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.
During the week of March 25, the European Parliament will hold the final vote on the Copyright Directive, the first update to EU copyright rules since 2001; normally this would be a technical affair watched only by a handful of copyright wonks and industry figures, but the Directive has become the most controversial issue in […]
Ipek Irgit mass-produced a novel bikini design, making millions and soon getting into furious legal fights with anyone who would dare copy it. In fashion, there is a fine, sometimes indistinguishable line separating inspiration and theft. Most apparel companies try not to get distracted by items that are derivative of their own. The trend cycle […]
Faith Goldy is the white supremacist who failed in her bid for mayor of Toronto (despite an endorsement from US white supremacist Congressman Steve King); during her campaign, she unsuccessfully sued Canadian media monopolist Bell Media for refusing to run her ads, saddling her with an order to pay $43,117.90 in Bell's legal fees.
If you’re a Mac user, you thrive on simplicity. Everything in its place and a place for everything. Unsurprisingly, there’s a ton of great organizational apps out there for Mac, and now someone’s had the great idea to bundle them all together. Whether you’re running a demanding business or just getting through the day to […]
Seems like drones are doing a lot of jobs these days, from reconnaissance to delivery. Now, we can add “keeping the Death Star safe” to that list. Whether you’re a drone enthusiast or a Star Wars fan, these Star Wars Propel Drones are undeniably the coolest toy around. Yes, that’s a fully functional drone replica […]
It’s spring clearance time for the Boing Boing Store, when some of the best deals from the holidays return even cheaper than before. From top-rated apps to educational software to the cutest record player of all time, they’re all back with a little extra incentive. Shop your heart out before tax season wraps up! Use […]