Copyright Laws Caught in the Web: Viacom International v. YouTube

ABC News Opinion, ABC Online, 4 May 2007.

3 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2007 Last revised: 29 Oct 2007

See all articles by Matthew Rimmer

Matthew Rimmer

Queensland University of Technology (QUT)


Back in the 1996, the World Intellectual Property Organisation promulgated internet treaties to help protect copyright owners in the digital environment. The United States passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act 1998 (US) to comply with its treaty obligations; and Australia has spasmodically revised its copyright laws in 2000, 2004, and 2006 to deal with new technological developments. Such a regime has been ill-adapted to deal with a new generation of Internet services - described by the open source publisher, Tim O'Reilly, as Web 2.0 - which have encouraged users to create, share, and remix content. The term, Web 2.0, has been applied to the internet video site YouTube, the online community MySpace, the open access encyclopedia Wikipedia, and the digital photography site Flickr.

Recent litigation between Viacom International and YouTube has highlighted the tensions between anachronistic digital copyright laws and new Web 2.0 sites.

Keywords: Copyright Law, Internet Videos, Web 2.0, YouTube, Viacom International

Suggested Citation

Rimmer, Matthew, Copyright Laws Caught in the Web: Viacom International v. YouTube. ABC News Opinion, ABC Online, 4 May 2007.. Available at SSRN:

Matthew Rimmer (Contact Author)

Queensland University of Technology (QUT) ( email )

Level 4, C Block Gardens Point
2 George St
Brisbane, Queensland QLD 4000

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