What Have You Been Watching on YouTube?

July 3, 2008

Hopefully you haven’t been doing anything on YouTube that you don’t want a federal court to find out…

In it’s ongoing legal battle Viacom over copyright, a judge has ordered that Google must do the unthinkable…

Google will have to turn over every record of every video watched by YouTube users, including users’ names and IP addresses, to Viacom, which is suing Google for allowing clips of its copyright videos to appear on YouTube, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Viacom wants the data to prove that infringing material is more popular than user-created videos, which could be used to increase Google’s liability if it is found guilty of contributory infringement.

This according to an article in Wired Magazine.

Although Google argued that turning over the data would invade its users’ privacy, the judge’s ruling described that argument as “speculative” and ordered Google to turn over the logs on a set of four tera-byte hard drives.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has already reacted, calling the order a violation of the Video Privacy Protection act that “threatens to expose deeply private information.”

The Court’s erroneous ruling is a set-back to privacy rights, and will allow Viacom to see what you are watching on YouTube.

So let’s just breathe and see what happens…

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