from the how-to-mess-up-everything dept
The Slashdot post about this explains what probably happened here. Sony recently added Sintel to its official 4k demo pool to show off its 4k "ultra HD" TVs. Who knows if they worked out a specific licensed to use it, but under the Creative Commons license, the company wouldn't need to, so long as Sony properly attributed the clip. But, the thinking appears to be that once in the demo pool, the film was somehow added to Sony's "contentID" list of works that Sony claims copyright on, leading YouTube's automated system to pull down the original as infringement. As others have pointed out this highlights almost every possible thing that pisses off people about copyright and automated takedown systems like ContentID.
It's a big company -- one who has fought against the idea that "amateurs" could do powerful work -- taking down a work that it has no copyright claim over. And the work it took down is a well-known example of a freely distributable, Creative Commons-licensed work, created via open source software, and partially crowdfunded. It's hard to think of any other takedown situation that would be more ridiculous or better highlight how broken an automated copyright takedown system is.
Over the last few weeks, in various hearings and conferences, the legacy entertainment industry (and its supporting politicians) have made it pretty clear that they're going to push for automated systems like ContentID to be mandatory in the future. The Sintel takedown by Sony should be the perfect case study in why that's a huge problem.