Performance Rights Group Takes Down YouTube Video Of Auschwitz Survivor Dancing To 'I Will Survive' At Aushwitz

from the ah,-copyright dept

Benny6Toes points us to a story about an Auschwitz survivor, who went back to Auswitz with his grandkids and recently filmed a video of them dancing to Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive — as a way to celebrate life and the ability to overcome obstacles. The story is about the basic controversy over the video, as some folks find it offensive and others find it heartwarming. However, Benny notes that the video has been taken down. The video attached to that HuffPo story, when you click on it, says “This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim made by APRA.” APRA is a performance rights group for Australia, which raises a few questions as to why they’re able to take down a video for the rest of the world. It’s also not entirely clear if this was a YouTube ContentID match or a DMCA takedown (it would be nice if YouTube actually came out and said which one).

Defenders of such a takedown will, I’m sure, point out that they used the whole song without permission. However, this is clearly not a commercial venture, and is really an attempt to give a life-affirming message. It’s not as if they would have paid for the song otherwise. There is no money being “lost” here. In the meantime, it looks like the family has reposted the video while warning that it will likely get taken down again soon. At the time I write this, it is working:

Personally, I think this is the type of endeavor that copyright was supposed to encourage, not hinder. But what do I know?

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Comments on “Performance Rights Group Takes Down YouTube Video Of Auschwitz Survivor Dancing To 'I Will Survive' At Aushwitz”

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59 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

I don’t know about you, but to me, this only gives more value to this song.

I’ll never hear it again without thinking of this video.

That is the best praise a song could ever had…

And, to those “gentleman” of APRA, taking down this song is a crime against humanity. That video is a simple gesture, but, with a meaning that no copyright can take. EVER.

Celebrating the fact that he survived the monstrosity that was Auschwitz, with that song, it’s ABOVE fair use, it’s a Human RIGHT. Remember what human beings are? No, they are not the # of names and addresses from whom you can demand payment for your inability to do anything of value.

Maybe in a few years someone will also use this same song as a symbol that they survived the copywars.

Lawrence D'Oliveiro says:

When I Think Of Auschwitz ...

… I think of the late Jacob Bronowski, and his 1973 documentary on the history of science, The Ascent of Man. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a classic. Forget lots of flashy effects—much of it is this beetle-browed little academic-looking guy just talking. But I found it absolutely riveting.

Anyway, there’s the scene where he visits Auschwitz, where several of his relatives died (he himself was lucky enough to escape to the UK). There’s a pond where they dumped the ashes of the bodies after burning them. So he stands there in his elegant suit and expensive-looking black leather shoes, and carefully and deliberately takes two steps—ruining those shoes in the process—right into the pond. Just to get a little closer to his dead relatives, and all the other victims.

Every time I see that, I cry.

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

What in heaven were they thinking

The video is a celebration of life and survival against all odds that adds to and doesn’t take away anything at all from the song.

Most composers and singers would kill for something like this and would let it pass which leads me to wonder if APRA even bothered to contact anyone.

The video ends with the intro to Leonard Cohen’s “Dancing to the End of Love” which is continued in the Part 2 video. I’m just trying to imagine Cohen’s reaction to some idiot performance rights group ordering it taken down.

Dologan says:

The other side

I, too, loved the video and the concept behind it, and normally I’d say the performance rights group should take a chill pill about it and let it stand.

However, I’m sorry to have to play the cynic here and point out that they also seem to promoting the download of an HQ version (since the uploaded quality is rubbish and unnecessarily so, since I know YouTube can do better) through the Sharecash service, which gets the uploader money at the cost of the extremely annoying and invasive “survey” the downloader has to enroll to.

They’re not just sharing their heartwarming dancing show, they are trying to cash out on it. Not saying there is anything wrong with that per se, but I do think that the performance rights group has reason to be upset in this case, since there is a profit motive behind the use of the song, which is quite central to the whole point of the video.

Dologan says:

Re: The other side

OK, I take it back. I was misled by Mike’s statement that the family itself seemed to have reposted the video. The linked version is not a re-upload by the family, and it doesn’t seem like they have ever tried to get any profit from the video. The original uploader (who lives in a Australia, btw) never tried to re-post it.

This case appears to be some random person with a downloaded copy who decided s/he could take advantage of the controversy to try to cash out from downloads by posting a rubbish quality version and pointing people in the direction of the HQ version. Shame on you, MsBeatguy, shame on you.

Michial Thompson (user link) says:

How is this even close to fair use?

WOW little mikee, good job at finding a good way of promoting your agenda that everyone should be free to take whatever they want. Good twist finding a concentration camp survivor to promote your agenda.

The video is as clear of a case of Copyright INFRINGEMENT as you can find, yet somehow it’s magically transformed to acceptable because it’s got a concentration camp survivor standing in front of the camp in it.

Copyright laws are in place to allow the creator/owner of said rights some level of control over their work.

Just because the guy survived the camp, just because the camp is an attrocity of the past does not justify unauthorized use of the music, or a distortion of the creator’s views and intentions for the work.

And I could easily argue that the intent of the video was commercial exploitation of the music. If the intent was personal there would have been no uploading to YouTube. The intent of the video was to draw attention to the family, and to the survivor. If it was personal then it would have remained in their home or on their computer etc.

Niall (profile) says:

Re: How is this even close to fair use?

And just what do you base this wonderful piece of nastiness on? Posting on YouTube is not automatically commercial exploitation. That would be selling copies, or selling access or something similar. This seems like a personal use, not commercial. How is it bad or ‘commercial exploitation’ to draw attention to someone surviving a really bad experience, or sharing it with their family? Or even the rest of the world.

There may be copyright issues in having used the whole song, but I suspect most people who aren’t money-grasping no-souled **AAers will appreciate the essential humanity of this gesture.

Christopher Weigel (profile) says:

Re: How is this even close to fair use?

“Copyright laws are in place to allow the creator/owner of said rights some level of control over their work.

Just because the guy survived the camp, just because the camp is an attrocity of the past does not justify unauthorized use of the music, or a distortion of the creator’s views and intentions for the work.”

In some order, actually: No they’re not, and yes it does.

The video is as clear of a case of Fair Use as you can find.

Finally, uploading to youtube != commercial exploitation.

Any other ignorant rants you’d care to make, sir?

abc gum says:

Re: How is this even close to fair use?

“WOW little mikee …”

– Michial Thompson keepin it classy as usual, in a way not unlike that of the APRA.

“The video is as clear of a case of Copyright INFRINGEMENT”

– Thank you Capt Obvious. I’m sure no one was aware of this fact until you brought it up.

“Copyright laws are in place to allow the creator/owner of said rights some level of control over their work”

– The APRA is the creator/rights owner? I did not find this bit of information, where did you see it?

“Just because the guy survived the camp, just because the camp is an attrocity of the past does not justify unauthorized use of the music, or a distortion of the creator’s views and intentions for the work.”

– Ok, fair enough. But the actions of the APRA make the APRA look like a douche bag outfit.

“And I could easily argue that the intent of the video was commercial exploitation of the music. If the intent was personal there would have been no uploading to YouTube. The intent of the video was to draw attention to the family, and to the survivor. If it was personal then it would have remained in their home or on their computer etc.”

– Apparently Michial Thompson does not realize how the internet is used by people. In addition, he seems confused about definitions. In layman’s terms, commercial use implies a direct or indirect monitary gain. I do not see it, perhaps someone else does. Just because a person posts something online does not mean that it is no longer considered personal use, not sure where this idea comes from.

In summary, I think you are wrong – again.

cybernia (profile) says:

Re: How is this even close to fair use?

For the most part I disagree with Mike, but this is clearly a case where copyright has gone awry. There is no commercial exploitation and I think it is way within fair use. And yes, the fact that it’s an Auschwitz survivor does matter.

I’ve uploaded a few videos to YouTube that have had the music stripped out for so-called violations. It’s retarded. I didn’t make those videos for commercial purposes, just for fun and to show friends and others.

I was brought up to respect copyright, but was also taught if you had no commercial intent it was okay. When did these barbarians decide that if you post a 30 second clip of your two year old dancing to some song that happened to be playing on the radio it was copyright infringement?

As much as I have problems with people using other people’s creations to make a living, there has to be some leeway when it comes to regular people who have no other aspirations other than other people might enjoy it.

I think that discussion is lacking here on Techdirt, as the concern seems to be more about the appropriation of others work to make money rather than the average Joe who has a clever or not so clever)idea and just wants to share it with no idea of making money from it.

Michial Thompson (user link) says:

Re: Re: How is this even close to fair use?

It’s my understanding that infringement is infringement no matter what the “intent.” Commercial exploitation of infringement is what makes the difference between civil and criminal cases. This is how I understand the differences.

As for this video or any other video where an entire song us used. Infringement is infringement.

I could care less about the guy being a camp survivor or not. It happened 70 years ago, very few if any of the people responsible for the camps and their attrocities are even alive today. The people alive today didn’t have anything to do with them and should not suffer and pay for something they did not do.

Jew or non jew alike, move the fuck on in life.

Same for blacks in America, hell half of Americans today didn’t even have family in the US when slavory was legal, let alone should they pay for it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: How is this even close to fair use?

You know… if you brushed your teeth once and awhile – you might get that *FOAMING* action out…

Your inhumanity is noted, and when the overlords enslave the world, your baiting will be rewarded with a nice position torturing little old ladies for driving slow…

What an shit-stain you are… have a nice fucking life – we’re trying to celebrate ours

B says:

Re: Re: Re: How is this even close to fair use?

It’s my understanding that infringement is infringement no matter what the “intent.” Commercial exploitation of infringement is what makes the difference between civil and criminal cases. This is how I understand the differences.

Your understanding is wrong. There are provisions in U.S. Copyright law concerning “Fair Use.” While Fair Use is horribly vague, its sole focus is on intention.

However, this video was forced down by APRA (Australian Performing Right Association), so international copyright laws and jurisdiction fighting blur the laws even further.

Situations like this are exactly what Fair Use was designed for.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: How is this even close to fair use?

Dear Mister Thompson,

It’s kind of weird, but I do agree with you on one point :
– Yes, if one wants to show a video, he shouldn’t put it on Youtube. He should instead host it on a personal server, same for social networking data (ie the Diaspora project), and for emails (everybody should host his own emails, not mister Microsoft). So we agree on that : self-hosting is very important, let us support it together.

But for the camp survivor, maybe you should sue him and have him fined for $22500, which is the amount sir Tenenbaum (goddammit, another German Jew descendant, are you really after them?) had to pay. Or maybe have him jailed if you cannot shake him down for that money

Richard (profile) says:

Ironic

The video seems to have (uhem) survived. It’s actually multiplied 20 fold.

Great Job Ass Hats. As usual, you look like jackasses who never seem to get it. Rather than embracing the opertunity to get a little positive press, you just decide to come off as the gestapo… AGAIN. Who’s running your business into the ground? Oh yeah “pirates”, I forgot.

robertinseattle (profile) says:

Music Copyright

At the risk of sounding antisemitic, the majority of the people in the music industry are Jewish and always have been. Same people who screamed about the advent of CD’s, videotapes and DVD’s and now online music distribution. While the Japanese managed to work around it in the 90’s by buying many of the Hollywood studios (Sony, Panasonic etc. bought out MGM and Paramount etc.), I realized that those very studios are pretty much still run by the same cabal of Hollywood insiders. For anyone to condemn and take down a fair use video such as this one is despicable in general and evil in particular when you consider the source of the complaints.

How we managed to get into this situation of being expected to pay for something each time you hear it is beyond me. As a visual artist, I have no expectation of anyone being required to pay me each time someone walks past a painting of mine and looks at it – same analogy. Or how about this example: I do an illustration that gets used for a billboard campaign for an advertiser? Should I get paid for views like clicks on an online ad? Yet, they use a jingle for a commercial and heaven help the advertiser if they forget to pay the artiste for one single missed listener!

I hope the new paradigm of the Internet will finally begin to change an antiquated approach that’s been in place for way too long already. Am I missing something here?

Cohen (profile) says:

LOVE the video

It brought tears to my eyes. My family only had one distant relative in the camps. But she made it out. And she was definitely a SURVIVOR!

I wish every Jew could go and dance at the camps to show that we as a people have been survivors.

Each word of the song is given new, poignant meaning in the context of the camp.

Blessings to the Kohn family.

I only wish the links to download the behind scenes videos and HQ version didn’t take people to the scam artist surveys.

River says:

Re: Re:

My great uncle survived Dachau, after being sent there for being part of the Belgian Resistance. He loved this song.

Imagine, if you would, a sixty six year old man with a disfigured leg, limping heavily and using a cane, dancing awkwardly and painfully to this song, with tears of joy in his eyes.

“I survived,” he’d tell me, voice choked with emotion. “For myself, for the friends lost, for the children killed, I will dance. And in dancing, they will be remembered.”

Trust me, it sounded way better and more poetic in Flemish.

I was six the first time I saw him dance to this song. I was twelve when he died.

And each time I hear that song, I think of Oncle Jacques. I remember him, his stories, the tales he told of his friends. I think of his promise to always remember.

And then, since he’s gone, I remember for him.

Heike Goshen says:

Jane Korman's Dancing Auschwitz

Totally agree with Benny’s questioning the “taking-down” of the video… APRA SUCKS BIG TIME!

“…this is clearly not a commercial venture, and is really an attempt to give a life-affirming message. It’s not as if they would have paid for the song otherwise. There is no money being “lost” here.” !!!

In addition, the video is great, and indeed heart-warming and life-affirming! Great job, Jane! Love it!

Heike

Carol says:

Auschwitz survivor dance

Congratulations to the people who made the survival video. I thought it was fantastic! It gave me goose pimples and I had the most incredible emotional reaction. What a wonderful way to honour the life of the grandfather who survived – as well as those who didn’t. As a friend suggested – Hitler would be rolling in his grave. Survival with chutzpah is the go!

Yolanda Whitten says:

Dancing at Aushwitz

Who do these rights groups think they are? They have NO RIGHT to remove this video!!! They just need to stop and think…..If I was a survivor of such a horrific experience,and later had the opportunity to go back there,wouldn’t I be singing for joy about my survival? And what more appropriate lyrics than “I Will Survive”.Put this video back up online!These survivors have every right to post their videos of what they went through as well as how they are handling it and living and even (YES) Celebrating their survival!!!NOBODY HAS THE RIGHT TO TAKE THAT AWAY FROM THEM!!!!!Period and Dot!And for that matter,away from those who are very interested in this history.We have the right to know,and these survivors have the right to tell and show us their side of things that happened to them.THEY ARE FREE PEOPLE NOW!!!!!WHY ARE YOU RIGHTS GROUPS SENSORING THEM????WHO DO YOU PEOPLE THINK YOU ARE????? YA COMMUNIST!!!!!!!!!!!!!YOU ARE OBVIOUSLY NOT A REAL AMERICAN!!!Because a REAL AMERICAN knows that we have a right to freedom of speech and free expression.I DEMAND THIS VIDEO TO BE PUT BACK UP ON THIS SITE!!! I have the right to see it, and the owner has the right to post it! If you don’t like it or are offended by it,YOU DON’T HAVE TO LOOK AT THIS SITE!Don’t you have a life with better things to do with your time then removing peoples rights of expression?GET A LIFE!!!If you don’t like the video,change your computer to a different video,but you have No Right to remove it! PUT IT BACK NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yolanda Whitten says:

The Swastica's

Take the damn swastica off of my comment!!! And STOP putting them next to the commenters names!I am definately NOT a cruel communist!What kind of site are you running here? If you are a communist than GET OUT OF MY COUNTRY!!!THIS IS AMERICA!And I don’t appreiciate my name being represented with a swastica!!!

nasch (profile) says:

Re: The Swastica's

Take the damn swastica off of my comment!!! And STOP putting them next to the commenters names!I am definately NOT a cruel communist!

A. That’s not a swastika, it’s a gravatar. It’s automatically generated from the information in your IP address to distinguish you from other anonymous commenters.

B. The swastika was adopted by the Nazis, not communists.

C. Forgot to mention above that the people you’re complaining about are indeed not American as you claim. They’re Australian.

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