Film Distributor, Copyright Enforcement Company Join Forces To Kick Creative Commons-Licensed Film Off YouTube

from the would-rather-be-fast-than-be-correct dept

Infringement takedown notices: can't live with them, rights holders won't let your service live without them. YouTube once again is the flashpoint, with a Creative Commons-licensed film being taken down in response to a takedown notice. The Aaron Swartz documentary, "The Internet's Own Boy," was briefly knocked offline by a bogus copyright claim (that it was likely an error doesn't make it any less bogus) filed by Remove Your Media, LLC.

Brian Knappenberger, the director and producer of the film (which is also available through paid streaming services, along with other non-paid outlets like the Internet Archive), confirmed that no one on his side of the film had anything to do with it.

"It wasn't done by us," Knappenberger told the Daily Dot. "I'm trying to figure out [who issued the claim]."
The Daily Dot contacted Remove Your Media, which refused to offer any insight on this bogus copyright claim.
A representative for Remove Your Media, Eric Greene, refused to name the client who hired him for the takedown, though he noted it was "a distributor outside the U.S."
Greene then deployed the most unfortunate excuse anyone can offer post-World War II.
"We were just following orders," Greene said.
Apparently, the documentary's foreign distributor confused CC-licensing with regular old copyright, if it even bothered to check on the film's US distribution rights before it issued the notice. (The Internet Archive's upload is one of the few places foreign viewers won't run into a "Sorry, but this content is not available in your country" message.)
A representative for one of the film's U.S. distributors attributed the takedown to "miscommunication," and expressed confidence it would be resolved soon.
And, what do you know, it actually was. As of this point, the film has already been restored to its fully playable glory, something of an anomaly in an era when even clearly erroneous takedowns take hours or days to be reinstated -- if they ever are.

On one hand, with a platform of YouTube's size, mistakes are inevitable. On the other hand, if the DMCA provided for a notice-and-notice system, minor debacles like this could be easily averted. Instead, it's a notice-and-takedown system that makes it all too easy to pull the trigger and let those at the other end deal with the damage. Companies attempting to protect their content are all too willing to move quickly, rather than move carefully, resulting in a lot of collateral damage -- sometimes including to their own assets.

Fortunately, this was fixed quickly, and even if it wasn't, several viewing options remain. But this is yet another indication that the ease of YouTube's takedown system is only making things progressively worse, rather than reaching some sort of balance between YouTube users and rights holders.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    art guerrilla (profile), Jul 11th, 2014 @ 1:20pm

    i'm betting...

    ...it was ONLY restored because someone had enough smarts to know that taking THIS particular film down might bring down the revenge of the nerds, part III, in 4(chan)-D ! ! !

    if this had been a lower profile film about worm farming, or whatever, i bet they'd still be SOL...

     

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

  2.  
    icon
    Sheogorath (profile), Jul 11th, 2014 @ 1:21pm

    "We were just following orders," Greene said.
    So were the KGB under Stalin.

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2014 @ 1:38pm

    Illegally upload a copyrighted film? $100,000 fine and 5 year federal prison sentence. Illegal DMCA report? Nothing happens, ever.

     

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

  4.  
    icon
    Roger Strong (profile), Jul 11th, 2014 @ 1:45pm

    Familiar Business Model

    So Remove Your Media provides a service much like a rentable botnet of infected computers would, but tailored for copyright holders. For a fee one can launch denial of service attacks - in the form of bogus copyright claims and take-downs - with total anonymity.

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2014 @ 1:46pm

    The Spirit of Butes Farm flew itself from Newfoundland to Ireland. GPS along with more computing power than a cruise missile is readily available., Anybody any ideas about detecting obstacles out to about a quarter of a mile.i

     

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

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2014 @ 1:48pm

    Knappenberger should file a criminal copyright infringement complaint in response. After all, Remove Your Media is a for-profit enterprise knowingly infringing on a copyrighted work, as defined in the Copyright Act.

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2014 @ 2:42pm

    Re:

    Yes, as Tim alluded to in the article, Nuremberg demolished that particular excuse.

     

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

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2014 @ 3:02pm

    Re: Re:

    No, the commenter gets points for cleverly avoiding a Godwin's Law citation.

     

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

  9.  
    identicon
    andypandy, Jul 11th, 2014 @ 3:43pm

    Still available elswhere!!!

    I wrote a lot about this part of the comment then realised that Youtube is not stupid they know that they have a major problem and if they do not find a solution very quickly they will become a has been just like many services that were much much bigger than them and that died almost overnight.

     

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

  10.  
    identicon
    mischab1, Jul 11th, 2014 @ 3:43pm

    But this is yet another indication that the ease of YouTube's takedown system is only making things progressively worse, rather than reaching some sort of balance between YouTube users and *those claiming to be* rights holders.

    There, fixed that for you. :p

     

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

  11.  
    icon
    Whatever (profile), Jul 11th, 2014 @ 6:06pm

    if the DMCA provided for a notice-and-notice system, minor debacles like this could be easily averted.

    DMCA has this exact system built in, but YouTube and others choose not to use it, in part because they fail for the most part to have full contact information for the people posting on their services. YouTube could have easily sent the notice onto the poster and given then a reasonable amount of time to asnwer, AS IS IN THE LAW. They choose not to do so, and instead take things down and wait for yelling. That is their choice, not something forced on them by DMCA.

    Think of it as the dividends for supporting and allowing widespread anonymous posting, they created their system and operate as if the poster is always unreachable.

     

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

  12.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jul 11th, 2014 @ 7:26pm

    Re:

    nono it gives lip service to the "penalty" of perjury.
    Of course most of them avoid that by using a computer, so they can claim no human was involved so it can't be perjury.
    Even when they double down and claim a human reviewed the review, there is still no penalty.

    Of the corps, by the corps, for the corps.

     

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

  13.  
    identicon
    Robert, Jul 11th, 2014 @ 8:05pm

    More than Just Copyright Damage

    Damages can also include damage to reputation, the claim by the studio that you are a copyright pirate.
    Also psychological damage from the implied threat of criminal action and, the loss of your work (artists place a great deal of value in their work).
    Then there is the effort you must make to recover your work, charged out as a reasonable rate, including preparation of documentation and any legal fees with regard to recovery of work.
    Finally there is the loss of income whilst the work was done, especially during it's critical early launch phase which can have a major long term economic impact on the work.
    Finally a claim for punitive damages based upon how little effort the DMCA claimant made prior to attempting to fraudulently claim your work, how negligent were they in that claim. Claiming a computer did makes it even worse for them ie total disregard for the harm they cause.

     

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

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2014 @ 10:15pm

    Re: Translation

    "Blah blah blah, google pirate evil blargha flargha."

     

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

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2014 @ 10:44pm

    Re:

    Don't lie when the truth can be found within the legal framework within 30 seconds.

    'reasonable framework' has no strict definition, and thus can easily be interpreted to be 'as soon as we send them the notice'.

    And as for the poster always being unreachable, that's also fundamentally flawed on a service that requires your name.

     

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

  16.  
    icon
    bgmcb (profile), Jul 11th, 2014 @ 11:31pm

    Re: Re:

    Lip service and perjury, where have I heard that before...

     

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

  17.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 12th, 2014 @ 5:38am

    Re:

    DMCA has this exact system built in, but YouTube and others choose not to use it, in part because they fail for the most part to have full contact information for the people posting on their services. YouTube could have easily sent the notice onto the poster and given then a reasonable amount of time to asnwer, AS IS IN THE LAW. They choose not to do so, and instead take things down and wait for yelling. That is their choice, not something forced on them by DMCA.

    You must be reading a different DMCA than the rest of the world.

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/512

    "upon notification of claimed infringement as described in paragraph (3), responds expeditiously to remove, or disable access to, the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity."

    If you could point me to where it says you can also just notify the user, I'd like to know. I've read the statute many, many times, and as far as I know, it's not in there. I could be wrong, and perhaps you're aware of some part of it I've looked over that completely contradicts 512(c)1(C), but I'd be surprised.

    Furthermore, all of the descriptions of counternotices describe conternotices for "that has been removed or to which access has been disabled."

    Nowhere in the law, that I'm aware of, is there a notice-and-notice provision, despite your insisting it's there.

    So, I'd appreciate it if you could find that section of the law and point it out to me.

    Thanks.

     

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

  18.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Jul 14th, 2014 @ 4:31am

    Re: Re:

    The silence responding to you is deafening. Or blinding since we are on text-only.

     

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

  19.  
    icon
    Seegras (profile), Jul 14th, 2014 @ 4:47am

    Re:

    Absolutely. Remove Your Media is claiming rights it does not have. It should be tried for fraud.

     

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

  20.  
    identicon
    Romny, Aug 12th, 2014 @ 11:22am

    The irony

    Eric Green own both Remove Your Content LLC and Remove your Media LLC. One is for the adult copyrights and the other is for non adult copyrights.

    http://www.copyright.gov/onlinesp/agents/r/removeyl.pdf
    http://www.copyright.gov/onlinesp/agents/r/re move_media2.pdf

    He did it in the past and left yet another excuse.

    https://torrentfreak.com/google-removes-pirate-bay-frontpage-from-search-results-091002/

    All you have to do to become a copyright agent is pay a yearly fee of around $105 and sign the document http://www.copyright.gov/ no exams, you don't have to be a lawyer, nothing.

    http://www.copyright.gov/onlinesp/agent.pdf

     

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

  21.  
    identicon
    robin william, Aug 12th, 2014 @ 11:38am

     

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


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