District Court Compels Disclosure of YouTube User Logging Records, Protects Source Code
By Jay Gill — Edited by Sarah Sorscher
The District Court for the Southern District of New York partially granted a discovery motion made by Viacom in its copyright suit against YouTube and YouTube’s parent company Google. The order compels Google to produce the contents of YouTube’s logging database, including the login IDs, IP addresses, and viewing information of YouTube users. The court denied Viacom’s motion to compel production of the protected source code for the Google search engine.
Viacom’s complaint alleges that YouTube is directly or vicariously liable for duplication of copyrighted material on youtube.com, and seeks damages of over $1 billion and injunctions against further infringing conduct.
Wendy Seltzer at the Citizen Media Law Project summarizes the bifurcated outcome of the case: “trade secret wins; privacy loses.” Kurt Opsahl of the Electronic Frontier Foundation calls this a “setback to privacy rights,” and argues that some of the login names and IP address information, which the court states are anonymous, can in fact be used to identify individual users.