Thursday, June 24, 2010

Court Upholds YouTube's Model

Using YouTube video clips in teaching and preaching has been easy and legal for several years. The world is available to the teacher and preacher in short clips with great visuals and excellent audio.

For the past several years I have contended that YouTube, and its owner, Google, provide content for us to use, and that they have been taking responsibility for the legal (copyright) matters. Viacom tested the model with a lawsuit against Google some 3-4 years ago, and until it was settled by the court, my view was that we could legally use the material Google/YouTube presented.

Today a judgment was rendered in favor of YouTube:

"U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton in New York sided with Google Wednesday as he rebuffed Viacom's attempt to collect more than $1 billion in damages for YouTube's alleged copyright infringement during its first two years of existence.

The 30-page opinion embraces Google's interpretation of a 12-year-old law that shields Internet services from claims of copyright infringement as long as they promptly remove illegal content when notified of a violation." (source: Associated Press report as reported here.

This ruling provides us with a continuous source of legally-obtained video material, placing the copyright-verification onus upon YouTube and Google. It is indeed a victory for participatory sharing along guidelines set by the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, and the Fair Use Guidelines For Educational Multimedia.