Monday, October 23, 2006

Want money? Sue Google?

The New York Times has a good analysis of the legal issues facing Google and some reflections made over that. It also, unsurprisingly, refers to the possibility of being sued after their YouTube purchase, but it seems that they agree with what I said several times about the unlikehood of being found liable for copyright infringment. As explained in the NYT article

Along with YouTube’s 34 million viewers, Google will inherit a lawsuit filed last summer against the company. Robert Tur, who owns a video from the 1992 riots in Los Angeles that shows a trucker being beaten by rioters, is suing YouTube, accusing it of copyright infringement. “Clearly, we investigated that whole issue,” said David C. Drummond, Google’s general counsel and senior vice president of corporate development. Mr. Drummond pointed to the “safe harbor” provision of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act. A number of courts have held that under this provision, Web sites are not liable for copyrighted content posted by users, as long as they promptly remove it when it is pointed out to them. “We rely on the same safe harbor that YouTube relies on, so we’re fairly familiar with the issues,” Mr. Drummond said. “If you look at it, it’s somewhat illustrative of the kinds of lawsuits we face.”

The same should apply in UK under the Electronic Commerce Directive 2000 and the Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002 art. 19. If any judge decides otherwise, I think that eBay will be in far bigger trouble due to the massive trademark infringement that happens in its site, for which in addition eBay gets a percentage of the sale of the infringing goods...

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