Risk
1/26/2007
12:13 PM
Alexander Wolfe
Alexander Wolfe
Commentary
Connect Directly
Facebook
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

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
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Flash Poll
Current Issue
Cartoon
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-0640
Published: 2014-08-20
EMC RSA Archer GRC Platform 5.x before 5.5 SP1 allows remote authenticated users to bypass intended restrictions on resource access via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2014-0641
Published: 2014-08-20
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in EMC RSA Archer GRC Platform 5.x before 5.5 SP1 allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of arbitrary users.

CVE-2014-2505
Published: 2014-08-20
EMC RSA Archer GRC Platform 5.x before 5.5 SP1 allows remote attackers to trigger the download of arbitrary code, and consequently change the product's functionality, via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2014-2511
Published: 2014-08-20
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in EMC Documentum WebTop before 6.7 SP1 P28 and 6.7 SP2 before P14 allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the (1) startat or (2) entryId parameter.

CVE-2014-2515
Published: 2014-08-20
EMC Documentum D2 3.1 before P24, 3.1SP1 before P02, 4.0 before P11, 4.1 before P16, and 4.2 before P05 does not properly restrict tickets provided by D2GetAdminTicketMethod and D2RefreshCacheMethod, which allows remote authenticated users to gain privileges via a request for a superuser ticket.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Three interviews on critical embedded systems and security, recorded at Black Hat 2014 in Las Vegas.