Universal Music Sued Because 62% Of A Bow Wow Video Is Actually A French Porn Star's Music Video

from the shouldn't-this-be-a-copyright-issue? dept

A French porn star, Celine Tran, more widely known as "Katsuni," is suing the rapper Bow Wow (real name: Shad Gregory Moss) and his label, Universal Music, for using clips from a video she did for a different music act in his own video. In the interest of understanding the details of the lawsuit, I watched both videos, which are embedded here. While there's no actual nudity, there's a fair bit of pole dancing in very little clothing, which -- depending on your workplace -- may be considered not safe for work. Consider yourself warned (or more interested, as the case may be). First up, the video Katsuni did with the French band, Electronic Conspiracy, for a song called "Conspiracy Strip Club."
Next up, Bow Wow's video, for a song called "Drank in my Cup."
From the original description, I had thought that the producer of the Bow Wow video had just found someone to perform the same dance moves, and perhaps it was a Beyonce-like situation over copying choreography. But, watching the two videos, it's pretty clear that whoever made Bow Wow's video just used the original footage in his video. As the legal filing makes clear, 62% of Bow Wow's video is actually footage from the other video. That's pretty damning.

But... this isn't a copyright claim.

And that's where this gets a bit more interesting from the legal perspective. Whoever holds the copyright on the original video may have a very legitimate copyright claim here. But that's not who's suing. It's Katsuni, who is the woman who performs in the video. But she doesn't hold the copyright -- so, instead, she's using a publicity rights claim. We've talked a lot about how popular publicity rights claims have become lately, and the concept is a bit of a mess, in part because it's based on state laws, and they're all different. This one relies on California's publicity rights law, and claims that Bow Wow is using her "likeness and image to promote BOW WOW's career and music."

It's interesting to see how she's basically using publicity rights as a poor man's copyright here (though, perhaps the copyright holder will sue as well). It gives us a hint of what may happen much more frequently thanks to the performer's rights treaty signed in Beijing a few months ago, giving performers like Katsuni extra special copyright-like rights in all of their performances. We haven't changed the law in the US yet to implement that, but in the short term, it looks like publicity rights claims may get the job done.

Either way, once again, we're seeing how a major label -- the same ones screaming about others copying their stuff -- seems to think that different rules apply when they copy the works of someone else. Universal Music is the largest record label on the planet and one of the most aggressive in enforcing its copyrights. But, apparently it has no problem copying someone else's video...


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    gorehound (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 9:12am

    Stop Supporting MAFIAA

    The MAFIAA are the biggest thieves and they will not be getting me to support their Corrupt and Thieving Empire.
    What money I have set aside for Entertainment in my Budget will be best spent by supporting the local Art as well as the greater INDIE Scene.
    I am no longer interested in anything that Big Content does.I do not care what the Art is as I intend on ignoring it and concentrating my energies on the NON-MAFIAA Art.

     

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    Bas Grasmayer (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 9:12am

    No chance of the copyright holder having given permission?

     

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    BentFranklin (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 9:18am

    Next thing you know, whores will be demanding performance rights and copyrighting their "choreography."

     

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    Ninja (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 9:18am

    I'm sure Universal tried to get in touch to get permission to build a derivative work. They are probably waiting for a reply from Sony while some unknown third copyright holder has given them permission and EMI is wondering about mechanic or sync licenses. So with 1/3 of the permission they decided to go for it anyway and maybe get cover under fair use.

    /lol

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 9:19am

    So Universal produced the video? That's not typical and I'd be a bit surprised if they aren't just distributing. Whichever it is, they have skin in the game and should do the right thing. The production company is really in the wrong here though.

     

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      Ninja (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 9:21am

      Re:

      I believe Universal is likely to be the copyright holder which places the burden of dealing with this issue on them. I do expect them to dodge the issue with some similar reasoning.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 9:50am

        Re: Re:

        The complaint doesn't even allege that. All the complaint says is that Universal owns Universal Republic Records and Cash Money Records that will be releasing Bow Wow's forthcoming album. No indication that any of those companies played any role in the production and release of the video or that they are beneficial owners of the copyright. Seems like a huge stretch but, hey, since it involves a company on Masnick's hit list why not fling shit everywhere.?

         

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          Bas Grasmayer (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 10:21am

          Re: Re: Re:

          This was a great comment until the last sentence.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 10:24am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Perhaps a bit gratuitous but I am at a loss for a more plausible explanation for why this situation was depicted by Masnick in such a biased and slanted manner.

             

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              JMT (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 3:40pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I am equally at a loss for a plausible explanation for why you'd be reading an opinion blog and complaining about bias or slant. Do you go swimming and complain you got wet?

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 3:53pm

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

                When the conclusion is in defiance of the very facts of the lawsuit embedded in the story, I think that bears mentioning. Masnick is entitled to his own opinion but not his own facts. I like how Techdirt is described as "journalism" or "a blog" based on the circumstances. However you parse it, this story is more like the writings in the National Enquirer than anything else.

                 

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            John Fenderson (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 10:25am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I genuinely think it's tragic when someone makes a valid or even excellent point, then completely negates it with a gratuitous personal insult.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 10:29am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Oh my God John, are you really so thin-skinned? Save some of your outrage for the guy who seeks to deliberately mislead others by lying about the facts of the case. All, of course, to further his own agenda.

               

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                John Fenderson (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 10:35am

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

                Heh, I'm hardly outraged. I just think that it's sad.

                When a comment is made with gratuitous insults or combative language attached, it tends to put people in a frame of mind where they aren't thinking about or responding to the point at all, but are focused on the attack. When that point is a valid one, such as yours is, then that's a real loss to the discussion.

                 

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          Ninja (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 10:28am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I know what you said and I agree that they might not be involved in the production. But they are the rights holders and before releasing and monetizing on said work they should have secured proper rights with the girl or respective rights owner.

          My point stands. Before releasing it Universal should have done their homework. Not that it would be easy as my joking comment above reminding of Huge case in Australia implies.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 10:32am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I know what you said and I agree that they might not be involved in the production. But they are the rights holders and before releasing and monetizing on said work they should have secured proper rights with the girl or respective rights owner.

            My point stands. Before releasing it Universal should have done their homework. Not that it would be easy as my joking comment above reminding of Huge case in Australia implies.


            Kindly explain to me why you believe Universal or it's subsidiaries are rights holders or were involved with the release of the video. Those allegations aren't even made in the complaint and yet you throw them around like they were facts. Just because Masnick said it, doesn't mean it's true.

             

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              Ninja (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 10:36am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Again you are right, they might not be the copyright holders. It may be the artist releasing that independently. HOWEVER, labels are well known for demanding the artists to give up their copyrights to get under their wings. So there's a good chance that every work this specific artist produces is copyrighted to Universal by a pretty problematic clause.

              Disclaimer: "problematic" is my own opinion.

               

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                Ninja (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 10:37am

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

                I'm not sure if it was released under Universal brand btw, if it was it doesn't matter if the rights are not belong to Universal...

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 10:51am

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

                  I accept your abject apology.

                   

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                    Ninja (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 11:04am

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

                    It's not an apology, I never said otherwise. I just agreed when you stated a valid point ;)

                    All the points are valid until everything is cleared up. And even if it's the artist fault, Universal should be more careful and slap him in the wrist for infringing any sort of copyrights. If you are going to be aggressive on one end, police yourself aggressively too. And that's what Mike is condemning, the double standards.

                     

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                    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 2:20pm

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

                    you can't help yourself can you?

                     

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              Lowestofthekeys (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 2:13pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Kindly explain to me why you believe Universal or it's subsidiaries are rights holders or were involved with the release of the video. Those allegations aren't even made in the complaint and yet you throw them around like they were facts. Just because Masnick said it, doesn't mean it's true."

              http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/music-royalties6.htm

              "These recoupable expenses usually include recording costs, promotional and marketing costs, tour costs and music video production costs..."

              Until we have more information, it's likely that Universal fronted the costs for the video and hired a director to create it.

              If this is at all similar to freelance work, it means the product is not considered finished until it is reviewed by whoever is paying for it. If a rep from Universal gave the go-ahead than they remain partially responsible.

               

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2012 @ 6:00am

        Re: Re:

        This one isn't about copyright, it's about publicity rights.

         

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      Karl (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 5:33pm

      Re:

      So Universal produced the video? That's not typical

      On what planet is this not typical?

      When artists on major labels make videos, it is almost always the case that the labels front the production costs, which are then taken out of the recording artists' album royalties. Usually they have a great deal of editorial control as well, and I've never heard of a single major label music video where the label didn't get final approval, at the very least.

      In fact, the credits at the beginning of the video list the copyright owner as Cash Money Records, a subsidiary of Universal.

      Since it's not a copyright claim, however, the suit alleges that the video is being used to promote Universal's album. This is true (you can see it at the end of the video), and also more relevant in terms of damages.

      Nothing in the article was in any way dishonest.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 9:21am

    " we're seeing how a major label -- the same ones screaming about others copying their stuff -- seem to think that different rules apply when they copy the works of someone else. "

    Damn, you are an over reaching and misleading writer.

    Can you show me ANYTHING at all that says Universal specifically had anything to do with the video, beyond having the artist on their roster? Can you show me ANYTHING, ANYTHING where Universal says "too bad porn girl, we used your video because we don't respect copyright"?

    You can't.

    Come on Mike, if you are going to be a prick, at least try to work with quotes or something. This would appear to be the artist and his management team making poor choices - or perhaps even a video director misleading them. Why do you immediately go to the top of the chain and say Universal personally did it?

    *shakes head* - you appear to have stopped even trying to look like you want to get to the truth.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 9:26am

      Re:

      "Come on Mike, if you are going to be a prick, at least try to work with quotes or something."

      This, coming from you, is hilarious!

       

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      Rapnel (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 9:35am

      Re:

      You all are always claiming that the labels do so much for their artists and now all of a sudden they did nothing?

      Yeah, my farts smell good too but I don't stick my head up my ass to get a better whiff.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 11:13am

        Re: Re:

        "You all are always claiming that the labels do so much for their artists and now all of a sudden they did nothing?"

        Umm, last time I checked, the labels finance videos and distribute them. I don't see them doing very much in the way of selecting content (which would be the artist's end of the deal... you know, the ARTISTIC stuff?)

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 11:23am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Whoa. First they put Bow Wow on their roster just for the sake of doing so and now they are financing and distributing the the unauthorized derivative work?! Make up your mind!

           

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          JMT (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 4:07pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Umm, last time I checked, the labels finance videos and distribute them."

          Wouldn't that strongly suggest they should also be responsible for ensuring the product they're financing and distributing doesn't include copyright infringing material? Hell, we're always being told you can just tell when something's infringing just be watching it. Don't they watch their own stuff before releasing it?

           

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            PaulT (profile), Aug 15th, 2012 @ 1:18am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Wouldn't that strongly suggest they should also be responsible for ensuring the product they're financing and distributing doesn't include copyright infringing material?"

            No, no, no, switch to AC logic...

            This is a major legacy corporation we're talking about so they should be absolved from any wrongdoing, and even when things slip through the cracks we should forgive them for any mistakes. It's only independent distributors and sites with innovative business models who should be forced to guarantee such accuracy and be shut down if even one mistake is made.

             

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          Wally (profile), Aug 16th, 2012 @ 4:57am

          Re: Re: Re:

          No no no no no. Producers/Studios make the video in conjunction with the artists. All a record label does is contractually extort money from the artist.

           

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      Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 9:36am

      Re:

      Aren't you from the same group of idiots (possibly the same idiot) who says that people should learn who they're doing business with? Isn't that the argument used to blame Youtube when infringing content is uploaded?

      Except there's a difference here, not only didn't universal not know who they're working with, they're the ones that funded and now own the rights to the work. So, by your laws and your logic, Universal is on the hook here big time.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 10:00am

        Re: Re:

        Except there's a difference here, not only didn't universal not know who they're working with, they're the ones that funded and now own the rights to the work. So, by your laws and your logic, Universal is on the hook here big time.

        I'd love to hear why you think this statement is true. Certainly nothing in the complaint supports this. On the contrary, the complaint states that U is the owner of Universal Republic Records and Cash Money Records which are releasing Bow Wow's upcoming album. There isn't even an allegation that these subsidiaries funded the video or own the rights. So either you are talking completely out of your ass (again) or have access to a different court filing or other information.

         

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          Ninja (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 10:43am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Gad, if your employee release something in your name then you have explaining to do if it's something that's unlawful. Even if you did not endorse it. We'll have to wait further development before clearing this part. The last paragraph may not be that well written but it highlights the hypocrisy. Universal should do its homework and have their employees do their homework if they are gonna get nuclear on every copyright issue.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 10:46am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Who, other than Masnick, claims that this video was released in Universal's name? The complaint don't state that, only Masnick and his flock of parrots.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 10:46am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              *doesn't*

               

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              Ninja (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 10:57am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              The artist is signed to Universal. It's the natural conclusion. And unless I fail at reading comprehension he's condemning the fact that a super aggressive label is caught with pants low. All that's left now is Universal defense then we'll see if you are wrong and they have the rights. Mike won't be wrong anyway because he's condemning the attitude of Universal, they SHOULD be worrying about what their signatories are publishing yes because they demand others to do precisely that.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 11:09am

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

                Apparently, you have completely failed at reading comprehension. Read the last paragraph of the article and explain to me how you could possibly arrive at that conclusion:

                Either way, once again, we're seeing how a major label -- the same ones screaming about others copying their stuff -- seems to think that different rules apply when they copy the works of someone else. Universal Music is the largest record label on the planet and one of the most aggressive in enforcing its copyrights. But, apparently it has no problem copying someone else's video...

                ..."when THEY copy the works of someone else..." and "But, apparently it has no problem copying someone else's video..."

                Seriously dude? You are utterly devoid of any objectivity or even rational thought in this discussion. Masnick said what he meant: Universal is a hypocrite for aggressively enfacing violations while it knowingly violates the copyright of others. He is not talking about attitudes but deeds... which are completely unsupported. And in you come with a ridiculous defense of masnick any his specious allegations and bogus conclusions. WTF? You want to have civil discourse? It starts with acting like a grown-up.

                 

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                  Ninja (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 11:17am

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

                  Man, indefinite they, he's grouping the aritst, Universal and the subsidiaries.

                  Masnick said what he meant: Universal is a hypocrite for aggressively enfacing violations while it knowingly violates the copyright of others.

                  Yes! It's the same medicine they preach! Shouldn't they be omniscient about what their "users" (the artists) do? Don't they demand that from Youtube, Google, STC??!?!?!?!!?

                  I'm done with you, the worst type of blind is the one that refuses to see.

                   

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              Trails (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 11:06am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Where does Masnick state that? Please cite or gtfo.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 11:12am

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

                Either way, once again, we're seeing how a major label -- the same ones screaming about others copying their stuff -- seems to think that different rules apply when they copy the works of someone else. Universal Music is the largest record label on the planet and one of the most aggressive in enforcing its copyrights. But, apparently it has no problem copying someone else's video...

                 

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                  Trails (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 11:19am

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

                  Ah, so you need the sock puppet version. Ok, so Universal, part of two cartels (the RIAA and the MPAA) that go after everyone under the sun for inducement to infringe, supporting piracy, conspiracy to defraud, secondary and tertiary infringement, etc... directly benefit from copying others' work. Second, as it is an official video, I'd be surprised in the extreme if the rights are not owned by BW's label, a subsidiary of... UNIVERSAL.

                  Is that not worth calling out? Do you not see the irony?

                  If not, please check your hands to make sure your thumbs are, in fact, opposable and you are not just a fish or possibly an amphibian flopping around on a keyboard somewhere.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 11:46am

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

                    Second, as it is an official video, I'd be surprised in the extreme if the rights are not owned by BW's label, a subsidiary of... UNIVERSAL.

                    That is the $64,000 question. There is no allegation by the plaintiff that the rights are in any way owned by U or a subsidiary. I'd hazard a guess that the plaintiff has deeper knowledge of rights ownership than you, Masnick or his Charlie McCarthy army. The plaintiffs have a deep-seated interest in tying one of these companies to ownership of the video, but don't even suggest it. Why? And what is out there that is known that induce so many of you to state that Universal has infringed on the copyright of another music video. I've seen nothing and despite the many pronouncements of guilt the most compelling evidence is goofy shit like, "I'd be surprised in the extreme if the rights are not owned by BW's label, a subsidiary of... UNIVERSAL." That's wishful thinking, not evidence.

                     

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                      Nasch, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 1:01pm

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

                      Why would the complaint mention the copyright when it's not a copyright case?

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 2:29pm

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

                        Ownership rights of the video are germane to who damages can be recovered from.

                         

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                      Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2012 @ 6:24am

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

                      "That is the $64,000 question."

                      If that is what it costs just to verify a copyright holder, expect INFRINGERS!

                       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 9:40am

      Re:

      Question: Why do you indemnify the rights holder in this case? Is it too hard for them to police the works they actually purchase and publish for copyright infringement?

       

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      DCX2, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 9:48am

      Re:

      If Universal holds the copyright over the video, then they are legally responsible for its contents, whether or not they had a hand in its production.

      Additionally, what you are seeing is a perfect example of why YouTube isn't responsible for people who upload copyrighted material. Can you show me ANYTHING, ANYTHING where YouTube says "too bad content creators, we use your videos because we don't respect copyright"? Because that's what Viacom is alleging in their billion dollar lawsuit against Google.

      It also nicely demonstrates how hard it is to know what material infringes copyright. After all, if a "content creator" as knowledgeable about copyright as Universal published a video where over half of it infringes on someone else's copyright, how would you expect a reasonable third-party entity like YouTube to identify infringement?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 9:56am

        Re: Re:

        It also nicely demonstrates how hard it is to know what material infringes copyright. After all, if a "content creator" as knowledgeable about copyright as Universal published a video where over half of it infringes on someone else's copyright, how would you expect a reasonable third-party entity like YouTube to identify infringement?

        Ummm, there's not even an allegation that U "published" the video. Only that it owns two labels which Bow Wow is signed to. Hell,even those two companies aren't alleged to have had anything to do with the video. You may want to read the complaint rather than simply embracing Masnick's delusions as fact. Otherwise you end up looking like an idiot too.

         

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          Ninja (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 10:47am

          Re: Re: Re:

          But it was published and the guy is signed to the subsidiaries which, unless they explicitly said the video was published outside of the subsidiaries scope (indie video) then DCX2 has a point.

           

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      Ninja (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 9:48am

      Re:

      Pot, meet kettle.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 10:07am

        Re: Re:

        You probably would realize how stupid you sound if you take time to read the complaint. FYI, a complaint is a one-sided allegation that generally only puts the best face on complainant's grievance. Yet there isn't even an allegation that U or its subsidiaries had anything to do with the video or hold the copyright.

         

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          Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 10:15am

          Re: Re: Re:

          FYI, a complaint is a one-sided allegation that generally only puts the best face on complainant's grievance.

          Interesting that you say this now. Why aren't you rushing to the defense of all the unnamed Does in the various file sharing lawsuits who get ruled against in ex parte decisions?

          More proof of hypocrisy.

           

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          •  
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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 10:21am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I have never said that anyone shouldn't have their day in court. More proof of your bullshit, knee-jerk piracy apologism.

             

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              Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 10:29am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I have never said that anyone shouldn't have their day in court.

              So you're completely against extra-judicial punishments such as 3-strikes (or 5 or 6) agreements between copyright holders and ISPs?

               

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              •  
                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 10:38am

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

                Do I really have to re-school you on the difference between law and TOS and how due process is a duty of the government not corporations, again? Adjust your dunce cap and perform a few searches. I'm sure you will ultimately be able to grasp it on your own.

                 

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                  Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 10:47am

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

                  I'm aware of the difference - but it doesn't matter to my point. A copyright holder pushing an ISP to terminate someone's internet access on the basis of alleged copyright infringement is a de facto legal punishment arrived at outside of the purview of the court system. Since you claimed you "never said that anyone shouldn't have their day in court" I figured it was an relevant question.

                   

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                    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 10:50am

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

                    "de facto legal punishment"

                    Should probably read "de facto judicial punishment" for clarity. I suspect I'm misuing a legal term somehow, but that's why I'm not a lawyer.

                     

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                    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 10:56am

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

                    No it's not, it falls under the TOS. And nothing stops an aggrieved party from pursuing wrongful enforcement of the TOS in court. And stop the FUD, at least in the US, a serial infringer cannot be completely cut off.

                     

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                      Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 11:09am

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

                      And nothing stops an aggrieved party from pursuing wrongful enforcement of the TOS in court.

                      Assuming the TOS doesn't force binding arbitration - which many do. Are you against those clauses as well?

                      You are so wrapped up that each tiny step is technically legal that you fail to see (or are willfully ignoring) the sum total of the mess is completely unfair to the end user and stacked to the benefit of the entrenched legacy copyright holders.

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 11:36am

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

                        Josh, I'm not saying that the game doesn't favor the house. But at the end of the day you either agree to the service terms or not. I understand that there may not always be a wealth of choice either. Believe it or not, there are people who by choice or poverty don't use the internet. I also don't believe that any innocent bystanders will be ensnared and undeservingly receive six strikes.

                         

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                  John Fenderson (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 10:49am

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

                  Do I really have to re-school you on the difference between law and TOS and how due process is a duty of the government not corporations, again?


                  And this difference is exactly why these types of things should not be left to corporations.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 10:57am

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

                    Just desserts from SOPA. Bon apetit!!

                     

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                      John Fenderson (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 12:32pm

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

                      Well, as bad as this is, it is better than SOPA would have been. There's also still plenty of opportunity for good legislation to resolve all this nastiness. Or, more likely, for some kind of compromise legislation where although nobody is happy about it, the misery is at least equally shared by all parties.

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 2:38pm

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

                        There will not be any legislation for a very long time. SOPA took care of that. Industry agreements and best practice implementation is well underway. Any legislation would only roll that back. At this point, none of the corporate players from the SOPA war want to upset the status quo. The "public interest" groups won't stray far from their paymasters so theres no critical mass to initiate, much less pass any kind of IP legislation.

                         

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                          John Fenderson (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 3:27pm

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

                          Even if all that is true, it's still better than SOPA.

                          But I don't think it's true. I think that, worst case, we'll see the rise of new ISPs that serve the disenfranchised market.

                           

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                            Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 4:00pm

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

                            We disagree on SOPA but count on industry agreements to tighten the noose even tighter. I can't imagine an outlier ISP would arise for the purpose of serving people who got necked down to dial up speeds because they continue to infringe. That's a lot of capital to commit to such a constituency. Moreover, if an outlier emerges to operate outside of standard industry practice, those industry agreements quickly become legislation. Too risky, too expensive to attract an investment in the billions.

                             

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                              John Fenderson (profile), Aug 15th, 2012 @ 8:30am

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

                              I can't imagine an outlier ISP would arise for the purpose of serving people who got necked down to dial up speeds because they continue to infringe.


                              But I can completely see ISPs starting up to serve people who weren't infringing and yet got dinged anyway.

                              Too risky, too expensive to attract an investment in the billions.


                              It's doesn't take anywhere near billions to start an ISP. It can be done for several thousands.

                               

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                                Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2012 @ 9:30am

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

                                People right now complain that they have only a single choice in ISP's. If setting up a new ISP ran only in the thousands, then why aren't there dozens in every market? That makes no sense.

                                 

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                                  John Fenderson (profile), Aug 15th, 2012 @ 10:20am

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

                                  That's a great question, and the answer is somewhat complex. But here's the nutshell: because in the realm of high-speed internet, an artificial monopoly is in place for cable-based internet. A competing ISP cannot offer its service over the cable, and the cable is the path of least resistance for the consumer.

                                  However, if a consumer can no longer get the service through the cable, then that is no longer an advantage and they would be more willing to seek alternative delivery mechanisms -- thus creating a market.

                                  I know that it is inexpensive to set up a high-speed ISP because I've done so myself for private use. My total equipment cost was around $2000, and my monthly operating cost is around $500.

                                   

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                          Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 6:06pm

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

                          You're joking if you think SOPA would have improved anything. When you have chefs who want to use IP to ban photography of their food, and CEOs who request SOPA to take down parody and criticism sites, SOPA would clearly create problems, not solve them. Passing SOPA would have merely legitimised these things that aren't existent in copyright law.

                          Sounds like someone clearly had skin in the game for SOPA abuse.

                           

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        •  
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          Ninja (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 10:32am

          Re: Re: Re:

          DMCA takedown notices seem to follow the same pattern. I will give the benefit of doubt, the girl might have sued before talking to Universal. But then again, no label ever sues before talking do they? /sarc

          Oh, and my comment stands. I'm waiting for you to prove me wrong. I can go dig a few trollish comments for you if u need. I don't need to go farther than this morning.

           

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    •  
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      Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 9:58am

      Re: AC is a giant raging hypocrite

      Can you show me ANYTHING at all that says Youtube specifically had anything to do with the video, beyond being the service someone else used to upload it? Can you show me ANYTHING, ANYTHING where Youtube says "too bad porn girl, we used your video because we don't respect copyright"?

      You can't.

      Come on AC, if you are going to be a prick, at least try to work with quotes or evidence. This would appear to be the uploader making poor choices - or perhaps even an authorized subsidiary purposefully uploading videos to look independant. Why do you immediately go to the top of the chain and say Youtube personally did it?

      ----

      FTFY

       

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      Baldaur Regis (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 10:00am

      Re:

      I REALLY love this pristine hypocrisy in your line: "This would appear to be the artist and his management team making poor choices" What, no "Just another dirtbag freetard ripping off an artist!!!!" remark?

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 10:12am

        Re: Re:

        I'm always on the opposite side as you and if you refer to comment 5 you see where I flatly stated that:

        "The production company is really in the wrong here though."

        Wrong is wrong, and they should be held accountable. But Masnick's bogus tar-and-feathering of Universal in this matter is bullshit and without any basis.

         

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 11:20am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Fair enough, but why, then, should YouTube be responsible for its users, while labels should not be for those that they employ?

           

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      •  
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        Ninja (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 11:01am

        Re: Re:

        I'm fairly sure that if it was some1 using Universal's works the tune would be entirely different.

         

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    •  
      identicon
      Loki, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 10:10am

      Re:

      It might have something to do with the dozens, if not hundreds, of examples of Universal laying claims to contents that clearly wasn't theirs to do so.

      OR maybe it's the idea they try to paint themselves as some sort of benevolent parent trying to protect their children, and like any parent they don't just get praise for the good things their kids do, but are responsible for the bad things their kids do as well.

      Or maybe it is their insistence that infringement is easy to prevent because "everyone knows it when they see it" so therefore it is impossible to "unintentionally" infringe upon someone else's rights (regardless of whether they be copyrights, trademarks, patents, or even publicity rights).

      The issue here's isn't that Universal did anything wrong (because quite frankly some of us don't think Universal did anything wrong), it is the fact that their own actions directly contradict many of the arguments they themselves have been trying to make for over a decade.

      If you are going to espouse an ideology, it helps if you don't engage in behavior that directly conflicts the ideas you are trying to push.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 10:15am

        Re: Re:

        The issue here's isn't that Universal did anything wrong (because quite frankly some of us don't think Universal did anything wrong), it is the fact that their own actions directly contradict many of the arguments they themselves have been trying to make for over a decade.

        What actions are you talking about? Theres no allegation that Universal or its subsidiaries produced the video or have interest in the copyright. What action is appropriate for them to take under these circumstances?

         

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          Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 10:27am

          Re: Re: Re:

          What action is appropriate for them to take under these circumstances?

          From the previous actions and statements of the record labels and their lobbying organization, it sounds as though the preferred course of action would be to cut off all ties with the artist on the basis of an accusation and never do business with him again.

          So Universal should tear his contract up.

           

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          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 10:41am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            So you advocate for a "death penalty" for a single act of infringement? Interesting.

             

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            •  
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              Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 10:58am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I was not advocating that course of action. I was concluding it based on the previous actions and statements of the legacy recording industry.

              However, I imagine many artists would be better off if the labels would tear up their contracts and return the "rights" to their music.

               

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2012 @ 6:04am

      Re:

      "Whoever holds the copyright on the original video may have a very legitimate copyright claim here. But that's not who's suing. It's Katsuni, who is the woman who performs in the video. But she doesn't hold the copyright -- so, instead, she's using a publicity rights claim."

       

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  •  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 9:32am

    Another sign that I'm old

    When I read the article, I thought it was talking about the '80s band Bow Wow Wow. I was astonished to learn that they were still making videos.

    Imagine my disappointment.

     

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  •  
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    daviedavedave (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 9:36am

    Shouldn't that be...

    ...apparently it has no problem "allegedly" copying someone else's video...?

    ;)

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 10:18am

      Re: Shouldn't that be...

      where's the allegation? It's not in the complaint, it's Masnick's allegation which is another preposterous outgrowth of his nutty vendetta against any established label.

       

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      •  
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        daviedavedave (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 11:29am

        Re: Re: Shouldn't that be...

        Fair point, there's no explicit allegation in the complaint. However I'd say it's not completely unreasonable to suppose that this artist's label owns the legal risk relating to his material... unless this video was done outwith his contract with said label. If that's the case then I'd imagine that he'll be in hot water with his employers as well as the French porn industry.

         

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 11:52am

          Re: Re: Re: Shouldn't that be...

          You may be right. My problem was the bald-faced assertion that Universal infringed on the copyright of another. There's simply no support for that statement in the complaint or anywhere else that can be cited. It could be that the artist went rogue and did it on his own. If so, Bow Wow should be on the hook as he's clearly infringing.

           

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        •  
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          Argonel (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 1:58pm

          Re: Re: Re: Shouldn't that be...

          Considering the calibre of lawyers working for the record industry the artist probably does own all of the legal risk, while the label holds all the legal benefit. Didn't Eminem's label try to charge legal fees for defending themselves against him when he sued to get what was owed to him?

           

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  •  
    identicon
    DCX2, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 9:40am

    Anyone else notice?

    Bow Wow's video was directed by Rico Da Crook.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 9:41am

    dont do what i do, do what i tell you. in other words, here's your choice. if you use my stuff, be prepared to be sued. if i use your stuff, sit back and take it because i have more money than you and i'll bankrupt you (or in the case of the UK, get you imprisoned!) into submission, leaving you with nothing, while still using your stuff anyway!!

     

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    Andrew (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 10:16am

    Whether or not it's to your taste, the Conspiracy Strip Club video is pretty slickly produced. The Drank in my Cup one, on the other hand, looks really cheap.

    Compared to the copied footage, the blacks are not deep enough, there's a huge amount of noise, the grade is inconsistent and the effects look like something a kid who'd just discovered After Effects (or, more likely, iMovie) would do. (And also what is that "body double" footage doing there? It doesn't match at all.)

    The hypocrisy point is well made, but this feels more like something the artist (or a friend) knocked up himself, not an official video.

     

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      Ninja (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 11:10am

      Re:

      As I told the AC above, it may be the case but shouldn't Universal be lecturing their signatories about copyright to prevent such things? I mean obviously you can't control it like that as we pointed out so I'm just being hyperbolic but as you said, highlights the hypocrisy.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 10:52am

    Can you tell which anonymous poster works for Universal?

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 11:22am

    It's very apparent that this site is actually making known the dirty deals the majors pull. When they send their own troll to try and make it sound better or gloss over the dirty deals, you know you are hitting them in the public's and the politicians eyes where they just can't stand it.

    Well done Techdirt. You've come of age!

     

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    Wally (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 11:52am

    Karma

    I want to point out my wife and I are at my wife's grandparents fixing their computers, hence the different avatar. I give you my two pence:

    Think about all those times Universal Music sued someone for infringement and piracy....now their on the receiving end of their own medicine. I'm starting to wonder how many other record labels are going to have the same problem. I think that it may be the only time I would not worry about copyright trolls.

    I hope Karma bites Universal Music Group hard in the ass. Will they learn they're lesson about their copyright trolling? Probably not, but at least they get to feel like so many others they sued unneceessarily for infringement.

     

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    identicon
    313ANONIMOUS, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 12:20pm

    WOWOWOW.
    Are you accusing bow wow of stealing????? whuat!?!

    This is the most blunt and disrespectful stealing I have seen, really. What, Bow Wow could not find a stripper to dance on his pole?.. No, he could not find someone talented who could film and produce his music video. Instead they filmed his face on iPhone and mixed it with the stolen material.

    as a video editor, I'm appalled!

     

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  •  
    identicon
    dansus, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 1:57pm

    too easy..

    PR stunt.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Guy, Aug 14th, 2012 @ 6:06pm

    Daft Punk

    Speaking of derivative works... Starting at 1:17 in the Conspiracy Strip Club video, isn't that a just a remix of Daft Punk's song End of Line from Tron Legacy?

     

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


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