YouTube's ContentID System Is Being Repurposed By Blackmailers Due To Its Failings

from the nice-channel-you-have-there dept

By now, we should all be aware that YouTube's ContentID system is not great. What was supposed to be an efficient way for content owners to report when their content is being used without permission instead represents essentially the worst from all worlds. It's bad from a operating technology perspective, since the system manages to flag non-infringing content as infringing content on the regular. And it's bad from a operating human standpoint, since YouTube puts so little emphasis on staffing around copyright claims that the appeals and review processes are a joke. The result of all this is a system that is wide open for both mistaken collateral damage and outright abuse. That abuse typically takes the form of people who either don't understand how copyright works, or who are interested in merely trolling others.

Or, as it apparently turns out, the system is a lovely avenue for pure extortion, according to recent reports.

A Youtuber called ObbyRaidz, who makes videos about Minecraft, has found himself having received two copyright "strikes" on Youtube from a blackmailer calling themselves VengefulFlame, who has demanded "$150 PayPal or $75 btc (Bitcoin)" or equivalent "goods/services" to have the strikes removed. If ObbyRaidz doesn't comply, VengefulFlame could send one more complaint to Youtube and have ObbyRaidz's account -- and all the videos he's created -- permanently deleted.

ObbyRaidz says he's been unable to get any help from Youtube, despite repeated complaints and entreaties.

This isn't some one-off instance, either. It turns out that this sort of extortion is a somewhat regular occurrence. And even that shouldn't really matter, because it's plain as can be that a system that even allows for the possibility of this kind of abuse is a system that is too broken to be allowed to continue. If anything, the demonstration of a flaw of this magnitude should result in the immediate reformation of YouTube's policies. It's permanent deletion policies, at the very least, should be top of the list to reform as its users are currently in danger of losing access to the platform that is choosing not to support them.

And we should keep this in mind given what's going on in the EU, where the government there appears to want to roll out this avenue for abuse to everyone, for everything, all the time.

The extortion attempt is a timely reminder of what's at stake in the fight over the EU's Copyright Directive, which mandates a much broader version of ContentID, but for every service and every type of copyrighted work, from tweets to Minecraft skins. Under the proposal, anyone could add anything to the databases of blocked content, and get anyone else's work censored; while this could be used simply to suppress information that a fraudster doesn't like (say, reports of political corruption or complaints about a scammy business), they could also be used as fuel for extortion.

It's going to be a fucking mess, mostly because the over-sized government is seeking to kneel before the content industries by serving them a half-baked plan to create some copyright database that simply is going to be abused, full stop. The lesson of ContentID is in what shouldn't be done, not what should. And certainly not what should be done on the scale of a continent.

Filed Under: blackmail, contentid, copyright, extortion
Companies: youtube


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  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 6 Feb 2019 @ 1:40pm

    As I said when this came up in the sidebar:

    The extralegal DMCA takedown process has always been a tool of extortion first and foremost. It shouldn't surprise anyone that YouTube's extra-extralegal system gets used the same way.

    This is why we need the Presumption of Innocence and Due Process for user-generated content. Extralegal takedowns need to go the way of the dodo.

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 6 Feb 2019 @ 1:45pm

      Re:

      This is why we need the Presumption of Innocence and Due Process for user-generated content.

      But that would require rewriting some aspect of copyright law in favor of the general public. Nobody would ever support that~.

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

      • icon
        Mason Wheeler (profile), 6 Feb 2019 @ 1:52pm

        Re: Re:

        That's one of the most tragic things I've seen in the last decade. Everybody (within epsilon) would support that, but the politicians are not doing it.

        In 2012, when Barack Obama was running for re-election against Mitt Romney, there was one political issue that the American people broadly demonstrated that they passionately cared about... and neither candidate took notice. And that was SOPA. The American people shouted with such a loud voice that they were sick of copyright abuse trampling on their rights, so powerfully that Congress had no choice but to take notice. Hypothetically speaking, if Romney had jumped on that, pointed out how the Obama administration had been cheerleading this the whole way, and made it a loud, outspoken campaign plank to push back on copyright abuse, he would almost certainly have won. (Whether he would have done anything about it afterwards is an open question, of course. But he would certainly have had the chance to.)

        It was intensely frustrating, watching one of the biggest political events in decades take place and then be ignored by the politicians. I still believe that, if such a person could get nominated highly enough to get the ear of the general public, a candidate running on a pro-Internet platform would win by a landslide. A lot has changed since 2012, but not that.

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

  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 6 Feb 2019 @ 1:44pm

    Also, while DMCA extortion is, sadly, quite legal, what this guy is doing is very much not. If the thug doing the extorting wants payment via PayPal, he needs to provide the victim with an email address for his PayPal account, which will be linked to a backing financial system that makes him personally identifiable. In other words, ObbyRaidz has (or can easily obtain with a bit of playing along) everything he needs to take this to the police and get the guy busted.

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

    • identicon
      Paul Brinker, 6 Feb 2019 @ 2:41pm

      Re:

      The problem here is that every step in the process can be legal. I make claims that 2 of your videos match some aspects of my works. I then state that I am the copyright holder of my works regardless of how close they actually are to your works. Finally, after catching you copying my works several times I make a settlement offer that includes taking back my claims on YouTube.

      The youtuber has 1 whole recourse, they can file a counter claim in court, which costs stupid amounts of money. Or they can pay the settlement offer.

      Only in court does your right to even comparing the works come up. Or your right to fair use, or your ability to prove the other side is acting in bad faith.

      And by the way, there is a growing legion of the other guy who are just figuring out how to make money on this. So expect more shakedowns in the future if your not a gold tier studio on YouTube.

      Enjoy YouTube while you can, it will become a playground for the studios soon enough.

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      • icon
        Mason Wheeler (profile), 6 Feb 2019 @ 3:02pm

        Re: Re:

        What you're describing is a civil suit. But you don't sue someone for extortion; it's a crime, which means you report it to the police and the government (not the victim) charges them with a crime, and may or may not call the victim to testify in court.

        If someone sends me a message that says "I've put two strikes on your account, now you must send $150 to my PayPal account at VengefulFlame@BlackMail.com or I'll give you a third strike and destroy your account and your livelihood," I now have in my possession evidence of a crime (the message) and evidence of the criminal's identity (the PayPal account, which has to be linked to a personally-identifiable bank account in order to be of any use to the criminal). YouTube, if necessary, would be able to provide corroborating evidence in the form of confirmation that this person was responsible for the past copyright strikes.

        This YouTuber--assuming for the purpose of this discussion that he's telling the truth about what happened to him--has everything he needs to sic the law on this guy and have a good chance of seeing him convicted.

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        • identicon
          TRX, 6 Feb 2019 @ 3:33pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          the government (not the victim) charges them with a crime,

          "And the value of the crime against you property is...?"

          Some jurisdictions won't even accept a mugging or burglary report unless you can prove - as in paper documents - damages of over $250. Which means petty criminals operate without restriction, but hey, it takes some load off the courts...

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2019 @ 1:52pm

    Nah, its not repurposed, it used exactly as intended. Just for a change not by those it is intended for...

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2019 @ 1:52pm

    Funny, my Shazam app has no problem correctly IDing any song in 2 seconds.

    Seems like YT might want to try them out. Oh, it costs money? Well maybe when Google finds some spare change in their couch they'll be able to afford something like that.

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

    • identicon
      Rocky, 6 Feb 2019 @ 2:06pm

      Re:

      Can the Shazam app tell you if the song is legally used or not?

      I thought not, so your post has no bearing on this article.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2019 @ 2:10pm

      Re:

      How is ContentID being abused here?

      I see the Section 230 notice system being abused, but ContentID is not necessarily involved. In fact, a notice can be sent even if the creator never digitized the content and therefore can't even have a ContentID (or, of course, Shazam!) In this case, I'd infer that the extortioner didn't even create content in the first place--just filed a false notice. Since there are no legal repercussions for this kind of extortion, and no legal due process, the innocent accused has no recourse.

      And, since there is no risk in mass-filing of false notices, by far the most notices sent are going to be false, and most accused are going to be innocent.

      Let's take down the cruise liner and murder all the passengers, shouting "there MIGHT be a pirate aboard somewhere! Make sure he's dead before we go on to perpetrate another blow stricken for shipbuilders everywhere!"

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    • icon
      CrushU (profile), 6 Feb 2019 @ 2:10pm

      Re:

      Oh hey, good job, you can identify the song.

      Too bad that's not the problem.

      Can you identify unlicensed instances of a song? And what about when the licensing agreement expires or changes? (Amusingly, an upload filter would do literal nothing in this case, as the song/copyrighted material is already uploaded, its legal status has just changed. There's no feasible way to re-scan every bit of content, so automatically handling this case just doesn't look possible.)

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 7 Feb 2019 @ 1:46am

      Re:

      "Funny, my Shazam app has no problem correctly IDing any song in 2 seconds."

      I bet it doesn't. Probably just 90% of mainstream label music, but I've stumped it many a time. Plus, what ContentID is trying to do is massively more complicated, and its flaws completely unrelated to its ability to recognise music.

      "Oh, it costs money? "

      Do you actually think that creating ContentID was free? You might need to rethink your fundamental positions here.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2019 @ 1:53pm

    Section 230 has enabled "reputation blackmail," but no one seems to care much either:

    https://marketingland.com/increase-extortion-fueled-reputation-attacks-points-need-legal-cha nge-228898

    Interesting inconsistency.

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 6 Feb 2019 @ 2:07pm

      Re:

      A teal-deer summary: “These acts are bad, therefore Section 230 is bad, so someone needs to do something about it, but we have no real ideas on what we think should be done other than a vague notion that 230 needs to be rewritten.”

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2019 @ 2:11pm

        Re: Re:

        You mean like this?

        A teal-deer summary: “These acts are bad, therefore [ContentID] is bad, so someone needs to do something about it, but we have no real ideas on what we think should be done other than a vague notion that [ContentID] needs to be [eliminated].”

        hypocrisy

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2019 @ 2:17pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Hey Jhon show us on the doll where Section 230 touched you.

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

          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2019 @ 3:20pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Ah yes, the "it must be personal" argument.l

            It's not "who hurt you?"

            It's "who died while TRYING to hurt you?"

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2019 @ 3:46pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Or just mocking your irrational crusade against Section 230. Because bro if it’s not personal, you sure make it sound like it is.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2019 @ 6:25pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              You insist every day that Section 230 hurts you and lawsuits are in progress. The only citation you've provided was that Grindr guy.

              You only have yourself to blame if people end up making unfavorable inferences from the lack of information you refuse to fill.

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 6 Feb 2019 @ 2:22pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          The article you linked to offered no direct link between the acts described and Section 230; while it is possible that the acts in question would not have occured (as they did) without 230 in place, that possibility is slim, nor does it account for the possibility of people working around 230 by building their own websites and posting revenge porn, fake reviews, etc. In contrast, the Techdirt article clearly links the existence and operation of ContentID to a despicable act of extortion. The possibility that the extortion could have happened without ContentID is, at best, slim.

          The article you linked to offered no tangible ideas on how to “fix” 230. The Techdirt article also offers no ideas on how to “fix” ContentID, but it also does not say it will offer any such ideas.

          The article you linked to is a five-dollar dumbass using a lot of three-dollar words to present a nickel’s worth of meaningful content. Next time you want to pull this crap, maybe link to something with more depth than a mud puddle.

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

          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2019 @ 3:18pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Are you saying that without Section 230, and with distributor liability, that intermediaries such as search engine would continue to host defamatory content?

            It would appear that is what you are arguing.

            Maybe someone who is judgment-proof could make a guinea pig out of someone who posts here and start plastering the internet with convincing defamation about them and their business, so they can practice what they preach. The target wouldn't even object at all, since having a pile of lies about them in Google just isn't a problem, right? (I'm not enhdorsing that).

            There are individuals who have been destroyed by Section 230. How nice of you to dismiss their harm. Other countries do not recognize this immunity btw.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2019 @ 3:48pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Bring it on you fat old impotent fuckwit.

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

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 6 Feb 2019 @ 3:58pm

              Are you saying

              Do I seriously have to break it out again? Fine, let’s run the lesson one more time…

              otherwording (or in-other-wordsing) — noun — the practice of summarizing a point of argument in a way that intentionally distorts the point into saying something it does not and attributes the false interpretation to the person who raised the original point; a blatant attempt to make winning an argument easier for someone who is out of their depth in said argument

              Example: You can typically find the phrases “in other words” or “so you’re saying” at the beginning of an instance of otherwording.

              See also: strawman; your post

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 7 Feb 2019 @ 11:59am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Ideas to improve youtube copyright system and content ID

            • Remove the whole alleged rightsholder gets last say in appeals thing.

            • Require proof of prior usage (by the alleged rightsholder) of whatever is being claimed or put into content ID

            • If a claim is found to be false, add a 'strike' of sorts to whomever made the claim... after a certain number of false claims that entity is temporarily unable to use content ID and manual claims will be looked at more closely for this time period.

            • Allow youtubers above a certain sub count to add a 'tag' to their videos should it be for purposes that would weigh in favor of fair use. (i.e. youtubers that are focused on reviewing things would get a tag on their reviews). These tags can give the youtuber more weight when taking a claim into consideration.

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

            • identicon
              TFG, 7 Feb 2019 @ 2:56pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              If a claim is found to be false, add a 'strike' of sorts to whomever made the claim... after a certain number of false claims that entity is temporarily unable to use content ID and manual claims will be looked at more closely for this time period.

              Repeat offenders should be denied the use of the system entirely after a certain point.

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

    • icon
      CrushU (profile), 6 Feb 2019 @ 2:08pm

      Re:

      Wow, that looks a lot like a bunch of people posting defamatory content who should be sued.

      As in, not the platforms.

      How does Section 230 factor into this?

      Section 230 of the CDA was done to save companies money, pure and simple.

      Oh good, I can stop reading the article. Properly aim your lawsuits.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2019 @ 2:10pm

        Re: Re:

        Well aside from the fact that the blackmailers can't easily be found, if at all, thus making your solution impossible, one could say the same about ContentID not being the problem, and that those who are blackmailing the YouTubers should be sued.

        hypocrisy

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

        • icon
          CrushU (profile), 6 Feb 2019 @ 2:17pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          one could say the same about ContentID not being the problem, and that those who are blackmailing the YouTubers should be sued.

          Almost correct. The difference is that ContentID immediately causes legitimate content to be taken down, because there's no due process in place. But you're right in that the people who are blackmailing should be sued, so good job realizing that it's the people performing the action who should be responsible, not the platform.

          Because ContentID bypasses due process, that's why it's a problem. Especially when there's no reparations to be made when ContentID gets it wrong and deletes an account. (Or is abused to cause an account to get deleted.)

          Well aside from the fact that the blackmailers can't easily be found, if at all, thus making your solution impossible,

          Well, gosh, I guess we'll just have to let everyone who commits a crime and can't easily be found go free then. Your logic is foolproof, and will definitely hold up in court, especially in criminal cases.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2019 @ 3:11pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Your post fails logically.

            I did NOT say the bad actors COULD be sued, so whether or not they should be is irrelevant.

            Copyright = blame the platform Defamation = blame the user

            The inconsistency is glaring to anyone lacking bias or an agenda. The reactions to this and attempts to shove words into my mouth that I did not speak says I have struck a nerve.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2019 @ 6:32pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              You don't blame the platform for copyright, either. Unless you have substantial proof that the platform inherently encouraged user behavior. Which you also knew, but proving intent is such a bitch of a hurdle for you copyright-types to overcome you never bother.

              Day in, day out, you keep screaming "DEFAMATION!" without a shred of proof as to who you are, then crow about how the courts are going to bend over backward for the sake of a person who refuses to name himself.

              It's hard to have bias or agenda against someone who doesn't name himself. On the other hand, a nest of hornets is eventually going to wake up because some pointless fucknugget keeps kicking it.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2019 @ 2:20pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Well, except that ContentID isn't a law, and that no one is saying YouTube should be sued in this instance, and that you don't know what hypocrisy is, and that you think that because pursuing justice is hard that you can just skip that part.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2019 @ 3:12pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Copyright = Blame the platform Defamation = blame the user

            Totally inconsistent.

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

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 6 Feb 2019 @ 4:04pm

              Copyright = Blame the platform

              I directly quoted dialogue A Man for All Seasons on Techdirt the other day. Should Techdirt be “blamed” for my (most likely protected by Fair Use) willful act of copyright infringement because it did not have access to a gigantic database of movie scripts?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2019 @ 2:42pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Well aside from the fact that the blackmailers can't easily be found, if at all, thus making your solution impossible

          Sorry but that's not how the law works. Just because you can't find the criminal that robbed your house, doesn't entitle you to sue the company that made the ski mask he wore, or the tool company that made the sledgehammer and crowbar he used to force entry into your house. In this case, companies are the clothing and tool manufacturing companies, and their websites are the tools.

          The difference with ContentID is it's a broken tool that makes it easy to harm other people. It would be like construction companies installing a button on the houses and buildings they build that when pressed 3 times forces whoever lives there to be evicted, regardless of what the tenants actually did or did not do. So any punk kids can run up and down the street pushing the buttons two times then demanding the tenants pay them or they will push it a third time and evict them.

          Yes, the punk kids need to be gone after as well but it's a dumb and stupid thing to put that kind of system in place that just auto forces people out of their homes. Or in this case, deletes all their hard work and, potentially, primary and secondary sources of income. There are better ways to do it and Youtube should get on that.

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

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            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2019 @ 3:15pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The ski mask analogy is not rooted in law the way DISTRIBUTOR liability is.

            Section 230 makes reputation blackmail possible. It exists to immunize search engines from what would be liability under over a century of precedent. No other country has an equivalent law for a reason. You're willing to dismiss the harm to individuals that Section 230 causes. I bet if YOU were Google-bombed your view would change. Same for anyone on here. (I'm not endorsing anyone doing that).

            That you don't like ContentID or DMCA and do like section 230 is clouding your logic.

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

            • identicon
              Rocky, 6 Feb 2019 @ 3:43pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Section 230 makes reputation blackmail possible. It exists to immunize search engines from what would be liability under over a century of precedent

              So, to iterate your stance on law - copyright should be expanded even in the face of prior precedent but the new (in comparison) section 230 should be rolled back because of a century of precedent.

              Consistency isn't your strong suit it seems, but I do happen to agree with you that clear cases of defamation should be removed if a court orders it.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 7 Feb 2019 @ 9:49am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              The ski mask analogy is not rooted in law the way DISTRIBUTOR liability is.

              False.

              The ski mask maker sells masks to Walmart (distributor) which then sells them to criminals. No one goes and sues Walmart for selling a criminal a ski mask. Walmart didn't commit the crime, they weren't even involved. There is literally no difference. There are only specific circumstances where a distributor can be held liable for someone else's product they sell. So, are you lying or just that dumb?

              Section 230 makes reputation blackmail possible

              Because it's impossible to do reputation blackmail without 230. Uh huh, yeah, right.

              It exists to immunize search engines

              When 230 was put in place, search engines had only been around maybe 3 years. But let's say you're correct, so what? That's a good thing. Search engines don't host any content, they just link to it. If search engines were liable for every bit of content they crawl, there would be no search engines.

              from what would be liability under over a century of precedent

              [Citation needed] Seriously.

              No other country has an equivalent law for a reason.

              No other country has such a strong Bill of Rights to protect the individual freedoms of its citizenry that America does. Does that automatically make it wrong and the rest of the world right?

              You're willing to dismiss the harm to individuals that Section 230 causes.

              And you are willing to dismiss the fact that without 230 we wouldn't have the open and free internet we have today because nobody would allow anyone else to post anything to their site for fear they would get sued for it.

              I bet if YOU were Google-bombed your view would change.

              You would lose that bet. Reason being that I understand that it isn't Google's fault someone else was being a jerk. I would go after the actual person responsible via the courts and obtain a court order to have the false information removed, because generally websites tend to honor those requests. Also recognizing that it's not a crime for false information to exist online, so it may not be successful.

              Same for anyone on here.

              You sure are sure of what other people would or wouldn't do. Based on past comment history, I'm going out on a limb and say you would be wrong in that assumption.

              That you don't like ContentID or DMCA and do like section 230 is clouding your logic.

              Ah and the truth comes out. You really are just a shill trying to force everybody to believe that they have to like the things you say they should like.

              Stating that liking or disliking something automatically clouds someone's logic is not exactly a strong argument. Honestly it's not even an argument at all. What I do or do not like has no bearing on the fact that A) Section 230 is necessary for the internet to function, B) ContentID historically sees more abuse and false flagging than it does actual correct flagging, and C) DMCA, while it does have some good stuff, also has some broken things that result in it being abused, such as the thousands or millions of illegitimate takedown requests submitted.

              Come back when you can actually string together an argument based on reality and facts.

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 7 Feb 2019 @ 1:48am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Well aside from the fact that the blackmailers can't easily be found,"

          That's not an excuse to sue the nearest innocent bystander.

          "those who are blackmailing the YouTubers should be sued"

          Yes, they should. Not YouTube, the ones committing the actual crime. Glad you worked that out.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2019 @ 3:29pm

      Re:

      Section 230 also prevents scammers from erasing reviews that reveal their scam.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2019 @ 1:54pm

    "This issue is one of the darkest aspects of the internet, and ironically, it has been facilitated by a portion of the so-called Communications Decency Act (CDA Section 230). It’s time to modify the law to reduce these threats of extortion based on reputation attacks.."

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

  • identicon
    spikerman87, 6 Feb 2019 @ 2:16pm

    I found this video to be mostly accurate about the state of youtube copyright in 2019: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BL829Uf2lzI

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    • identicon
      Valkor, 6 Feb 2019 @ 2:34pm

      Re:

      Last time I followed a vaguely described Youtube link like that, I got rickrolled.

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

      • identicon
        spikerman87, 6 Feb 2019 @ 3:58pm

        Re: Re:

        Ok, the video is called "We have destroyed copyright law" and it goes into details about content ID and how violations do not follow the "law" but the policies of the platform and how we've moved beyond the law.

        He does a better job explaining it than I do.

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

        • identicon
          Valkor, 7 Feb 2019 @ 9:55am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Thanks!! The craziest thing is that copyright is intended to encourage creators, but this implementation of Content ID has so much potential to do the reverse.

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

      • identicon
        Rekrul, 7 Feb 2019 @ 8:18am

        Re: Re:

        Last time I followed a vaguely described Youtube link like that, I got rickrolled.

        It's not as if being sent to the wrong YouTube video is going to hurt you or damage your computer. It's a minor embarrassment that you got tricked, which nobody will ever know about if you don't announce it publicly.

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

      • icon
        Bergman (profile), 10 Feb 2019 @ 7:37pm

        Re: Re:

        Well then, follow this link and I promise that you WILL be rickrolled. But it's worth it for who is doing the rolling.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KANI2dpXLw

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2019 @ 2:31pm

    WE had years of evidence that content id is flawed, anyone can claim ownership of a video, most youtubers dont have the resources to stop ridiculous fradulent claims on their content. Videos have been claimed by corporations because they feature
    backround noise like rain or some classical music that is 100,s of years old ,in the public domain. Multiply this by 100 thousand if every eu website has to have a filter or be sued over any image ,piece of music , or video clip . Anyone can register ownership of content under the EU copyright directive. The only reason youtube exists is that google has the resources
    and lawyers to protect itself from the old legacy companys like viacom.

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

  • identicon
    TFG, 6 Feb 2019 @ 3:04pm

    Not Actually Blackmail

    I have only one issue with the article - what's being done isn't blackmail.

    Blackmail is defined as: "the action, treated as a criminal offense, of demanding payment or another benefit from someone in return for not revealing compromising or damaging information about them."

    ObbyRaidz isn't under threat of damaging information being released, but rather all his work is/was being held at metaphorical gunpoint, which is more ransom. Calling it blackmail implies the victim is guilty of something.

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

    • icon
      Mason Wheeler (profile), 6 Feb 2019 @ 3:09pm

      Re: Not Actually Blackmail

      This is technically correct. It's not blackmail, but it most definitely is extortion, which is a crime. Blackmail is one specific type of extortion, and it's common enough of an example that many people use the two terms interchangeably.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2019 @ 3:14pm

      Re: Not Actually Blackmail

      Not ransom either. It's regular ol' extortion, which the article uses to describe this action. I guess blackmail and ransom are both a kind of extortion, but that's a squares/rectangles category distinction.

      Blackmail shouldn't be in the headline, even if BoingBoing misuses the word too.

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

    • identicon
      Rocky, 6 Feb 2019 @ 3:16pm

      Re: Not Actually Blackmail

      Blackmail is defined as: "the action, treated as a criminal offense, of demanding payment or another benefit from someone in return for not revealing compromising or damaging information about them."

      Yeah, that's one definition that comes up if you happen to search internet for the term. I like Merriam-Webster bettwr definition though:

      1 : a tribute anciently exacted on the Scottish border by plundering chiefs in exchange for immunity from pillage
      2a : extortion or coercion by threats especially of public exposure or criminal prosecution
      2b : the payment that is extorted

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2019 @ 3:21pm

    Live by 230....

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2019 @ 3:22pm

    Despite all these flaws, and so many people against all these anti-piracy measures, they just keep proliferating.

    It would appear that this site's position is not the one which is prevailing. I'm sure that does not please them.

    So sorry.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2019 @ 3:51pm

      Re:

      You never fail to project like a champ bro.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2019 @ 6:40pm

      Re:

      Nobody expects the antipiracy measures to stop. What this site states is that those measures are, by and large, completely ineffective at what they set out to do and cause so much collateral damage it makes military campaigns look like tea parties in comparison.

      The latter is what most rational people rail against, which is why the RIAA eventually (and rightfully) gave up suing children and grandparents. And dead people. Your anger at the general populace's refusal to fund your retirement is disappointing, though not surprising.

      The fact that you continue to fund such initiatives, despite claiming a lack of money to type robots.txt into your files, is also telling about how much money you claim to not have.

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

  • icon
    Jak Crow (profile), 6 Feb 2019 @ 3:50pm

    Unfortunately....

    ....while this is showing how broken the youtube copyright claim system is, this is happening to a unapologetic racist and scam artist.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2019 @ 4:49pm

    I was once threatened by legal action by a person who insisted on [i]not[/i] using the Content ID mechanism. Her name was Wendy Carlos, the composer behind the Clockwork Orange soundtrack. Carlos sued many, many people using her copyright as a weapon; she even sued Warner Brothers and was able to wrestle publishing rights back to her, perhaps for this very purpose.

    The Clockwork Orange soundtrack consists mostly of classical music (that is, works in the public domain) re-arranged and done on a synthesizer. There's just enough of a creative difference to convince a judge it's not a faithful reproduction of some centuries-old composition.

    My particular "infringement" was my portraying a Alex-looking character (complete with top hat, wicked grin and false eyelash) in a parody of the Clockwork Orange, using the title music, a interpolation of Purcell's "Funeral for Queen Mary", in full. The work was not registered with Content ID. It's my belief the only reason why the video was taken down was that I attributed the artist, Wendy Carlos (again, it's Purcell's original composition, but he's far long dead to get any credit), with a link to purchase that exact song from the Clockwork Orange soundtrack on Amazon.

    So went the process of DMCA take down and counter notice. I truthfully rendered my full name, address and telephone number DMCA agent. What followed after was daily phone calls from Serendip, LLC, a law firm assigned to handle copyright claims by Wendy Carlos. Fourteen business days came and went, and my video was not restored by YouTube as is statutorily required by the DMCA within 10 to 14 business days.

    After e-mailing YouTube requesting an update, I was forwarded correspondence by YouTube that the reason why the video was not restored. I eventually decided to delete the video. Later, I found Serendip's counsel, e-mailing YouTube and forwarding to me via "rr.com" email account (see how professional they are? :d), that they were in the process of lawsuit, but decided not to when I deleted my YouTube video. I only received both emails after I deleted my video, which was quite some days after the 14 business days elapsed. Apart from not restoring my video (because I had deleted it), YouTube then notified me that the counter-notification process was complete and removed my copyright strike. I'm submitting as an Anonymous Coward, but you will not discover my name in PACER databases tied to Serendip or Wendy Carlos, because it doesn't exist. They never filed any action, merely claiming to so that my video would stay down from YouTube.

    It's important to note fair use is but an affirmative defense to use in court, but mechanisms like the DMCA counter-notice provision serve as a stopple from people arbitrarily taking down content for reasons extending far beyond copyright, fair use be damned. It's this frustration that one could point out in fair comment that fellas like these sue. They can't stand the prospect of a work being used without extracting some sort of payout, arguably far more than what Content ID would pay per view.

    Thankfully, from last I've checked, most if not all of Serendip's lawsuits against remixers were copy-pasted and vague enough to be dismissed from the courts upon further scrutiny. I thank TechDirt, and particularly the author of this very article, for dutifully reporting her lawsuit against remixer-of-politicans, Hugh Atkin. It was pretty much doomed from the start. Many publications forgot to report the ending, a voluntarily dismissal in February 2017 by Serendip, without prejudice. The ending is bittersweet particularly because Atkin, a lawyer by trade, needed to retain American counsel because of his domicile in Australia. But that's the breaks in cases like these, because YouTube is an American company governed by American law.

    The statue of limitations expired in my case, so I can proudly say "Fuck You, Wendy" without her magically changing her mind and filing a lawsuit for my deleted video. But I like to think one day I can say this, very peacefully and politely, in person.

    By the way Wendy, if you're reading this, eat a dick.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2019 @ 5:03pm

      Re:

      As author, I wanted to correct the fifth paragraph:

      Counsel for Serendip, not YouTube, forwarded to me two emails. One was the email they were preparing the lawsuit against me and requesting YouTube hold off a few days on restoring my video, and the second that they have suspended preparations for a lawsuit. This was one calendar day after I e-mailed YouTube's copyright email (alone) asking for a status update on my counter notification.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2019 @ 4:57pm

    I'm not sure why or how, legally, settlement letters are allowed anywhere but particularly in the US. It seems that the only use would be fraud. Make them bring their case, apparently the extortionists avoid going to court at all costs.

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

    • identicon
      Paul Brinker, 6 Feb 2019 @ 8:41pm

      Re:

      Settlements, (not the same as settlement letters) are the way the courts want things to be. Courts have limited resources and juries would be mad if they were forced to sit through a small time case of $150.

      The pre suit letters are still being figured out, mostly because they try to be legal sounding.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Feb 2019 @ 6:31am

        Re: Re:

        There must be some reasonable method to provide oversight of such activities rather than the present look the other way attitude.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 7 Feb 2019 @ 8:18am

          Re: Re: Re:

          That is why many states require membership in a bar association in order to practice law. In theory, the bar would police lawyers who do this kind of thing. In practice, of course, that never actually happens.

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

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 6 Feb 2019 @ 11:04pm

    Oh look a day that ends in Y, time for another YouTube pooch screw.

    YT had no issue with the hundreds of scammers who claimed ownership of content, monetized it, collected the cash, then released the claims... only to do it again starting another long process that favors claimants over uploaders all the time while they cashed in.

    YT has no issue with the multiple (we all know there are more than got media attention) uploads they claimed to own parts of. A bird song (they doubled down claiming it was audio they owned), 3 minutes of silence, white noise, and the list goes on. Uploaders end up with strikes, loss of income, & annoyed fans who can't seem to get angry enough at YT or the idiots claiming ownership & instead go after the uploader.

    YT has no issue with destroying a creators channel based on these claims, remaining the faceless nonspeaking monolith, and not even a tiny sorry when its shown they got scammed.

    YT has no issue demonetizing content for imagined violations of the rules, that on the 3rd or fourth appeal finally gets a human to look and notice it violated no rules at all. But its been 3 weeks so no harm no foul... except all of your views come early on.

    YT had no issue with the Pauls, even continuing to work with them after each scandal.
    Lets mock the hanging dead person! Lets mock the citizens of the country we are in! Lets go gay for March! It seems like their income hasn't suffered any hits or any problems being featured on the platform... but evidence showing you are being extorted for cash with baseless strikes... silence.

    YT wants to keep the corporations & advertisers happy at any cost, even if that means screwing every creator over again & again. There isn't another decent platform, there isn't any recourse when they screw up, there isn't any ownership of their failings.

    Of course content creators keep rolling the dice because a few 'stars' have made it on the platform & they will get famous or their channels deleted over and over and over trying...

    Unless you could get a large swat of creators to join in, nothing is going to change. Imagine the sheer fear that would strike YT if instead of 400 years of content uploaded every minute the rate dropped to 5 minutes of content. A giant reminder to YT that without creators they are just a platform with nothing to offer but advertising & 5 yr old videos that someone will claim as their own as soon as it gets any traction.

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

    • identicon
      Rekrul, 7 Feb 2019 @ 8:24am

      Re:

      Unless you could get a large swat of creators to join in, nothing is going to change.

      Or unless YouTube gets sued by someone deep enough pockets to hurt them financially over this bullshit. If they started getting sued over this stuff, I'd be willing to bet they'd roll out some fixes.

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

      • icon
        That Anonymous Coward (profile), 7 Feb 2019 @ 7:48pm

        Re: Re:

        Viacom tried, and didn't ever win.

        Google is the 8000 pound gorilla doing whatever it wants, because none of the creators make enough to start a fight and no law firm would take the case with out a client with an equally large war chest.

        The only power the creators have to be heard is to take away the 1 thing Google can't do itself... the content. A 24 hour content stoppage would get the monolith to maybe notice them peasants & their complaints. They can make 1000 videos explaining the abuse in the system & nothing will change... they can take their ball and go home (you know that thing I always suggest Google do when the EU and other places demand Google subsidize news papers or other industries who ignore the benefit they get by being indexed). It's hard to make lots of advertising revenue when there isn't new content driving clicks.

        In pretending they were better and different Google went evil and they have become the gatekeeper giving artists a little bit while lining their own pockets, pretending they are doing it as whats best for the artists but treating them like mushrooms, kept in the dark and fed shit when things go wrong.

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 8 Feb 2019 @ 12:29am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Viacom tried, and didn't ever win."

          Largely because they were trying to sue YouTube over things they had expressly permitted to be there. Had their "evidence" been more compelling, it would have been much more of a fight.

          "Google is the 8000 pound gorilla doing whatever it wants, because none of the creators make enough to start a fight"

          No, because the creators are dumb enough to have set up a business that's totally dependent on a single platform, and none of them have made any real attempts to move to competitors, combined with the fact that real competitors are thin on the ground because they don't have the resources to defend themselves against the same lawsuits Google has already weathered.

          "A 24 hour content stoppage would get the monolith to maybe notice them peasants & their complaints"

          Nice fantasy, but that will never happen. Even if every independent creator stopped, there's enough corporate entities tied into the ecosystem that a single day's protest would not be noticed. They would have to boycott for far longer, and that time would be better spend getting a viable competitor a decent marketshare than it would demanding that YouTube change the business model that the content providers latched on to in the first place.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Feb 2019 @ 3:56am

    I've been on this site for a very long time, under various usernames (because change is good). I even went through some challenging times trolling (sorry, truly) because news like this... gets to people over time.

    During the FCC talks about net neutrality, I was that negative nanny stating "You're wasting your time". Not here to say "told you so", but to show precisely why I can no longer fight. It truly is a losing battle.

    Way back in the early 90s, I was introduced to a bill that would soon become the DMCA. I was appalled by what I read. I reached out to many people to understand, including William Patry, who was also concerned about the provisions in the bill.

    The first thing I needed to do was understand copyright. This lead me to the changes applied in 1976, the largest set of anti-public changes in the history of copyright.

    And each were 100% deliberate. The loss by Universal was huge. It didn't take these assholes to realize if they didn't put a stop to "illegal copying", they were going to suffer.

    So they did what any asshole would do: cover EVERYTHING!

    No longer was it required to register your works beforehand to claim copyright (you must do so now to go to court, but can be after the fact). Transformative and derivation of works were now covered, which is why Saban can claim copyright over Power Ranger costumes.

    Once the internet came, copyright law was already well established to take control of it. Except, there was something they didn't think about: WHO.

    Thus, they put their collective stupidity together and realized they can go after the sites for hosting copyright content. Fair Use? No. Nothing is Fair Use.

    The ONLY reason sites escaped without responsibility was due to a typo: instead of "internet service provide", the wording was "online service provider".

    You can bet AT&T, Verizon, and Time Warner relaxed on seeing that because these companies were sweating they were going to be the target.

    Now, it's the Googles, Facebooks, Pirate Bays... even though ICE thinks it can take them offline whenever it wants.

    The subject of the article was inevitable. I saw it coming well over 20 years ago, and so did many I learned from. Many of you have also learned it.

    In order to fix everything requires us to go back to 1976, burn that fucking copyright law, and proceed from that point to make copyright fair for creators as well as the public who uses the works.

    Copyright has become so infectious, creators have a self-entitled viewpoint they can control their works and how.

    This isn't true, it's never been true, and it won't be true.

    If you're a creator, and you make your works available for the public, then you MUST accept those who enjoy your works are going to COPY those works.

    You cannot control this.

    Instead, embrace it. Something Techdirt has been saying for those same 20+ years.

    Why will no one listen?

    Money. It makes people do stupid, stupid things.

    Sorry for the long post, but I just had to vent a little.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 7 Feb 2019 @ 5:18am

      Fight and you MAY lose. Don't fight and you WILL lose.

      During the FCC talks about net neutrality, I was that negative nanny stating "You're wasting your time". Not here to say "told you so", but to show precisely why I can no longer fight. It truly is a losing battle.

      I can certainly understand the sentiment, but as I've noted in the past it's only when you stop fighting that you guarantee your loss.

      If you fight, even if the odds are stacked against you, you at least have a chance of winning, if not now then perhaps in the future as someone can point to the backlash as evidence that people are not happen with what happened.

      If you don't fight though, you've ensured that you will lose, even if you might have won had you fought. Moreover, you've made it all the more difficult to fight back in the future, as those pushing to ratchet things up will point to the lack of pushback as evidence that the public is perfectly fine with what happened before, and really, what they are proposing is just a tiny little change, just a minor tweak to the law.

      Better to fight back and make the parasites work to screw you over, than simply concede the fight from the start and let them have everything with no effort on their part.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Feb 2019 @ 9:23am

        Re: Fight and you MAY lose. Don't fight and you WILL lose.

        Ideology which makes no logical sense.

        I didn't go into great detail with my original post as it was already long enough, but I've stated FOR YEARS everyone was going the wrong direction by relying on the FCC to do what consumers wanted.

        When the FCC did, people rejoiced. Won, right? Of course not, as we now see.

        I'm going to say this once and for all: IF YOU'RE FIGHTING TO WIN THE WRONG WAR, YOU'RE DOING SOMETHING WRONG!

        All this fighting should be aimed at Congress, not the FCC.

        So, when you continue fighting like this, I'll sit over here and continue eating my popcorn until the realization hits the fight is futile, win or lose.

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

        • identicon
          TFG, 9 Feb 2019 @ 8:00am

          Re: Re: Fight and you MAY lose. Don't fight and you WILL lose.

          I have news for you: People are capable of doing more than one thing at a time.

          It is possible to fight both in Congress and in the FCC. It is very easy to contact your congresspeople, and to comment in the FCC's public comment section. It is very possible to report both on the FCC's abandonment of their duty, and on the congresspeople that enable this.

          It is possible to attempt to hold more than one group accountable for their actions. If you wish to be the naysayer, the "you're doing it wrong" guy, then go ahead - I'm going to ignore you, because I'm able to do more than one thing.

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

    • icon
      Thad (profile), 7 Feb 2019 @ 7:52am

      Re:

      During the FCC talks about net neutrality, I was that negative nanny stating "You're wasting your time". Not here to say "told you so", but to show precisely why I can no longer fight. It truly is a losing battle.

      The appellate judges hearing the case don't appear to have gotten the memo.

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

  • identicon
    Rekrul, 7 Feb 2019 @ 8:27am

    And it's bad from a operating human standpoint, since YouTube puts so little emphasis on staffing around copyright claims that the appeals and review processes are a joke.

    That's not fair. The appeals and review process around ANY kind of dispute with YouTube are a joke.

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

  • identicon
    Châu, 8 Feb 2019 @ 10:30pm

    Delete videos? May be no.

    I think Google not delete videos but store them some place secret for future. Maybe use AI in future for check if copyright expire and put videos back on line but channel owner and copyright owner both dead for long time.

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


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