Sunday, April 15, 2007
Too Easy to Pretend
Who would have thought that anyone could dupe a huge company like YouTube into believing they were the head of ABC threatening to sue over copyrights if they didn't pull videos immediately?
Especially a 15 year old? When you were 15, were you even thinking about stuff like that?
True this did happen in Australia, but I believe it can be a lesson for everyone in the world, especially at a time like this when copyright issues are so pertinent and important.
A 15 year old from Perth tricked YouTube into thinking he was the head of the Australian Broadcasting Commission. YouTube then took down the videos and started sending out notices to people who had uploaded videos, threatening them if they were to do it anymore.
It ended fine, everyone involved agreed that 15 year olds do dumb things, and he apologized, but really. What if a 15 year old from the US decides to start sending out RIAA notices, just for fun? Or if you get a fake letter from American Express wondering why your $10K bill hasn't yet been paid? Or identity theft that cannot be repaired?
Practical jokes are one thing, but things like this that could affect hundreds if not thousands of people? Let's hope this doesn't become a fad, especially considering the boy hasn't yet been punished at all, and they just seem relieved that ABC doesn't actually want to prosecute.
It seems as though it would be pretty worthwhile to have a system where you make some attempt to verify the authenticity of a claim of ownership when a takedown is issued.