Today’s WSJ has a special section entitled “All Things Digital” that is a must-read for many reasons. From an interview with the CEOs of Viacom and Google we get the following:
Mr. Daumann (CEO of Viacom): The DMCA was not intended to cover a company that is in the media business that has knowledge of the copyright violation. [It was intended to cover] companies that are involved in the building blocks of the Internet – routing, caching, all the rest. I go to every media conference and I see these guys [Google]. They’re a media company. So that’s great. They can create their own content. They can have user-generated content.
. . .
Mr. Schmidt (CEO of Google): . . . As we read the law, it is pretty clear that there is a safe haven for sites on the Internet that host content that is incorrectly or illegally uploaded, as long as they take it down promptly. And indeed we do that. We are busy building tools that will automate as much of that process as we possibly can, because it is crazy having people doing this stuff manually . . . [Viacom] should have waited for the tools.