Am I missing something here, or are THEY missing something?
From the article:
" 'We will ask Viacom to respect users' privacy and allow us to anonymize the logs before producing them under the court's order.'
"And it looks like Viacom will give the OK. 'The Court's recent decision has triggered concern about what information will be disclosed and how it will be used,' according to a canned statement from the company. 'Viacom has not asked for and will not be obtaining any personally identifiable information of any user.
" 'Any information that we or our outside advisors obtain - which will not include personally identifiable information - will be used exclusively for the purpose of proving our case against YouTube and Google, will be handled subject to a court protective order and in a highly confidential manner.'"
If all that is to be believed, then what POSSIBLE use would anyone have for IP addresses and logins? Logins would be used for...what? To identify users, what else?
IP addresses have no intrinsic relevance to content, therefore no relevance to piracy unless and until they are used to...what? To identify offenders, what else?
But then, is it that are they intending to identify only those actually guilty of illegal uploading? There's no exception for that case mentioned in the article or any of the newspaper articles I've seen. But let's suppose that is what they intend to do. Well, then...
Within 12 Terabytes of logging data there are...hmm...how many logins? And what fraction of those are the miscreants Viacom is supposedly interested in finding? And of that staggering number, what fraction do they intend to actually try to chase down? Unauthorized uploads are hardly the work of a handful of evil syndicates; they are the work of multitudes of average Joes and Janes typically connecting via residential ADSL with dynamic IP addresses. How many court orders will have to be prepared and delivered to how many ISPs, who must then retrieve records of who was using what IP address at this or that time, which means...
...once again, user identities. What else?
Sure, piracy is a serious matter. But what is YouTube? Short, low-resolution, low-quality fragments of things. Is Viacom so utterly out of touch as to really believe people who would otherwise be paying for content are going to pass on the purchase when they can see a tiny bit of it on YouTube? If anything, YouTube-type excerpts probably create more interest in buying products than interfering with it.
What on earth does Viacom plan to do with 12 Terabytes of data that won't cost them hundreds of times over what they have lost due to YouTube uploads, according to the most outlandish estimates they could possibly get away with claiming?
This has all the signs of muscle-flexing and chest-pounding, hoping to mount a high-profile case, widely reported to the masses, to intimidate the net-using public. There's no doubt some ego-driven wish on Viacom's part to prove they're bigger and badder than something like Google which, good or bad, is big stuff to be bigger and badder than. (Screw the grammar.)
Shakespeare was right. (Henry IV, Act IV, Scene 2)
[ Another thought: If Viacom can get their mitts on all this, can the RIAA, the MPAA and other similar groups on other countries be far behind? How many more times will YouTube, and perhaps others, have to fork over these data? And once that avalanche is triggered, what's all of this going to cost?]