You would think that the various entertainment industry rights organizations around the world would recognize how badly attacking consumers has failed and wouldn't continue to do it in every other country, but apparently common sense travels a lot slower than unauthorized content these days. Roni Evron alerts us to how a bunch of Israeli YouTube users are pissed off after rights holder Unicell convinced YouTube to pull down a bunch of content and close user accounts
, even for content that just isn't available anywhere else:
One of the more prominent Israeli users of YouTube is 40-year-old Guy, who has been operating his own homepage there for three years. Guy says that he spends about two hours every day uploading content. He focuses on old archival material: Israeli music which is now considered classic.
"I do it out of love and I have no commercial interests," he says. "The idea behind this is ideological, romantic, to expose older cultural material, to make it accessible to as many people as possible. In most cases it is not readily available anywhere else."
For example, he has uploaded the contents of singer-songwriter Matti Caspi's first album from 1974, and material from the "Siba L'mesiba" ("Excuse for a Party") television program, which aired on the Channel One from 1984-1990.
Most of the responses he gets, according to Guy, are from former Israelis who live abroad; they are enthusiastic and ask him to add more material.
He admits that he is not current on copyright law, but believes removal of the content from the Internet is proof of narrow-mindedness.
"Perhaps exposure to this material in fact increases demand," he says. "YouTube is no substitute for purchasing music in higher quality formats; it simply provokes nostalgia. This work is a community service."
You have to wonder if the recent Israeli ruling
that found that the rights of users should be respected, and that copyright claims should only be dealt with if they were "especially severe, wrongs committed in aggravated circumstances," will come into play in these sorts of situations.