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Viacom Sued Over YouTube Parody Removal 99

A self aware computer input device writes "Just a week after Viacom sued Google over copyrighted material, Civic Action and Brave New Films LLC have sued Viacom claiming the cable network company improperly asked the video-sharing site YouTube to remove a parody of the network's 'The Colbert Report.' Couple this with the iFilm fiasco reported earlier, and you have to question how a company like Viacom can cry foul when it can't even accurately account for its own copyrighted material."
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Viacom Sued Over YouTube Parody Removal

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  • Re:You Tube link (Score:4, Interesting)

    by _xeno_ ( 155264 ) on Friday March 23, 2007 @08:43AM (#18456999) Homepage Journal

    I dunno, some of it was hilarious:

    We may not have a TV show, but we have something better: online petitions.

    That was hilarious. The rest? Not as much. I think their humor was a little too subtle and poorly executed - the people making the jokes weren't comedians (Al Franken's a politician, right?).

    So, not the funniest thing ever, but still mildly amusing. They were obviously trying to be funny, but didn't quite succeed, and so they sounded more like people who simply didn't get the joke than people who were really just advertising for the Colbert Report.

    Which is obviously why Viacom had to try and take it down. No one but Viacom is allowed to advertise their shows. If you so much as mention their show ... oh crap. Gotta go.

  • Re:Oookay (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Kj0n ( 245572 ) on Friday March 23, 2007 @08:51AM (#18457075)
    In this case you are probably right, but this is not always an (affordable) option. In the past, I had to use Google Video to post a video of an event we held. Our current provider doesn't allow us to host the video ourselves, so I did the next best thing: upload it to Google Video.
  • by BadMrMojo ( 767184 ) on Friday March 23, 2007 @11:40AM (#18459415)
    Excellent post, but I think you missed one option, bolded below:

    The law:
    Copyright violator puts material on website without proper rights to do so.
    Copyright holder complains to website operator.
    Website operator immediately takes down material or files a counter-claim explaining why this is not an infringement .
    Courts, whatever follow.

    To be honest, I can't recall who, if anyone, followed that correctly or incorrectly in this case. Just a small note on the process.

    The real point, however, is what disturbs me.

    Viacom's complaint is exactly what's stated in the headline--that they CAN'T POSSIBLY track all the content they want taken down.
    They want to shift the burden of policing to the website operator.

    IANAL but I have spent a lot of time discussing the details of this with a 3rd-year law student with a copyright class fresh in her mind.

    My primary argument is that the website operator can't possibly police all the 3rd party content they handle either. If this does get taken to Congress rather than the courts, are we looking at a possible amendment which will effectively kill the notion of user-generated content. A site like slashdot would suddenly be legally responsible for accurately reviewing every comment posted, if you take the approach to its logical extreme. Currently there are different standards for search engines vs. hosting services but any amendment could even blur those lines further as well.

    I wish I could say that I have enough faith in our legislative branch to see the obvious logistical impossibility of forcing every website operator to constantly monitor the tubes. . . well. . . You can see how well that will turn out.

10.0 times 0.1 is hardly ever 1.0.