YouTube Chief Denies Violating Copyrights

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Byline: Kara Rowland, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley yesterday defended his video-sharing Web site's safeguards for protecting copyrighted material when criticized at a hearing on video technology.

"I could go on to YouTube right now and pull up dozens of clips of copyrighted work," Rep. Mike Ferguson, New Jersey Republican, said angrily. "Why don't you take that stuff down?"

"Our site isn't about copyrighted material," Mr. Hurley calmly responded, citing the site's flagging policy and other mechanisms for preventing copyrighted clips from being uploaded onto the site.

"But it is," said Mr. Ferguson, a member of the House Energy and Commerce telecommunications and the Internet subcommittee.

The testy exchange came as copyright issues, net neutrality and the need for fiber-optic networks were debated at yesterday's hearing. Subcommittee Chairman Edward J. Markey, Massachusetts Democrat, presided over a high-profile panel featuring Mr. Hurley, HDNet co-founder Mark Cuban and the founders of TiVo and Sling Media.

Mr. Cuban joined Mr. Ferguson in criticizing Google-owned YouTube, which is being sued by Viacom in a $1 billion copyright infringement case.

"As a content owner, the concept of take-down notices wasn't so that we had to continually monitor hosted-service providers, every single one of them, 24/7," he argued in response to Mr. Hurley's point that YouTube's content partners help them identify copyrighted material.

At the same time, Blake Krikorian, chief executive officer of Sling Media, urged lawmakers to "protect consumers' rights to record, timeshift and placeshift their lawfully acquired content for personal use."

His company's Slingbox enables users to send content from their TVs to any online device. …