Risk
1/26/2007
12:13 PM
Alexander Wolfe
Alexander Wolfe
Commentary
Connect Directly
Twitter
Facebook
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
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: So this is what happens when The Cloud goes down.
Current Issue
5 Security Technologies to Watch in 2017
Emerging tools and services promise to make a difference this year. Are they on your company's list?
Flash Poll
New Best Practices for Secure App Development
New Best Practices for Secure App Development
The transition from DevOps to SecDevOps is combining with the move toward cloud computing to create new challenges - and new opportunities - for the information security team. Download this report, to learn about the new best practices for secure application development.
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-7445
Published: 2015-10-15
The Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) subsystem in the Linux kernel through 4.x mishandles requests for Graphics Execution Manager (GEM) objects, which allows context-dependent attackers to cause a denial of service (memory consumption) via an application that processes graphics data, as demonstrated b...

CVE-2015-4948
Published: 2015-10-15
netstat in IBM AIX 5.3, 6.1, and 7.1 and VIOS 2.2.x, when a fibre channel adapter is used, allows local users to gain privileges via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2015-5660
Published: 2015-10-15
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in eXtplorer before 2.1.8 allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of arbitrary users for requests that execute PHP code.

CVE-2015-6003
Published: 2015-10-15
Directory traversal vulnerability in QNAP QTS before 4.1.4 build 0910 and 4.2.x before 4.2.0 RC2 build 0910, when AFP is enabled, allows remote attackers to read or write to arbitrary files by leveraging access to an OS X (1) user or (2) guest account.

CVE-2015-6333
Published: 2015-10-15
Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) 1.1j allows local users to gain privileges via vectors involving addition of an SSH key, aka Bug ID CSCuw46076.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
In past years, security researchers have discovered ways to hack cars, medical devices, automated teller machines, and many other targets. Dark Reading Executive Editor Kelly Jackson Higgins hosts researcher Samy Kamkar and Levi Gundert, vice president of threat intelligence at Recorded Future, to discuss some of 2016's most unusual and creative hacks by white hats, and what these new vulnerabilities might mean for the coming year.