Viacom's Copyright Bots Take Down 'Star Trek' Comic-con Panel Because These Bots Suck Out Loud

from the energize dept

We've argued for a long, long time that these automated copyright takedown bots that far too many media companies utilize are both broken and illuminate just how broken copyright takedown policies for streaming sites have become. The output of this broken system is shown when these bots take down totally legitimate content or when grifters abuse the system to try to take some measure of income away from small third-party streamers. But attempts at machine-based copyright enforcement are truly at their most satisfying when content companies employing these bots commit unintentional copyright seppuku.

This happens way more than you might think, but the latest version of this is Viacom briefly nuking its own Star Trek Comic-Con panel when the copyright borg misfired.

The panel included the cast and producers of Discovery doing a read-through of the first act of the season 2 finale, "Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2." The "enhanced" read-through included sound effects, effects shots, and storyboard images meant to bolster the actors as they delivered lines from their living rooms and home offices.

Even if the presentation didn't look like a real episode of Discovery to the home viewer, it apparently sounded close enough: after the Star Trek Universe virtual panel began viewers began to lose access to the stream. In place of the video, YouTube displayed a content ID warning reading: "Video unavailable: This video contains content from CBS CID, who has blocked it on copyright grounds.

While it's fun to laugh at the notoriously protective CBS for killing off its own stream, the reality is that even these instances are immensely frustrating. The fact is that instances like this should serve as an indication to CBS that something is very wrong with how it's operating when its attempts at copyright protection result in its own promotional material getting taken down, however briefly.

But the introspection never comes, changes are never made, and instead CBS goes on its merry way likely shitting out mistaken copyright enforcement at plenty of others. I'd say that it at least gives me items to write about, but I don't want to. The fact is that the system is broken, everyone knows it's broken, and we have yet to even begin doing anything about it.

In fact, these automagic filtering systems are in such wide use that this same stream has to be unblocked by more parties as well.

Unfortunately, it seems an array of media companies are each going to have to rush to correct the error in turn: two hours later, io9 reporter Beth Elderkin tweeted that a Cartoon Network panel livestream was pulled offline due to a copyright claim from Turner, Cartoon Network's parent company.

Again...broken. Beyond repair. And yet we're not going to even try to fix it, because something something protecting the artists.

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Filed Under: automated takedowns, comic-con, copyright, self-own, star trek
Companies: viacom

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jul 2020 @ 12:59am

    because something something protecting the artists.

    You omitted "robbery of" from that statement.

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