YouTube Ordered to Give User Histories to Viacom



  • Just like the title says,

    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.

    (from Wired)

    I see two problems with this:

    One: the blatant invasion of privacy

    Two: people watching midget porn on YouTube. I don't think they're going to be happy that Viacom knows.



  • @redct said:

    Two: people watching midget porn on YouTube. I don't think they're going to be happy that Viacom knows.

    Forget the people who watch the midget porn, what about the rest of us? Once Viacom sees the tremendous interest in midget porn, we're going to get nothing but midget porn 24 hours a day.



  •  Now if I were Google, I would be rather tempted to deliver all this information in dead-tree form...



  • I'm not the least worried about this, given that:

    - I don't even live in the US, and

    - I doubt my ISP would move a finger to match IP's with users.

    Those using the crippled cablemodem ISP's are even less worried, as those use some kind of crappy NAT, so one IP could be shared with an entire neighborhood.



  • This is evidence collection in a legal case between the two companies. It doesn't look like overly broad discovery at all, I don't see why a plaintiff shouldn't be allowed to know to what extent possible damages may be. I'm not sure that all the details of non-infringing video usage are neccesary though but..

    1) Evidence may become public record, but usually confidential information is sealed. Both parties lawyers and the court will have access, but that's it.

    2) You can't just go around and use evidence in a (what's this, a civil suit?) for marketing purposes, product development, etc.  This may be used to build a case against google, but that's it.

    3) Why are people so afraid of Viacom getting this data? I'd be more worried about Google collecting this, and cross-referencing it with your email, your appointments, your documents, your chats, your web searches.

    Do people really think that Viacoms lawyers (or law firms hired by them) are going to sell off the old case evidence once the case is over? I trust them to know better than to mishandle evidence like that. Google, however, can do pretty much whatever they want with the data (tooth-less privacy policy aside), including sell it to, say, doubleclick. Oh wait, they own them already :)



  • @Nandurius said:

    This is evidence collection in a legal case between the two companies. It doesn't look like overly broad discovery at all, I don't see why a plaintiff shouldn't be allowed to know to what extent possible damages may be. I'm not sure that all the details of non-infringing video usage are neccesary though but..

     

    Uninvolved legally-bound third-party anyone?  In more advanced countries, it's absolutely illegal to hand over wholesale information like this without court orders, and the courts in those countries generally require the information be given to uninvolved parties.  Now, a specific case where illegal activity can be proven, like "Here, I watched someone at IP x.x.x.x download copyrighted item y without permission", that might fly without having to go to a third-party.  A case like "Well, out of 1 million downloads, we believe 2 were illegal.  But we want the other 999,998 people's IPs as well, you know, just in case..." would be laughed out of court.



  • @SuperousOxide said:

    Forget the people who watch the midget porn, what about the rest of us? Once Viacom sees the tremendous interest in midget porn, we're going to get nothing but midget porn 24 hours a day.
     

    What's the downside of this?



  • @billhead said:

    What's the downside of this?
     

    Let me gues... you're another dutch member? :-)



  •  @SuperousOxide said:

    @redct said:

    Two: people watching midget porn on YouTube. I don't think they're going to be happy that Viacom knows.

    Forget the people who watch the midget porn, what about the rest of us? Once Viacom sees the tremendous interest in midget porn, we're going to get nothing but midget porn 24 hours a day.

    you say that like it's a ba-

     

    ah...

     

    Ahem. YES, AND THAT WOULD BE A VERY, VERY BAD THING. 



  •  I highly doubt that there's midget porn on YouTube, given that it would violate their terms of service.  But if you know of such a video, you should post the link....just to prove that it's there......



  •  You guys are all missing the point of why this is a good thing.  Think of how many times Viacom's lawyers will get RickRoll'd while scanning through this thing.



  • @shepd said:

    (...)Now, a specific case where illegal activity can be proven, like "Here, I watched someone at IP x.x.x.x download copyrighted item y without permission", that might fly without having to go to a third-party.  A case like "Well, out of 1 million downloads, we believe 2 were illegal.  But we want the other 999,998 people's IPs as well, you know, just in case..." would be laughed out of court.

    Well, this case seems more like the latter than the former. You can't tell who's been watching what, and the blog entry in the first post link says that Viacom asked those logs so that they could prove that most of the videos in YouTube are illegal:

    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.



  • @Nandurius said:

    This is evidence collection in a legal case between the two companies. It doesn't look like overly broad discovery at all, I don't see why a plaintiff shouldn't be allowed to know to what extent possible damages may be. I'm not sure that all the details of non-infringing video usage are neccesary though but..
     

    In most European countries, it would be illegal for Google to keep such records for long enough to comply with the judge's order. Especially if they can really connect data with real life names. Sharing that much information about individual, identifiable users without their explicit consent is absolutely inacceptable by European standards. And I absolutely fail to see why Viacom would need those information for their lawsuit.



  • [quote user="Renan "C#" Sousa"]

    Well, this case seems more like the latter than the former. You can't tell who's been watching what, and the blog entry in the first post link says that Viacom asked those logs so that they could prove that most of the videos in YouTube are illegal:

    [/quote]

    Couldn't they just ask for a list of videos and the times they were downloaded? Why do they need usernames and IPs?



  • @SuperousOxide said:

    Couldn't they just ask for a list of videos and the times they were downloaded? Why do they need usernames and IPs?

    Probably to track unique infringements and those who uploaded the material in the first place. 



  • @SuperousOxide said:

    [quote user="Renan "C#" Sousa"]

    Well, this case seems more like the latter than the former. You can't tell who's been watching what, and the blog entry in the first post link says that Viacom asked those logs so that they could prove that most of the videos in YouTube are illegal:

    Couldn't they just ask for a list of videos and the times they were downloaded? Why do they need usernames and IPs?[/quote] 

    Probably to prove that the users weren't authorized to download said content?  It would be a hell of a thing if Viacom setup a botnet to post and download their own content to cook up evidence of their content being downloaded.



  • This is one major problem I see in this situation, the Judge fails to treat this as an international situation and fails to see this case from the perspective of all countries -- These are NOT only US Citizens that are in Google's databases. I'm sure this judge is forcing Google to break other countries laws by this decision -- I wonder if some citizens of EU Countries where there are high privacy laws can sue the judge and/or Viacom for privacy invasion...




  • @DigitalXeron said:

    This is one major problem I see in this situation, the Judge fails to treat this as an international situation and fails to see this case from the perspective of all countries -- These are NOT only US Citizens that are in Google's databases. I'm sure this judge is forcing Google to break other countries laws by this decision -- I wonder if some citizens of EU Countries where there are high privacy laws can sue the judge and/or Viacom for privacy invasion...

    It definitely breaches other countries' laws ... but that didn't stop the US from snooping around SWIFT transactions in the past ... even when some of those transactions didn't even touch the US. They just said "the data's in the US, so we've got control over it."

    Given that SWIFT inter-banking information is much more sensitive than simple user accounts, I doubt this would matter much to the judge.



  • @mallard said:

     Now if I were Google, I would be rather tempted to deliver all this information in dead-tree form...

    It's petty, but I like it.  Print it on ultra-low-grade paper, draft resolution, font size 4 too for "environmental" reasons.



  • @danixdefcon5 said:

    I'm not the least worried about this, given that:

    - I don't even live in the US, and

    - I doubt my ISP would move a finger to match IP's with users.

    Those using the crippled cablemodem ISP's are even less worried, as those use some kind of crappy NAT, so one IP could be shared with an entire neighborhood.

     

    Dude, Mexico is going to be the first country to do whatever the US tells them to do. Dont't forget that.

    Also, whatever ISP you use, chances are that it's owned by a US company. Do the math yourself.



  • @Zagyg said:

    @mallard said:

     Now if I were Google, I would be rather tempted to deliver all this information in dead-tree form...

    It's petty, but I like it.  Print it on ultra-low-grade paper, draft resolution, font size 4 too for "environmental" reasons.

    And make some typing mistakes and don't correct your typing mistakes before sending it. That way, nobody can figure out the correct information. And then spill something on it and try to clean it off, but it still makes it hard to read even after you have cleaned it off.


  • @DrJokepu said:

    Dude, Mexico is going to be the first country to do whatever the US tells them to do. Dont't forget that.

    True, though I doubt any anti-piracy subpoenas would happen here, unless they want to sue the whole country.

    @DrJokepu said:

     

    Also, whatever ISP you use, chances are that it's owned by a US company. Do the math yourself.

    Fortunately, my ISP isn't owned by a US company ... in fact, its quite the opposite: they bought Prodigy some time ago, one of the Baby Bells, and the owner (Carlos Slim) has gone on a buying spree in the US, including CompUSA. Oh, the guy by the way is Forbes' #2 richest man in the world. (Yes, even above Bill Gates.)



  •  @DigitalXeron said:

    This is one major problem I see in this situation, the Judge fails to treat this as an international situation and fails to see this case from the perspective of all countries -- These are NOT only US Citizens that are in Google's databases. I'm sure this judge is forcing Google to break other countries laws by this decision -- I wonder if some citizens of EU Countries where there are high privacy laws can sue the judge and/or Viacom for privacy invasion...

    I'm quite sure that this isn't the first time, and i'm even more sure that it won't be the last.

    While i don't like the fact that its happening, there is very little that can be done about it and it hardly qualifies as important enough to start a international debate about. The only real step you can make against it as a person is to write a angry letter to google telling them what you read on the news and by the laws of your country ordering them to remove all their records that refer to you. 

    Unless you happen to be extreemly important i doubt you will even get a message back. 




  • @stratos said:

    write a angry letter to google
     

    If they were ordered by a court, why would you write to Google? Write to your representatives in the state to protect you.

    As far as international? I don't know what the procedure is, but writing to Google is on the ridiculous side.



  • @DigitalXeron said:

    This is one major problem I see in this situation, the Judge fails to treat this as an international situation and fails to see this case from the perspective of all countries -- These are NOT only US Citizens that are in Google's databases. I'm sure this judge is forcing Google to break other countries laws by this decision -- I wonder if some citizens of EU Countries where there are high privacy laws can sue the judge and/or Viacom for privacy invasion...

    Actually if you read the Terms of Use of youtube.com you might have seen article 14

    You agree that: (i) the YouTube Website shall be deemed solely based in
    California; and (ii) the YouTube Website shall be deemed a passive
    website that does not give rise to personal jurisdiction over YouTube,
    either specific or general, in jurisdictions other than California.
    These Terms of Service shall be governed by the internal substantive
    laws of the State of California, without respect to its conflict of
    laws principles.

    You've already agreed that you tube solely governed by Californian/US laws... Therefore the US courts can do whatever they want with ALL data, even that of non US nationals.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    In reality, TRWTF about this situation is that the judge specified the media to be used (I suspect he foresaw the dead tree approach) - 4 1TB SATA hard drives. For 12TB of data. "That'll fit, right?"



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    writing to Google is on the ridiculous side.
     

    What, you don't get handwritten replies from Larry and Sergei?  Note to Jeff Bezos: the wax seal on the envelope adds a real touch of class. 


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @upsidedowncreature said:

    What, you don't get handwritten replies from Larry and Sergei?

    I certainly don't. I get invited up on the 767 for an in-person discussion of the matter during a lapdance at 37,000ft.



  • 4 1TB SATA hard drives

     On Slashdot, I read "four Terabyte hard drives", and interpreted it as "an unspecified number of 4TB drives". Of course, you might have a more precise source, and I'm not aware if 4TB drives actually exist.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    They don't, even at the extremely ridiculous high-end. So unless Viacom (and that judge) are willing to wait another 6-12 months, that was supposed to mean 4x 1TB drives.



  • @Weng said:

    @upsidedowncreature said:
    What, you don't get handwritten replies from Larry and Sergei?

    I certainly don't. I get invited up on the 767 for an in-person discussion of the matter during a lapdance at 37,000ft.
     

    Just the one lapdance? 


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @upsidedowncreature said:

    Just the one lapdance? 

    Yeah, those strippers have some crazy endurance.



  • Ok, it is not illegal to download whatever you want from youtube... unless its child porn... so midget porn is OK for all of you fellas.

    Viacom having private info is irrelevant. They need court orders to get your ISP to match IP to user, otherwise you will sue your ISP for breaking privacy contract. The best Viacom can do is track the uploaders... Provided they didnt use TOR when uploading or a proxy residing in another country which will refuse to give out information.

    Anyone who cares about anonymity... take out ALL your money in cash and spend it that way ONLY. The internet is more traceable than the physical world...

     



  • @danixdefcon5 said:

    the owner (Carlos Slim) has gone on a buying spree in the US, including CompUSA. Oh, the guy by the way is Forbes' #2 richest man in the world. (Yes, even above Bill Gates.)

    Perhaps he should give away $29 billion too.


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