YouTube in hot water over steamy beach video
A Brazilian judge has ordered YouTube to find a way to stop Brazilians from viewing steamy footage of supermodel Daniela Cicarelli and her boyfriend on the highly trafficked video-sharing site.
YouTube was first ordered in September to remove video showing Cicarelli and Brazilian banker Renato Malzoni in intimate scenes along a beach near the Spanish city of Cadiz. But the clip still appears periodically on YouTube, prompting the expanded order from Sao Paulo state Supreme Court Justice Enio Santarelli Zuliani on Tuesday, the court's press office said in a statement.
Two Brazilian sites that ran the video complied with the original order, the statement said.
Cicarelli is one of Brazil's best-known models. She hosts a show on Brazilian MTV and was previously engaged to Brazilian soccer great Ronaldo.
The judge said YouTube must find a way to use filters so the clip stops popping up in Brazil on the site owned by Google Inc. Lawyer Rubens Decousseau Tilkian, who represents Cicarelli's boyfriend, said YouTube had not gone far enough to prevent access to the clip because people keep posting it using different names for the video.
"The internet is democratic and has to be defended, but this struggle is to have some level of control to avoid the violations of people's fundamental rights, like privacy and intimacy," Tilkian said in a phone interview.
YouTube spokeswoman Jennifer Nielsen declined comment on the decision.
Order affects entire country
Though Zuliani is a judge in Brazil's most populous state of Sao Paulo, where internet use is heaviest, he had the power to issue an order affecting all of Brazil, the court press office said.
The case now goes automatically to a three-member panel of judges who will decide whether to make the order permanent, and whether to fine YouTube as much as $119,000 US for each day that the video was viewable, Tilkian said.
The lawyer represented both Cicarelli and Malzoni in the first case when they won the order to have the links taken down. Malzoni decided to go forward with the second case seeking to ban YouTube in Brazil after the video kept reappearing, Tilkian said.
"The problem is that the system is failing," Tilkian said. "Our objective is simply to get this video off line."
Faced other lawsuits
It's not YouTube's first brush with litigation, although disputes have often been over copyright. In July, independent news reporter Robert Tur sued YouTube in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, claiming footage of his was posted and circulated without his permission.
YouTube also deleted nearly 30,000 files after a Japanese entertainment trade group complained, and through negotiations with leading U.S. copyright holders agreed to deploy an audio-signature technology that can spot specific clips.
When it bought YouTube in November, Google set aside shares now worth about $220 million as a financial cushion to cover losses or possible legal bills for the frequent copyright violations on YouTube's video-sharing site.
Last September, Google appealed a Brazilian federal judge's order to turn over information on users of the company's Orkut social-networking service.
Google insisted it already had complied with court requests to identify individuals accused of using Orkut to spread child pornography and engage in hate speech against blacks, Jews and homosexuals.
The company has said it is open to data requests from foreign governments as long as they comply with U.S. laws and are issued within the country in which the information is stored.