August 31, 2007

Viacom s "bass ackwards" screw-up issues takedown for video it "pirated"

Viacom's copyright battle with YouTube took an interesting turn this week, as the company has found itself in the embarrassing position of having highlighted the possibly that it committed a little "for-profit" copyright infringement of its own (some would call it "piracy").You need to understand, the problem is *NOT* that Viacom aired Mr. Knight's clip. That is obviously covered in the YouTube agreement everyone who posts to YouTube agreed to. The problem is when Viacom ordered Mr. Knight to TAKE DOWN his own clip from YouTube, just because it was something they used on their show. No, they didn't make him take down his originial. They made him take down the clip from their show that included his clip. Do they have the right to defend their own copyright? Sure. Can they order that YouTube take down clips of their shows - apparently they do - at least for the time being. But it WAS HIS CLIP that they used ON THEIR SHOW. Surely he should have the right to republish his own material that they edited. He never gave up any rights to his own content. The YouTube agreement even says that. The clips they used on their show were his content. Him showing that clip should not violate any laws.

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