YouTube: Opponents of Piracy?

Google is known for protecting user data. But YouTube has turned over data that led to a lawsuit. Is Google out to protect its users?

Is YouTube caving in too soon?

On May 24, lawyers for Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures convinced a federal judge in San Francisco to issue a subpoena requiring YouTube to turn over details about a user who uploaded dialog from the movie studio’s “Twin Towers,” according to a copy of the document.

YouTube promptly handed over the data to Paramount, which on June 16 sued the creator of the 12-minute clip, New York City-based filmmaker Chris Moukarbel, for copyright infringement, in federal court in Washington.

…YouTube chose to turn over the data, rather than simply remove the offending video from its site…

Why did YouTube give up so easily?

Let’s hope that under Google’s auspices, there will be change of heart and users will be protected. But they still should take the necessary steps:

To be sure, Google, which hopes to close the YouTube purchase by year’s end, has already taken steps to reduce the copyright liability it will inherit from the private firm.

This gets me thinking — why wasn’t Google Video as popular as YouTube? My guess is that it partially had something to do with people not wanting to upload video to something that was officially called “Google.” Perhaps people were afraid of the ramifications, but the funny thing is that just the opposite occurred here. Will YouTube, which deleted 29,549 videos this week, become a “boring” repository of videos, kind of like how Google Video is viewed by many?

Time will only tell.

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