Posted tagged ‘court case’

Big Win for Video

August 29, 2008

Major video distribution and sharing sites have started running into Napster-like legal situations when it comes to protecting copyrighted content. Pending cases had some worried that legal limitations to video sharing could eventually stunt or even completely eliminate viral video as it currently exists.

Fortunately for video fans, a U.S. District Court Judge in San Jose has ruled in favor of video distribution site Veoh in a case brought by “content” producer Io Group (Word to the wise – don’t Google Io Group at work). The Io Group decided to sue Veoh in 2006 after several of the company’s video content appeared on Veoh’s site.

The outcome of the ruling stated that Veoh was not liable for copyright violations because it is protected under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The DCMA basically states that content sharing sites cannot held liable if they take steps to filter copyrighted material and quickly remove any copyrighted content that sneaks in if the owners complain. Napster was not protected under the DMCA because, at least according to the courts, they existed solely to pirate and distributed copyrighted materials. On the other hand, sites like Veoh cater to original video content and network placement.

At least where I work, copyright laws are always a consideration – especially when helping a client navigate social media and content sharing. Here are the general takeaways I got from the Veoh case:

  • Can you prove that your site or content sharing platform does not cater to copyrighted material?
  • Take measures to prevent copyright infringement – includes fingerprinting software and monitorin
  • Quickly remove any copyrighted content you find
  • As the owners of the site, do not upload copyrighted material (though it’s forgivable if your users do as long as you remove it once you notice)