Fox Entertainment, under the Rupert Murdoch umbrella (along with piracy playground MySpace), has served a subpoena to YouTube to find the identity of the person(s) uploading full episodes of 24 before their air date.
Filed on the basis of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the subpoena includes testimony of Fox Entertainment Group Vice President Jane Sunderland, suggesting that Fox has been unable to determine the video uploaders' identities on its own. The uploaded material could cause Fox "irreparable harm," Sunderland said, but it was not immediately clear if the episodes in question still were posted on the site or perhaps had been removed.
Folks, I'm not sure you understand how serious this is. Fox VP Jane Sunderland says this posting could do irreparable harm.
irreparable - impossible to repair, rectify, or amend
Jack: This is Jack
Jane: Jack...this is Jane. I'm afraid we have a situation. It seems someone has posted episodes of 24 on YouTube before their official air date. I'm sure you understand that this could cause us irreparable harm, and our lively hood and that of every single Fox employee hangs in the balance. Not to mention this is also completely Un-American...and likely some form of terrorism.
We've served them with a subpoena, but so far we aren't seeing any cooperation. Every second counts here Jack...we need you to go over to Google and do what you do best.
Jack: Who are the targets?
Jane: Chad Hurley and Stephen Chen. I'm sending their photos and coordinates to you now on your PDA.
Jack: Got it. I'm on my way.
Jane: Jack...I can't stress to you how serious this is...and how dangerous it could be. The people there are rabid Anti-American Birkenstock wearing brainiacs, with no respect for copyright. You'll be walking into a hostile environment. You know if things take a turn for the worst, we'll have to deny everything...you'll be on your own...
Jack: I know the drill...
Jane: Good luck Jack. I...I love you.
Good lord...why am I wasting my time on blogging when I should be in television?
Let's ratchet back the phraseology here shall we. While I agree we can't just have people posting stuff they don't own, especially before the air date...thus ruining the surprise for all of us poor bastards who are waiting patiently for the next thrilling episode of Jack Bauer throwing up on someone's mailbox...I have yet to see a single media company suffer irreparable harm from a YouTube posting...unless it came from their own stupidity. Obviously this is an internal leak of some kind...and I'm guessing that Google will not fight this one.
I do find the delicious coincidence of a company who has raised the ire of many a media company through MySpace, going to court over piracy concerns...deeply entertaining.
Note: The above dialogue between Jane and Jack is a copyright of Alan Graham. Any use of the above scenario or scene in a future episode of 24 is expressly forbidden and Alan Graham will not hesitate in suing Fox Entertainment for it's use or vomiting on their mailbox.