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Two views of Google-YouTube

Anyone intrigued by the legal dilemma facing Google and its YouTube subsidiary (as in, the potential for massive copyright-infringement judgments) should read this post from Mark Cuban's blog. In it, Cuban explains why Magnolia Pictures, the movie studio he co-owns, sent subpoenas to Google to find the names of the YouTube users who had posted clips from Magnolia movies. Not to pretend to be a lawyer here, but the heart of YouTube's defense is that it qualifies for the safe harbor that the 1998 Digital Millennium Act provides for Web hosting companies. Read Cuban's blog and you'll see how an irritated copyright holder might attack that defense. (For his part, Cuban says he has no plans to sue the folks who posted the clips -- but he didn't say anything about not suing Google.) And after you've finished that, check out Henry Blodget's argument for why the YouTube purchase should still be considered a good move by Google -- an argument that ignores Google's newfound copyright liabilities. To read the NY Times story that apparently sent Blodget's blood boiling, click here -- he didn't bother to provide the link, but I will 'cause I know how badly the other Times needs the traffic.


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Times editorial writer Jon Healey pens opinion pieces about a variety of business issues, and blogs about technologies that are changing the entertainment industry's business model.

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