Just read this information posted on techcrunch today and then read my rant below. Oh, ya, don’t forget to digg the crap out of this
The offense we committed was creating a small tool that lets people download YouTube videos to their hard drives. We referenced the tool in a recent post that walked people through the process of moving YouTube Videos to their iPod.
Cease and Desist letters are often sent with no intention of follow up legal action, even if they are ignored. They are simply a way to show that you have made a good faith effort to protect your legal rights. But in this case I’m perplexed – YouTube takes the position that everything uploaded to the site is licensed for use by viewers, and so there should be no legal rights to protect:
You also hereby grant each user of the YouTube Website a non-exclusive license to access your User Submissions through the Website, and to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display and perform such User Submissions as permitted through the functionality of the Website and under these Terms of Service.
Of course, the irony of YouTube accusing others of copyright infringement is delicious. But I won’t go into that right now.
A copy of the letter is below. I had not listened to the voicemails mentioned in the letter, but I went and checked the last 20 messages and there were indeed two from this attorney.
WTF!?! Youtube? I’m boycotting YouTube.Okay. Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system… First, I want to commend the folks at techcrunch for doing their homework. It’s great to see a blow hard lawyer spew forth his venom only to be shot down by someone who knows what he’s doing. Congrats guys.
Now, let’s talk about the $1.2 billion that Google just spent on Youtube. Why would Google pay so much for this company? Youtube is easily replicable. After all, Google has Google Video, which offers many of the same features. Well, the reason Google coughed up the $1.2 billion is simple: Youtube is one of the top ranked websites in terms of daily unique visitors. Like websites like myspace, Youtube members visit the site several times a day. People love the website. It’s a great community. Community is the reason Google spent $1.2 billion on Youtube.
If enough people shift to another community, the $1.2 billion
Google spent will be put at risk. If you are disappointed with Youtube’s stance, make sure you let your opinion be known by not using Youtube and by digging this story like crazy.
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