Okay, I’ve just got back from a job interview with a very cool Digitial Agency to some very bad digital news. Viacom have just won their court battle with Google meaning that the search company will now be obliged to release every viewing record and IP address for every visit ever made to YouTube! Of course, it’s all about ‘massive copyright infringements’ by the YouTube community so, despite the obvious value of such activity to companies like Viacom, everyone is in the dock for their surfing habits.
Oh look, here’s all the Viacom companies… this is a *big* media company with an extraordinary amount of influence and output. And get this, their copyright has been infringed! Oh lordy…
Anyhow, I’m not going to go on about the massive damage that this ruling does to our rights of privacy; surely even Viacom aren’t blind to that. What I’m interested in is where this kind of legal madness ends? Looking at my DVDs, I can see a lot of Viacom subsidary products there, all legitimatey purchased, so in my view, I’ve been contributing to their profits. You know what, I have viewed Viacom products on YouTube and i might even have downloaded one or two others in full but here’s the thing; If I downloaded them then I didn’t want them enough to pay for them. Where’s your loss, Viacom? True, I’ve seen something I haven’t paid for but given the fact that a) i might end up buying the DVD anyhow or b) I might end up buying something else you make based on what I’ve seen, I don’t think you’ve lost anything here. In fact, you’ve possibly got yourself some free advertising.
My question is this; what happens when AOL Time Warner win a case and they get together with Viacom and any other number of similarly shady conglomerates to start working together and abusing their legally help priviliges to aggresively attack those that have ‘stolen’ from them? 1984 has never seemed closer in my opinion; home taping didn’t kill music in the 80s and the internet will not kill entertainment in the millenium. I’m not a tree-hugging corporate hater but get a grip Viacom; get a fucking grip.