Fox In The Henhouse: Uses Someone Else's YouTube Clip In Family Guy, Then Takes Down The Original

from the because-that's-how-it's-done! dept

At the recent Copyright Office roundtable on the DMCA, a representative from Fox was adamant about pushing for stronger punishment for sites that hosted infringing content. But she also made sure to respond to a point raised earlier about abusive takedowns. Someone had pointed out that in 2013, Fox had issued a bogus DMCA notice that took down a copy of Cory Doctorow’s excellent book Homeland, because its robotic censors couldn’t distinguish Cory’s novel from its TV show of the same name. Before launching into her speech pushing for expanding copyright laws to provide more power for censorship, she wanted to “explain” what happened with Cory’s book, and said that it happened because Doctorow’s book “was on torrent sites” — as if this made it okay. That leaves out the kind of important fact that Doctorow released the book under a Creative Commons license that allowed it to be shared anywhere, including torrent sites.

So given that bit of background, I do wonder what the excuse from Fox will be for this latest fuckup, in which Fox used someone else’s YouTube video of a bug in the old Nintendo basketball game Double Dribble for a large clip in the show Family Guy… and then after the episode was added to ContentID wiped out the original:

Yes, of course, after TorrentFreak posted about this late last week and the news started to spread, the takedown was lifted — either by Fox or by YouTube itself — but it again highlights the problems with these demands for automated filtering or notice-and-staydown systems. They don’t work very well in many, many situations. And they create complications like this one — and not everyone will get a site with a large following to write a story about it, getting enough attention to get the situation fixed. So many people on the copyright legacy side of things keep insisting that it’s “easy” to just take down actually infringing stuff. Yet, time and time again, that’s been shown to be wrong. There are lots of mistakes, and when you’re talking about expression, we shouldn’t tolerate systems that allow someone to automatically censor speech.

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Companies: fox, youtube

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Comments on “Fox In The Henhouse: Uses Someone Else's YouTube Clip In Family Guy, Then Takes Down The Original”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

It’s interesting that it wasn’t fox that got their works taken down for fair use/possible infringement but it was the little guy that got works taken down for Fox’s use of fair use or their possible infringement. Shows who contentID and copy protection laws are really intended to favor, the big distributors and not the poor poor artists or the public.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

If the content was enough for contentID to consider it infringement when the little guy uses it then it should be enough for contentID to consider it infringement when Fox uses the same clip. Fox is the one here that violated the contentID standard but they get off the hook while the little guy is the one that suffers instead for not even doing anything wrong.

DannyB (profile) says:

a representative from Fox was adamant about pushing for stronger punishment for sites that hosted infringing content. But she also made sure to respond to a point raised earlier about abusive takedowns.

Both of those things need to bite Fox. Hard.

Their broadcast might contain infringing content. These are people who very likely do not believe in any kind of fair use. And if they acknowledge fair use at all, then their same standard should be applied to them. “fair use is a defense in a lawsuit, but the use is considered infringing until you raise the fair use defense”, etc

Fox filed a bogus takedown, and should be punished accordingly. Fox demonstrated an abusive takedown after complaining that abusive takedowns are unusual, which we all know is not true any more than copyright infringement is unusual. There needs to be seriously steep punishments for doing this. Takedown notice issuers need to abide by the same high standards as they expect everyone else to abide by in not infringing copyright. Do by example.

Anonymous Coward says:

Content ID Expanded

I am pretty sure that this just shows that systems like ContentID need to be expanded into more communication platforms.

We need a system set up so that when original content from YouTube is detected on an over-the-air broadcast that channel is immediately removed from the air and they cannot resume broadcasts until they file a valid counter claim to get it reinstated. Just think of the millions of potential viewers that clip had that FOX stole from the original creator.

Anonymous Coward says:


Is ContentID so braindead that it doesn’t take into account dates when determining which content could be infringing?

It seems that content providers should be required to specify first publish dates for their content before submitting it to the robots in order to make this less likely to happen – and furthermore, anyone caught abusing those publish dates should be banned from using the contentid system.

Funny clips (user link) says:

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