Yesterday, a judge ordered Google to reveal YouTube users' information.
The search meg(ood)alopoly has already expressed its disappointment at the ruling.
"We are disappointed," said Google's legal counsel.
Viacom's legal counsel was equally depressed by the proceedings:
"The information that is produced by Google is going to be limited to outside advisers who can use it solely for the purpose of enforcing our rights against YouTube and Google," he said. "I can unequivocally state that we will not use any of this information to enforce rights against end users."
I unequivocally trust any advisers that Viacom might employ.
And, in the interest of making the information handover process as smooth as possible, I have persuaded my good friend, Pat, to commit to full disclosure about his YouTube usership.
This information I am here publicly and happily handing over with no strings attached.
Or dog hairs.
Pat is around forty years old.
And over the period in dispute, which would constitute the whole life of YouTube, Pat has watched, by his estimation, 4830 pieces of film on the lawless channel.
He is prepared to stipulate to watching several episodes of the Colbert Report, which belongs to Viacom's Comedy Central.
However, he couldn't bear more than three minutes of each as he found the humor a little too truthy.
Pat is an optimist. He likes to dream.
Evidence of which is his preparedness to cop to watching perhaps twelve (I am thinking thirty-three) Brad Paisley videos from Country Music Television (or cMTV IT'S NOT, as it's known by some Viacom employees), as he secretly thinks he looks a little like Mr. Paisley.
His wife happens to think he looks a lot more like a paisley shirt that's just been taken out of the washing machine, but never mind.
Pat would like to confess to two hundred and fifteen counts of watching Viacom-owned Spike TV's coverage of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (a sort of ugly, brutal version of the children's playground fight set in Vegas).
Pat has, according to his psychologist and other bar friends, issues circling aggression.
And he really did feel that sneaking a peak at the bloody bust-up on a small screen, rather than displaying it on the vastness of his plasma, was, in essence, medically prescribed.
He feels that if he can reduce the pleasurable impact of watching violence, then his own serotonin can adjust to the effects of violence in his own life.
Pat would also like to stipulate that he has no recollection or knowledge of watching Viacom's Gametrailers, Addicting Games, Nick at Nite, BET or VH1 material on YouTube.
If such a thing happened, Pat would like to state that he was, at best, in inferior possession of his faculties and therefore his viewing would have been unfocused.
Finally, Pat would like to declare that the majority of his YouTube experience consisted of scanning the latest random videos posted by people of varying degrees of talent and sanity.
He admits to being repeatedly suckered into videos he thought might be, um, spicy, but were considerably underseasoned.
And he would like to cry mea culpa at bellowing four hundred and twenty times with guffaws that frightened his kitten into a suicide bid.
His laughter was stimulated by the Rap Partay video, launched on YouTube, with all the preppie boys in Connecticut attempting to be rappers.
Pat would like to add that he cannot decide whether he was depressed or elated on discovering that the Rap Partay video was actually an ad for Smirnoff Ice.
Principally because he regarded his YouTube participation as the equivalent of watching the trailers in the movie theater.
He will admit that, having watched a couple of snippets of the Daily Show on YouTube, he moved the show onto his list of TIVO'd regulars, projected onto his plasma.
Therefore he is a little perplexed that Viacom would want YouTube to pay for something that, at least to him, seemed like free advertising space.
Pat has one final request of the court: that the evidence he has given should not coincide with his suddenly receiving a cascade of marketing materials from various Viacom properties.
After all, he has a small suspicion that all of this information, guarded though it will be by advisers, might be used by a stray, recalcitrant Viacom employee to hone his marketing triceps.
I am very happy to have provided this community service.
It is in no way related to the fact that I received a call on my cellphone as I was traveling in my car yesterday, on the second day of California's hands free law.