Update: July 17, 2007
Thanks for visiting this site, but it is no longer being updated. I've moved on over to http://www.mediapundit.net/
and I invite you to join me over there from now on. Thanks for your understanding.
Google's YouTube in Trouble Over 24
Thursday, January 25, 2007 - reddit
tv.com is reporting (via eweek.com) that YouTube has been served with a subpoena by 20th Century Fox over a number of full-length episodes there were available on the site, including hit drama 24, and long-past-its-time-and-should-have-been-canceled-years-ago cartoon comedy The Simpsons. I've seen this on the site before with Prison Break. Because YouTube instituted a 10-minute length limit to keep people from doing precisely this, people simply broken the episodes into 10-minute long pieces, and uploaded them in series.
I've seen this on the site before with Prison Break. Because YouTube instituted a 10-minute length limit to keep people from doing precisely this, people simply broken the episodes into 10-minute long pieces, and uploaded them in series.
It's not hard to find this stuff, because it' so popular it often lands right on the front page of the site and in the featured video list. In the case of 24, one of the episodes was uploaded to YouTube a day before it even aired on the broadcast network. However you may feel about the situation, there is no way Fox can tolerate this kind of piracy, it is an entirely different ballgame than sharing this stuff over bittorrent. Says tv.com:
YouTube declined to comment on the issue. Fox confirmed it had served a subpoena to YouTube and another video site, LiveDigital, which also had the 24 episodes on it.
This paradigm is going to have to change if it is to survive. One of these media companies is going to say enough is enough, and take Google to court with a full press assault. They won't be in it for the money, and they won't be in it for a settlement. They'll go in with the purpose of getting a victory against video sharing websites on the record so it will set a legal precedent. When a judge gets a look at the system, he or she will come to the same conclusion that the Napster judge did.
It doesn't matter if the service reacts swiftly to remove the infringing material, if it just comes right back and people can circumvent the systems in place to screen this stuff out -- if there even are any -- then the judge will say that the system cannot continue to operate as is, and he will shut YouTube down. If they fall, the others will go even faster. This isn't like taking down a bittorent index site, those things can be run on the cheap with donations and ingenuity. Video hosting sites need venture capitalist financing, or they will die off in a matter of days.
I think this entire ordeal is inevitable. The reason Google Video is boring and subservient to YouTube is the same reason YouTube will eventually find itself on the wrong end of a judgment: GV doesn't have all the illegal but interesting content.
tags: Television, YouTube, Google, Copyright Infringement, Entertainment, Video, Piracy, Lawsuits, Legal
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