From its earliest days, YouTube was constructed on a foundation of three things — hilarious kittens, stupid teenagers and dancing babies. But now that YouTube plays host to the likes of Oprah, heaven forbid any of your videos have Sony music playing in the background, lest the copyright police come after you.
Sorry Viacom! A judge has handed YouTube a victory in the $1 billion copyright lawsuit that the entertainment company brought against Google/YouTube. Viacom’s position was that YouTube had the responsibility to immediately remove all copyrighted materials. YouTube said it only had to comply with takedown requests.
Last week Constantin Films got YouTube to pull almost all the Angry Hitler parody clips by using the website’s Content ID tracking system. The process is automatic, and YouTube immediately takes down a video once it’s been tagged. However, that also means you can use this system in reverse to get your clips back up, at least for as long as you’re in dispute with the copyright holder. Whether you do this or not will depend on how willing you are to risk a potential lawsuit later on.
It’s a showdown of new media and sorta-old media as YouTube defends itself against Viacom in the TV leviathan’s billion-dollar copyright infringement lawsuit against the site that showed the world that cats can indeed play the piano.
New York City area cable provider and ISP Cablevision is in a contract renewal fight with yet another content provider. This time, it’s ABC’s flagship broadcast station WABC that wants more money, and Cablevision has raised the stakes in the passive-aggressive public service announcement wars. They’ve redirected customers’ cable boxes to a special channel where a looped announcement plays, and have started a YouTube channel to get the word out to any non-customers who might happen to care.
Tomorrow, YouTube will start renting online movies at $4 for 48 hours. At launch, the selection will consist of five titles from the upcoming Sundance Film Festival, says the Associated Press, but Google hopes to get studios on board in the coming months. Studios will be able to set their own prices and rental periods, however, should they participate.
Dexter, pictured, had better get his credit card ready, because if Google-owned YouTube enacts its diabolical master plan, he’ll have to start paying monthly to get his entertainment fix. The Business Insider reports YouTube is formulating a pricing strategy to comfort greed-mongering studios:
Remember that Domino’s Pizza, the one in North Carolina where Kristy and Michael recorded themselves doing gross things to the food? The Charlotte Observer has reported that the location has gone out of business, at least for now—”closed signs have been placed in the windows and the phone has been disconnected.”
Want to see a bunch of corporate executives apologizing? Thanks to the magical internet, now you can!
Earlier this week, we posted an email from a frustrated Qwest customer who said he couldn’t download YouTube and other online videos at a speed equivalent to the Qwest service he was paying for. Qwest wrote to us, and spoke to the customer, and swore they were not interfering with any download rates. Instead, it looks like the problem is with OpenDNS, a free service that usually speeds up downloading, but that seems to have an issue when it comes to certain video streams.
Update: It turns out the problem is with OpenDNS, not Qwest. The original post is below.