Viacom is trying to break the Internet

Viacom is trying to break the Internet

Summary: According to Google, Viacom's rehashed $1 billion lawsuit against YouTube is a direct threat to the internet as we know it. If the courts ruled against Google in this case, it really would affect the way people communicate.


According to Google, Viacom's rehashed $1 billion lawsuit against YouTube is a direct threat to the internet as we know it. If the courts ruled against Google in this case, it really would affect the way people communicate. Google's response to the re-filed lawsuit says it best:

Viacom’s complaint threatens the way hundreds of millions of people legitimately exchange information, news, entertainment, political and artistic expression.

The problem is that media companies view the internet as a way to broadcast content, while Google, and the rest of the world, sees it as a form of communication. Copyright laws that usually protect broadcast media are somewhat diluted with the existence of the DMCA which puts the copyright problem in the hands of the communicator, not the medium. In that case, since YouTube is only hosting user-submitted content, they are not liable for it -- besides the fact they must remove copyrighted material when asked to.

As Google states, they have gone far beyond their legal obligations with YouTube by investing heavily in the creation of a content filtering system that theoretically should help copyright owners protect their material.

It will definitely be interesting to see how this case unfolds -- what do you think will happen?

Topics: Software, Browser, Enterprise Software, Google, Social Enterprise

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  • 1 billion?

    How did they come up with that?
    Is that a one time fine, after that Google can allow any content on UTube?
    Requiring google to put aside an annual fund to police Utube sounds more reasonable to me.
    Linux Geek
  • The internet isn't fun anymore

    The internet has been going down the tubes for the last ten years.
    There's only a fraction of the things to do on the internet that there were a dozen years ago.

    If it gets any worse, I'm getting rid of the internet.
    I'll use my computer to make videos for myself,
    and play games.
    It's getting to the point where I can find most of what I enjoy seeing on the TV anyway.
    I can live without the internet in it's present condition.
    • really?

      [There's only a fraction of the things to do on the internet that there were a dozen years ago.]
      While some free services are gone or for a fee, overall the internet experience has improved steadily.
      Just think google services and many others.
      Even the online mail has better terms now!
      Linux Geek
      • Lob

        Please do not use the screen name Linux Geek. You are not a geek. You are a goober. We can tell because the previous message went right over your head.
        Robert Hahn
        • Linux Geek

          I agree with Linux. At least he has a valuable opinion "Robert"!
        • Well 'Robert'

          You should give up the internet, too. That way you won't have to deal with goobers and geeks.

          hasta la Vista, bah-bie
    • The Internet

      I love the internet. It has been proven to be a big learning curve for me.
  • RE: Viacom vs millions of PEOPLE


    "The way hundreds of millions of people legitimately exchange information, news, entertainment, political and artistic expression."

    Hope Viacom can read, but it takes common sense and common decency, which some corporations TOTALLY LACK.

    Could that include Viacom...........?????
    • That's the problem when....

      the 'rights' of fictional legal persons (corporations) outweigh
      the rights of legitimate human people - which is the default
      state in the post-American media-legal complex.

      Forget shooting all the lawyers; shoot the CxOs and boards
      of directors first. (Although they're largely lawyers
      themselves, no? Two birds with one bullet - works for me...)
      Jeff Dickey
      • JDicky

        You don't sound very technical!
      • Google is somehow not a corporation? But Viacom is?

        Is everyone smoking the same thing? Is Google somehow not a corporation? Is it somehow not run by executives (ie, people who execute)?

        And where is it written that its a "right" to take other people's IP - whether that's Viacom's tv show, Google's search IP, or this sill article - and use it however you want when the author has forbidden you from doing so? That's a "right of legitimate human people"? And if you make a few billion dollars from that theft - it's still alright?

        • IP isn't always treated as a child you birthed

          Google has definitely got great P.R. turning them into anything but a business behemoth that can stomp competition. With time, they will look like any other company...and possibly a one-note wonder.

          I.P. isn't always recognized as the sole property of the first person to patent/trademark it. We hail it as the cornerstone of society, when it actually the cornerstone of wealthy money profiteering businesses.

          However, society pays various costs to allow IP to flourish. Businesses rarely contribute a fair share to society for providing the infrastructure, law, order, market, and manpower to do anything worthwhile with I.P. Business never really deals with the consequences of their "products." For example, TV manufacturers don't have to maintain landfills to deal with the heavy metals their products are filled with. They only keep the profits. Society foots the bills for the long term costs of how businesses make a profit. Other countries, take a more "socialist" approach, and see any product of the individual as a reflection of their whole society, and as such cannot be owned by one person or company. There is an element in that thinking that is amazing valid, as we are struggling with 100+ years of capitalistic companies producing profit for themselves often at the cost of current and future generations.

          I think we have reached a turning point where the average person can compete with major businesses, and businesses don't like competition, or losing control. Control seems essential to many old-school businesses. They see it as their only hope to survive. Which is why they don't have control for very long.
          • Exactly. And the cost of control goes up exponentially.

            This is what many of these corporations don't realise - the cost of increasing levels of control and intervention go up exponentially the greater they are.

            The key point here is that the corporations want to make money from these control mechanisms, but they want the taxpayer or the communication conduit to foot the bill. They want another entity to pay the cost of the measures that increase their profits.

            Of course, as we have seen time & time again, people will find a way around monopolistic control mechanisms. And the companies/governments enforcing those controls have to spend increasingly astronomical sums of money to thwart those efforts.

            This all tracks back to the consumer, who, when faced with spiralling costs in the products they consume, will simply consume far less, and find new markets to spend their money in. Therefore, in trying to lock down their consumers and force them into a cage to increase their profits, those very measures hasten the death of those entities.
    • ZDnet is to blame...

      ... for the crappy comments. The way these comments are set up stink. Speaking of greedy companies: ZDnet tries to wring out every ounce of advertising dollar from the comments section by placing each comment on its own ad-supported page and just makes it nearly unusable and unfun. Not to mention the autobiography I had to write just to register. Ie, they try to get more, shoot themselves in the foot and end up with much less...
      • ZDNet Is Trying To Break Comments

        ... is how I should have titled that previous comment.
      • Psst..There's A Way Around That....

        But I won't tell!
        • There are a couple of ways...

          But they're classified. If I tell you, I'll have to plonk you...

          Ooooh, dating myself there...
  • RE: Viacom is trying to break the Internet

    Well, it sounds a bit sensational to me... like a good attention-getter. It's actually part of an interesting trend in the legal system where the emphasis is becoming more and more the protection of the business world over the rights of individuals.

    If any of you don't like this trend, DO SOMETHING. It's people acting together that got us freed from the oppressive government of England to begin with. And it's people that decide through action or lack thereof that really determines what happens on Capital Hill.
    • RE: Viacom is trying to break the Internet

      You have nailed it bro! Practically every problem we have today we have allowed by not standing up for our beliefs! As you said: DO SOMETHING! Too bad that isn't in the header of every email regarding such things.
  • RE: Viacom is trying to break the Internet

    The title of this article is amusing, actually -- very amusing. Nothing more...