Online video sites such as YouTube, Google Video, and SoapBox, with their seemingly endless supply of free videos to download, have exploded in popularity since their creation. Like the rest of the internet though, there's plenty of questionable content that's been appearing on those sites, sparking debate as to whether or not the site owners should be responsible for the content. At the moment, Google is facing numerous lawsuits in Europe over its service, and Reuters is reporting on an Italian investigation over one particular video.
"In the US, sites like Google Video, SoapBox, and YouTube are generally protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which grants "safe harbor" to the sites so long as they are not the "publishers" of any illegal material and take it down immediately when requested. Such laws do not necessarily translate to other countries, as Google no doubt knows; the company has been sued in France by film production company Flach Film (French) over a movie of theirs which was later uploaded to Google Video and briefly available free of charge."