20TH Century Fox has served YouTube with a subpoena demanding it discloses the identity of a user who uploaded copies of entire episodes of 24 and The Simpsons. The subpoena, which first came to light on the blog Google Watch was granted by a judge in US District Court for the Northern District of California after being filed by the News Corporation-owned studio on January 18. It is not yet known whether YouTube has complied with the request.
News Corporation is publisher of AustralianIT. In addition, a second, lesser-known video site, LiveDigital, was also served with a similar subpoena. A Fox spokesman confirmed the subpoena was filed to both YouTube and LiveDigital and served but declined further comment. A spokesman for YouTube declined comment.
The 24 episodes in question actually appeared on YouTube prior to their prime time January 14 premiere on the Fox broadcast network, which spread four hour-long episodes of the hit drama over two consecutive nights. Fox became aware the episodes were on YouTube on January 8, according to the subpoena.