Appropriately enough, YouTube chose Independence Day to release a response to the court order it received yesterday to hand over user information to Viacom as part the media giant’s ongoing $1 billion lawsuit against the video sharing service. Here’s an excerpt from the YouTube blog:
As you may have seen in the news, YouTube received a court order to produce viewing data from our database, including usernames and IP addresses. In order to protect our community’s privacy, we strongly opposed this motion when Viacom and others filed it.
The court felt differently and ordered us to produce the data. Viacom said that they need general viewing information to determine the proportion of views on YouTube of copyright infringing content vs. non-infringing content.
Of course, we have to follow legal process. But since IP addresses and usernames aren’t necessary to determine general viewing practices, our lawyers have asked their lawyers to let us remove that information before we hand over the data they’re seeking.
Well, I’m sure if they ask nicely…