In a blog entry from 06/23/2010, Charles Carreon (the lawyer who is suing The Oatmeal), posts about the outcome of the case Viacom vs. Google. Youtube, owned by Google, allowed their users to upload copyrighted material, and they then benefited financially from this through the sale of ads on the site. Exactly the same activity that his client FunnyJunk engages in.
As that blog entry in retrospect is somewhat embarrassing for Mr Carreon, he took that down. But since the internet never forgets, Google still got the page cached. Some interesting quotes:
If Google can generate ad revenue by taking in every kind of content without distinction, and make money on the infringing attractions, then Google can “work the float,” and always have enough infringing content to keep its blood pressure up at the expense of copyright holders. The only way that content owners can act proactively is by implementing digital “fingerinting technology” through the “Claim Your Content” system that Google uses as its only screening mechanism. Fingerprinting your content is not, however, cheap.
Please don’t take me for a copyright hawk, but this seems like a ruling that benefits a company that has made a habit of turning other people’s work into their payday, and is being encouraged to keep on doing it.
Here is an image of the page as well, as retrieved from Google this morning:
Click image for larger/high resolution version. Source: Google cache
Disclaimer: The blog entry is reproduced under “fair use”.