Posted on March 18, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Viacom wants content hosts to police Viacom’s Copyrights

In a lawsuit against YouTube in which Viacom hopes to set some dangerous precedence against *all* content hosts and content servers, they want Viacom (and other’s) copyrights to be policed by content hosts.  Effectively shifting the burden of content copyright enforcement AWAY from the content owners.

It’s something I find scary, working for, and having worked for, sites and services supported by user created and published content.  I understand what Viacom wants, but it is a copyright owners responsibility to ensure it’s copyrights are not violated.  This has been the way copyrights work, and the way the (flawed) DMCA works.  Content/Copyright owners must inform publishers/hosts/servers when a violation has occurred.  It is simply, NOT possible for publishers/hosts/servers to validate ownership of content.  There is NO way to do so.  We all try to use our best judgement, but at the end of the day there’s no way to find out ‘Is this content owned by the entity handing it to me for publishing/further redistribution?’  What Viacom wants will effectively mean YouTube and others can’t publish *ANY* content.

Viacom is a special case of viral advertising, and of the left doesn’t know what the right is doing, but it’s NOT alone.