It amazed me a few weeks ago when a federal judge ruled that Google had to turn over the viewer logs for YouTube to Viacom, in Viacom’s lawsuit. I read a lot of blogs that quickly blasted the decision as an invasion of privacy. It looks like they were following the tinfoil hat committee:
Google and Viacom have reached a deal to protect the privacy of millions of YouTube watchers.
Earlier this month, a New York federal judge ordered Google to turn over YouTube user data to Viacom and other plaintiffs to help them prepare a confidential study of what they argue are vast piracy violations on the video-sharing site.
Google claims it had now agreed to provide plaintiffs’ attorneys with a version of a massive viewership database that blanks out YouTube usernames and IP addresses that could be used to identify individual video watchers.
Now I am not a lawyer, but this makes perfect sense. Viacom never planned on going after the millions of people who may have seen their content on YouTube. Think about it for a second – if they did these people have the ability to really hurt Viacom by simply turning off Comedy Central, not going to movies by Paramount, or boycotting any other product Viacom offers. Instead the decision was made so that Viacom could prove that people were using YouTube to watch the videos. It’s part of the chain of evidence, and the ruling makes perfect sense.
Back to the bloggers for a minute. There are some on the left that really got to me. They were so quick to denounce this lawsuit and blast Viacom openly. Some of these bloggers are the very same that will fire off a nasty email to other bloggers when they feel like their content has been used without attribution. It’s amazing how they love to apply double standards on this stuff.