Thursday, July 3, 2008

July 3: Yes, I clicked on Ralph Renick, Harvey Korman and now, Charles Kuralt

Tomorrow is Independence Day, not April Fool's Day.

But that didn't stop United States District Court Judge Louis L. Stanton from a ridiculous and potentially privacy-violating ruling requiring Google to turn over to Viacom a database linking YouTube users with every clip they've ever watched at the video site.

Come on. It's not that tough for Viacom to figure out where it's stuff is on YouTube. All someone at Viacom has to do is go to the YouTube search button and click on Viacom properties. ("Hawaii Five-O," a CBS program, for example. Two episodes of the series were removed some months ago, but there are still little clips. Book 'em, Danno!)

Certainly, that would be a lot easier and a lot less privacy invading than this ruling.

Google should appeal.

By the way, in honor of July 4, here's a link (before the legal eagles remove it from YouTube) to a 1970s report by Charles Kuralt, a great television writer and reporter, about Mark Twain, a great book writer, and his hometown of Hannibal, Missouri:

Kuralt died July 4, 1997. It's a good day to remember this reporter, who was a champion of the First Amendment and rights for all, as well as a brilliant wordsmith.

Yesterday's blog about the rescue of hostages in Colombia had an incorrect number of hostages rescued. There were 15.

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