Around The Globe, Entertainment Industry Pisses Off Fans Promoting Content

from the spin-the-globe dept

You would think that the various entertainment industry rights organizations around the world would recognize how badly attacking consumers has failed and wouldn’t continue to do it in every other country, but apparently common sense travels a lot slower than unauthorized content these days. Roni Evron alerts us to how a bunch of Israeli YouTube users are pissed off after rights holder Unicell convinced YouTube to pull down a bunch of content and close user accounts, even for content that just isn’t available anywhere else:

One of the more prominent Israeli users of YouTube is 40-year-old Guy, who has been operating his own homepage there for three years. Guy says that he spends about two hours every day uploading content. He focuses on old archival material: Israeli music which is now considered classic.

“I do it out of love and I have no commercial interests,” he says. “The idea behind this is ideological, romantic, to expose older cultural material, to make it accessible to as many people as possible. In most cases it is not readily available anywhere else.”

For example, he has uploaded the contents of singer-songwriter Matti Caspi’s first album from 1974, and material from the “Siba L’mesiba” (“Excuse for a Party”) television program, which aired on the Channel One from 1984-1990.

Most of the responses he gets, according to Guy, are from former Israelis who live abroad; they are enthusiastic and ask him to add more material.

He admits that he is not current on copyright law, but believes removal of the content from the Internet is proof of narrow-mindedness.

“Perhaps exposure to this material in fact increases demand,” he says. “YouTube is no substitute for purchasing music in higher quality formats; it simply provokes nostalgia. This work is a community service.”

You have to wonder if the recent Israeli ruling that found that the rights of users should be respected, and that copyright claims should only be dealt with if they were “especially severe, wrongs committed in aggravated circumstances,” will come into play in these sorts of situations.

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Companies: google, youtube

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Comments on “Around The Globe, Entertainment Industry Pisses Off Fans Promoting Content”

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Dark Helmet (profile) says:


I tried a relatively quick search on Unicell, and all I’m coming up with is a logistics firm in Canada and what appears to be a cellular telecom firm in Israel, a spinoff of Broad Digital out of Tel Aviv. Is that the Unicell being discussed?

None of these look anything like a company that would hold IP rights to aged Jewish/Israeli culture works.

Anonymous Coward says:

Only thing I can find for Unicell israel (there’s an american trucking company also called unicell apparently) is a cellphone network company.

The only matches I can find for “unicell digital rights”, “unicell music”, “unicell youtube”, “unicell artists”, “unicell represents” (as well as trying the spelling “unicel” in place of unicell) are the story linked in the article.

Searching for “unicell (artist)” (replacing artist with one of the names given in the article), the only match is the article itself again. The only group I can find representing any of them is the Israeli music label Hed Arzi, which represents Sarit Hadad.

That said it’s late and all I’ve done is some googling/wiki-ing. But it seems to me that Unicell as a digital rights organisation doesn’t exist.

Anonymous Coward says:

Huh me again, just searched “Gil White Unicell” (“Gil White” given as “Unicell’s director of content” in the article) and it appears that a Mr. Gil White is indeed the head of content of Unicell:

“Unicell Advanced Cellular Solutions Ltd., VP, Head of Content”

I guess the cellular company also represents some artists in their spare time. Go figure.

diode (profile) says:

It’s interesting to see the difference in stance between various labels when it comes to YouTube.

On the one hand you have the “Iron Fist” approach; labels scouring YouTube day and night, pouncing on anything and everything featuring even so much as a muffled reproduction of their music in the belief that people who have access to it on YouTube wont buy it.

On the other, you have the complete polar opposite; labels (eg. Armind – ) who actively use YouTube as a cheap and easy way of promoting new material to encourage people to buy it.

I’m not everyone, but I buy a lot of music. A LOT. And do you know what one of my primary ports of call for previewing tunes I’m contemplating buying is? I’ll give you a clue: It’s not my local HMV store.

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