Too Much Free Time

by Mike Masnick

YouTube's Itchy Trigger Finger Pulls Down Perfectly Legitimate Video

from the gee,-wonder-why dept

With all of the attention YouTube/Google has been getting lately over the problems of unauthorized videos on their site, it's perhaps no surprise that the company has a bit of an itchy trigger finger in pulling videos down. But, it appears that sometimes that trigger finger is a bit too itchy. Earlier this week, we had a story about the future of the CD business, where we linked to a video interview that JD Lasica did with Russ Solomon, founder of Tower Records. Lasica apparently uploaded the video himself to YouTube, but discovered that the company pulled it down after an hour or two for no clear reason. The only thought that Lasica has is that there was a 15 second song clip that went along with the credits at the end. Except... Lasica got the song from a site that promotes music with Creative Commons licenses, and says you can use the song, as long as it's credited, which it was. So, it was his own video with legally licensed music, and yet YouTube pulled it. You have to have some sympathy for the position YouTube is in, with all the complaints and threats, but if they keep pulling perfectly legitimate videos, people are going to start going to the competition pretty quickly. That's why, for all the talk about how YouTube needs better copyright controls, the more they do, the more likely that the questionable content will just start showing up on other sites that are a bit friendlier.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2007 @ 10:18am

    This is YouTube's great flaw. As it moves from homemade content with alot of potential copyright violations to corporate content cleared by the copyright holders, it loses much of its draw. YouTube will basically turn into another TV channel with all the requisite challenges of a network while smaller challengers will fly under the copyright radar accepting that homemade, copyright violating content that once made YouTube so popular, hip, and cool.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Jumped the shark, Jan 19th, 2007 @ 10:21am

    I think now that YouTube is making spyware and pulling legitimate videos, they have finally Jumped the Shark

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Alex, Jan 19th, 2007 @ 10:21am

    This is why the quicker CC licensed content becomes the norm, the better it'll be for everyone

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    divyansh sharma, Jan 19th, 2007 @ 10:26am

    if i had to guess

    if i had to guess he used a service called "splice" or something where u can remix music n create ur own

    and you are allowed to use it in ur video as long as u credit it back, but the problem is, that this "splice" 's data base is user uploaded n alow contains copyrighted songs

    so if i find.... snoopdog on splice, use his music n give credit.... it is still illegal

    because splice cannot give away what they dont have...(rights)

    just a guess

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Michael, Jan 19th, 2007 @ 10:27am

    A problem with the litigious age we're in is that businesses are crippled by success. Small companies aren't targets because they don't have the popularity and capital, but with some success comes an endless stream of lawsuits. This creates a cycle, where small companies grow to larger companies, which are then promptly destroyed, resulting the next in line ascending to the throne, receiving their prize of death by lawyer, and so on and so forth. The end result is instability, which in and of itself isn't necessarily bad, but I would argue that it's not meant to be the natural and continual state of things.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    ScytheNoire, Jan 19th, 2007 @ 10:46am

    actually small companies are often the prime targets, since they often don't have the financial resources to fight back or to be able to do the research needed to see if the claims against them can stand up in court. there are many small companies that have been blackmailed by legal threats and many that have suffered and failed because of them. Google has the funds to stand up against them, but the problem is that the RIAA and MPAA have paid too much money to politicians for any legit company to stand up against these corporate mafia's. they've paid off the legal system to look the other way and do their dirty work. until the government steps in and stops corporate mafia's, things will continue to degrade in the business world and for the public at large.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. icon
    Nick D (profile), Jan 19th, 2007 @ 10:56am

    Maybe it is time to put CC notice at the beginning of every piece of music or video that is submitted to sites like YouTube or OurMedia.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    misanthropic humanist, Jan 19th, 2007 @ 11:10am


    This is precisely why I said that the fingerprinting system developed by Phillips was a good thing.

    So where is this magic technology? I expect it will turn out to be nothing but vapourware and its announcement was a saber rattling threat rather than an indication of anything useful to everyone.

    Because if YouTube were to have run the video against this supposedly working system it would have given a green light wouldn't it?

    After some trials and burn-in time the system could become so good that YouTube or other user submitted content sites would have a policy to pull a video only if it fails the fingerprinting test.

    This could be adapted to allow fair-use too, detecting videos that use appropriately small clips and passing them.

    Right now the policy seems to guilty until proven innocent, shoot first ask questions later. That is insulting to people contribute to the site. YouTube should not forget that without their users they would have no site at all.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    David B, Jan 19th, 2007 @ 11:10am

    Much Ado About Nothing

    They pulled down a video that may have been legal, big deal. Who care? Guess what, it will happen again. Guess what, they will also not pull down some video's that are illegal.

    The fact that it made Techdirt when they may have got one video wrong is a testament to their great record. So what is the score now 1,000,000 to 1?

    Is the fact that Wikipedia had some information posted incorrect really news? I expect more from a tech site.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Overcast, Jan 19th, 2007 @ 11:15am

    Let them police it too much - it'll pave the way for another service indeed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Passive Observer, Jan 19th, 2007 @ 11:47am

    Re: Much Ado About Nothing

    I have to agree 100% with you David B.

    TechDirt has quite a tendency to sensationalize the "news".

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Damon baird, Jan 19th, 2007 @ 1:11pm

    Re: if i had to guess

    With the CC license, it doesn't matter. If you give credit where it is used, non commercially, its fine. Using Blender taught me fast about that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    wolff000, Jan 19th, 2007 @ 1:12pm

    It is News.

    The fact it happened once doesn't change the fact that it happened at all. Say I am a cop and I accidentaly shoot the wrong person does it mean it no one should care since I shot the right person 100 other times? This is news cause of it continues to happen people will go elsewhere and youtube will die. If you don't like what you read here why do you come back and continue to read?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    zeromus, Jan 19th, 2007 @ 1:14pm

    Someone has to popularize these incidents. Oftentimes it takes a specific anecdotal example to drive home the point and make people angry.

    You cant go to the supreme court with a vague theory. You go with a test case. Likewise in the supreme court of public opinion.

    If this stuff didnt hit the public radar at all, would we be better off?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    John, Jan 19th, 2007 @ 1:59pm

    Damon baird:

    But if I put a chapter of JK Rowling's next book up on my site with a CC license, and someone puts it on their site with a CC license...we are **both** guilty of copyright infringement, because I didn't have the right to put the CC license next to her work...and the person who copied it may have not realized they were breaking the law, but they were still doing so.

    So if Lasica took the song from a site that claimed CC...but had no right to claim still violated copyright, and it was still appropriately taken down.

    That's what Divyansh was suggesting...though it is a guess, and there is no evidence either way.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    cwg1960, Jan 19th, 2007 @ 2:40pm


    when its legal to start shooting lawyers most of this kind of thing will stop!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. icon
    Kenbo (profile), Jan 19th, 2007 @ 2:44pm

    Re: Re: Much Ado About Nothing

    Especially when they don't seem to have even tried to get YouTube's side of the story. This could have been nothing more than some glitch. Did the guy even check it when he uploaded it. Maybe he screwed something up.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    Anonomya, Jan 19th, 2007 @ 4:52pm

    they gave in

    What ever happened to You Tube saying that they are only a video hosting site? When did they give in and agree that they were responsible for the actions of their users? By policing content, they are taking on that responsilbity. Another "community" site that can't stick to its guns. I thought at least with Google behind them they would grow a pair. Oh well.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. identicon
    David B, Jan 20th, 2007 @ 4:24pm

    Re: It is News.

    Are you comparing removing a post from a hosting site to a cop shooting someone? I think we can expect a little more accuracy (and as such, news worthiness) in the latter.

    Also in case you're interested I would expect a little more coverage about an accidental atomic bomb explosion also.

    Youtube feels compelled to start monitoring posts for the same reason myspace now does, the public blames them if something bad happens and they are connected in any manner. Plus as owner of the site they can take down any post they want and just because they do, it's not news.

    Why do I "continue to read", well I love my children too, but I don"t let them get by with every stupid comment they make.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. identicon
    J.A.P., Jan 22nd, 2007 @ 7:16pm

    Nothing New

    You Tube has been quick to pull videos whenever there's a complaint. This has resulted in blatent censoring of perfectly legitimate yet politically incorrect views for a while now.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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