Madison wrote:The biggest problem with viewing things on Youtube is that some companies don't care what's on Youtube, they are cashing in on the publicity (and now commercials are being run during many clips).
The same goes for music. There is plenty of music that is freely published by the artist (or whomever holds the copyright) that is out there on the P2P networks or through MySpace or artist sites or where ever. There are also many labels that are not part of the RIAA and see free downloading as the best way to promote their work.
Is it not known that the best way to get official and licensed material is to do it directly from the publisher/group/etc?
Obviously not or we wouldn't be having this discussion in the first place.
Madison wrote:And when stealing music, there's really no question that someone is stealing music. They are making a copy of it, so there is something physical, be it a file, CD, DVD, whatever. Really two different kinds of things here.
When you watch a video clip on Youtube that file is being downloaded onto your computer. When the video is over, the file is typically discarded. What most of the streaming capture programs do is simply write that file to a more permanent location. From the copyright owner's perspective they have absolutely no idea how to tell if the person watching a YouTube clips is simply watching the buffer copy or saving a download of the clip. The same goes for music downloads, the RIAA has very little idea if the music was ever burned to a physical medium, or shared with other users, or even ever listened to.
I don't think it will ever get to the point where companies will go after YouTube viewers (mainly because it is just easier to go after the hosts), but it is absolutely arguable that it would be within their rights to protect their copyrights in that way. The question still remains. If those companies felt that YouTube viewing was a serious threat to their income and the best possible way to put a stop to it was to make an example out of a few thousand people through lawsuits would you think that a $150K fine is excessive or an means to an end to deter the illegal behavior?
But that's the exact difference. Without turning on, installing, or whatever, the streaming capture program, no one is making a copy of anything. I see clips from sites all over the net (Youtube, MSN, Yahoo, TNA, WWE, etc) and not one is on my machine anywhere. Now if they can prove someone did install a motion capture or whatever in order to have their own copy of a clip without permission of the copyright holder, then I agree it's the exact same thing as stealing music.
With the RIAA current lawsuits they don't have to prove that you ever listened to the song, burned the song to a CD or iPod, if anyone ever downloaded the song from you, or immediately deleted the song once it downloaded (which is exactly what happens with a YouTube video), or anything of that nature. Only that you went through that link. You are giving the discerning nature of the lawsuit targets far more credit than they deserve. So far targets of RIAA lawsuits have included a homeless man, a paralyzed stroke victim who lived in a different state than where the crime occurred, a 7 year old, and a dead person. Sure they target the big host sites, but they also throw thousands of darts out blindfolded.
Madison wrote:Even if they did go after the Youtube viewers, you're talking $750. The higher figures would be for the uploaders and Youtube themselves. And to be frank, I'm not sure $750 would deter people from watching videos on Youtube (I don't have that kind of money to throw away, so I'd never visit there again , but I'm not hooked on their site or involved with it like some people are), so if anything, that would need to be higher.
Well as far as I know the only case to draw a judgment so far was for a lady found guilty of downloading 24 songs. The RIAA was awarded $220,000 in damages (about $9200 per song). So the $750 isn't even really in the picture so far.