June 30, 2005 11:28 AM PDT

Now playing on Google: 'Matrix,' 'Family Guy'

Google's new video search tool is turning out to be a little more expansive than the company planned, with users uploading copyrighted content ranging from the last "Matrix" movie to the "Family Guy" cartoons.

Consumers browsing the service, which was opened to the public just two days ago, have uncovered links to full versions of feature-length movies, TV shows and other content. As of Thursday morning, much of that content could be watched in its entirety on Google's site.

Google screen shots The company's terms of service clearly state that anyone uploading content to the search tool must have the rights to distribute the video and that copyrighted material is barred without the express consent of the copyright holder. However, the company's site also says that it does a preliminary review of content, looking for the most egregious "adult content or obvious copyright violations."

"We encourage anyone who has a copyright concern or complaint to send us a DMCA content removal notice. However, if we see content in Google Video that clearly violates copyright we will remove it," according to a company statement.

A Google spokesman said the company is in the process of removing all material that violates copyright. By Thursday afternoon, most of the full-length studio and television content identified by users had been removed.

Coming just days after a Supreme Court ruling that sharply strengthened Hollywood's legal hand against unauthorized movie distribution online, the incident highlights the dangers that Google is facing with its new service.

The new video search is designed not only to search what's already available on the Web, but to host video for producers that don't have the resources to post it themselves.

Web portals and Internet service providers that allow users to post their own content have been shielded from liability for copyright violations, as long as they remove violations when asked by a rights holder. However, Hollywood studios and record labels have been unhappy with the increasing ability of automated technology such as search engines and peer-to-peer technology to provide access to copyrighted material under these rules.

Much of the content uploaded to Google's search tool had been in the system for weeks. A watchable copy of "The Matrix Revolutions" was stamped with a June 9 upload time, and the "Family Guy" cartoons were uploaded on June 7, according to the Web page.

While the "Matrix" link was still up Thursday morning, the "play" buttons for screen captures of "The Simpsons" episodes had been removed.

6 comments

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Should there be...
An internatinoally coordinated raid on the Google offices? I mean, they have given file sharers a way to watch copyrighted work on their centralized severs.

Isn't Google smart enough to know that the system would be used in just this way? Did anybody in their right mind think that this wouldn't happen?
Posted by SteveBarry687 (170 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Should there be...
An internatinoally coordinated raid on the Google offices? I mean, they have given file sharers a way to watch copyrighted work on their centralized severs.

Isn't Google smart enough to know that the system would be used in just this way? Did anybody in their right mind think that this wouldn't happen?
Posted by SteveBarry687 (170 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Its like the real thing!
Looking at the pictures, and using the service myself, I can tell you that Googles implementation hardly threatens studios, because the video is so small. It is no substitute for watching a DVD, or even low quality TV. It lets you watch the videos, but Google wisely downgraded it. If anyone sues Google for this, they are just being stupid.
Posted by (5 comments )
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Well...
Hey, in this society we have people who are so willing to watch hot new movie releases that are being recorded from a video cam. Who can stand such a low quality video image? I know I don't :)
Posted by 201293546946733175101343322673 (722 comments )
Link Flag
Its like the real thing!
Looking at the pictures, and using the service myself, I can tell you that Googles implementation hardly threatens studios, because the video is so small. It is no substitute for watching a DVD, or even low quality TV. It lets you watch the videos, but Google wisely downgraded it. If anyone sues Google for this, they are just being stupid.
Posted by (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Well...
Hey, in this society we have people who are so willing to watch hot new movie releases that are being recorded from a video cam. Who can stand such a low quality video image? I know I don't :)
Posted by 201293546946733175101343322673 (722 comments )
Link Flag
 

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