YouTube, fair use and takedowns: with puppets!

Here's Fred von Lohmann, one of the senior copyright attorneys at Google -- and formerly head of the Electronic Frontier Foundation's copyright practice -- describing how YouTube takedowns and fair use claims work, with generous use of excitable puppets. It's the role he was born to play!

Copyright on YouTube (Thanks, Fred!)



    1. Yeah, I send that one to family members on a regular basis.  Sometimes the same family members over and over again…

  1. As a counter point, I can illustrate how YouTube’s “Content Match” techniques work in the real world with my YouTube video of my friends playing “Silent Night”, the 200-year-old Christmas song:
    This video was created, in whole, by me and my friends. YouTube says that this video “Matched third party content”.  This, in my opinion, sums up YouTube’s ability to accurately identify “third party content”.  Which is to say, YouTube has no ability to accurately identify “third party content”.  The input from YouTube’s “copyright attorneys”, such as Fred von Lohmann, is utterly without value.

      1. Re:
        UPDATE:  The false claim that my video of my friends playing the 200-year-old Christmas song, Silent Night, somehow “matched third party content” was first reported to me in December of 2011, a year-and-a-half ago, by YouTube.  Since then, nothing else has happened, until today.  Within the last twenty-four hours, it seems that the unknown “third party”, who claims ownership of the creative output my friends and I, has moved to actively monetize their false claim.  As of today, for the first time on this individual video, advertising now appears.  The revenue from this new advertising does not go to me nor to anyone who I know.  The advertising on that YouTube video is placed there without my permission or my consent.  On the plus side, I have learned that the unknown “third party” in this case reads Boing Boing (or has people who read Boing Boing).

        1. So yeah, from the description of your experience I can see that this YouTube help video is nothing but bullshit propaganda.

  2. WHOAH Holdup!  I can STEAL things online?!  And all these years I’ve spent copying, wasted!  Now I can increase scarcity and by proxy the value of the things I own online by stealing everything!
    My circuitous evil plan is 1/7th of its way to fruition. Bwahahaha

    1. Here’s where we have a 19 response discussion that basically amounts to, yes, the semantics of copyright and theft are increasingly anachronistic in an age where ones and zeros are infinitely able to be copied across networks. But also that there is still a legitimate argument to made that content creators should and do have some right to control how their work is disseminated so that they can be reasonably compensated. This should not be taken as an attack on everyday consumers whose particular needs may not have been met (subjective reasonable price range, geographic limitations, etc) but an attempt to keep other people from making money from work they did not create.

    1.  Yes. A ‘this claim is false’ button would be nice too…amount of times Fashion TV or some remote Irish or Italian TV shopping channel tries to claim something they don’t actually own…well, I’d be rich as a result!

  3. What they don’t tell you in that cute video is that while the Big Media content owners get the benefit of automatic Content ID Match, they don’t bother to apply that automatic system to the little guy’s video.  If you upload a video that happens to become a popular target for other people to rip and re-upload unchanged to their own channel, you have to hunt them all down manually and file individual takedown notices for each one.

  4. I am aghast that Mario and Fafa are being referred to offhandedly as “the puppets.”  You people are HEATHENS, and need to review the entire Glove & Boots oeuvre.

  5. Oh great. So YouTube destroys Happy Tree Friends for me, and now Glove and Boots. I won’t watch this, as I guess if I get ‘Copyright School’ I might have to watch this. Repeatedly.

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