Copyright

by Timothy Geigner


Filed Under:
copyright, ripping, streaming

Companies:
bpi, youtube



Music Industry Is Painting A Target On YouTube Ripping Sites, Despite Their Many Non-Infringing Uses

from the targeting-tools-instead-of-infringement dept

Concentrated attacks on technology tools that can sometimes, but not always, be used for nefarious purposes have quite a long history, from Google and Wikipedia, to suing online sites like Craigslist over how users use the service. Even torrent technology itself, having become a four-letter-word that the content industry has managed to tether to copyright infringement, is nothing more than a tool with plenty of legitimate uses.

Well, it appears that the latest target in the music industry's crosshairs are sites that rip YouTube videos into MP3 format.

Last week the major record labels managed to take out YouTube-MP3, the largest ripping site of all. Still, there are many like it that continue business as usual. For many music industry insiders, who see streamripping as one of the largest piracy threats, this is a constant source of frustration.

In the UK, music industry group BPI worked hard to tackle the issue proactively. Last year the organization already signed an agreement with YouTube-MP3 to block UK traffic. This limited the availability of the site locally, but the group believes that YouTube itself should take responsibility as well.

The crux of the plan, according to industry insiders, appears to be to get YouTube involved to block these sites from ripping its content into audio format. Between complaining that YouTube hasn't threatened enough legal action of its own and some rather silly complaints revolving around Google "steering" traffic to ripping sites via autocomplete on Google searches of all things, something of a full court press appears to be on. And, in one sense, it's understandable. Music groups that allow their music to be on YouTube look for the advertising revenue that comes along with it. One imagines that running a video through these ripping sites doesn't trigger that same ad revenue, otherwise nobody would be complaining.

But here's the thing: there are a ton of legitimate uses outside of the music business to use these sites. I use them all the time. I primarily use them for videos that are essentially speech-based content so I can listen to them on the go. History lectures, public debates, reviews: they're all on YouTube, they're all perfectly listenable in audio format, and none of the makers of that content are shouting about YouTube MP3 rips.

So what we're left with again is the content industries attacking a tool with legitimate uses simply because some percentage of the public uses it in a way they don't like.


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  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 15 Sep 2017 @ 1:29pm

    Not to mention you can download the stream and rip the audio yourself with countless software out there. Smells like Don MAFIAA de la Mancha going after the next windmill just to justify their earnings.

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

  • icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), 15 Sep 2017 @ 1:40pm

    Funny how the music industry won't release an mp3 of a song for free, but are happy to offer a music video with the mp3 embedded for free.

    Funny how the music video itself has no value, but the audio inside it is precious.

    What is it that makes the video worth giving away but not the music?

    Frankly, I've ripped songs from youtube vids before, but usually just for music I can't buy otherwise. If they won't offer it for sale, why not give it away for free?

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

  • icon
    NeghVar (profile), 15 Sep 2017 @ 1:46pm

    Valid

    I see this as a valid tactic by the RIAA because a service outside one's home is being used to rip the audio from the stream. If the RIAA began targeting applications which people install on their system, then the RIAA would be violating the Home Audio Recording Act because the stream comes from outside the home. Like a radio or TV broadcast. A program on the user's home PC is used to capture the audio stream. Like a VCR or cassette recorder.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Sep 2017 @ 1:47pm

    So what we're left with again is the content industries attacking a tool with legitimate uses simply because some percentage of the public uses it in a way they don't like.

    Or they are using collateral damage to attack the self publishers, who are offering them real competition.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Sep 2017 @ 2:05pm

      Re:

      Call it what it really is... Laziness. Just like with the shotgun DMCAs that they send. They look for the shortest path between two points and throw aside all care about any other uses then stomp and yell "Pirating Music!!!"... Then many get in line behind them.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 15 Sep 2017 @ 2:20pm

        Re: Re:

        and throw aside all care about any other uses.

        When you business model is based on gaining control over the creative efforts of others, anything that allows creators to escape your control is something to be destroyed. Besides which their business model is based on creating an artificial scarcity of music on the market, and self publishers keep on proving that there is no scarcity of creative output.

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  • identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 15 Sep 2017 @ 2:03pm

    Do you think ...

    ... youtube-dl will ever be taken down?

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

    • identicon
      Rekrul, 16 Sep 2017 @ 4:07am

      Re: Do you think ...

      I doubt they care, given that 99.99% of users today wouldn't ever be able to use that, even if you wrote them a tutorial and made a video showing how to use it. Looking at the pages of options, I don't even want to use it.

      It's like all the command line based video encoders. Sure they're powerful, but unless you use them on a daily basis, you have to spend an hour going through the docs just to figure out how to get them to work.

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

      • identicon
        Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 16 Sep 2017 @ 4:41am

        Re: Looking at the pages of options, I don't even want to use it.

        It’s probably the one that is most rapidly updated to maintain compatibility with all the different video sites as they keep making changes to their layout. And it probably has the longest list of ones that it can handle to start with.

        In other words, it’s the tool your geek friend would use when you go to them for help to download a video.

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        • identicon
          Rekrul, 27 Sep 2017 @ 8:13am

          Re: Re: Looking at the pages of options, I don't even want to use it.

          It would be nice if they put some default options in such programs so that you could try them first without having to type out a dozen command line options just to get it to work.

          The cross-platform video player Mplayer also comes with an encoder called Mencoder (which I've been scolded for saying was an "official" part of the Mplayer distribution, even though it comes with every single copy). Mencoder creates AVI files by default (well, after you type the 7-8 options needed to make it work properly), but apparently you can get it to generate other formats like MKV or MP4. However, after reading through several pages of various options and still not seeing an actual example of how to do this, I gave up.

          I've never been able to get the command line driven emulator Mednafen to work without resorting to some kind of launcher. I follow the instructions, type the commands and nothing happens.

          My first computer was a C64, so I got my start with command line driven computers. The problem I have with these programs today is that the instructions for using them assume that you're already thoroughly familiar with all the mechanics of whatever it is the program does and that you just need a brief reminder of which option controls what. They tell you what they're for, but not what they actually do or why you'd want/need to use them.

          It's akin to telling someone who knows nothing about fonts or printing that a particular option adjusts the kerning distance, but not explaining what kerning actually is or why you'd want to change it.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Sep 2017 @ 2:27pm

    One imagines that running a video through these ripping sites doesn't trigger that same ad revenue, otherwise nobody would be complaining.

    Out of control greed dictates they will always complain no matter what, because it gets criminal laws created.

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

  • icon
    jameshogg (profile), 15 Sep 2017 @ 2:47pm

    What is it that makes people think they're entitled to stop others pressing CTRL-C and CTRL-V within their own homes? These people do not understand the concept of boundaries, privacy, property rights, anything.

    "Behold our new policy: the digital-analogue rights management pen hybrid! Now programmed to burn to a crisp its own ink supply upon detecting the writing of infringing poems, even if they're only a toe over the line of fair use! All of our newly government regulated pens connect to a server - yes, only ONE server! - with incredible UDP technology to download all hash signatures of any literature ever written or ever will be written! 100% legal and only $700 each! (A high-speed non-encrypted deep-packet inspection ISP is required, any server costs for the literature hash signatures is passed onto the consumer as agreed upon purchase). Warranties do not cover accidental infringement, deliberate hacking of pens or self-inflicted injury."

    Take THAT, big-tech cyber-utopians! You see what YOU brought about, here!?"

    Remember, the only thing stopping these scenarios is basic common sense and thankfully massive impracticalities. They would *if they could*.

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  • icon
    afn29129 (profile), 15 Sep 2017 @ 2:47pm

    Other ways

    People will always find a way to rout around the blocks.
    Like downloading the whole mp4 file from Youtube and then using some other program to extract just the wanted audio portion.

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

  • icon
    Ed (profile), 15 Sep 2017 @ 3:05pm

    Simple solutions for simple minds

    The Record Labels don't seem to understand that if I can see something on my computer the I can copy it.

    It is, after all, my computer and it is under my control.

    The simple solution; if you do not want content to be copied, do not post it on YouTube (or anywhere on the internet).

    See how that works for your profits.

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

    • identicon
      Thad, 15 Sep 2017 @ 3:10pm

      Re: Simple solutions for simple minds

      The simple solution; if you do not want content to be copied, do not post it on YouTube (or anywhere on the internet).

      They tried that, from 1998 to 2002.

      Worked out great, as I recall.

      (do I even need the /s?)

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

    • identicon
      tracyanne, 15 Sep 2017 @ 3:37pm

      Re: Simple solutions for simple minds

      quote:: It is, after all, my computer and it is under my control.

      Unless and until the corporation that owns your Operating System decides to toe the Hollywood line, and build code into the OS that takes that control away.

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

      • icon
        AEIO_ (profile), 17 Sep 2017 @ 5:51pm

        Re: Re: Simple solutions for simple minds

        _until the corporation that owns your OS decides ... [to] build code into the OS that takes that control away.

        You mean like Microsoft Windows 10 that reports on every application that you run? No worries though; they're just monitoring and soon setting up to do program-shaming, where they'll out you for running unsanctioned programs. Only pirates run youtube-dl, so if you run it expect a visit soon from your friendly RIAA education helper.

        Really though, it's only helpful MPAA/RIAA evil-program shaming that they're doing here, not something serious or harmful like fat-shaming.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 24 Sep 2017 @ 4:52pm

        Re: Re: Simple solutions for simple minds

        Linux

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

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 15 Sep 2017 @ 3:34pm

    "believes that YouTube itself should take responsibility as well"

    Read as: We want Google to give us money to make up for all of the money we imagine we are losing, despite having really good years.

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

  • identicon
    tp, 15 Sep 2017 @ 4:17pm

    Isnt those rippingsites illegal already?

    Even without any RIAA/MPAA connections, isn't those audio ripping sites illegal already. The theory is as follows:
    1) when users posted the youtube video, youtube only got permission to display it in their web page, but not anywhere else.
    2) ripping sites move the content outside of the youtube's system => thus the user has not given permission to youtube to do that operation

    I.e. the audio ripping sites would be illegal even if we just read youtube's terms-of-service?

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

    • identicon
      Thad, 15 Sep 2017 @ 4:26pm

      Re: Isnt those rippingsites illegal already?

      Some YouTube videos are published under Creative Commons licenses. In those cases, the uploader has explicitly granted permission to copy the files.

      Should an entire site, that has legal applications, be taken down just because it also has illegal applications? That's the question we're asking here.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Sep 2017 @ 6:41pm

      Re: Isnt those rippingsites illegal already?

      Ripping sites are illegal largely because you think fair use and expiry of copyright are illegal.

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

    • icon
      Leigh Beadon (profile), 15 Sep 2017 @ 10:40pm

      Re: Isnt those rippingsites illegal already?

      the audio ripping sites would be illegal even if we just read youtube's terms-of-service?

      YouTube's terms of service are not the law.

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

      • identicon
        Rekrul, 16 Sep 2017 @ 4:11am

        Re: Re: Isnt those rippingsites illegal already?

        YouTube's terms of service are not the law.

        Yes, but doesn't the CFAA turn violating a site's terms of service into a crime?

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        • identicon
          Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 16 Sep 2017 @ 4:26pm

          Re: ... doesn't the CFAA turn violating a site's terms of service into a crime?

          Any site, or just the big, important sites?

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

  • icon
    MyNameHere (profile), 15 Sep 2017 @ 4:22pm

    The "many non-infringing uses" stuff makes me laugh.

    Plenty of things have not illegal uses, but we still outlaw or regulate them. It's the nature of the game.

    For what it's worth, it's the same (insanely lame) argument that guns nuts use to justify having an AK=47 slung over their shoulders while they shopping in the local supermarket.

    Congrats, you are on the same side as those wingnuts.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Sep 2017 @ 4:25pm

      Re:

      Wow, that is one terrible argument.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Sep 2017 @ 5:03pm

      Re:

      Sorry, but the Association Fallacy is rather glaring in that comment. There also may be a Strawman Fallacy in there as well.

      I'm trying to see your point, but the Fallacy/Fallacies is/are too hard to ignore.

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

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 15 Sep 2017 @ 5:30pm

      Re:

      It's funny how you say this like you're totally ignorant of the actual law on this very issue, which involves Supreme Court precedent stating directly:

      The sale of copying equipment, like the sale of other articles of commerce, does not constitute contributory infringement if the product is widely used for legitimate, unobjectionable purposes, or, indeed, is merely capable of substantial noninfringing uses.

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

      • icon
        MyNameHere (profile), 15 Sep 2017 @ 7:23pm

        Re: Re:

        I am not ignorant at all. Rather, I think you need to read more closely.

        Copying EQUIPMENT may be legal (although there is some debate when it comes to DVD ripping software, as an example). However, this is not the sale of equipment, rather it's providing a service.

        Websites are not equipment, they are services. They profit from providing a service. Selling the software might even be questionable (see DVD ripper issues).

        So no, I am not ignorant - I just don't think that a website is equipment.

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 15 Sep 2017 @ 7:38pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Copying EQUIPMENT may be legal (although there is some debate when it comes to DVD ripping software, as an example). However, this is not the sale of equipment, rather it's providing a service.

          How does this idea change the basic argument that an entire service should not be declared illegal simply because it could potentially be used for illegal acts?

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          • icon
            MyNameHere (profile), 16 Sep 2017 @ 5:57am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I think it's important to understand what Mike said. He specifically talked about equipment, which is to suggest things like a DVR / VCR or CD burner. It's a device that you can buy that can make pirated copies, but has significant other non-infringing uses.

            On the other hand, you can't go to the local flea market and legally buy pirated DVDs (well, you probably can buy them, but it's not legal). The difference is that it is a service and not a neutral device.

            A Youtube ripper is a service. You tell them what to rip, they rip it for you, and sell it / give it to you (and even when free, they generally bombard you with ads to pay for the service). It's a service, no different from the flea market guy using the legal device (DVD burner) to burn you a copy of a movie (or copying it onto a USB key).

            Essentially, you don't rip the youtube stream, the site does it for you - service, not product. Mike was very careful not to mention services.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2017 @ 8:21am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Stop trying to twist logic to enable the legacy industry to claim total control over the Internet.

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

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 16 Sep 2017 @ 8:43am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Question still on the table: How do you justify declaring an entire service as “illegal” because it could potentially be used for illegal acts?

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

              • icon
                MyNameHere (profile), 16 Sep 2017 @ 6:03pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                I think it comes down to the basic problem that if the service provider can't find a way to operate within the law, then you have to shut the entire service unless they can find a way to do it legally.

                Youtube would have little interest in helping out considering that they themselves have a huge problem with people posting copyright stuff under the "standard Youtube license" which would be a false statement. Youtube cannot permit anything to base their business on those license terms, because YouTube themselves know that many of them are not telling the truth, and YT has little interest in policing it.

                So the ripping service won't be able to get valid data, so they have no way to know if something is copyright or not. Since (by legal definition) almost everything on YouTube is subject to some sort of copyright, it's almost impossible for them to operate legally. In fact, I bet you that the "legal uses" are so exceptional, as to be negligible!

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

                • icon
                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 16 Sep 2017 @ 8:59pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  By your logic, all content-hosting services would need to shut down out of the fear that they may aid in the illicit sharing of copyrighted content. After all, such services are unable to know what content infringes upon a copyright until they are notified of an infringement; they also allow anyone who can access the correct link to obtain a copy of such content. How many such sites would survive—thrive, even—if the law bowed to your logic and ceded control of all media distribution to only those copyright holders who could afford to control your device via DRM?

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

                  • icon
                    MyNameHere (profile), 16 Sep 2017 @ 9:17pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Umm, no. Good try, but your logic fails.

                    Hosting companies are covered by DMCA.

                    You are trying to build a case that doesn't make sense. If you have a website and you take your own pictures and post your own comments, there is no issue. Any website under the same situation has no problems. Use open source material, images, what have you? No problems. Use CC stuff with attribution (or whatever the requirement is of the CC license) no problems.

                    If your website exists solely to publish the works of others and profit them them, too f--ing bad, you are a leech.

                    Hosting companies (ie companies that provide servers / domain hosting) are passive providers of service. They aren't involved in the content of a site, they aren't publishers, they don't process, handle, manipulate, or present the content in any way. That is up to you, oh webmaster!

                    This ripping service is an active service. They actively do something for you and present you a finished product. They have the ability to choose what material they will work with. They are in control, they can decide how to use it. They could easily (as an example) check the page for a copyright notice and decline to copy anything with a notice on it. That might shift the legal burden to YouTube, who would likely ban them rather than deal with the implications.

                    Now, same service, but done instead as software or as a stand alone box you could buy a bring home might be a different legal story. You would be in control and the company would have no control over how you used it.

                    So good try, but the difference between passive and active services is pretty important.

                    Simpler example: Flea marker guy selling DVD burners is legal. Flea market guy banging out pirated copies of movies on the DVD burner and selling them, illegal. Simple, really - it's all a question of who does the work.

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                    • icon
                      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 16 Sep 2017 @ 9:47pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      same service, but done instead as software or as a stand alone box you could buy a bring home might be a different legal story. You would be in control and the company would have no control over how you used it.

                      The ripping sites already have no control over how I use their services. None of them know, with the certainty of God, whether a video I save through that service infringes upon anyone’s copyright in any way. How does that jive with your logic?

                      Flea marker guy selling DVD burners is legal. Flea market guy banging out pirated copies of movies on the DVD burner and selling them, illegal.

                      What if Flea rips a digital version of a DVD you own so you can put it on your computer?

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

                      • icon
                        MyNameHere (profile), 17 Sep 2017 @ 4:18am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        They actually do have control. They could quite simply look at the copyright statement and only allow ripping of those marked with a CC license or similar.

                        "None of them know, with the certainty of God, whether a video I save through that service infringes upon anyone’s copyright in any way. How does that jive with your logic?"

                        It's very difficult, yet incredibly simple when you take a moment to think: it's all copyright to somebody, and the ripping site doesn't have any specific rights to reproduce any of them for you. Do they have a license? Nope. The only ones they have clear rights to reproduce would have a CC0 license. Everything else is questionable and likely illegal.

                        They could choose to only reproduce stuff that clearly is marked CC0. They have a choice.

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

                        • icon
                          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 17 Sep 2017 @ 4:55am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          They actually do have control. They could quite simply look at the copyright statement and only allow ripping of those marked with a CC license or similar.

                          In no way is that feasible in terms of cost. It also ignores how many people will upload videos without any form of copyright notice or even a description, which makes determining whether a video is infringing upon someone’s copyright a matter of supernatural clairvoyance.

                          It's very difficult, yet incredibly simple when you take a moment to think: it's all copyright to somebody

                          Who owns the copyright to the 1968 film Night of the Living Dead? The answer, after these messages…

                          Do they have a license? Nope. The only ones they have clear rights to reproduce would have a CC0 license. Everything else is questionable and likely illegal.

                          …and we’re back. The answer is: Nobody! Night of the Living Dead is a public domain film thanks to a mix-up on the title card. Anyone who has the resources to distribute it can do so without consequence; anyone who has the ability to download a copy can do so without fear. And if you click that link above, you will notice that both the video description and the title on that YouTube page bear no notice of copyright.

                          How could the service possibly know, with the certainty of God, that said video does not infringe upon someone’s copyright based only on your criteria of “it can look for a copyright notice”?

                          They could choose to only reproduce stuff that clearly is marked CC0.

                          How could the service possibly distinguish between copyrighted material posted without a notice of copyright, CC0-licensed material posted without a notice of said license, and public domain material that does not require any notice of license or copyright?

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

                          • icon
                            MyNameHere (profile), 17 Sep 2017 @ 6:52am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            "In no way is that feasible in terms of cost. It also ignores how many people will upload videos without any form of copyright notice or even a description, which makes determining whether a video is infringing upon someone’s copyright a matter of supernatural clairvoyance."

                            I think you failed at reading. Someone posting a video specifically has the copyright on it (unless they pirated someone else's stuff, different problem). Unless they specify CC0, IT'S COPYRIGHT. You don't need to be clairvoyant, you just need to check for CC0 or not in the description. It's really not hard.

                            "…and we’re back. The answer is: Nobody! Night of the Living Dead is a public domain film"

                            Yup, and someone posting it would put "PUBLIC DOMAIN" in the description and no problems. Without it, nobody (including YouTube) knows.

                            Reality here: YouTube is turning a blind eye to copyright and playing the DMCA card. A duplication service reselling (in one form or another) ripped audio is taking a huge legal risk as a result.

                            "How could the service possibly distinguish between copyrighted material posted without a notice of copyright,"

                            no notice, assume it's copyright - that's how copyright works.

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

                            • identicon
                              Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2017 @ 6:57am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              no notice, assume it's copyright - that's how copyright works.

                              "Regulate! Regulate! Who cares if fair use is legal. Regulate! What? No notice? Assume it's copyrighted, duh. Regulate copyright? Fuck that noise boi!"

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

                            • identicon
                              Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2017 @ 7:52am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              There are other CC license where ripping is legal, so why are you restricting it to CC0?

                              Also, unless there is a standard for attaching a copyright license, it is not easy to decide whether your software is looking at the actual copyright, or an attribution to the work from which it was derived.

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

                            • identicon
                              Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2017 @ 9:56am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              If the site worked EXACTLY the way you describe, you would still be here arguing that it's illegal. You'd be saying something about how it's total nonsense to just trust the words "public domain" or "CC0" in the description. You'd be demanding even more advanced copyright filters, and insisting it has to be shut down since it doesn't provide them.

                              Don't try to deny that. You know it's true, and so does everyone else here.

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

                              • identicon
                                Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2017 @ 2:30pm

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                (Notice that MNH will never go on record denying this. Because he knows it's only a matter of time before there's a conflict like this over a service like that and he doesn't want to be called out as a hypocrite when he, inevitably, starts condemning it.)

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                            • icon
                              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 17 Sep 2017 @ 11:00am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              Someone posting a video specifically has the copyright on it (unless they pirated someone else's stuff, different problem). Unless they specify CC0, IT'S COPYRIGHT. You don't need to be clairvoyant, you just need to check for CC0 or not in the description.

                              someone posting it would put "PUBLIC DOMAIN" in the description and no problems

                              no notice, assume it's copyright - that's how copyright works.

                              If I post a copy of Night of the Living Dead on my YouTube channel, I do not magically gain a copyright for it. I also do not need a notice of copyright—or public domain status—to host it on my channel. How, then, is a third-party service supposed to figure out that my hosted copy of the film is in the public domain?

                              And before you say “nobody would host it without a notice of public domain status somewhere”, go back to that YouTube link I posted in my prior comment and show me where in the title/description of that video you see such a notice.

                              And before you say “make a ContentID database of public domain works”, I imagine even YouTube thinks such a project is cost-prohibitive.

                              YouTube is turning a blind eye to copyright and playing the DMCA card.

                              YouTube cannot know for certain whether a specific upload infringes upon someone’s copyright until it is informed of infringement. The best it can do is the ContentID system—which makes no distinction between content that infringes copyright and content that falls under Fair Use.

                              A duplication service reselling (in one form or another) ripped audio is taking a huge legal risk as a result.

                              They face no more of a risk than YouTube, since the service similarly cannot know who is ripping a video, for what purpose they are ripping the video, or whether that person has a legal right to rip the video. It also cannot know whether the rip is being done to aid the creation of legal derivative content—think of someone ripping an ad for a political campaign so that someone can make a satirical YouTube Poop out of the ad.

                              How can a ripping service know whether a specific use of the service is both illicit and not in the service of legally-protected speech?

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

                              • icon
                                MyNameHere (profile), 17 Sep 2017 @ 1:38pm

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                "If I post a copy of Night of the Living Dead on my YouTube channel, I do not magically gain a copyright for it."

                                You are correct, and I didn't imply that you magically get copyright over posting what ISN'T yours (ie, a music video from a band, as an example, a common post on YouTube). However, in posting it, you would put "PUBLIC DOMAIN" on it (because you happen to know that) and everyone would be fine.

                                People posting and not properly attributing / marking the licensing is bad, many of the copies of that particular movie are marked with "standard youtube license" rather than properly marked as public domain. Your link has no license info. An automated tool would have no choice but to deny access. For what it's worth, most people aren't audio ripping two hour movies.

                                "They face no more of a risk than YouTube, since the service similarly cannot know who is ripping a video, for what purpose they are ripping the video, or whether that person has a legal right to rip the video."

                                A flea market pirate doesn't know either - which is generally why it's illegal. The ripping site isn't covered by DMCA as they are neither the poster nor the host, nor are the covered by section 230 (there is nothing "posted" on their site). They are just copying stuff without consideration of ownership.

                                "How can a ripping service know whether a specific use of the service is both illicit and not in the service of legally-protected speech?"

                                They can't. Nor is it their right to assert them. Again, just like a flea market guy banging out copies of movies and music CDs, the ripper willingly accepts to copy anything without question. That lack of question creates liability. The service doesn't get to assert free speech rights as their sole purpose is to rip music without a license. They are not personally using the material in a manner that would create legally protected speech for themselves. They have no free speech rights to assert here.

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

                                • identicon
                                  Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2017 @ 2:14pm

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                  Boy, you really are tying yourself into knots to try to make your position sound anything other than stupid.

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

                                • icon
                                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 17 Sep 2017 @ 2:47pm

                                  Oi.

                                  in posting it, you would put "PUBLIC DOMAIN" on it (because you happen to know that) and everyone would be fine

                                  Copyright law does not require a notice of public domain status.

                                  Your link has no license info. An automated tool would have no choice but to deny access.

                                  Thus we run into the problem with automated copyright detection tools: They lack the ability to discern context.

                                  They are just copying stuff without consideration of ownership.

                                  Technically, most filehosting sites do the same thing. How many of them do you want destroyed in the name of copyright?

                                  They can't.

                                  Thank you for proving my point.

                                  Again, just like a flea market guy banging out copies of movies and music CDs, the ripper willingly accepts to copy anything without question. That lack of question creates liability.

                                  And like Flea, a ripper site’s admins cannot know prior to the infringement that they will be party to infringement. And even if they are party to infringement, they cannot know whether that act is done in furtherance of creating legally-protected content. They should have no more or no less legal liability than YouTube.

                                  The service doesn't get to assert free speech rights as their sole purpose is to rip music without a license.

                                  How could the service know that the person ripping said music does not have a license to do so?

                                  They are not personally using the material in a manner that would create legally protected speech for themselves.

                                  The service is a tool—nothing more, nothing less. For what reason should that tool be criminalized, and how does that reason take into account any and all possible legal uses of that tool?

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

                                  • identicon
                                    Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2017 @ 5:41pm

                                    Re: Oi.

                                    "Technically, most filehosting sites do the same thing. How many of them do you want destroyed in the name of copyright?"

                                    All of them, of course. That's why he masturbates to the memory of Megaupload and gloats about how much of an asshole Kim Dotcom is, because obviously how likable an individual is has bearing on whether a case or evidence against him holds any water.

                                    The funny thing is, not only was Megaupload DMCA compliant, they actively provided tools for rightsholders to delete and retain files on the system. And their decision from that privilege was to throw a SWAT team to New Zealand complete with illegal spying from the government.

                                    And they wonder why sites don't want to cooperate with them...

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

                                  • icon
                                    MyNameHere (profile), 18 Sep 2017 @ 1:48am

                                    Re: Oi.

                                    "Copyright law does not require a notice of public domain status."

                                    Correct. But without the notice on Youtube, how would anyone really know?

                                    "Thus we run into the problem with automated copyright detection tools: They lack the ability to discern context."

                                    You continue to fish in the wrong river. A service provider doesn't have the type of rights that an individual has. The service generally doesn't have any other context except "copy content of you tube video and give to customer".

                                    So the rest of your points are meaningless, because you are forgetting that the customer has no more control over the process than someone ordering a meal at McDonalds. You order, and you get your product - you don't make it, someone else does. That someone else has responsibilities.

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

                                    • icon
                                      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 18 Sep 2017 @ 4:43am

                                      Re: Re: Oi.

                                      But without the notice on Youtube, how would anyone really know?

                                      Which is my exact point: An automated tool cannot distinguish between copyrighted, CC0-licensed, and public domain material—regardless of any kind of notice placed outside of the material. (It also cannot discern whether someone is lying about any such notice.) The tool lacks the ability to discern context—and if you have ever learned anything in your time commenting here, it should have been this: Whether or not something infringes upon copyright often depends on context.

                                      A service provider doesn't have the type of rights that an individual has. The service generally doesn't have any other context except "copy content of you tube video and give to customer".

                                      For all that the admins and the algorithms know, a user could be grabbing video—or audio—to use in a Fair Use-protected project. How could the service ever know whether a user is downloading a video for an illicit purpose? For that matter, how could the service ever know whether a user has an actual legal right to download a video?

                                      the customer has no more control over the process than someone ordering a meal at McDonalds. You order, and you get your product - you don't make it, someone else does. That someone else has responsibilities.

                                      What responsibilities does an automated tool have when it cannot know whether a user of the service is committing an illicit act for the sake of it, committing an illicit act in furtherance of a legal one, or committing a legal act? What responsibilities do the tool’s owners have when they cannot program their tool to know—with the absolute certainty of God—the difference between copyrighted, CC0-licensed, and public domain material?

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

                                      • identicon
                                        Anonymous Coward, 18 Sep 2017 @ 4:45am

                                        Re: Re: Re: Oi.

                                        Humorously, if this was a service provider like AT&T or the MPAA who he supports, MyNameHere would instantly argue that the individual doesn't have the type of rights the service provider has...

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

                                    • identicon
                                      Anonymous Coward, 18 Sep 2017 @ 8:59am

                                      Re: Re: Oi.

                                      Notice how he continues to ignore all the comments that expose his hypocrisy and trolling. He only responds when there are ways he can use weasel words and circular arguments to get out of something - not when somebody has made him look an obvious fool and there's nothing he can say without digging himself in deeper.

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

                              • identicon
                                Thad, 18 Sep 2017 @ 10:18am

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                It gets even hairier when you start getting into copyrighted derivatives of public-domain or CC0 works. If I take a public-domain movie and add my own commentary, I can copyright the resulting combined work.

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

                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2017 @ 1:13am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      They have the ability to choose what material they will work with.

                      On what basis do they choose what to allow and what to block? Are you claiming that by some magic they can distinguish between infringing and non infringing uses?

                      By the way, they should just recognize infringing content is an invocation of the deepest form of magic.

                      Also, What makes them an active service, as all they are doing is providing interface that people can use, and they take no active role in selecting what to rip.

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

                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2017 @ 9:54am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Now, same service, but done instead as software or as a stand alone box you could buy a bring home might be a different legal story. You would be in control and the company would have no control over how you used it.

                      So are you admitting that your original comment, in which you made a comparison to guns - and claimed anyone defending rippers is on the "same side" as gun nuts - was complete nonsense and you knew it?

                      After all, now you are harping extensively on this distinction between equipment and a service. But the very first thing you did on this thread was compare it explicitly (and nonsensically) to equipment, and say it was the exact same situation.

                      You sure put your foot in it this time, MNH

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

                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2017 @ 2:32pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        Crickets. I bet he wishes he never said that nonsense about guns. But the comment is there for all to see! It's not even hidden behind the dreaded "censorship" wall - maybe he's wishing Techdirt did *more* to block comments now.

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2017 @ 9:52am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  YT has little interest in policing it

                  Umm, YouTube has probably the biggest and most robust system for policing copyright of any web platform. It sits on a layer above the DMCA (legal takedown notices are not required) and provides rightsholders with a huge suite of tools for finding and taking down or claiming monetization on videos. It provides them with advanced audio/video recognition algorithms to search for videos that use their copyrighted material.

                  In other words, your "little interest" statement is utter bullshit.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2017 @ 8:53am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Ah yes, and if this was about a piece of equipment being sold for the purposes of ripping YouTube audio, you'd be vigorously defending it right?

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2017 @ 10:28am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Oh, okay, so we just put the service the website provides into a box, and then everything is magically okay in your view.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 24 Sep 2017 @ 4:58pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              So lets ban cooks, because their services (cooking food) could be used to poison someone.

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

          • icon
            orbitalinsertion (profile), 16 Sep 2017 @ 7:05pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            It's like the patent argument. Because the item in question is a word machine. "On a computer" or "On the internet" seems to be a reasonable distinguishing argument for some.

            The other distinguishing thing is... the distance at which the "copying" is done from the user. Although i believe this has been covered by rulings regarding cable companies with "remote DVR" features. It matters where the copying is done because we say so. (I.e., we will make any damn argument we can over trivial differences just because we can. This subtle nuance without a difference has not been ruled upon in this particular use case yet.)

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2017 @ 8:56am

          Re: Re: Re:

          lol...

          Nobody is buying your attempt to claim you knew all about the ruling Mike quoted and had it on your mind. We know you didn't.

          Note that in your initial comment, the (ludicrous) comparison you made was to guns. You know - equipment, not a service.

          Just admit it: you were completely unaware of the actual law on this issue, and now you're shifting the goal posts to try to save face.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2017 @ 9:07am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Or, put it this way:

            You're saying you think that YouTube Rippers and Guns are a totally valid, meaningful comparison - but YouTube Rippers and VCRs aren't?

            Maybe you're that stupid. Or maybe your initial comment was just transparent trolling, and you were so caught up in the glee of being an ass that you didn't realize you were shoving your foot in your mouth.

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

        • icon
          Chris-Mouse (profile), 16 Sep 2017 @ 9:07am

          Re: Re: Re:

          By that logic, most banks are illegal because they offer electronic funds transfers that could be used to purchase illegal drugs.

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

    • identicon
      ryuugami, 15 Sep 2017 @ 5:36pm

      Re:

      Legitimate uses of guns are 1) sports, 2) hunting and 3) self-defense.

      You can only claim that the "not illegal uses" argument is the same if you regularly go to local supermarket to 1) target practice on bread, 2) hunt bread or 3) get attacked by bread.

      Which one is it?

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

      • identicon
        Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 15 Sep 2017 @ 8:09pm

        Re: Legitimate uses of guns are 1) sports, 2) hunting ...

        To me, something can only be a “sport” if your opponent has a “sporting chance”. If you want to claim that killing a wild animal is a “sport”, don’t do it in the cowardly way from a safe distance with a gun, do it up close, with something like a knife. That way, they at least have a chance of killing you, just as you have of killing them.

        But then, given the frequency with which hunters kill themselves instead of their prey, maybe the animals have a sporting chance already...

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

        • identicon
          ryuugami, 16 Sep 2017 @ 1:44am

          Re: Re: Legitimate uses of guns are 1) sports, 2) hunting ...

          Uh... I agree. If you look carefully, I did list sport and hunting as separate activities. It's a distinction between shooting inanimate objects, eg., on a shooting range (sport), and shooting animals (hunting).

          FWIW, I'm a European, and you know how we generally feel about guns...

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 15 Sep 2017 @ 6:02pm

      Re:

      Plenty of things have not illegal uses, but we still outlaw or regulate them.

      Which technologies does the US government outlaw or regulate the manufacture and sale of, at least in regards to technologies that can somehow infringe upon copyrights?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Sep 2017 @ 6:42pm

      Re:

      Plenty of things have not illegal uses, but we still outlaw or regulate them.

      And yet when a cop shoots an unarmed, fleeing person who poses no threat you will paint out a pentagram and sell your soul to make sure he escapes any form of meaningful scrutiny or consequence.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Sep 2017 @ 10:45pm

      Re:

      *For what it's worth... [insert argument so worthless it's almost surreal]"

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

    • identicon
      Rekrul, 16 Sep 2017 @ 4:14am

      Re:

      The "many non-infringing uses" stuff makes me laugh.

      Plenty of things have not illegal uses, but we still outlaw or regulate them. It's the nature of the game.

      Many people get threatened, attacked, injured and even killed with knives. When are they going to be outlawed?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Sep 2017 @ 9:11pm

    Am I the only one still using an aux cord to plug the headphone jack onto the mic jack. Maybe I shouldn't mention that. MS sound recorder will be the next to go.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2017 @ 10:06am

    >Many people get threatened, attacked, injured and even killed with knives.

    Forget knives. Whether knives or guns, people are using their _hands_ to hold them. And it doesn't matter that there are some legal uses of hands. Cut them all off at birth!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2017 @ 1:16pm

    Music "industry" fighting technological evolution since their existance but at the same time using that very same technology to profit from music. Gotta love capitalism.

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

  • identicon
    Jahel, 17 Sep 2017 @ 4:47am

    In essence, every podcast is a streamrip.

    Only difference is for podcast not being stripped of horribly looking and sounding YouTube clip(s).

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Sep 2017 @ 5:57am

    First they came for file hosts, and I did not speak out—
    Because I did not use file hosts.

    Then they came for torrents, and I did not speak out—
    Because I did not use torrents.

    We all know how this ends... they (RIAA\MPAA\ESA\BREIN etc.) will eventually come for us (individuals) as soon as they get laws that make it cost-effective to do so.

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


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