German Court Says Google May Have To Police Videos On YouTube For Infringement

from the that's-not-good dept

Interesting timing on this. Next Thursday, September 9th, at the All 2gether Now conference in Berlin, I'll be on stage having a discussion with Patrick Walker of YouTube about collection societies, record labels and how they deal with sites like YouTube. Of particular interest, given the location, will be the ongoing legal fight between the German collection society GEMA and YouTube. On that note, a German court just initially side with YouTube that it does not need to block videos from appearing on YouTube, but (more worrisome), suggested that in a full trial it had a much better chance of siding with GEMA and suggesting that YouTube should police the content on the site:
"There are some good reasons to think that YouTube indeed has some duty to take care of detecting illegal uploads," Presiding Judge Heiner Steeneck said today. "GEMA has the opportunity to ask for such a ruling in regular proceedings."
The two organizations have been fighting about this for some time now, but I don't quite understand the judge's "good reasons" here. How is a third party supposed to be able to detect infringing content when many musicians and labels already put their content on YouTube on purpose? How is YouTube supposed to make the determination of "this is infringing" without additional info? Already, YouTube does have a Content ID system which will block certain uploads (or let the copyright holder monetize them) so I'm not clear how much more the judge or GEMA expects.

Separately, since I'm already mentioning my participation at A-2-N, I should also mention that I'm running an interactive "brainstorming session" on Tuesday the 7th on better ways to connect with fans and give them a reason to buy. For those attending the event, I hope to see you at either of those sessions.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    iamtheky (profile), Aug 30th, 2010 @ 7:24am

    That sentence

    "a German court just initially side ...... and suggesting that YouTube should police the content on the site"

    they initially 'sided' and later on 'suggested' , for the second time in the same segment but i am just the tense police

     

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  2.  
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    iamtheky (profile), Aug 30th, 2010 @ 7:31am

    'of siding with GEMA and suggesting'

    i suppose the second could have been an 'and' instead of an 'in'

     

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  3.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Aug 30th, 2010 @ 7:32am

    WTF?

    I understand the appeal of getting someone else to do your job for you, but isn't policing this kind of stuff the purported reason for these collection societies?

     

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  4.  
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    Hulser (profile), Aug 30th, 2010 @ 7:46am

    Re: WTF?

    isn't policing this kind of stuff the purported reason for these collection societies?

    This is actually a really good point. In effect, the collection agencies are trying to make Google do their job. If you force Google to do this, you're basically outlawing Google. They couldn't monitor existing and new content in the way that the collection agencies want and stay in business. Maybe they already do this, but I think a good compromise would be to give legitimate collection agencies special access to scan for their content using whatever technologies they so desire. In other words, give the collection agencies the access they need to do their job instead of forcing Google to do it.

     

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  5.  
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    AdamR (profile), Aug 30th, 2010 @ 7:47am

    Re: WTF?

    What part of Collection Societies don't you understand?

    All they want to do is count the money. 1 for you 1 for me, 2 for you 1..2.. for me 3 for you 1..2..3.. for me.

     

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  6.  
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    AdamR (profile), Aug 30th, 2010 @ 8:03am

    Re: Re: WTF?

    "In other words, give the collection agencies the access they need to do their job instead of forcing Google to do it."

    Allowing them the tools is not a good way to go, all they would do is scream rape and have congress pass laws that only entrench these idiots further.

     

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  7.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Aug 30th, 2010 @ 8:05am

    Re: Re: WTF?

    "... but I think a good compromise would be to give legitimate collection agencies special access to scan for their content using whatever technologies they so desire."

    Well, it's on the 'net, so they can use whatever robot they want. In addition, Google does do some pre-emptive scanning on their own end, although I'm not clear on how deeply involved various parties are in that bit of overreaching.

    Also, I'm not quite clear on what makes a 'legitimate collection agency.' There are thousands of artists, some quite well known, who are not part of the traditional label system, but that doesn't stop the collection agencies from collecting on their behalf. Sounds more like a Mafia shakedown, with the promise that they'll be sure to take care of widows and orphans.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2010 @ 8:05am

    If that comes to pass, then I would assume that Google would turn off its German site for Youtube. If they even have one. Best case scenario is that Youtube bans German IP's, so we wont have to see anymore of their disturbing videos.

     

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  9.  
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    Hulser (profile), Aug 30th, 2010 @ 8:19am

    Re: Re: Re: WTF?

    Well, it's on the 'net, so they can use whatever robot they want

    Ah, but that's a technical solution. We're not talking about a solution that actually solves the problem, but a "solution" that appears to solve the problem and makes everyone happy. What Google needs to do is set up a situation where they can say "Hey, we went through all the trouble to create this special 'copyright content verification' API so the collection agencies can to their job."

    Also, I'm not quite clear on what makes a 'legitimate collection agency.'

    If Google wanted to be sneaky about it, they'd make the special API available to collection agencies as part of a settlement and then, when the first independent artist requests access, open it up to everyone else. The collection agencies would shit a brick, but by then it'd be too late. There'd be no logical reason not to open it up to artists not represented by a collection agency. That would be discrimination, after all.

     

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  10.  
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    Free Capitalist (profile), Aug 30th, 2010 @ 8:33am

    CC Flagging

    From the writeup, Mike mentioned that:
    YouTube does have a Content ID system which will block certain uploads (or let the copyright holder monetize them)

    While I find this system innovative, I think there is room for a more comprehensive, if antagonistic, solution to the copyright problem. Disclaimer: Its not only possible, but likely I've read similar suggestions before, perhaps here.

    First I would drop all "standard" collection societies and their "standard" copyrighted works from the Content ID system until they stop their legal attacks and attempts to create third party infringement "standards".

    Second, lets build a killer app for Creative Commons based on, but more tightly integrated than the Content ID system. Essential to this system would be an artist 'key' and tagging standard that would be implemented across the board:
    - Set up a key registration and maintenance system and an RFC standard similar to how SSL certificates are defined, assigned and controlled.

    - Registered CC artists would optionally be assigned a key similar to SSL certificates, and this would be used for identification across all integrated systems.

    - Each time an artist creates and registers a new work, this would be assigned to their key, and a digital profile of the data representing their work would be created. This profile would be used for validation, infringement detection and anti-fraud activities.

    - Create and use a new media file format standard (or extension, more likely), where the artist's key would be encoded in the original work's data.

    - Create application standards in video, audio and image editors which retain and embed artist public keys whenever the original work is sourced for use in a new project. As many keys as necessary could be embedded into a new 'derivative' work.

    - Implement standards for all "monetizing" media sharing services, such as YouTube, whereby any new works that are monetized have their CC artist tags applied, and, if opted in, the artists related Payment account would automatically be assigned a portion of any proceeds from the new derivative work.

    Running separate, manually administered Content ID systems for every collection society out there is cost prohibitive, therefore others outside of CC who wish to opt-in to the system must adhere to CC standards and subscribe to the system as a service.

    This type of system would require a massive, coordinated effort and buy-in from a lot of key players in the industry (technology, independent artists and CC, not legacy Copyright industries).

    This system would also be a juicy target for fraud and abuse hacks. Also the idea itself may be cost prohibitive for a grass-roots effort. And of course, there would be the ubiquitous frivolous lawsuits that it would inevitably draw from legacy copyright, especially if implemented as a civil (disobedient) alternative to a broken and corrupted copyright system?

    Has this idea been discussed before? What are the drawbacks and impediments to implementing a system like this?

     

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  11.  
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    Christopher (profile), Aug 30th, 2010 @ 8:36am

    Re:

    Agreed. I think that is what Google should do when things like this come up: simply ban the whole country from seeing the site and when the inevitable backlash happens, point the people at the German courts, saying "Hey, we had to do this to protect ourselves, blame these idiots!"

     

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  12.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 30th, 2010 @ 8:39am

    Re: CC Flagging

    Any reason to believe your ID/Certificate system would stand up to cracks any better than the software industry's?

     

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  13.  
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    NAMELESS.ONE, Aug 30th, 2010 @ 8:50am

    google rsponse

    should be ok we'll just ban all German ips form all google services
    PROBLEM solved

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2010 @ 9:23am

    The real question is what level of care? As long as the bar is not set to much higher than what it is now, it might not be too bad. I mean, it is still bad, but we take what we can get.

     

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  15.  
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    Free Capitalist (profile), Aug 30th, 2010 @ 9:23am

    Re: Re: CC Flagging

    Any reason to believe your ID/Certificate system would stand up to cracks any better than the software industry's?

    None whatsoever. Even the SSL certificate system has its cracks, and "if it's a stream of binary information, it can be spoofed".

    Auditing systems should be implemented for both pre-registration infringement detection and for post-registration fraud (for instance, a collection society might try to register a lot of stuff already on CC as their own copyright). Creating digital signatures and retaining original files would be crucial for any sort of automated or manual audit system.

    As I mentioned in my original comment, I have my own doubts as to just how vulnerable such a system might be. This is one of the key reasons such an undertaking would require a massive collaborative effort.

     

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  16.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Aug 30th, 2010 @ 9:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: WTF?

    "If Google wanted to be sneaky about it, they'd make the special API available to collection agencies as part of a settlement and then, when the first independent artist requests access, open it up to everyone else."

    I like the way you think.

    Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be the way Google thinks. They don't even reject improper DMCA takedowns, which would seem to be the low bar here.

     

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  17.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 30th, 2010 @ 9:43am

    Re: Re: Re: CC Flagging

    Plus, for purely social construct reasons, there's probably less of a target to crack on CC works than traditional copyright works.

    Still, the question had to be asked....

     

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  18.  
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    Michael, Aug 30th, 2010 @ 12:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: WTF?

    Rejecting the DMCA takedowns that are bad has the same issue that rejecting illegal content has. There is no way to determine if a DMCA takedown is legit without a court telling them it is or is not. Because of the way the law is written, they can become liable if they do not take the content down, so they follow the law and remove it. You cannot complain that they do not stand up for your rights when doing so makes them liable. It's just bad law.

     

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  19.  
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    Michael, Aug 30th, 2010 @ 12:27pm

    Re: CC Flagging

    Your system would require works be registered to get copyright protection. Copyright was changed to apply automatically, without registration. What do they do about unregistered works?

    I like your idea, but it requires a rewrite of copyright law to function correctly. If we are going to do that, it would be better to focus on making the law actually do what it is supposed to do - which studies tell us is getting rid of copyright altogether.

     

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  20.  
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    Free Capitalist (profile), Aug 30th, 2010 @ 12:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: CC Flagging

    Plus, for purely social construct reasons, there's probably less of a target to crack on CC works than traditional copyright works.

    That's by far a better reason to start a concept like this with CC alone, rather than favoring the Commons entirely out of spite and disgust.

     

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  21.  
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    Free Capitalist (profile), Aug 30th, 2010 @ 1:01pm

    Re: Re: CC Flagging

    Your system would require works be registered to get copyright protection. Copyright was changed to apply automatically, without registration. What do they do about unregistered works?

    Very true. However to be part of Creative Commons I believe the work also has to be registered with Creative Commons, or is this assumption faulty?

    Unregistered works do not play well with a system designed to attribute works with artists (or even "copyright holders" if we had to go there). Naturally automatic no account could be given for an unaccounted work.

    I think I only implied such in my comment, but I'm also agreeing that copyright law in its current state probably needs to be abandoned entirely. Creative Commons is amounting to an alternate copyright system for people, which i think may be worthy of supporting if, in the end, the copyright laws must be purged, de facto, through mass abandonment of practice. That's what inspired me to want a "killer app" for the Creative Commons system.

    When all the cards in the deck are stacked against you... leave the table.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2010 @ 5:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: CC Flagging

    "However to be part of Creative Commons I believe the work also has to be registered with Creative Commons, or is this assumption faulty?"

    I don't know if you can register it but the law doesn't require it. You can stick any (non-copyright) license on any work you want without registering with anyone.

     

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  23.  
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    techflaws.org (profile), Aug 31st, 2010 @ 1:27am

    Google is too stupid

    If only Google would do that. But as we've seen with the current debate on the "Leistungsschutzrecht" instigated by German publishers, Google is too stupid to use its huge leverage by dropping those bastards from the index for a month or so till they crawl back begging to be listed again. I have absolutely no idea why they not simply show those leeches who depends on whom.

     

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  24.  
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    Rob, Aug 31st, 2010 @ 4:57am

    What about the rest?

    It would be a lot easier to prove that Google not only indexes sites and serves up free links to consumers promoting sites enabling illegal consumption of content, but that Google actually profits from its business activity and is intimately connected to serving up links to sites, promoting illegal sharing of content, namely from its adwords and display advertising products. http://bit.ly/dvDNK5

     

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  25.  
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    nasch (profile), Aug 31st, 2010 @ 12:02pm

    Re: CC Flagging


    This type of system would require a massive, coordinated effort and buy-in from a lot of key players in the industry (technology, independent artists and CC, not legacy Copyright industries).

    This system would also be a juicy target for fraud and abuse hacks. Also the idea itself may be cost prohibitive for a grass-roots effort. And of course, there would be the ubiquitous frivolous lawsuits that it would inevitably draw from legacy copyright, especially if implemented as a civil (disobedient) alternative to a broken and corrupted copyright system?


    Before you get to that point, I missed the part about what problem this is solving.

     

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  26.  
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    Spense, Sep 6th, 2010 @ 11:31am

    May Have To Police Videos

     

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