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Google Fails to Stop Its Users from Ripping Off Viacom



February 02, 2007 – Comments (8)

So says viacom:


No surprises here. Google doesn't have the smarts or the energy to keep all those yahoos out there from posting copyrighted content without permission. They've been hiding behind the woefully inadequate statutes, which demand only that they take stuff down after the rightful owner has sent them a takedown notice via snailmail or fax.

Obviously, there's no way any big content producer can keep up with the thievery, so GooTube has been banking on their unwillingness to take them to court.

I believe this will ultimately fail, and I believe content producers will nail Google to the wall, which will push this illegal content to other sites in a kind of perennial whack-a-mole.

But it will be the end of Gootube, and hopefully, the end of the fawning press telling us how clever those YouTube boys were to allow people to rip off other people and just say "hey, we're doing the best we can!"

They sold out just in time.


8 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On February 02, 2007 at 4:15 PM, TMFBent (99.16) wrote:

Oh, and don't miss this precious piece of self-serving, Gootube, corporate-speak:

"The company also said it was ''unfortunate that Viacom will no longer be able to benefit from YouTube's passionate audience which has helped to promote many of Viacom's shows.''"

In other words, so what if our "passionate" audience has been ripping you off? It's been "promoting" your shows, though we get all the gravy from the deal, and don't even have to do the work of uploading the clips. Our millions of copyright-violators take care of that for us!

Can't wait to see this in court.

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#2) On February 02, 2007 at 4:27 PM, Steve819 (88.09) wrote:

I see this is a tactic to bring both sides to the table to hammer out a deal. I am doubtful that this will actually make it to court, but will probably result in a similar settlement at the last minute reached by the music players just prior to Google buying YouTube out. Remember that?

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#3) On February 02, 2007 at 4:48 PM, TMFBent (99.16) wrote:

The important thing here is that Gootube was already trying to buy off Viacom. Viacom didn't like the price. So now they're asking for the stuff to come down.

I think someone will take it to court sooner or later. The problem is, that stupid law with its arcane, outdated, snailmail takedown rules essentially lets Gootube blackmail these people. It's a lot like Google's main business model -- leeching off content created by others. Trouble is, they're no longer just saying "yo, here it is!" They're saying "yo, it's here on our servers, and it's free, but if it's illigally uploaded, hey, not our problem. We didn't put it there. We just made it very very easy for the thieves to do that themselves..."

If a judge finds that the current takedown policy isn't reasonable, and that Gootube needs to actually put its money where its mouth is and take this stuff down faster, that'll mean one of two things: much more overhead to make sure illegal content isn't getting posted, and a big loss of the free stuff they've been getting.

Cuban has some interesting posts that argue, convincingly, that Gootube is already in violation of the MDCA because it seems to already be filtering SOME of what's put up. That would mean it's on the hook for everything, so the argument goes.

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#4) On February 05, 2007 at 12:07 AM, dwot (28.81) wrote:

Interesting development.

So what of the internet with its huge theft of copyrighted material?

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#5) On February 05, 2007 at 12:07 AM, mgiv (39.67) wrote:

I would have you agree with google's corporate speak. The pirated content is promotion of viacom's programming. And they get it for free. Consider it a externality of labor, like self serve coffee at a delhi (and I should weight the time they rob from me with my comparitively larger hourly wage).

I believe microsoft has done a lot of research in regard to fighting piracy and I believe they came to the conclusion that you have to tolerate a certain amount of it because it is just too costly to weed it out entirely.

They go to court over something as trivial as this, they will both find out how costly it will be.

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#6) On February 05, 2007 at 3:23 AM, ElViking (96.34) wrote:

I agree 100%. I was projecting this the day GOOG bought Youtube. I don't care about lonelygirl, and frankly, all the most popular youtube original stuff is crap. While I was impressed at the deal they worked out with NBC, I also knew that so much of youtube hangs on Viacom properties The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Now that Comedy Central actually has a website with decent video capacity, they have an interest in defending their content more aggressively.

The big winners in all this are the creators of Youtube. No way they could have fought off Viacom on their own.

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#7) On February 06, 2007 at 12:56 PM, TMFBent (99.16) wrote:

"I would have you agree with google's corporate speak. The pirated content is promotion of viacom's programming. And they get it for free."

It most certainly is not free. They "get it" at the expense of recouping ad revenue that GOOTUBE hawks based on content CREATED BY VIACOM.

This is the business model Gootube wanted: the ability to sell ads against the hard work of others, and to make it seem OK by promoting the bogus idea that it's free "promotion."

Interestingly enough, it looks like Gootube refuses to make a robust effort to get rid of the pirated content unless media companies first sign a deal. That's extortion, to my mind, and shows that Google not only has skipped way past "don't be evil."

It's only a matter of time before content providers realized just how badly they've erred in letting Gootube take their content and receive the lion's share of the rewards.


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#8) On February 11, 2007 at 2:21 PM, Ganndalf (73.86) wrote:

I would not cry for Youtube if they suffer exactly the same fate as Napster did.


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