Evidence Suggests Major Film Studios Uploading Movie Clips To YouTube... Pretending To Be Pirated

from the but-of-course dept

One of the tidbits that came out of the YouTube/Viacom lawsuit was the fact that Viacom quite frequently would upload its own clips to YouTube, but did so trying to pretend they were pirated clips. In fact, they would send employees out of Viacom's offices to local printshops to upload the videos under childish sounding names, like "MMysticalGirl8, Demansr, tesderiw, GossipGirl40, Snackboard and Keithhn," to make people think they were pirated copies. Not surprisingly, it appears that Viacom was not alone in this tactic. Slashdot points us to an analysis that certainly suggests that pretty much all of the major film studios were doing the exact same thing. There are surprisingly long and clear clips of various movies, uploaded at times perfectly coinciding with major marketing campaigns, and sometimes they can even be connected (with some digging) to marketing firms. Sorta takes the sting out of the claims that YouTube clips are so damaging, doesn't it?


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  •  
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    thublihnk (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 2:36pm

    Classic move on the part of the movie studios. The authority figure starts taking part in the illicit act, the rebels and ne'er do wells no longer think it's cool and move on.

    Unfortunately, the leaking of test footage from The Avengers will be replaced with Arson, but that's a small price to pay for continued profits of the movie industry.

     

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    Jesse Jenkins, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 3:33pm

    one step further?

    Would it be out of the question that folks that produce films which do not have a high box office return simply park their film on the web, then start suing those who download it, as a business model? Is it a stretch?

     

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    Daylyn (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 3:37pm

    Same mentality

    I like the way the movie studio's think. I will take this idea and apply it to the tangible world and get back at someone that I don't like. I am going to leave something of mine at their place without their knowledge, wait 1 week, and then if that item is not returned, call the cops on them for stealing personal property. If it works for the movie studios, it is bound to work for normal folks such as myself

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 3:38pm

    Confused

    If the Studios are Releasing the video online, doesn't that make it an Authorized Release?

     

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      Grey Ferret, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 4:01pm

      Re: Confused

      It's quite simple really. It's still an Unauthorized Release. It's just that it has been Authorized. Unless of course, the person who was authorized to release this unauthorized release was authorized by someone who wasn't authorized to make that authorization. Then it would be an Unauthorized Authorized Unauthorized Release.

      Got it? If so, there may be a law firm that wants to hire you.

       

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        Christopher (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 4:17pm

        Re: Re: Confused

        The bottom line is that there are certain people and organizations supposedly allowed to upload these things online (once a clip is put online, the courts have said that it can be linked to and reuploaded anywhere).

        Once that is done, the consensus viewpoint is that ANY uploading of the thing in question, as long as it isn't changed, is authorized because the people in question ALREADY released the thing in question for no money.

         

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          blah, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 4:44pm

          Re: Re: Re: Confused

          But that's the thing about Copyright - it's not directly related to "money".

          If I post something I copyrighted online for "free", that doesn't implicitly give others the right to copy it and distribute it freely as well.

          I may provide a permissive license to do this (Creative Commons for example, or, say GPL for software) - which grants them this permission with some limitations.

          That's one of the problems with copyright - by default, it assumes nobody can copy it without permission unless it's covered under fair use.

           

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        Brian Schroth (profile), Feb 16th, 2011 @ 6:52am

        Re: Re: Confused

        When did Donald Rumsfeld get a job working for the MPAA?

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 3:57pm

    When they choose to do it, when they choose the clip, the place, the time, there is no issue.

    That is their right as the rights owner.

     

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      Prashanth (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 4:20pm

      Re:

      Except the problem is that they are then trying to sue the heck out of people who watch/download it. It's OK that they're putting the movies up; it's not OK that they are pretending that it's piracy.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 4:27pm

      Re:

      So it is their right to mislead the public and make others look like criminals?

      How is this different from the police planting evidence on others how would you feel if I upload a lot of hardcore porn and sued you after?

       

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        Chargone (profile), Feb 15th, 2011 @ 1:07am

        Re: Re:

        the only real difference is that there is less control over the corporations than the police. not that this stops the police either from time to time.

         

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      Paddy Duke (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 5:10pm

      Re:

      Absolutely.

      Though to do so using false identities and then sue YouTube over videos the studios themselves uploaded does seem a touch disingenuous.

       

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    johnny canada, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 3:58pm

    If the Studios are Releasing the video online like that, doesn't that make it piracy and they should be charged to the full extent of the law (domain name seizure and all)

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 4:05pm

      Re:

      Umm, no simpleton. They own the rights. They can play it in a walmart parking lot for all that is matters, they have the rights.

      Careful too here: Mike is being a bit sneaky here again. First off, they are releasing clips, not the whole movie. Second, he is referencing a time about 4 or 5 years ago when youtube wasn't owned by Google, and didn't have "official channels" as it does now. It is sort of dishonest to suggest that what was done 5+ years ago is common currency today.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 4:49pm

        Re: Re:

        Done 5 years ago?

        Explain how Youtube has entire movies and TV shows not cut but in only one place?

        To get an account to upload entire movies and not have them divided in smaller pieces doesn't look like is done by normal users.

        Doubt?

        http://www.youtube.com/results?search_type=videos&search_duration=long&u ni=3&suggested_categories=24%2C1%2C22%2C23&search_query=ghost+whisperer

        Search for Ghost Whisperer using the filter to only show videos with >20min.

        Either the ContendID doesn't work at all or those are being authorized by someone.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 6:21pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          They have this amazing thing called "user uploads". I don't know if that is too complex a thing for you. The very first video I saw (with a stunning 64 views) was recorded off the air (broadcast) and has the network logos on it.

          I somehow manage to doubt that this is an official video. These days, if they wanted an official channel,it would be on Hulu or at minimum on a youtube official page.

          So sorry, you are wrong, but thanks for playing.

           

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            Modplan (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 6:53pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            It's a good thing studios haven't been caught doing exactly that kind of thing I guess, it could really put doubt on the idea that all these videos were user uploaded without permission.

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 7:27pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            There is this amazing thing called ContendID that flags every video on Youtube and just to prove that it was flagged if you try to watch it from the U.K. a message telling the video has content from Sony shows up.

            So the ContentID is working and somehow a normal user that got an account that enables him to upload entire videos without the normal 15 min limit and it is not being blocked in some countries don't have the video removed, someone somewhere had to allow it or it would have been deleted already, the filter got hold of it and it is blocking the viewing in some countries.

            So either he is a fake uploader of pirate content or he is a pirate and Sony is using him to promote the series, either way Sony authorized that.

            Nice playing with you.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 9:24pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Neither you or I know exactly what is what. You are making assumptions. For all we know, it could be a youtube employee uploading it and flagging it outside of the US to stop problems. You don't know.

              User submitted can be "submitted by anyone"

              Nice try, play again soon!

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 10:09pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Except who handles the ContentID is not Youtube is the content owner.

                What are Audio ID and Video ID?

                YouTube's state-of-the-art technologies let rights owners:

                * Identify user-uploaded videos comprised entirely OR partially of their content, and
                * Choose, in advance, what they want to happen when those videos are found. Make money from them. Get stats on them. Or block them from YouTube altogether.

                It's up to you.


                Source: YouTube Content ID
                Source: Audio ID and Video ID

                Once it was caught by the ContentID it will do what the content owner set there, why are they allowing full videos?

                Why just that one escapes the filter?

                If it was a Google employee don't you think the content owner would be making that very public since most of them like nothing but to see Youtube close down.

                About assumptions well, well well you was the one starting the assumptions saying that after 5 years others wouldn't be doing it and all that crapoula of yours, but lo and behold there is strong evidence to suggest that people keep uploading stuff to Youtube and it is being authorized by someone, now you can't possibly believe that a Google employee is uploading entire TV shows episodes and movies and nobody complained about it, heck the ContentID even flagged the video if they didn't get the power to shut it down don't you think someone would be very loud about it?

                Are you really suggesting that Google would put content there and lock out the content creator and nobody would complain?

                Or it is more plausible that those videos are being upload by the content owner and being left there.

                All your base are belong to us!

                 

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                Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 10:29pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Also lets talk reputation.

                Google is known for their lack of customer support, but they are not known to put false claims and bogus statistics out in the open, on the other hand the entertainment industry execs are well known for participating in fraud and some even got sentenced in some countries(i.e. France recently), they also have a long history of absurd claims like claiming piracy losses are the size of the entire GDP of countries, they also are known to battle every technology that came along, they are also known for accounting fraud schemes, they are also known to use front companies to shield them from liability, they are also known for trying to pass legislation in the middle of the night, they are also known for stealing and were found guilty in many jurisdictions around the world, they are also known for lying, heck I could go on and on and on but I think you get the point, if I was to look at anybody for wrong doing the content owner would be the first I would pay really, really close attention to, not Google.

                And I almost forgot they are also known to have upload videos of their products before and flagged them as piracy and where caught doing so.

                So really your excuse is that a Google employee did it?

                Have you no shame?

                 

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                Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 11:04pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                User submitted can be "submitted by anyone"


                But only the content owner can authorize it to be up and running after it get caught on the filter.

                Short of a nasty bug in the code base or explicit code to keep those things up and the lack of evidence of the contrary those videos are being authorized by the content owner himself and not some random guy.

                You see no other videos are there for that show, there is zero other videos for that show, you can try and search it and you will not find one, but miraculously there are 3 entire episodes available in a special account that no normal user pirating would have, because most of them loose their accounts after a third strike, and no idiot would give real information to create a partner account to put pirate videos in there. Heck outside the U.S. everyone must give a phone number to create an account.

                So really anyone would upload those videos? really? are you serious?

                Stop drinking the entertainment industry Kool-Aid it rots your brains LoL

                 

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                Kirk (profile), Feb 17th, 2011 @ 1:01pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Would you care for another glass of pwnage, sir?

                 

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 7:35pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Also you wanna bet that the countries where the video can't play are the places where Sony is not allowed to distribute it.

            If it was a real pirate it would not have any restrictions would it now?

            Please explain to us how that happened.

             

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            Marcel de Jong (profile), Feb 15th, 2011 @ 5:26am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Or they are trying to give Youtube the bad rep for being a harbour of pirated material, when in fact they have put up those materials.
            Or they are trying to inflate the piracy-numbers, to have the real numbers appear to approach their fantasy numbers they use in their reports.
            etc.

            It's the just as much fun as CBS putting a video up on CBS.com and then pull it for infringement of copyright owned by CBS.
            http://i.imgur.com/6xXwT.png

             

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        thomasr, Feb 15th, 2011 @ 1:55pm

        Re: Re:

        This is a fact that studios are part of the problem themselves. Why do you think the law firms keep suing people for downloading their work? They put it there and trapped the people who fell prey.

        The same thing goes for Google. Even if these are just clips - it gives the studios more ammunition for their TAKE-DOWN notices they keep sending to Google on a daily basis. If there are only a few people that post movie clips and/or videos with someone's music playing in the background - they have to have more and more in order to make a huge fuss about it, so they put it there! Once they make it out to be a huge problem, then they turn around and claim something has to be done.

        Many of your ISPs are now copyright holders/content owners. This is why America lags behind everyone else in fast Internet connections in the first place. These ISPs have argued since the 1990's that these types of things would happen and would only get worse the faster we are allowed to go on the Internet. So far -- they are winning. But not much longer! Technology will always trump corruption - no matter who is at fault!

         

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        mosaic user, Feb 16th, 2011 @ 4:12am

        Simpleton

        Is this a reflection of your reading comprehension? It says "clip" in the headline.

         

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    Christopher (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 4:15pm

    If this turns out to be true? I hope that their asses are nailed to the wall for it, because if they are whining about other people doing that (uploading things illegally) and are doing it themselves and then whining about it? They have no standing in a court of law.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 4:20pm

    It has been speculated that most child porn on the internet is put there by cops and the government.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 4:58pm

    More using a proxy, the content can't be viewed from some countries so definitely it is being authorized.

    This video can be viewed in some countries but not others:
    ghost whisperer s05e03

    The user:
    animefan4eto

    Those that sounds like an authorized user to anyone?

     

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    DCX2, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 6:11pm

    Maybe...

    Did they commission a study from HBGary Federal recommending that they put up pirated material and then point to it later to discredit YouTube?

     

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    Shon Gale (profile), Feb 15th, 2011 @ 7:31am

    Ban freedom at any cost!

     

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    Thomas (profile), Feb 15th, 2011 @ 9:17am

    when..

    you can't earn enough money selling your product, put it on the web to be "stolen" and earn the money from suing people.

     

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