Google YouTube copyright 'safe harbor' marriage

Google YouTube copyright 'safe harbor' marriage

Summary: The Google – YouTube marriage is based, in part, on “copyright compatibility.

TOPICS: Google

The Google – YouTube marriage is based, in part, on “copyright compatibility.”

In “Google, YouTube: mulit-billion dollar fair-use risky bets” last month I put forth that the “fair-use” doctrine is critical to Google’s multi-billion dollar business and to YouTube’s hoped for billion dollar valuation”:

Google CEO Eric Schmidt proudly waves the “fair-use” flag in defense of Google’s mission to obtain all the world’s content for free and YouTube directs its online copyright agnostic volunteer army of video uploaders to “fair-use” Websites.

Both Google and YouTube rely on a Web 2.0 crowd pleasing “content must be set freed” stance to garner public support for their self-aggrandizing business models based on obtaining, exploiting, controlling, owning and monetizing others’ content cost-free and on a calculated disregard for certain copyright owners’ rights over their own content.

Google underscored its “copyright compatibility” with YouTube during its joint conference call yesterday, as I discuss in “Google buys YouTube on the ‘cheap’: $1.65 billion in Google stock”:

Is the Google-YouTube marriage a good day for copyright holders? Time will tell.

YouTube mentioned technology filtering capabilities under development—audio fingerprinting and meta data searching—but Google pointed out that the two companies share the same “safe harbor” approach to copyright “protection” (copyright infringement safety?).

The Google –YouTube “safe harbor” copyright infringement safety net will undoubtedly be tested via copyright infringement lawsuits. Google, however, is both fearless and ruthless in its determination to defend its “fair-use” business model in the courts at all costs.

In “Google to Yahoo, Microsoft, Amazon: Hand over confidential, competitive info” I present Google’s latest aggressive copyright maneuvers:

Google will apparently do anything to ensure its $122 billion market cap free-content by Google's “fair-use” business model steam rolls on.

Google is using the courts to force Yahoo, Microsoft and Amazon to hand over their proprietary, confidential, competitive information to Google in a shrewd, Google-centric ploy in its efforts to fight copyright lawsuits over its book-scanning project.

Google’s success in obtaining the world’s copyright content cost-free is due to its link barter “currency,” as I put forth in “A ‘Dire Straits’ Web barter economy?: Links for nothing, content for free”:

Google dangles promises of bountiful search traffic eagerly clicking on news “headlines” and book “snippets.” Google’s promises of link love, however, are merely ephemeral IOUs, without any tangible, guaranteed return on copyright exploitation.

What is certain, however, is that Google gains no-cost access to content, which it can sell ads against.

While the Google link barter model is being emulated throughout the Web, a direct implementation at Google’s YouTube may not be viable.

Google recently celebrated its 8th birthday (see Google: Happy Birthday to us!”) with an online birthday cake saying “The exact date when we celebrate our birthday has moved around over the years, depending on when people feel like having cake.”

Google will undoubtedly be called on to share more of its cake, as I have said:

More and more content owners will undoubtedly be stepping up to the copyright royalties plate to demand their just deserts: large slices of the advertising pies of Google, YouTube…


Topic: Google

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  • Safe harbor provisions have nothing to do with fair use

    The safe harbor provisions has nothing to do with Fair Use. These provisions, codified in section [url=]512[/url] were part of the DMCA, pretty much give web hosting companies and ISPs a free pass on secondary infringement if they follow a system of take-down/counter take down rules assuming they didn't obviously know the material was infringing.

    These laws do not require intensive self policing by the web content hosting companies, impossible as you are not required in any country to register copyrights (In the US you can't sue for infringement and damages are signifigantly reduced if you don't register in a timely manner though) and copyright is automatic whenever you first create anything that is copyrightable, but rather place the responsibilities back onto copyright holders to police their own work.

    In fact stringent self policing would increase rather than decrease the legal liability as the copyright holder could then claim that the web hosting company knew that the material was infringing from the start due to their policy, and didn't take take it down.

    Google video already had the same liabilities as YouTube, well not exactly as YouTube was already being sued by that journalist. That case is also interesting as he failed to send the take down notice and claims that YouTube does not add US copright registration numbers, remember that registering your copyright is not required in any country let alone the US, to their search tags.
    Edward Meyers
  • RE: Google YouTube copyright 'safe harbor' marriage