Legal, DRM, Piracy & IP Category

The Legal side of Internet Television including Digital Rights Management (DRM), Intellectual Property and Piracy

court-gavelGoogle and Viacom have finally resolved the long-running lawsuit over videos uploaded to YouTube almost a decade ago. The terms of the out-of-court settlement aren’t being disclosed but we’re just pleased this anachronistic fight is over. At last.

The Beginning

In 2005, when YouTube was still a fledgling service with a Wild West mentality, people were uploading all sorts of content to the site with little regard for legality. Copyrighted clips belonging to Viacom made it onto YouTube, and so began the long and tortuous story of Google Vs. Viacom.

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Posted in: Broadband Video Companies, Google, Legal, DRM, Piracy & IP, News, Video on Demand, YouTube by Dave Parrack on February 27, 2014

u.s.-flag-burningAn appeals court has ordered Google to remove a controversial short film from YouTube after an actress who appeared in Innocence Of Muslims filed a copyright claim. The decision seems to go against existing thinking on copyright laws.

Innocence Of Muslims

In 2012, a 14-minute video titled Innocence Of Muslims was uploaded to YouTube. The video, which is extremely offensive to Islam, caused controversy around the world, and especially across the Middle-East.

It was used to justify demonstrations and protests, some of which turned violent. These protests claimed the lives of at least 50 people, with many more being injured. The death toll included four American diplomats, who were killed in an attack on the consulate in Benghazi.

At this point the U.S. Government asked Google to act, but the company refused to remove the video from YouTube because it complied with its posting guidelines. Viewing was, however, restricted in both Egypt and Libya.

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broadbandA recent decision by an appeals court in Washington to chuck out net neutrality rules could have dire consequences for everyone using the Internet. Including those who both deliver and consume online video.

Net Neutrality Nullified

This week saw the FCC’s net neutrality rules labelled as “invalid. Net neutrality is essentially the idea that all traffic online should be treated the same, regardless of who or where it came from and who or where it’s going to.

The loss of net neutrality could lead to deals being cut behind closed deals that would ensure content from some companies was given priority over others. Those willing to pay the broadband providers for the privilege would have an advantage over those unwilling or unable to do so.

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Posted in: Broadband Video Companies, Google, Legal, DRM, Piracy & IP, News, Video on Demand, YouTube by Dave Parrack on December 20, 2013

youtube-copyright-errorYouTube’s recent crackdown on Let’s Play videos, with an aggressive new Content ID update, has left a bad taste in the mouths of everyone involved. Except the companies making money from videos they really had no business making money from, of course.

Content ID Crackdown

YouTube recently embarked on a Content ID crackdown designed to clean up videos potentially infringing on copyrights. Particularly hard hit by this were gamers who upload Let’s Play videos, which feature someone playing a video game and commentating over the top.

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Posted in: Broadband Video Companies, Legal, DRM, Piracy & IP, News, Video on Demand, YouTube by Dave Parrack on November 26, 2013

YouTube 3D LogoGoogle has finally addressed the issues affecting the new YouTube comments system, controversially rolled out earlier this month.

Unfortunately, while small changes are being made to plaster over the cracks, the elephant in the room that is Google+ is going nowhere. In fact, Google refuses to even address the part its social networking integration has played in the mess.

Google Admits Problem

In the weeks since the new YouTube comments system was pushed out to an unsuspecting public, things haven’t gone well. But Google has remained silent on the issues, both big and small, preferring instead to make small changes behind the scenes.

Now, finally, Google has admitted there are problems inherent in the new Google+-powered system, though it won’t admit Google+ is at fault for any of them.

In a post on the YouTube Creator Blog, “the YouTube comments team” admits the new system “introduced new opportunities for abuse.” These include the allowing of ASCII art and links, and the promotion of popular comments.

These are, according to YouTube, all being fixed, while threaded conversations, formatted comments, the moderation of old comments, and bulk moderation for new comments are being rolled out now or in the future.

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Posted in: Broadband Video Companies, Legal, DRM, Piracy & IP, News, Video on Demand by Dave Parrack on October 16, 2013

pirate-logoDo people pirate things because they’re cheap and want to get whatever they can for free? Or is the practice less sinister and more about getting hold of things that aren’t available in the format they favor? These are important questions, and ones which new research is hoping to answer.

Piracy Data

A new website called Piracy Data has been set up to build a dataset connecting the dots between the content that is pirated in vast numbers and the availability of that content. It’s doing this using a combination of TorrentFreak and Can I Stream It?

The 10 most-pirated movies are listed alongside their availability online: to stream, to rent a digital copy, and to buy a digital copy. The results so far aren’t all that surprising, showing how the newer titles on the list aren’t available anywhere, while the older titles are available in one form or another.

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Nintendo has, in its infinite wisdom, decided to declare war on the fans who dare to post videos of themselves playing Nintendo games. Not only is this a terrible decision in terms of a rich corporation making money off its fans, it may not have any basis in copyright law.

Let’s Play! Or Not

People have been posting videos of themselves playing video games for since the dawn of online video. Some people even play games for others to watch live on the likes of TwitchTV. And they get viewers watching regularly.

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