From Library Journal:
In Another Emerging Copyright Front, YouTube, Popular Host of Online
Video, Is Sued
In yet another front in the copyright wars, YouTube, the popular online
host for video, has been sued in federal court for copyright infringement.
The Los Angeles News Service and its owner Robert Tur filed suit late last
week charging that YouTube illegally allowed users to upload copyrighted
video footage, including the beating of trucker Reginald Denny during the
1992 Los Angeles riots. Tur asserts in the suit that the video was viewed
and downloaded 1000 times via the site, putting YouTube's exposure at $150
million, if the maximum $150,000 per infraction fine were imposed.
Copyright experts, however, say that YouTube may not face the same fate as
music-sharing site Napster.
In a recent article for the Hollywood Reporter, Electronic Frontier
Foundation lawyer Fred Von Lohmann explained that YouTube "has an
important legal shield that was not available to the old Napster: the
so-called 'online service provider safe harbors' created by Congress as
part of the DMCA [Digital Millennium Copyright Act]." According to Von
Lohmann, "as long as YouTube plays by a few rules, content owners can't
collect damages from it, even if its users infringe their copyrights." The
first rule, he notes, is the implementation of a "notice and takedown"
system, a mechanism for the service to respond to infringement notices
from copyright owners. YouTube, he notes, "has this in place and takes
down material once properly notified by an owner that a clip is