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TubeTube users safe from court order

by on16 July 2008


Identities masked

YouTube users can breathe a sigh of relief that their personal data will not fall into the hands of one of the biggest television companies in America.

It had been feared that a court order in a $1 billion copyright-infringement lawsuit meant that YouTube would have to hand over a data base of users to Viacom. However, YouTube said that it would substitute user IDs, Internet addresses and other identifiers before submitting the database to Viacom.

In a statement, YouTube said that it remained committed to protecting user privacy and it would continue to fight for the right to share and broadcast your work on YouTube. U.S. District Couret Judge Louis Stanton had dismissed privacy concerns when he ordered the database to be handed over. Viacom and the other plaintiffs wanted the data to show proof that their copyright-protected videos
were more heavily watched than amateur clips.

However, since the YouTube database attaches each user's unique login ID and the Internet Protocol, or IP address to every video that gets played, handing over the database also would give out this private information. Apparently, Viacom and the other plaintiffs did not want all that data, or the PR disaster that came with demanding it, and signed an agreement saying they would accept measures to help YouTube preserve the anonymity of its users.
Last modified on 17 July 2008
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