Judge Orders YouTube to Give All User Histories to Viacom

Google will have to turn over every record of every video watched by YouTube users, including users' names and IP addresses, to Viacom, which is suing Google for allowing clips of its copyright videos to appear on YouTube, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Viacom wants the data to prove that infringing material is more popular than user-created videos, which could be used to increase Google's liability if it is found guilty of contributory infringement.

Viacom filed suit against Google in March 2007, seeking more than $1 billion in damages for allowing users to upload clips of Viacom's copyright material. Google argues that the law provides a safe harbor for online services so long as they comply with copyright takedown requests.

Although Google argued that turning over the data would invade its users' privacy, the judge's ruling (.pdf) described that argument as "speculative" and ordered Google to turn over the logs on a set of four tera-byte hard drives.

View: Wired

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It's legalized theft of market research data. Money buys the law in this country, and if I were Google I would move my headquarters elsewhere.

LOL - Serves google right. Why they need to keep this data in the first place is beyond me. If they took privacy seriously then at the most they would just need something simple like take the user ID and throw it through a one-way hash. Use that hash as the identifier. Why do they need the IP address in the first place?

I know this sounds bad - but people in the tin-foil hats have been warning about this for years. I believe "told you so" is the most appropiate one-liner...


Google had told Judge Stanton that forking over those 12TBs would violate the privacy of YouTube users. "[Viacom] would likely be able to determine the viewing and video uploading habits of YouTube's users based on the user's login ID and the user's IP address," the company's lawyers said.


But the judge pointed to a famous Google blog post where the company says IP addresses don't always reveal real live people: "We are... strong supporters of the idea that data protection laws should apply to any data that could identify you," wrote Google software engineer Alma Whitten. "The reality though is that in most cases, an IP address without additional information cannot.


"Do No Evil" hey boys...

Don't worry, their computers will crash just trying to handle the amount of data going their way. GOOGLE DON'T GZIP it! Encrypting it however may be a good idea (lol)

How they've managed to spit on any notion of privacy and get away with it is nothing short of a miracle.

Then again, people just keep coming back for more. Next it'll be Google Diary, a site where teenagers can upload their most private thoughts and feelings so Google can tailor ads to "enhance" those experiences.

Oh no, wait, that's Facebook!

Dang it, all the good ideas are already gone!

So, what are they going to do with this data? Millions of people worldwide use Youtube and I'm sure tons of people have seen Viacom clips on Youtube. It's not like they're going to go after individual people here...

"Viacom wants the data to prove that infringing material is more popular than user-created videos, which could be used to increase Google's liability if it is found guilty of contributory infringement."

It's about time, too. NOT that I agree all this data should be handed over but I'm a little tired of Google pretending to be an innocent victim of it's own technology.

That is too extreme. It would be one thing to link to every video (which has a clear viewer count! ) but another insane screwed up illegal fulfillment of request that could only hurt every user on YouTube if Google fulfilled it. Image if Viacom got their hands on the data! They could pursue every user on YouTube for copyright infringement. Even if you had just visited a website and it linked to a clip that you didn't watch!

What the hell? This judge is probably on the Viacom payroll...Ew...Viacom...Such an evil sounding name...I just don't understand what my details have to do with their copyright issues. I only upload videos of me playing cover songs on my guitar =\ Do the right thing Google and fight this.

(Refuse said @ #10)
What the hell? This judge is probably on the Viacom payroll...Ew...Viacom...Such an evil sounding name...I just don't understand what my details have to do with their copyright issues. I only upload videos of me playing cover songs on my guitar =\ Do the right thing Google and fight this.


Just wait till Viacom gives the RIAA your videos, and you get sued for infringement or unauthorized use of a song ><

Things that were granted for people who don't want to read it all:

1)Therefore, the cross-motion for a protective order is granted and the motion to compel production of the search code is denied.

2)Under the circumstances, the motion to compel production of copies of all removed videos is granted.

3)Therefore, the motion to compel production of all data from the Logging database concerning each time a YouTube video has been viewed on the YouTube website or through embedding on a third-party website is granted.

4)Therefore, the motion to compel production of the Google Video schema is granted.

...unfortunately even if they file for a re-trail they'll still have to comply with the ruling in the time it takes to get the re-trile going...

Not necessarily. They can appeal the ruling.

"Dear Viacom

Due to the fact that precedent has been set, get bent. We can, however, provide links to all the currently hosted videos so you can inspect them for copyright infringement at your leisure. Should any videos infringe, let us know in the usual way so we can remove them. Until then, such fishing exercises will be given the respect they are due, i.e. none.

Love

YouTube."

even though there's been several cases where the ruling was the sites aren't liable, this judge still allows it? he needs to be fired. having the usernames, IP addresses, and history doesn't help their case at all. they can search through the video's for their copyrighted content without all that info

unfortunately even if they file for a re-trail they'll still have to comply with the ruling in the time it takes to get the re-trile going. and you can bet they are going to sell it off to ad companies