Copyright Dispute Means Germans Can't See All Those Russian Meteor Videos
from the but-copyright-isn't-censorship dept
You might have heard about last week’s Russian meteor strike. The news, which broke quickly and was so odd that many initially suspected a hoax or even a viral marketing campaign, was rapidly realized as legitimate. Part of what helped the news spread so quickly was a ton of videos uploaded to YouTube very quickly, the vast majority of which came from dashcams in cars — showing the fiery trail through the sky from a variety of different angles and distances. A bunch of publications covered the fact that having a dashcam has become almost a necessity in Russia to use as evidence concerning accidents and to prevent scams, which are unfortunately common.
But, of course, when people drive, they’re often listening to music. And so many of the dashcam videos of the meteor include music playing from car radios. And, as we’ve discussed many times, in Germany, most popular music is blocked from any YouTube video due to a longstanding (and ridiculous) legal fight between YouTube and GEMA, the German music collection society. GEMA wants rates that are simply laughable, so throughout Germany, most videos that contain music get blocked.
And yes, this means that a large number of these videos are being blocked in Germany, as noted by Cyrus Farivar over at Ars Technica.
Sorry, this video, which includes music from SME [Sony Music Entertainment], is not available in Germany because GEMA has not granted the publishing rights thereto.
Amusingly, when Farivar asked GEMA for its response to all of this, it answered (via Twitter):
YouTube blocks apparently randomly.
Which is an… interesting interpretation of that ongoing fight. And by “interesting,” I mean completely wacko. Another part of that conversation included GEMA trying to blame YouTube further for this, and then defending this whole thing by saying:
GEMA is obliged to all users who give of their perceived rights for a reasonable allowance d copyright.
And, apparently, that includes incidentally overheard radio music in videos which have tremendous importance in news coverage.