Prominent YouTube Personality Locked Out Of His Account After A Bogus Copyright Claim

from the so-much-power-in-one-little-symbol dept

Another bogus takedown targeting a prominent YouTube personality. In other words, business as usual for the world's largest video platform. This time it's Jacksepticeye, a very popular creator of videogame-related videos, most of which utilize in-game footage, "Let's Play"-style, as well as plenty of related (and unrelated) commentary. At the risk of sounding like The Narrator in "Fight Club," I know Jacksepticeye because my boys know Jacksepticeye. [There is no generation gap because of cultural osmosis. Discuss.]

Jacksepticeye had put together a video featuring two bots carrying on a conversation. One was Cleverbot Evie. The other was Talking Angela, the female spinoff of the ultra-popular Talking Tom app. Fun stuff, probably, but we can't see it (at the moment) because of some unpleasant takedown shenanigans.

One of YouTube's most known gamer guys, Jacksepticeye, took to his Twitter account on Wednesday morning citing copyright claims against him. The claims were made by Outfit7 Limited, the entertainment company that created the Talking Tom and Friends franchise.
Here are the tweets:



If you can't read/see the tweets, they say (in order):
Apparently one of my Evie and Talking Angela vids copyright infringed on something and if I don't acknowledge it my account will be deleted

This wasn't some normal copyright strike either, I can't get into my youtube account now unless I answer copyright questions

So @Outfit7 are the ones who flagged the video. The owners of Talking Angela because I had her talking to Evie :/
Now, the question of fair use will be addressed here because the limitations of YouTube's system won't. Firing up an app to talk to a bot isn't copyright infringement. The app will talk to whoever will chat with it (and vice versa, in terms of CleverBot). Recording this interaction doesn't violate Outfit7's copyright anymore than someone recording their siblings/kids talking to it. The app exists to talk and presumably Outfit7 would like more people to download the Talking Angela app because in-app purchases is a numbers game. The more people that try it out, the more likely the chance that some of them will start tossing money into the company's revenue stream.

So, why take it down? Who knows? But considering the outcome of this situation, it appears it may have been a mistake -- albeit the sort of mistake that is both a) far too common and b) engenders ill will towards the entity who screwed up.

This is Jacksepticeye's latest tweet on the takedown.

If you can't see/read it:
The copyright strike against me has been retracted and everything is back to normal :D
Now, this doesn't necessarily mean Outfit7 came to its senses and walked back its erroneous takedown. It could be that YouTube pulled the strike because it wasn't actually an infringing video. But the former is much more likely than the latter, although there's been no public confirmation from Outfit7 itself.

The video itself still remains dead, at least at its original URL. Perhaps Jack will have to re-upload or he has decided to keep the video offline until he hears more from Outfit7… just in case. Either way, copyright gets in the way of creation again, and someone who makes a living on YouTube came this much closer to losing his source of income -- not the sort of thing that exactly endears IP rights to the general public.

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Filed Under: censorship, cleverbot, copyright, jacksepticeye, takedowns, talking angela, youtube
Companies: google, outfit7, youtube


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2015 @ 7:54am

    Yet again...

    ...copyright takedowns are misused.

    Another piece of evidence that we literally *need* reform to the laws governing takedown.

    Anyone who submits *any* form of takedown request should be required to swear under penalty of perjury:

    1. That they own the copyright being infringed, or are acting on the holder's behalf.

    2. That each individual link or video they are requesting are in fact infringing.

    3. That the content in question does not fall under critique, parody or any sort of Fair Use exemption.

    Let's see some of the copyright abusers go to jail where they belong. Let's see some justice for a change.

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

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2015 @ 7:58am

    Funny how the concept of presumed innocence doesn't cover Big Entertainment. If the content mafia suspect 'their' rights to have been violated, go convince a court, get a ruling and THEN, brief in hand, ask for a removal of content. Time for some balance...

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

  3. icon
    DannyB (profile), 12 Jan 2015 @ 8:03am

    Copyright takedowns working as intended

    Used for censorship and harassment.

    Or lazily filed takedown notices that shoot first, ask questions later. However, the lazy rapid fire takedowns based on simplistic keyword searches are a symptom of copyright owners' mentality that everyone else should do their work for them.

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

  4. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 12 Jan 2015 @ 8:10am

    Small but direly needed fixes

    So very many of these situations could be fixed with some minor changes to the system.

    First and foremost, there needs to be a punishment for bogus claims. Those accused have their accounts on the line, the ones leveling the accusations should face at the very least similar repercussions if they are found to be making claims in bad faith, or for malicious intent.

    Second, stop taking every claim at face value. A simple accusation should not be enough to get a video, or even an entire account removed. One way to help with this would be to expand the takedown system a bit, perhaps into something like the following:

    1) Person or company makes a claim against Video A.

    2) The account holder who posted the video can choose to either take the video down, or contest the claim. If they contest it, the video remains up. Whichever they choose, they do not get a 'strike' against their account at this stage.

    3) At this point the original person/company can either drop their claim, or double-down, insisting that it is valid.

    4) At this point, the matter is examined by someone employed by YT to weigh in on the matter(previous steps could be automated). If the claim is held as valid, the video is removed, and a 'strike' is issued against the account holder who posted it. If the claim is found to be invalid, the video remains, and the one who issued the claim is instead the recipient of the punishment(a 'strike' if they have a YT account, a temporary ban against using YT's claim system if not).

    5) If, after having the matter resolved in favor of the account holder, the one who issued the original claim still believes that they are in the right, they can file a DMCA claim against the video, and attempt to have it taken down via that route.

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

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2015 @ 8:13am

    Re: Copyright takedowns working as intended

    Isn't that what copy protection laws are predicated upon? Those that keep lobbying for expansions and extensions are used to having everyone else do all their work for them. They just want to own the copy protections and essentially charge everyone for licensing while contributing nothing of their own.

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

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2015 @ 8:16am

    Re: Copyright takedowns working as intended

    Their mentality is that nobody should publish without going through them, and they want to create the impression that the only safe way to publish is to use their services, which incidentally gives them most of the profit.

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

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2015 @ 8:18am

    Re: Small but direly needed fixes

    The problem with proposal 4 is that YY cannot afford to employ the people required to deal with all the copyright claims, never mind that they do not know who actually owns the copyright, and what licenses have been granted.

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

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2015 @ 8:19am

    The video's been taken down permanently. Jacksepticeye said as much in his recent "Reading Your Comments" video.

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

  9. icon
    Carlie Coats (profile), 12 Jan 2015 @ 8:20am

    At what point...

    At what point does a false copyright-infringement claim like this become slander? The claim is certainly (1) false, does (2) cause damage, and (3) falsely accuses Jacksepticeye of illegal behavior.

    It seems to me it ought to be an open-and-shut slander case. And a huge punitive-damage award would help pour encourager les autres.

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

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2015 @ 8:20am

    Re: Small but direly needed fixes

    I've often wondered why the punishment for false claims - which aren't just someone moaning about what someone 'said' but carry legal ramifications - isn't just as huge as the penalty for being found to infringe. The punishment for impeding someone's First Amendment rights should be at least as dire, not something that can be handwaved away with an "oops, my bad".

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

  11. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 12 Jan 2015 @ 8:23am

    Re: Re: Small but direly needed fixes

    If a real punishment was instituted for false claims, I imagine the number of claims made overall would drop, drastically, practically over-night. They've already got some people who review claims I believe, they wouldn't have to hire many more, if any, at that point to deal with it, due to the massive decrease in claims filed.

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

  12. icon
    Ninja (profile), 12 Jan 2015 @ 8:25am

    I did that once with some IRC bots and the result was goddamn hilarious. Ahem.

    I find those talking X apps pretty stupid and then when someone finds a nice use for them the company goes ballistics?!

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

  13. icon
    Mike C. (profile), 12 Jan 2015 @ 8:28am

    Re: Yet again...

    Easy - remove the word "knowingly" from the DMCA section 512(f). That would clean an awful lot of this up in a real hurry:

    (f) Misrepresentations.— Any person who knowingly materially misrepresents under this section—
    (1) that material or activity is infringing, or
    (2) that material or activity was removed or disabled by mistake or misidentification,
    shall be liable for any damages, including costs and attorneys’ fees, incurred by the alleged infringer, by any copyright owner or copyright owner’s authorized licensee, or by a service provider, who is injured by such misrepresentation, as the result of the service provider relying upon such misrepresentation in removing or disabling access to the material or activity claimed to be infringing, or in replacing the removed material or ceasing to disable access to it.

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

  14. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 12 Jan 2015 @ 8:29am

    Re: Re: Small but direly needed fixes

    Because when the law was written/purchased, it was intentionally designed to make it as difficult as possible for someone to be held accountable for making fraudulent claims, and the courts weakened what laughable 'safeguards' there were for abuse even more over time.

    Now, while the above may or may not be entirely true(or at least the first half anyway, the second most certainly is), given how unbelievably lopsided the process is, it's rather hard to imagine it was anything but intentional. Screwing up a bit is one thing, doing so to that level takes willful intent.

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

  15. icon
    Ninja (profile), 12 Jan 2015 @ 8:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Small but direly needed fixes

    That. Even though they would be mostly cosmetic changes for a broken system, instituting punishment for bogus claims would greatly help.

    In the long run we need a complete overhaul of all IP forms.

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

  16. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2015 @ 8:45am

    Re: At what point...

    A DMCA take-down notice very, very likely protected under the Noerr-Pennington doctrine. Read an analogous court decision: http://www.scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=13001510524034336181

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

  17. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2015 @ 8:46am

    Can't read the tweets?

    I don't understand the comment "If you can't read/see the tweets, they say (in order):". Both sets of comments are just normal HTML. What would make the second easier to read? Do you think the centering or the author/date tags on the first might be too distracting to some people?

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

  18. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2015 @ 8:47am

    He talks more about the situation in a recent video. Important points:

    - Taking down the video was a condition of the strike being revoked.

    - The developers of Talking Angela objected to the swearing in the video. So, once again, DMCA being used for non-copyright reasons.

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

  19. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2015 @ 8:53am

    Re:

    So the notice has achieved its objectives, censoring someones speech.

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

  20. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2015 @ 8:57am

    Come to their senses?

    Until these idiots come to their senses my philosophy is "Don't buy it, steal it!".

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

  21. identicon
    Baron von Robber, 12 Jan 2015 @ 9:08am

    Re: Come to their senses?

    Wrong, wrong, wrong.

    "Infringe it!"

    Carry on.

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

  22. identicon
    bob, 12 Jan 2015 @ 9:18am

    fair use or not

    I just had a video blocked on youtube over the weekend.
    I re-spliced a movie intro into a different sequence, replacing the audio with a completely different song.
    it's meant to parody the intro..
    is it fair use? I have no idea.
    but if I choose to challenge it via youtube,
    I would get a 'strike'if I lose the challenge.
    Or I could accept the take-down and keep my mouth shut.
    not having enough grasp of the law, or thinking I can convinve youtube, with presumably actual lawyers on the other side arguing against me..
    I'm keeping my mouth shut and hosting the video from another service.

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

  23. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2015 @ 9:29am

    Re: Copyright takedowns working as intended

    How about everyone that abuses the takedown system gets fined- as long as all infringers do as well.








    yeah, I thought so.

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

  24. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2015 @ 9:31am

    I'm waiting on the one that really ruffles the feathers of the users of the service. Sooner or later there is going to come that day.

    Google is setup where you don't actually talk to anyone human. Try that route and you'll get nothing. It's a stone wall you're talking to.

    Personally, I near never go to Youtube. So if it fell on it's face tomorrow, I'd not miss it. Someone would have to call my attention to the fact it wasn't there for me to notice.

    As far as I'm concerned, Google has been poisoned by copyright concerns, enough to ruin it's business. Not that I had any use for Google in the first place.

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

  25. icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), 12 Jan 2015 @ 9:36am

    Re: Re: Small but direly needed fixes

    "The punishment for impeding someone's First Amendment rights should be at least as dire"

    So true.

    The harm of a first amendment infringement is far more serious than that of a copyright infringement.

    One is an abrogation of basic human rights, as detailed in the 1st Amendment to the constitution and the damage is ALWAYS irreversible. When speech is impeded, that opportunity for speech is gone forever. Even if the ban is lifted later on, you can't restore the lost speech opportunity.

    The other contravenes some mundane laws about commerce. It also is a problem for which there can be compensation, and there often is at ridiculously high amounts.

    Yet the current system of control and enforcement is biased in entirely the wrong direction. Control and enforcement of copyright is AT ODDS with our laws and constitution.

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

  26. icon
    Ninja (profile), 12 Jan 2015 @ 9:48am

    Re: Re: Copyright takedowns working as intended

    That would be awesome. I wonder why the MAFIAA isn't filling hundreds of millions of lawsuits to make infringers pay out (piracy is rampant, no, shouldn't they go after the infringers?).

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

  27. icon
    Maketosa (profile), 12 Jan 2015 @ 9:50am

    Re: Can't read the tweets?

    If Twitter or its scripts are blocked for any number of reasons, the first set won't show up.

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

  28. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), 12 Jan 2015 @ 9:56am

    Re:

    "Personally, I near never go to Youtube. So if it fell on it's face tomorrow, I'd not miss it."

    I'm with you: I think I'd seen about a half-dozen YouTube videos last year. I avoid YouTube for a number of reasons, including that I don't want to support Google in their effort to appease the major content companies at the expense of actual people.

    However, you and I appear to be in the minority.

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

  29. icon
    Ninja (profile), 12 Jan 2015 @ 10:07am

    Re: Can't read the tweets?

    Twitter is blocked here. I greatly appreciate the repost.

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

  30. icon
    OldMugwump (profile), 12 Jan 2015 @ 10:12am

    "I don't want to support Google in their effort to appease the major content companies at the expense of actual people"

    This is how we lose.

    Google is the main lobbyist in favor of online rights - they have to obey existing law and stay in business despite those laws at the same time.

    By boycotting Google for being less than 100% successful in their attempts to improve the law, you are punishing your best ally.

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

  31. icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 12 Jan 2015 @ 10:21am

    Re:

    Yeah, this is what I've been saying for years now: The DMCA takedown system is blatantly unconstitutional because it destroys Due Process and the Presumption of Inncocence, and it needs to be done away with.

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

  32. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2015 @ 10:27am

    Re: Re: Can't read the tweets?

    If Twitter or its scripts are blocked for any number of reasons, the first set won't show up.
    Really? Check the source, they're right in the HTML. I have scripting disabled and Twitter adblocked, and it works fine.

    (But thanks to the Techdirt writers for posting text versions of quotes, especially when the original is an image—those are often useful.)

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

  33. identicon
    RD, 12 Jan 2015 @ 11:02am

    Re: Small but direly needed fixes

    Voted "insightful" even though 4 and 5 will never happen on any platform, ever. That would place culpability right on the platform, and no one wants to be on the hook for making a decision of that level that might lead to another lawsuit. It's the same reason Section 230 exists. So the platforms just let "the system," and mainly the accuser, run the whole show and they stay mostly out of it unless the problem is obvious and will not likely lead to any prosecution of the platform/site.

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

  34. identicon
    RD, 12 Jan 2015 @ 11:08am

    Re:

    They objected to the swearing in the video? Well TOO FUCKING BAD! That gives them ZERO rights under DMCA and copyright to do SWEET FUCK ALL to the author of the video!

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

  35. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), 12 Jan 2015 @ 12:34pm

    Re: "I don't want to support Google in their effort to appease the major content companies at the expense of actual people"

    I don't boycott Google for this. I avoid using one of Google's services, YouTube, because of this. I avoid using the rest of Google's services due to privacy concerns.

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

  36. identicon
    Zonker, 12 Jan 2015 @ 2:19pm

    Re: Re:

    I'd rather think it achieved the objective of stopping people from buying apps from Outfit7.

    Can't buy it if I don't know about it. Can't know about it if I never see it. Can't see it if it gets taken down as infringing.

    Now I only know them as the company that makes apps that are illegal to watch.

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

  37. icon
    connermac725 (profile), 12 Jan 2015 @ 2:59pm

    AWESOME

    Another App I will NEVER use or let my kids use way to go Outfit7
    you lost 5 potential customers here

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

  38. icon
    nasch (profile), 12 Jan 2015 @ 3:16pm

    Re: Re: Copyright takedowns working as intended

    How about everyone that abuses the takedown system gets fined- as long as all infringers do as well.

    That would be an improvement. Fewer bogus takedowns, more pressure on representatives to reform copyright law, and more people seeking out alternative entertainment that doesn't rely on RIAA and MPAA members. Of course this is a magic wand sort of solution since you haven't suggested how this would actually take place.

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

  39. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2015 @ 3:53pm

    might aswell sue people for TALKING about their product.......see how much business sense THAT fucking makes

    Wtf is wrong with these control freaks.........i find various VIDEO reviews to be the BEST kind of review, to get the best feel for any given product i might be interested in, the only kind of review that peaks my interest in something i previously was'nt interested, the amateur review.......anyone that risks this new review style is a PRICK in my book

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

  40. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 12 Jan 2015 @ 4:46pm

    Re:

    Well it's a good thing swearing is listed under the DMCA/copyright law as a valid excuse to file a copyright claim...

    Oh right, it isn't. Copyfraud strikes again.

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

  41. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 12 Jan 2015 @ 4:50pm

    Re: Come to their senses?

    No no no, even then you're still paying them with the most valuable currency you have to offer: Your time and attention.

    You want to punish a company, really punish them? Ignore them. Don't give them your time, attention, or money. Act as though they don't even exist. If you want to go the extra mile, shoot them an email telling them so, that due to their actions you will now never purchase or use one of their products if you can at all avoid it.

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

  42. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2015 @ 5:05pm

    Re: Re: Small but direly needed fixes

    YouTube could afford this with a trivial fine (say $1) per claim that gets decided in the account holder's favor.

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

  43. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2015 @ 5:09pm

    Re: Re: Small but direly needed fixes

    Bear in mind that two non-government parties cannot infringe upon your First Amendment rights in the USA where (in most cases) these situations place jurisdiction.

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

  44. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2015 @ 5:13pm

    Re:

    I probably would have asked them if that was the only problem they had with it and counter-claimed.

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

  45. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2015 @ 5:14pm

    Re: Re:

    ... when they undoubtably said yes.

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

  46. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2015 @ 5:16pm

    Re:

    It happens once or twice a year to some hundreds-of-thousands-subscribers channel. People forget and move on once YouTube backs off.

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

  47. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2015 @ 5:17pm

    Re: Re: "I don't want to support Google in their effort to appease the major content companies at the expense of actual people"

    I'd copy and paste the guy's comment above, but that's probably copyright infringement.

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

  48. identicon
    tanj, 12 Jan 2015 @ 7:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Small but direly needed fixes

    In this case they are using the threat of a federal law to restrict free expression. Which does make it a first amendment issue.

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

  49. icon
    JMT (profile), 12 Jan 2015 @ 9:05pm

    Re: Re: Small but direly needed fixes

    "I've often wondered why the punishment for false claims... isn't just as huge as the penalty for being found to infringe."

    Because copyright laws in their current form were literately written by corporations for corporation.

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

  50. icon
    JMT (profile), 12 Jan 2015 @ 9:11pm

    Re:

    Your loss really. YouTube has tons of amazing content, not because of YouTube/Google, but because of it's users. The platform deserves much criticism, but ignoring it is cutting off your nose to spite your face.

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

  51. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2015 @ 2:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Small but direly needed fixes

    I think your costing is way for the level of expertise required to determine whether or not a work is infringing, or is covered by fair use. They is also the major problem that they would make themselves a party to any court action over infringing works or disputed fair use claims, which would give the MPAA and RIAA and even bigger lever to control content on YouTube than they have now..

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

  52. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2015 @ 6:34am

    Re: Yet again...

    "Another piece of evidence that we literally *need* reform to the laws governing takedown."

    Another piece of evidence that we literally *need* to abolish copyright.

    ftfy

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

  53. identicon
    sam, 13 Jan 2015 @ 10:34am

    hi

    Hello Jennifer Slegg,

    Well I was going through a site and I found some interesting offers, could you check it out and let me know.
    http://youtube-promos.com/

    Thanks

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

  54. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2015 @ 11:33am

    Re: Re: Yet again...

    Ignorance of the law is no excuse...
    Unless it's copyright law, then ignorance of the law is the standard!

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


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