GooTube Was Better Without The Goo

We know how you guys wait anxiously for additions to Stereogum’s YouTube channel, so thought we’d letcha know that WE’VE BEEN DELETED! In Google’s overzealous efforts to police potential copyright infringement, the Goo’s gone mad, doing sweep searches for tags and terms that may indicate protected content, at the behest of media entities like Viacom.

And with GooTube, it’s two strikes, you’re out. Our first came over a K-Fed clip, but that shouldn’t be surprising ’cause everything’s Federline’s fault. The last blow came last night, though, when Viacom requested that Google delete the Decemberists “O Valencia!” Green Screen Vid because we wrote “MTVu” in the description. As in: “Fans are encouraged to add their own effects and send to MTVu.” That’s what we get for trying to HELP Viacom! And it seems excessive, given that the .mov was freely distributed in a contest that encouraged people to manipulate it. Of course, it’s probably worse for people who had their non-Viacom related videos deleted wrongfully. Like if your name is Beavis, or Butt-head.

Didn’t this YouTube/Viacom bloodbath take place a few weeks ago? Guess they’re still doing searches for things and wrongfully removing content. Boing Boing had some salient thoughts and suggestions regarding Viacom’s take-down notices and Google’s rolling over:

This is shockingly bad behaviour on the part of both Viacom and Google, YouTube’s owner. Viacom’s indiscriminate spamigation is incredibly negligent and evil. They certainly know that a search for a term like “Redbones” will catch videos like Jim Moore’s Sunday nite dinner at Redbones in Somerville, Mass (a 30 second clip of Moore and several friends “having dinner in a ribs place in Somerville”). The idea that they have members of the bar — officers of the court! — signing affidavits swearing that they have a good-faith belief that these clips infringe their copyrights is disgraceful …

But Google’s lawyers should have known better, too. The DMCA says that if a web-hoster ignores a takedown request, it’s liable for copyright damages if the material in question is found to be infringing. YouTube can’t afford to just let any lunatic — including the savage pricks at Viacom — indiscriminately censor the content it hosts. That’s not fair to its customers.

And Google can take steps now to reduce that load: sue the living shit out of Viacom. We’ve got precedent — the Diebold debacle — for the idea that abusing the DMCA takedown process is illegal. Courts have been willing to punish this kind of excess by awarding fees and damages.

Nice idea, but don’t hold your breath for those counter-suits. Anybody else have their vids deleted? 2006 was the year of YOU; can’t wait to hear whom they attribute this one to.

Okay, now we feel better. Visit us at videogum for the latest and greatest in legal video content.