May 03, 2007 |
Two months ago, a big disturbance was detected in the world of online media. Viacom, an old media giant, stated that it was suing Google, a company also worth billions upon billions of dollars, for allowing copyright infringement to go unchecked on the $1.65 billion dollar video site it picked up. For the most part, Google’s response has been muted, and there have only been vague notices as to deliberations behind closed doors.
At the close of April, however, Larry, Sergey, & Co., hit back at Redstone & Co, calling the suit filed in March “unfounded,” and is quite confident that “the law [is] on its side.”
This doesn’t mean Google is snubbing Viacom and allowing YouTube’s users to upload Viacom-owned content at leisure without paying any attention at all. Only, Google is stating that, according to the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act), it can stand safely behind “’safe harbor’ provisions” which declare website owners “not liable for copyright material uploaded by others” as long as the owner studiously removes said content from its servers “promptly.”
Does Google have a strong leg upon which to stand? It could go either way, really. There’s no clear way for Viacom to document whether Google carelessly allowed it’s copyrighted media to be uploaded and is attending to the matters specific to Viacom’s material lazily. Google, on the other hand, may not convince the court that it has worked (Not working. Worked.) to keep a close eye on the lawlessness on it’s relatively new acquisition.
Of course, this logically ensures an abundance of doubt to be tossed about the chambers in which this dispute is being fought, which technically gives the upper hand to Big G, but there really are no winners to come out of this mess. There are two big losers, however. One being Viacom, for agitating millions of netizens. Another being you and I, for having to address the agitator and for coping with a legal system so complex as to be a detriment to everyone, including itself.