Mama Mia: Italian Firm Sues YouTube & Google

Berlusconi's Mediaset wants millions in copyright spat

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Copyright infringement accusations emerged from Italy as a TV company called Mediaset lobbed a 500 million euros lawsuit at Google.

Perhaps Italy’s Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, sees Viacom’s ongoing action against Google and YouTube a viable strategy. His firm followed in Viacom’s footsteps, seeking a big payday from YouTube and its parent over allegations of copyright infringement.

Bloomberg said the case hit the courts in Rome, where Mediaset may try to make a play for supposed lost advertising revenue above and beyond the 500 million euros demanded. Mediaset claimed over 325 hours of their content hit YouTube, based on an assessment in June.

YouTube denied the allegations, pointing to its policy banning the uploading of copyrighted content, as well as its practice of taking down offending content upon notification.

That practice stems from the US DMCA provision that offers a safe harbor to websites that remove such content when instructed to by the content owner. It’s a defense Viacom, and now Mediaset, will try to dismantle in the courtroom.

There is little to suggest the big content companies really recognize the shift in societal expectations now that broadband connections and easy-to-use video services exist.

People used to gossip about their favorite shows face to face. But there is always something missing from being told about a funny situation on an episode of a series as opposed to seeing it.

When someone spots a moment they think is worth sharing beyond talking about it, they head to the Internet. Content companies despise this, their fans showing such interest, and the prospect of some website profiting from that broader, unauthorized exposure of their work.

The problem sounds more like it’s the media and not the masses. It’s 2008, a slew of companies from software powers like Adobe and Microsoft down to the smallest of startups have ideas on making videos a profitable vehicle for ads and distribution.

But the media companies, long accustomed to getting the whole hog, don’t want to settle for pieces of it even if they come from a vastly bigger animal. They want it all, fans be damned, copyright is the corporate shield, and they’ll go home carried on that shield before they back off and let fans be fans.

Mama Mia: Italian Firm Sues YouTube & Google
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  • http://www.prioritywindows.com/catalog/Custom-Valances-orderby0-p-1-c-335.html Valance

    Yes, the Viacom battle probably has taught them a lesson or two. Nevertheless, the internet is still uncharted territory with fewer rules. Lawsuits like this, regardless of the outcome, surely push the internet towards more regulation. I’m interested to see what battles like this will collectively do to the future of the internet.

  • Lord Zork


    Did you note that Mediaset is a propiety of Berlusconi?


    As an italian, i’m very ashamed to have him as prime minister…





  • coonass

    Unless the courts can be used to establish where the rights of users versus content providers lie, there’ll be no end to this crap.  For good or ill, the question of how far and how long ownership of video content can be exerted needs to be hashed out somewhere, and the courts are the best place for it. 

    Moreover, there needs to be a sharp delineation of whose courts govern what happens on the Internet

    – those of the US, where You Tube and Google are domiciled, or

    – Italy, where the video content originated and apparently where it was uploaded into You Tube from

    – or Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where both the upload and the content are considered impious images by the clerics who make the laws, or

    – North Korea, where Kim Jung-Il would probably love to be able to file court actions based on laws he makes up as he goes along and go swimming through Sergey Brin’s bank account?

    These are questions which need to be settled now, not when some local jurisdiction figures out how to use the Internet to pick people’s pockets with a fountain pen and an Internet terminal for "damages" that don’t really exist.

    Lord Zork, the time to be ashamed would be if Signor Berlusconi had used his power as your head of government to recoup what he saw as his losses.  Instead, he went through the courts like any other citizen.  I’d say that so far, your system works, and works well. 

    The courts of Italy are independent of the prime minister’s office, aren’t they?

    • http://www.theotherblog.net Brad Hart

      The problem with so many European courts cracking down on tech companies from other countries is they are shooting themselves in the foot and usually both feet,  I don’t think it will be long before some large company loses a major battle and is told to pay an absurd amount of damages and the company just decides to walk away from europe.

      I don’t think it would really take much for Microsoft, Mac, Google or Ebay to become pissed off enough they quit doinging business on the continet until such time as the reality of the internet and technoly can be accomodated.  For all the protests against Ebay for selling this or that, can you imagine just how angry people would get at the government if Ebay said we will no longer be useable by EU residents.  Worse could you imagine how most businesses would react if microsft said we will no longer sell windows in the EU nor will we support or accept registration from existing users.  They would be perfectly within their rights to do so

  • http://www.32x.com 32x

    The other day, I was seaching Google for my website 32x.com and found this URL: http://lmp.bizmeka.com/lmp/nph-lmp.near/000001A/http/www.32X.com/en/index.html


      Bizmeka.com is cloaking my site and moereover they have downloaded all of my content. This is a US security violation! When users log into my site, they are really loggin through Bizmeka’s Server.

      I contacted Google thru Webmaster Tools and called them in San Jose (I live 1 hour away) Google will do nothing.


    Any Suggestions?


    Thank you


    • Guest

      You very right.

      They will do nothing. Sometimes seems like they support the crap and they have lots of crap indoors for sure.

    • koyhot

       first make a copyright signature on your website (creator name, Date of creation )also put this hidden in some other place of your website after upload some copyright law in the bottom of your website this was to be visible  (something on the terms if the site is copied, partial copied or mirrored without the creator consent the company or person responsible  is accepting this written contract of paying the creator the minimum sum of $10,000.00 for liabilities on demand and also  all lawyers or courts expenditures it may happen on the proceed)  if they copy this to them website too them you get lucky ,any lawyer will have a laugh on them face.

    • Guest

      Change the name of your database, your user name, your password and then make sure your configuration file permission is set to 644. Bizmeka.com are parasites attached to your database.

  • Jess Wonderin

    This is another great moment in history – do we cede content control to random governement agency interpetations or encourge free exchange – "copping" an entire orgional content IS a violation and MUST be addressed, partial "fair use" is a hard to define value. Would you want that left to individual Priests, Shamans and power obcessed governement?  The same people that stone adultresses, blow up religious and historical sites, decide your legal sexual preferences, lie to it’s people, and control media?

    Do you really think an Italian Court handling an issue involving the Prime Minister’s OWN company would be "independent" enough to consider the WORLD WIDE impact of securing "freedom of expression" . . . .????

    Really, without "fair use" excerpt how would "value" be found . . . and if a few minutes sampled "destroys" the inherent value . . . then there really wasn’t much there. How many times have you expanded your "libaray" to get a clean complete first generation CD or DVD based on a YouTube or Google search????

    I am sure we all look forward to the creation of "protectionist" Media Curtains to replace the "walls" of the Cold War . . .   

    • Bill

      Let’s be realistic, we have all seen excerpt from TV shows on UTube.  This is copywrited work that the TV networks paid cast and crew memebers to produce.  Putting them up on the internet is a criminal act.  I think that Utube and other should review content prior to it actually being made public this will solve the situation.

      There are many message boards that require this so why should Utube and other be any different?

  • Guest

    Why is it that a society can determine actual ownership of tangible but not intellectual material?

    The information that is generated (and later used without permission is generated by actual people not fans. Therefore actual people should have the right (not fans) to determine how, where and when their material is distributed.

    And what is this BS about if you tell us we will take it down rule. Since when does a company can a company have the time and resources or should dedicate the time funds and resources to the matter of seeing who in the world is using their intellectual property without permission.

    That is akin to a robber saying “attn world” if you happen to catch me or thousands (even millions ) of my co-partners in crime stealing from you and using your money against your will would you kindly let us know (if you can find us) and we will stop spending that specific loot. Of course if we steal again and you do not catch us then we certainly have every right to use that specific loot of yours.

    Cmon folks is society that addicted to entertainment that they would justify obvious illegal activity just for a fix?

  • http://vigrxplusmaleenhancementpills.com vig rx plus

    I have serious mixed emotions about this.  There are obviously checks and balances that need to be in place, but the current laws and regulations that are in place in the US with the DMCA are abuse right now and are not used in the manner for which they were written.

  • alistirio gavazzoleni

    mama mia non significa nulla.

    Imparate l’ortografia

    "Mamma mia" si scrive, o si  dice.

    Mediaset ha ragione: pagate.

    • Guest

      Berlusconi is distroying the Italy… He only thinks about making money, he doesn’t care about the Italians.

      Prodi is 100 times better!!!!!!!

  • Mauro

    Berlusconi is trying to get popularity, he better tries to think about how to overcome the Italian crisis instead of thinking about this things. 

  • Guest

    Right. How about I’m a big fan of your car so I just come by and take it for a little ride… or leave it sitting unlocked, keys in it, on the street, so other fans can take it for a ride.

    Oh, and I don’t know about anybody else but I’m sick to death of every comment thread on the internet being polluted within ten comments by some  "I hate [insert name here]"  politics garbage.

    • http://www.freewebs.com/floridamomdar/ JR

      I know the answer to that question!!
      For every action there is a reaction, this could be a problem.
      For every reaction there is an action, and this would be the solution.
      Basically, what I’m trying to say is effect the affect.
      Go ahead and steal my car while niggard corporations are exploiting it and see what happens.
      Are you planning on kidnapping a performer while they’re standing on a corner?
      Besides, even though it may be in a car show, you can steal (I mean still) take a photo of my car and post it all over the world and lay claim that it is "Your Photo". What are you going to give me? So see, be happy. It still works out for you and you would not have to go to jail.

  • http://internetdealsonline.blogspot.com millard jacobs

    I dont think google owes them one penny.  I think the Italians are just trying to capatalise on googles success.  Google should counter sue for slander!!  Maybe if google counter sues it will help to fend off other rediculous alligations that some other company might come up with.

  • http://www.thefeathercollection.com A Joseph Wright

    You Know this is Bull Sh**
    I a Small Company who has Paid his Dues has Ideas that work
    Due to trial and error
    Now I search Like a Mother F*****
    so what happens I get SQL viruses and Ideas stolen
    from not only LOCAL US Companies But Other Nations TOO who Say they Know how to Search But Don’t
    Isn’t that THEFT too?
    But What can I do about it?
    I’m Small but Search BIG
    So WHAT IS The Difference
    I say It’s the WILD WEST on the NET
    SO Bring your GUNS and Have some thing that can hurt YOU if YOU F*** With it
    That will solve your Problem
    I have done it so IF you Go into a File YOU shouldn’t be in
    Prepare to BUY a NEW COMPUTER 😉
    Trade Marks and Copyrights today don’t do Sh**
    I Know I have spent Thousands on them and they don’t do a Damb thing
    Unless you have BIG Lawyers and Big Money
    So the Little Guy gets his stuff stolen and the ones who have the money Profit


    Its all a game here on the web so learn how to Play

    Sh** or get off the POT

    this is a form of lime lite exposure for a company going down the tubes just because their ideas are old and they want to hang around a little longer and get some FREE UNEARNED Money

    Get a life or new Ideas to stay in the game

    this is the era of the individual showing we too have ideas

    and people want to see it

    let it alone if you are not going to show equal enforcement to ALL

    my 2 cents


  • Guest

    The Only difference between Mechanical or Dynamic information is Speed and Time. Rules and Regulations are still the same. Until people surfing, copying Music or Titles or Using authours materials get it right, you are ignorant about the law. Smart up or Ship Out. The Internet is For Informatics, Business is one of those and why should the law change?

  • Guest

    heres what I will say about this… GOOGLE had done nothing wrong to those FUCKERS… they just want money.. theyre jealous because of googles success.. leave google alone.. stupid small companies…

  • Lasse Martinell

    You can’t sue a telecom company because what someone said on the phone.

    You can’t sue the post office because what someone wrote in a letter.


    You can sue a newspaper because there is a person who is responsible for what is printed.

    You can sue a TV- or Radio station for the same reason.


    MediaSet can Sue the persons who uploaded the copyright protected materials on YouTube. But they can’t Sue YouTube. Because YouTube is not responsible for what people upload. YouTube have set up roules.

    MEDIASET will loose this battle, 100%.


  • Fernando The Queen

    Small film makers post stuff on You Tube and Google to be seen by millions of people for free.  They don’t seem to be whinging about copyright yet their ideas could be stolen by bigger studios with larger budgets.  They have No way to sue without it taking years and costing a  fortune.  These guys are far worse off than any big hulking media machines owned by great big hulking monsters who lost sight of their humanity and salvation a very long time ago.

    You don’t think this is a potential business threat to larger studios who seem to be making weaker movies each year and suffering from poor production decisions, not allowing writers full creative reign, focus grouping everything to the point where its all the same and sterile?  Perhaps it is conceivable that they are looking for an external source of blame.  Maybe its all just about regulation because they want to keep feeding the consumer a whole lot of garbage.

    I think that people who think their productions are any good will purchase them or if very desperate will download it some other way, but enabling it to be viewed online provides product exposure and very interesting and relevant media statistics and comments (in other words ‘market research’ for Nothing and for Free.’  Do you think that they have the insight to recognise this?  Well judging from some of the rubbish they produce, perhaps not?

    I suppose they’d have to prove loss of earnings as a direct result of this level of exposure in order to win.  Its a difficult case because people will have to determine if the rubbish they produce is actually what people want to spend money on in these increasingly difficult and pressured hard times with economies and banks crashing all about our ears.

    Cashing in on the madness I guess.


  • http://www.thebishopblog.com Robert Bishop


    If you choose to refer to a word or phrase in another language, I always recommend ‘googling’ the text to see what comes up; thereby avoiding possible embarrassment for getting the spelling and/or meaning wrong. Love your articles, but… It’s "Mamma Mìa" (you actually pronounce both m’s). Don’t worry too much, the Italians frequently butcher English. My family and I recently returned from a two-year adventure living in Italy. I was witness to all sorts of interesting uses of the English language, including:

    • "The Way We Where" (handbag pictured above)
    • "Seventy Girl" (t-shirt)
    • "University of the United States" (another t-shirt)
    • "To Break Glass In Case Of Fire" (on the enclosures for fire extinguishers everywhere)

    Also, all of the stop signs in Italy actually say "STOP" (there must have been a really big sale somewhere).

    Ciao amigo, :-)

    Robert Bishop

  • http://www.freewebs.com/floridamomdar/ Deb

         Your subject is related to my site. Collecting Youtube clips is merely a hobby of mine to supplement my site’s theme. My profit this month was zero. Next year the profit planning is nothing. Sure my server and their affiliates do marketing business, but then again everything is marketable (Gore proved this). I wade through hordes of sub-amateur clips to find copies of bad vhs quality clips. I guess they’re threatened a person might be able to review the film or music and not be tricked by a clever title and/ or catchy cover art.
    Thank you,

  • http://www.sunncity.com sunny

    millions of people get their video clip on yourtube and allow people to add your that video so that

    1 other company with same business can target ads at the right place not charging 299US$ for just listing (such as yahoo). I buy ads with google adwords 1.5US$/day ..I’m not a giant company.

    2 people who make those video can get free exposure to million of peoples for FREE!!!! I even think of doing that for no money to spent on any other ads. Same concept of silly funny video clips of sony ads, condom ads on youtube, and 2 minutes movie clip on youtube… those BIG sucker companies … get FREE ads and still want to sue youtube and google??? this is ridiculous!!!!!! 

    YOUTUBE, GOOGLE….don’t pay them a DIME…should start charging those companies who get free ads on youtube and pay publisher who make their stupid videos


  • http://www.homeremedyhaven.com Home Remedies

    Unfortunately big websites, backed by rich investors, win out over unique smaller websites. Someone posts a video illegally and with a simple TOS and bucks the big website can defend its position saying that it can remove the content over time.

  • http://www.crmdinamico.es/office365.html alquilar programa crm

    Hello, Neat post. There’s an issue along with your site in internet explorer, may test this? IE still is the marketplace chief and a good component to people will omit your wonderful writing due to this problem.

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