We've all been wondering when it would happen, and by who. YouTube has been sued by Universal, threatened by Warner Brothers, dodged bullets with lawyers that make "The Matrix" look like an amateur production. But it was only time until one of them got hit - and now YouTube has done its first mass content removal. Thirty thousand videos, roughly
Many of us will find solace in the fact that it was actually not the MPAA to finally corner the site into capitulation. Instead, YouTube has bowed under international pressure after being contacted by JASRAC - the Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers. JASRAC sent a list of 29,549 different videos containing segments of movies, television shows, and other copyrighted works.
Though YouTube complied once it was notified, which it is bound legally to do, the Japanese organization has expressed a dissatisfaction with the fact that it even had to send the list. It would prefer that YouTube take on a more active screening role, which it is not legally obliged to do thanks to the DMCA.
Yes, believe it or not, the DMCA actually helped
someone besides a recording or producing label. International law is not bound by the DMCA, however, and YouTube could find itself on the bad end of some pretty hefty paperwork if foreign content makers decided to push for more protection. Of course, such an act would almost certainly be backed by the MPAA, which would jump at any chance to tighten control over its own content.
Now that the first domino has fallen, one has to wonder how long it will be before the MPAA and RIAA start combing the site themselves, using YouTube's lack of culpability to sue posters and viewers of copyrighted content...
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