GSA, YouTube still at the negotiation table

Ongoing negotiations between the General Services Administration and the video Web site YouTube have yet to produce an agreement. GSA officials said they want to tweak language in YouTube’s terms-of-use agreement to make it possible for federal agencies to freely use the site for posting videos.

The negotiations about the terms of use likely focus on which court would hear potential disputes between the parties, according to several legal experts.

YouTube’s contract stipulates that a state court in San Mateo County, Calif., would decide disputes. However, the federal government would not consent to being sued in a nonfederal court, said Mark McCreary, a partner at the law firm Fox Rothschild in Philadelphia. His practice focuses on intellectual property and Internet law.

The federal government likely needs Google, which owns YouTube, to agree to have disputes heard in federal court or through some type of arbitration process, McCreary said.

“Government negotiators will not subject the U.S. government to state courts,” he said. “It is probably constitutionally impermissible.” Stipulations that indemnify YouTube against legal and other challenges are also likely a concern to government officials, he added.

Led by GSA’s Office of Citizen Services, a coalition of federal agencies has been negotiating with YouTube for six months, said GSA spokeswoman Tobi Edler. When an agreement is reached, the arrangement will be offered to all federal agencies, Edler added.

Google and GSA officials did not respond to requests for more details about the negotiations.

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Federal Computer Week.

Featured

  • Defense
    Ryan D. McCarthy being sworn in as Army Secretary Oct. 10, 2019. (Photo credit: Sgt. Dana Clarke/U.S. Army)

    Army wants to spend nearly $1B on cloud, data by 2025

    Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said lack of funding or a potential delay in the JEDI cloud bid "strikes to the heart of our concern."

  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.