YouTube Silences Six Hours Of DARPA Robotics Finals… Because Of One Song Briefly In The Background

from the fun-with-contentid dept

As you may have heard, DARPA, the wonderful government agency folks who helped bring us the precursors to the internet and self-driving cars, held a giant robotics competition this weekend, known as the DARPA Robotic Challenge, or DRC. It was full of amazing robots — though everyone seems focused on the ones that fell over, despite the amazing advancements in robotics that were on display.

One bit of “robotics,” whose best work is not on display, is the robotic nature of YouTube’s ContentID copyright censorship. If you go to check out the six hour YouTube video of the DRC Finals Workshop on YouTube you’ll get to witness everything, but not hear a damn thing. Because, apparently, there was a copyright-covered song playing somewhere in the background, YouTube muted the whole damn thing:

So, yup, rather than learning about the latest advancements from our soon to be robotic overlords, we’ll just silence everything so someone’s copyright isn’t infringed because it was playing quietly in the background at a daylong event.

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Companies: darpa, google, youtube

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Comments on “YouTube Silences Six Hours Of DARPA Robotics Finals… Because Of One Song Briefly In The Background”

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52 Comments
Violynne (profile) says:

99% of the time I’m linked to the site, there’s either a copyright notice, user terminated for too many copyright notices, or this idiotic muting crap.

YT has done its very best to ensure there’s no reason to visit the site anymore.

Take this advice, site owners: stop linking to YT. If you can’t copy/host the video yourself, don’t waste the time of your users.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Quite a few long-time youtubers are in fact beginning to publish on other platforms now; making available on YouTube, but not making that the original distribution channel.

Of course, this means that most of this content is mirrored on a subscription-based platform in many cases; but it DOES give a lot of the more popular YouTube channels the ability to respond to Google yanking their upload privs/monkeying with their video/audio content: they can just add a link in the comments to the location still carrying the video, and Google loses the AdSense impressions.

I haven’t heard of this actually happening yet though; I’m hoping that the movement to dual-publishing will be enough of a kick in the pants for Google that they’ll fix their automated takedown system before that starts happening.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“YouTube is a pretty risky platform for site owners to link to, as any given video might vanish without warning.”

But, only because they’re such a big, visible and well-known target. If lots of people moved away from the platform in favour of competitors and cause YouTube to lose marketshare to those sites, those other sites would become targets in the same way and be forced to react in the same way (or get killed completely).

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“So the solution is for there to be lots of video sites – each too small to be a big target”

Not really a solution. A fragmented market is a very messy thing, and both confusing and frustrating for consumers and producers alike. Either the bottom would fall out of the market entirely as it’s shunned by consumers, or the market would naturally gravitate toward a few bigger players as both sides tend to use only a handful on a regular basis. Nobody wants to admin, market and monetise their videos on 20-30 sites, and consumers will tend toward the path of least resistance. So, either people would pick the sites that suits them better, or they’ll just use the site where their favourite content is, regardless of how many competitors are out there – that’s why most people still use YouTube.

“the market will make this happen over time”

If you think there’s a free market here, you’re kidding yourself. Any competition between sites will be under whatever rules the **AA cartels have bought for themselves.

Whatever you think of the methods they’ve used to do so, YouTube have only implemented most of their less popular measures in the face of constant legal attacks from **AA members. Smaller companies might be forced to implement even worse measures in the face of attacks, as they’d be forced to comply or die without Google’s might and wealth protecting them.

“I hope we stay so small that the MPAA don’t notice us” isn’t really a business model, and if they have to sue to many people to get their own way, they’ll just continuing to buy laws to get their own way instead – and the smaller guys can’t outlobby that.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

“A fragmented market is a very messy thing, and both confusing and frustrating for consumers and producers alike.”

I disagree that this would be a factor in video distribution. This would be easily handled by doing what was done in the old days: producers would collect links to their videos on their own website. Then it wouldn’t matter to the viewer where the video was hosted. As far as being confusing to producers — maybe, but it would be a very tiny confusion that is easily managed with existing tools.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

…and ContentID was implemented primarily as a direct result of all the major lawsuits being launched against YouTube, largely because they were such a big, visible and well-known target (especially after being acquired by Google). At the time it was implemented, the prevailing claim was that they directly supported piracy because they didn’t attempt to filter content for copyrighted material. It doesn’t take a genius to work out where that would have gone had such a filter not at least been developed.

We can argue all day as to whether it was the right thing for them to do (I don’t think it was) or if many other reactions would have been better in the long term (they would) or whether Google has leveraged ContentID as a way to monetise things for themselves (they have), but there’s no doubt those were the reasons why the company put them into place.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

“and ContentID was implemented primarily as a direct result of all the major lawsuits being launched against YouTube”

Yes, but it was (and remains) an entirely voluntary effort by YouTube. There is nothing in any law that requires this, so I don’t think it’s exactly accurate to place the blame on anyone other than YouTube.

YouTube could have insulated themselves from liability by simply following the law. Instead, what they tried to do was to ingratiate themselves with major companies.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

“entirely voluntary”

I disagree with that, it was most certainly performed under duress.

“I don’t think it’s exactly accurate to place the blame on anyone other than YouTube.”

I think some blame lies with YouTube for the way they reacted, but you’re a fool if you don’t think that at least some of the blame lies elsewhere… and that those other parties won’t try to attack other companies in the same way. Their saving grace so far has been that some people are too stupid to realise that Google != the internet and YouTube != streaming video. When reality finally intrudes into their thought processes, a lot of other services are going to be faced with the same dilemmas.

“YouTube could have insulated themselves from liability by simply following the law. Instead, what they tried to do was to ingratiate themselves with major companies.”

Perhaps. But, any other company who manages to claw back some of their market share will eventually be subject to the same pressures, and whatever measures they take will be without the backing of a Google-sized company to provide legal and other defences.

Does YouTube have some responsibility for the current mess? Yes. Did they make bad choices in the name of trying to placate rightsholders? Absolutely. Did they create this situation alone and without massive pressure from the **AAs, their lobbyists, press and politicians who had been fooled into believing fictions, etc.? Certainly not.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

The funny thing is that a few months ago in preparation for being bought, Twitch rammed a few changes through, including a system for muting copyright content in past broadcasts/saved videos. When they first started, they were stuck muting half an hour blocks of audio at a time. I’m not sure what it’s at right now, but since then they have refined it to be much more capable of only muting a few minutes if that’s all that’s called for.

So the technology exists for fairly selective muting. Youtube apparently has simply declined to implement it, preferring the lazy route of blocking the entire audio.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

I think that instead of muting it, they should replace it with a looping “This segment of audio was removed due to a copyright claim by ‘insert claimant here.'”

One of the things I’ve found the most frustrating is that when something gets muted, all we get is a generic statement stating that the audio was IN copyright violation, with no information about exactly what was in violation, and with whom. Hopefully the video poster gets that information, because otherwise, there’s no way to start dialog to prevent it from happening again in the future.

DannyB (profile) says:

The lesson to be learned

Hollywood is trying to educate event organizers. Event organizers are not getting the message.

The lesson for all event organizers: Anyone caught listening to any RIAA music will be ejected and banned from the event. The event organizers do not want the record of their event marred by RIAA label music that will permanently damage or outright destroy recordings of the event.

Eventually people will get the message and stop listening RIAA artists at the event, and hopefully altogether.

Terminator says:

"DARPA, the wonderful government agency"

Since no trace of irony, Masnick even lists DARPA’s dubious accomplishments (as if private industry had not already built the gadgets, figured out networking, and only a common protocol was needed), or any warning tone to “robotic overlords”, it appears that Masnick actually likes government investing and guiding industry. That’s consistent with my view of him as neo-con / neo-liberal technocrat modernist who’s eager for the “internet of things” and full-time surveillance of pesky humans.

JP Jones (profile) says:

Re: "DARPA, the wonderful government agency"

That’s consistent with my view of him as neo-con / neo-liberal technocrat modernist who’s eager for the “internet of things” and full-time surveillance of pesky humans.

Yup, Mike Masnick, the pro-surveillance guy. That’s totally the vibe I get from reading this site. Did your mother forget to rinse the soap off her hands often? Because I think you may have been dropped on the noggin one too many times.

Clearly you buy into the “business good, government bad” fantasy land. Black-and-white only exists in the real world for children and fanatics, both of which have impaired mental faculties and only one of which has a legitimate excuse. Assuming you aren’t a child, grow up and learn to think for yourself.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: "DARPA, the wonderful government agency"

“(as if private industry had not already built the gadgets, figured out networking, and only a common protocol was needed)”

You’re deluded in most of what you say (what’s the matter, are our resident idiots now afraid to use the names they picked for themselves and now have to infringe trademarks to try and hide themselves?), but I thought this was worth pointing to as especially moronic.

Nobody says that private industry could not or would not have figured out something like the Internet. However, there’s no way that the money worshipping, freedom hating corporations that you defend would have allowed a system that even remotely resembles the Internet as we know it today. The whole thing is built on free protocols, open entry to anyone and a lack of protectionism. The only reason it grew like it did is because the standards were completely open and anyone could join at any time with only the slightest of administrative restriction (e.g. requiring an IP address or domain name to be assigned).

If it was a corporate invention, the internet would be a proprietary, locked down walled garden mess that would have led to exactly none of the innovation we’ve seen over the last 30 years. It certainly wouldn’t be the open, resilient, truly international system we have in place today. Ironically, without DARPA, you’d currently be unable to spew your rambling crap here for the rest of us to read it.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: "DARPA, the wonderful government agency"

If it was a corporate invention, the internet would be a proprietary, locked down walled garden mess that would have led to exactly none of the innovation we’ve seen over the last 30 years.

Correction – it would have been a bunch of competing, incompatible walled gardens.

Sadly we see this happening in the mobile device space – with Apple, Google and Microsoft all trying to own it.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: "DARPA, the wonderful government agency"

Well, this is also true. It took the popularity of the internet to get everyone to agree on using TCP/IP rather than NetBIOS, AppleTalk, IPX/SPX and so on, as well as normalising usage of Ethernet instead of token ring or whatever proprietary idea Cisco happened to be working with. It was a nightmare trying to get anything to talk outside its own ecosystem, and that was just internally within organisations, not across national and international borders.

As someone who started their IT career at the tail end of that mess, it’s inconceivable that anything like the modern internet would appear had all those companies not been forced to interoperate freely. Doubly so when you add the things that appeared via other kinds of government and non-profit organisations (e.g. imagine if HTML was a proprietary licence rather than a public donation from a CERN employee, would anything like this website even exist? Doubtful).

“Sadly we see this happening in the mobile device space – with Apple, Google and Microsoft all trying to own it.”

But, consumers do still have a choice, and those devices are all perfectly compatible with each other in terms of communication. What our deluded friend above would be favouring is not a system where different operating systems cannot share each others’ applications, but the equivalent of where an iPhone would not be able to call a Galaxy phone, or where a text to a Blackberry would cost 20 times as much due to licencing fees. Nobody would bother, certainly not to the extent they do now.

Terminator says:

As if there's a topic worth mention: Boohoo! You attack copyright everyday!

THEN you use side effects of the defenses made against piracy to claim rights holders are just big meanies intent on ruining the system for everyone!

Tell ya what, pirates. Just start UNIFORMLY advocating that people leave other people’s stuff alone. That means pirates not taking content, and then maybe you’ll have a peg leg to stand on when comes to takedowns over incidental content.

In short, yes, I’m saying you pirates caused this too!

DigDug says:

Re: As if there's a topic worth mention: Boohoo! You attack copyright everyday!

Hey there Terminator, you must be new here.

Let me educate you on something.

Piracy in the movie and music industry is the act of:
Creating your own media with the content that those industries own, and then selling said content for profit.

That is the ONLY definition of piracy with regards to these 2 industries.

People who download or make available for download are the same people (and I’m positive you are one of these) who used to hit “Record” on their boom-boxes when a favorite song played on the radio, or hit record on the vcr when a movie you wanted to watch was on HBO.

So, now that you’ve been educated, you can kindly keep quiet unless you wish to be known as an idiot instead of just uneducated.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: As if there's a topic worth mention: Boohoo! You attack copyright everyday!

When recording a public event, whoever is recording has no control over what noise, music or speech is in the background. In a reasonable world, incidental capture of copyrighted music would be considered fair use.
Also note, if the music was on a car radio the collection societies would like a public performance license fee, and might demand such if they identify whose radio it was, despite the fact that everybody who heard it, could listen to it in private without paying them a penny.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: As if there's a topic worth mention: Boohoo! You attack copyright everyday!

Out of interest, are you actually too stupid to understand that you don’t have to be a pirate to have a problem with this, or are you one of our resident trolls who depends on this fiction to have any kind of a point?

Also, prove I pirate, asshole. I’ve been waiting a decade for one of you liars to post proof of your defamatory lies. Still waiting…

ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: YouTube will remove music

ContentID simply matches music, and cannot deal with such subtleties as fair use.

That’s ok, copyright lawyers working for the entertainment industry can’t deal with the subtleties of fair use either.

Apparently, the only way to really deal with it is to get sued and eventually have to courts rule in your favor. The deck is so stacked against you that you’ll probably run out of money and be forced to settle before you are vindicated, and even if you are vindicated, you’ll likely not have any recourse to get the money back that you spent defending yourself.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 YouTube will remove music

For the traditional content industry to deal with fair use properly, they would have to look at every use found by the likes of contentID to decide whether it is fair use or not. Ss they make minimal use of the Internet, they would rather use the nuke every match approach, as it is mainly individuals that suffer under that approach.

Anonymous Coward says:

Sry but...

“DARPA, the wonderful government agency folks”

From a pure technical/engineering point of viewyou are right and I have to say darn(!) humanity has done some cool things. But let’s be realistic and maybe even take a look at the past. Where do you think those robots will be used first? DARPA is a part of the DoD and when you defend your country all over the world then the tech is likely to be used to kill people before it is used to help humanity.

I’d love to see a whole workforce replaced with robots that are developed at DARPA while at the same time education spending is increased but that is not the world we live in.

DannyB (profile) says:

Re: Sry but...

Rockets were first used in plans for war before they were later used for peaceful weather, communications, GPS and cat photo satellites.

That doesn’t mean rockets weren’t worth throwing research money at. Lots of trial and error. No obvious, in the short term, commercial use. This is why DARPA is good for research projects that are worthwhile, potentially have many other useful applications, but have no present commercial motives to pursue.

Anonymous Coward (user link) says:

Human Overlords, You Mean

Setting side the sheer insanity of corporatocracy and the accompanying insanity of the DMCA…

Let’s be clear about what’s going on right here and now: The creation of robots BY human beings to CONTROL human beings. This is not any sci-fi paranoid rubbish. This is delusional, severely insecure, overcompensating HUMAN BEINGS finding new ways to dominate and destroy their fellow human beings.

It’s called the self-destruction of the human race. No robot overlords required. Please keep that in mind.

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