Copyright Killbots Strike Again: Official DNC Livestream Taken Down By Just About Every Copyright Holder

from the yeah,-THIS-makes-everyone-respect-copyright-MORE dept

Here we go again. Less than 24 hours ago, content-protection bots killed a livestream of the Hugo Awards, thanks to the brief appearance of fully approved clips from an episode of Dr. Who. The whole situation was completely absurd to anyone harboring the tiniest vestige of common sense, but IP-protection software isn't built on common sense: it's built on algorithms.

This time, content protection via crawling bots have taken down another approved, perfectly legal stream. The victim this time? The Democratic National Convention's official stream, hosted at YouTube. As Wired reports, if you're looking to catch up on last night's activities, including a speech by Michelle Obama, don't bother:
The video, posted by the official YouTube account for the convention, DemConvention2012, was blocked, according to YouTube, for ostensibly infringing on the copyright of one of many possible suspects:
This video contains content from WMG, SME, Associated Press (AP), UMG, Dow Jones, New York Times Digital, The Harry Fox Agency, Inc. (HFA), Warner Chappell, UMPG Publishing and EMI Music Publishing, one or more of whom have blocked it in your country on copyright grounds.
Sorry about that.
When contacted by Wired for comment, Erica Sackin, an Obama campaign staffer who works on digital outreach, had no knowledge of the outage, asked this reporter for the url and then upon seeing the takedown, said, "I'll have to call you back."
The video has since been updated to state that "This video is private." There's probably quite a bit going on behind the scenes at the moment, but fortunately Wired snagged the complete list of claimants for future reference.
Take a good, long look at that list. There's a few of the usual suspects in there, including AP, UMG and Warner, entities not known to be shy about claiming content that isn't theirs.

Now, these entities aren't directly responsible for this takedown. This is more of an automated match situation, but it still doesn't change the fact that the inherent stupidity of the action, automated or not, does absolutely nothing to lock down stray, unmonetized content and absolutely everything to highlight the ridiculous nature of copyright protection in a digital age.

If Google can work with copyright holders to produce content matching software, it seems like it might be possible to designate certain accounts or entities as "off limits" from the wandering killbots. If the stream is authorized by, I don't know, the party of the current President of the United States, maybe, just fucking maybe, everything's "above board."

Sure, defining legitimate, pre-approved accounts may prove to be as difficult as determining which content is infringing and which isn't, but this should be the sort of thing that content holders should be working toward, rather than simply moving from disaster to disaster, smugly secure in the knowledge that filthy file sharers are getting content-blocked thousands of times a day.

Nice going, huge list of content holders. Your boundless, maximalist enthusiasm is just another nail in the coffin containing what's left of copyright's reputation.

Filed Under: automated takedowns, contentid, copyright, dnc, live streaming, youtube
Companies: ap, dow jones, emi, harry fox agency, ny times, sme, umg, umpg, warner chappell, wmg


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  1. identicon
    anon, 5 Sep 2012 @ 7:13am

    Re: Google plot

    I think everyone should just accept that this is going to continue and content will be shut down if the big monopolies don't want it up, even if they have no right to take it down everyone will just have to accept there behaviour as the norm and get on with there life, accept that you cannot watch even things that you should be allowed to watch until someone somewhere has the guts to take the monopoly kings to court, until someone does, this will go on and on and on. Yes I would like to watch the DNC in action , it sounds like they did a fantastic job and had some very heartfelt speeches that have made many a man cry real tears, and I will probably watch it soon somewhere , but google is the last place I will look as they seem to be having a problem with any popular content these days, was it not just the other day that the kings of content stopped millions from watching the video of the mars landing, nothing happened about that and we all continued with life as normal , some getting the content from elsewhere and some just losing interest in watching it. SO until someone, anyone, actually takes the studios to court and gets them charged with contempt of court and either fined or forced to pay restitution none of this will change, they will continue taking down content they have no right to and they will continue forcing people to use torrent sites, and anyone thinking otherwise should either shut up or actually use there position as a well read internet author to demand legal action be taken against those removing content we all have the right to watch.

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