In The News

New MPAA Chief Senator Chris Dodd Delivers Inaugural State of the Industry Speech

By Senator Chris Dodd
March 29, 2011

In his inaugural speech as CEO and Chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA), Senator Chris Dodd gave the keynote address at the National Association of Theatre Owners’ CinemaCon.  Senator Dodd asked Congress to help protect intellectual property and crack down on those websites that profit from the illegal trafficking of counterfeit works:

"It is critical that we aggressively educate people to understand that movie theft is not just a Hollywood problem. It is an American problem. Nearly 2.5 million people work in our film industry. The success of the movie and TV business doesn’t just benefit the names on theater marquees. It also affects all the names in the closing credits and so many more –middle class folks, working hard behind the scenes to provide for their families, saving for college and retirement.”
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Google Book Search: Using Mass Piracy To Dominate Internet Markets and Cripple
Law-Abiding Competition Held Unfair, Unreasonable, and Illegal

By Thomas Sydnor
March 23, 2011

To the surprise of almost no one, in The Authors Guild v. Google, Inc., the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York utterly rejected Google’s attempts to use its Google Book Search Project—its  broadside attack on the international norms and laws defining the exclusive rights of authors—to permanently cripple all present or future challenges to Google’s dominance of the markets for internet search and advertising.  But many may be surprised that a different judge in the same district recently authorized similarly appalling conduct by Google in Viacom v. YouTube.
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Viacom/YouTube: Will The 2d Circuit Continue to Shield YouTube from Liability under the DMCA for Welcoming Infringement On Its Site?

by Andrew Berger

The Viacom/YouTube copyright infringement case is a classic, 4-year fight between two media goliaths that is now at the Second Circuit.
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Viacom Replays Copyright Claims in YouTube Appeal

by Michael Liedtke

Viacom Inc., the owner of MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, is trying to revive a federal lawsuit that seeks more than $1 billion in damages from YouTube for showing tens of thousands of pirated video clips from its shows.
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Viacom's Appeal in the YouTube Case - Analysis

by Eriq Gardner

Viacom has just filed its much-anticipated appeal of a district judge's decision to dismiss its $1 billion copyright infringement lawsuit against YouTube.
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Grokster Redux: Why the Summary-Judgment Ruling in Viacom v. YouTube Should Be Reversed

by Thomas D. Sydnor II

In Viacom Int'l, Inc. v. YouTube, Inc., U.S. District Judge Stanton held that because the original founders of YouTube had responded to takedown notices, they were protected against monetary civil liability for copyright infringement by the § 512(c) "safe-harbor" created by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (the "DMCA")-even if they were also intentionally inducing mass copyright piracy just like the defendants in MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd. For at least two reasons, Judge Stanton's Viacom Opinion should be appealed and reversed.
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Viacom v. YouTube: Can YouTube Welcome and Profit From Infringing Activity and Then Claim Not to Know About It?

by Andrew Berger

Is Judge Stanton's decision in Viacom v. YouTube vulnerable on appeal? You bet. Before I explain why some background.
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Viacom v. YouTube: A Missed Opportunity

by Scott A. Zebrak, National Law Journal

The recent Viacom v. YouTube litigation was an opportunity to meaningfully clarify the contours of acceptable and unacceptable behavior by so–called "user–generated content" sites toward copyrighted works. Unfortunately, on June 23, a federal district judge in the Southern District of New York missed that opportunity, granting the video–sharing site YouTube LLC (now owned by Google Inc.) a complete victory. The extreme ruling is the latest in a disturbing trend of one–sided interpretations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in favor of service providers, to the detriment of copyright holders.
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Viacom V. YouTube: The Rest of the Story

by Cory Andrews, Washington Legal Foundation

Unfortunately, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York yesterday rendered a decision that effectively grants blanket immunity to website operators who tolerate and profit from copyright infringement.
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Google Wins Round One Against Viacom

by Ronald A. Cass,

Legal rights that protect property are cornerstones of successful societies. Freedom to take what others have built--the rule of pirates--undermines them. In the film Pirates of the Caribbean, when Keira Knightly's character seeks to invoke the Pirate's Code, Geoffrey Rush (the Pirate Captain) explains that he need not keep to the letter of the law--for pirates, the Code isn't a set of binding rules, "just guidelines, really." On Wednesday one judge treated a legal provision designed to protect property rights without going overboard in much the same way--as just guidelines, really. But what makes a good movie line doesn't make good law.
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Viacom v. YouTube: Why Are We Re-Litigating Grokster?

by Thomas Sydnor, The Progress & Freedom Foundation

"Again?" That was my reaction when I read the Opinion and Order issued last night by Judge Louis Stanton in Viacom v. YouTube. How ironic that the original YouTube--the "video Grokster" will now force the re-litigation of a minor variation of the same question answered unanimously by the Supreme Court in MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd. But so be it. I've seen this movie already. I think I know how its sequel ends.
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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. Full Story

Why Viacom Likely Wins Viacom-Google Copyright Appeal

by Scott Cleland, Precursor Blog

Viacom is likely to ultimately prevail in its appeal of the lower Court decision in the seminal Viacom vs. Google-YouTube copyright infringement case.
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Viacom v. YouTube: A Disappointing Decision, But How Important?

By Ben Sheffner, Copyrights & Campaigns

I've now had a chance to re-read and digest last week's summary judgment ruling in Viacom v. YouTube. A few thoughts:
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DGA Statement Regarding Viacom-YouTube Lawsuit

by Taylor Hackford, President

The DGA is troubled by the judge's decision to shield copyright-infringing websites based on his interpretation of the safe harbor provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
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Objecting to the Increasing Burden on Copyright Owners and Creators

by Patrick Ross, Executive Director The Copyright Alliance

How did we find ourselves in a world where a group of venture-funded entrepreneurs can knowingly build a business model off of the display of unauthorized copyrighted works, be on the record as knowing that their cash flow would stem almost solely from this infringement, and still get off the hook as long as they took works down after being notified by the copyright owner? What are the implications of this world not just for producers of television shows and motion pictures, but for creators of all stripes?
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PFF's Sydnor Says All Lose with YouTube Court Order

by Thomas Syndor, The Progress & Freedom Foundation Blog

Judge Stanton held that federal law creates a "safe harbor" that protects not only criminal conduct, but criminal racketeering enterprises. That result made no sense in Grokster, and it makes no sense today. In doing so, Stanton's decision endangers consumers, hosting services, and artists–it leaves everyone worse off.
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Takedowns and Daiquiris: Viacom v. YouTube Hosts a Grokster Reunion

by Thomas Syndor, The Progress & Freedom Foundation Blog

"The genuinely tragic case Viacom v. YouTube is now hosting a new amicus brief filed ""in Support of the Defendants." In it, familiar arguments made by familiar amici illuminate both the illegality and the immorality of what can be called the "takedowns-and-daiquiris" interpretation of the "hosting-service safe harbor" enacted in § 512(c) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act,
(the "DMCA")."
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Viacom's Friends Lend Support in YouTube Case

by Ben Sheffner, Copyrights & Campaigns

"Two groups supporting major copyright owners have filed amicus briefs in support of Viacom in its copyright suit against Google and YouTube."
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Google's Blind Side

by Ronald A. Cass, Forbes

"Much like bits of light poking through the volcanic ash clouds over Europe, bits of information are emerging from the lawsuit pitting Viacom and other copyright owners against YouTube and Google."
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Viacom v. YouTube: Internet Piracy Destroys Creativity

by Thomas Sydnor, Huffington Post

"Was YouTube, the popular video-streaming website founded in 2005, originally built on copyright piracy? That question lies at the heart of the lawsuit brought by Viacom, the creator of wildly popular television shows and first-run movies against YouTube and Google, which bought YouTube in 2006 for almost $1.8 billion."
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Caught Between Cool, Copyright & Commerce

by Susan Butler, Music Confidential

"When I recently asked several executives why, in their opinions, joint technology and music innovations are not further along in the marketplace, they said one reason is that no one trusts each other."
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YouTube's Original Sin

by Farhad Manjoo, Slate

"The video site danced with the devil to get a massive traffic boost. Now it might pay the price."
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The Viacom v. YouTube Briefs: After The Dust Has Settled

by Ben Sheffner, Copyrights & Campaigns

"I just wanted to make a few points that I think have gotten lost among all of the attention (justifiably) paid to the loads of interesting factual revelations gathered in the course of three years of intense discovery."
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The Opening Viacom v. YouTube Summary Judgment Briefs: Some First Thoughts

by Thomas Sydnor, The Progress & Freedom Foundation

"I wanted to post a few preliminary reactions. First, the procedure that the Court and parties are using (simultaneous filing of cross-motions for summary judgment) tends to have real benefits."
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YouTube Emails are a Plaintiff's Best Friend

by Richard Waters, FT.COM/TECHBLOG

"The latest round in the heavyweight Viacom v YouTube slugfest has clearly gone to Viacom. Google fought to keep evidence filed in Viacom's copyright infringement case sealed, but failed."
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YouTube Founders E–mails Focus on Money, Not Copyright

by Kaja Whitehouse, New York Post

"The three guys who founded online video giant YouTube had more than an inkling they might be breaking copyright laws by posting clips of popular TV shows on their Web site"
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Smoking Guns, Dark Secrets Aplenty in YouTube-Viacom Filings

By Nate Anderson, Ars Technica

"Court documents in the $1 billion lawsuit between Viacom and YouTube were unsealed today, finally shedding some light on key questions: did Viacom have "smoking gun" evidence that YouTube was deliberately profiting from 62,637 Viacom clips that were watched more than 507 million times on the site?"
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YouTube Unfair to the Little Guy

by James L. Walker Jr., Managing Partner of Walker & Associates, Connecticut Law Tribune

"There is a strong case that Google and YouTube are really running a TV network over the internet and should be
shut down for airing TV shows and music videos without a license or written permission from copyright owners."
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The Biggest Book Deal Ever Has Lessons For Content Owners in Today's Digital Age

by Sab Kanaujia, NBC Universal Vice President, Digital Product Strategy & Development

"This settlement signifies a major shift for Google, which has basically conceded that information is not free. A precedent has been set for content owners to make a case that they are entitled to a large piece of the advertising revenue generated by their content used by Google and other Internet search engines."
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Liberty and Property: Human Rights and the Protection of Intellectual Property

by Hon. Ron Cass. Washington Legal Foundation, Critical Legal Issues Working Paper Series

"These efforts stand in the same position as taking private property without compensation or depriving individuals
of their right to the fruits of their own labor."
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The Viacom–YouTube Privacy Order

by Randy Picker, The University of Chicago Law School Faculty Blog

"As we see increasing efforts of online content providers to engage in behavioral advertising, we are going
to need to work our way through the ramifications of the databases that make ad-targeting possible."
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Can Anyone Survive in the New Media Environment?
Building a Healthy Ecosystem Through Stewardship

Speech given by Thomas Rubin, Chief Counsel for IP Strategy, Microsoft Corporation

"The real question is: Are we creating a healthy and sustainable new media ecosystem for anyone, old or new?"
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Pay Me for My Content

by Jaron Lanier, New York Times

"INTERNET idealists like me have long had an easy answer for creative types – like the striking screenwriters in Hollywood – who feel threatened by the unremunerative nature of our new Eden: stop whining and figure out how to join the party!"
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Viacom Speech at the Fourth Annual U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Anti-Counterfeiting and Piracy Summit

by Philippe Dauman

"In a global, digital marketplace, creative works, formulations and designs – all manner of intellectual property in every industry imaginable, from computer software to designer women's wear – can potentially be accessed and reproduced at the click of a mouse. The entertainment industry may be at the bow, but we are all in the same boat."
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Our Case Against YouTube

by Michael Fricklas, Washington Post

"Protecting intellectual property spurs investment and thereby the creation of new technologies and creative entertainment.
This creates jobs and benefits consumers. Google and YouTube wouldn't be here if not for investment in software and technologies spurred by patent and copyright laws. It's time they respected them."
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Creative Minds Deserve Common-Sense Legal Protection

by Ronald A. Cass, San Jose Mercury News

"Viacom's fight against Google/YouTube isn't one to prevent the growth of new media. Instead, the fight is to ensure that those who create the products that make media attractive, new and old alike, can secure the returns from their creations. The law rightly favors creators over takers - because without the creators, there wouldn't be much to take."
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The Case Against YouTube; Technology Has to Have Room to Grow, But Not at All Costs

by Douglas Lichtman, Los Angeles Times

"...the law cannot condemn an entire technology merely because on occasion it will be abused. Copyright law must draw a balance. It must improve technologies without banning them; it must set penalties to discourage willful infringement without destroying incentives to pursue even borderline technologies. Copyright courts, in short, must wield scalpels, not axes."
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Copyright Must be Respected as Culture Goes Online

by Thomas Rubin, Financial Times

"...we cannot succeed in meeting these challenges by cutting legal corners and ignoring the rights of copyright holders. Rather, the technology and content industries should continue to work together to create consumer-friendly solutions that nurture rather than undermine the incentives for creativity so vital to sustaining our culture."
Full Story vs and the Value of Hosting of Gootube

by Mark Cuban, Blog Maverick

"YouTube proponents want everyone to believe that every impression is a new found impression that can only benefit the brand. Others, myself included believe the opposite. That the last thing you ever want is for another entity, that is completely out of your control, becoming the defacto manager of your brand."
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Gootube Terrorizes Copyright Owners by Withholding Filters

by Mark Cuban, Blog Maverick

"...Gootube has taken the arrogant position with big media that "You can't stop us. You can't stop people from uploading your copyrighted materials and if you want us to, you have to do a deal with us". With the little copyright owner who feels their work has been illegally hosted on Google Video they simply try to intimidate them."
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You Go Viacom!

by Mark Cuban, Blog Maverick

" piratebays run amok on Gootube. People take ownership of shows and even genres and upload the same show(s) over and over , switching IDs when the previous ID is cancelled. They are there working just like piratebay and bit torrent trackers, switching IDs rather than having to change servers or URLs. Bottom line is that Gootube is a haven for pirates operating under Gootubes cloak of respectability."
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