Friday, December 17, 2010

ViaCom response

I was contacted by Senior Counsel from Viacom in response to my last post who pointed me in the direction of some interesting information on the dispute they are having with YouTube. Most interesting to me is an email exchange where Steve Chen (one of YouTube's co-founders) simply says "steal it" in the context of movies.

ViaCom are claiming that YouTube improperly published 62,637 clips to which they owned the copyright which were viewed over 500,000,000 times.

According to ViaCom Piracy costs the entertainment industry $58 billion per year and the view they take, quite correctly, is that those who invest in content should have the exclusive right to monetise it rather than it being stolen / borrowed by others.

However - the onus is currently on the content owner to notify the pirate / platform such that they are deemed to have specific knowledge of the infringement which is where ViaCom fell down at the first instance. Content owners need to actively police the use of their materials and platforms need to have transparent takedown policies to avoid being shut down - as happened to LimeWire.