Skepta, a London-based hip-hop artist, uploaded a video for his original song called "Dare to Dream" to YouTube earlier this month. Jimmy Iovine, founder of the Universal-owned label Interscope, heard the song and decided that he'd like to license it for use by Eminem, who is signed to Iovine's label. So far, so good.
But then it gets weird. Iovine reportedly then filed a fraudulent copyright declaration with YouTube, claiming he owned the rights to the song and getting it taken down. Then he approached Skepta and his label to license the song for Eminem's use.
Presumably, the false
DMCA declaration (apparently, he filed a non-DMCA copyright notice with YouTube) -- which is illegal as hell -- was used to prevent competitors from bidding against Iovine, or perhaps to prevent the song from becoming overly associated with Skepta.
Whatever the motivations, this demonstrates the pervading mentality regarding copyright takedowns in entertainment companies: they're handy tools for removing anything you don't like from the Internet for an indefinite period, and there's no penalty for perjuring yourself in your notices.
I'm not sure who has standing to pursue Iovine for his alleged fraud. I fear that the only party situated to bring him to justice are Skepta and his label (who are unlikely to pursue a claim against their new business partner). But I hope that YouTube can -- and does -- take action to produce an object lesson that abusing the law to censor the Internet isn't a consequence-free tactic in the normal course of business, but a crime that undermines copyright law itself.
YouTube DMCA Takedown Grabs Track For Eminem
Google’s Earth Outreach just published a series of nifty decades-long views of how world landmarks of changed, like this one of the Aral Sea from 1984 to present. Some of them are like watching slime molds grow:
A virtual reality version of Google Earth is now available on Steam for the HTC Vive. Viewers can walk around, or fly, or browse any number of recorded locations.
In the wake of the Trump election — a triumph of fake news — both Google and Facebook have announced that they will take countermeasures to exclude “fake news” from their services, downranking them in the case of Facebook and cutting them off from ad payments in Google’s case.
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