YouTube Tells User He Can Directly Resolve Copyright Claim By Contacting Himself

from the bots-also-observed-running-low-level-snipe-hunts dept

When bots handle copyright enforcement, things are sometimes going to get screwed up. YouTube's various algorithms do a lot of heavy lifting, sorting through the thousands of hours of video being uploaded every minute. Sooner or later, the bots hit a snag, as any automated process will during multiple iterations. But Hugh Atkin's video, which utilizes John William's instantly-recognizable opening theme from Star Wars, triggered a copyright claim from SME (Sony Music Entertainment)... and a conundrum. (h/t to Nate Hoffelder)

Here's what he received for resolution advice from the YouTube helper bots.

Hello,

Thank you for your message.

The claimant has reviewed your dispute and reaffirmed its claim to your video. Specifics of the policy applied to your video are in the Copyright Notices section of your YouTube account.

You may click the underlined link to the right of the video's Edit menu to learn more about this claim.

If you are certain this claim was made in error, you may be able to appeal the claimant’s decision. Eligible users will see an “I want to appeal a disputed claim” link. Please note that an appeal may result in a copyright strike and the removal of your video.

Alternately, you may resolve this issue directly with the claimant at [MY EMAIL ADDRESS]@gmail.com

Please note that YouTube does not mediate copyright disputes.

Regards,
The YouTube Copyright Team
That's right. The dispute notices are coming from inside the house!

Whatever glitched in the dispute process managed to make Atkin's both the master of his own destiny and the victim of his own copyright dispute. The problem can't be resolved as it stands, at least not to Atkin's satisfaction. SME has reaffirmed its claim and lobbed the ball back into Atkin's court, apparently permanently.

Atkin has since fired off a reply to YouTube pointing out the error and asking for contact info he doesn't already possess (in every definition of the word), but so far has heard nothing back.

Now, Atkin could turn this over to YouTube via the appeals process, but that's largely automated and would result in a ruling in SME's favor (Sony Music distributes John William's Star Wars soundtrack work). Sony seems to have a valid claim as far as the use of William's track. Running this through YouTube's appeal process is almost guaranteed to earn Atkin a "strike."

Atkin appears to want to work around this automation (since it doesn't seem to be working properly) by attempting direct communication, but Sony's response team will probably be even less "human" about the alleged infringement than YouTube's bot swarm (both those scanning for infringement and those "manning" the help lines).

Unfortunately, a "strike" may be inevitable. No matter how well Atkin pleads his case to himself, he doesn't have the power to grant himself the permissions he's seeking. And with no contact information forthcoming, the clock will run out before he can extricate himself from this loop.



Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2013 @ 10:03am

    Okay...

    It's a funny story to be sure, but somehow I don't find myself with much sympathy for a guy that used one of the most commercialized, instantly-recognizable songs on the planet without permission.

     

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    •  
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      Rikuo (profile), Oct 10th, 2013 @ 10:32am

      Re: Okay...

      Doesn't matter how recognisable the track is, in a fair world, the guy is supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, and a fair world would mean he'd simply claim fair use until Sony can prove otherwise (i.e. by showing an examination of how his video doesn't pass the standard Four Factors of Fair Use test).

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2013 @ 10:52am

        Re: Re: Okay...

        Unfortunately, the world isn't fair, and fair use doesn't work that way.

        Fair use can only be used as a defence, which means that you have to already be guilty of copyright infringement before claiming fair use.

         

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2013 @ 11:14am

          Re: Re: Re: Okay...

          "you have to already be guilty of copyright infringement before claiming fair use"

          Do you want to read that agian, and fix it?
          You have to be accused of infringement, then you present a fair use claim, the copyright holder could accept that claim, or litigate, at which point a judge would decided. Only if the judge ruled against you would you be guilty of copyright infringement.

           

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        •  
          identicon
          Bengie, Oct 10th, 2013 @ 11:26am

          Re: Re: Re: Okay...

          Fair use means you're not guilty of copyright infringement.

          Time to play the word game

          Fair use: Fair also means "just"

          Just use: Laws are supposed to be just, which is why it's called the law and justice system

          Lawful use: And here we are. Fair use is lawful use, which means you are not guilty of anything. It is logically impossible to both be lawful and unlawful at the same time.

           

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          •  
            icon
            Rikuo (profile), Oct 10th, 2013 @ 11:30am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Okay...

            It is logically impossible to be standing in a court-room yet be declared dead in the eyes of the law, yet that happened in an article yesterday.

             

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        •  
          identicon
          DogBreath, Oct 10th, 2013 @ 12:15pm

          Re: Re: Re: Okay...

          "you have to already be guilty of copyright infringement before claiming fair use"

          Oh... I get it. Kind of like how you have to already be guilty of Murder before you can claim "Justifiable Homicide" because that is how it works ... oh, wait...

           

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          •  
            icon
            btr1701 (profile), Oct 11th, 2013 @ 10:27am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Okay...

            > Oh... I get it. Kind of like how you have to
            > already be guilty of Murder before you can
            > claim "Justifiable Homicide" because that is
            > how it works ... oh, wait...

            He's wrong about the guilt aspect, but he's right about the fact that Fair Use, just like self-defense, is an affirmative defense, which shifts the burden of proof from the plaintiff to the defendant.

            If you kill someone and plead self-defense, you're essentially admitting to the homicide, and then it becomes *your* burden, not the prosecution's, to prove by clear and convincing evidence why that homicide was legally justified.

            The same process applies with Fair Use. You admit to the actions the plaintiff claims are infringing, and then you have the burden to prove they are justified based on the statutory elements of Fair Use. The plaintiff does not have the burden of proving you weren't justified.

             

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            •  
              identicon
              DogBreath, Oct 11th, 2013 @ 12:32pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Okay...

              The reason I stated guilty of Murder instead of guilty of Homicide is due to the fact that Murder is seen as unlawful, whereas Homicide covers both lawful and unlawful acts.

              It seems that most copyright extremists want the Murder definition to apply (meaning you're already guilty of committing an unlawful act and must prove you are innocent), rather than Homicide (you've been accused of committing an unlawful act) and have a chance to show your not.

              I know it appears to be only an argument about semantics, but it does make a difference when you are proving your innocence, civilly or criminally, in a court of law. Especially when it comes time for a jury to decide.

              Basically, I am saying someone can tell me I am accused of copyright infringement and attempt to sue me, but I don't like someone declaring I am already guilty of it before the trial even takes place. It only works that way on Cardassia.

               

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        •  
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          JMT (profile), Oct 10th, 2013 @ 1:42pm

          Re: Re: Re: Okay...

          "Fair use can only be used as a defence..."

          Wow, I can't believe people are still spouting this BS claim.

          "...which means that you have to already be guilty of copyright infringement before claiming fair use."

          And even if your first point was correct, this next bit is just insanely wrong. If you have a valid defense, you are by definition not guilty. This is basic stuff.

           

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        •  
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          John Fenderson (profile), Oct 11th, 2013 @ 5:00pm

          Re: Re: Re: Okay...

          Fair use can only be used as a defence,


          True enough, but things are a little grayer when it comes to the DMCA. A DMCA takedown is supposed to take fair use into account. In other words, nobody should be able to file a DMCA notice against something when the use of the copyrighted material is "fair use".

           

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          •  
            icon
            Urgelt (profile), Oct 11th, 2013 @ 6:50pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Okay...

            There is no enforcement to prevent takedowns when 'Fair Use' applies. It's not in YouTube's algorithms, either.

            And it's a judgment call, which means that it's possible to win a civil suit by invoking it, but otherwise, as things stand today, for most users, it's more of a theoretical right than an actual one.

            The big IP holders regularly lobby against 'Fair Use' in Congress. They want it removed from the law. In their IP enforcement actions, they treat all re-use of their IP as infringing. The IP holders don't recognize 'Fair Use' as legitimate, despite the DCMA and other statutes which grant users that right.

            Because of the high cost of civil litigation, most users will simply give up and accept the takedown. I know of only one who has successfully fought YouTube takedowns using 'Fair Use' as a defense. There may be more like that user, but I think it's the exception, not the rule.

            But my point here was simply to make AC aware that just because an IP holder launches an accusation of infringement in a takedown notice, it doesn't mean that the user is automatically an infringer and undeserving of sympathy. You can't know until you dig into each case and see if the 'Fair Use' doctrine might apply.

             

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2013 @ 10:57am

        Re: Re: Okay...

        That's a wonderful sentiment and also entirely worthless over here in a place I like to call "reality".

         

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    •  
      identicon
      anon, Oct 11th, 2013 @ 1:54am

      Re: Okay...

      You're a bot, aren't you?

       

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    •  
      icon
      Urgelt (profile), Oct 11th, 2013 @ 4:13pm

      Re: Okay...

      Never heard of 'Fair Use,' AC?

      Many, many takedown notices generated by YouTube are invalid under current statutes. I advise you not to jump to the conclusion that a particular case represents copyright infringement unless you've looked into the details and heard the arguments.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2013 @ 10:04am

    I guess this is like getting arrested for trespassing on your own property, just like that black law professor that was in the news a few years ago.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    DogBreath, Oct 10th, 2013 @ 10:05am

    Simple Answer

    1) Sue himself and testify in open court against himself for millions of dollars in copyright violations.

    2) Win by default when he conveniently steps out of court when it comes to testifying in his own defense.

    3) Profit!




    (Prenda Law is free to use this method, should it so desire)

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2013 @ 12:39pm

      Re: Simple Answer

      Lies it should be like so "well if you follow the rules of underpants gnomes"

      1) Sue himself and testify in open court against himself for millions of dollars in copyright violations.

      2)

      3) Profit!

       

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  •  
    icon
    Ragnarredbeard (profile), Oct 10th, 2013 @ 10:08am

    There's a problem?

    Not seeing the problem here. Guy just sends an e-mail back to youtube saying its ok. Issue over.

     

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Oct 10th, 2013 @ 10:23am

    HA, HA! Automated anomaly strikes Youtube!

    PROVES Youtube's system is entirely untrustworthy! -- According to usual application here of mistakes made when copyright holders glean links for DMCA notices. But minion takes pains to excuse this horrible flaw for Youtube.

    Actually, this isn't an anomaly outside of that as AC #1 already wrote.

    Oh, wait. HERE'S an anomaly! Minion admits: "Sony seems to have a valid claim as far as the use of William's track." -- Only "seems", but the anomaly is there's none of the usual boilerplate for "fair use" and "counterfile"... Guess minion got too wrapped up in his wit: 'No matter how well Atkin pleads his case to himself".

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2013 @ 10:46am

      Re: HA, HA! Automated anomaly strikes Youtube!

      But Google's copyright handling system IS completely untrustworthy.

      Just look at the kind of people that use it routinely!

       

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    •  
      icon
      Ninja (profile), Oct 10th, 2013 @ 10:58am

      Re: HA, HA! Automated anomaly strikes Youtube!

      General Ootb: IT'S OVER 9000! TAKE COVER MEN!
      Soldier: It's an automated anomaly, sir!
      General Oobt: CUUUURSE YOU MASNICK!

       

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  •  
    icon
    Rikuo (profile), Oct 10th, 2013 @ 10:34am

    "Please note that YouTube does not mediate copyright disputes."

    No, it just errs in favour of the one making the claim every single time by blocking the video upon receipt of the complaint.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2013 @ 10:47am

    Even band competition videos get notices

    I uploaded a video of my niece at her High School band competition. YouTube recognized the music and prompted me to acknowledge that there may be a copyright claim. I did not acknowledge it and so far the video is still up. But I imagine it will be taken down at some point. This should absolutely be fair use. It will not get more than a couple dozen views, if that. What is this world coming to when a child's band performance can't even be shared with friends and family?

     

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    •  
      identicon
      geek123456789, Oct 10th, 2013 @ 11:03am

      Re: Even band competition videos get notices

      I don't understand this myself according to the law all this may be just fine take a look at the law just google this in parentheses (17 us s 107)

       

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    •  
      icon
      btr1701 (profile), Oct 11th, 2013 @ 10:40am

      Re: Even band competition videos get notices

      > What is this world coming to when a child's
      > band performance can't even be shared with
      > friends and family?

      You're lucky ASCAP didn't demand they pay royalties just for performing the music in public in the first place. They've been known to do that.

       

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  •  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Oct 10th, 2013 @ 10:59am

    Broken copyright system, broken due process. It's to be expected.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Jeff, Oct 10th, 2013 @ 11:04am

    A disaster waiting to happen.

    Google should have never bought YouTube.

    The people behind YouTube should have never sold it.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      alternatives(), Oct 10th, 2013 @ 11:59pm

      Re: A disaster waiting to happen.

      YouTube generates traffic and Google needs traffic so it can get $0 cost peering.

       

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    •  
      icon
      PaulT (profile), Oct 11th, 2013 @ 12:47am

      Re: A disaster waiting to happen.

      I disagree. Whatever the legal bullshit they have to wade through, YouTube is a hugely valuable asset for Google and one that provides a huge revenue stream and exposure not just for Google themselves, but for anyone who uses it correctly.

      On the flipside, I have no doubt that YouTube would have been shut down had they not had Google's resources to draw from in order to defend themselves from false accusations (e.g. the Viacom suit) or simply bullying killing them despite having provably done nothing wrong (Veoh).

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Leonard Kirke, Oct 10th, 2013 @ 11:31am

    SME's Contact Info

    I run a blog/Youtube channel which does tests uploads of public domain material, to see which things get wrongfully blocked by Youtube.

    I checked my records and SME does have a working contact email for Youtube disputes, though I haven't had to email it in just over a year.

    It is you.tube@sonymusic.ocm

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Zem, Oct 10th, 2013 @ 6:47pm

    Since they do it

    The other end of town are very good at making representatie bodies and organisations that claim to support a far larger group of people than they actually do.

    What we need to do is create the "Fair Use Certification Association of America", along similar line to the EFF, that issues fair use certificates. That way he can reply "Yes I have contacted the email you advised, they said it was OK, AND HERE IS MY FAIR USE CERTIFCATION".

     

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  •  
    icon
    RyanNerd (profile), Oct 11th, 2013 @ 5:21am

    I am suprised no one else saw this but...

    Isn't it interesting that Atkin and Anakin are such similar names?

     

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


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