Sucky development in the legal battle between GooTube and Viacom re: the latter’s ridiculous IP-infringement claims: A court order has been issued demanding that Google hand over the information for every single YouTube user, including what videos they watched & their IP address, and every video that has been removed, regardless of reason. Not only is this amount of information worthless except for the purposes of an IP witchhunt, but as the EFF points out, compliance with such an order just happens to be illegal.
Of course, the claim by Viacom that triggered this entire mess — that people putting up snippets of video they like in a compressed format amounts to claiming they created something they didn’t, and that the effect of doing so is equivalent to the effect of Federal Reserve floods of “liquidity” on the dollar — is 180 Proof nonsense, but reality is for the little people. Nope, can’t acknowledge that sites like YouTube function as a media buffet of sorts, which depending on the specific content either draws attention to stuff that younger tech-savvy people — who increasingly don’t bother with TV much — might’ve missed the first time, serves as an archive of sorts for examples of the type of content that you just don’t get anymore (many of the ones yanked have been old music videos), or encourages recontextualizing or remixing of video for purpose of serious expression (I’ve seen clips of news footage edited to include obvious contradictions the same show later disseminated) or silly inside-joke type entertainment (Two words: “Juggernaut, BEYOTCH!!”). Even though if anything we ADD value simply by giving a fuck about it, to do that would mean placating us annoying punks with our PC monitor tans and fast fingers and mp3 players and habit of stepping on the old elite’s lawn.
This isn’t going to work. They can either acknowledge the direction things are going, or commit media suicide. Either way, this idiot attitude that YouTube users are somehow snatching food from the mouths of these people’s children is following the dinosaurs into extinction. It’s not a matter of whether the existing rules will change, only whether they want to adapt or simply die.