May 25, 2007

YouTube Sued Again

The latest YouTube lawsuit comes from an unlikely source: the New Jersey Turnpike Authority. They’re suing several video sites besides YouTube, for infringing on the copyright of car crash footage at the Great Egg Harbor toll plaza. The footage depicts a severe car crash, in which the 52-year old driver was killed. (Editor’s note: you may have seen it - it’s the one where the car travels at extremely high speed into the divider between toll booths and bursts into flames. Still image below, authorized under fair use.)

The lawsuit has an interesting angle to it. The footage appeared on YouTube; the New Jersey Turnpike Authority requested YouTube to remove it, and YouTube complied. However, what little time the video was online on YouTube was enough for users to copy the footage and upload it to other video sharing services, like Now, the NJTA is suing YouTube for not stopping other users from re-uploading the same video.

From a technical standpoint, this request seems quite unreasonable. YouTube would have a very hard time trying to prevent users from re-uploading a certain video, especially if it’s renamed and re-encoded (although Audible Magic’s technology is supposedly able to do this). The fact that the lawsuit doesn’t come from a media powerhouse, and isn’t revolving around entertainment, is also new. It seems that the recent avalanche of lawsuits has started a trend which can be summed up as “everyone is suing YouTube, so why can’t we?”

The uncensored video site LiveLeak was also sued, as well as NextPoint LLC, the owner of, however LiveLeak was dropped from the lawsuit after they removed the controversial video.

From: Mashable

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