Curiosity landing removed from YouTube after bogus copyright claim by Scripps


57 Responses to “Curiosity landing removed from YouTube after bogus copyright claim by Scripps”

  1. Mordicai says:

    I’ve got nothing to add after “it points out the enormous asymmetry in copyright today,” since that kind of knocked it out of the park.

  2. Doran says:

    I bet if there was a fine or other punishment for repeatedly getting NASA footage taken down, Scripps would somehow find a solution much quicker.

    • Craig Ransom says:

      I bet you’re right – and suggests an amendment to the DMCA that penalizes false content claims with whacking great fines. Would make these idiots put a human in the loop to double check any such claim before submission.

    • It’s ridiculous that there isn’t.

      If I called the police every week and reported a crime that didn’t exist, I’m pretty sure they’d have some harsh words for me.

  3. EH says:

    It’s not clear whether Scripps actually filed a takedown notice with YouTube or whether YouTube’s “content-match” system was triggered automatically because Scripps registered a clip of its own news footage, incorporating the NASA footage, with YouTube.

    Huh, so they must be doing some kind of frame-content comparisons.

  4. Maybe a high profile screw up like this might get YouTube to finally take its head out of its backside about its takedown policies. You know, like maybe requiring even the slightest shred of proof of copyright infringement before taking videos down instead of rolling over and wetting itself with every new copyright complaint. I doubt it though. 

    • fuzzyfuzzyfungus says:

      I’d be inclined to doubt it.

      The DMCA is relatively clear about what you can and can’t get away with doing while still enjoying the ‘safe harbor’ protections(and to the degree that it isn’t clear, the RIAA/MPAA and friends are busy hammering Google in court to try and narrow it). 

      Anything other than rolling over and wetting themselves would open the… unpleasant… possibility of direct liability for copyright infringement, which would get very expensive very fast. Unfortunately, the assymetry(takedowns are more or less immediate and filed under the penalty of nothing whatsoever, while reinstatements are relatively sedate and have to indicate a degree of confidence) is written into the law.

      If anything, I’d say that clear-cut and high profile cases like this are a good thing and it would actually be bad if Google came up with an ad-hoc exemption to deal with certain high profile accounts. So long as the law is as it presently is, the small fry will be more or less arbitrarily and summarily subject to it. The relatively rare cases of large and visibly innocent entities being taken down are a useful reminder. Should Google just whitelist NASA and other high profile accounts, the bulk of the takedowns will grind on in the background.

  5. dtobias says:

    Perhaps everybody whose video is incorrectly taken down in such circumstances should sue first, ask questions later.  Make companies pay for their auto-takedowns.

  6. dtobias says:

    It would just take one jury somewhere awarding a multi-million dollar punitive damage award to really ruin a company for its aggressive IP policy.

  7. bzishi says:

    “The good thing about automation is that you don’t have to involve real people to make decisions. The bad thing about automation is that you don’t have to involve real people to make decisions.”

    If that decision involves censorship, then people need to make that decision. And those people need to be held accountable.

    Also from the article:

    As I discovered last year, many of Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s speeches are no longer available on YouTube thanks to automatic and manual copyright claims by the owner of King’s speeches,

    No doubt this is exactly the opposite of what MLK would have wanted. Our copyright system is broke, broke, broke. I’ve had trouble finding the speeches, but it never occurred to me that someone would want to block them due to copyright claims.

    The money quote from the article

    Robots, which are still built by humans, fail humans all the time: remember how Frankenstein algorithms burned through $10 million a minute on Wall Street last week. Good thing then that we have the video in question to remind us how exciting it can be when our robots don’t fail.

    • fuzzyfuzzyfungus says:

      “No doubt this is exactly the opposite of what MLK would have wanted.”

      Quite possibly not; but his (no doubt wholly altruistic and not at all coattail riding) family members now have the following to say on the subject, legally binding until 2038, assuming Disney doesn’t buy another copyright extension or two in the meantime…

      “To obtain proper authorization for use of Dr. King’s works and intellectual property, please contact Intellectual Properties Management (IPM), the exclusive licensor of the Estate of Martin Luther King, Jr., Inc. at or 404 526-8968.”

      • redesigned says:

        that is depressing.  people profiting off of mlk, ghandi, and the likes.  :-(
        talk about a perversion of their intentions and messages.
        these intellectual property estates are parasites at best.

  8. Here’s an idea: Stop hosting on youtube.

    • Doran says:

       Is there a place with the similar user base of YouTube which doesn’t have this same problem? The purpose of posting them to YouTube is to get them in front of the most eyeballs possible asap. So unless there’s a viable alternative without these copyright problems, the best solution for now seems to be to fix YouTube’s take-down policy.

      • If everyone stopped posting stuff to YouTube (and visiting the website), and explained that they were doing so because of the copyright takedowns, YouTube would be forced to either stop the takedowns or go under.  The problem is there are too many people on the internet who just don’t care.

        • chanho says:

          It’s probably better and easier to get people to threaten to stop posting to YouTube.  The threat is stronger than the execution.

        • corydodt says:

          It’s not even youtube’s fault, though. Youtube has implemented the provisions of the DMCA, and that’s about it.

        • Both of those options would involve YouTube going under.  In their defense they do it because it’s the law.

          It’s a stupid law, but it’s not YouTube’s law.

  9. SteveKiwi says:

    Hmm, two false claims. One more and they get kicked off the internet, right?

  10. Ray Lee says:

    Possible solution, stop allowing Scripps to republish NASA videos? There must be penalities assessed for poor behavior, else it will continue.

  11. Boundegar says:

    Where is this “local news?”  Is this company based on Mars?  I bet they built the giant face!

  12. LogrusZed says:

    I understand it can be tedious to fix the various gizmos that have automated this process, I wonder if some efforts to shut their own legitimate files down every time this happened might somehow streamline the process.

  13. WaylonWillie says:

    I like the conclusion, but isn’t it “programmed to deny the idea that copying *can’t be controlled”? –the copy editing police

  14. Jim Saul says:

    How hard could it be for Youtube to implement a “Do Not Fuck With” list of users that requires human intervention before allowing bogus copyright sniping?

    • How would you decide who gets on that list?  Big companies?  Which ones are big enough and which ones don’t make the cut?  Money?  Who can afford it?  Only the rich get to avoid copyright takedowns?

      • Jim Saul says:

        Just one:


        No need to get into a righteous struggle against the crypto-corpora-illuminocracy.

        Just stop taking down NASA footage.

        • ocker3 says:

           NASA and other official government channels. If someone with access to those accounts screws up, it’s pretty serious.

          Couldn’t there be a “this is 100% original content” option for certain uploaders which would require human intervention before such content could be taken down, with the option revoked if it was abused? Only certain uploaders could get it, which would prevent fly by nighters abusing it.

      • LogrusZed says:

         How about just NASA, and that’s it.

    • Hans says:

      Clearly *Scripps* should have such a list.  They are the ones declaring, under penalty of perjury, a patently false claim that they own NASA footage.  

      How does Scripps (or the other false DMCA filers) get away with saying that, although they signed a false statement under oath, it was just a technical oversight?  Charges should be laid for such misdeeds.

  15. redesigned says:

    We can land a vehicle on another planet…yet we cannot stop this train wreck of a social experiment known as intellectual property.

    In the few hundred years that IP has been around it has only ever served to further the interests of a few at the expense of the many.  It has never accomplished its goal of protecting and promoting creation, and has in fact hindered creation and hurt content creators as they are seldom the owners of the IP itself.  IP is a failed experiment.

    • fuzzyfuzzyfungus says:

      You should probably talk to Strategic Air Command (“The Other Rocket Launch Guys”) rather than NASA. They might still be up to the task…

    • IP is broken and has many flaws, but I think it’s more than a stretch to claim that it has no benefits.  IP protects and enables the little guys, as well as BIG CORP.

      • redesigned says:

        OR at least that is the myth that the big corps use to sell the idea of IP to the masses of sheeple.  In reality it hurts the little guy much much much more often then it helps.

        • As a serial entrepreneur and confirmed little guy, I can assure you that it is safe to remove your tinfoil hat.

          Do you know how difficult it is to get a product to market? Imagine how much more difficult it would be if you created something revolutionary, from blood sweet and tears, and GE/P&G/etc. could get the same product onto store shelves within 72 hours.

          It could hamper grass-roots innovation as much as invigorate it – and without some form of guaranteed protection over things that people can spend their life (and life savings) creating, I’m pretty sure that you’d have some innovation issues. Even at the top-end, technology companies would be far less inclined to spend millions on R&D knowing that their product would be like-for-like duplicated the second it reaches market.
          Open Source would be as it was, but there’s no problem with open source as it is. Same goes for creative commons. Naturally it would bring some proprietary stuff back into the hands of the people; but I think it’s a bit fanciful to imagine that would cause an explosion in innovation.
          It’s worth noting that since IP we’ve seen far more innovation than before it. I won;t be silly enough to suggest IP is the reason, but I do believe that it’s a contributing factor. People (and companies) are far more likely to make an investment if they know it’s protected.

          As I say, IP is broken – there’s a lot that needs fixing. But you don’t need to cut off the nose to spite the face.

          • redesigned says:

            Hi Nathan,

            “As I say, IP is broken – there’s a lot that needs fixing.”

            I am not unfamiliar with the arguments you present, like I stated protecting the small guy is how IP is sold to the masses but does not in any way reflect the reality of IP as implemented. We both agree it is broken as currently implemented and we are not alone in that sentiment. IP hurts the little guy hundreds of times for every one time it offers any protection or support. The little guy can’t even play in the legal playing field they would need to in order to get said protection.

            I’d offer up that there was plenty of grass roots innovation throughout human history before the last 2 hundred years when IP was first though up and enacted into laws. So we wouldn’t be cutting off the nose to spite the face, we’d be cutting off a relativity new growth that turned out to be cancerous.

            Most patents, music rights, and all forms of IP are owned and locked down by large corporations, not the small guy, even when the small guy is the one to create the the initial thing, as are most markets where the small guy would try and sell their new creation. Not to mention that it is getting increasingly impossible for any small guy to create anything, because almost everything we create is based off of previous ideas techniques, information, and incorporate more and more of a domain that is no longer free to build or innovate off of, most of which is now owned by large corporations for purpose of extracting money. The little guy is almost forced to sell, bring the product to market themselves is a rare rare thing these days. IP is increasingly starting to suffocate innovation especially with how much of the intellectual space is now locked away from true innovation. IP is inhibiting further innovation directly.

            “Even at the top-end, technology companies would be far less inclined to spend millions on R&D knowing that their product would be like-for-like duplicated the second it reaches market. ”

            This has been a HUGE problem, but in exact reverse of what you describe in medicine. Many very useful medicines have not been brought to market because there was no way to copyright them. Big pharma deals with this all the time. Meanwhile there have been some huge innovations in other countries on open medicines, from organizations where their primary goal is helping sick people, not making a profit off of sick people. IP has perverted the medical space to no small degree.

            Musical innovation is in a very similar predicament.

            Scientific innovation is in a similar predicament as well. Most of the big innovations are coming from public funded science, not private corps who are in a secretive arms race of sorts and discourage any sharing of information and ideas.

            As far as tech. Do we benifit more if Apple is the only company that can make a tablet? or if it is an open playing field and competition forces them to make a better tablet at a reasonable price and we have cheaper alternatives for students and people who cannot afford the premium product. I’d put forward that the second is more beneficial to humanity then the first.

            “I think it’s a bit fanciful to imagine that would cause an explosion in innovation. ”

            It might be a bit fanciful to think, but every golden era in human history has been preceded with an explosion in innovation and thought brought about by the sharing of and influx of new information upon which everyone was free to act. It might not be a guarantee, but it is surly better then the dark ages we are headed directly towards on our current path.

            Anyway, don’t get me wrong, I do understand the points you are making. I just think we need to tear down the whole system and rethink how we think about these sorts of things. Information and ideas are most useful to everyone when they are usable by everyone. The idea that you can own a thought or idea or concept is ludicrous in my opinion.

            thanks for the dialogue.


  16. LikesTurtles says:

    How about this… you make an invalid copyright claim that results in a takedown, whatever piece of content you claimed was having its copyright violated loses its copyright.  For Scripps, no big deal,  a couple of their news segments falls into the public domain. But eventually some summer blockbuster would end up in the public domain and make it financially worthwhile to verify copyright claims instead of handing them out all willynilly.

  17. voiceinthedistance says:

    Don’t be evil.  LOL

  18. benher says:

    How ironic that mere video of such a historic event, which to me symbolizes all that humanity is capable of, is strikken from the Internet by jackboot copyright law, which to me symbolizes all the reasons that humanity is still so incapable.

    Who cares about the value this video has to humanity. Can money be made in the next 2 minutes? It reminds me why ye olde-tyme cartoonists always depicted Capitalists as monicled swine with top hats and coattails.

  19. Guest says:


  20. > If that decision involves censorship, then people need to make that decision. And those people need to be held accountable.

    It’s not about censorship. Removing a video because of a copyright claim, regardless of it’s validity, is not intended to prevent another person from expressing their thoughts and opinions, its about protecting the thoughts and opinions of the party issuing the takedown notice. 

    There’s a fine line between protecting your rights and infringing upon my rights. It’s not as easy as a yes/no question. What if, for arguments sake, this Skripps News company did own the copyrights to some portion of the video NASA/JPL posted? Would you want to make it more difficult to protect their work from blatant copyright infringement?

    • nowimnothing says:

      “Would you want to make it more difficult to protect their work from blatant copyright infringement?”


    • redesigned says:

      the whole concept of intellectual property is flawed.  thinking of it as a right is flawed.

      it sickens me that it is even a possibility that someone could own the footage of an event that inspires and belongs to all humanity and was paid for by the public, for the sole purpose of profiting off of that footage.  this is wrong on so many levels.

  21. artbyjcm says:

    I suspect it wasn’t deliberate on Scripps, it probably was youtube’s setup trying to auto-remove. I think they should have an option when someone uploads a video to check “This might be used in other videos” to remove it from the auto take-down process. At which point if another party claims that they “own” a clip, it will be noted to youtube, who would then have to look at both the videos and see “Well, this one is posted by freaking NASA, so one can conclude Scripps is just reposting it.” and it would avoid the whole auto-take-down process.

  22. kmuzu says:

    So much for Google’s – Don’t be evil.

    • benher says:

      The giant data-slurping mega corp turned out to be evil! 
      Even after they SAID that they weren’t going to be evil! 

  23. “programmed to deny the idea that copying can be controlled”
    should be
    “programmed to deny the idea that copying cannot be controlled”
    “programmed to uphold the idea that copying can be controlled”

Leave a Reply