" Viacom has a statement on its site now about the YouTube litigation it probably hopes will reassure you. Leaving out the anti-Google trash talk, it reads like this:
A recent discovery order by the Federal Court hearing the case of Viacom v. YouTube has triggered concern about what information will be disclosed by Google and YouTube and how it will be used. Viacom has not asked for and will not be obtaining any personally identifiable information of any YouTube user. The personally identifiable information that YouTube collects from its users will be stripped from the data before it is transferred to Viacom. Viacom will use the data exclusively for the purpose of proving our case against You Tube and Google.
Viacom has been in discussions with Google to develop a framework to share this data. We are committed to a process that will not only comply with the Court’s confidentiality order, but that will also meet our commitment to the strongest possible internet privacy protections.
That's some progress, if it's true, the part about Google redacting it first. But what's that part about Viacom didn't ask for it? They say the same thing on their homepage, where you can see this questionably true statement:
Viacom has not requested any personally identifiable information from YouTube as part of the litigation.
Say what? I think it would be more truthful to say that they *did too* ask for it, Google asked them to let them redact, Viacom saw the public's reaction, and so it agreed. I gather Viacom has noticed that a lot of consumers, as they view us human beings, seriously hate Viacom's guts because of this over-the-top litigation.Viacom may think they can say whatever they wish about what they asked for, since the details of their motion to compel were filed in a sealed memorandum. But we're not stupid, and we can read the Order, where the judge tells us what Viacom asked for...
I think they meant to say, we asked for everything we could think of, and now we're sorry we did it, because you hate us now."
I'm not going to dissect the order regarding what Viacom did or didn't ask for since Ms Jones does that very nicely. I will remind you what the judge ordered, however:
"(3) The motion to compel production of all removed videos is granted;
(4) The motion to compel production of all data from the Logging database concerning each time a YouTube video has been viewed on the YouTube website or through embedding on a third-party website is granted...
(7) The motion to compel production of the schema for the Google Video Content database is
There is quite a lot of material in YouTube video content that constitutes 'personally identifiable information', including a proportion of those videos that were removed from YouTube that Google now has to hand over to Viacom.
In addition there is quite a lot of 'personally identifiable information' in the collection of 'all data from the Logging database concerning each time a YouTube video has been viewed on the YouTube website or through embedding on a third-party website' that Google has also been ordered to hand over to Viacom.
It is a bit of a stretch to ask us to believe that "Viacom has not requested any personally identifiable information from YouTube as part of the litigation" and that the judge just spontaneously decided that such information should be extracted from Google and passed to Viacom for no reason. Fortunately we can look at the evidence and deduce that the Viacom PR merchants are being economical with the truth. Sadly even the most compelling evidence of falsehood is often not enough to convince people about what has happened. The temporary negative reaction to Viacom will pass and the Google order will be forgotten, since these things are too ethereal for our world of short attention spans to pay attention to for very long.
Thanks to Glyn via the ORG list for the pointer.