IMHO (in my honest opinion) I think video hosting sites like YouTube and Google Video are in fact committing “massive” copyright infringement.
Give me a second here to make the case. You see, in the electronic world we live in it is very easy for even the dumbest computer users to copy a TV show, make some modifications and upload it on YouTube. One very interesting copyright violation is where people make their own video and then put a favorite song in the background – depending on the use of the video this can constitute a copyright violation. When people do this and just make a home video and keep the video at home this most likely qualifies as “fair” use. And on top of being fair, you didn’t make any money off the song you put in your home video.
But when you uploaded it to YouTube or Google Video, those companies put advertisement next to the video because of course you are popular and people will watch your video and they might even click one of the advertisements and then indeed YouTube and Google make money. Let’s say you created a very popular video that combined several pieces of copyrighted video and audio that got, say, 100,000 views. Google and YouTube know without any doubt that advertisement they placed next to the video you created and uploaded will create what is known as “click-throughs” and their advertisers pay for those click-throughs.
Here is where VIACOM and the copyright holders have a problem with the technology. YouTube and Google are making a hell of a lot of money off the uploaded, copyright ridden material.
Sure, the up-loader is the real “Copyright Violator” but they couldn’t do such a thing if YouTube or Google didn’t provide the technology to do it so easily. IMHO Google and YouTube can not hide behind the Safe Harbor provisions of the updated DMCA, the Digitial Millennium Copyright Act that deals with 21st Century copyright issues such as this.
You know, most people don’t know diddly about Copyright law and I’m no expert either. But at least I do realize that there is such a thing as Copyright and intellectual property protection laws. The average consumer could give a rats-ass about such things. They just want to consume and share events in their lives with their friends. Most of these consumers don’t care about making money so don’t go blaming them. Consumers are consuming a product and right now that product needs to be properly monetized by the providers and the revenue properly assigned to the rightful owners.
The bad guys here are YouTube and Google. It will be interesting to see how this turns out. I’m betting there will be a big out of court settlement with YouTube/Google coming up with some sort of revenue sharing plan.