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Coalition Condemns Google Ruling

by Ted Johnson, Variety

Another org has weighed in against the U.S. District Court's Google decision in favor of YouTube: It's Arts+Labs, which was launched several years back to bridge the Silicon Valley-Hollywood divide. The coalition of creative and tech companies includes partners Viacom (which lost the suit), Microsoft, Songwriters Guild of America, JibJab, NBC Universal, Cisco and AT&T.

Mark McKinnon, its co-chairman (along with Mike McCurry), said in a statement: "The outcome of the Viacom lawsuit against YouTube, if left standing, would be a blow to creative rights in the world's foremost creator and exporter of intellectual property. The result may work well in the short run for websites like YouTube and Google, but would never work for the creators who have had to either pay them what amounts to "protection money" or live with widespread theft of their work over these sites.

"This sort of freeloader culture - where websites like YouTube can create a haven for illegal content yet purposely look the other way in order to "pressure premium content owners to change their model towards free" - will not produce a healthy digital economy. Responsible Internet participants understand this and come together to protect creative rights."