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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Today, the EU held a routine vote on regulations for self-driving cars, when something decidedly out of the ordinary happened...
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Annabelle Narey hired a London construction firm called BuildTeam to do some work, which she found very unsatisfactory (she blames them for a potentially lethal roof collapse in a bedroom); so she did what many of us do when we're unhappy with a business: she wrote an online complaint, and it was joined by other people who said that they had hired BuildTeam and been unhappy with the work.
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A group of activist lawyers/documentarians have made a vocation of fighting copyfraudsters in the courts, first forcing Warner Chapell to relinquish its bogus claim over "Happy Birthday" and then targeting Ludlow Music Inc. and The Richmond Organization who had spent decades fraudulently collecting licensing fees for the public domain civil rights hymn "We Shall Overcome."
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Update: Zillow has dropped all its absurd copyright claims after hearing from EFF and McMansion Hell is coming back!
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has published its letter to Zillow, explaining in eye-watering detail how wrong the company was to threaten the McMansion Hell blog over its use of realtors' glam-shots of shitty houses. Read the rest
McMansion Hell is a hilarious blog where Johns Hopkins Peabody Institute graduate student Kate Wagner posts scorching critiques of the architecture of McMansions -- but this week, Wagner announced that she had shut down her blog after spurious legal threats from Zillow, which admits that it doesn't even hold the copyrights to the images it wants Wagner to stop using. Read the rest
The good people at Fight for the Future established OPERATION
COMCASTROTURF to help you figure out if your stolen identity was used to file fake anti-net-neutrality comments with the FCC, but Comcast wants them shut down, and it's prepared to commit barratry to get its way. Read the rest
Rogue archivist Rick Prelinger writes, "Oakland students planned to paint a mural on a dark freeway underpass in their city. The project is stalled because Caltrans asserts copyright to murals on its property. The details are a bit sketchy, but there's a petition here. Read the rest
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation publishes several excellent podcasts, notably the As It Happens feed; like every podcast in the world, these podcasts are available via any podcast app in the same way that all web pages can be fetched with all web browsers -- this being the entire point of podcasts. Read the rest
Samsung's got problems: its Galaxy Note devices are bursting into flames, and have been banned from the skies. Read the rest
Photographer, public domain enthusiast, and national treasure Carol M Highsmith is suing Getty Images for $1B because they took the photos she'd donated to the Library of Congress and started asking people who'd used them to pay for them (they even sent Highsmith an invoice!); now it turns out that Highsmith is not alone: independent news agency Zuma is suing Getty for doing the same thing with 47,000 of their images. Read the rest
Jamie writes, "A photographer filed on Monday a $1 billion copyright infringement suit in New York against Getty Images' American arm, alleging that the company is sending out letters demanding licensing fees for her photos that were donated to the Library of Congress." Read the rest
"Let's play" videos are a hugely popular online genre in which gamers narrate their playthroughs of games that excite and challenge them. Read the rest
Anne Frank's father, Otto, edited Frank's diary before publishing it. He also endowed two foundations -- one Swiss, one Dutch -- to administer her legacy. Read the rest
America's 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act made it easy to censor the Internet: under the statute, you can make virtually anything disappear by claiming, without evidence, that it infringes your copyright, and there are almost no penalties for abuse. Read the rest