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Thread: Should youtube be able to claim safe harbor protections

  1. Default Should youtube be able to claim safe harbor protections

    Does anyone have a good argument for why Youtube and an ISP should be treated as the same thing?
    There's this assumption that social media platforms should benefit from the same safe harbor protections as an ISP. But social media platforms are far from dumb pipes. They claim to have no control over their users' content when it comes to legal protections, but when it comes to advertising suddenly the story changes. Not only do they have control over the content, they own the right to sell advertising against it. Seems hypocritical to me.

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    I’m more interested in the idea of ownership. Youtube’s terms of service claim a non-exclusive, worldwide, perpetual license to all the content uploaded to it’s platform. That’s essentially co-ownership with the uploader.
    So they claim to own all uploads, profit off them, and at the same time claim ignorance when it comes to all legal responsibility.
    If youtube wants to monetize user content, it makes sense that they should be responsible for that content.

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    A non exclusive worldwide perpetual license stops a user uploading something and then suing you for not taking it down. It’s the same terms as any other site that accepts user generated/submitted content, from YouTube to Twitter to Instagram to every comments section on the planet.

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    Imagine a world where Youtube could only run ads against content uploaded by trusted creators. That would instantly level the playing field between content creators and youtube’s monopoly power.

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    There is a big difference between selling advertising against content and getting CONTEXT of said content. When they sell advertisement, they simply look for keywords and base it on that. That approach is a hit or miss approach that improves conversion rates but is far from perfect from grasping content.
    On top of that, there is a good reason why you would want social media like ISPs to have safe harbor legal protection. Because if they do not, then social media will seize to exist as censorship goes through the roof. Would you be willing to take legal responsibility for what random people on the internet say?

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    As far as licensing goes. Legally speaking at least in the US, there is no such thing as public domain. So anything you get comes with a license. Even if you download software on the internet it comes with a license. What you have ownership of is the license, not the actual product. Hence why the media companies always say even if you buy the movie/music, you don’t actually own it, you own the license under which they distributed it to you.

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    I mean think about it, if you download a software that contains a virus. You own the software and virus. So you are legally responsible as the creator of the virus since you now own it? See the legal issue with that reasoning?
    As far as monitization goes, another example to go of. You own a hotel with a nice beach view (but not the beach). You rent the hotel for others to view the beautiful view, someone commits murder on the beach. Are you financially liable simply because you are monetizing the view of the beach?

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