TimeWarner Declares War on Google over YouTube Copyright complaints

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Dick Parsons, the chairman and chief executive of Time Warner, fired a shot across the bows of Google, saying his group would pursue its copyright complaints against the video sharing site YouTube.com, claims 100 million Copyrighted videos online at the site.

Founders Note:
Funny how this was mentioned on threadwatch since day one, and now it's coming to light in the mainstream media, didn't Google even consider this when they allocated 1.65 billion to buying a website they already had the technology for?

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Its like the old saying, if

Its like the old saying, if you owe the bank £1,000 you have a problem, if you owe them £1,000,000 they have a problem. Youtube have so many videos at so much reach that it is the copyright owners that have a problem imho.

Quite. This is jockeying for

Quite. This is jockeying for position, no more.

Google COULD say "Fine. If your copyright means so much, we won't index anything you ever produce, in any of our products". Anyone think Warner would consider that a victory?

Also, consider that lawsuits can go 2 ways. What if Warner lost? They have precisely zero incentive to really pursue this, it's a bargaining chip.

Nice to see you, NFFC :D

>> didn't Google even

>> didn't Google even consider this when they allocated 1.65 billion to buying a website they already had the technology for?

Of course they considered it. Batelle postulated just the other day that Google could very likely have put the whole deal together with the inevitable fight in mind. Imagine what happens if they win a lawsuit or even find middle ground? It will change the world as we know it. Precident is everything and Google has the money to pursue it.

Its Negotiation 101

Start with a viable threat and go from there. This wont ever see the inside of a courtroom.

Oilman :)

Quote:
Of course they considered it. Batelle postulated just the other day that Google could very likely have put the whole deal together with the inevitable fight in mind. Imagine what happens if they win a lawsuit or even find middle ground? It will change the world as we know it. Precident is everything and Google has the money to pursue it.

I really hope so Oilman ... but copyright laws are copyright laws... if this were not the case Napster would of been the largest site by multiples....

Youtube is not Napster

Maybe copyright is copyright but Napster allowed users to download almost perfect reproductions of music.

Youtube offers highly compressed versions of videos that aren't even close substitutes for the originals.

I personally watch very little content on YouTube that is copyrighted. I'd love to see a breakdown of the numbers.

...that aren't even close substitutes for the originals....

I don't think that this is necessarily the point... it doesn't have to be 'exact' copies.

I.E. look at this http://www.engadget.com/2006/09/17/keepin-it-real-fake-part-xxxiiv-zune-aint-aloone/ it's not a 'zune' or an ipod but really mimicks the zune. Do you think MS cares that it is a knock off rather than an exact same but slightly degraded version of the potential zune player?

copyrighted

Quote:
"I personally watch very little content on YouTube that is copyrighted."

Timewarner is saying there are 100 million copyrighted videos on the site... this might be more propaganda than reality.. but my bet it's in the millions... maybe not 100 million.. it is in the millions...

Opening shots from TW

Yep - I think we'll see this quietly settled behind the scenes for a favorable deal on Time Warner movie ads and GoogTube/TW 'featured content'.

Posturing

I doubt Time Warner really wants to fight this one out - Kirby is right.

YouTube has been careful about how and where they monetize their content and have followed fair use precedents pretty carefully. Legal grounds for this secnario - online video, youtube, etc. - have not been set yet. Google wants to fight it - they have a pretty solid case.

If I wanted more money out of my future deal with Google I'd threaten lawsuits too - as a way to start negotiations.

Maybe factual

Hey, maybe 100 milllion videos *do* infringe on at least one party's rights. And if you count each violation as a seperate video, then sure, that is incredibly believable. I just do not know how many vids are on YouTube.

Read my post http://www.threadwatch.org/node/9244#comment-46163 about how merely singing Happy Birthday (not to mention, virtually every thing else) opens you up to 250,000 dollar lawsuits.

wow great marketing and

wow great marketing and publicity for both of them ;)

..

I am continually amazed at the general webmaster and seo community members who, on one hand, think that a copy of music is OK because the publishers charge too much, or a copy of a video is OK because it is low quality, but on the other hand jump up and down with great gnashing of teeth when all or part of their website is copied.

Copyright means the Right to Copy. If no permission to copy has been given, and a copy has been made, then the law has been broken - period!

I agree, Woz. It's like

I agree, Woz.

It's like anything else: the price is the price, and if I want it, then I pay the price.

Besides, I don't find most pieces of art available commercially (music, films) to be horrendously overpriced -- and it's not as if artists *owe me* their work for free.

Well said Woz

Well said Woz :) One of the best posts in this thread.

>OK because it is low quality

Yep if that happens and when pigs can fly then I'm off to copy everyone's site, change the font to 60px in pink with an orange background. Since it looks crappy, its OK, because it only matters when you copy and re-post someone else's work in its near-orgininal form that gets copyright owner's panties in a bunch.

Then there's the topic of "model" release forms.

Personally, I think they should go the istockphoto route. Sure it won't stop a some but it will stop the masses from posting stuff they shouldn't post.

1. Take some time to read the appropriate training tutorial. At the end of the tutorial click "Continue to the Application".
2. Fill out the Application Quiz. Answer all the questions and press "Submit".
3. If you pass the quiz, you'll be asked to submit three images for approval by our Inspection team, as well as some photo identification.

The personal information in your account must be full and accurate in order to upload files to iStockphoto. Ensure that your full first and last name are correct, and include your current street address (so that we know where to mail your royalty payments). If this information is incomplete or incorrect, your application will be declined. At the end of the application, you will also be required to upload one piece of government issued picture ID (Such as a passport or drivers license) in jpeg format. You may always correct this by contacting Client Relations with your full information.

Anyone who wants to post original content won't have anything to hide. Plus if Google integrates accounts, it'll be easier to tie users' addresses and photo IDs to their search history as well.

Anyone who wants to post

Quote:
Anyone who wants to post original content won't have anything to hide.

That'll kill business. I would never upload a jpg of my DL or passporte over the web. That is not wise at all, and istockphoto royalty is not worthy of that.

If you need to go the registration route, you need a trusted registrar plain and simple. And from a business perspective, that means a truly trustworthy registrar or none at all. A questionable enrollment is useless. An example is a press photo association member number, where that association has already cleared the credentials.

Not Eternal and Not Over Protective

Copyright should exist but in it's original intent works would eventually pass into the public domain. However thanks to the Copyright extension act aka the Sony Bono Act very little material produced in the 20th century has done so. One of the largest backers of copyright extensions has been the Disney company who ironically has had some of it's top grossing films based on works that are in the public domain.

The evil stepchild of copyright is DRM. If I buy a CD like high school musical for my kids it's not a matter of if they will drop it or scratch it beyond playability it's really a matter of when. If i want to make a backup of that CD for personal use I shouldn't have to go out and look for cr@cker software and be made to feel like a criminal and a pirate for doing something that's within my legal rights.

Don't Copy This Headline (tm)

then the law has been broken - period!

I hate it when people try to boil everything down to black and white. The law and principles of copyright and fair use are a little more complex then that, especially when you're dealing with new applications of it and especially in digital form.

In-ter-est-ting

YouTube has been careful about how and where they monetize their content and have followed fair use precedents pretty carefully. ...

Obviously the full works, ripped stuff is black and white but the impact on fair use and parody definitions may be interesting to watch.

...

>I hate it when people try to boil everything down to black and white.

The lines of demarkation regarding fair use are somewhat grey and blurry I do have to agree, and certainly with the digital age deciding on how to focus those lines of demarkation and then police such is a challenge.

However, in the context of "too expensive or low quality therefor it is OK to copy without permission" it is that simple and black and white.

Of course my other point regarding "it's OK for me to break the copyright of others, but not OK for others to break my copyright" still stands. Something about Cakes and Eating comes to mind.

Not sure fair use applies all that much

Fair use may be squishy, but it has limits. It allows you to quote from a book for review purposes, but it doesn't allow you to rip a chapter out of the book and start selling it. I haven't spent a lot of time at YouTube, but it didn't seem to me that the normal markers of fair use were in evidence. I'm also not sure the DMCA ISP "we didn't know" exception holds up if your whole site is designed to elicit floods of ripped off work. As a general rule, choosing not to look at what you should be looking at does not provide a permanent legal refuge.

Time Warner is right to go to court on this, and it may be more of a bet the company issue than they realize. Attention spans are short, and getting shorter. In the 19th Century, people would go listen to five hours of speeches at political rallies and consider it entertainment. In the mid-twentieth century, people would read 300 page novels or watch two hour movies (without a aingle explosion or special effects montage) and consider it lightweight stuff. Today, thirty minutes is a marathon, and there are plenty of entertainment forms that don't push the three minute barrier.

If the law develops so that people can rip the best two minutes out of a 60 minute show, post them online without bothering with original review or commentary, run ads on them, and make most of the money that is to be made, there's not much point in being Time Warner.

Beyond that, all that Time Warner and the other big mediaplexes are is middlemen. They aren't the creative guys. They cut deals with the creative guys, package the work, and market it. If the audience moves to YouTube (partly pulled there by the content Time Warner and their peers control today that appears on YouTube, legally or not) they quit being necessary middlemen. To use a term from Web 1.0, disintermediation becomes an option, and the creative guys can keep more of the cash by cutting their deal straight with Google/YouTube. (You see it already with writers - how many guys are making a living off blogs or independent websites that a generation back would have had no option other than working for a publisher? Lots, I'd say. YouTube makes that possible for short video, which is where the video world is heading).

Given that the folks running Time Warner these days are dumb as musk oxen, I'm guessing that they don't see any long term issues or need to commit to an aggressive, long term legal strategy. They will talk lawsuits, settle cheap, call it a brilliant deal, give themselves all raises, and let Google establish the law they way they want to establish it.

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