At considerable expense, Christian Friedrich Johannes Büttner, the man behind successful YouTube channel TheFatRat, recorded and posted an original music video. It ran up 47m views, helping to place him among the higher echeleons of YouTube's hitmakers.
But then a scammer—someone with no posted videos, no working contact info and no significant internet presence—claimed ownership of it through YouTube's ContentID system.
Büttner appealed and was denied.
Worse, it was clear that YouTube had simply allowed the scam account to wait until the last possible moment to respond, then to decide for itself whether it was a legitimate appeal.
Büttner, being a serious channel operator with millions of subs, tried to get relief from his liaison at YouTube. He was told he had to work it out with the scammer (who was still being paid the revenue the video was generating) through the scammer's fake email address. YouTube gave him no other recourse and refused to provide more information.
It got sorted out only after he went public and got lawyers involved.
In this enraging video, Büttner explains what happened with remarkable calmness and professionalism, exposing in detail just how awful and broken ContentID is -- and how grossly vulnerable it is to bad-faith exploitation by frauds, scammers and wannabe censors.
One trick that Büttner misses, however, is that ContentID isn't copyright law. The scammer probably didn't issue a fraudulent DMCA takedown, so won't end in trouble for that.
ContentID is exactly the thing YouTube claims it doesn't do: it privately mediating ownership of content without involving the law. ContentID is an internal, opaque policy framework and technical platform crafted from top to bottom to mollify the media industry when it was contemplating crushing YouTube the way it did Napster years earlier. And now everyone has access to the crude, badly-designed tools originally designed for music industry lawyers.
Gfycat is a site that people upload GIFs to so they can share them with other people reliably. Used most conspicuously to host memes, clips from other media, and animated porn, it announced Wednesday that it was planning to permanently delete old, anonymously-posted images within days. Archive Team, a web preservation initiative coordinated by Jason […]
Ellen DeGeneres’s friendship with ex-President George W. Bush became controversial this week, in light of the progressive values she claims and the 600,000 corpses left by his occupation of Iraq. She delivered a monologue on her show in response, casting their friendship as an example of civility, overcoming political differences, and having “faith in America”. […]
Jurors found that Katy Perry’s Dark Horse “improperly copied” an earlier song titled Joyful Noise by Flame, a Christian rap artist. The case focused on the notes and beats of the song, not its lyrics or recording, and the questions suggested that Perry might be off the hook. But in a decision that left many […]
The more you use your computer, the more it becomes possible for others to use it too. Where there are anti-virus systems, there are hackers looking for a way to get around them. That’s why it’s important to get software that doesn’t just passively scout for viruses in the background. The folks behind GlassWire have […]
Knowledge is power. It’s a cliché, but sometimes things turn into a cliché because they’re true. If you’re making your way through the world of business and entrepreneurship, it only makes sense to read about the insights of people who have climbed that ladder before you. Trouble is, the modern workday doesn’t leave a lot […]
As much as some of us fear the loss of our jobs to robots, there’s one job we’re pretty sure they are welcome to: vacuuming. There’s nothing quite like kicking back and watching a robot vacuum do one of the most time-consuming tasks on the household chore list. And there are few ‘bots that do […]