View Full Version : Legality of Copyrighted Media on YouTube

07-17-2006, 02:28 PM
Here's an interesting article (http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060716-7273.html) on what's going on at YouTube right now.

See, YouTube's continued survival is a bit of a mystery to some. The site thrives in part on what appears to be copyright infringement, but aside from a few scuffles (most notably with NBC (http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060217-6213.html)), there's been nothing Napster-ish about its history. TV clips, movie clips, you name it... they all appear on the site regularly, and without authorization. So far, the major lawsuits haven't shown up.

As von Lohmann points out, this isn't a license to print money. YouTube can lose its safe harbor protections if it appears that they are directly profiting from the infringement of copyrights by their users. In von Lohmann's opinion, this is why YouTube only shows advertisements on pages without video on them. As the company searches for a business model, it will be critically important for them to stay away from anything that looks to capitalize on, well, one of the things that makes the site so popular: copyright infringement.

It will be interesting to see what happens there.