Tag Archives: YouTube

Follow the dancing baby

It is huge. Here’s the New York Times‘s coverage; here’s the Wall Street Journal; and here’s the actual 9th circuit opinion in Lenz v. Universal itself.  Everyone is explaining why the deal is so big, of course.  The key question was this:

Section 512(c)(3)(A)(v) requires a takedown notification to include a “statement that the complaining party has a good faith belief that the use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.” The parties dispute whether fair use is an authorization under the law as contemplated by the statute—which is so far as we know an issue of first impression in any circuit across the nation.

This is the offending video. 

Fair use or not?   And the answer to the question is this:

We agree with the district court and hold that the statute unambiguously contemplates fair use as a use authorized by the law. Fair use is not just excused by the law, it is wholly authorized by the law. . . . Although the traditional approach is to view “fair use” as an affirmative defense, . . . it is better viewed as a right granted by the Copyright Act of 1976. Originally, as a judicial doctrine without any statutory basis, fair use was an infringement that was excused—this is presumably why it was treated as a defense. As a statutory doctrine, however, fair use is not an infringement. Thus, since the passage of the 1976 Act, fair use should no longer be considered an infringement to be excused; instead, it is logical to view fair use as a right. Regardless of how fair use is viewed, it is clear that the burden of proving fair use is always on the putative infringer.

That sounds right to me.  Read More…

Jonathan Rogers: Is YouTube “Monetizing Piracy”?

Originally posted 2012-06-11 19:57:19. Republished by Blog Post Promoter.

I like this from Jonathan Rogers:

On the YouTube blog, the company posted an announcement about a deal struck with many music publishers. Now, when users upload videos with background music that is copyrighted music, instead of begin taken down, if it belongs to certain publishers, an ad will play, and at least some of the revenue sent to that publisher to pay for the royalties that should be paid. . . .

My problem with this is that it only further to cloud the layman YouTube user’s understand of proper copyright music use in videos. Google tried to educate users with a cute video. But you still see people upload full songs with nothing but a picture of the artist then post in the comments “COPYRIGHT NOTICE – I DONT OWN THIS MUSIC NOR CLAIM TO, DONT TAKE THIS DOWN OR SUE ME”. There is a terrible lack of understanding about what copyright protects with most users.

Okay, I don’t love it, I like it.  I like it because I have also written at length about the way copyright enforcement and policy feeds back into the public’s understanding of, and willingness to comply with (or, if you must, “buy into”) intellectual property laws, and why that matters.

In this case, however… “meh.”  I think YouTube had to come to an accommodation with music publishers on this knotty problem.  There’s a limit, especially in a bilateral context such as this one (holding the “publishers” as one “side”), to how much the parties can do to both come to an agreement and make this an effective “teaching moment.”

If you disagree, though, SUE ME!

Best of 2007: MoveOn.org giveth

Originally posted on October 15, 2007.

But does it then taketh away? Wired reports:

The left-leaning political advocacy group, MoveOn.org, is backing down in a flap over the use of its name in online advertisements, permitting an influential Republican senator to criticize the organization in a reelection ad on Google’s search engine.”We don’t want to support a policy that denies people freedom of expression,” says Jennifer Lindenauer, MoveOn.org’s communications director.

MoveOn has withdrawn its instruction to Google not to run ads utilizing its trademark, MOVEON.ORG.

That certainly sounds like the right thing to do if you’re “progressive,” or even if you’re not. In the article, Lindenauer says that the concern was not with the content of critical advertising, but with potential fraud — unauthorized advertisers raising funds in MoveOn’s name.

Ron Coleman on Fox News

The video of the post of the blog

Google remains unmoved, not surprisingly (U/D: “This doesn’t get Google off the hook”); its policy is still stuck at “maximum protection for Google,” ostensibly at the cost (to Google) of advertising dollars, in exchange (for Google) for a reduced exposure to involvement in lawsuits. The cost to third parties and to the public of this policy, which treats any use of a trademark as a potentially actionable trademark use, is incalculable — but that is not Google’s problem.

Advice to all public figures and organizations seeking to avoid criticism via Google advertising: Claim trademark in your name! (So? Is Google keyword advertising the only channel by which people can broadcast their opinions about public issues? — ed. No, but it’s an important enough medium that one of the most dominant companies in the world is built on it!)

One more thing: MoveOn left the door open, perhaps not intentionally, to slamming it right back closed again. Here’s what it told Wired:

“When we became aware of all the controversy around it, we opted out,” Lindenauer says. “Of course we support free speech, and the right of anyone to parody us, but what we do care about is protecting our members — we don’t want anyone using our name or logo in a way that could harm our members and mission.”

That’s a “yeah but” you can drive a Hummer through. Let’s see what happens down the road. We won’t be moving on so fast on this.

Hitler on copyright

The “Downfall parodies” aren’t really parodies, in the legal sense.  But as this one demonstrates, “Hitler” does seem to understand something about copyright, law, IP management and, of course, slaloming through alternative realities:

Never before has an historical figure, much less one of history’s most evil men yet one still regarded as some kind of transcendent figure, been so thoroughly, widely and ubiquitously mocked and cut down to a symbol of utter foolishness.  And, as “he” points out in this clip, never has a “classic” but otherwise fairly obscure movie become so well known to millions of English speakers who probably otherwise wouldn’t even know which side Germany was on.

We wouldn’t expect Adolf Hitler to get either of these points.  But a lot of other people who fuss around with free expression and creativity when IP rights, or “IP rights,” are involved really should.

UPDATE:  Randazza thinks these are all fair use.  I’m not so sure I agree — but this much I know:  The one in this post is!

UPDATE AGAIN:  Sturm und Drang.

Eat hot cross buns!