back to article Judge grants Viacom 12TB of YouTube user records

In the ongoing $1bn legal spat between Google and Viacom, a federal judge has ordered the search giant to turn over all existing records of every video viewed on YouTube. That includes user account names and IP addresses. Yesterday, Judge Louis L. Stanton said Google must provide Viacom with the 12 terabyte "logging database …

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Paris Hilton

Static IP addresses?

So my static DSL IP address to which no one else has access cannot be used to determine viewing patterns, interests, or random tastes? Hogwash. Sounds like a third-party lawsuit to challenge the ruling is needed.

Paris, because she knows about random tastes.

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Anonymous Coward

Machine Readable?

Did they specify the format in which they have to hand over the data?Tapes, floppy discs or good old continuous stationery? Or even better, send it by fax.

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Paris Hilton

hmmm

hmmm knowing google , this baby will go all the way to the Supremes , for the Judge has truly lost the plot like "Jeffery White" in the infamous "Wikileaks" case !

Common case law usually limits the maximum discovery information to the case in question only no more no less , as which most judges are usually fully aware of at all times !

Some people lose the plot all the time !

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Stop

What is happening with the world?

Maybe i'm getting old, maybe i've just been shortsighted - but isn't the point of a judge to UPHOLD the law?

Seriously - I mean what the fuck is going on when a judge in a court case ignores the laws he's doesn't fancy?

Stop the planet - I want to get the fuck off

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Pirate

silly gootube, piracy is illegal

@ steve

last time i checked, judges interpret the law... police uphold it.

@ heystoopid

the entire log would be relevant to the case, since they are trying to show the amount of piracy taking place.

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Stop

Guess Youtube is not so appealing now

not aware that have viewed copyright disputed material on youtube, has been personal stuff I shot and a lot of parkour clips

12 TB over 4 4 TB drives is a lot of data to wade thru, just hope they not get lost in transit

not even in the same country as Viacom, but will just have to wait and see what happens I guess

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Pirate

Double think

So IP addresses aren't good enough to identify people when investigating possible piracy - but they are good enough to identify people to prosecute for piracy.

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Ruled on the data not the format

The judge ruled on the data to hand over not the format. The only thing Goggle need to do is provide it in a commoly used format to satisfy the court. I think 3.5" floppies are still a common medium,

Love to see viacom's collective face when a cnvoy of delivery trucks roll up to deliver the 12TB of data

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Anonymous Coward

Content generated by, and embedded within, a third-party website?

So, of those 12TB, a few will be a record of when I went to http://ipower.ning.com/netneutrality2 , with it’s embedded YouTube video. Why do Viacom need to see this information?

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Flame

There is no laws anymore

As any big media company such as Viacom can easly BUY any judge they like (this farce just prove it once more). The is a CLEAR invasion of privacy and hope google will fight it up to suprem court and Viacom totally ILLEGAL EXTORTION demands will fall. When a judge is faced with such stupid (and clearly ILLEGAL) demands and decide to the take the money and release a FAKE judgement with no LEGAL value in any court of law (if a un corrupted court of law still exist) the jude need to be jailed for life and the criminal company behind it (in this case VIACOM) need to be shutdown and its asset liquidated.

The MPAA/RIAA and openly criminal company such as Viacom and Sony now have total control over the justice system. There is no longuer any justice anywhere.

Fact: buying a product from one of the MPAA/RIAA member is ILLEGAL as you are directly supporting organize crime when you do so.

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@Fuzzy

"The judge ruled on the data to hand over not the format. The only thing Goggle need to do is provide it in a commoly used format to satisfy the court. I think 3.5" floppies are still a common medium"

Good idea - with the data in a zip file spanned across the disks, which are unlabelled and shuffled ramdomly.

Please insert disk 6758398 of 9118052 and click OK to continue...

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Why all the data? (Re: silly gootube, piracy is illegal)

If you only wanted to “compare the attractiveness of allegedly infringing video with that of non-infringing videos”, a non-biased sample would do. How about every one thousandth record? Not only does Judge Louis ‘moron’ Stanton not do Internet, he doesn’t do statistics either.

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Silver badge

Sending the data.

Fax as suggested seems a little to convenient, perhaps Morse code would be better suited, manually transmitted of course.

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@fuzzy

The judge would be pissed at floppies, even that tool would know better. No give it to them on qic 80 :)

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Silver badge

How many floppies??

Let's see:

at 1.44Mbyte each we get: around 8.33+ million floppies. Making them at the rate of 1 per second, gets us to about 100 days just to make them.

Oh, Mr. Judge, it might be a while!

Plenty of time for an appeal!

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Media Choices

I think my choice of medium would have to be email.

You think viacoms networks can handle an influx of 12TB of data? I've no doubt google can manage it - they probably hit that daily at least!

Naturally, you'd have to send it two or three times just to make sure it gets through. Don't wanna delay things with the courts now, do you?

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Common format?

Most common format is a printout. I wonder how much paper 12TB would take?

Anyone have a small forest they aren't using?

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Paris Hilton

US Judge

This does not affect me! After all, I am in Oz and a US judge does not have juristiction over here. Right? Right?

</sarcasm>

Are they going to "monitor" these IP's to make sure they are not downloading or uploading all those wonderful US movies that they prize so dearly that they must charge millions of dollars for???

Stop the planet, I want to get off.

Paris, cause she would never disclose the IP of the person watching her.

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Choice of format

I don't see a problem with using an electronic format. In fact, I recommend using Microsoft Word 2007's patent-encumbered XML format. With the additional bloat of XML, that should be good to expand that 12TB into about 70TB or so (yes, I'm completely making up that figure, but I suspect XML would increase the size by quite a bit). I wonder how long it would take to load a 12TB Word document...

Okay, fine. Tell Google to be nice and split the log into 1GB files, then put each of the files onto a USB flash drive. I wonder how much Viacom would like to get a shipment of around 12,288 flash drives. Of course, Google could use 256MB flash drives (49,152 of them) if that would be more convenient...

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Flame

@Yah, right

While we are at it print it out in binary. It is afterall stored that way on disk so we need to leave it in a machine readable form :)

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Format?

Send it in a standard format .RFC 1149. Now that's giving them the bird!

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Alert

What about when you....

Visit a page with an embedded youtube video in it and it automatically starts buffering.. does that log your IP address?

Sounds to me like Viacom are letting themselves in for a whole world of shite here..

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Go

Common format?

Paper would be far to bulky, even if printed in a small font. What we need is a really really small font. Put the data to microfiche and send that. Need to make sure that the print out is against a randomly repeating interfering background to make OCR as hard as possible (possibly use random fonts, rotations and position shifts in the foreground too).

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Alert

is the judge's ruling available on youtube?

would love to watch it....legally of course.

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@Alan W. Rateliff, II

Depending on your ISP, it can be even worse than that... I admin some multiplayer FPS servers, and the standard tool for remote player management (HLSW) takes the IP can tries to match it up to country and ISP. It one case, ISP field was the guy's _name_ (the first name matched his in-game nick) because his name was in the RIPE record. So for some ISPs, automated tools can match static IPs to personally identifiable information using publically available databases.

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internet != privacy

So a major site are handing over their logs to someone else... nothing new here, google were involved in the government demand for logs too (but they resisted that time).

Its really quite simple, there is no assumed privacy on the internet, IF google 'do no evil' and respect the data in the logs about you and me, that counts for little when a court can demand they are handed over to a more unscrupulous company like Viacom.

I hate the phrase about nothing to hide, but generally its a good idea to be lawful on the internet or take good steps such as encrypted bit torrents. Copyright upload to youtube is making yourself an easy target for collective MPAA or RIAA and their chums.

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Let me get this straight

Viacom to scriptwriters/actors material on the Internet is worthless

Viacom to judge material on the Internet is priceless.

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IT Angle

re: Machine Readable?

How about self-exe zip files spread over 10" floppies?

(no labels on disk). Keep 'em busy for a while.

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Thumb Up

Lots of paper

Assuming 80 rows and 100 columns, expressing the data as binary in 8pt font and using 80gsm paper thats a cube 50m on a side.

Nice

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If the IP addresses are removed/changed, then no problem

If I'm reading this right, Google is saying it will remove (or change) the IP addresses and Viacom is accepting that. I don't see a privacy issue here or am I missing something?

Saying that IP addresses don't identify people is, of course, clearly bollocks.

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Anonymous Coward

On Paper...

Assuming 80 characters per line and 52 lines per page, I make it about 3 billion sheets of paper.

Of course, that would be if you filled up every page with solid information, but there will be line breaks before reaching the end of the row, so probably more like 5 billion or so.

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Not really comeuppance

"The reality though is that in most cases, an IP address without additional information cannot [identify you]."

This is true except for static IPs. However, the judge really should not quote this as he IS handing over more than just IP addresses, all their vieiwing habits are attatched. Just look at the AOL logs, the IP would never have revealed anything extra had it been attatched as it was the human information, namely the search terms, that revealed who the users were.

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Anonymous Coward

Stop complaining and do something useful

Write to Google's legal department and tell them you don't want your viewing habits passed on to Viacom. They can then use this as evidence that objections from users aren't just hypothetical. You could also point out that US courts have found !P address and time to be sufficient personal identification in copyright infringement suits brought by the record companies, that Viacom hasn't contacted you as required by the VPPA, and that EU data protection rules may apply to your data anyway.

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Paris Hilton

Format

Hows about sending all 12TB of data across the internet with BT or Virgin as their ISP. As a zipped up rared tar. It'll take so long they'll have forgotten about it by the time it finally arrives- AND if BT and Virgin start blocking the file or throttling it they'd be obstructing justice. This would then be a criminal offence, so they'd have to remove the throttling on their systems...

How about someone shows that IP addresses are personally identifiable in a single case- this would make it clear that IP Address Only data storage isn't properly anonymised. Every layer of information they strip off, just rinse and repeat. Submit your findings to the US courts every time.

To keep this post fair, some advice to Viacom- ask for a judge-verified-as-true record of the number of times a video has been played. Nothing personally identifiable will then be stored, so no laws broken and no-one really bitching about it.

Oh, and next time- DO THINGS F**KING PROPERLY. Find the videos that are copyrighted, tell Google/Youtube about them, get them removed. That's the established process- an entirely reasonable process- and that seems to work fine for everyone else.

Paris because even she could see that Viacom didn't need all that information.

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Thumb Down

User IDs

I'm sure User IDs themselves can be used to identify a heck of a lot of people, especially if they're the name of the actual user and/or used for other services as well as YouTube such as blogs etc.

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Flame

I think what the judge actually ruled on, was

I think this case makes it clear. The judge actually ruled that browsing any web server that stores logs inside the US corporacy is stupid.

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Coat

Analysis

I'm quite interested in the final analysis of this data: do people watch the copyrighted material or the home-made stuff more?

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Stop

And Google only wants the data for honourable reasons?

Of course, Google is just keeping the logs "to improve their service to consumers".

If Google ever had a "do no evil" rule, its logs would be purged nightly.

If you think Google wouldn't hand over your search histories, YouTube visits and any other IP data it has harvested to any government agency that asked, then you're living in cloud cuckoo land.

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Go

@yeah, right

Well, let's do some maths...

Assuming: 12TB is 1.31941395333*10^13 8bit ASCII characters

Assuming: 1 character prints as a 10x10 pixel group (It's a weird font, OK?)

Assuming: Average laser printer is 1,440,000 dots/square inch (1200dpi)

Thus a single sheet of 20lbs US Letter paper holds1,346,400 characters (with no margins). Duplexed 12TB would use 4,899,785 sheets of paper which would weigh about 48,997.85 US pounds. (The area of which is ~14,223.63 nWa.)

Cost and time:

Assuming US$0.035 per page and 50ppm, that's $171,492.48 taking ~68 days of non-stop printing.

Course it will take incalculably longer for Viacomm to perform the reverse function. So I say go for it. F*ck those bastards.

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Anonymous Coward

All I can say is

Thank god I don't live in the US..

Land of the free? Ya right.

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What I don't get

Are Viacom going after the Uploaders, Watchers or Just Google.

If I watched a video (not a full programme/episode) not knowing it contained footage from a Viacom programme would I be liable for paying to watch it?

This could open up a massive can of worms regarding the watching/listening of any copyrighted material whether intentional or not. How do you prove that you have intentionally streamed the video/music. With embedded vids and music on sites it is almost impossible to avoid.

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IT Angle

Another country

Can google just not say the data is in an indian/sealand /somewhere else and the laws there do not permit Viacom to see it.

Country A Law vs Country B Law - judge / US state dept must apply to country B for them to get it. ???

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Silver badge

@There is no laws anymore

Erm according to Business Week, Google is vastly richer than Viacom - at least a 10-1 ratio in most estimates of market cap (with my very amateurish examination of the numbers)

If your assertion is correct about law being bought, that has to be the most cost-effective purchase yet.

Maybe it's actually, I dunno, justice??

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@ Christoph

IP addresses alone are *not* enough evidence for a prosecution; the time frame that the IP in question was used along with the IP address will be used to strong arm the ISP into giving up customer details, which is a similar issue. The privacy problem of dumping ten thousand spartans worth of IP addresses on viacom is essentially a non-issue if they didnt keep the timestamps ( which is wishful thinking, of course they did).

<rhetorical>What I want to know is why youtube bothers keeping information like this for longer than necessary (seriously, 12 tb?). </rhetorical>

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Unhappy

google comeuppance {sp} ?

How do google deserve any comeuppance, they said "an IP address without additional information cannot <identify a user>" but they are being forced to hand everything over which will most definately identify a user.

If I was google I'd just ignore the ruling, after all the judge can ignore laws he doesn't like so google should be able to say "naaah don't like that one, going to ignore that order"

It is quite tempting now to go to youtube and start pestering it with searches like "FUCK OFF VIACOM" "ILLEGAL VIACOM FILEZ" "GOOGLE PWNS VIACOM" etcetc.

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Ash
Joke

@yeah,right.

At roughly 90 characters per line, 30 lines per A4 sheet (double spaced, of course), single sided, takes 21.6kB to store one page in plain text.

Knowing how much data is stored on one page, and how much data we have, we can work out:

12,000,000,000,000 / 21600 = 555,555,555.5 pages.

555,555,556 / 2500 (sheets per box) = 222,222 boxes of paper.

At 20ppm black only, we get a time of: 52.8 years to print out.

555,555,555 pages * (one page every) 3 ( seconds ) / 60 ( minutes ) / 60 ( hours ) / 24 ( days ) / 365 ( years)

Better get going.

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I humbly suggest HMRC...

as the appointed data courier. The logs will therefore never turn up at their intended destination, and Viacom/Google can spend the next century trying to outbid each other for fragments on 'tardBay.

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Fax is the best way

to send this data, small print so that it has to be read manually, no electronic search wizardry here! I would like to see some dude/s sat there with magnifying glasses searching out how many times a certain video has been seen.

If 12 TB takes 3 billion or so pages then how long will it take to get through? some maths please.

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IT Angle

Send the Drives Via UK..

Send the drives Via UK HMRC (UK Revenue & Customs) service. I can guarantee they will never reach their intended target.

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