12:13 PM
Alexander Wolfe
Alexander Wolfe
Connect Directly

YouTube Simpsons Subpoena Spotlights Copyright Insanity

No, this isn't another legal tussle or media mess involving O.J. or Judith Regan. It's a Web copyright battle touched off by that overrated weekly animated series starring Homer and Marge. And, as with most copyright disputes, the online data path leads directly to YouTube.

No, this isn't another legal tussle or media mess involving O.J. or Judith Regan. It's a Web copyright battle touched off by that overrated weekly animated series starring Homer and Marge. And, as with most copyright disputes, the online data path leads directly to YouTube.It seems that Fox Corp., which owns The Simpsons (the series, not O.J., though Fox was also involved in the recent If I Did It fiasco), has subpoenaed YouTube in an effort to find out who uploaded clips from The Simpsons as well as from 24.

According to Reuters, Fox wants YouTube to hand over the name of the subscriber so that it can "stop the infringement."

Hey, haven't we been here before? The RIAA, which is the industry association representing the seriously sagging music business, has spent the past two years suing teenagers and the occasional grandmother for the nefarious offense of downloading music without paying for it.

I don't mean to make light of illegal downloads, because, let's face it, it is theft. Sheryl Crow, an artist whose work I admire -- newbies are advised to check out her eponymous second album as well as last year's WildFlower, an underated homage to Elton John -- has been vocal in her opposition to teens filling their iPods from peer-to-peer networks. And she should know, because she's worth many tens of millions of dollars.

The point is, while Fox and friends like the RIAA are correct, they're also wrong. That is, the copyright horse already has left the barn. The best way for Fox to protect its intellectual property should be to let it surge freely throughout the Web, where, in all likelihood, people who see clips of The Simpsons and of 24 will want to check out the actual shows for themselves. On Fox.

Others also have suggested that the Foxes of the world post up to YouTube themselves and attach ads to the clips, because their real business is getting people to watch their advertisers' ads, and this tactic will bring in many millions of additional eyeballs.

In any case, resistance is rather futile at this point: A quick check of YouTube this morning indicates more than 20,000 Simpsons-related clips. Much better to come up with a strategy that recognizes reality and finds a way to make lemons out of YouTube lemonade.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
Dark Reading Live EVENTS
INsecurity - For the Defenders of Enterprise Security
A Dark Reading Conference
While red team conferences focus primarily on new vulnerabilities and security researchers, INsecurity puts security execution, protection, and operations center stage. The primary speakers will be CISOs and leaders in security defense; the blue team will be the focus.
White Papers
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
Security Vulnerabilities: The Next Wave
Just when you thought it was safe, researchers have unveiled a new round of IT security flaws. Is your enterprise ready?
Flash Poll
[Strategic Security Report] Assessing Cybersecurity Risk
[Strategic Security Report] Assessing Cybersecurity Risk
As cyber attackers become more sophisticated and enterprise defenses become more complex, many enterprises are faced with a complicated question: what is the risk of an IT security breach? This report delivers insight on how today's enterprises evaluate the risks they face. This report also offers a look at security professionals' concerns about a wide variety of threats, including cloud security, mobile security, and the Internet of Things.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.