Viacom Knows What You Did Last Summer.
Holy shit. According to this Wired article, a judge ruled yesterday (Wednesday, July 2, 2008) that Google will have to turn over every record of every video watched by YouTube users, including users’ names and IP addresses, to Viacom. The order also requires Google to turn over copies of all videos that it has taken down for any reason.
Viacom is suing Google for allowing clips of its copyright videos to appear on YouTube, and 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.
Google argued that turning over the data would invade its users’ privacy, but the judge’s ruling (see pdf of ruling) described that argument as “speculative” and ordered Google to turn over the logs on a set of four tera-byte hard drives. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has already reacted, calling the order a violation of the Video Privacy Protection act that “threatens to expose deeply private information.”
The judge, in fairness, denied Viacom’s request for:
- YouTube’s source code, and the code for identifying repeat copyright infringement uploads
- Copies of all videos marked private and Google’s advertising database schema
- Chad Hurley and Steven Chen’s nuts on a silver platter
- Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman’s son Philippe Douman Jr (who works for Google) taking over as CEO for YouTube.
- The letter G removed from the alphabet.
- The internet being turned off until said disputes are settled
- A return to 1990 when big media had a profitable business model.
- Perpetualy indemnification from taxes by Viacom, its employees and any individual or company selected by the Viacom board.
- Eleven virgins for each Viacom senior executive.
- Viacom Day to replace 4th of July holiday.