Directors Guild slams judge for Viacom/YouTube decision

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Directors Guild slams judge for Viacom/YouTube decision

Thu Jun 24, 2010 @ 04:01PM PST

By Matthew Belloni

Youtube_logo Reaction is coming in from the content community to yesterday's ruling in favor of Google in Viacom's $1 billion copyright litigation over YouTube. Now the Directors Guild of America is about to issue a statement predicting a "drastic rising tide of Internet theft" and a "never-ending task" of monitoring the web for infringement. Full statement from DGA president Taylor Hackford here:

Hackford,taylor “The DGA is troubled by the judge’s decision to shield copyright-infringing websites based on his interpretation of the safe harbor provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. 

“We are extremely concerned about the implications of the judge’s decision, which permits those who engage in or enable Internet theft to build sites using illegal content provided the site operators promise to take the illegal content down later if they are caught and notified. This decision means that content creators and copyright holders will carry 100% of the burden of policing the Internet and pursuing takedown measures for every instance of copyright infringement that they are able to find. Every content owner will need to search the Internet constantly and forever – a never-ending task of Sisyphean proportions. For our members who work on smaller independent or low-budget films, the burden will be even greater because they do not have the resources at their disposal to even begin tackling this impossible task. They will have no option but to watch helplessly while websites that are predicated on copyright infringement make money off the fruits of their labor.  

“The content created by our members takes months or years of work and millions of dollars of investment to come to life. We fear that the precedent established in this ruling, if not overturned by the appeals court, could result in a drastic rising tide of Internet theft that could decimate our members’ livelihoods, their pension and health plans, and their ability to continue creating the content that is beloved by people all over the world.”

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to Matthew.Belloni@thr.com

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