RealTime IT News

Court Wants YouTube Pirate's ID

A US District Court in Northern California has instructed Google to produce identifying information for a YouTube member accused of illegally uploading episodes of Fox's "24" and "The Simpsons."

The court issued an identical subpoena, pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, to Los Angeles-based LiveDigital.com. Both were executed on Wednesday after L.A. law firm Loeb & Loeb filed them for Fox on January 18.

A YouTube spokesperson told internetnews.com the Google  property will comply with "valid U.S. legal process." A LiveDigital spokesperson confirmed receipt of the subpoena and said the company intends to fully comply.

According to copies of the subpoena applications, Fox found this season's first four episodes of "24" on LiveDigital and YouTube on January 8, a full week before they were due to air for the first time in the U.S.

Fox said a YouTube user who goes by the handle "ECOTtotal" also uploaded twelve episodes of the popular animated show "The Simpsons." The LiveDigital user's display name was "Jorge Romero." In a rider attached to the subpoena, the user is described as a six-foot tall 23 year-old from Chicago.

The last time Google faced subpoenas requesting access to user-identifying data it came from the Department of Justice. It was January 2006.

The DoJ subpoena sought an index of millions of URLs and a week's worth of search data in order to get a representative sampling of pornographic and other obscene material accessed via search engines. A similar request was made to America Online, Yahoo and Microsoft; each complied.

But Google challenged the government's request in court. In March 2006, Google was compelled to turn over a log of 50,000 URLs but not any of the search query data the government had sought.