Viacom, Google cut deal on user data

Viacom, Google cut deal on user data

Summary: Compromise in the standoff over YouTube user data in the Viacom v. Google suit.


Compromise in the standoff over YouTube user data in the Viacom v. Google suit. Negotiators for the two companies have forged a deal in which Google hands over the data but without personally identifying information, Reuters reports.

“We have reached agreement with Viacom and the class-action group,” a Google spokesman, Ricardo Reyes, said. “They have agreed to let us anonymize YouTube user data.”

The agreement blanks out IP addresses and YouTube user names.

A few weeks ago, a federal judge ordered Google to hand over the database, and was unimpressed with Google argument that the database would compromise users' privacy.

The deal comports with what Viacom declared in a statement last week:

Viacom has not asked for and will not be obtaining any personally identifiable information of any YouTube user. The personally identifiable information that YouTube collects from its users will be stripped from the data before it is transferred to Viacom.

Topics: Google, Social Enterprise

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  • Viacom, Google cut deal on user data

    Oh this is funny. Google never cared about user privacy before and now that they are going to be sued into oblivion they suddenly care? I hope Viacom hits them where it hurts. Google is going down fast.
    Loverock Davidson
    • Warning: Troll Crossing

      Oh, and please don't feed the trolls.
      • If I see one I'll let you know (NT)

        Loverock Davidson
  • RE: Viacom, Google cut deal on user data

    Ding dong ... the witch is dead!

    ... or at least she is starting to melt!

    Wow ... I would say this is very good news for the entire copyright industry. While potentially inconvenient to YouTube viewers, and understanding the importance of privacy protection in the complex world of the Internet these days, this decision by the judge in the Viacom v. Google/YouTube case in New York may be the best thing that has happened to the copyright industries in this country, and to our overall economy, in practically a decade.

    I have been following this infringment case, and others like it, now for several years. I, for one, am sick and tired of the Google's of the world blaming their own customers for all of the infringing activity that occurs day in and day out over the Google sponsored networks. Who do you think gains the most financially from these obvious infringements - Google or the poor smuck in Louisville who does not have a clue what is right or wrong, let alone what is infringing and what is not?

    In fact, if it is true that an individual typically adapts his or her production and viewing habits from what they see and are taught by the larger media, entertainment, Fortune 500, and technology companies in this country ("if this weren't legal, certainly mighty Google wouldn't encourage it as they do or run AdSense ads on the infringing sites, and Exxon/Mobile wouldn't be placing ads on the sites that are displaying the "shared" works, either") then who do we really have to blame for this chaos? You guessed it.

    It is an unfortunate reality today that many of the copyright defense lawyers, and their publicly financed clients out to make the big bucks regardless of the rules, have made a mockery of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (the DMCA), which was signed into law in 1998 by President Clinton. Like the music industry has learned in the school of hard knocks (aka "the real world"), it is virtually impossible today to hold the middlemen in these unlawful Internet distribution channels and networks accountable. So, what do the copyright companies have to do to protect their valuable property? Go directly after the often innocent "end users" who are often sucked into this game, more often unknowingly than not. It is shameful.

    Perhaps this New York court decision will help to turn those tides.

    Google enables widespread copyright infringement activity like no other company on this planet. Google subsidizes entire networks of infringers through it Adwords and AdSense marketing and advertising programs. Google facilitates willful copyright infringement. Google enables widespread copyright infringement. Day in and day out. Google causes enormous damages to legitimate copyright holders every second of every single day. Google has been doing this for years. They earn a substantial portion of their overall revenue and profits by sponsoring illegal activities over the Internet. And their operations outside the U.S. are far more egregious than the infringement activity we see referenced in this Viacom case, which is largely within our borders.

    I, for one, have had enough. Baseless, if not ludicrous, excuses and piracy defense strategies, implemented by what used to be some of the finest copyright law firms in this country - "fair use", "safe harbor", "no harm", "unclean hands", "de minimus damage", "copyright misuse", "DMCA safeguards", "willful blindness", "laches", and on and on, can drag these cases on for years - haven't we seen it all?

    What do the legal terms all mean in Google's true vernacular? How about this. "We are big. We are powerful. We can do anything we damn well please. Quit complaining, copyright owners, or we'll cut you off from all the online revenues streams, as well". Better yet, "... if you don't conform, we'll simply run some of this stuff from our operations in Brazil , Russia , India , and China (those BRICS have plenty of money), and let them beam the content back here to the states."

    Aren't you tired of watching Google hide behind the skirt-tails of their customers. "They were the ones who loaded the illegal videos onto our system, not us." Or , better yet, "how were we to know that Bart Simpson and the Spice Girls weren't already in the 'Public Domain'?"

    Is Google alone in this? Unfortunately, the answer is no. Microsoft, AOL, Yahoo, and others are moving as fast as they can to mimic and duplicate Google's cash cow system, whether the law is violated or not. Cash is the king. And copyrights from the creative industries are not the only victims. Haven't you seen lately, similar claims (and penalties) levied against these giant Internet companies for their advertising efforts to support, or even subsidize in many cases, the distribution of harmful pharmaceutical drugs and counterfeits over the Internet, sponsor illegal gambling and pornography web sites, and many others too numerous to mention. Billions and billions and billions of dollars every single month.

    "What do you expect us to do, your honor. Try out every single drug our customers illegally deliver just because we provide the advertising revenues for them to survive?"

    This kind of unlawful activity not only helps to destroy our economy, it breaks down the moral fiber of our society. What makes you think this young generation that has grown up witnessing these wide scale unlawful activities delivered to them (usually "free of charge") via the Internet, will be able to draw a distinction between the virtual world and the physical world where STEALING is concerned as they get older and have to put food on a table full of their own babies and elderly parents? The jury is still out on that one.

    I applaud the nerve, and the intelligence, of the judge up there in New York who presides over this case between Google and Viacom. Maybe your recent ruling will cause all of these Internet parasites to wake up and see the error of their ways before it is too late for all of us.

    As a pleasant footnote to copyright holders. Do you think the judge would have allowed the complete user logs of YouTube to be released in this case if the outcome of this case was not leaning in Viacom's direction? I certainly do not. This may, indeed, be one of the most important weeks in the history of protecting the original works of copyright owners in this country ... one of the few absolute rights that was guaranteed to all of us in our Constitution over 200 years ago.

    Congratulations New York . Congratulations copyright holders. It must feel good to know you have some judges up that way have your best interests at heart in enforcing our critically important (and "endangered") copyright laws and maintaining the delicate balance between managing and policing unbridled growth (i.e. "growth at ANY cost") over the Internet and maintaining our vital and long standing ethical, moral, and legal business practices going forward, while looking out for your best interests.

    ... which old witch ... the wicked witch!

    George P. Riddick, III
    Imageline, Inc.