Youtube's ContentID system allows rightsholders to upload video and audio and block videos that contain their works (or put ads on those videos and take the revenue they generate), and to have the accounts of repeat copyright offenders permanently deleted, along with all their videos.
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Entertainment giant Lionsgate is allegedly using contentID, YouTube's internal copyright arbitation process, to remove criticism of its movies. (Note that "Angry Joe", the author of the viral video embedded above, uses a lot of NSFW language and gets very angry indeed.)
The top comment on the main Reddit thread sums up the key problem with contentID: if the claimant refuses to back down, the claimant wins automatically after it manually affirms the claim. Counterclaims are a sham that dooms the counterclaimant to penalties and jeopardizes their account. YouTube tells the victim to sue the claimant in court if the video is in fact falsely claimed.
False contentID claims can therefore be used to take control of the revenue generated by videos that would, at least, pass muster as fair use under copyright law, but which sometimes contain no copyrightable material at all!
Some fraudsters profit from contentID claims on content they know they don't own. But the ContentID system is so shambolically defective it can also be gamed by victims. Popular games YouTuber Jim Sterling includes numerous short clips in every video which he knows will generate competing contentID claims for the whole upload. This prevents YouTube contentID bots and sharks from monetizing his work or taking it down.
The brick wall that all YouTubers face, though, is that YouTube gets to decide what is on its own website and who it wants to give money to. If you choose it as a platform, you are agreeing to subject yourself to its intentionally-broken copyright arbitration system, and you are agreeing to let it pay other people for your work. Read the rest
Back when Sony's fraudulent copyright claims resulted in a 47 second recording of pianist James Rhodes playing Bach, apologists argued that Sony and Youtube's copyright bots couldn't be expected to tell the difference between a highly skilled Bach performance and the ones in their own catalog.
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In October, a delightful prank by the artist Banksy involved a painting of his shredding itself shortly after a Sotheby's bidder committed to spending £1.04m to buy it.
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Nerdcore rapper Dan Bull earns a good living from his Youtube videos, but he is constantly being dragged away from the studio to fight fraudulent copyright claims from major labels, who are able to censor his work with impunity. The video for his 2010 song I'm Not Pissed has been removed ten times by automated, fraudulent claims from the likes of BMG Rights Management and PRS, who face no consequences for lying about their involvement with his work.
In a new song called Fuck Content ID, Bull slams Google's automated Content ID takedown system, documenting his woes at the hands of Big Content, and with Google, who collaborate in a system of copyfraud that neither one seems to care about. Read the rest