Print 22 comment(s) - last by ethana2.. on Sep 28 at 12:47 PM

The NLPC is not happy with Google Video

The National Legal Policy Center (NLPC), a large U.S.-based copyright watch-dog group, has conducted an investigation of Google Video and is upset with the results.

Earlier this summer, the NLPC released a top 50 list of illegally posted copyrighted content that was available online. The group rechecked Google Video between September 10 and September 18 and found over 300 more instances of copyrighted material, including 60 movies released this year.

Shrek the Third, Oceans Thirteen, The Bourne Ultimatum, and Knocked Up were among the new titles easily found.

The NLPC says that these 300 apparently pirated films, along with many other copyrighted works, received more than 22 million views in the past year on Google Video.

"While Google faces numerous legal challenges related to the posting of copyrighted content on its video sharing websites, there is a growing chorus who believe that evidence of Google's seemingly indifferent attitude towards internet video piracy has resulted in a legitimization or 'mainstreaming' of video piracy which will have broad and damaging implications for all intellectual property owners," stated the NLPC in a letter to Congress.

The NLPC says its random spot checks have revealed the continual presence of copyrighted material on Google Video over the last year and that the amount of copyrighted content is rapidly growing. The NLPC also notes that Google has never delivered on its promise of filtering technology, which it announced in the fall of 2006.

Google controls a vast amount of the online video content via Google Video and YouTube, which it owns. In July Dailytech reported on YouTube's efforts to crack down on piracy.

The NLPC said that internet piracy theft cost nearly $2.3 billion USD in lost revenue to the US film industry.  They condemned Google's inaction as willful negligence.

The issue of video piracy remains a contentious one.  A large amount of movies and copyrighted works exists for easy, free viewing on YouTube.  Videos are regularly taken down, but they are quickly reposted.  With an increasing amount of media content stored and accessible directly online, copyright law and digital freedoms are frequently clashing, as illustrated by the NLPC's claims.

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For the full study
By JasonMick on 9/27/2007 10:41:25 AM , Rating: 4
For the full report of NLPC's gripes and claims go to the studies:

In response to some posters comments, NLPC's allegations are not that Google refused to remove copyrighted material when asked, but rather that it did not "as actively pursue removing material as it might have".

I know, sort of silly eh? I don't know what kind of legal ground they have...I'm no lawyer, however it's scary to see them putting this out before Congress.

RE: For the full study
By Murst on 9/27/2007 11:10:25 AM , Rating: 2
Something has to be done about this. I generally will not side with the big media companies, but I can kind of see their frustration here.

Suppose you had a video that you've created and you make money from it. Now, you see it go up on youtube. You file a takedown notice, just to see 10 different copies uploaded on the next day. You then file 10 takedown notices, and you see 10 uploads the day after of your exact same video. Its a fight you will never win.

The exact same thing happens to the media companies. The duty of our government is to protect rights, be it the right to life or the right to property. There is clearly a violation to right to property when you cannot get your own video removed from a file sharing site. What's even worse, your competitor (in many ways google competes with media companies) is making money from your own content that has basically been stolen. I just can't see congress sitting and doing nothing.

I will completely agree that there are other issues which come into play, such as pricing, drm, etc. However, two wrongs don't make a right.

RE: For the full study
By SurJector on 9/27/2007 11:52:27 AM , Rating: 5
While I generally agree that something should probably be done, I'd like to remind you that intellectual property is actually not property , even though the MPAA, RIAA, the SCO group and others would like us to believe.

Nobody has any right to infringe on anyone else's intellectual property but doing so is not theft.

Intellectual property is not considered a natural right (in the US of A and more generally in the western countries, don't know for anywhere else). It is a mean that has been given as an incentive to creation. Mind you, I think it is a good thing, but it is not natural and when you see a video on Google, it is not ``clearly a violation to right to property'' but only clearly a copyright infringement.

RE: For the full study
By rcc on 9/27/2007 12:03:02 PM , Rating: 2
oooo, you gotta tell us. What are "natural" rights?

RE: For the full study
By Murst on 9/27/2007 2:32:28 PM , Rating: 2
John Locke's On Liberty . It is a truly amazing book.

RE: For the full study
By Murst on 9/27/2007 2:43:13 PM , Rating: 3
Although intellectual property is not the same type of property as, say, real estate, I do consider it to be property. Anything that can be described as having an owner, a value, and the ability to be transfered from one owner to another would be property.

You're right about theft. In order to steal intellectual property, you'd probably have to deprive the owner of it without their will. Although I guess it would be possible to steal copyrights (as in, do something illegal to get it transfered in your name), simply infringing on it would not deprive the owner of ownership, and hence would not be theft. I should not have used the word "steal" in that context.

As to intellectual property not being a natural right: It is not a natural right any more than the right to education. However, just like the right to education, I believe it could be derived from other natural rights. Also, keep in mind that violating someone's right to property would not necessairly mean depriving them of said property. For example, take trespassing. You're violating their property rights without taking them away. I think copyright infringement is similar to trespassing.

RE: For the full study
By ethana2 on 9/28/2007 12:47:05 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. However, I must say I dislike piracy for its lack of backbone-- instead of changing the world to take advantage of information's nature, they simply take advantage of it themselves, thereby pissing off all the people who don't understand how it works.

I now state that all code created by myself in the future may be assumed to be covered by version 2 of the GNU GPL, and all other art under the CC-BY-SA, unless otherwise stated at the time, at my liability.
...and there's nothing the MaFIA or BSA can do about it.

By Chris Peredun on 9/27/2007 10:28:30 AM , Rating: 2
IANAL, but Google would seem to have a good defense that the pirated content uploaded by end-users isn't their responsibility as long as they are "making a reasonable effort to remove it" - vis-a-vis moderation of forums for illegal content.

Of course, that invites debate about "reasonable effort."

By TheTerl on 9/27/2007 10:34:01 AM , Rating: 3
The article itself is a little ambiguous about the actual study. Does the NLPC claim infringing works remain posted after the content owner has sent a takedown notice? If that is the case, it certainly doesn't bode well for Google. If the NLPC only claims that users continue to upload infringing works, though, I was under the impression that safe harbor provisions make it clear Google is doing nothing wrong. Can anyone clear that up?

By Christopher1 on 9/28/2007 2:59:05 AM , Rating: 1
It appears that their problems is that after they file a takedown notice for one illegal copy of something on Google Video, another illegally copy or several appears within a few minutes or days.

Now, the only thing that Google could do to stop that is to have all posts moderated, but that would twerk a lot of people off and would make Google Video close.

There is just no way to keep things from appearing on Google Video that are copyrighted, and the media companies are just going to have to either keep on filing takedown notices, or just give up and accept that their business model does not work anymore and offer online downloads at a REASONABLE price.

Personally, I wouldn't want to view a movie on Google Video myself, with the degradation from formatting the movie to DIVX or something similar..... but some people would.

By smitty3268 on 9/27/2007 11:49:43 AM , Rating: 2
The DMCA explicitly gives Google immunity as long as they are taking down everything they're notified about and aren't encouraging it.

How powerful are these digital rights watch dogs?
By pauldovi on 9/27/2007 10:35:47 AM , Rating: 2
I fear the political power of these watch dogs. I remember a Dailytech article about the federal law allowing the RIAA to report college's who were the worst offenders on their terms and these schools would be put under sanctions.

We need to rid ourselves of these groups.

Perhaps we need to add a clause to the constitution:

"Separation of digital rights watchdogs and government" :)

By euclidean on 9/27/2007 12:13:16 PM , Rating: 2
exactly....but look how well seperation of church and state has gone...

Wants Google takes over the world, I don't think we'll have these types of problems anymore. :)

By gildan on 9/27/2007 2:34:03 PM , Rating: 2
Separation of church and state doesn't appear in the constitution, it's from a letter by Thomas Jefferson. People cite it (incorrectly) so often that the average American thinks that's actually what's written in the constitution.

One by one viewing.
By Mitch101 on 9/27/2007 1:17:10 PM , Rating: 2
If YouTube is such a cash cow of advertising then they need to staff enough people who can watch or at minimum scan each uploaded video personally and make an educated decision on if its legal content. Maybe even rate/track the ip addresses/accounts of the uploaders. Im sure they will spoof them but most dont upload illegal content.

I know its a huge task but I cant see any technology being able to identify all the movies, commercials, tv, etc out there with a program.

RE: One by one viewing.
By xxeonn on 9/27/2007 2:05:29 PM , Rating: 2
That would be an impossible task for human employees.

<<According to a July 16, 2006 survey, 100 million video clips are viewed daily on YouTube, with an additional 65,000 new videos uploaded every 24 hours.>>

Imagine the amount being uploaded now per day if that was in 2006. Machines would be better at doing that, I herd that google has a Data Center powered by its own hydroelectric plant.

RE: One by one viewing.
By Hacp on 9/27/2007 11:04:08 PM , Rating: 2

Read that. It is possible. Google is making its own system, soon to be available.

By Nik00117 on 9/27/2007 3:58:21 PM , Rating: 2
The poeple who use those services are not the poele you need to worry about. the serious priates are the ones who are watching the DVD verison of a movie a week before it comes out.

Those are the ones you need to hit.

By sscilli on 9/28/2007 12:33:40 AM , Rating: 2
I really don't see what the problem is if Google is removing copyrighted material when they notice it, or are notified about it. With millions of viewers, and thousands upon thousands of videos uploaded each day by individual users it is practically impossible to keep copyrighted material from ever appearing. And who really cares if for a very short period of time some people were able to watch a really crappy copy of a movie, those people were probably not going to buy the movie. And if they enjoyed it I'd say there is probably a higher chance they will go out and buy at better quality when it comes out. They may find another way to download it, but I don't really think that most Google/Youtube users are that familiar with real forms of piracy(otherwise they probably wouldn't even bother watching a full length movie in such a fashion).

By Christopher1 on 9/28/2007 3:02:12 AM , Rating: 1
who really cares if for a very short period of time some people were able to watch a really crappy copy of a movie, those people were probably not going to buy the movie.

Bingo! That is what it amounts to for me as well, if they are really so.... desperate that they are watching a crappy copy of a movie on Youtube that is available for purchase in the United States...... they probably are not going to buy the movie in question at any price or ever.

By Screwuhippie on 9/27/2007 10:37:48 AM , Rating: 2
A-Vast Me Mateys ... if only Google could get its hands on the Black Pearl ... it would never be caught on the open seas ... even the East India Trading Company couldn't vanquish them ... and everyone would keep a wary eye on the horizon.

hide your women and children!! Google is coming!!


RE: Garrrrrrr
By DigitalFreak on 9/27/2007 12:53:56 PM , Rating: 1
Talk Like A Pirate day was a couple of weeks ago...

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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