YouTube bullies a podcaster

YouTube, the online video Web site that rose to fame by making it easy to view the best videos created by others, is, according to this downloadable podcast, upset with Bestofyoutube.com, an aggregation site and podcast run by Lars Thorn. Why? For making it easy to view the best content on YouTube as a podcast. YouTube, which stubbornly claims they cannot properly filter out unauthorized videos, now says they also cannot verify if their users are okay with Bestofyoutube.com repurposing their clips. Of course not. And really, is that YouTube's responsibility? No.

However one might feel about YouTube's anything-goes approach to copyright, the law appears to be on their side. Federal copyright law exempts Internet service providers from liability for their users' copyright abuses. No such exemption exists for what Bestofyoutube.com does, however. From all appearances, it's simply breaking a very clear law.

The irony is that YouTube may not have much legal standing to tell Bestofyoutube to stop. Considering this is mostly user-generated content that can be viewed by anyone at YouTube and embedded in any other site using YouTube's technology, it's unlikely that any video uploaders complained to YouTube. But nevertheless, they, not YouTube, have the legal authority to enforce their copyrights, if they care to.

It's even less likely that YouTube would be held responsible for a third party misusing the videos in question. So why are its lawyers bulling Bestofyoutube? They want visitors to come to YouTube and use its voting features of course. But if if they want to make life difficult for Bestofyoutube.com, why not just sue them for violating the trademark on its name?