Skip to comments.Google must divulge YouTube log
Posted on 07/03/2008 8:27:18 AM PDT by LibWhacker
Google must divulge the viewing habits of every user who has ever watched any video on YouTube, a US court has ruled.
The ruling comes as part of Google's legal battle with Viacom over allegations of copyright infringement.
Digital rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) called the ruling a "set-back to privacy rights".
The viewing log, which will be handed to Viacom, contains the log-in ID of users, the computer IP address (online identifier) and video clip details.
While the legal battle between the two firms is being contested in the US, it is thought the ruling will apply to YouTube users and their viewing habits everywhere.
Viacom, which owns MTV and Paramount Pictures, has alleged that YouTube is guilty of massive copyright infringement.
When it initiated legal action in March 2007 the firm said it had identified about 160,000 unauthorised clips of its programmes on the website, which had been viewed more than 1.5 billion times.
Following the launch of its billion-dollar lawsuit, YouTube introduced filtering tools in an effort to prevent copyright materials from appearing on the site.
The US court declined Viacom's request that Google be forced to hand over the source code of YouTube, saying it was a "trade secret" that should not be disclosed.
But it said privacy concerns expressed by Google about handing over the log were "speculative".
The ruling will see the viewing habits of millions of YouTube users given to Viacom, totalling more than 12 terabytes of data.
Viacom said it wanted the data to "compare the attractiveness of allegedly infringing video with that of non-infringing videos."
The EFF said: "The Court's erroneous ruling is a set-back to privacy rights, and will allow Viacom to see what you are watching on YouTube.
"We urge Viacom to back off this overbroad request and Google to take all steps necessary to challenge this order and protect the rights of its users."
The body said the ruling was also potentially unlawful because the log data did contain personally identifiable data.
The court also ruled that Google disclose to Viacom the details of all videos that have been removed from the site for any reason.
What about YouTube deleting pro-life videos at the behest of abortionists?
This is so f**king ridiculous.
Youtube is the ONLY source of a lot of the stuff that people watch!
I love when companies scream “copyright infringement” on something that YOU CAN NO LONGER BUY! Like old sitcoms and stuff.
Yep. Expect that 3 AM knock in the not-distant-enough future.
By users, do they mean gmail user ID, or actually any anonymous user by IP address? If so, this information could be also be used by other inquirers to track those who have viewed political videos as well, or left comments at sites, viewed “rumors” in the news, etc. etc...
They’re already doing this for China, evidently.
Our Founders would not recognize America as is exists today. The Bill of Rights is invalidated if a “US Court” says so.
Viacom owns CBS and is deeply connected to the Clintons via the money chain...
Big Brother is watching us.
First they came for the....
When it happens to FreeRepublic, they'll want to know the ip address of every user who has ever clicked on a FreeRepublic link, how long he or she viewed it before clicking on another FR link, and (if he was a registered user) every comment he ever made on FR (including all the FreepMail he exchanged with other Freepers).
This will be a very, very bad precedent if it stands (I just wish I knew what those odds were).
What does that have to do with this story?
You Tube is so 2007, it is old hat.
This was a stupid decision. I wonder if the judge in that case will now try to get my IP and address from this post...
How does "even money" grab you?
This judge must be taken down, tarred, feathered, and ridden out of town on a rail ~ and as quickly as possible as that can be arranged.
I think I will file an appeal ~
Kinda low. :-(
Another violation of the 4th Amendment (RIP).
The Jihad on Drugs takes another scalp.
I dont really go to youtube much, but I do catch things occasionally from within sites that have embedded things.
I have an account there, why I don’t know, but they can kiss my ass... raiding a home over some kind of watching of a video that MIGHT be “copyright infringement” will get people killed, very quickly.
What I’m confused about here is that the viewer does not download the file, like they would an MPG via file sharing. I know there’s third party aps. that allow it, but as a rule, the clips are streamed. There’s no transfer of data. So, any “infringement” rests on the original uploader, and YouTube, not the file viewer.
So why would they want a “viewer log”.
Oh, and I hope someone puts those final moments on Youtube and calls it “The first shot in the second civil war”.... because I’ll be damned if I let someone raid my home over something as idiotic as that. LOL
And yet, according to the Wall Street Journal today:
“Google Won’t Be Forced
To Turn Over Source Code
July 3, 2008; Page B6
“A federal judge has denied a request to force Google Inc. and Google’s YouTube unit to turn over the computer code at the heart of their search functions in a $1 billion copyright-infringement lawsuit by Viacom Inc. In an order Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Louis L. Stanton in Manhattan granted Google’s request for a protective order barring the disclosure of the source code, which controls the YouTube.com search function and Google.com’s Internet search tool. Google contends the source code is a trade secret and can’t be disclosed without risking the loss of business.”
Source code and viewer log, two very different things.
They are going after the Johns not just the hookers? Also Google/You Tube are the pimps.
If someone is posting Lord of the Rings videos on You Tube I think they/Google/You Tube should be held accountable.
Yes, of course, thank you. Nothing like being condescended to before lunch. I just thought people who read these kinds of stories might be interested in more of the specific details, rather than just the broad gist of what happened as reported by the BBC, which didn’t even bother to identify the court or the judge. But I guess I was wrong. Silly me. Who knew context was a no-no?
That's fine. It will just keep some artists from ever being heard by anyone but themselves and their manager.
There is simply no limit to how dumb the music industry can be. They want to kill all of that free advertising for their product. They want to punish their best customers. They are just stupid with a capital S.
According to the article, "Viacom said it wanted the data to 'compare the attractiveness of allegedly infringing video with that of non-infringing videos.'"
Which seems silly -- there are other ways to get that information. Their actual motives are undoubtedly different. For instance, they may see it as a way to cost YouTube viewers and money.
But Rick Astley is probably owed a lot of royalties by now!
Oh stop. I understand what you’re saying. The two cases = apples and bowling balls.
Viacom is a HUGE licensor. I’ve had much experience with them in the past regarding their “intellectual property” and the rag biz. Things have slowed considerably in the license fee generation department, across the board.
You’re right. Viacom is fishing.
It’s interesting to see how many folks on this thread don’t really seem to care about piffling stuff like copyright laws...
OK, it’s bad that Viacom gets the log. But isn’t it JUST AS BAD that Google HAS the log, which means Google already was tracking all of your viewing habits?
Google’s Legal and PR teams are going to learn the hard way just like MSFT did.
They supposedly don’t care about each individual. What they want to do is compare the viewing habits of all the individuals. They want to be able to show how many times their stuff was viewed, and also compare the relative number of views for their stuff vs other stuff.
What they want to show is how many people google allowed to view their copyrighted material, probably so they can claim a per-view fee. And they want to show that a substantial number of views were for copyrighted material, to suggest that 30% of google’s business (for example) was directly derived from Viacom’s property.
The purpose there I presume is to claim that percentage of Googles total ad revenue, plus damages.
They want to show that Google is personally benefitting from allowing the Viacom copyrighted material.
One thing is pretty much undisputed — there was a LOT of copyrighted material put on YouTube.
Good thing this isn't China. Google would be squealing like a pig.
It is the same case.
Google also keeps such tabs on google searches. Why?
The only way to not be forced to hand over such information is not to collect just notes on users’ habits to begin with.
The same could be said of the bookstore that had records of what books were sold to what customers.
It came into play a decade ago when Starr requested the records of what books Monica Lewinsky had purchased, to help confirm a detail from one of the phone calls, if I recall.
Privacy rights advocates vented against Starr. I don’t recall any privacy rights advocates taking the bookstore to task for doing the same thing they accused Big Brother of doing.
Their staff has ENCOURAGED posting of MTV programming content to YouTube without individual approval. They wanted "water cooler" moments spread through viral email networks (you get it, laugh, and send it to a friend).
(MTV) Video Awards Seek Jolt From Crowd and Internet (hoping for anarchy and chaos?) (NY Times Published: August 24, 2006 By BEN SISARIO)
He should be encouraged at all points to storm the stage and to create a television moment that people will talk about at the water cooler the next day, said Hamish Hamilton, one of the producers. Or even better, that people will download and put on YouTube the next day.
There is already a display of the number of times the clip has been viewed. Viacom does not need the records to obtain that information.
There are also individuals' clips that have been uploaded to Youtube and then rebroadcast on The Tonight Show and other programs and even tv ads. Somehow I doubt that some of the creators of those clips were paid initially by the rebroadcaster for their work.
Even if they have a court order?
This is the jihad on intellectual property rights violation. Not the war on drugs.
Legalize every drug and you’d still find Big Media knocking on your door late at night and raiding flea markets in ATF/FBI style jackets that say RIAA (they do this already by the way).
Around here, that’s usually when they come for those sort of things. I guess they figure there’s a better chance of you being home and half-asleep. Maybe they think you’re aim will be off if they shine bright lights in your face.
Of course. Viacom is looking for a RIAA type payday. Like the previous poster said, they’re fishing. If they want to know how often a particular clip is viewed, there’s a view counter on each clip.
I seriously doubt any of their properties are viewed more than the private poster nonsense. The YouTube junkies I know are not looking for clips of M*A*S*H or What’s Happening. There’s a whole slew of independent director/editor types these viewers subscribe to.
“One thing is pretty much undisputed there was a LOT of copyrighted material put on YouTube.”
Certainly is. And a diligent property holder will get YouTubes complete cooperation in removing that material, once brought to their attention.
It is. I was not using “case” as in ‘law suit’.
I guess I’m mostly worried about the precedent it sets.
What happens when they come for FR’s logs and Pelosi and Reid want to review everything you’ve ever said here, to see if you’ve crossed any lines, or broken any politically correct guidelines and need to be sent to a re-education camp?
You think that law enforcement, armed with Google logs and a court order are going to show up at 3:00 AM to see if you have downloaded and/or viewed some of Viacom’s (or anybody’s) “intellectual property” obtained from YouTube?