Veoh Considered

by on September 22, 2008 · 8 comments

I reviewed the Veoh case for DRMWatch recently:

The user-generated video site Veoh achieved a victory in court on August 27th when California District Judge Howard Lloyd ruled that it was entitled to the protection of the DMCA’s safe harbor provisions. Veoh was accused of copyright infringement by IO Group, a maker of adult films…

Like eBay v. Tiffany, another case in which one might trumpet a tech-side win… the tech gets at least some protection from liability. But only in a context in which the tech is already taking substantial steps to help the plaintiff trademark/copyright owner with their enforcement problem, steps that would have been hard to conceive of a decade ago, and that many would have grandly declared to be too ambitious and too invasive for online services to attempt. Prediction: the case law is now much more mature, but the business side is just getting started. More and fancier filtering to come.

It’s funny and scary how many of our grand ideas about justice, rights, freedom, fairness and property come down to what we can become accustomed too.  Bad, in the sense that one can easily lose the customary baselines against which freedom is measured in a generation or so. Good, in the sense that one is not limited to identify freedom with just one historic mythical Golden Age; a free society has somewhat more leeway.

I’m fond of paradoxes these days. Tedious things. Almost as annoying to other people, I am sure, as those characters (you know who you are) who make puns all the time.

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