Today the court handed down a big win for YouTube and a lot of other companies that have potentially infringing media on their websites. In two words the court agreed that YouTube has protection by “Safe Harbor” provisions as part of the DMCA. When you think about the thousands of videos being uploaded to not only YouTube, but the varies other sites around it is nearly impossible for any company to monitor all the uploads.
That is not to say that YouTube does not have to take videos down when informed by the copyright holders, only that YouTube is not financially liable for materials on their website that they are not aware of.
When you have millions of passionate people sharing moments from movies to music videos that they love that is a hard thing to stop. Copyright holders should be rejoicing that people love their content and learn that it will be nearly impossible to control where their media is distributed. While I believe people should be able share moments of material in accordance with fair use standards, I can sympathize with media creators frustrations when whole bodies of work are stolen.
Media creators do have to get a grip that times have changed embrace what is occurring, instead of sending DMCA takedown notices. It makes a lot more sense to work with YouTube and others media sites to monetize that shared content.
While I know Viacom will fight this all the way to top of the court system, my hope is that YouTube will prevail when the decision is appealed and we can claim a final victory on the safe harbor provisions.