20th Century Fox Sends Takedowns Over Its Own YouTube Mashup Contest

from the nice-one,-guys... dept

We’re seeing this all too often these days, but 20th Century Fox is the latest company to force videos offline over copyright infringement claims on something they officially endorsed. In this case, it involved a mashup contest promotion, where Burger King and 20th Century Fox created a promotion asking people to create their own mashups of Seth MacFarlane’s online animated series Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy. So that’s just what people did… and now at least one has had his account suspended due to copyright infringement claims from… 20th Century Fox. In this case, it was also a guy who had a vast history of using YouTube and all his videos are gone, with YouTube telling him he has no option to have his account reinstated. That’ll really get people excited about participating in future contests. Update: Good news! Apparently all of the attention this has gotten has helped the user get his account reinstated. However, it’s still quite problematic that it was taken down in the first place… and that it required publicity to get reinstated.

Filed Under: , , , , , ,
Companies: google, news corp, youtube

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “20th Century Fox Sends Takedowns Over Its Own YouTube Mashup Contest”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Weird Harolds #2 Fan says:

Re: Re:

Ah-hem! (WH is dead or on Mars or something; so I’ll do it.)

“This is all just part of the process.”
People get to thinking they have rights, which is seriously a false assumption, only corporations, governments and RICH people have rights.
In order to get people to understand their rights-less position, they occasionally need to have the bejesus smacked out of them–the more heart-rendingly the better.

Now then, get back to work.

A Dan says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

It’s hard to have a very meaningful conversation if it’s one-sided. It’s all well and good to agree on stuff, but without reliable, coherent dissidence, the debate suffers. It pays to have an opposing viewpoint well-represented, even if it’s just by a devil’s advocate; it helps us prepare our opinions for presentation to other people who won’t all agree with us.

We need someone to fill the WH void.

aguywhoneedstenbucks says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Ok, I’ll bite.

Truth is that it’s awful that this happened, but none of this would even be necessary if people weren’t abusing content in the first place? Plus, all we have to go on is this guy’s word? What else was in his account?

This guy probably had it coming honestly. It’s too bad, it’s not a popular opinion, but it’s true.

Glad yoru not a judge (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

if you were then all those that came before you would automatically be sent to jail, cause hey they are there they must be guilty of something

another point here I beleive that its is in youtube’s TOS stating they can boot, delete or disable anything they want with out cause. But then again he should have read the TOS

Charbax (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 I didn't have this comming

The MIT project Youtomb catched 4 of my removed videos: http://youtomb.mit.edu/search?q=Charbax

Mostly I released about 400 such video interviews, all technology related, from consumer electronic shows IFA, CeBIT, CES, WCIT, from technology conferences Lift, Reboot, Going Solo and many more. I posted many very extensive video reviews of products, sometimes even world exclusive reviews.

My Youtube videos brought Digg frontpage stories and Engadget and Gizmodo embed several times. I think more than 20 of my videos were in fact featured that way. I had more than 2 million views on my Youtube videos combined per year. With top search rankings in Google and Youtube for many of the people, products and companies that I filmed.

This has been a huge work for me, in fact it’s my full time job to video-blog about technology from around the world. And I am very conscious about copyrights and never use music or video contents without the permission in any of my Youtube videos. A deleted Youtube account would be totally unbearable for me. So I am very hopeful that Youtube is going to completely restore my account.

Jeff says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Your in the wrong forum for your debate then. The other side you seek is in Congress, the exec’s boardroom, the judge’s chambers. Coming here for the goings on and finding information is fine and dandy. But the comments are largely populated with like minded folks with the usual cast of trolls.
You people say you want change but all I read is a boycott on this and that company will never get one more red cent. You think the gov’t or any corporation will give up anything? It’s obvious you forgot our history. Our country was forged in conflict, how many remember the civil rights movement? Did we wait for the gov’t to grant us equality out of the goodness of their heart because the Constitution says all men are created equal? You want change you’re going to get off you fat lazy asses and get it done. You think Mike and his colleagues are going to do it for you? You think some lobbyist is going to have a change of heart and realize that the system is fucked up? It will take the people to get fed up with it and demand reform.

Welcome to the back of the bus.

R. Miles says:

I'm betting there's more to it than that.

I’m guessing here, but I’ll bet it’s because the guy had other content in which 20th C. Fox found and took notice of because of his submission into the contest.

If police are using Craigslist to catch criminals, so shall the distribution police force by luring unsuspecting people into a “contest”.

Charbax (user link) says:

Re: There is

You can read all about it at http://charbax.com/2009/05/06/youtube-bans-me-from-the-internet/ or http://help.youtube.com/group/youtube-howto/browse_thread/thread/73da5e7e013ff2c7

Youtube surprised me with two other takedown notices on videos that I though never uploaded myself. They might have been uploaded on one other Youtube account that I bought from someone more than 6 months ago. The youtube account in question http://youtube.com/archos had all its videos deleted and clean when I took it over.

Though my account was suspended because of the Seth Macfarlane video from the Burger King sponsored mashup. I checked http://youtube.com/bk a lot the last couple of days, in the beginning most of the videos in the category “Worst Dubs”, “best dubs” would display a “Video removed due to copyright claim by MRC”. It seems those removed videos are now not listed in the categories anymore. Though it is definitely happenening on many others Youtube accounts.

Ron (profile) says:

You Mean?

You mean YouTube cannot simply suspend an account without deleting all its content? With all the false/illegal notices the content Nazis are sending, you’d kinda think that any provider who was forced to do a take down would start by making it revesable; since it’s likely an appeal would shortly follow (Mike, you wrote that the account was suspended but later write “… he has no option to have his account reinstated”. Was it suspended or deleted?). I presume this guy got his fair notice that there was an issue and he either chose to ignore it or replied with the equivalent of “F*ck you and the horse you rode in on”.

Charbax (user link) says:

Re: I got absolutely no fair notice

Youtube surprised me with this about 50 hours ago exactly. As soon as I got the surprise message in my browser and in the automated email replies from Youtube, I have been totally panicking online. I sent the DMCA Counter notice to copyright@youtube.com but have no idea if they actually received it, forwarded it to BayTSP or Twentieth Century Fox, I have no idea if BayTSP or Twentieth Century Fox even care to fix this issue even if hundreds or thousands of other Youtube users have their video mashups wrongly deleted with the effect towards Youtube account suspension that Youtube automatically processes.

I did not have any time to even check the videos in question, although I am very certain that the video in question was the video that I created for the video mashup contest at http://youtube.com/bk and I noticed many other users also had their videos automatically “removed due to copyright claim by MRC”: http://newteevee.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/cavalcade-takedown.png how stupid does that look?

I am very hopeful though that Youtube can reverse this account suspension fully. I am very hopefull that Youtube is going to reopen my Youtube account WITH all my about 400 videos right there, with my full viewing statistics, all my comments and ratings. Although I am confident that Google Phd engineers are able to restore from a backup system or whatever temporary suspended account management system they have made, I am still very worried when I only see very discouraging automated email responses and FAQ notices by Youtube that say:

“Suspended accounts cannot be reinstated.”,
“Your account has now been terminated” and
“Note: In the event that your account is restored, your account information such as videos and comments will NOT be restored.”

Over two days after the fact, I’m still panicked about what is going to happen for my 400-video 2006-started 2-million-views youtube account.

MadJo says:

hello foot meet bullet *PANG*

They really don’t learn in the media industry, do they?

And youtube, shame on you! deleting someone’s content without even allowing for a counter-argument? Just delete that stuff willy-nilly. I’d suggest people move to other platforms, but that’s not very likely going to happen.

TJ says:

If Google’s reinstatement process for YouTube is really that stupidly hamfisted, that may be the more interesting part of the story. Studios distribute takedown notices something like a sneeze distributes germs, which was already pretty well known.

Still, if attention on this at places like Techdirt helps Google take notice, that’s good, because its about the only way for an individual to get a corporation to fix anything anymore. Oh, and what’s with the posters prejudging the guy, stating basically “if accused one must be guilty”. To those posters: What the Hell is wrong with you?!

Anonymous Coward says:

Little People - Dont Even Think About It

Take Down Notice == One Way Street

I’m waiting for some individual to issue a TDN on some Big Media crap house … the fireworks will be like the 4th of July. The PR spin and whining, it will be great!

And then – hopefully – they are shown to be the hypocrites that they are

PaulT (profile) says:

Makes a nice compare and contrast piece with the other article about the EU’s decision on the three strikes law, doesn’t it? Legal protections are required because as this case shows, even if you *think* you’re abiding by all laws, it only takes one overzealous lawyer to screw up your life. Imagine if it wasn’t YouTube videos that stood to be lost, but your home business internet connection, all based on vague false accusations from a 3rd party…

BTR1701 says:


When the Supreme Court decided against Grokster and created the concept of “inducement to commit copyright infringement” out of thin air (despite there being nothing in the actual statute that even hinted at such a thing), the Court said that a site could be found liable if it induced infringement by encouraging such uses.

So it seems like the guy in the story below ought to treat Fox to a little taste of their own absurd legal medicine. If they’re going to file copyright takedown notices against him for participating in a contest they themselves endorsed, then he ought to counterclaim with an inducement charge. Specifically, that by promoting this contest, they induced and encouraged him to violate their copyrights, with the evidence being their contest promotion and subsequent takedown claims.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...