Google Responds to Viacom


Google: We will never launch a product or acquire a company unless we are completely satisfied with its legal basis for operating

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We will continue to innovate and continue to host material for people, without being distracted by this suit

Looks like this isn't a skirmish.. it's a full blown war..


This was dealt with over on

This was dealt with over on Webmasterworld and the general opinion there was that the safe harbor laws do not apply in Google's case because they apply only when the website makes no profit from hosting the copyrighted content and has no knowledge of the illegally hosted material.

I don't agree

They have removed stuff whenever there was a complaint.. they could always say "how does one police millions user generated of video content" The only solution is if someone complains you pull it down.

I still think the purchase of the site was a bad idea... however in their defense how could one police such a huge level of video content?

"how could one police such a huge level of video content"

That is G's problem if they decide to host these videos, is it not?

I thought that the safe harbor provision only applied if they do not filter content. But as others have pointed out, it is terribly difficult to find porn and other subjects on there. Thus, there is likely some filtering going on aside from complaints/take down notices/cancellation of prolific copy right violation poster accounts.

If I decide to work with 2,000,000 volunteers and employees to promote my company and don't follow accounting rules, time off rules, labor laws, cobra, and other items... It is my fault for not following the rules right? I can't just say "oh, woops, it was too much for me to handle". I can go out of business, get a slap on the wrist, etc. but ultimately it is my responsibility or the board, or whatever else governs my business right?

Opposite of my experience

My blog was plagarized verbatim. I followed Google DMCA to the letter, Google responded by removing the plagarized material from its index. When Viacom (one would assume) follows DMCA to the letter, Google says, "wuh huh?" What's the difference? Either Google upholds copyright infringement complaints or they don't.

This threat has to have been part of the cost-of-doing-business factored into purchasing YouTube in the first place. They knew the threat would evolve, cost them money, the purchase would still be profitable, buy it anyway. Not as evil as factoring 1973 Pinto explosion deaths into your bottom line, but still a complete departure from "truth."

CBS (which used to be part

CBS (which used to be part of the same company as Viacom) just signed a deal with YouTube for syndicating NCAA clips.

1973 Pinto explosion deaths

1973 Pinto explosion deaths

You just had to bring that up again, eh? Geesh.

I've rarely found the WMW community conclusions to be very helpful. It's like watching Seinfeld to learn how to relate to your neighbors. Fun to watch, not so wise to emulate.

Redclaw cits the law process but with might comes resistance and thus it will require great effort to get to actually analyzing the law in context. The sheer size of Google's operations (and consequently complexity of legal process involving same) does indeed change things. It doesn't change the law, but it changes the practicalities of enforcement via the courts. If it takes 10 years to litigate, will it matter at all beyond the direct costs?

If Google spins this to be "The Great and Benevolent Google is Fighting for the Rights of the People" it's worth more than a billion dollars, no?


You just had to bring that up again, eh? Geesh.


Also, maybe, not again. Haven't spoken of the 1973 Pinto explosions since.... 1974.

Legal Posturing

>>We will never launch a product or acquire a company unless we are completely satisfied with its legal basis for operating

Bullshit. What else can they say? "We're going to break the law but we think we can get away with it"? That wouldn't help them in court. They have to avoid that truth at all cost.

I see the whole legal issue

I see the whole legal issue as posturing for marketshare, little else.


>>We will never launch a product or acquire a company unless we >>are completely satisfied with its legal basis for operating

This is from the same legal team that couldn't respect existing Gmail copyrights in Europe, and think copyright on books is opt-in?

Legal is whatever Sergey

Legal is whatever Sergey decides is legal.

Now hand over your content !

Two Faced.

It's just the way Google is, they never hold themselves to the same standards to which they hold us. For years Google has said, that in their eyes, we are responsible for whatever is on our websites: content, who we link to, etc. Intent be damned. But when Viacom tries to hold Google responsible for the content on one of Google's sites all of a sudden Google ain't responsible and intent counts. Maybe they will get away with it, but it is hard to put any trust in Google's moral lectures when they only talk the talk but will not walk the walk.

Power corrupts.

Power corrupts.

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