Monday, May 10, 2010

Viacom's friends lend support in YouTube case

Two groups supporting major copyright owners have filed amicus briefs in support of Viacom in its copyright suit against Google and YouTube:

The first, filed on behalf of a coalition including ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, Disney, NBC Universal, Warner Bros., and others, makes three main points:
  1. Congress enacted the DMCA to combat -- not protect -- copyright infringement;
  2. The DMCA Section 512(c) safe harbor does not provide a defense to inducement liability; and
  3. Section 512(c)(1)(B)'s language denying the safe harbor where a site derives "a financial benefit directly attributable to the infringing activity, in a case in which the service provider has the right and ability to control such activity," should be interpreted consistent with the "right and ability to control" standard from common law vicarious liability.
The second, from the free market-oriented Washington Legal Foundation, focuses on the legislative history and purpose of the DMCA's safe harbors, arguing that the law mandates a "shared responsibility" among copyright owners and online service providers in addressing infringement, and does not relieve sites like YouTube of all obligations to fight illegal use of others' works, especially while profiting from it.

Disclosure: I work at NBCU and have written an article for WLF, though I was not involved in filing either of these briefs.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments here are moderated. I appreciate substantive comments, whether or not they agree with what I've written. Stay on topic, and be civil. Comments that contain name-calling, personal attacks, or the like will be rejected. If you want to rant about how evil the RIAA and MPAA are, and how entertainment companies' employees and attorneys are bad people, there are plenty of other places for you to go.