YouTube Reinstates Metal Gear Video Konami Took Down, Warns Konami Not To Be Jerks

from the solid dept

Well, well. We had just been discussing Konami getting YouTube to take down a video it didn’t like, one produced by YouTuber Super Bunnyhop, which discussed a supposed breakup between the gaming giant and famed game-producer Hideo Kojima. The excuse for the takedown was apparently something like half-a-minute’s worth of game footage from the Metal Gear Solid franchise, a significant portion of which was simply one game’s title screen. YouTube, with its content-makers friendly notice/takedown policy, complied with the takedown. Often times, that would be the end of the story. We’d all cry foul, complain that copyright sucks, and head on to the next story.

This time, however, is different. Super Bunnyhop challenged the takedown with a notice to Google and Google responded by both reinstating the video and warning Konami to stop screwing around. After reinstating the video, here is what YouTube sent to Konami.

It’s a standard notice Google sends out when takedowns aren’t on the level, but it’s still nice to see. Not only does the letter let Konami know YouTube is concerned over the bullshit takedown, but it also helpfully gave the company a quick primer on fair use. There is some polite language requesting additional information should Konami still want to claim the video to be infringement, but any cursory glance ought to be enough to know that the whole thing falls under fair use. YouTube also sent Super Bunnyhop a notice that the video had been reinstated.

“This may be the first time YouTube has quickly stepped in and reviewed a bogus copyright claim for a gaming video,” [Super Bunnyhop] said to me over email. “If that’s the case, then my situation may be breaking new ground, and this could be good news for YouTubers everywhere.”

Yeah, there’s actually no real new ground being broken here. YouTube sends these letters out all the time and it reinstates videos like this when the takedown is crap as well. That said, every fair use victory is a step in the right direction and it’s worth reminding everyone out there that the takedown doesn’t have to be the end of the story for non-infringing videos. Sometimes intellectual property is used for censorship and there is little anyone can do about it. But that’s not always the case and it’s important to fight it wherever possible.

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Companies: google, konami, youtube

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Comments on “YouTube Reinstates Metal Gear Video Konami Took Down, Warns Konami Not To Be Jerks”

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charliebrown (profile) says:

YouTube And The Public Domain

…in many countries, hey. Well, I uploaded some old cartoons that are public domain in many countries because they are over 70 years old and their coopyright has expired but they were blocked worldwide.

I disputed the claim, pointing out (without profanity, which I felt plenty of) that the cartoons were public domain due to copyright expiring and that, yes, I understood they would be blocked in the USA as they are still under copyright there, but a worldwide block was a bit off.

The claim was upheld, so I sent up another cartoon, knowing it would probably be blocked and indeed it was, despite the fact that the copyright on it had expired in like 90% of the world in 2009. Again I was polite, pointing out that the copyright had expired in most countries thus making it public domain, which YouTube failed to cover in their “Learn more about copyright” section.

But then I ended with my rude bit, which was “If you can’t respect our country’s copyright laws, why the fuck should we respect yours?”

However, I did not get a response, nor do I expect to recieve one. However, this to me raises the point: Do we have the public domain, or do we have the same laws across all countries just becuse the USA says so? I am in Australia, our copyright tends to expire after 70 years for films.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: YouTube And The Public Domain

“Do we have the public domain, or do we have the same laws across all countries just becuse the USA says so?”

The public domain is devoid of newer content.
The real problem is the content industry in the US that is doing everything they can to expand US law and export it to other countries.
In their minds, they need the entire world on the same copyright terms… the problem is they want terms that are like 3 human lifetimes. They are convinced that IP is super valuable, missing the simple concept that just holding it doesn’t make them money they need to make it available.
They tell these awesome stories to Congress about the billions of dollars they are not earning, and Congress is quick to act to ‘save’ this threatened industry, all the while ignoring the idea of a limited time & public domain.

If they could get the entire world on the same terms, I think it could be a good idea. It would end much of the stupidity that limits releases and causes windowed delays. They have managed to create a massive thicket of laws, rules, & general stupidity that is harming them.

I think copyright has been expanded to lengths that make no sense and serve no purpose other than to some beancounters who are sure that a million monkeys on a million typewriters might find that extra $22 million the content didn’t earn in the first 50 years they had the exclusive rights.

On the upside, the content industry has actually run out of new ideas (look at the glut of remakes & sequels to really crappy movies). Because the new ideas they would turn into movies, have the same insane copyright limits & starryeyed dreams of those that hold them that they should have the right to get paid all of the money forever.

I’m sorry our content industry is trying to screw Oz over yet again, but hey you get Game of Thrones in the same year it was released now… so there is that.

Anon says:

Re: YouTube And The Public Domain

Much as you may not like the answer, it’s simple. The minimum requirement is that youtube obey the copyright laws in the country (countries) where its servers reside and where it does business – i.e. USA.

The obvious solution is to run the business in a less restrictive location; I suspect if people find it more hassle than not, they will switch to other hosting sites.

Part of YouTube’s value is its wide range of content, the other is its value as an online video storage site. The users of the former will go where the herd is, while the latter use can be anywhere. If YouTube continues to alienate the second group, they will eventually lose the first.

Violynne (profile) says:

There’s something terribly lopsided with the way Google handles this type of situation.

If a user receives “too many” copyright complaints, their account is closed immediately.

However, what about those who abuse copyright notices? Yep, those accounts don’t get closed at all, leaving the abuser to continue filing more bogus complaints.

If Google really wanted to fix this problem, they should apply the same rules to every account.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Because it offers a hosting and distribution service, Google cannot give its user the attention of a person. Also companies working for various middlemen are swamping Google with DMCA notices, forcing Google to largely automate their processing, and any counter notices that they receive. Only if such abuse like this makes the news will it be brought to the attention of Google employees.
Elimination of middleman control over what is published eliminates the choke points that under the traditional system ignored most submissions for publication. The traditional industries want the services to vet every item offered for publication, because it will choke off the flood that threatens to swamp them.
The difference in scale is easy to demonstrate, it is possible to keep up with what is being published via the studios, TV production companies, labels and book publishers, and experience a significant portion of what they publish. Enter the self publishing world and it is not even possible to read the titles of every thing published on a site like Youtube, which is probably around a thousand titles a minute (300 hours of video a minute). This is why Google has to use automation, and why companies, who can threaten with lawyers have the ability to abuse the system with immunity. It is also why the Labels and Studios automate the generation of DMCA notices, the flood is greater than humans can keep up with.
The real answer is to do away with copyright, at least for digital publication, as enforcing it accurately and fairly in now impossible.

Tanner Andrews (profile) says:

DMCA Takedowns and Unpleasant Options

One of these days, somone whose material is taken down by a bogus notice is going to turn around and file a dec action, naming the sender of the notice and perhaps also the video hosting company.

What with fee-shifting provisions, internet discussion sites, and all that stuff, it could get messy for some unlucky sender of a bogus notice.

(disclaimer: I do not handle these cases, go away.)

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