ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY conglomerate Viacom claims to have found smoking gun evidence proving that Youtube is a bunch of pirates.
Viacom is suing Youtube for a billion dollars and claims to have uncovered emails that allegedly proved employees of the video website were among those who uploaded unauthorised content.
Not only that, Youtube e-mails allegedly indicate that Youtube managers knew of and discussed with employees the existence of unauthorised content on the site but chose not to remove the material.
According to CNET, Viacom is over the moon as it thinks it has proof that the world's most popular video sharing site is a pirating outfit. If this is proven in a court of law it could also lead to the site being shut down, just like Pirate Bay.
The problem for Youtube is that if its managers possessed "actual knowledge" of copyright infringement on the site and did not quickly remove it, the company may not be entitled to protection under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's safe-harbour provision.
However the discovery process has also revealed that Viacom's own employees were also 'illegally' uploading videos to Youtube and sometimes allowing content to remain on the site.
It is thought they might have done that for marketing, promotional or other business reasons.
This means that Youtube can argue that it is impossible for it to know the difference between pirated and legally uploaded clips when companies like Viacom are among those uploading copyrighted material.
CNET points out that although the case is high profile it might not get to court.
Two weeks ago, US District Judge Howard Matz issued a decision saying video site Veoh was not responsible for copyright violations committed by users because it was entitled to protection under the DMCA.
In that case it was Universal Music Group, the world's largest record company, that walked away from court disappointed.
If that case does have any impact on the Youtube case it will be to decide if the outfit had done enough to remove content when it was ordered to do so by Viacom. The allegedly smoking gun emails would seem to suggest that it might not have. µ
Companies need to rate limit posts based on keywords, warns Trend Micro
Uses 20 percent less power than traditional systems
Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ