January 4, 2007
Brazilian Judge Orders YouTube to Shut Down
Brazil and Google have this thing. Whenever Google gets involved in a legal dispute that drags it into the Brazilian legal system things tend to get a little wacky. There was that problem with Orkut, Google's social convergence site which has minuscule popularity everywhere except Brazil, where it is wildly popular. Brazilian prosecutors and the courts tried to get all kinds of membership and personal information about users for criminal investigations into child pornography and copyright violation. Laudable attempts to prevent crime, yes, but the demands made on Orkut would not pass muster in U.S. Courts. Google told them all that if Brazil wanted the information, then it should sue in the U.S. where the servers were located. Orkut was still humming at last report.
Now comes Brazilian model Daniela Cicarelli and her boyfriend, Tato Malzoni, to court over a sex tape that keeps popping up on YouTube. Google keeps taking it down, but members keep uploading the item. The Brazilian judge ruled the efforts not good enough and ordered YouTube shut down. As if. That's not going to happen unless a United States court gets involved. Given the overreaching effect that would have on other content the remedy seems...draconian. A court may award damages, but shutting down YouTube? To paraphrase Daffy Duck, it is to laugh.
If nothing else, this highlights the problems with an international communications network that is semi-regulated. Law is jurisdictional and it's hard to control stuff that happens across the border. Brazil would be as pressed to stop people from talking about the video over the phone system in Iceland. Curtailing YouTube would not stop the video from being circulated over other sites, or by hand. Ask any band who has ever been bootlegged. Music and video has been circulated long before the Internet ever existed.
One suggestion to the offended couple is to take some responsibility for this tawdry affair. If you film something like that, keep it private. And if you can't, then perhaps you should take the route used by Pam, Tommy, Paris, and the rest of their ilk: license the content and make some money off of it. As for the Brazilian judge, you might as well stand at the shores of the Atlantic and command the Internet content to stop there. That idea didn't work for the last guy who tried something like that.
January 4, 2007 | Permalink
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I may be wrong here, but I have not read anywhere that 'the offended couple' had anything to do with the creation of the video, and indeed the BBC claim it was secretely filmed.
Posted by: Scott | Jan 5, 2007 5:19:19 AM