Seeking Consensus, Or Strong-Arming Outsiders?

Pre-empting the DMCA’s Safe Harbor provisions: Media companies in copyright pact, Google absentpdf

A coalition of major media and Internet companies Thursday issued a set of guidelines for handling copyright-protected videos on large user-generated sites such as MySpace.

Conspicuously absent was Google Inc., whose YouTube site this week rolled out its own technology to filter copyrighted videos once they’ve been posted.

[…] Internet attorney Andrew Bridges of the San Francisco firm Winston & Strawn called the guidelines more of a treaty than a contract, noting that the coalition members specifically stated that the guidelines did not preclude any company from seeking legal remedies in a dispute.

The new guidelines require Internet companies to have in place by the end of 2007 filtering software that blocks all content that media companies flag as being unauthorized.

The guidelines also require that user-generated video sites keep their filtering technology up to date, and they call for cooperation between media and Web companies to allow “wholly original” user-generated videos to be posted and to accommodate “fair use” of copyrighted material as allowed under law.