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YouTube Hands Over User’s Info to Fox

By Chris V. Thangham     Feb 13, 2007 in Entertainment
YouTube hands over users information to Fox after the court issues a Subpoena.
Three weeks after receiving a subpoena from the U.S. District Court in Northern California, YouTube has reportedly identified a user accused by 20th Century Fox Television of uploading episodes of the show 24 a week prior to their running on television. That user, named ECOTtotal, is also alleged to have uploaded 12 episodes of The Simpsons, some quite old. Apparently Google and YouTube were willing and able to identify the owner of the username ECOTtotal, acording to a report on InternetNews.com.
Before Google had a history of resisting US Government subpoenas and observers thought they will be doing the same thing, but apparently Google yielded this time. YouTube before they were acquired used to release the names when the US District Court requested it.
Many claim that episodes of 24 Show is already available in file sharing P2P networks, so going after just one user is trying to show who is the boss. Yahoo did the same in China, where they revealed 100s of names to the Government for being anti-government, who are still in prison. But this one is not as harmful as Yahoo's. The author wonders whether YouTube users will be wary in the future of this YouTube's release of personal information.
While there was a fair amount of concern raised when the subpoenas were issued, I’m going to guess that most YouTube users will tolerate or even support the company’s decision. Perhaps the rest will stop linking their personal information to accounts used in illicit activities. Privacy experts report that it’s the simple things that get most people burned.
Still, with the Viacom purge, harsh words from NBC and now this all occurring in the first half of February, it’s possible that YouTube could be a very different place in the near future.
Already YouTube looks different with many number of videos removed because of copyright problems, it seems like these producers are going really hard after YouTube. Even the legal videos available from major producers are lacking.
This case was a clear violation of putting the show ahead of its broadcast date. What do you think about this release of private information?
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