Can YouTube Keep the Hollywood Attornies Away by Claiming Significant Non-Infringing Use

Don Dodge on The Next Big Thing: Mark Cuban loves YouTube Don Dodge has written a post in response Mark Cuban’s quote that only a moron would buy YouTube suggesting that YouTube may not have the copyright infringement problem that some think they do. Earlier this month Cuban wrote a post entitled “The Coming Dramatic Decline of YouTube” where he cited copyrighted music and video on YouTube as a major potential problem for the company.

According to Dodge, however, who was a VP at Napster back in the day, YouTube has a very viable defense by claiming significant non-infringing use:

“Mark said YouTube will be “sued into oblivion”, and isn’t worth anything. He is wrong, but it does make for a lively conference speech, and good headlines. I was a VP at Napster when we were being sued by the record labels, so I know a little about copyright infringement. YouTube has “significant non-infringing use” which is a proven legal defense against copyright lawsuits. The Sony BetaMax case was won on the basis that video recorders were used for many other legal purposes that demonstrated significant non-infringing use. Sony could not be held liable for the misdeeds of some of its users. It is the responsibility of the copyright owner to identify infringing material and take action to protect it.”

So Dodge is saying that if the copyright owners really care about their copyrighted stuff that they would need to sue the individual users posting the stuff and not YouTube.

I’m not an attorney, but I do hope that YouTube survives. I think that offering up all of this great content to people is great. But then again, I thought Napster was pretty great too.

The New York Times chimes in here.