White Noise On YouTube Gets FIVE Separate Copyright Claims From Other White Noise Providers

from the ad-absurdum dept

The implications of YouTube's ContentID system in an era of user-generated content can sometimes be quite muddy. It is widely known that ContentID is open to abuse, and that it is indeed abused on the regular. However, too many stories about that abuse play far in the margins of what the average person could look at and recognize as a very real problem.

This is not one of those stories.

Instead, the story of how one music professor's upload to YouTube of 10 hours of pure white noise was flagged five times for copyright infringement (FIVE TIMES!) operates as though someone somewhere is trying to bring a reductio ad absurdum argument into physicality.

That’s what’s happened to Australia-based music technologist Sebastian Tomczak, who uploaded a completely non-infringing work to YouTube and now faces five separate copyright complaints. One of Tomczak videos was a masterpiece entitled “10 Hours of Low Level White Noise” which features – wait for it – ten hours of low-level white noise.

“The white noise video was part of a number of videos I put online at the time. I was interested in listening to continuous sounds of various types, and how our perception of these kinds of sounds and our attention changes over longer periods – e.g. distracted, focused, sleeping, waking, working etc,” Tomczak says.

I could embed the video, which you can find on YouTube here, but I won't bother because the video is exactly as advertised: ten straight hours of white noise. Tomczak composed this white noise himself, in all of its beautifully non-creative glory, making the copyright claims all the more absurd. Remember, copyright only applies to new creative works. White noise would not qualify. Now, the video is still available despite the copyright claims because the four different entities filing these five complaints against it -- one, incredibly, filed twice for two different "compositions"-- chose to simply monetize Tomczak's video instead of having it taken down.

As seen from the image below, posted by Tomczak to his Twitter account, the five complaints came from four copyright holders, with one feeling the need to file two separate complaints while citing two different works.

As you will see, several of the complaints came from representatives of folks creating white noise compositions as sleep therapy or for other therapeutic effect. This, it should hardly need to be noted, does not somehow make Tomczak's independent composition that is equally devoid of creative output somehow infringing. White noise is white noise for a reason, after all. This isn't even a case of what to do about copyright in the event of independent creation of the same creative works. Judge Learned Hand's famous line on independent creation notes: "[I]f by some magic a man who had never known it were to compose anew Keats's 'Ode on a Grecian Urn,' he would be an 'author,' and if he copyrighted it, others might not copy that poem, though they might of course copy Keats's." But white noise is no "Ode on a Grecian Urn." There simply is no copyright here at all.

Still, the story is immensely useful in demonstrating just how vulnerable to abuse ContentID and copyright claiming systems can be on the internet. The original claim against this video dates back several years, which means that for some time others have been profiting from Tomczak's white noise, with nothing in the way of human intervention on YouTube's end that would take one look at this whole thing and proclaim the claims ridiculous. In this case, this all happened to someone, Tomczak, who seems to largely not care about the claims beyond being mildly amused by them.

Tomczak says that to him, automated copyright claims are largely an annoyance and if he was making enough money from YouTube, the system would be detrimental in the long run. He feels it’s something that YouTube should adjust, to ensure that false claims aren’t filed against uploads like his.

But that lax attitude doesn't change the absurdity of a reality in which ten hours of white noise can be flagged by four different outsiders as infringing, all the while the copyright industries scream that Google and YouTube aren't doing enough to clamp down on copyright infringement.


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 12:13pm

    Also known as...

    AKA perjury. Every single false claim should be prosecuted and the fees should be paid by those claiming to have reviewed the works and found them infringing. There needs to be a cost associated with false claims or else the internet will start claiming everything is infringing and nothing could be done about it. Chaos is the end result of no penalty perjury lies like these.

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    • identicon
      Anonmylous, 5 Jan 2018 @ 12:32pm

      Re: Also known as...

      Its not perjury though. These are not DMCA claims, these are YouTube's automated content ID system "matching" and automatically flagging these videos as copyright infringing and giving another entity the choice of taking any money it makes or taking it offline entirely.

      Pretty sure you signed away your right to sue when you signed up to post videos, or they changed the terms later on you so you can't. It is bullshit, but its the platform's bullshit and there's nothing one can do but remove their videos and walk away really.

      Or, go the nuclear route and sue the entities that have claimed monetization as they are now parties to copyright infringement and possibly other things, since they chose to monetize your video now. But that's gonna be costly, take time, and be really super annoying. On the other hand, since its not likely these parties are actually in Australia, he'll likely get the win by default and can take that to YouTube and try to force them to hand over any monies earned from the video. Which would be hilarious, and justice in my opinion.

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      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 12:38pm

        Re: Re: Also known as...

        Pretty sure you signed away your right to sue when you signed up to post videos

        [i][b][citation needed][/b][/i]

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 12:39pm

          Blargh.

          This is what happens when you don’t update your text expander phrases. 😅

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 1:37pm

          Re: Re: Re: Also known as...

          Well, the Youtube terms are here: https://www.youtube.com/static?template=terms

          I'd search it if I could get that to show up in English. It says "You're viewing YouTube in English (US)" but I seem to be getting every language other than English.

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        • identicon
          Anonmylous, 5 Jan 2018 @ 2:09pm

          Re: Re: Re: Also known as...

          I do have to eat my words, and I am rather surprised to do so. YouTube does not force arbitration clauses on its users!

          Instead they make you agree to come sue them in their HQ's local jurisdiction of Santa Clara County, California.

          Of course, the indemnity clause before that pretty much means you agree not to sue them at all.

          "11. Indemnity To the extent permitted by applicable law, you agree to defend, indemnify and hold harmless YouTube, its parent corporation, officers, directors, employees and agents, from and against any and all claims, damages, obligations, losses, liabilities, costs or debt, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees) arising from: (i) your use of and access to the Service; (ii) your violation of any term of these Terms of Service; (iii) your violation of any third party right, including without limitation any copyright, property, or privacy right; or (iv) any claim that your Content caused damage to a third party. This defense and indemnification obligation will survive these Terms of Service and your use of the Service."

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          • icon
            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 3:36pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Also known as...

            See? You can cite factual information that backs up your argument if you put your mind to it! Let that be a lesson to all the trolls out there.

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 12:13pm

    This is SOLELY a Youtube problem, NOT copyright.

    The flaw and miscreants are right in your title.

    "the four different entities filing these five complaints against it -- one, incredibly, filed twice for two different "compositions"-- chose to simply monetize** Tomczak's video instead of having it taken down."

    YOUTUBE HAS A FLAWED SYSTEM. NOT COPYRIGHT. YOUTUBE. DRIVEN BY GREED. YOUTUBE. NOT COPYRIGHT.**

    Now on to your flaws:

    "exactly as advertised: ten straight hours of white noise" -- Personally verified, or just assumed? You should nail these things down before writing. My own test with advanced feature player found a click or chirp at 7:35:12!

    "on the regular"? Is that like "regularly"? ... Turn of phrase that makes me wonder if you are a "natural" person.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 12:19pm

      Re: This is SOLELY a Youtube problem, NOT copyright.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 12:22pm

      Re: This is SOLELY a Youtube problem, NOT copyright.

      Whoops. Lost your shit cause of the book about Cheeto dick, eh?

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 12:24pm

      Re: This is SOLELY a Youtube problem, NOT copyright.

      YOUTUBE HAS A FLAWED SYSTEM. NOT COPYRIGHT.

      You are half-right. Copyright, at least as outlined in US law, is flawed as holy hell. Term lengths that metaphorically laugh in the face of the word “limited” and a takedown system that forces the takedown of content before the person who posted said content can contest the takedown request are two of the biggest, but by no means the only, flaws in our lovely little copyright system.

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    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 12:26pm

      Re: This is SOLELY a Youtube problem, NOT copyright.

      I get to laughing at Geigner and leave holes that I'm sure you pirates are already leaping into. (Yot.)

      So, to clarify: Youtube is a business that tries to gain money off potentially copyrighted material. Copyright is in the US Constitution and is not going away, therefore Youtube MUST make follow the law. -- Now, trying to get more content means Youtube hands out some money, which brings in greed.

      That's why I YELL up there: YOUTUBE AND GREED, NOT COPYRIGHT!

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      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 12:28pm

        Re: Re: This is SOLELY a Youtube problem, NOT copyright.

        Copyright is in the US Constitution and is not going away, therefore Youtube MUST make follow the law.

        That means they should report false DMCA claims such as the ones mentioned in this article to the proper authorities, correct?

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        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 3:28pm

          Re: Re: Re: This is SOLELY a Youtube problem, NOT copyright.

          Copyright is in the US Constitution and is not going away

          You missed the second deepity in their comment, and one I feel is rather more important.

          Copyright is allowed for in the constitution, not ensured. Congress could decide that copyright wasn't serving it's purpose(namely serving the public) and take it off the books entirely and that would be allowed according to the relevant text in constitution.

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        • icon
          AC720 (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 11:26pm

          Re: Re: Re: This is SOLELY a Youtube problem, NOT copyright.

          The claims mentioned in the article are not DMCA claims.

          They are internal YouTube claims following a process and procedure and penalties that YouTube decided and determined and executed entirely on their own. There's no law behind what they are doing. It's just how YouTube chooses to act.

          And the uploaders consent to this when they post videos. They accept that there may be claims and that YT will reserve the right to act on them without regard to DMCA.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 11:40pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: This is SOLELY a Youtube problem, NOT copyright.

            I love how these comments talk about YouTube's content ID system as though they woke up one day and decided to impliment it, rather than looking at what it really is. A flawed system desperatly implimented because the copyright lobbiests and abusive parties harass, threaten and defame youtube for 'not doing enough' to ensure copyright enforcement just by following the law.

            When youtube followed the law as written for 3rd party hosting of creative content, they were attacked repeatedly for 'not doing enough'. We would not HAVE content ID if youtube were left to opperate within the bounds of the law. However, because the LAW and LEGAL SYSTEM have proven so favorable to even the flimsiest of cases and lawsuits by "intellectual property owners", not creators or innovators but 'owners', Youtube faced intense pressure to go above and beyond the law to satisfy people with more money than common sense and more time than interest in what copyright was initially created to promote.

            So yes, this is a copyright problem, not a Youtube issue. Because if copyright, even as written, even as grotesquely imbalanced, were properly enforced, Youtube would neither have nor need a poorly designed ContentID system.

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    • icon
      Dark Helmet (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 12:43pm

      Re: This is SOLELY a Youtube problem, NOT copyright.

      Well, I'm certainly no omniscient artificial intelligence or Replicant, so, yeah, pretty sure I'm all natural, dawg....

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    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 12:53pm

      Re: This is SOLELY a Youtube problem, NOT copyright.

      No, it isn't solely a YouTube problem.

      YouTube can't effectively review all the videos being uploaded every second any more than FaceBook can review all the thousands of posts made per second. And even if either had the staff to do so, there are large grey areas where there will be little agreement on what constitutes offensive or copyright violating posts.

      The problem is a copyright system that hands them an impossible job - putting THEM on the hook for users' posts. And so an automated system is the only way to go.

      That system is biased heavily in favor of the IP holders, since they're the ones that can sue. Which unfortunately also makes it easy for trolls to abuse.

      If copyright were less biased (offering penalties when the public's rights were violated) then no doubt YouTube's automated system would be less biased and harder to abuse.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 6:30pm

      Re: This is SOLELY a Youtube problem, NOT copyright.

      > YOUTUBE HAS A FLAWED SYSTEM

      Uh, which your precious rightsholders demanded for, dumbass. The fact that rightsholders can order takedowns for even the most ridiculous of circumstances is entirely the intention of the corporations you support.

      > Personally verified, or just assumed?

      There are plenty of cases where not only do rightsholders not verify the stuff they demand a takedown for, they also complain about how hard it is for them to do the legwork. Hell, your fuckbuddy MyNameHere (when he was writing under his "Whatever" pseudonym) insisted that a movie of watching paint dry submitted to the British Censorship Board for verification was obviously a ploy to waste the time of those in charge. Even those whose job is to enforce law and standards can't be bothered to do it properly. It's cute that you think you have some kind of damning point.

      out_of_the_blue just hates it when due process is enforced.

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      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 8 Jan 2018 @ 1:02am

        Re: Re: This is SOLELY a Youtube problem, NOT copyright.

        "Uh, which your precious rightsholders demanded for, dumbass"

        Strange how he deliberately misses that point. If YouTube weren't being sued for frivolous reasons and had to create some kind of filtering system to please them, the situation he's whining about would not exist. But, he can't place blame with the **AAs where it belongs, he has to attack the company he has a pathological aversion to for false reasons instead.

        "There are plenty of cases where not only do rightsholders not verify the stuff they demand a takedown for"

        When Viacom sued YouTube, half the videos they used as evidence for infringement were videos they had either uploaded themselves or had given express permission to be uploaded. That was a situation where all they had to do is check their own internal records, not scan every second of content ever uploaded, and they still failed.

        It's funny how these sycophants demand things of YouTube that their own heroes find impossible.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2018 @ 4:56pm

          Re: Re: Re: This is SOLELY a Youtube problem, NOT copyright.

          It used to be that when this happened I threw back my head and laughed.

          Now when it happens I drag my palm over my face and mutter, "This shit again?..."

          Largely because I know the idiots responsible will be granted every protection and shielded from every consequence, the latter of which we have to pay in their place.

          No, it's not strange when the sycophants "deliberately" miss the point.

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          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 9 Jan 2018 @ 1:14am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: This is SOLELY a Youtube problem, NOT copyright.

            Well, when I said "strange", I may have been slightly sarcastic ;)

            I sometimes post for the benefit of lurkers who may not recognise the ongoing schticks of these people, I know those who are here often will know.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2018 @ 3:08am

      Re: This is SOLELY a Youtube problem, NOT copyright.

      What, No outrage about how these 4 companies are stealing money from this guys work. You really are slipping blue!

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2018 @ 7:17am

        Re: Re: This is SOLELY a Youtube problem, NOT copyright.

        No, more like this is blue's true form - a corporate fellatio artist. Because in his world, independents and fair use don't exist.

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  • identicon
    Anonmylous, 5 Jan 2018 @ 12:24pm

    The mind boggles!

    Ok so, ten hours of white-noise...interrupted by ads? Sounds very relaxing...

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 12:29pm

      Re: The mind boggles!

      That's what adblock is for. I've had adblock so long, I'm occasionally baffled when I try to use youtube on some one else's computer and a video ad starts playing, and I'm like, "wait, this isn't the video I clicked on.... oh, right."

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 12:27pm

    About as dumb as those cases in the past with videos being flagged as matching some song because they had real life birds chirping in the background.

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    • identicon
      David, 5 Jan 2018 @ 2:10pm

      Re:

      Sadly, I'd not be surprised if real life birds nesting in a mall roof would be adapting Shakira melody lines.

      It's similar to hybrid or GMO seeds spreading out from the intended fields to farmers then falling under patent and/or copyright laws, just that it's noise pullution in this case.

      If I cannot avoid getting plastered with that shit, I ought not to be forced to pay for flushing it out of my system again.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2018 @ 7:59am

        Re: Re:

        "I'd not be surprised if real life birds nesting in a mall roof would be adapting Shakira melody lines."

        It would be hilarious for those birds to be hit with a C&D.

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  • icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 12:44pm

    I Agree

    "...copyright industries scream that Google and YouTube aren't doing enough to clamp down on copyright infringement."

    But not in the way the copyright industry would like. Google and YouTube should be doing more to prevent these bogus take downs, even if that means qualified human intervention. They should be tweaking their algorithm as well, all the evidence given by these bogus take downs should give them something to work with. Use the automated system to locate potential issues, then verify it with qualified human intervention.

    Then, change the way that accused up-loaders are treated. They should have the ability to counter claim, or deny or something before being tried and convicted by a claim they may or may not be able to be proven.

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 12:50pm

      Re: I Agree

      They should have the ability to counter claim, or deny or something before being tried and convicted by a claim they may or may not be able to be proven.

      Unfortunately, the DMCA says that when a service receives a (legal) takedown notice, the service must at least disable access to the content or lose Safe Harbor protections, and that is before they ever have to notify the party who uploaded that content. If’n you want to change the way takedown notifications are handled, you need to change the DMCA. Good luck.

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      • icon
        Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 4:32pm

        Re: Re: I Agree

        If the subject matter isn't in fact copyrightable then the DMCA wouldn't apply, would it?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 11:52pm

          Re: Re: Re: I Agree

          The problem is the onus is on the person receiving the claim to prove that in a court of law. There is a presumption of guilt.

          Even for something where even the most copyright-friendly anti-piracy judge would take one glance at it and rule in favor of the person receiving the claim, you need to hire a lawyer, go to court (and likely out of state or even country depending on where you live), face appeals and all the while any actual stake you have in the obviously non-infringing work are ephemeral and meaningless.

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 8 Jan 2018 @ 1:03am

          Re: Re: Re: I Agree

          That's never stopped the RIAA and MPAA from suing anyway, though...

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      • icon
        Jeff Green (profile), 6 Jan 2018 @ 12:46pm

        What would happen if ...

        A concerned group of citizens sent DMCA takedown notices to every major cinema (Movie theatre?) chain on the release of each new Disney movie claiming multiple copyright breaches and demanding DMCA takedowns?

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        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 6 Jan 2018 @ 4:05pm

          All accused infringers are equal, some are just more equal than others

          Absolutely nothing, because unlike the little people if claims are even allowed against major studio content like that, you can bet that those claims would most certainly receive human attention.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 1:29pm

      Re: I Agree

      . Google and YouTube should be doing more to prevent these bogus take downs, even if that means qualified human intervention

      Slight scale problems there, as YouTube has one hour worth of videos uploaded per second, or ten years continuous watching per day. That is more hours of videos in a minute than Hollywood produces in a year.

      Beside which, YouTube/Google do not have the infomation, such as copyright date, or granted licenses to actually determine whether a posted copy of a work is public domain, licensed use, or copyright infringement; never mind dealing with fair use issues. At best an algorithm can say yes, they are the same, or similar works, which is NOT a copyright status determination.

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      • icon
        Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 4:38pm

        Re: Re: I Agree

        Is the number of take down notices so rampant that they could not be reviewed by a human?

        You are correct in that YouTube does not have the information to make a copyright determination, but making the system work wouldn't need that. Take the item down, notify the up loader and seriously listen to what they have to say. That wouldn't necessarily resolve any copyright issues, but it could help ameliorate bogus take down notices.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 11:56pm

          Re: Re: Re: I Agree

          Considering that many companies outsource their copyright claims to 3rd parties paid based on how many takedowns they make or rely on bots with less of an idea of what is infringing than content ID, yes. Yes the number of take down notices is so rampant that they could not be reviewed by a HUNDRED humans.

          The problem here is that it flips 'innocent until proven guilty' on it's head.

          I could probably go on youtube, make a ton of false claims, deny uploaders of monetization and get several channels shut down with absolutely no proof, no risk, no liability and no effort. All the burden and effort lies at the feet of the people I am accusing.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2018 @ 3:23am

          Re: Re: Re: I Agree

          Unless you have at least 100,000 subscribers, it is almost impossible to get the attention of a human at YouTube. Also, most companies making copyright claims appear to have a bot that automatically confirms the claim when they receive a challenge.

          So yes, for most people it is impossible to effectively challenge a any decision made by YouTube. One person problems with YouTube, where the YouTube community he is part of came to his rescue.

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  • icon
    Mark Murphy (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 1:10pm

    Tomczak composed this white noise himself, in all of its beautifully non-creative glory, making the copyright claims all the more absurd.

    What if Tomczak left his white-noise generator lying around, and a macaque monkey picked up the generator and recorded ~10 hours of white noise?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 1:17pm

      Re:

      Then the white noise would own the performance rights to the monkey.

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

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 10:26pm

      Re:

      Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

      Ahem. Sorry. Just the thought of combining these issues may have fried my brain.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 1:21pm

    Wouldn't this call, as Jim Sterling calls it, a Copyright Deadlock? Who does the ad money go to when 4 different entities all claim the same thing?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 1:39pm

    Is it an exact copy or not?

    I doubt Sebastian Tomczak simply copied the content of these four copyright holders, it might be infringement if he had.

    I assume he has his own white noise generation system, what ever it may be, and created his own unique white noise. White noise by definition is random and is therefore not a copy - it is different. But that apparently does not stop people from making stupid ass claims, like the dude who recorded wild bird song only to be accused of infringement.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 1:59pm

      Re:

      Yes, white noise is a random signal; however it's a random signal with the property that its power spectrum has constant density. This distinguishes it from other similar signals such as pink noise.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 4:24pm

        Re: Re:

        I am not a lawyer, but I thought copyright infringement requires that the infringing item be an exact copy, is this not correct?

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        • identicon
          Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 5 Jan 2018 @ 7:21pm

          Re: copyright infringement requires that the infringing item be an exact copy, is this not correct?

          Yes, it is not correct.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 9:17pm

            Re: Re: copyright infringement requires that the infringing item be an exact copy, is this not correct?

            Hmmm, it's right there in the name.
            Perhaps the rules were changed sometime in the past.

            So, if things look the same, they are the same - that's perverse.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 10:11pm

              Re: Re: Re: copyright infringement requires that the infringing item be an exact copy, is this not correct?

              Unless it's Aereo. Then you're qualified enough to be punished, but not enough to pay for the privilege.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 11:59pm

      Re:

      If I turned on a TV without connecting it to anything, and recorded the white noise it output... would the copyright on that white noise belong to the TV manufacturer?

      Copyright law and enforcement has reached a point where I am genuinely curious if this is where the case would go....

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      • icon
        The Wanderer (profile), 6 Jan 2018 @ 4:35am

        Re: Re:

        I'm assuming you mean an analog TV, rather than a digital one? Because I haven't seen a digital (much less a "smart") TV display the classic "snow" image and associated audio static as far as I recall; they tend to fall back to a "signal not available" message, much like computer monitors.

        In that case, I'm reasonably sure that the "snow" and static come from the ambient electromagnetic spectrum around wherever the TV's getting whatever signal it is managing to pick up, and have little to do with the design or construction of the TV itself. So, presumably no, the manufacturer would not have a copyright interest in those resulting patterns.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 8 Jan 2018 @ 1:08am

      Re:

      "White noise by definition is random and is therefore not a copy"

      I would posit that it's certainly possible for truly random noise to accidentally mimic an existing recognisable tune for a few moments. Without actually listening to both the white noise and the things it supposedly infringed, I can't say for sure, but there does exist the possibility that similar sounds were accidentally produced. It's just that it should be obvious in context that no deliberate infringement is taking place.

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

  • identicon
    Hippopotamous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 3:43pm

    No wonder I keep gaining weight

    All this damned popcorn!

    Markov analysis anyone?

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

  • icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 4:27pm

    Silent infringement

    It's a good thing he didn't upload 10 hours of silence. They would have got him for infringing 4'33", like, 132 times.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 5:27pm

    5x White noise?

    So, if these 4 other 'composers' of white noise are automatically linked to the 10 hours of white noise made by the professor, are they not automatically linked to each other too? And thus constantly (and in perpetuity) spamming each other with monetization claims and copyright notices?

    Must be fun!

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

    • icon
      orbitalinsertion (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 10:31pm

      Re: 5x White noise?

      This is my question. Why don't they automatically have to duke it out any time multiple conflicting claims are filed?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2018 @ 5:32am

        Re: Re: 5x White noise?

        None of these claims' time stamps overlap with each other. Something like e.g. a video featuring consecutive music videos seems like it could get multiple legitimate claims from different parties.

        Doesn't make this particular case any less ridiculous, of course.

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


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