Google makes no secret of its contempt for copyright and intellectual property ownership — believing, as so many Netters do, that “information should be free.”
To which I say, “Bull*(#$%*!!!”
In February, Viacom asked Google-owned YouTube to remove more than 100,000 unauthorized video clips of copyrighted TV shows from its site.
When YouTube did not comply, Viacom filed suite against YouTube and Google for copyright infringement, seeking over $1 billon in damages … in a case that DM News (3/19/07, p. 1) says “may determine the future of content distribution over the Internet.”
Some argue that the exposure of the video clips on YouTube is good for Viacom, promoting their shows to a wider audience — and so Viacom should be happy that YouTube is giving them all this free exposure.
But they miss the point, and the point is this: the decision of whether to let someone reproduce or distribute copyrighted material lies solely with copyright holder.
To take someone else’s copyrighted music, video, article, or story — and distribute it online or elsewhere without their consent — is stealing, pure and simple.
Internet types love to talk about the importance of “permission-based marketing.”
How about “permission-based Internet publishing”?
That makes sense.