Thursday, July 3, 2008

Viacom wants to know what you're watching on YouTube

On Tuesday, a judge in the Viacom vs. Google/YouTube copyright case ordered Google to give up detailed logs of users' search behavior.

As Wired's Threat Level puts it: "Google will have to turn over every record of every video watched by YouTube users, including users' names and IP addresses."

Viacom's hope is to show that users watch so many infringing videos that YouTube can be seen as nothing more than a hive of copyright violations and piracy. One question, however, is why Viacom needs access to the identities of YouTube users, many of whom are young people and even children. When they know peoples' private viewing habits, what will they do with the information? Remember this?

I know I don't want anyone seeing what I watch on YouTube -- any more than I want people to know what I'm searching on Google, watching on TV, or listening to on the radio. YouTube users are simply using a video system that's available free online. - continues on latimes

The old ways are dying. Companies like Viacom can fight it, but they can't win in the long run. If they win this battle YouTube will be replaced by many more smaller YouTubes.

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