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May 27, 2008

The end of internet freedom


by David Allen

That is what Google are predicting as media giant Viacom decide whether legal action would be appropriate against the Google owned video website YouTube.

Viacom are claiming that Google and YouTube are responsible for the content on their sites and that they have virtually nothing at all to prevent any copyright infringements.

Google have hit back saying that they will not find a compromise as they are willing to let this one go all the way through the courts.

There are supposed to be 150,000 cases of copyright infringement occurring on YouTube according to the law suit. These include An Inconvenient Truth and episodes of South Park.

Viacom say that this material and others that are available are breaching copyright.

On the other hand Google say that this law suit if it goes ahead will threaten the way that many internet users share information and could mark the end to internet freedom.

EDITORS NOTE: If Google are clearly breaching copyright regulations, then the issue has nothing to do with “internet freedom” and has everything to do with “internet piracy”.

Plenty of download sites providing a similar service have been actioned against or closed down in the past - the difference here is that it is a billion-dollar global corporation as the accused.

Google have faced various claims of copyright infringement in the past for various services, and to be honest, I think Google have repeatedly failed to take the issue seriously.

In which case, the Viacom action can only be a good thing, because surely no global corporation should be above the law?

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