And A Million Rickrolls Went Silent... Demonstrating The Problem Of Pressuring Google To Takedown Without Due Process

from the this-is-what-you-get dept

So, just after the news came out last night that Google execs were criminals for not taking down videos fast enough, suddenly people started noticing that the original infamous Rickroll video had been taken down, due to a "terms of service" violation. While some assumed that it was a copyright takedown, usually Google is pretty good about clarifying when it's an actual copyright takedown. This was clearly something different. After a few hours of people screaming about missing Rick Astley, Google put the video back up, saying it was caused by too many people "flagging" the video as violating the terms of service, leading to yanking the video.

In the end, this demonstrates the difficult position that Google is put in. It's getting sued by entertainment companies, threatened by politicians and now convicted of crimes for being "too slow" in taking down "bad" videos (with "bad" often being loosely defined). So it creates systems to try to speed up the process, and the end result is that those systems can be abused as well, leading to videos getting taken down without due process. What's amazing is that people still think that Google can easily figure out which videos should be kept up and which should be taken down -- but when you consider just how much content is on the site, and the difficulty of reviewing any complaints, and the likelihood of both false positives and false negatives in reviewing videos, it's really incredible that anyone thinks it's reasonable for Google to take responsibility for the content.

The "rickroll" incident is a pretty clear indicator of why trying to put secondary liability on a third party like Google will almost certainly lead to more incidents like this -- where legitimate content is taken offline due to a legally mandated itchy trigger finger.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Brian (profile), Feb 24th, 2010 @ 11:44am

    Vevo

    Unfortunately it seems the video is now up under Vevo now, I'm not sure if it was there before this incident or not although I don't think it was.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Feb 24th, 2010 @ 12:36pm

    It's back up

    Google corrected this. There was a blog entry or something, but I can't find it. The gist was that they get takedowns, they're reviewed (which is news to me, it seems like a rubberstamp process) and then taken down. If they get blowback, they take another look. Sounds like that was what happened here.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    PeytonFarquhar (profile), Feb 24th, 2010 @ 12:37pm

    LMAO. I have zero sympathy for Google. Their partnership with the NSA pretty much convicted them as irrevocably evil, IMO. They deserve whatever they get.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    Alan Gerow (profile), Feb 24th, 2010 @ 12:39pm

    The answer is obvious. Nobody is allowed to post ANYTHING to the Internet without first hiring a legal team to clear all content against possible copyright infringement. As soon as every collection agency has approved the content as being free of any rights conflict, then the content is to be posted on the Internet behind a username and password with a 30-day review process for any independent artists to vet their rights. After this review process, THEN the content will be publicly available to all people.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 24th, 2010 @ 12:40pm

    Re: It's back up

    Google corrected this.

    Yeah, I said that in the post. :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Feb 24th, 2010 @ 12:51pm

    Re: Re: It's back up

    Ah, missed that. I think I immediately skimmed to the bottom to see if there was an update.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 24th, 2010 @ 12:51pm

    Yeah talk about stiffling innovation ....

    "is a pretty clear indicator of why trying to put secondary liability on a third party like Google will almost certainly lead to more incidents like this"

    Secondary liability will surely slow down new services from being offered, cause existing services to be shut down, cause great financial losses for ISP's, hosting, and web sites, and generally make everything done online require a lawyer. Even with a lawyers blessing there is still no real protection due to the lack of checks and balances, and probable increase in abuse.

    Oh yeah it will also slow down progress, slow down the advancement of science, and stop the creation of new art with the exception of current monopolies.

    This is so going to be fun to watch.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Feb 24th, 2010 @ 12:53pm

    Re:

    "Nobody is allowed to post ANYTHING to the Internet without first hiring a legal team to clear all content against possible copyright infringement."

    That's how corporations deal with each other now, so they really don't see that as unreasonable.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    YA BABY, Feb 24th, 2010 @ 1:02pm

    LMAO ......starts flagging all things microsoft

    go go go

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2010 @ 1:03pm

    I can see people being mildly annoyed at getting rickrolled, but flagging the video for ToS violations? really?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    Robert Ring (profile), Feb 24th, 2010 @ 1:07pm

    I've never seen this Vevo thing before, but it really is unfortunate. No one will use the Rickroll'd joke anymore because whoever clicks on the link will have to sit through a stupid ad. By the time they get to the video, the punchline will be worthless.

    The secret to humor is timing, after all.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Ryan, Feb 24th, 2010 @ 1:13pm

    Re:

    Well, the flag feature is stupid, and I'm sure many people take it about as seriously as I do. I don't "abuse" it because I understand that makes it harder on YouTube/Google/whoever and that they really have no choice in the face of bullies concerned with copyright enforcement/political correctness/etc. and the occasional legitimate issue - even though there are better and less reactionary mechanisms for those - and also because I'm not ten.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2010 @ 1:23pm

    If you try to shorten the url with bit.ly it comes back with bit.ly/RR as the shortened URL. Hah.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2010 @ 1:28pm

    I for one am disappointed that Mike didn't even attempt to sneak in a link to you-know-what.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Muffin Man, Feb 24th, 2010 @ 1:47pm

    They repealed the judgment in Italy!

    Here is the video of the press conference!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2010 @ 1:49pm

    Re:

    >I for one am disappointed that Mike didn't even
    >attempt to sneak in a link to you-know-what.

    Yeah, I also want to know more about the First Annual CFW-(TRB) Party "Trollin Time". But mike wouldn't know because he's not invited.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2010 @ 1:51pm

    Re:

    Hmm. Something tells me not to click on that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2010 @ 1:51pm

    Re:

    [Citation Needed]

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2010 @ 2:01pm

    Re:

    Ha! This is so funny because it is so true.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    icon
    The Groove Tiger (profile), Feb 24th, 2010 @ 4:08pm

    I don't see what's the big deal. There's a solution that anyone can apply, it's really simple, everybody wins and the corporations are happy:





    (scroll down for solution:)





    We're no strangers to love
    You know the rules and so do I
    A full commitment's what I'm thinking of
    You wouldn't get this from any other guy

    I just wanna tell you how I'm feeling
    Gotta make you understand

    Never gonna give you up
    Never gonna let you down
    Never gonna run around and desert you
    Never gonna make you cry
    Never gonna say goodbye
    Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This