, you own the copyright. You can sell the video to the highest bidder, or keep it to yourself. A court might force you to give them a copy, but that does not make it public domain. The reporters can watch it in court and describe what they see, but they can't broadcast the actual video.

1418.7.2006 15:11

DVDdoug that makes sicne to a point but so dose if you are not makeing a profit over it you can show it all you want **

1518.7.2006 18:09

NO! they can't sue or banned Youtube!!! I believe that majority of the people all over the world really don't care about the riot that happened 14 years ago. I mean billions of people are enjoying watching stuff in youtube and it is not fair to the public that the Government would just shut down Youtube.:( *Power is in the hands of the PUBLIC*

1618.7.2006 18:39

It's just another way for "THE MAN" to keep us all down bud. "THE MAN" can do what ever he wants.

1718.7.2006 19:16

Schwaber tHe MaN=copertion+absalute power= absalute corptuion >>

1818.7.2006 19:20

Rodney King should also benefit monetarily from the law suit. After all, he was the designer of the riot. Just kidding! There has to be more to the law suit than what they are revealing. Who cares about copying news footage - how boring.

1919.7.2006 4:53

well couldnt the same be said for the clip of bush and blair and the sh*t incodent I mean really its one of the most watched clips they have... I believe the reason the lawsuet is being filed is so others can filed if this goes through. its sad but in a world where every thing is open everything needs a release and or a copyright in order to be made public....

2019.7.2006 7:24

I dont think you can download anything from so that part of the lawsuit isnt gonna do anything....

2119.7.2006 13:04

Yeah but when you file a suit, you just go for broke and let the judge decide what stands... "'Tis a dark time we live in."

2220.7.2006 5:29

I'm sorry, but is this a joke? First off, the lawsuit, but for $150,000? He's just wants money, I mean honestly, how much could he honestly care about his footage being shown? Does it affect him deeply and emotionally? No, he's just doing it because he CAN get money from it, and so he is trying. First off: Robert Tur, states in the lawsuit that within one week, one version of the Denny beating was viewed & downloaded 1,000 times via the site Firstly, you don't download from YouTube, it's called video that information is wrong, nice try. Well, maybe not the view part. But then, how would you know that your video is on YouTube or what not. Do you occassionally frequent YouTube to stream videos? Later complaining "that YouTube is violating the U.S. Supreme Court's 2005 landmark decision" But I agree with what another user said. I believe the judge would laugh it off, and good luck with the jury.

2320.7.2006 17:30

you can download it it jsut takes a level 3 geek to do it (level 1 is a wannbe,level 5 is a normal computer geek,level 10 can lead to compeltel controll over windose ..or hacking *L*)

2421.7.2006 0:58

Robert Tur is a white supremacist S.O.B who doesn't care about his footage. He is only after $$$. If he was a professional journalist, he wouldn't get bent out of shape over his video. This case has NO merit. Not a single person watching that video who have paid for it. You can't sue people (successfully) by making a judge believe something that would not happen. He can take it to court, but a judge would throw it out. A case without any merit. And a con artist reporter without any ethics. A sad day for journalism.

2521.7.2006 1:19

the president might say "this is the stupidest $hit i've ever heard of". Have to agree w/him there.

2621.7.2006 9:07

This is what you would call a superflous (sic) lawsuit. It's like donald trump trying to copyright "You're Fired" awhile back. So If I copyright my nose hair and someone posts it in public then I can sue everyone who saw them! It's completely ridiculous and without merit. but of course some Americans would sue because they never got enough rasins in their rasin bran!!

2721.7.2006 10:38

You know he's a money grubbing SOB because he didn't even bother asking YouTube to remove the video prior to suing them. He just went right for the wallet. "Hey, that's my video. Yippee! Payday!"

2821.7.2006 13:41

So by this thinking I can go around the city and video accidents, crimes etc. Jump online register a copyright on it. Wait for the local news to show it and then sue them !?! May not be that way yet but sure looks like these idiots will allow this to happen soon.

2921.7.2006 21:49

First of all I noticed a lot of you fools need to be more careful about your typos/spelling. It gets really annoying trying to figure out what you're trying to say "wehn ti look lkie tihs." That said, where the hell did he get the figure $150,000?? Let's do the math: 150,000/1,000=150 So, does he really think his footage is worth $150 per view? Also, does he really think anyone in his/her right mind would be willing to pay $150 to view it one time? He obviously is looking to profit disproportionately from his copyright being "infringed." On the other hand, he WAS violated no question about it and deserves something for HIS work being used. The larger issue is that the courts need to make a decision here about YouTube and the streaming of copyrighted works. This just smacks of Napster all over again with video this time (except it's streaming).

3022.7.2006 8:42

What I find really really interesting is, I have read few posts here saying that if you filmed the footage, you own the copyright. But in this case, say if the video clip was posted on youtube by Reginald Denny himself? Is the news station going to SUE the guy that gave them the footage to be possible in the first place... I think things are getting out of hand with everybody suing everybody these days, its only a minority that do this, and I dont think the masses should suffer for an exceptional service. If this News corporation was to sue Reginald Denny in my hypothetical scenario, then I would seriously laugh as they will say they had copyright over his own 'news' video clip which they had to ask to put on, I know there are certain copyrights that need to be signed and consent agreed to possibly give the rights to the news station, but I would find that out of hand and a little ludacris for news footage, movies different story not referring to that, but something of news like if my hypothetical scenario was to happen, I'd wonder if he would get sued himself... I guess all this world has come over is greed for power and control.

3122.7.2006 16:34

No my friend, AMERICA has come over for is greed for power and control.

3223.7.2006 4:37

re: typos The human mind is a wonderful piece of work. For instance... As long as you retain the proper placement of the first two and last two letters your mind will still recognize the word correctly.. for instance... I was waiklng down the steret yetsreday when sundedly I was suorurdned by idoits who were critaeng nuemorus mitakses while tyipng lol

3323.7.2006 20:13

I've seen where the youtube staff has deleted videos before because they were copyrighted, so I don't see what the deal is. They have an agreement and policy against posting copyrighted materials, and they actively remove copyrighted things when it comes to their attention. That should be proof enough that they were doing as much as could be done to control the use of their servers to restrict copyrighted materials.

342.8.2006 12:35

lmao @ ducknrun...

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