I'm in the middle of reading Joseph Jaffe's latest book Join the Conversation (disclosure: I have a review copy for the purposes of blogging about the book) and see he anticipated this controversy. In the context of companies having to earn the right to become part of an existing community, he writes:
The major media and the music and entertainment companies like Viacom and Disney just don't understand that the larger world does not revolve around them and their self-contained worlds (real or virtual) anymore. They see YouTube stealing their lunch and their logical gut reaction is (a) to sue and (b) to create a cheap imitation. Try as hard as they might, and no matter how much money they sink into the beast, what they will never have going for them is the intangible sense of belonging that is community. (page 215)He hasn't written any response to the latest order, but I hope he does try his hand at it. Some people say there is no way this order will stand, that it will be appealed. But then, why is Google talking about giving anonymized records? Will they give Viacom what they are asking for in such a way that it will become onerous (and therefore teach them a lesson)?
We live in interesting times indeed...
Some quick related links:
- Viacom v. YouTube Complaint - reposted to JD Supra, originally filed March 13, 2007
- ruling released July 1st - PDF shared by Beckerman Legal
- July 2nd blog post, Deeplinks Blog, Electronic Frontier Foundation (July 2, 2008)
- Viacom’s Statement on YouTube User Data Controversy, Deeplinks Blog, Electronic Frontier Foundation (July 3, 2008)
- July 4th article - New York Times
- The Privacy Commissioner of Canada blog puts a Canadian spin on the issue (July 4, 2008)
- Faster Forward: Court Invites Viacom to Violate YouTube Viewers’ Privacy, by Robert Pegoraro, Washington Post (July 7, 2008)
- Viacom v. YouTube filings, Justia.com