US officials can now seize your digital gear, searching the computers, iPods and iPhones of foreign nationals visiting the US. Equipment can be seized – without charge, there’s no oversight, and it’s all in the name of ‘Homeland Security’ (like US officials really need to know which album I’ve been listening to this week. Here’s Current TV’s take…
The Art of Peace Foundation has announced that its newly-released compilation, ‘Songs for Tibet’ is now the top-selling rock download on iTunes across the world.
“With the Beijing Olympics just days away, this album sends a clear statement to Tibet and the Dalai Lama that the world is with them and supports their dreams for fundamental human rights and autonomy,” said Executive Director of The Art of Peace Foundation, Michael Wohl.
A video for the project by Mark Pellington titled “Songs for Tibet – Freedom is Expression” is available on YouTube,
Google has asked Viacom for permission to strip information which could help the latter firm identify individual YouTube users from the data a US court has said it must hand to Viacom.
US district judge Louis Stanton declared that Google must hand Viacom huge amounts of data detailing every video ever watched on YouTube – and also information on who watched the clip.
This is part of a copyright infringement case Viacom is mounting against Google. Viacom wants this data in order to ascertain just how much traffic unauthorised material creates on the online video service, in order to help it pursue its case and the $1 billion damages Viacom is suing Google for. The internet giant’s senior legal counsel told C21 Media, “We will ask Viacom to respect users’ privacy and allow us to anonymise the logs before producing them under the court’s order.”
Google must provide Viacom with every record of every video watched by YouTube users, including user names and IP addresses, a US judge declared yesterday. Viacom is suing Google for allowing clips of its copyright videos to show up on YouTube, and says it wants the data in order to prove that “infringing material is more popular than user-created videos”. It hopes to suck more money out of the internet giant if it succeeds in its prosecution of YouTube.
It’s all fallout from Viacom’s March 2007 case. The content provider wants a billion dollars in damages in settlement for Google/YouTube allowing users to upload clips of Viacom’s copyright material. Google argues that its willingness to comply with copyright takedown requests is its defence under law.
While Google tried to argue that handing over the data Viacom is demanding would infringe on user privacy, the judge didn’t agree. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, however, does, and has condemned the judge’s decision.
“The Court’s erroneous ruling is a set-back to privacy rights, and will allow Viacom to see what you are watching on YouTube. We urge Viacom to back off this overbroad request and Google to take all steps necessary to challenge this order and protect the rights of its users,” said EFF.