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.