Earlier this week, a Northern California court ruled that websites hosting copyright infringing material are not liable for copyright infringment so long as the do not encourage the uploading and sharing of material that infringes upon the intellectual property rights of others and the sites “take the content down” when asked to do so. This grammatically incorrect, huge run on sentence is just AudioMicro’s interpretation of the situation.
There are a few additional precautions the video sharing sites must take, like employing software to detect protected material, but nothing too difficult to administer. The point of all this is that this ruling could have a huge impact on YouTube and other contest hosting, sharing, and storage applications like Audioo.com . It is interesting to see the copyright infringement and online piracy laws take shape right before our eyes. This particular ruling was s big blow to the studios and in effect, we draw the conclusion that the “Take Down Notice is the Only Defense”.
This is ruling is clearly NOT in favor of the artists, and “Take Down Notices” are just not enough to prevent sites from infringing upon the rights of copyright owners. What is the point of copyright ownership? The sole purpose is to protect IP and if the only protection we have is telling people not to use our IP after they have already used it, then copyright registration itself has become an arguably meaningless process. In light of the repercussions of this decision, purchasing royalty free music and appropriately securing synchronization licenses for use in your video project does mean that you will not be subject to any take down notices.
Despite the short term impact of the ruling, this is definitely not the last time we will see IP and music copyright holders in the courtroom with video sharing, streaming, and storage platforms. More to come as the story oy copyright holders vs. the web continues to unfold over time.