Sunday, October 21, 2007

Copyright Rules Agreed Upon By Coalition

The Associated Press (AP) reported on Friday: "A coalition of major media and Internet companies Thursday issued a set of guidelines for handling copyright-protected videos on large user-generated sites such as MySpace. Conspicuously absent was Google Inc., whose YouTube Web site this week rolled out its own technology to filter copyrighted videos once they've been posted."

The coalition included both Internet and media giants as well as some lesser known names: CBS Corporation, Dailymotion, Microsoft Corporation, MySpace, NBC Universal, News Corp., Veoh Networks, Viacom Inc., and the Walt Disney Company. They've agreed Internet sites will use filtering technology to block copyrighted material from being posted without permission.

NBC's CEO Jeff Zucker was quoted by the AP saying: "Today's announcement marks a significant step in transforming the Internet from a Wild West to a popular medium that respects the rule of law...By recognizing the mutual benefits of a technology-based framework to control piracy, technology and content companies have laid the foundation for the lawful growth of video on the Internet."

There were some caveats mentioned. Attorney Andrew Bridges noted that these guidelines constitute more of a treaty than a contract and still permit companies to seek legal redress during a dispute. Further, the guidelines "do not apply to search engines, e-mail or browsers, are designed for sites that host user-generated clips--like YouTube."

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