Monday, September 17, 2007

Volkswagen 'Nazi' Subpoena Points Up Social-Networking Privacy Policies

Volkswagen 'Nazi' Subpoena Points Up Social-Networking Privacy Policies

A legal spat between YouTube and Volkswagen is throwing light on the increasing copyright surveillance of social networking sites. Volkswagen has filed a subpoena seeking the identity of a YouTube user who posted a Nazi-themed parody of a recent VW Golf commercial.

Volkswagen's move underscores the privacy risks to a blossoming community of users on sites like YouTube and Yahoo Video, and social-networking sites like Facebook and MySpace. Copyright holders and their agents have long been monitoring activity on file-sharing networks such as BitTorrent and Gnutella. Now they're turning their attention to the social networks.

'The social networking sites have definitely become a new focal point,' said Evan Cox, a San Francisco copyright attorney who, with his colleagues, issue thousands of takedown notices a year. 'As a consequence, they've gotten more focus from copyright owners.'

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