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YouTube Responds To Premier League Allegations

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Google and YouTube don’t usually comment on lawsuits; instead, we’re left to look over various court documents.  These are still helpful, however, and they’ve recently provided an update on the case between YouTube and the Football Association Premier League.  To sum up: YouTube pleaded innocent.

Of course, there was a little more to it than that.  YouTube “denied infringing copyrights of England’s Football Association Premier League Ltd. and said any lapses resulted from innocent error,” reports Bloomberg’s Susan Decker.  “They also said they are protected under the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which makes Internet services immune to infringement claims if they take steps to prevent illegal postings.”

Decker then relayed a quote from YouTube’s formal defense that speaks of “extraordinary libraries of information . . . created by users who have every right to share it.”

If you’ve read many court documents, you’ll know that that’s a surprisingly well-turned phrase – no dense legalese here.  So even as Google develops its own “video identification technology,” YouTube’s lawyers may be trying to keep people on their side.  That’s not a bad thing, though – what normal user wants clips removed from the video-sharing site? – and Google has often taken a role as a sort of public defender.

(This is something of a side note, but while we’re on the subject of public opinion, a site featuring a screaming, red-and-white painted soccer fan is fully behind YouTube.  CORRECTION: See comment below.)

Anyway, in response to the invocation of the DMCA, Louis M. Solomon, a soccer league lawyer, told Decker, “We are eager to litigate that question to conclusion, because I think the law is completely to the contrary. . . .  There’s nothing wrong with the statute.  What’s wrong in our view is how YouTube has distorted the statute to its own unlawful end.”

YouTube Responds To Premier League Allegations
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  • http://soccerlens.com Ahmed Bilal

    Hey Doug, thanks for the mention :)

    Just to correct something – Soccerlens is not ‘behind YouTube’. What I’ve said in the article you’ve linked to is that the Premier League should provide premium content on their own servers, and their piracy problems will be slashed in half AND they’d gain a good source of revenue.

    Basically, follow the iTunes model, except charging by monthly subscriptions instead of downloads (although that’s a viable model too).

    • Doug Caverly

      And thank *you* for the clarification.  I was working off the “deliberatly encouraging users to upload and share short video clips of goals, football skills and controversial incidents to generate public attention and boost traffic” bit – sorry for the mixup.