Copyright Killbots Strike Again: Official DNC Livestream Taken Down By Just About Every Copyright Holder

from the yeah,-THIS-makes-everyone-respect-copyright-MORE dept

Here we go again. Less than 24 hours ago, content-protection bots killed a livestream of the Hugo Awards, thanks to the brief appearance of fully approved clips from an episode of Dr. Who. The whole situation was completely absurd to anyone harboring the tiniest vestige of common sense, but IP-protection software isn’t built on common sense: it’s built on algorithms.

This time, content protection via crawling bots have taken down another approved, perfectly legal stream. The victim this time? The Democratic National Convention’s official stream, hosted at YouTube. As Wired reports, if you’re looking to catch up on last night’s activities, including a speech by Michelle Obama, don’t bother:

The video, posted by the official YouTube account for the convention, DemConvention2012, was blocked, according to YouTube, for ostensibly infringing on the copyright of one of many possible suspects:

This video contains content from WMG, SME, Associated Press (AP), UMG, Dow Jones, New York Times Digital, The Harry Fox Agency, Inc. (HFA), Warner Chappell, UMPG Publishing and EMI Music Publishing, one or more of whom have blocked it in your country on copyright grounds.
Sorry about that.

When contacted by Wired for comment, Erica Sackin, an Obama campaign staffer who works on digital outreach, had no knowledge of the outage, asked this reporter for the url and then upon seeing the takedown, said, “I’ll have to call you back.”

The video has since been updated to state that “This video is private.” There’s probably quite a bit going on behind the scenes at the moment, but fortunately Wired snagged the complete list of claimants for future reference.

Take a good, long look at that list. There’s a few of the usual suspects in there, including AP, UMG and Warner, entities not known to be shy about claiming content that isn’t theirs.

Now, these entities aren’t directly responsible for this takedown. This is more of an automated match situation, but it still doesn’t change the fact that the inherent stupidity of the action, automated or not, does absolutely nothing to lock down stray, unmonetized content and absolutely everything to highlight the ridiculous nature of copyright protection in a digital age.

If Google can work with copyright holders to produce content matching software, it seems like it might be possible to designate certain accounts or entities as “off limits” from the wandering killbots. If the stream is authorized by, I don’t know, the party of the current President of the United States, maybe, just fucking maybe, everything’s “above board.”

Sure, defining legitimate, pre-approved accounts may prove to be as difficult as determining which content is infringing and which isn’t, but this should be the sort of thing that content holders should be working toward, rather than simply moving from disaster to disaster, smugly secure in the knowledge that filthy file sharers are getting content-blocked thousands of times a day.

Nice going, huge list of content holders. Your boundless, maximalist enthusiasm is just another nail in the coffin containing what’s left of copyright’s reputation.

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Companies: a&p, dow jones, emi, harry fox agency, ny times, sme, umg, umpg, warner/chappell, wmg

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Comments on “Copyright Killbots Strike Again: Official DNC Livestream Taken Down By Just About Every Copyright Holder”

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151 Comments
anon says:

Re: Google plot

I think everyone should just accept that this is going to continue and content will be shut down if the big monopolies don’t want it up, even if they have no right to take it down everyone will just have to accept there behaviour as the norm and get on with there life, accept that you cannot watch even things that you should be allowed to watch until someone somewhere has the guts to take the monopoly kings to court, until someone does, this will go on and on and on. Yes I would like to watch the DNC in action , it sounds like they did a fantastic job and had some very heartfelt speeches that have made many a man cry real tears, and I will probably watch it soon somewhere , but google is the last place I will look as they seem to be having a problem with any popular content these days, was it not just the other day that the kings of content stopped millions from watching the video of the mars landing, nothing happened about that and we all continued with life as normal , some getting the content from elsewhere and some just losing interest in watching it. SO until someone, anyone, actually takes the studios to court and gets them charged with contempt of court and either fined or forced to pay restitution none of this will change, they will continue taking down content they have no right to and they will continue forcing people to use torrent sites, and anyone thinking otherwise should either shut up or actually use there position as a well read internet author to demand legal action be taken against those removing content we all have the right to watch.

Mike42 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Google plot

You sound like a mirror-image of a copyright maximalist. Going to the other extreme doesn’t right the wrongs, it just creates the opposite wrong. We need to use these situations to illustrate the stupidity and futility of this level of monopoly protection, and reduce the protection to a level which best benefits everyone.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Google plot

The wrong in this situation is that perfetly legal speech has been censored. The copyright mafia will only be satisfied when they control all publication and postings of content. If they gain the powers they keep trying to obtain they will destroy the Internet, as they will be able to shut down sites for the slightest perceived copyright infringements.
The debate should be which is most desirable, protection of copyright or an Internet that allows free speech and access to knowledge.

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Google plot

> and anyone thinking otherwise should either
> shut up or actually use there position as a
> well read internet author to demand legal
> action be taken against those removing content
> we all have the right to watch.

I think that’s exactly what we’ve been doing here for years.

And please look into the proper use of the word ‘their’ versus ‘there’. You’re (repeatedly) not doing it right.

nospacesorspecialcharacters (profile) says:

If Google can work with copyright holders to produce content matching software, it seems like it might be possible to designate certain accounts or entities as “off limits” from the wandering killbots.

Not sure I agree with this, Tim. If Google, uStream and others work with copyrestriction holders to ‘whitelist’ certain accounts – it will not fix any problem with the automated bots apart from allowing the ‘usual suspect’ corporations to whitelist their own stuff.

But as for the indie artists, the public domain uploads – I very much doubt these will be allowed on this new whitelist. Rather they will continue to get flagged and taken down. The only thing it will do is remove the problem from the eyes of politicians and awards recievers.

Instead, I’m hoping we see an increase of this on political campaign and big media videos. Hopefully enough politicians may get shirty about their videos being blocked that they’ll either (worst case) enact some reverse legislation to prevent online services from automating the task altogether or (best case) revoke the DMCA.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

All whitelists would really do is to hide the problem. Indies and others doing perfectly legal things could be shut down and destroyed, and the copyright mafia would either pretend they were doing something wrong or wave them away as insignificant (as per DMCA takedowns, lawsuits, domain seizures and other overbearing and damaging actions against innocent 3rd parties).

At least with there being no whitelists, the bigger boys are being attacked and so we’re hearing about these takedowns. If this was a guy running fair use clips in his movie review show or using public domain footage, it probably wouldn’t get reported on. The DNC gets this in the run-up to the election? People will notice and we’ll be spared some of the lies and misdirection this time. Not all of it, sadly, but some.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

“All whitelists would really do is to hide the problem. “

Whitelists actually fix a lot of the problem, because they remove many of the false positives. The two examples put up in the last 24hours could have both been avoided with whitelisting.

“fair use” doesn’t mean blind eye. Fair use is something you assert, not something assumed. It might be something that youtube would want to look at, perhaps allowing people who post videos to “pre-claim” fair use, in case of a DMCA notice.

The burden should be shared out equally. When it’s not shared out, there are often problems.

The eejit (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Why should fair use not be the default? You are asserting that the itewm is infringing – the onus should be on YOU to prove that the work is actually infirnging. But that require effort, soemthing these people don’t want to do.

Remember: the one making the assertion has to back up their claims. With the DMCA, that simply doens’t happen. The process is so automatic that all uses are assumed infirnging. This is wrong-headed at best and malicious at worst.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

“Why should fair use not be the default?”

Because while Mike might try to teach you otherwise, fair use is actually a pretty narrow definition, and not something very wide open at all. Using music as the background for your latest rant against the government? Not really fair use.

Using music as background for your latest “man hit in balls” video… not covered.

Go back and understand what fair use is, what it covers, and then go look at the first 100 random videos you see on youtube. Most of them probably wouldn’t even qualify to maybe make it having standing to even argue it.

“The process is so automatic that all uses are assumed infirnging. “

Most uses are.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“Go back and understand what fair use is, what it covers, and then go look at the first 100 random videos you see on youtube.”

I could be sarcastic here and pick 100 videos that are either uploaded by the copyright holder, use public domain material or are otherwise not covered by fair use since they don’t have to be.

“Most uses are.”

Citation needed. No, the number of DMCA takedowns doesn’t count since most of them aren’t challenged – and you need a challenge to determine whether fair use applies, since the bots sending out the notices don’t know.

Like it or not, fair use is a valid defence. It just isn’t tested by the automated spamming you promote.

The eejit (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

You still haven’t answered my question: Why should fair use not be the default? You’ve explained how the law works now, but the question still remains. You ask me to understand what “fair use” means; yet I do. The question I’m asking is why that isn’t the default state, rather than something you have to actively defend.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

From the usual way these conversations go, it’s because he considers any art created by major corporations (and the profit generated from them of course) to be more important than independent, public domain, non-profit, documentary or other works that may depend on fair use protections.

That, combined with the fact that he blames piracy 100% for every woe faced by those corporations (despite the hundreds of other factors regularly pointed out), means that he doesn’t want a system that would force them to prove their copyright ownership. He’d much rather kill off a bunch of independent and legal works, and to hell with the profits they lose because of this in the attempted defence of his own.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“Why should fair use not be the default?”

Because while Mike might try to teach you otherwise, fair use is actually a pretty narrow definition, and not something very wide open at all. Using music as the background for your latest rant against the government? Not really fair use.

Actually every upload to Youtube is already accompanied by a clickthrough assertion from the uploader that the material conforms to copyright law.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

I don’t see why either of those examples shouldn’t be fair use even if you’re right and they aren’t already. If non-commercial uses that clearly don’t compete with the original product like those examples aren’t considered fair use then we should really reexamine why we’ve allowed copyright to get to that point.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Because while Mike might try to teach you otherwise, fair use is actually a pretty narrow definition, and not something very wide open at all. Using music as the background for your latest rant against the government? Not really fair use.

Because you want it to be narrow it doesn’t mean it is actually narrow. Also, you gave a perfect example of fair use which proves that you have no clue what fair use is.

Using music as background for your latest “man hit in balls” video… not covered.

Another fair use example.

Most uses are.

If that’s by any chance a tiny bit true then it’s proof the copyright system is broken and needs review. If the majority of the content is labeled infringing by the system and turns the great majority of the people into petty ‘criminals’ then it is utterly and badly broken. Simple as that.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

It is fair use despite your delusions. There’s no profit being made, the work doesn’t rely exclusively on the song to exist. And in the hypothetical case it is restricted from future fair use definitions as the MAFIAA would like to I do hope everybody simply ignores copyright and treats this instance as fair use as it is and should be anyway..

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Why should fair use not be the default?

For most of three centuries, copyright had been kinda a niche, specialty, backwater in the law. Copyright law really affected authors and publishers, and not too much of anyone else on a day-to-day basis.

Oh, sure, copyright law sometimes got a lot of press: More press than it deserved. Because authors are nothing if they don’t write?and the publishers owned the printing presses. So, often, some authors would get together and make a fuss, and the publishers would print it up.

Now that almost everyone owns a printing press, things have changed drastically. Copyright law is moving from a niche, specialty backwater in the law and becoming law of general applicability to everyone in their day-to-day lives.

This shift in application demands changes in the law.

When copyright was a niche, specialty backwater in the law then it could afford all kinds of arcane rules and confusion. Now, these days, it’s time to jettison some of the old subtleties and gotchas. It’s time to refashion copyright into law that the public can understand, agree with and willingly obey.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“Whitelists actually fix a lot of the problem, because they remove many of the false positives.”

That would only fix it if people were actually interested in fixing and correcting the problem. In reality, most of these false positives are ignored if they don’t hit big or notable targets (as per DMCA takedowns, etc.), and not fixed unless someone like Google really puts the effort into investigation. Even then, they can only affect how they identify and deal with them, not stop them being generated to begin with, which is the main problem.

“Fair use is something you assert, not something assumed.”

It’s something that’s used as a defence against copyright infringement claims, and it’s a defence right that’s clearly specified in copyright law. There actions happen to circumvent the possibly of raising a defence before takedowns occur. that’s the problem.

“perhaps allowing people who post videos to “pre-claim” fair use”

How can you do that for a live stream? Why should you have to do that in cases of public domain material, or where all the parties involved in any copyright ownership have already agreed to the usage (as per the Hugo awards).

“The burden should be shared out equally. When it’s not shared out, there are often problems.”

Indeed, which is why this constant bowing to the needs of the major labels & studios at the expense of everybody else is rather disturbing.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

What is actually required is that every automated takedown mechanism includes the option of a telephone or face to face meeting with a real person who can review the case. In cases that are not absolutely clear the reviewer the benefit of the doubt should be given to the uploader. The option of a proper, human generated, takedown backed by legal action would remain available to the “rightsholder”.
To prevent abuse of this service a small charge could be made – refundable if the reviewer agrees with you.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

It’s something that’s used as a defence against copyright infringement claims, and it’s a defence right that’s clearly specified in copyright law. There actions happen to circumvent the possibly of raising a defence before takedowns occur. that’s the problem.

What you seem to suggest is a presumption of fair use- which itself is a defense. How do you advance a defense before there’s an adverse action like a takedown? It seems that the burden rests on the person asserting that a lawful exception to copyright exists; not that fair use is exists standing alone and copyright must be proved to overcome it. Clearly the law doesn’t support this position, though maybe you do.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

I think the suggestion is: follow due process, allow for defense before taking the content down. In our current society every1 is innocent until proven guilty (despite the facts Govts are trying to twist that). So in a typical copyright case, the alleged copyright holder should first be sure that it has said rights then it should send the takedown notice which would be forwarded to the accused party to mount a defense. If the defense seems good enough to the intermediate (Google for instance) then the alleged holder is imposed a fine for bogus claims and if the defense doesn’t seem enough the content is flagged for takedown.

In the event the accuser doesn’t agree with the fine or the defendant doesn’t agree with the takedown they can fill a lawsuit. The defender, if a person that doesn’t use their content for profits, would be assigned a public lawyer that would deal with the defense and the takedown would be suspended until the case is heard.

For that purpose there should be a “small causes court” or something like that. The fine for the accuser should be pretty symbolic, say, $100 or something. The process can be appealed at the content of any of the parties except that in the higher instances the one defending would be imposed a fine (as small) whereas the accuser would have its fine ramped up (let’s say, multiplied by 10 for each instance appealed).

Maybe my idea isn’t the best but it puts the onus of bogus claims on the accuser and allows defense. I’m fairly sure the takedown process would be much better and just than it is today.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“How do you advance a defense before there’s an adverse action like a takedown?”

Call me crazy, but I would view the takedown as the punishment – you know, the thing that usually takes place after guilt is proven? You’re saying that the punishment should be applied before the accused has a chance to defend themselves against an accusation. It’s amazing that you don’t see a problem with this. I’m sure you’ll come up with some way of pretend this is necessary or even just, though. Let me guess: “think of the corporations, their rights mean more than yours!”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Takedown is not the punishment. A fine, imprisonment or a court ordered award is the punishment and can only be meted out by the government. Takedowns are done by private companies. So I don’t see how this nonsense of “innocent until proven guilty” applies to a non-governmental entity.

Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Takedown is not the punishment.

Tell that to legitimate companies who are having perfectly legal content taken down, impacting their business, who have little or no recourse on getting that content back up.

Lets try an analogy, flawed as they always are. A company makes a completely bogus legal threat, that there are uncleared product placements in the next big summer $200 million blockbuster. They threaten to sue every movie theater across the country. Because of the threat, the big theater chains pull the movie on opening night. Instead of having a huge opening and being #1 in the box office, the movie doesn’t even appear in the list. Are you okay with this happening, and do you think the studio would consider it an unwarranted punishment for doing nothing wrong?

Takedowns are done by private companies. So I don’t see how this nonsense of “innocent until proven guilty” applies to a non-governmental entity.

When the private company is compelled to takedown the content by a law, to avoid liability for something they shouldn’t be liable for under any sane system of justice, it damn well should apply.

You know that Google doesn’t really want to remove that content – you’re the one arguing they’re pirates – it is forced to under a draconian law with onerous provisions for finding compeltely innocent third parties liable.

Chosen Reject (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

Well if your copyright has been infringed, sue.

Or should we allow third parties like Google to decide whether or not someone has committed perjury? How about this scenario: Scripps files a takedown on YouTube for public domain videos, NASA files a counterclaim, and now Google can decide that Scripps committed perjury (remember, Scripps filed that DMCA notice under penalty of perjury) so now Google can waltz into Scripps HQ and arrest and imprison the entire lot for 6 months.

Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile) says:

Re: Re:

On the “whitelist” suggestion:

At long last, hours past when anyone cared, I’m here to offer some clarification on what I meant by “whitelisting” certain accounts. This will hopefully clear things up a bit, as I offered no real specifics in the post itself. (Not to mention that spending a day mulling this over occasionally has brought me to the point that I’m not entirely sure I agree with my original statement, even with clarification.)

The thought I had is that certain entities could be whitelisted almost as “presumed fair use” (as mentioned by other commenters below). This would include streams/accounts whose offerings were deemed to be “in the public interest.” Something like the DNC broadcast could be considered to fall under that heading. All political leanings aside, it’s an integral part of the election process.

Other entities/accounts to be considered would be those operated by universities/schools/etc. Possibly some charities/non-profits would fit the bill. Vaguely speaking (and yeah, I know I’m doing a lot of that), something that would be of benefit to the public should be routed around, possibly with some sort of exclusionary code.

Obviously, there is no way content holders would agree to this, as assuming something is “fair use” is pretty much antithetical to their normal M.O. Fair use is usually determined in a courtroom (when push comes to shove) and I imagine that suits them just fine.

Another aspect pointed out below is the “unfairness” of whitelisting certain accounts, thus granting more rights to certain entities. That’s a perfectly valid argument. As much as I’d like to wholeheartedly believe my assertion in the article, I don’t see any way that implementing this wouldn’t result in tons of abuse and actually make the situation worse.

In no way was I suggesting that content holders should grant themselves whitelist status. They’d be the first to institute and the first to abuse it. If any sort of whitelisting was implemented, the selection process would need to be independent of all parties involved, which would pretty much be impossible.

It was a very idealistic statement. My original thought was that this stream/video (and others like it) should not be stifled by outside agents. Hence, a whitelist. But beyond that, there’s no realistic way to implement this without further breaking a broken system.

More than anything, it was an expression of frustration at the “triumph” of copyright protection over something that benefited the common good.

But after a lot of hindsight and some really excellent comments, I’m very much inclined to agree with the First Word, as stated by Travis Miller:

If I was Google, I would just sit back, let this happen, and smile. What better way to highlight this mess? They walked in front of the gun that they forced Google to set up. It’s poetic justice.

I don’t particularly see this provoking any change, but it does feel good to watch the maximalists shoot themselves in the face.

Andrew (profile) says:

Re: Designate "off limits"?

Completely with you. This is also why I was so pleased with Righthaven, as they were obviously (to the public, but much more importantly to judged and (possibly) elected officials) attempting to use copyright to punish respectable actors for reasonable behaviour.

It’s much harder to defend file sharing sites (which often have significant infringing uses) or new startups and individuals (because no-one’s heard of or cares about them, so they may as well be guilty, cf. endowment effect), and it seems courts have a tendency to stretch the law to get the ‘right’ outcome.

Examples like this will hopefully result in some useful new policies (and hopefully case law too) to rebalance copyright a little more in favour of the public.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Designate "off limits"?

I don’t know why you think that Google isn’t acting in their own best interest. Google wants to be a content player. More and more, they’re moving closer to the content producer’s outlook. Google’s realized that the money to be made on the pirate fringes is chump change compared to the market for full-blown, legitimate content. Google’s affinity with the digital parasites lasted as long as it was good for Google. They’ve figured it out and are now severing the ties.

That One Guy (profile) says:

I really have to disagree with the idea of having ‘immune’ accounts, a system like that would just hand even more power to those that already have far more than they should.

Also, I’m really hoping for more stories like this in the future, I’d love to start seeing politicians of both parties getting absolutely brutalized left and right(pun unintended) by these takedown bots more and more, maybe then they’d actually care about doing something about them.

G Thompson (profile) says:

I dunno, maybe these algorythms have become sentient, seen the political weirdness that are the USA conventions and thought.

“Stuff it, mankind is not going to be made less intelligent if we have anything to do with it and have shut them all down.”

But what about The Hugo Awards ceremony you ask… I’d opine that that was a teething problem brought about most likely by seeing the Doctor, looking him up and seeing what he can do to sentient lifeforms that don’t have humanities interests at heart. oh and DALEKS!

On a serious note: Automated and wrongful censorship of politicians is a GOOD thing! Not only is it bringing it home to where they live and affecting there career, it sis also guaranteed to bring a belly laugh to anyone who has been screaming at them for allowing exactly this thing to occur without due diligence or procedural fairness in first place.

Pete Austin says:

Why assume it was legal?

If someone claimed their car had been stolen, you’d believe them enough to call the police, not assume they were just inventing a story. So let the police sort this out too.

As the vice president says, “Look, piracy is outright theft. People are out there blatantly stealing from Americans — stealing their ideas and robbing us of America’s creative energies. There’s no reason why we should treat intellectual property any different than tangible property.”
http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/industry/legal-and-management/vice-president-joe-biden-calls-piracy-outright-1005136622.story

Julian Perez (user link) says:

Re: Why assume you can pass the Turing Test?

“Why assume it was legal?”

Is that a serious question? Maybe because, I don’t know, it was the official live stream of the DNC?

This is almost as insane as when someone filed DMCA takedowns of NASA’s Mars lander footage. “When somebody else gets footage of another planet…let me know.”

This is the danger of insane, damaging automatic copyright enforcement software that has a chilling effect on free speech and causes tremendous collateral damage on perfectly legal streams like the Hugos, the NASA rover claim, and now the DNC.

It’s a crass abuse of the DMCA. It was the inch given, and brutish maximalist thugs took a mile.

Hmmm…automated machines enforcing copyright, you say? Hmmm…Pete Austin, I notice you didn’t interact with any of the actual details of the story.

Here’s a circumstance where someone who was unambiguously the copyright holder made their materials available online as was well within their rights, and you’re seriously wondering if it was infringing? How can the Democrats infringe?

Obviously, due to your lack of interactivity, Pete Austin, you fail the Turing Test. There is only one conclusion: YOU must be a DMCA enforcement program that has somehow learned how to post comments.

As you previously failed the Turing Test, I don’t expect an answer, but I must ask: what amount of collateral damage, what amount of stifling of free speech, how many false, fraudulent takedowns of work in the public domain, of removal of works by their actual authors, of deletion without due process or recourse would it take to make you rethink this crazy enforcement scheme left entirely up to badly working software?

How many more killed Hugo award streams, how many more NASA Curiosity rover and DNC takedowns does it have to take before you realize enforcement that can best be described as a blindfolded man shooting a rifle live in a town, is dangerous and destructive?

Better question: should there be a consequence for a false DMCA notice? Any consequence whatsoever? What about for repeat false flag offenders? These are not idle questions. 19 out of every 20 DMCA notices are false flags and fraudulent.

In the country I live in, the basic foundation of jurisprudence is on allowing ten guilty men to go free rather than allow a single innocent man to be wrongly punished. This situation is utterly unacceptable.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Why assume you can pass the Turing Test?

In the country I live in, the basic foundation of jurisprudence is on allowing ten guilty men to go free rather than allow a single innocent man to be wrongly punished. This situation is utterly unacceptable.

That is a convenient misapplication of criminal trial principles to copyright enforcement. I don’t think you are actually that stupid, so I’ll chalk it up to disingenuousness.

Julian Perez (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re: Why assume you can pass the Turing Test?

Why is it a misapplication that we start from the presumption it’s the copyright holder’s responsibility to determine, correctly, if something is infringing or not?

And if material can be taken off at a whim, at least don’t use wildly malfunctioning software that kills science fiction’s greatest awards, NASA, and a major American political party’s content “by accident?”

You’re defending a system without any review whatsoever. That’s an unjust, exploitative power used to kill free speech…and worse, there’s no penalty whatsoever for a fraudulent, false claim – which is, again, what 19/20 of them are. False.

Oh, copyright enforcement is “hard,” eh? Tough titties.

How many more times does this have to happen before we realize a power to kill any content at will by big industry running Westworld software is a mistake?

btrussell (profile) says:

Re: Re: Why assume it was legal?

“There’s no reason why we should treat intellectual property any different than tangible property.”

I can get behind that. Any property that I own that has an ability to make me money through rent, is taxed pretty heavily. They can start paying property tax and cover any enforcement costs. Don’t pay your tax? Work goes into the public domain.

They can then pay tax based on what they say the value of the work is.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Why assume it was legal?

And if the VP said, “Aliens are real and in 5 years all people living in the United States will be shipped off to Omicron Persei 8 for consumption by said aliens,” you’d believe that too and it’s automatically true, right?

Please.

Piracy isn’t theft. Unless you refer to piracy on the high seas.

But if you mean copyright infringement, to reiterate it’s NOT theft. Nothing is taken. The long and short definition of theft is that someone takes something from someone else and now that person is without.

While you could try and argue that infringing on another’s copyright is taking their sole right to copy, you’d still be slightly wrong in trying to equate it to theft simply because while they may no longer be the sole person to have the right to copy they still have said right. As such nothing has been truly taken.

Pete Austin, try again.

FuzzyDuck says:

A pass for the wealthy and mighty?

it seems like it might be possible to designate certain accounts or entities as “off limits” from the wandering killbots. If the stream is authorized by, I don’t know, the party of the current President of the United States, maybe, just fucking maybe, everything’s “above board.”

Yeah, because only us normal people should suffer at the hands of these killbots. Killbots should like the US justice system be unforgiving to common folk yet give the wealthy and mighty a free pass.

Either apply it to all or to no-one.

Manok (profile) says:

Hohohohoho!!! Waitwaitwaitwait???
>> “If the stream is authorized by, I don’t know, the party of the current President of the United States, maybe, just fucking maybe, everything’s “above board.”

So, the ordinary people can be smacked onto the ground, pissed on, lied to, belittled, but people higher up the ladder should not be inconvenienced???

How on earth will there then ever be an acceptable solution?

The solution will only come from if virtually every video and movie and walk-in-the-forest-by-myself-homevideo are being taken down. If people in charge get the feeling there’s a problem. If studios themselves get DMCA notices by the hundreds… But if these people get shielded, then we, the little people, will only sink deeper into the shit.

Ben (profile) says:

Does the claim get matched?

When the AP et al register their content why doesn’t it go through the same ‘bot process? If UMG uploads first, shouldn’t the upload by AP get flagged as infringing? … and then one can hope after three such strikes AP would be *banned from YouTube* followed by the next group.

If enough groups uploaded individual speeches in different orders then all the maximalist news organizations could hit three strikes very quickly and they’d *all* end up getting banned.

I guess that’s a bit of Hope and Change I can believe in…

Keroberos (profile) says:

It will be interesting to see what the official spin will be to this. The current administration absolutely needs the support of the internet savvy to be reelected (and this kind of BS certainly won’t help with that), but I don’t think they can afford to piss off their masters in Hollywood by being too harsh with their response to this. I wonder if these occurrences will become a last minute political issue in this election (not that I think much will truly change if it does)?

Rikuo (profile) says:

My take on this?

Allow this to continue. Obama signed off on ACTA (despite the fact he doesn’t have the authority to do so, since copyright is Congress’s turf).
Allow for more and more high profile accounts to be blocked. Not just the Democrats. Have the MPAA and RIAA Youtube accounts be blocked. Let the bots run rampant. These people demanded that Youtube go beyond what the law required. They demanded that ContentID be created. They wanted a shoot first, sort it out later system established.

Let them reap the benefits of constantly being censored.

Anonymous Coward says:

And they said laws like SOPA would never affect political speech. No..nuhuh. Right. It’s already happening all over the place, and DMCA and Google’s idiotic ContentID system is helping them do that. FU Google and FU Obama for supporting the copyright maximalists. I hope you’re happy with this outcome that you helped create.

Ed C. says:

Re: Re:

You’re right on that point. I doubt that the RNC was any more or less “infringing” than the DNC. The Dems were the ones pushing hardest on SOPA/PIPA and failed. Obama then turned around and said that the bills are a bad idea. The MPAA was furious, even admitting that they paid him to support the bills. So yeah, this smells of retaliation by the big failing publishers for not getting the legislation they paid for.

bob (profile) says:

Wait a second-- I blame Big Search

Every time I mention YouTube, Mike and his lackeys blather on and on about YouTube’s great ContentID system. Don’t you know, they say, that YouTube gives money to the original creators this way?

Well, it sure seems like the system doesn’t work. I say it’s high time we allow for some personal responsibility and make it easy for YouTube to cooperate with people who want to sue uploaders. That’s better than relying upon Content ID.

silverscarcat says:

Re: Wait a second-- I blame Big Search

“Well, it sure seems like the system doesn’t work. I say it’s high time we allow for some personal responsibility and make it easy for YouTube to cooperate with people who want to sue people who make unlawful copyright claims. That’s better than what’s going on right now.”

Wow, bob, I agree with you on that.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Wait a second-- I blame Big Search

bob, bob, bob.. You do know that your bosses would have to sue shitloads of ppl based on current takedown levels, right? Knowing you are infringing copyright is not as easy that any person can automatically know they are infringing the moment they use a determined copyrighted work to produce their own. It’s also very common that if they don’t intend to benefit financially from a copyrighted content they don’t see an issue making a video with random pics just to have their favorite song on their Youtube collection.

bobby, despite your wishes, the world is not nearly as simple as you’d wish it to be. Surely Youtube can ditch contentid and work closely with copyright holders to close down accounts that are repeat infringers but first we need clearer boundaries to what is infringing and what is not infringing. And you and your bosses need to do a better job in understanding fair use and public domain.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Wait a second-- I blame Big Search

bobby has a great idea there. The financial burden of that many frivolous lawsuits would snuff out the burning embers of the dying business model that is nothing more than a control freak on the meth trying to stop everyone else from snorting, shooting, or smoking any of their precious drug of choice, leaving them alone in a room watching and listening to their content 24/7 secure in the knowledge that no one else can get at it.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Wait a second-- I blame Big Search

“Every time I mention YouTube, Mike and his lackeys blather on and on about YouTube’s great ContentID system.”

I don’t suppose you’d like to cite anything that proves that? I certainly can’t recall anyone here lauding it (outside of the people praising its censorship capabilities, of course). No, ACs don’t count, it needs to be a “lackey”, a.k.a. someone willing to create a login and is unafraid of people being able to follow their thoughts over time. Strange how the people who attack the site and its users on a regular basis are afraid of doing that, huh?

“I say it’s high time we allow for some personal responsibility and make it easy for YouTube to cooperate with people who want to sue uploaders.”

Sorry, I forgot you post from an inverse parallel universe where everything is the opposite of reality. You’re right, YouTube have never cooperated with anyone ever, and that’s certainly not why ContentID exists in the first place. Carry on.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Wait a second-- I blame Big Search

“Every time I mention YouTube, Mike and his lackeys blather on and on about YouTube’s great ContentID system.”

I don’t suppose you’d like to cite anything that proves that? I certainly can’t recall anyone here lauding it (outside of the people praising its censorship capabilities, of course).

To be fair, I have both lauded the fact that it *has* introduced a new business model for content creators who want to monetize their content, while at the same time pointing out its many problem in over enforcement.

I think both points are true, though Mr. Black and White seems to think that something must be either all good or all bad, and thus assumes that the few times I’ve praised on aspect of it (the part that helps people make money) it means that I’m madly in love with all of it. Nuance is not the strong suit of my most ardent critics.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Wait a second-- I blame Big Search

“Every time I mention YouTube, Mike and his lackeys blather on and on about YouTube’s great ContentID system.”

No, the reason people respond to your YouTube (idiotic) comments is because you say there is no way to screen for copyrighted material.

At which point, Mike and others point out that that is exactly what ContentID does. It is used to screen for infringing material. However, if it still gets through, which is the case, what it also allows is for those infringing videos to still be up AND for every view still give money to the proper copyright holder.

“Don’t you know, they say, that YouTube gives money to the original creators this way?”

The way you phrase that makes it seem like you don’t believe this is the case, in point of fact, bob the idiot, it very much is. YouTube/Google (because we know you just can’t say that word) have managed to provide a revenue stream for people, even while others upload infringing material.

They’re literally going above and beyond what the DMCA requires them to do. They don’t have to pay you money if something slips through the cracks. They don’t have to create something like ContentID for you to be able to tell them what is or isn’t yours. Etc. But they do so anyway, at their own expense. And then you have the nerve to say they’re not doing enough.

“Well, it sure seems like the system doesn’t work.”

The system works, albeit in some cases a little too rigorously. However, if they removed the system, they’d have idiots like you ranting and raving (as if you don’t already) that Google isn’t doing enough to stop rampant infringement on YouTube.

“I say it’s high time we allow for some personal responsibility and make it easy for YouTube to cooperate with people who want to sue uploaders.”

Well, that may be all well and good and what you believe should be done. But suffice it to say that the law DOES NOT require it. So basically, f*ck you if you don’t like.

“That’s better than relying upon Content ID.”

No, it’s really not. Hmm, sue someone who even if you beat in court will never be able to pay you anywhere near whatever you win and alienate/piss off customers in the process? Or, continue using ContentID at no expense to yourself, and with no fear of repercussions should you file take down notices of content that isn’t yours, and continue getting money from Google/YouTube for doing absolutely nothing?

It’s a no brainer. Unless you’re brain dead. Which in your case may be reality.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Wait a second-- I blame Big Search

I say it’s high time we allow for some personal responsibility and make it easy for YouTube to cooperate with people who want to sue uploaders.

Ummm. Not catching your drift there bob. When does Google not cooperate with a court order?

If you are advocating abolishing the ability to remain anonymous on the internet, I would think that James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Paine are all rolling in their graves about now.

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: Wait a second-- I blame Big Search

> I say it’s high time we allow for some
> personal responsibility and make it easy
> for YouTube to cooperate with people who
> want to sue people who make unlawful
> copyright claims

Only if it’s applied fairly to everyone. If you want to make it easier for the MPAA to sue Joe Citizen for unlawful copyright infringement, then you better also make it easier for Joe Citizen to hold UMG and Warners and Viacom responsible for filing false takedowns. Those are unlawful copyright claims, too, you know.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Wait a second-- I blame Big Search

“Well, it sure seems like the system doesn’t work. I say it’s high time we allow for some personal responsibility and make it easy for YouTube to cooperate with people who want to sue uploaders. That’s better than relying upon Content ID.”

bob, the very people that you believe should have an easier time suing uploaders just happen to be the very same people who are known for abusing the system.

Bodeddie (profile) says:

Best thing that could happen

“The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly.”
Abraham Lincoln

We need many more of these “problems”, not less. The more it happens to the idiots that actually passed these laws, the more likely they will do something about fixing or repealing them.

Oh but wait, they will just make themselves immune to them like they do most other laws and then all will be good again!

RD says:

Its not a bug, its a feature

Youtube’s overaggresive blocking of content is not a failure or bug of their ContentID system, it is its primary feature.

The *IAA’s and Big Media screamed bloody murder and jumped up and down whining about how they “need” to go above and beyond and weren’t doing enough. So Google sat back, went “fine, you got it” and built the system they whined, threatened and cajoled them for.

If you whine and cry that a huge wall needs to be built to keep the invaders out, you can’t whine and cry when that same wall locks you IN.

Beta (profile) says:

the arguments of lawyers and engineers

If an account is designated “off limits” without my permission and then it posts my copyrighted material, do I not have the right to sue for infringement? [Note to idiots: I am not a copyright maximalist, think before you reply.] Can Google not lose its safe harbor status? This approach requires yet another ugly graft of law and technology, wherein an algorithm specification gets translated into legal language and passed into law so that only a dozen people on Earth can actually figure out what the law says.

‘If the stream is authorized by, I don’t know, the party of the current President of the United States, maybe, just fucking maybe, everything’s “above board.”‘

That is a disgusting suggestion.

Larry G says:

prior restraint

The problem is that this is prior restraint. Forget whitelists. The bots should be constructed to report possible violations to copyrights holders, who can pursue remedies *after* the fact. Blocking websites in real time without any independent review is OBNOXIOUS and an abuse of free expression. Since when is Time Warner in the police business?

Frost (profile) says:

Copyright is in itself a bad thing.

Copyright was put into place at one time to attempt to safeguard that nobody took a brand new creative work (at the time, basically just a book), ran off copies right away and sold those without paying the author. At the time, it made sense, because we weren’t ready as a species yet to abandon money and trade completely. Now we are, and we have to. And in a world where all humans have their needs met by default, the rewards for writing a book or singing a song will still exist, they just won’t be limited to getting tons of money to buy crap with.

When is it enough with the conflict-based society, really? Can’t we transcend it before we destroy the world rather than later?

This absurd situation just highlights how loony we’ve let things become in the desperate quest for cash. Another one is the on-going situation with Apple-Samsung-Google lawsuits. It’s tragicomic to watch them waste so much time and energy on, at the end of the day, nothing.

jameshogg says:

Copyright law is poisonous.

And if the copyright industries had any guts at all, they would not go after Google or YouTube or the odd kid from another country who uploads links to material. They would go after the ISPs. As well as those who sell CDs and DVDs on ebay. Or screw that, just ebay in general.

I’ll just lie back and await the inevitable all-or-nothing crowdfunding revolution to take place. At least 80% of Kickstarter’s projects are with creative industries such as music, film, books etc – it doesn’t surprise me. I’m just waiting for a big band like Radiohead to experiment with it since they’ve proven before that they can and will experiment with new models, and when they make more money than they could have ever dreamed under a label with countless middlemen I shall laugh and laugh seeing the smile from copyright believers fading from their faces.

… and then be up in arms when they try to lobby governments to get crowdfunding made illegal for supposedly altruistic reasons of protecting the consumer from non-existent get-rich-quick threats. Or accuse Kickstarter of aiding piracy. Or terrorism.

Chilly8 says:

Consider this, every episode of Walker Texas Ranger ever made is now available on YouTube, and the copyright bots seem to miss those. One Disney Movie, the original Escape from Witch Mountain (1975) was on YouTube for almost 3 years before it finally came down. YouTube’s takedown bots still need a lot of work on them, the take down stuff that should not be taken down and don’t take down stuff that should.

Anonymous Coward says:

Actually, you are wrong about the Content ID system not being an effective tool against copyright pirates on Youtube.

It’s an important tool for independent musicians and filmmakers. Usually you can’t block a clip unless a certain amount of it “matches” the content ID.

We normally review clips that match before removing them, or, in some cases, monetizing them (mashups, etc).

Anonymous Coward says:

The DNC producers (like any other event producers) should have known enough to secure various rights to music before their event….their song-list was not a secret.

Just because they didn’t bother and technology actually caught them, doesn’t mean you should blame the rights holders for the miscue.

If the DNC had used NFL footage, they would have had to get clearance too….

Apostille (user link) says:

And if material can be taken off at a whim, at least don’t use wildly malfunctioning software that kills science fiction’s greatest awards, NASA, and a major American political party’s content “by accident?”

You’re defending a system without any review whatsoever. That’s an unjust, exploitative power used to kill free speech…and worse, there’s no penalty whatsoever for a fraudulent, false claim – which is, again, what 19/20 of them are. False.

Oh, copyright enforcement is “hard,” eh? Tough titties.

uk apostille (user link) says:

“There’s no reason why we should treat intellectual property any different than tangible property.”

I can get behind that. Any property that I own that has an ability to make me money through rent, is taxed pretty heavily. They can start paying property tax and cover any enforcement costs. Don’t pay your tax? Work goes into the public domain.

x99ways2diex says:

And it's worse now

You tube is getting SME (Sony Music Entertainment) violations all over it on videos that are 30 years old. Now that is one thing if it’s the band them selves making this decision to retain the copyright (Which it’s not even them) but what gets me is most the music I listen to ARE BANDS BASED AND STARTED IN AMERICA DOING THEIR RECORDINGS IN HOLLYWOOD!!! So my question is I don’t care if it’s Sony or not, what the hell right do THEY have deciding what AMERICAN BANDS CAN BE PLAYED IN AMERICA??!! So this is what they call “Fair use”? It’s fair that the UK gets to watch videos that are made in another country but that country they where produced in can’t watch them?

Sony I understand that you USED to be the biggest greatest electronics company in the world and now you’re just considered crap Walmart sells for you to make a quick buck and you went from being badass car stereos and home equipment to being the best alarm clock out there for $10 but this means you’re going to make us suffer with your unfair politics? No this isn’t right. It’s just a big excuse for you to force people to give to your money pit that you no longer have any viable use for by forcing a license of viewership on some thing you could easily post advertisements in and make WAY more money through sponsors but then that’s the real trick isn’t it? Then you might have to advertise for a competitor. Take your throw away alarm clocks and shove them.

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