Viacom’s Confusion Over Copyright

This story from Viacom Accuses Guy Of Copyright Infringement For Showing Video Of Viacom Infringing On His Copyright

Viacom is a company waging a misguided $2 billion dollar lawsuit against Google/YouTube for copyright infringement (which is committed by users, not Google/YouTube) and sending take down notices to countless YouTube users (some of which are clearly not infringing on their copyright).

In short, they’ve already demonstrated that they have a slight misunderstanding of copyright. But now they’ve just proven that misunderstanding to be quite extreme.

From the article:

VH1 is a Viacom property that has a popular TV show called “Web Junk 2.0.” It basically just takes the more popular/funny/stupid clips that show up on YouTube every week and shows them on TV along with some goofy commentary from the show’s host. I’d always wondered if Viacom compensated the owners of those videos — especially given the company’s position about YouTube. It turns out that neither Viacom nor VH1 compensate the video owners, or even ask their permission. It just assumes that it can use them. Most turn out to be perfectly happy (not surprisingly) to get this sort of free publicity. One guy thought it was so cool that he recorded the clip of Web Junk that featured his own video and posted that on YouTube so he could blog about it. And, in an incredibly ironic move, Viacom sent a takedown notice to YouTube forcing it offline.

So… Viacom’s show infringes upon (well, basically ignores) the copyright of the owner of the video. And then, when the owner posts a clip of his video (which they had not received permission to air) on the show, they tell him that he doesn’t have permission to show a clip of them showing something that they didn’t have permission to show.

I don’t even know what to say to that.

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