YouTube is Dead

July 11, 2008


Have you heard the news? I got my VistaNews e-zine today to see an article about YouTube being sued by Viacom, the huge media conglomerate that owns MTV, Paramount Pictures, and DreamWorks, and more. Viacom is using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to force YouTube to remove videos that have been posted by users who violated “copyright laws.” Oh, and Viacom wants a billion $$ from Google (who owns YouTube).

You might be thinking “Big deal; so they remove some videos and $1 billion is a spit in the bucket to Google.” Oh did anyone mention that Viacom also wants the login names, IP addresses, and “viewing habits” of every person who watched those videos at YouTube?

Why’d they want this? Deb Shinder of Vista News says:

As part of that lawsuit, Viacom asked for the log-in names and IP addresses of YouTube users and records of who watched what videos. And last week, U.S. District Court judge Louis Stanton granted that request, ordering YouTube to turn over their database logs to Viacom. Despite many protests from organizations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the judge dismissed concerns about user privacy.

If Viacom wins this one, it could open up a much bigger can of worms. A new interpretation of the DMCA safe harbor provision could affect more than just video hosting sites. Web sites that host discussion forums might be held liable for what users post there; this would probably cause many of the online forums to simply disappear.

…There has been no indication at this time that Viacom or anyone else intends to go after the users who watched copyrighted video clips, but who knows?

At the court proceeding, Google gave some lame excuse about privacy concerns, not citing anything with legal teeth to attack the issue. After all, Google does the same thing with our IP numbers and surfing habits! So Google meekly handed over all that information– 12 terabytes of data about everyone who has been watching those videos. No reason given why the U.S. Court and Viacom wants it all.

So they want to watch you watch them. How do you feel about that?

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6 Responses to “YouTube is Dead”

  1. Elliot Says:

    I don’t think these conglomerates could bring youtube down. There are always ready-to-punch holes when it comes to laws pertaining to the net.

    I hope we could be ECbuddies. ^^;

    You also might be interested in joining my contests. You’ll receive a photo taken from the Diamond Mountain in N.Korea. It was taken by me in Summer of 2007. ^^;

    Have a great week ahead! Cheers!

  2. DineometerDeb Says:

    It creaps me out how much our personal data is farmed out and how easily big companies are willing to hand over this data. However; I console myself with the fact that if they want to watch me watch cute kitten videos, then have at it. Hey, why don’t we all bombard Viacom with a list of our favorite cute kitten and funny baby videos?

  3. DirtyLaundryDiva Says:

    I agree with DineometerDeb, it is scary how much of our info is recorded, stored, tracked and the just turned over. It is a blatant violation of privacy!

  4. michellew Says:

    That is disturbing. And apparently, Google didn’t have much if a legal leg to stand on in trying to safeguard YouTube users privacy. Either that or they didn’t really try to, which would be even more disturbing.
    Welcome to big brother nation people.

  5. Andy Says:

    They reached an agreement to anonymize the logs so at the very least, they won’t know who watched them.


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