Now this is an interesting privacy related case to think about over the weekend, Google has to reveal viewing details for Youtube to Viacom.
Anyone who has EVER watched a Youtube video, that’s pretty extreme. Luckily most people are using dynamic IP addresses, so it shouldn’t be too much of a concern.
Unless of course they decide to subpoena the ISPs for their logs too..then the ‘illegal viewers’ are in trouble.
Google was yesterday ordered to hand over the personal details of anyone who has ever watched a YouTube video.
The ruling – which has massive privacy implications for millions of internet users – was made as part of the search engine’s legal battle with content provider Viacom over allegations of copyright infringement.
Under the ruling, Google, which bought YouTube for $1.65 billion (£820 million) in 2006, must hand over to Viacom its viewing log – which includes users’ log-in information and their IP address, the code that identifies their computer.
It’s an interesting case however because YouTube is a public resource, who is to say what is on there is legal or not.
How are the users supposed to know? Say they view a video from a search, then view some related content which happens to copyrighted?
Is it the system that’s to blame or the user?
Although the case is being contested in the U.S., legal experts warned last night that the ruling would almost certainly apply to YouTube users worldwide, including those in the UK. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, an internet freedom campaign group, described the judgment as a ‘ setback’ to online privacy rights.
Viacom, which owns MTV and Paramount Pictures, has alleged that YouTube has done ‘little or nothing’ to stem the flow of copyrighted material on its site.
The company said it had identified more than 150,000 unauthorised clips of its content that had been uploaded.
I’m pretty sure YouTube and Google are pretty strict about copyright content hosted on their services, but with user generated sites it’s so hard to control and it’s so hard to block.
Even if they md5 hash the ‘illegal’ files a user can just chop a few seconds off to change the hash and re-upload it.
Source: Daily Mail
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