Viacom v YouTube and Google: copyright challenges for user generated intermediaries

O'Brien, Damien S. (2007) Viacom v YouTube and Google: copyright challenges for user generated intermediaries. In Legal and Policy Framework for the Digital Content Industry, 28-29 May, Shanghai, People's Republic of China. (Unpublished)

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YouTube, the video sharing website has risen to be one of the most popular and profitable websites on the Internet. What was first created in February 2005 as a platform for people all over the world to share videos, has now developed into a billion dollar business, that is an integral part of the Google empire. However, while the success and popularity of YouTube is clear, the associated copyright issues which lie at the very core of the YouTube platform are far from settled. Evidencing the legal uncertainty surrounding the operation of YouTube, is the current high profile litigation which has been brought by entertainment company, Viacom International. The case filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and any subsequent appeals, have the potential to be one of the most influential copyright decisions in the digital era.

YouTube is not the only user generated intermediary to have encountered legal difficulties, rather it exemplifies the copyright challenges facing user generated intermediaries. Indeed, the evolution of Web 2.0 and other new digital technologies have enabled digital content to be easily reproduced and communicated online, without the permission of the copyright owner. The following paper will provide an analysis of the recent Viacom v YouTube case, including the claims brought by Viacom, both party’s arguments and an examination of the key issues, which are likely to decide the case. The paper will also consider copyright challenges for other user generated intermediaries, such as blogs and wikis. Finally, the paper will provide an analysis from an Australian perspective of some of the copyright challenges which user generated intermediaries are likely to encounter under Australian copyright law.

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ID Code: 7754
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Additional URLs:
Keywords: copyright law, YouTube, Google, Viacom, user generated, digital content, copyright, safe harbor, safe harbour
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Intellectual Property Law (180115)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Research Centres > Law and Justice Research Centre
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 Damien O'Brien
Deposited On: 17 May 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:41

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