YouTube handing over user details

February 14, 2007

This report claims that a 20th Century Fox Television spokesperson has said that Google (and Live Digital) complied with subpoenas issued by the U.S. District Court in Northern California and disclosed to Fox the identities of two individuals who illegally uploaded entire episodes of “24” prior to its broadcast and DVD release. Fox also said that YouTube user who goes by the handle “ECOTtotal” uploaded 12 episodes of the popular animated show “The Simpsons.”

Fox says that it intends to pursue the two users under copyright laws, it remains to be seen whether they could bring a case against them.

Actions such as this could really harm YouTube. Rather than shopping users to copyright holders it would be much less harmful for their brand if they had put in place a copyright protection system that would have negated the need to do this. It remains to be seen whether users will tolerate this kind of policing, if nothing else it could stop them submitting sensitive details about themselves (that could be used to identify them), potentially it could make some move on elsewhere.

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