Ruling in YouTube Appeal is (Mostly) a Win for Internet | Center for Democracy & Technology

The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision today in Viacom’s blockbuster lawsuit against YouTube – a case CDT cited in 2010 as one of the leading “things to watch” that will shape the Internet’s future. Fortunately, the news is mostly good. While the decision is not a complete win for YouTube and indeed sends the matter back to the District Court for further factual determinations, the principal legal rulings appear to represent a “win” for the Internet.

Viacom’s lawsuit represented a full broadside attack on the crucial “safe harbor” that protects companies that host user-generated content from being held liable whenever users upload infringing material. Without this protection, set forth in Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), liability risks would cripple the operation of user-generated content and social networking sites. It would be hard to overstate the negative impact for free expression

via Court Ruling in YouTube Appeal is (Mostly) a Win for Internet | Center for Democracy & Technology.

How can the US seize a “Hong Kong site” like Megaupload?

Here’s an article on the subject of cross-nation jurisdiction for Internet activity.

The indictment makes these points repeatedly. Megaupload wasn’t just some Hong Kong enterprise that “happened” to be used by US residents. The site had leased more than 1,000 servers in North America alone; 525 were at Carpathia Hosting and were located in Virginia. Between 2007 and 2010, Carpathia received $13 million from Megaupload. (Cogent Communications in the US supplied a few additional US servers and bandwidth.)

via Explainer: How can the US seize a "Hong Kong site" like Megaupload?.

RapidShare struggles to placate Big Content with anti-piracy plan

Introduction: Cloud-based storage lockers are becoming increasingly important. Most of us probably use Dropbox. But of course they can be used to move any kind of forbidden digital content around. Hence US strong-copyright-interests are suspicious of them.RB

The last year has been a stressful period for online locker sites. Hotfile is currently defending itself from a lawsuit by the Motion Picture Association of America. In January, the federal government shut down Megaupload and indicted its officers. While the courts have yet to decide whether either company is legally responsible for the infringing activities of their users, there’s no serious dispute that copyright infringement accounted for a significant fraction of their business.

RapidShare argues that its service is fundamentally different. The company promotes non-infringing uses of its service and actively polices its site for illegal content. On Wednesday, at an event at the National Press Club, RapidShare formalized its anti-piracy stance with a new document. Its “Responsible Practices for Cloud Storage Services” outlines the steps the company takes to fight infringement on its site.

As we’ll see, these steps go well beyond the minimum enforcement efforts required to qualify for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s safe harbor. Yet even RapidShare’s aggressive anti-piracy approach has not satisfied piracy hawks like the Recording Industry Association of America. Ars talked to RapidShare General Counsel Daniel Raimer following Wednesday’s event.

via RapidShare struggles to placate Big Content with anti-piracy plan.

German court mandates more screening by YouTube

German court deals YouTube a blow in copyright case –

HAMBURG — A German court in Hamburg dealt Google (GOOG) a blow on Friday, saying its YouTube online video-sharing site needed to prevent its users from posting copyrighted music clips without permission.

The suit was brought against YouTube in 2010 by German royalty collections body GEMA and several other groups handling music rights for allegedly infringing copyrights.

The test case concerns seven music clips and could be a step toward YouTube and other operators of websites publishing user-generated content having to pay large sums in royalties.