Google ordered to hand over YouTube viewing data

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In the ongoing spat between Google and Viacom over copyright concerns, a judge has ordered the former to hand over records of every video watched on YouTube, including user names and IP addresses, to the media giant. Google had argued that turning over the data would invade users’ privacy. However, US district judge Louis Stanton ignored the argument claiming privacy concerns expressed by Google about handing over the log were “speculative.”

Viacom requested the data in an effort to back up its claim that copyright-infringing material reproduced on the site is more popular than lawful user-generated content. Many other requests made by Viacom were denied in whole, however, such as information regarding videos marked private on the site, Google's advertising tactics across all its properties – allegedly to find out how much they were benefiting financially from ads displayed on copyrighted content – and access to YouTube video source code.

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