Copyright Used To Silence 10-Year-Old Girl Raising Money For Charity

from the promoting-progress-all-around dept

Rob H was the first of a few of you to send in the story of how a music publishing company, Bourne Music Publishers, threatened 10 year-old actress Bethany Hare, for creating a short video of her acting as Charlie Chaplin accompanied by her singing the song Smile, which was the theme for Chaplin’s 1936 film Modern Times. Hale had created the video and posted it to the charity site JustGiving as part of a campaign to raise money for a hospice. Modern times indeed. Of course, when Chaplin wrote the song, he was given a government-granted monopoly that he knew would put his work in the public domain by now. Until the government and lobbyists extended copyright again and again and again.

Either way, Bourne Music Publishers apparently doesn’t care much for charity. It demanded $2,000, plus another $200 every time she performed the song. That certainly would take away from the hospice that she was trying to raise money for, so now her Chaplin appreciation film is a Chaplin-style silent film instead.

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Comments on “Copyright Used To Silence 10-Year-Old Girl Raising Money For Charity”

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120 Comments
Anonymous Poster says:

Re: Re:

The major media companies still need to wring out money, of course.

The public domain works against them, so they work against the public domain – and the public interest – to ensure that they can rape culture all they want and us regular jackoffs can’t do anything about it.

Rez (profile) says:

Public Domain

Everything should honestly fall to public domain after 7 years with the exception of trademarks. This (as far as I know) was the original design and honestly I think it worked better than anything we’ve done to IP in the last fifty years. As a software developer I honestly like the idea that people would use my software and share it with their friends. This creates a user base so that my work gets attention and I can earn more from my next project instead of scraping by on old efforts and freaking out because “oh noes, teh users iz stealing frum meh!!1!one!”. People who like my work pay me for it and frequently become repeat customers, and those who don’t like my work won’t complain because hey, it was free. You can’t go wrong with that.

Dementia (profile) says:

Re: Re: Public Domain

Considering the increase in the ability to communicate and distribute over long distances, I believe copyrights and patents should be reduced to a maximum of 7 years with no extensions beyond that. When you take into consideration the amount of time involved in manufacture and distribution of things in the 18th and 19th century, you can understand why the original terms were so long. In today’s world it can go from a glimmer in your eye to a product on the shelf in almost no time at all, so the extended terms simply aren’t needed.

Matt (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Public Domain

As a sop to those who argue that copyright creates a necessary incentive, how about a compromise: 7 years, with mandatory registration and formalities, for free. As many 7 year renewal terms as you can eat for a price that increases geometrically with each renewal.

As long as your monopoly is productive, you would be allowed to maintain it provided you paid back (a decent proxy for) its ever-increasing cost to the public. At some point, the public’s interest in gaining access to culture will outweigh the value to you of maintaining the monopoly, and the work will pass into the public domain. For “Smile,” I’ll bet this would have happened decades ago.

MrWilson says:

Re: Re: Re:

“Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny.”

Copyright is a Dark Jedi now and it’ll take a galactic civil war to turn it back to the Light Side.

(Notice: copyright on the preceding comments likely belong to LucasFilm Ltd for a period longer than anyone reading this message will be alive)

Ron Rezendes (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Here is my email I sent to them:

It is truly a sad day indeed to see that Bourne Music would demand $2000 + $200 per performance for a child who is raising money for hospice.

On the bright side, I have made a donation to her cause since your reprehensible actions have brought this to my attention.

Unfortunately, as a business, I want you to know I will never be a customer of yours and I will be sure to spread the word among my network of friends, family, and business associates.

Congratulations, you’ve just won the Darwin Award for Business!

In all honesty, you SHOULD donate the $2000 you demanded from her, to her cause! The next time an attorney recommends something so unbelievably inconsiderate fire them and hire a new one. Your actions are beyond shameful.

What in the world were you people thinking?

Sincerely,
Ron Rezendes

bob says:

Revenue Streams

From the BOURNE CO. MUSIC PUBLISHERS web site

We are always searching for new revenue streams and actively encourage the use of the songs we represent in commercials, motion pictures, all new media and technologies, ring tones, television, merchandise, sound recordings, and other uses. Whether it’s the printing and distribution of sheet music, in the traditional manner or through digital printing, Bourne Co. continually seeks innovative approaches to the marketing of our catalogues.

Looks like they have found a new revenue stream, suing children.

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

Re: It's not as if

YouTube is very interesting in that many people upload videos without obtaining permission to use the music and nothing happens. And in fact, YouTube encourages copyright holders to okay these videos and then to make money via advertising or music sales.

YouTube is effectively pushing the boundaries in terms of licensing (or lack of it) and a lot of people seem to be happy. There’s no attempt to eliminate copyright; rather YouTube has just created system that seems to work surprisingly well at the moment.

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Re: It's not as if

Actually, there is some downfall. Namely, there are the number of people that have had their accounts deleted because of the 3 strikes ruling that are inherent in Youtube.

No matter the amount of time that those 3 strikes come in, if you get hit, your account is gone.

The legality, the time spent, are all wasted because a copyright holder has “perfect” control, which I contest honestly.

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: It's not as if

YouTube is closer to working out a system that works for a lot of people than others are in getting copyright overthrown, which is why I keep citing it. I think it will take years for copyright to disappear, but in the meantime there will be experiments with alternative systems.

I’ve run across some cases where people heard from YouTube about misusing copyrighted material (they usually just have the sound turned off on their videos) and they were able to get the sound restored.

The person I am most familiar with in terms of covering other people’s songs is a singer/songwriter who is being heavily promoted by YouTube, and I’ve seen other similar cases where YouTube cites these artists as top examples of independent musicians working with YouTube, so it would appear that if you want to post a video of you singing a song you didn’t write, you are doing what many others have done without incident. Or at worst, you will be asked to take it down.

Can you point me to the “three strikes and lose your account” cases you are referring to? I’m sure I can look them up myself, but if you have them handy, I’d like to compare what has happened to them with YouTube featured artists who aren’t running into problems. Perhaps we will be able to develop some guidelines to share with interested musicians.

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 It's not as if

In reference to people who have lost YouTube accounts, you aren’t, by any chance, referring to people who have uploaded movies or videos that they didn’t make and don’t hold the copyright for?

I can see where uploading a clip or an episode of a current TV show or movie might case more problems for you than if you record yourself singing a song you didn’t write.

Fans and other musicians covering other people songs on YouTube is remarkably common and I’d venture to say that very few of them have obtained proper licensing. Given the sheer volume of these types of videos, they don’t seem to be triggering a lot of “three strikes” issues.

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 It's not as if

I read the post and the comments, including this one:
________

YouTube’s Three Strikes Rule Hits Again; Dance Company Has Over 300 Videos Taken Down | Techdirt: “As Mike pointed out, the ContentID system allows content owners choose what happens when something is uploaded that matches.

This was posted earlier in the thread:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_EamVE1HVE

This is a pretty good system and goes WAY beyond that is required by the DMCA. They could ignore everything and sit around waiting for takedown notices. Instead of making copyright owners sit through the 20 hours of video a minute being uploaded and issue takedowns, they built a very complex digital signature system that helps identify content.

Is this system perfect? Of course not. It does, however, make a very clear case that they are trying to help the copyright holders and going beyond what is required of them.”
______

The person making that comment shares my view. The system is not perfect, but is far closer to a licensing system than what we have had before.

Here are your options:

1. Bitch about the current copyright system and wait it out, most likely years.
2. Test the limits by uploading content on YouTube, knowing that you may have your content and perhaps your account taken down, OR NOT.
3. Play entirely by the rules and obtain the proper permissions before uploading.

I know lots of musicians who are taking route 2. Not only are they NOT being asked to take down their videos, they are becoming highly successful because of them.

If you want to challenge the system, don’t you think uploading stuff to YouTube, particularly when it appears YouTube is will promote you for doing so, is a reasonable route?

Since I don’t upload any unauthorized content on YouTube, it isn’t a problem for me personally. But I read, and have written, articles/press releases about musicians whose promotion by YouTube figures prominently in their bios. That is their professional story. Presumably these musicians are the revolutionaries here and with YouTube’s help they are testing the system, which I presume you guys want. YouTube and the musicians covering other people’s songs are generating income for the copyrights holders, so they are offering a potentially lucrative alternative to asking people to remove unauthorized content.

Again, isn’t that what you want?

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 It's not as if

Here are your options:

1. Bitch about the current copyright system and wait it out, most likely years.
2. Test the limits by uploading content on YouTube, knowing that you may have your content and perhaps your account taken down, OR NOT.
3. Play entirely by the rules and obtain the proper permissions before uploading.

I’m not sure what you’re arguing. First of all, 1 & 2 are not mutually exclusive.

Second, and importantly, you leave out that with option 2 you are opening yourself up to a potentially bankrupting copyright infringement lawsuit. You might want to include that.

But, honestly, I don’t know what you’re arguing.

I know lots of musicians who are taking route 2. Not only are they NOT being asked to take down their videos, they are becoming highly successful because of them.

Sure. Who said otherwise? But they’re also risking a lawsuit that will destroy their lives. Perhaps the risk is small enough that it’s ok. Some of us think that while people are doing this it’s also important to point that out and hope to get the law changed to avoid that risk.

If you want to challenge the system, don’t you think uploading stuff to YouTube, particularly when it appears YouTube is will promote you for doing so, is a reasonable route?

Again, if you’re willing to risk the liability, sure. But don’t tell people it’s fine and there’s no risk.

Since I don’t upload any unauthorized content on YouTube, it isn’t a problem for me personally. But I read, and have written, articles/press releases about musicians whose promotion by YouTube figures prominently in their bios. That is their professional story. Presumably these musicians are the revolutionaries here and with YouTube’s help they are testing the system, which I presume you guys want. YouTube and the musicians covering other people’s songs are generating income for the copyrights holders, so they are offering a potentially lucrative alternative to asking people to remove unauthorized content.

Again, sure. I’m not sure what you’re arguing against. You seem to think we’ve said something we haven’t. Again. Very odd.

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 It's not as if

But they’re also risking a lawsuit that will destroy their lives. Perhaps the risk is small enough that it’s ok. Some of us think that while people are doing this it’s also important to point that out and hope to get the law changed to avoid that risk.

I’m just trying to moderate the copyright discussions a bit. I honestly don’t think the “copyright is evil” approach is going to help change the laws. Supporting progress in the matter will. My feeling is that YouTube finding ways to pay copyright holders will do more to help things than any discussions that are really one-sided. So I have been saying that I think YouTube is accepting lots of fans and musicians uploading cover songs because it is progress. YouTube has become the most significant player in music promotion today and I think most musicians have found ways to live comfortably with YouTube.

A Guide to YouTube Removals | Electronic Frontier Foundation
“As far as we know, no typical YouTube user has ever been sued by a major entertainment industry company for uploading a video. We have heard of a couple special cases, involving pre-release content leaked by industry insiders, but those aren’t typical YouTube users. And there have probably been a few lawsuits brought by aggressive individual copyright trolls. But no lawsuits against YouTubers by Hollywood studios or major record labels. That’s right — millions of videos have been posted to YouTube, hundreds of thousands taken down by major media companies, but those companies have not brought lawsuits against YouTube users.”

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 It's not as if

This might also be of interest.

Possible solution to YouTube’s cover song “problem” – YouTube Help: “We talked to a friend about this issue at Warner/Chapell Music Publishing today… and they said that W/C has a blanket deal with YT but that some songs were on a ‘restricted list’ whatever that means. Not only that but they had no idea how one would go about getting specific license to merely to cover a song on YT. It’s not a mechanical license, and it’s not a sync license, it’s basically a new type of license altogether. And this is someone who has worked for the world’s largest music publisher for over five years. So the reality is, there’s basically no way to do what YT requires, at least not at Warner/Chapell… (at least according to our friend).”

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 It's not as if

Here’s an article about another very popular YouTube artist who covers a lot of songs, who did get his account suspended, and was then able to get it reinstated by contacting the music publishers.

David Choi Talks Fame Via YouTube: “The suspension, Choi said, came because he did a cover of ‘What Wonderful World.’ Covering other artists’ songs, in addition to creating his own music, is something Choi said he did since his first YouTube post….

‘I do a lot of covers,’? said Choi, who is Korean American. One of the cover songs got a strike on YouTube, he added.

‘Three strikes on YouTube and you’re out. I just had to get the publishers to retract the strikes.’?”

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 It's not as if

I’ve been researching this, reading comments by a number of people who have uploaded videos of themselves performing songs they didn’t write. In some cases the videos were removed. In other cases there was never any problem.

In one case, someone got a takedown notice for performing a 250-year-old classical piece, protested it, and then YouTube realized it was a mistake and left the video alone.

Increasingly people are getting takedown notices filed fraudulently by someone harassing the video creator. The video creators can protest, and usually do, but the video is removed or silenced until they file a countersuit. This is less likely to happen with a famous song because the legitimate copyright holder has probably already registered it with YouTube, blocking fake claims, though someone could falsely claim to own a copyright on anything in the video and could still tie up the system.

Where it appears to get interesting is that even if you think you have permission, the copyright holder can change his mind and file a takedown notice. So that means you’d need to get a contract that says you have irrevocable permission to upload you performing this song in this video on YouTube in perpetuity, a clause you usually see these days when you license a song to a movie or TV show.

But as far as I know, these sorts of contracts don’t yet exist for fans and musicians wanting to perform a cover song for YouTube. In real life, you are free to perform whatever you want at a show, and the venue is responsible for paying ASCAP/BMI/SESAC. And you can record any song you want at 9.1 cents a copy by getting a compulsory mechanical license.

But uploading a video of you performing a song online doesn’t really fit into recording a song, performing a song, or even using someone’s song in a movie or TV show (it’s closest to this, but there is no set rate for a fee).

I maintain that YouTube knows exactly what it is doing by promoting artists who have uploaded cover songs and will only act when someone files a takedown notice. This system works for the artists because most of them aren’t challenged; it works for YouTube because the company gets a huge number of user-generated videos; and it works for the copyright holders when YouTube can show them financial gain.

As I already posted in a different comment, music publishers don’t necessarily even have a contract set up to give a fan or musician permission to do this. If you request permission in advance, they may not have a form for you. And if they do, unless it says you have permission forever, it may not grant you much protection if they change their minds.

I think in practice recording yourself singing someone else’s song is a grey area. People other than true copyright holders can file a takedown notice. There are few, if any, real contracts giving permission to cover a song this way. And YouTube and the artists proudly promote these cover song videos.

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 It's not as if

Here is some info if you want to know how some people have avoided YouTube’s three strikes.

Read the comments here.
YouTube – Copyright Infringement Strike 1, 2 (…3 & I’m Out)

And here YouTube explains that they give warnings before taking down an account, and they allow people to dispute the warnings if they feel they are incorrect.

Jimmy Carr killed my YouTube account – The SocialITe: “‘Of course, we do everything we can to help our users avoid being in the position of being accused of repeat infringement and losing their accounts. We have clear copyright warnings when people sign up for accounts and when they upload videos; we have a copyright tips section in the Help Centre; we make it easy to file counter-notices if users feel they’ve been falsely accused; and we provide clear notice to our users when a video taken down for infringement that we will close down their account if they continue to post infringing content. Also, we make it easy for rights holders to use our Content ID system so that their matched content can be monetised instead of taken down under the DMCA removal process if they so choose.'”

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 It's not as if

I’m sure at least some of you are familiar with this, but I’ll post it anyway for those who haven’t seen it. Having a discussion about what you can and can’t do on YouTube is useful for musicians.

A Guide to YouTube Removals | Electronic Frontier Foundation: “As far as we know, no typical YouTube user has ever been sued by a major entertainment industry company for uploading a video. We have heard of a couple special cases, involving pre-release content leaked by industry insiders, but those aren’t typical YouTube users. And there have probably been a few lawsuits brought by aggressive individual copyright trolls. But no lawsuits against YouTubers by Hollywood studios or major record labels. That’s right — millions of videos have been posted to YouTube, hundreds of thousands taken down by major media companies, but those companies have not brought lawsuits against YouTube users.”

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 It's not as if

It seems you’ve read the one about Bob Dylan. IIRC, the person in the other thread didn’t have the time to take any corrective action. The system is not perfect and quite frankly, it’s the take down part that is particularly annoying.

If there were a way to use something similar to Brazil’s “Notice and notice” instead of “Notice and takedown until further notice, delete” I probably wouldn’t have a problem with Youtube. As it stands, it’s an overreaction in all ways.

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 It's not as if

If there were a way to use something similar to Brazil’s “Notice and notice” instead of “Notice and takedown until further notice, delete” I probably wouldn’t have a problem with Youtube. As it stands, it’s an overreaction in all ways.

I’m not sure what YouTube can do beyond what they are doing right now. It’s in their best interests to facilitate whatever users want to upload without going so far as to be shut down or run into a wall by copyright holders.

My opinion of what they are trying to do changed considerably when I heard the TED talk on copyright. It’s the best automated system I’ve heard about to allow use of copyrighted material. Not perfect, but perhaps a way to eliminate some of the lawsuits.

The problem right now seems to be that while copyright holders in many cases are perfectly okay when users cover songs or incorporate recorded music without obtaining permission, the users don’t know what’s been approved and what hasn’t been. And even if a song has been okayed for one video, it might not be for another.

So the advice to users seems to be, if you are prepared to have the video pulled and your account closed, go ahead and use the song and see what happens. One musician said if your account gets closed, just open another one.

The ideal system would be for musicians to be able to run the permissions through YouTube, but I guess that gets into legal issues for YouTube. Still, the ContentID system seems to be a step in the direction of CC licensing.

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 It's not as if

Here’s one of the better discussions about takedown notices and music on YouTube. People who use previously recorded music are likely to run into more problems than those who perform covers because there are more copyright holders (e.g., labels, publishers). If you are covering a song, then you are more likely just to hear from a publisher. I’ve been looking to see if anyone has put together a “don’t cover this song” list. Eagles songs, for example, appear to have caused quite a few problems so people have been advised in some discussions not to cover those.

Use of Royalty Free music gets three copyright strikes! – YouTube Help

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 It's not as if

Here’s another interesting resource. His examples have been posted elsewhere, but since the goal of his website is to reduce plagiarism, he comes from the perspective of someone who appears to support proper use of copyright. It might be a good future reference on the on-going discussion.

DMCA Fail: The 5 Dumbest Takedown Notices | PlagiarismToday

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 It's not as if

This guy does a good job of outlining possible alternatives. I’ll just point you to his post.

YouTube makes statement on Content-ID takedowns | Brad Ideas: “As such YouTube does want to avoid the blocking of non-infringing videos while trying to help content owners get rid of actual infringements on the site. These recommendations apply on what to do for partial Content-ID matches where the upload is not simply a verbatim audio/video copy of the content owner’s work, but is possibly transformed into something else which may be non-infringing.”

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 ...

You’re inundating everyone with a lot of information at one time. Please stop and understand what I’m saying.

I’ve shown that the DMCA requires an immediate takedown of alleged material. This leans the side of proof of copyright infringement to the business owner. I have read the EFF’s version of what’s going on and after seeing some of the problems with this (3 strikes, loss of account for videos that AREN’T infringements, time wasted) I believe there is a better system already in play. That system is in Brazil where the video is taken down, but negotiations start for both sides. They actually talk to each other rather than a bot which is sniffing Youtube for all signs of videos.

What I’m looking to do is to give the consumers and artists more of a chance to represent themselves, which the DMCA doesn’t allow. Yes, a takedown notice could happen while the video or whatever is reviewed. But then, at the same time, a notice is given to both parties to negotiate. This would solve far more problems than the degree of distance that is currently within the law now. I’m sure that we don’t really need to destroy any artist’s hard work because of 3 strikes. It didn’t work for HADOPI, I doubt it’s working for Youtube as we speak. All it does is anger people.

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 ...

I’ve shown that the DMCA requires an immediate takedown of alleged material…. n Brazil where the video is taken down, but negotiations start for both sides. They actually talk to each other rather than a bot which is sniffing Youtube for all signs of videos.

Will going to a system like the one in Brazil require a change in the DMCA, to be done via legislation? Or do anticipate that YouTube can implement it immediately?

What I’ve been looking at is what is being done in a timely fashion. YouTube seems to be pushing everyone as fast as it can within the law. I’d certainly like to see a system that corrects the abuses and works with artists, but I’m wary of anything requiring legislation because I anticipate that will be a long, drawn out process.

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 ...

Here’s where I think people may be getting confused about what I am trying to say.

YouTube says “Don’t upload any content where you don’t hold the copyright or have permission. BUT IF YOU DO, we have this nifty system that helps determine whether or not the copyright holder lets it stay and under what terms.”

I’m placing great significance upon the “nifty system” that lets some content stay. If YouTube wanted to make sure no one violated copyrights, the company could require that every user show proof of permission before uploading the video. Knowing that everyone doesn’t have proof and that it would discourage users from using YouTube by having to do so, YouTube promotes a system that lets some content stay even if the permission is granted AFTER THE FACT via Content ID.

It has created a system where copyright holders can indicate how their content can be used and YouTube can compare this to what has been uploaded and then allow it to stay or take it down. It is a form of licensing built into YouTube, which I consider an advancement.

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9 ...

How hard would it be to implement a 3 strike rule against the account that makes the claim?

If it’s found to be legitimate, then yes, it’s a strike against the first person. If it’s not a legitimate claim, then it’s a strike against the one that’s made it.

Legislation is great but the quickest way that someone can challenge Youtube is by suing them on the side of the consumer against the 3 strike law they have implemented. I highly doubt that would go very far since no one case has truly challenged the DMCA since Eldred vs Ashcroft.

And I’m sorry but what you’re asking for is a permission culture. Something that I’m downright against. Why should I have to ask permission to do anything with a work?

It’s like asking Shakespeare permission to perform his play…

Or asking Plato permission to use his Socratic Method.

A permission culture runs counter to the very things that have been allowable in an imperfect world. Youtube is a great invention, I agree. The Content ID is not. It keeps things somewhat organized but damn… I see no valid reason that everyone needs to ask permission from Youtube, RIAA, MPAA or anything else to make things their way. In the end, this is hindering innovation in a very large way such as the time that Warner Bros (who still does this) puts things to “block” and starts doing takedowns to be arbitrary.

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:10 ...

I see no valid reason that everyone needs to ask permission from Youtube, RIAA, MPAA or anything else to make things their way.

I’m not arguing for this. I’ve just been pointing out that a lot of the discussion on Techdirt is about what should or shouldn’t be, and that will go on for a long time. In the meantime, YouTube has found a way to survive and allow a lot of experimentation and to show real benefits for both copyright holders and video creators.

We can talk about the problems with the DMCA until we are blue in the face, but unless the laws get changed, people defy them, or someone finds a way to work around the system, nothing new happens.

In fact, sometimes I think people just want to bitch about the system, without actually doing much because it clearly defines an “US against THEM” mentality. Kind of a talk radio approach: As long as we collect an audience for our position, we’ve accomplished what we want. For all the “copyright is evil” comments, YouTube is actually facilitating something. It may be an just interim system, but at least it is doing something which may change the way we approach things.

I think that how we approach IP will probably happen in incremental steps rather than overthrowing the system entirely from the beginning. There are definitely abuses, and finding ways to eliminate those will likely happen before it is abandoned altogether.

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:11 ???

Now I’m confused…

First you ask for ways Youtube can implement legislation that might be a little more fair and I gave ideas in that regard.

Now you’re saying that Techdirt is being used similar to a radio show.

Granted, I gave my opinion that we shouldn’t turn the entire US into a permission culture because something may or may not be copyrightable.

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:12 ???

First you ask for ways Youtube can implement legislation that might be a little more fair and I gave ideas in that regard.

I didn’t ask for ways to improve YouTube. I’m sure they will address that themselves as they can. Let me backtrack here a bit to explain why I cite YouTube as a good example of a proactive company and maybe then we can figure out if you and I are addressing the same issue.

What I’ve been saying is this: YouTube has created a system that, in essence, encourages uploading copyrighted material by people who have yet to obtain permission. (Yes, I know they tell you to obtain permission first, but a lot of content is uploaded where no permission has been obtained.) Once the material is uploaded, YouTube checks to see if permission has been given by the copyright holder, and if so, the material is left and is monetized. If permission hasn’t been given, then the unauthorized content is taken down. And for stuff not in YouTube’s database, it appears it is left there until the copyright holder asks for it to be removed.

YouTube could require proof of permission before anything is uploaded, but it doesn’t. And it tries to sell copyright holders on the idea of giving permission to keep as many of those videos on YouTube as possible. YouTube’s approach seems to be more proactive than sites that don’t attempt to do any brokering between copyright holder and unauthorized user.

There are flaws in the system, but it’s better than what we’ve had and I’m focusing on what YouTube is doing well rather than saying it isn’t sufficient because it hasn’t eliminated copyright (which YouTube, by itself, can’t do).

You said that you didn’t like the “three strikes concept,” so I asked about it and also did as much research as I could.

You wanted a system more like the one proposed in Brazil and I asked if it was something YouTube itself can implement or whether it was determined by legislation. I’m not sure if you answered that. (In other words, is the “three strikes” YouTube’s idea or part of US legislation?) And reading about the proposed Brazil system I wonder if it will be unworkable for YouTube anyway because it requires a lot of human intervention.

When I got to the question about whether or not moving to a system like Brazil would require a change in US legislation, I said a lot of Techdirt discussion is about getting rid of IP protection altogether, which isn’t like to happen anytime soon. When everyone responds to abuses in the system by saying “Let’s get rid of the system,” I said that it’s like listening to talk radio where there’s a hard line taken and people talk about it, but it doesn’t necessary change the reality. An extreme position gets people charged up, but what actually happens in terms of legislation tends to be less extreme.

Having watched how you can get support from both the right and the left on certain environmental issues if you are willing to compromise, I believe in furthering discussions among all parties rather than pitting them against each other. I was vice president of an Audubon Society group in Wyoming and we worked with hunters and with ranchers. People who didn’t necessarily believe in killing birds realized that Ducks Unlimited was an ally in preservation of wetlands. And Democratic environmentalists realized that wealthy Republican ranchers would work with them to discourage strip mines near their property.

Techdirt discussions tend not to venture very far into moderate or compromise territory. YouTube, in my mind, is an effect compromise at the moment.

Okay, back to your idea. Is the Brazil system something YouTube can do right away? And how would it implement a review system where copyrights holders and users discuss who has the right to the content?

stonecold (profile) says:

BOURNE CO. MUSIC PUBLISHERS

You have got to be kidding me this Bourne CO. is a dang joke they must be a broke ass company to go after a kid for something like this who cares about copyright on Chaplin I will tell you a broke a?? piece of crap .This child is trying to help a program that you may need at some point in life .
Well as stated in there site they are always looking for new revenue. They really need a new job .
Can the kid sue them for being thoughtless jerks ????

ac says:

Re: The Kid

I applaud you. Based on your comment I must assume that at the age of 10, you must have had a good understanding of copyright law to suggest that “…she should have done her research…” Her parents, on the other hand, that helped her and “Phil Steel and the charity Sound Sense”(from TFA) should have done some homework.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: The Kid

“Phil Steel and the charity Sound Sense”(from TFA) should have done some homework.

Yes – it surprised me that these people didn’t know – but then maybe they thought Bourne would let it pass since it was for charity (perhaps they have done this kind of thing before and never had any trouble).

Anyway if they had known then the video might never have been made – and the charity would be 5K worse off – so it’s an ill wind…

Geoff says:

Re: Re: The Kid

I cant believe people are posting comments about a charity saying that they should of informed Bethany Hare about copyright issues.

How do you know they didn’t???
You cant post comments about a charity suggesting they were at fault unless you have proof, thats slander I hope they dont find out else they may take action against you.

How do you know that they didnt tell the family and the family decided to not take their advice?

What capacity was the charity used in ? The charity may not of had much to do with it anyway ???

You have no idea what you are talking about you should be ashamed.

Free Capitalist (profile) says:

Re: The Kid

Maybe she should have done her research and did something that was in the public domain instead.

Perhaps you haven’t done your research. The public domain now has a revolving door without a reasonable age limit. She could have used something from the public domain and had it pulled out from under her, and subsequently have gotten sued.

The public domain is not safe for public use any more. Using Creative Commons is the only way she could have been reasonably sure there would have been no ramifications down the road.

The music industrialists involved in this type of revenue generation need to be checked, and heavily fined for their wanton abuse of the legal system and for creative children taken down in the process. For real.

Abuse of copyright at this level begs a general civil disobedience.

Empedocles says:

The money grabbing companies get copyright protection FOR FREE. They should have to pay specifically for this protection.

It works like this: company declares value of intellectual property, and pays a yearly fee based on the declared value. Anyone can come, pay them the declared value, and buy the IP. Thus if it is really valuable, it is in their interest to declare the true value. As long as they keep paying the fee, they have protection. As soon as they think it is not worth it, they stop paying.

Nobody thinks that “Smile” is valuable. The problem is that the corporations get protection for absolutely free, regardless of the value of what they are protection. There is no proper proportion or fairness in that.

Dexter Edge (profile) says:

Although Chaplin wrote the melody of “Smile” in 1936, the lyrics were added only in 1954, by John Turner and Geoffrey Claremont Parsons. Parsons died 1987 (I can’t immediately find a death date for Turner)

But it’s still not clear why anyone at this point should be making money off creative work of people who are long dead, and why anyone should be in a position to make legal threats to block a present creative use of this song.

Copyright was, after all, supposed to be for a “limited time” and was for the benefit of the *author* (not his heirs or a corporation who bought or assumed notional “property” rights).

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

YouTube and musicians

The “copyright laws are evil” discussions aren’t really going to change what’s happening now. Here’s my take:

1. YouTube has been a great way to promote musicians.
2. YouTube knows this and has been publicizing this and expanding music programs, especially among unsigned artists. Success stories about artists covering songs are part of the news.
3. Legally YouTube must say everyone needs to post original material or get permission, but it doesn’t really want to discourage users from uploading content.
4. There is no good system for fans and most musicians to obtain permission to cover songs on YouTube, so it is rarely done and YouTube and the musicians know this.
5. ContentID is an automated system to identify copyrighted material and can be set to allow varying degrees of usage without the user having to ask for permission.
6. ContentID right now is being presented to copyright holders to show they have control over their content.
7. Unfortunately at the moment users rarely know if what they have uploaded will be flagged unless it is entirely their own content (and even then they can be caught up in the system via fraudulent claims). There are on-going discussions among users about how to deal with these grey areas.
8. YouTube is likely to keep tweaking the system so that there is more transparency and fewer takedown requests.

It’s in YouTube’s best interests to engage as many video creators as possible. So I think the message to everyone (users and copyright owners) is going to be “Use YouTube and we will find ways to work with you.” I think YouTube will push the boundaries and stop only at the point where it risks being shut down.

Of all the digital music experiments, YouTube seems to have survived the best. I didn’t think it would be possible. But Google’s deep pockets and technical resources have allowed the company to remain standing long enough to find workarounds to problems which have ended other music sites. So if Google continues along the way it is going, it may create some workable copyright solutions before any copyright reform actually gets passed.

Rather than just talking about theory, their approach seems to be, “Give us and users some flexibility in terms of copyrighted content and in return we will give you income that you wouldn’t have had otherwise.” It’s a better approach than saying. “Copyright is bad and we shouldn’t have it, but it’s up to you guys to figure out how to generate income.” Change is easier when it actually comes with a check than when it comes with only the potential for income (if that).

Richard (profile) says:

Re: YouTube and musicians

4. There is no good system for fans and most musicians to obtain permission to cover songs on YouTube, so it is rarely done and YouTube and the musicians know this.
5. ContentID is an automated system to identify copyrighted material and can be set to allow varying degrees of usage without the user having to ask for permission.

I don’t believe content ID can detect covers of songs. It works for uploads that contain a copyrighted recording – but I have seen some research (admittedly a year or two ago) that showed that it was fairly easy to defeat by changing the speed by a small amount. Unfortunately the three strikes policy makes it impossible to repeat that research now.

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

Re: Re: YouTube and musicians

but I have seen some research (admittedly a year or two ago) that showed that it was fairly easy to defeat by changing the speed by a small amount.

This is probably what you saw. It only deals with modifications of a recorded song, but people following along with this discussion might find it of interest. Some musicians have had videos of themselves doing cover songs taken down (Eagles songs seem to be the biggest no-no according to the forum discussions and musicians have been advised to stay clear of them), but on the other hand, they probably identified the song and the songwriter in the title, making it easy for any copyright owner of the song to be able to find with those videos doing a manual search.

Scott Smitelli ? Fun with YouTube’s Audio Content ID System

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: YouTube and musicians

Yes – that was the page I saw – thanks for finding it again for me!

The research on that page certainly suggests that the automated content ID fingerprinting system would not be capable of finding a cover of a song. That suggests that any takedown of a cover would have been done by the copyright holder and is probably only semi-automated. The fact that certain songwriters work is pursued more aggressively than others is consistent with that idea.

Looking at the smallprint of You Tube TOS it seems that a content ID takedown does not constitute a “strike” – so that particular piece of research could be repeated. However a DMCA takedown sent by the copyright holder does – and so it probably isn’t feasible to explore the limits of that aspect of the system.

Dave says:

Mail to Bourne

Dear Sirs,
I understand that you are demanding money from a ten year old girl for using a Chaplin song to raise funds for a charity. I would like it known that, if true, I find this course of action to be both disgusting and truly despicable. Looks like Scrooge has visited a little early this year.
The least you can do is waive this sum and preferably donate something yourselves to make amends, copyright or not!

Jay (profile) says:

Brazilian system

First you ask for ways Youtube can implement legislation that might be a little more fair and I gave ideas in that regard.

I didn’t ask for ways to improve YouTube. I’m sure they will address that themselves as they can. Let me backtrack here a bit to explain why I cite YouTube as a good example of a proactive company and maybe then we can figure out if you and I are addressing the same issue.

What I’ve been saying is this: YouTube has created a system that, in essence, encourages uploading copyrighted material by people who have yet to obtain permission. (Yes, I know they tell you to obtain permission first, but a lot of content is uploaded where no permission has been obtained.) Once the material is uploaded, YouTube checks to see if permission has been given by the copyright holder, and if so, the material is left and is monetized. If permission hasn’t been given, then the unauthorized content is taken down. And for stuff not in YouTube’s database, it appears it is left there until the copyright holder asks for it to be removed.

YouTube could require proof of permission before anything is uploaded, but it doesn’t. And it tries to sell copyright holders on the idea of giving permission to keep as many of those videos on YouTube as possible. YouTube’s approach seems to be more proactive than sites that don’t attempt to do any brokering between copyright holder and unauthorized user.

There are flaws in the system, but it’s better than what we’ve had and I’m focusing on what YouTube is doing well rather than saying it isn’t sufficient because it hasn’t eliminated copyright (which YouTube, by itself, can’t do).

You said that you didn’t like the “three strikes concept,” so I asked about it and also did as much research as I could.

You wanted a system more like the one proposed in Brazil and I asked if it was something YouTube itself can implement or whether it was determined by legislation. I’m not sure if you answered that. (In other words, is the “three strikes” YouTube’s idea or part of US legislation?) And reading about the proposed Brazil system I wonder if it will be unworkable for YouTube anyway because it requires a lot of human intervention.

When I got to the question about whether or not moving to a system like Brazil would require a change in US legislation, I said a lot of Techdirt discussion is about getting rid of IP protection altogether, which isn’t like to happen anytime soon. When everyone responds to abuses in the system by saying “Let’s get rid of the system,” I said that it’s like listening to talk radio where there’s a hard line taken and people talk about it, but it doesn’t necessary change the reality. An extreme position gets people charged up, but what actually happens in terms of legislation tends to be less extreme.

Having watched how you can get support from both the right and the left on certain environmental issues if you are willing to compromise, I believe in furthering discussions among all parties rather than pitting them against each other. I was vice president of an Audubon Society group in Wyoming and we worked with hunters and with ranchers. People who didn’t necessarily believe in killing birds realized that Ducks Unlimited was an ally in preservation of wetlands. And Democratic environmentalists realized that wealthy Republican ranchers would work with them to discourage strip mines near their property.

Techdirt discussions tend not to venture very far into moderate or compromise territory. YouTube, in my mind, is an effect compromise at the moment.

Okay, back to your idea. Is the Brazil system something YouTube can do right away? And how would it implement a review system where copyrights holders and users discuss who has the right to the content?

The Brazilian system as I read it was more about notice and notice, which doesn’t necessarily need more legislation. You can still have the takedown occur with, say, a 2-week grace period for the takedown. Within that time frame is the negotiation phase. Counter claim is sent with both going to a private forum at a discussed time to talk about legalities with a Youtube moderator. If it’s a concert, that is recorded, that’s one experience that could be far different to moderate than a music video of the Eagles.

I’m mainly against anything with three strikes because any legislation with disconnection as an end will truly become a nightmare to enact. I believe we both agree on that.

Yes, I’m against the current system and believe there should be a change in it to give a few more protections for the consumer side. By enacting 3 strikes against the owner of an account for bad takedowns, it gives a little more fairness to victims of unfair DMCA takedowns. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. *smiles*

The question that we should be figuring out is how can we balance the review which is what I believe the negotiation phase would be about. Right at the bottom of the counter claim could be a writing part, explaining what this is used for.

It’s just very hard to get behind the system when even through the way it’s explained by the EFF, there’s very few humans involved until maybe 1/3rd of the way through a takedown. A noble compromise, but I believe that if we are to use Youtube, it should be with more dialogue. That’s the main effective way to understand the music owners (even if I don’t agree that I have to pay for my music 40x to use on 5 different devices…)

Darius says:

Shooooot

Can’t believe they’re still getting on people’s case for using music. You can’t own music any more than you can own words themselves. A combination of words expresses a thought, just like a combination of chords expresses a feeling. Seriously, is this the best excuse you can come up with to play Sticky Bandits from your ten foot horse? Stop being such a goddamn waste of your mother’s time.

Geoff says:

Slander

I cant believe people are posting comments about a charity saying that they should of informed Bethany Hare about copyright issues.

How do you know they didn’t???
You cant post comments about a charity suggesting they were at fault unless you have proof, thats slander I hope they dont find out else they may take action against you.

How do you know that they didnt tell the family and the family decided to not take their advice?

What capacity was the charity used in ? The charity may not of had much to do with it anyway ???

You have no idea what you are talking about you should be ashamed.

Your joking???? says:

Obviously many people here are UNCREATIVE. If you could actually create stuff you wouldn’t be so eager to have everything fall into the public domain. Did someone actually say 7 years? This is the typical modern viewpoint of this uncreative generation. It should be the artist’s family who should decide unless the artist stipulates otherwise. Charity aside, I don’t want any of my art, musical compositions, or photos just free for the taking. Guess you’d have to be an artist to understand. As for publishers sitting on material for decades long after an artist is dead, they are often greedy opportunists. But it depends on the wish of the artist I think.

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