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The Story of Jay Fucking Over Brian and Travis
May 24, 2012 11:00 AM   Subscribe

Dear Jay Leno ... "First off, my intention is not to fight you on this. You have more cars than I have dollars, and so I know I don’t stand a chance legally ..." - "An Open Letter to Jay Leno About Stealing My Video and Then Getting It Removed From YouTube"

* YouTube: The Big Copyright Lie
* Who Owns Your YouTube video?
* YouTube appeals German copyright ruling
* Untangling Cover Song Licensing on YouTube
* YouTube user receives copyright takedown for video with birds singing in background
* Original "rickroll" video removed from YouTube due to copyright claim by ... AVG?!
posted by mrgrimm (104 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
Well, that first link is a ton of "iOS optimization" fail.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:04 AM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


You don't fuck with the interwebs, Jay Leno!
posted by elpapacito at 11:06 AM on May 24, 2012


From YouTube: The Big Copyright Lie:

How do we reconcile YouTube's official hard-line position on copyright with the reality that 90% of the content on their site is clearly copyrighted and clearly used without permission?

Is this even true anymore? YouTube is full of user-generated content that is quite good.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:07 AM on May 24, 2012 [9 favorites]


Blah, typos. What I meant to say was:

If this is true, I'm surprised that they haven't contacted a lawyer. Both Jay Leno and NBC are prime targets, flush with wealth. Most lawyers would jump at the chance to take on a fat target like this if they felt they had enough evidence to make a decent case, and there are plenty of contingency attorneys who wouldn't even charge anything unless they won.
posted by wolfdreams01 at 11:08 AM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow, the block message on that RcikRoll video is really something...
posted by whir at 11:10 AM on May 24, 2012 [26 favorites]


Is this even true anymore? YouTube is full of user-generated content that is quite good.

There is plenty of user-generated content, ocassionally watchable content even! but much is still just rehashed copyrighted material. Just search any random song title if you want proof.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:10 AM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Most lawyers would jump at the chance to take on a fat target like this if they felt they had enough evidence to make a decent case, and there are plenty of contingency attorneys who wouldn't even charge anything unless they won.

What are the damages here? IANAL, but I can't imagine any but the most desperate lawyers "jumping" at a case here. This is likely one of those failed bureaucracy type of things.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:12 AM on May 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


Also, the user-generated content is uploaded once, by the user. Copyrighted content is typically mirrored a number of times between five and infinity.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:13 AM on May 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


Why are we even having this conversation?

Everything everywhere is owned by Disney, forever. Get with the program, people. Back to the Content Mines!
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:16 AM on May 24, 2012 [28 favorites]


What's the damage? Leno's producers might be able to claim Fair Use, and this guy can always upload it again.
posted by Ideefixe at 11:17 AM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also, the user-generated content is uploaded once, by the user. Copyrighted content is typically mirrored a number of times between five and infinity.

User generated content is copyrighted. My piss-inscribed name in the snow is fucking copyrighted.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:18 AM on May 24, 2012 [13 favorites]


Look, maybe I’m overreacting, and I hope I am. I should let you know, that some of my friends have tried to talk me down and explain copyright laws and YouTube, but I just don’t care. It’s not even about that specific video being blocked, I mean, I’m in the process of uploading that shit on Funny or Die right now. It’s not about that. It’s about you, Jay Leno.

This is the mindset of someone who has learned how to get free publicity. Like Jay Leno even knows you're alive, or gives a flying fuck about 30 seconds of filler that was on his show 5 years ago. Also, I don't even like Jay Leno* but I've seen his show long enough and to know that they do all those dumb video clip segments right after the monologue at the start of the program, followed by first guest, second guest and a musical number. this whole thing reeks of bullshit.

* except when he interviews politicians, which he is surprisingly good at.
posted by anigbrowl at 11:18 AM on May 24, 2012


The villain here might well be Content ID, Youtube's automated system for deciding something matches some copyrighted material and preemptively removing it without a DMCA request. (More on Content ID.) Metafilter's own waxpancake theorizes that after the video showed up on the Tonight Show, the content of that video got rolled into the "that's from the Tonight Show!" filter and blocked the original. Ie: basically this is copyright maximalism gone wrong with the help of automated copyright filtering.
posted by Nelson at 11:18 AM on May 24, 2012 [16 favorites]


Someone already mentioned what happened in the comments of the original article: it's an automated piece of software that searches out for bits that may be copyright infringement. It sucks and they shouldn't be allowed to use a flawed, automated system (all DMCA takedown requests should be filed by hand IMO), but it wasn't a purposeful persecution of the guys that made the original video.
posted by 1000monkeys at 11:18 AM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Just search any random song title if you want proof.

Indeed, searching for copyrighted material will find copyrighted material. I don't think that's in dispute. What's in dispute is the "90%".
posted by DU at 11:18 AM on May 24, 2012 [7 favorites]


There is plenty of user-generated content, ocassionally watchable content even! but much is still just rehashed copyrighted material. Just search any random song title if you want proof.

Alls I ever wanted was bootlegged Bob Dylan concert footage, especially from the 2001/2002 tour. And they took that away from me.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:19 AM on May 24, 2012


However, there's lots of fine live Radiohead footage, which kind of evens things out.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:19 AM on May 24, 2012


What are the damages here?

If I ever found out Jay Leno and I had similar idea of what was funny I would probably claim damaged of eighteen trillion dollars.
posted by bondcliff at 11:20 AM on May 24, 2012 [9 favorites]


FTFA: "Why would two aspiring comedians who made a funny video be interested in their own network television debut?"

This isn't about a copyright claim. If I recall correctly he could, in a couple of clicks, dispute the DMCA takedown and get his video running no problem.

This is a guy making a mountain out of a molehill because he is an aspiring comedian. Good luck with that.
posted by m@f at 11:20 AM on May 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


"Don't be evil."
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:21 AM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


damages, not damaged.

My point is, fuck Jay Leno, that unfunny fuck.
posted by bondcliff at 11:21 AM on May 24, 2012 [6 favorites]


He seems most angry that he is accused of being a thief, and I think that is a perfectly valid reason to be angry.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:22 AM on May 24, 2012 [7 favorites]


Jay Leno's still on TV?
posted by chasing at 11:22 AM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


What are the damages here?

Leno received ad revenue (in addition to a rediculous paer-show compensation package from NBC) for someone else's content.

Additionally, the creators are no longer able to use their own creations to promote their writing or talents.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:23 AM on May 24, 2012 [8 favorites]


This isn't about a copyright claim. If I recall correctly he could, in a couple of clicks, dispute the DMCA takedown and get his video running no problem.

Not quite that simple, and it puts the burden of proof on the accused.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:23 AM on May 24, 2012 [9 favorites]


Yeah, I'd be annoyed.

I'd probably be more annoyed at the dumb automated or quasi-automated process that made this happen than Jay Leno, but he's annoying all the same.
posted by Artw at 11:24 AM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


If I ever found out Jay Leno and I had similar idea of what was funny I would probably claim damaged of eighteen trillion dollars.


....AND his Stanley Steamer. Then you can drive up and down his street and shout that the water in the boiler is STRAIGHT FROM THE TAP.

STRAIGHT FROM THE TAP.


No, I'm not sure what that means.
posted by Atreides at 11:24 AM on May 24, 2012 [6 favorites]


If Jay Leno swiped any of my material I would be too ashamed to make a fuss. I would take it down myself. Because that would be definitive proof that I'm a hack.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:31 AM on May 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


From the Ars Technica article about AVG: "UPDATE: That video seems to work now (it wasn't working earlier, we swear!). But we're still waiting to hear back from AVG and Google/YouTube about how something like this could happen."
posted by ericb at 11:31 AM on May 24, 2012


How do we reconcile YouTube's official hard-line position on copyright with the reality that 90% of the content on their site is clearly copyrighted and clearly used without permission?

Jeff Atwood was unaware, five years ago at least, that the Copyright Act of 1976 made virtually all works in the United States copyrighted.

User generated content is copyrighted. My piss-inscribed name in the snow is fucking copyrighted.


Thanks, the continued misuse of the term "copyrighted" gets on my nerves as well.
posted by yath at 11:32 AM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Jay Leno's still on TV?

It is physically impossible for Jay Leno not to be on teevee. Attempts to remove Jay Leno from teevee result in bee attacks.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:32 AM on May 24, 2012 [11 favorites]


The worst part of this whole story?

The video.
posted by Muddler at 11:36 AM on May 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


What are the damages here?

Leno received ad revenue (in addition to a rediculous paer-show compensation package from NBC) for someone else's content.


Those are not damages in the sense of your ability to profit from your work was (necessarily) harmed, though you may be able to demand they be turned over to you. If your work is, say, so bad/trivial that the only way that anyone was ever going to see it was if someone ran it on their talk show then your market was not diminished by people seeing it that way.
posted by phearlez at 11:38 AM on May 24, 2012


This is not about copyright issues---never has been. It's about who will own the internet.
posted by birdhaus at 11:38 AM on May 24, 2012 [6 favorites]


"The worst part of this whole story?

The video."

THAT'S NOT THE POINT!

The point is, we're the Internet, and we need People to Hate. And hating Jay Leno is so EASY and feels so GOOD. Let it wash over you. Let go.

Be the hate.

Be the hate.
posted by Tevin at 11:39 AM on May 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


I hate Leno, but this clearly just a mistake by NBC, and not something he was involved in at all.
posted by w0mbat at 11:42 AM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Those are not damages in the sense of your ability to profit from your work was (necessarily) harmed,

That's not what the industry claims :)
posted by -harlequin- at 11:44 AM on May 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


In the universe where Jay Leno DOESN'T continuously screw people over, I was up late last night watching The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 11:45 AM on May 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


The worst part of this whole story?

The video.


I thought it was great, more campaign ads should be like that.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:45 AM on May 24, 2012


"I hate Leno, but this clearly just a mistake by NBC, and not something he was involved in at all."

Definitely. I'd like to ask this guy whether or not he has contacted any NBC stooges to get his video unblocked. Is there a process for that sort of thing, even?

Christ, just imagining what kind of headache that would be.
posted by Tevin at 11:46 AM on May 24, 2012


I hate Leno, but this clearly just a mistake by NBC, and not something he was involved in at all.

That's the joke. This isn't on the front page of Metafilter because the writer is mentally ill.
posted by howfar at 11:48 AM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


The fact that NBC is staking claim to ownership is wrong and should be fought, but I get the feeling there's a kind of double standard floating around when it comes to "copyright".

1. "Hey, Jay Leno stole my video, the bastard."
2. "Hey, Conan used my video. Awesome!"
posted by davebush at 11:49 AM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Of course Jay Leno didn't set out to screw these guys and steal their video. I don't think anyone thinks that and despite the little farcical quasi-script in the original link, I don't think this guy thinks that either. But even if it is some automated NBC thing, it's a stupid automated NBC thing and since it's Jay Leno's show he can them to stop doing the stupid automated NBC thing if he wants to.
posted by peacheater at 11:50 AM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Leno sucks. Go Team Coco.
posted by Flood at 11:50 AM on May 24, 2012


The fact that NBC is staking claim to ownership is wrong and should be fought, but I get the feeling there's a kind of double standard floating around when it comes to "copyright".

I don't think it was so much the using of the content that pissed off the author here as the accusation that HE was a thief for posting content that Leno would later use.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:52 AM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


It sucks and they shouldn't be allowed to use a flawed, automated system (all DMCA takedown requests should be filed by hand IMO), but it wasn't a purposeful persecution of the guys that made the original video.

And YouTube has a built-in system for people to say they do actually own a video that gets blocked like this which anyone can use to get their video back up when mistakes like this happen. It's a messy system but overall it tends to resolve disputes without having to involve the legal system.
posted by burnmp3s at 11:53 AM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


But even if it is some automated NBC thing, it's a stupid automated NBC thing and since it's Jay Leno's show he can them to stop doing the stupid automated NBC thing if he wants to

To be fair, he likely doesn't even know who at NBC is responsible, if it was a person at all.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:55 AM on May 24, 2012


I hate Leno, but this clearly just a mistake by NBC, and not something he was involved in at all.

Metonymy.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:55 AM on May 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


/gathers pitchforks for anti-robot mob.
posted by Artw at 11:55 AM on May 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


Doo doo doo doo doo.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:55 AM on May 24, 2012


But even if it is some automated NBC thing, it's a stupid automated NBC thing and since it's Jay Leno's show he can them to stop doing the stupid automated NBC thing if he wants to.

Nope. YouTube has to deal with suspect takedowns as legitimate, or risk losing their fair harbor status.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:58 AM on May 24, 2012


The worst part of this whole story?
The video.


Yeah, they should thank Jay for blocking it.

(but otherwise, this sucks...)
posted by MtDewd at 11:58 AM on May 24, 2012


well, jay leno's show has been caught not giving proper attribution before - which i think is relevant.

as i see it - the big media companies aggressively and asshole-ishly defend their copyrights - that is their right and it's just an ideological difference of opinion about how that helps or hurts art/commerce/content creators. however! then they also seem to have zero qualms about straight stealing content from the hoi polloi, covering their asses with comments like "exposure" - except some of the more egregious, like the tonight show, don't even give the proper credit. this makes them assholes.

i don't really care about the merits of this dude's video, but it's a good example of the double standard. it doesn't matter that he can get the video back up if he proves it's his - the system as it runs presently is that a person just has to say "that's mine!" for it to be taken down and it's weighted more heavily towards those with the biggest pocket books. this guy shouldn't have to prove it's his - the tonight show should have to prove it's their content before it is taken down.
posted by nadawi at 11:59 AM on May 24, 2012 [10 favorites]


but I get the feeling there's a kind of double standard floating around when it comes to "copyright".

nope! not a double standard! it's like the songs politicians use - "mitt romney wants to use my song - fuck that guy!" "obama wants to use my song- awesome!" or like, the beatles song showing up on mad men, but not on most other things - that's a choice they get to make and it's not a contradiction to favor conan using your material over leno.

also, i don't think i've seen any stories of conan's team stealing content, not giving attribution, and then TBS pulling the original material off youtube. jay leno's team didn't even ask this guy, or tell him it had happened.
posted by nadawi at 12:04 PM on May 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


"Don't be evil."

I get it. Because that's Google's motto, but you're like, using it here, but like, ironically.

That's pretty funny, BP. You might be another Jay Leno yourself.
posted by kbanas at 12:09 PM on May 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


Jay Leno's still on TV?

There's still TV?

They turned off TV in June 2009. I haven't seen live TV since.
posted by charlie don't surf at 12:12 PM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Actually, I found this "Jay Leno is Not Evil" riff - a link embedded in the linked piece - a pretty interesting read.

I still firmly believe Leno's Tonight Show is not just terminally unfunny but actually a kind of humour anti-magnet that renders even funny things flat and inert in its presence, but it does sound like industry assholes have at least as much to do with his position as he himself does.
posted by gompa at 12:13 PM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


it doesn't matter that he can get the video back up if he proves it's his - the system as it runs presently is that a person just has to say "that's mine!" for it to be taken down and it's weighted more heavily towards those with the biggest pocket books

Well how is it supposed to work then? YouTube gets 72 hours of video uploaded to it every minute. Obviously manually sorting through all of that content and comparing it with the entire set of copyrighted material is not an option. And even if it was, there would still be cases like this where an objective third party might not know who stole from who. There are going to be mistakes in the process and when those mistakes happen the main important thing is that they are corrected as quickly as possible.
posted by burnmp3s at 12:13 PM on May 24, 2012


Nope. YouTube has to deal with suspect takedowns as legitimate, or risk losing their fair harbor status.


I'm not talking about Youtube here. I'm saying that NBC shouldn't be engaging in this behavior and I'm sure it's possible for Jay Leno to exert his influence to get them to stop doing this.
posted by peacheater at 12:14 PM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well how is it supposed to work then?

well, as i already said in the comment you quoted from (the very next line, in fact), it should work as the person requesting the take down has to prove it's their content before the take down happens. that's not really a crazy pants idea.
posted by nadawi at 12:21 PM on May 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


I went to school with Travis; I'll let him know about this thread.
posted by Kwine at 12:28 PM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Nah, we should just copy/paste his whole essay here in this thread, then send a DMCA takedown notice to the hosting company for splitinsider.com.
posted by hincandenza at 12:32 PM on May 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


I need to use this in all of my correspondences today

But the truth is you kind of fucked up my shit and I need to talk to you about it.
posted by stormpooper at 12:57 PM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm not talking about Youtube here. I'm saying that NBC shouldn't be engaging in this behavior and I'm sure it's possible for Jay Leno to exert his influence to get them to stop doing this.

The first part may be impossible given a large enough stable of lawyers. The second may be overestimating someone's influence.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 1:00 PM on May 24, 2012


Man Gets Irritated Because He Doesn't Understand YouTube.

If he made any effort to find out what recourse he had, he would have quickly found out:
  1. Media companies upload massive quantities of copyrighted material as they are produced to provide a content matching database for YouTube.
  2. YouTube scans every user uploaded video to match against known copyrighted videos.
  3. Since this video matched a clip of a Tonight Show episode, YouTube assumed it was copyrighted and took it down.
  4. On the occasions when this results in a false positive, there's a link in the account management section to request that it be reinstated.
I'd wager a good amount that at no point was an actual person involved, maliciously or otherwise, in taking down the video. This was taken down by an automated scanner matching against an automated content database. And he didn't even try to use the tools provided to get it reinstated.

But I guess his response is more cathartic, or something.
posted by chundo at 1:09 PM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]




Sorry, that should have read 2nd on the list
posted by mcstayinskool at 1:11 PM on May 24, 2012


it should work as the person requesting the take down has to prove it's their content before the take down happens. that's not really a crazy pants idea

How would the proving work though? The reason this happened is that NBC handed over content of their show to YouTube which they claimed they owned the copyright to, which was not really true because one part of it was actually owned by someone else who also uploaded their version to YouTube. That's NBC's fault in this case for implicitly claiming copyright ownership for something they didn't really own, but in general the system works. The automated takedown makes sense because in the vast majority of cases it doesn't get to the appeal stage and nobody on either side does anything else, whereas the mandatory proving it stage would have to be a completely new and harder to automate step.
posted by burnmp3s at 1:13 PM on May 24, 2012


If he made any effort to find out what recourse he had, he would have quickly found out:

He mentions that a robot did it in TFA, but people are responsible for what robots do in their name, as my failed Roomba bank robbery attempt proved.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:21 PM on May 24, 2012 [7 favorites]


Related, Google just posted to their blog. They've added a graph of copyrigt removal requests for URLs in the search index. Over one million URLs a month. Man, that's expensive to maange.

I find it surprising how many folks here on Metafilter are defending NBC and Youtube's copyright maximalist position. NBC spams Youtube with a bunch of stuff saying "this all belongs to us". Youtube blindly accepts what NBC says and starts removing actual user-created content, then puts the burden of proof on the original creator to prove they actually own the content. It's not a good thing.

Content ID goes way beyond what Google is required to do by the DMCA. I assumed Google put it in place because they realized just how much unlicensed material shows up on Youtube and wanted to get ahead of it, to be more friendly to copyright owners like NBC. Fair enough, but that doesn't excuse the collateral damage of people's individual works being stolen by giant corporations.
posted by Nelson at 1:24 PM on May 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


Since this video matched a clip of a Tonight Show episode, YouTube assumed it was copyrighted NBC owned it and took it down.

That's kinda the point of this whole rant right there.

Major media company took indie-created content and broadcast it, without asking permission, which is pretty clearly a copyright violation by NBC. But they get away with it, obviously, because they're a major media company.

Mindless robots then hijack the original content creator's content, delete it, and leave them in the position of having to prove they own their own stuff in order to get it reinstated. Which will happen quickly in this case, because it's getting some publicity. But often enough this happens very slowly or not at all. And however long it happens, it still leaves the content creators SOL in the meantime while the mindless robots grind through the process.

Of course these people don't actually think Jay Leno personally twirled his giant chin and said heh heh heh and took down their video. It's funnier and more effective to personify the action rather than attributing it to mindless robots.

We all understand how this stuff works. The people who posted this rant understand how it works. What they're saying is that how it works sucks.
posted by ook at 1:45 PM on May 24, 2012 [9 favorites]


News of 'Rickroll' Meme Death Greatly Exaggerated
" ... Wednesday's 'RickRoll'D' disappearance may not be a copyright controversy at all.

On YouTube, the policy is take down first, ask questions after people start to complain. A glitch in the Content ID system may be behind the momentary loss of RickRoll'D, EFF attorney Julie Samuels speculated in a phone interview.

Sometimes, the difference between copyright protection, free speech and a glitch in the system gets decided after the fact."
posted by ericb at 2:20 PM on May 24, 2012


We all understand how this stuff works. The people who posted this rant understand how it works. What they're saying is that how it works sucks.

Most people don't, and he certainly doesn't. Most people think takedown notices are user-generated by media company lackeys that scour YouTube every day - which a small percentage admittedly are. This guy thinks it's "NBC's robot" issuing the notices. Closer, but still wrong.

NBC provides a database of content. YouTube decides if it matches of its own volition. Compared to the alternatives of being sued out of existence or going broke hiring human scanners, the system is a pretty good compromise, and TFA is pretty dumb.

His ire should be directed solely at YouTube, so he's either ignorant of how the process works, or he's being intentionally obtuse to get eyeballs for a painfully unfunny article. Either way, kind of an idiot.
posted by chundo at 2:32 PM on May 24, 2012


His ire should be directed solely at YouTube

If NBC provided the database of content that wrongly claimed the video was theirs, why blame the YouTube robot?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:44 PM on May 24, 2012


wait - you don't think any ire should be directed at leno who used his content without permission or attribution or even a heads up? surely that is at least half the story, isn't it? that's the joke - that jay leno/the tonight show stole his content and then the machinations in place said he stole it from NBC.
posted by nadawi at 2:45 PM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I haven't seen a block notice that wasn't immediately remedied by a quick search for the EXACT SAME VIDEO on YT. Maybe it happens that a video is actually completely removed from YT, but sloppy removal actions on the part of YT frequently lead to "bragging rights" ("YT censored my video, the cabal in action!") in many, many more instances.
posted by telstar at 2:51 PM on May 24, 2012


wait - you don't think any ire should be directed at leno who used his content without permission or attribution or even a heads up?

It may be a valid issue, but he spends like 10 out of 1500 words on that particular gripe. So it isn't half of this story. What he's bitching about is all YouTube.

If NBC provided the database of content that wrongly claimed the video was theirs, why blame the YouTube robot?

NBC provides show footage that they aired. YouTube decided that matching a small piece of it indicated copyright infringement. Sure, it's imperfect, but at least there is a recourse for the user. Got a better idea that doesn't involve mass lawsuits? You should implement it, I'm sure you'd make millions. I'm sure YouTube doesn't enjoy pissing off their users any more than they like getting sued for hosting copyrighted materials.
posted by chundo at 3:26 PM on May 24, 2012


YouTube decided it was infringing because NBC provided legal affirmation that what they were uploading was their intellectual property. If NBC cannot verify that they own some portion of an episode, they should not upload that episode into the system.

YouTube is simply providing a tool to assist in the searching, they do not claim to be doing the searching themselves.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:31 PM on May 24, 2012


Got a better idea that doesn't involve mass lawsuits?

Sure. One option would be just to live under the DMCA, and require a proper DMCA complaint to remove a video. No proactive removal. IIRC the reason Youtube took a more aggressive stance is that it was the only way to get some concessions from the media companies who were demanding automatic removal. Or maybe they were worried the DMCA itself was at risk. I'd love more info, if anyone has references, I remember this awkward year where Google was promising to implement Content ID and it was taking forever and the media companies were howling mad.

The other option would be to improve Content ID. I hear Google has lots of technical talent and computer resources to throw at the problem. Consider some extra signals like the reputation of the video poster, the age of the allegedly infringing video, etc. Require some occasional human intervention to remove videos that the Magic Machine flagged with low confidence. I imagine Google takes some measures like this already but we don't really know what they are because they keep it all a very big secret.

A third option would be an alternative to Youtube that respects individual creators more than media corporations. Unfortunately in the US we only really have one major player, Vimeo.
posted by Nelson at 3:33 PM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


YouTube decided it was infringing because NBC provided legal affirmation that what they were uploading was their intellectual property. If NBC cannot verify that they own some portion of an episode, they should not upload that episode into the system.

Yeah, besides the takedown notice says 'NBC' not 'Google'. If NBC is acting on behalf of the Leno show, well, who you gonna call?


...Chinbusters!
posted by lumpenprole at 3:39 PM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I imagine Google takes some measures like this already but we don't really know what they are because they keep it all a very big secret

Yes, for much the same reason as anti-spam or anti-SEO stuff: if you say how you're doing it, you make it very easy to work around. Like those systems, Content ID and similar measures are constantly being worked on / improved.

Note that Content ID takedowns can be contested in the same way as other (DMCA-written-notice-style) takedowns. Both types can obviously be misused which is why there is a recourse.

[so many things I'd love to comment on, but anything related to copyright falls into that legally-sensitive area where I become Joe Friday: "just the facts"]
posted by wildcrdj at 3:40 PM on May 24, 2012


furiousxgeorge -

Look at the next link down on that page: http://www.youtube.com/t/contentid

Read "What is ContentID?" and "How does Content ID work?"
posted by chundo at 3:40 PM on May 24, 2012


I'm not sure what point you are trying to make. When I type a search into Google I am the one responsible for what is searched for, not Google. NBC claimed something that was not their intellectual property was, so YouTube blocked it according to NBC policy.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:50 PM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sure, Leno sucks the humour out of anything he does, but this is NBC lawyer BS, and Google bending over for them.
posted by clvrmnky at 3:54 PM on May 24, 2012


Welcome to the world where bots use the law to their fullest extent.
Linked before, but relevant: Nanolaw with Daughter.
posted by bbuda at 4:02 PM on May 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


Y'know, on a normal day I'd be all for playing a good round of Pedantics 'N' Semantics as to why stuff people are upset about is always their own fault.

However, after a lifetime of examples of major corporations / super-rich artists / media conglomerates / etc. use copyright law to screw ordinary people out of art that could make them, if not immortal, then at least some cash or adulation, I don't give a fuck how lame/funny the video in question is, whether or NOT its feasable, I'd love nothing more than to see these kids to hit Jay Leno, NBC, YouTube, hell, Google and whoever else is involved with the judicial equivalent of a fucking daisy cutter missile
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 4:10 PM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


NBC provides a database of content. YouTube decides if it matches of its own volition.

His ire should be directed solely at YouTube, so he's either ignorant of how the process works, or he's being intentionally obtuse to get eyeballs for a painfully unfunny article. Either way, kind of an idiot.


So wait, if I carefully fabricate evidence that someone committed a crime, give that to the police and they arrest that person, the police are the bad guys in the story? And if the now suspect doesn't know where the warren t for their arrest was signed, they are an idiot?

Is that like Napoleonic Code or something?
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 5:35 PM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


NBC claimed something that was not their intellectual property was, so YouTube blocked it according to NBC policy.

Well, they blocked it according to US law, which is decidedly one-sided in this regard.

Seriously, the penalties for copyfraud should be *greater* than those for infringement, not laughably smaller.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:42 PM on May 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


Well, they blocked it according to US law,

Removal is not required by the law, though it certainly supports it when requested. (if you actually own the IP).

What I mean by saying they did it according to NBC policy is that YouTube offers alternate options.

Choose, in advance, what they want to happen when those videos are found. Make money from them. Get stats on them. Or block them from YouTube altogether.

YouTube really deserves none of the blame here. They didn't make the decision about what to do about the video. They didn't "decide" it matched what NBC told them was their content, it DID match what NBC told them was their content.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:03 PM on May 24, 2012


Removal is not required by the law, though it certainly supports it when requested. (if you actually own the IP).

Removal is critical for maintaining safe harbor status, which shields you from liability. Demonstrating actual ownership of the IP doesn't enter into it unless there's a challenge, and the timetable is MUCH more lenient there.

Might be fun come election season.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:22 PM on May 24, 2012


CHT, I get that removal is necessary when it's requested. My point is the fault here lies with the request, not YouTube for not knowing NBC was claiming content they didn't own.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:29 PM on May 24, 2012


ChurchHatesTucker: Seriously, the penalties for copyfraud should be *greater* than those for infringement, not laughably smaller.
This, right here. YT/Google are pretty much blameless: because of a special relationship, they took data in some private feed directly from NBC, and this data stands as a claim that all included video and audio is the intellectual property of NBC. Youtube rightly stripped away anything matching that data; the claim isn't that the ContentID software erroneously marked content as copyrighted that was not, it's that NBC fraudulently declared content as their own, when it wasn't. It's even perfectly understandable why big media companies can get this compliance from YT; NBC Universal is considered more authoritative, and more likely to have a dedicated and thorough team of copyright lawyers, to ensure they really do have rights to the content when the content is submitted.

But the problem, obviously, is that NBC did not have those rights to this piece of video; they apparently used this Youtube video without attribution or permisson (I'm not sure if YT rules allow fair use implicitly, but didn't they play the entire video on the show?), and then falsely claimed the video as their own content. Indeed, it sounds like they do a 'funny Youtube video' bit in many shows, which means there may indeed be a number of other videos out there that are now being marked via ContentID as the property of NBC simply by their uploading the entire show as a "copyrighted telecast"... when those videos originated on Youtube itself and do not belong to NBC.


In a just world- and what many of us are "howling" about- there should be a stiff penalty for "copyfraud" equal to or exceeding that of copyright violations. Unless this were the only such violation by NBC- unlikely, given they show YT clips regularly from anigbrowl's comment- it's likely they've done this multiple times before but without the level of response that this particular video's creator had. The penalty/remedy should come from the legal system in terms of damages/limitations on activity, but at minimum from Youtube themselves. As noted, removal is not explicitly required by law, so YT should react accordingly.

For example, why not have a period whereby Youtube effectively treats NBC as a "vexatious litigator", and stops receiving their automated feeds at all? Should NBC respond badly by, say, taking them to court when copyrighted material appears on Youtube, they could point out NBC has a documented history of fraudulent copyright claims, and thus is no longer trustworthy for automated processing. NBC could then manually file DMCA claims just like Joe Youtuber. If I spent my days falsely claiming I had rights to pieces of video on Youtube, I'd eventually be shut out from their internal reporting system- and I wouldn't think that if it was then found that some content I owned slipped through, it would totally jeopardize "safe harbor" status.

What is upsetting- but wholly unsurprising- is that the most energetic copyright agitators (the big media companies) are as likely to be uploading content they don't have rights to upload as anyone else. But because they have deep pockets, they aren't held accountable.

And so it goes.
posted by hincandenza at 6:31 PM on May 24, 2012 [8 favorites]


tl;dr: Hay u guys accidentally blocked our video.
posted by smithsmith at 7:47 PM on May 24, 2012


Welcome to the world where bots use the law to their fullest extent.

1. Serve the public trust
2. Protect the innocent
3. Uphold the law
4. Never oppose an NBC officer
posted by charlie don't surf at 8:05 PM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh BTW this isn't copyfraud, in the conventional sense that it is currently being used in legal terminology. That refers to fraudulent assertion of copyright on public domain works. This is plain old copyright infringement. There are plenty of infringers who falsely claim they are the creator of someone else's copyrighted IP.
posted by charlie don't surf at 8:30 PM on May 24, 2012


User generated content is copyrighted. My piss-inscribed name in the snow is fucking copyrighted.

Unfortunately for you, I hold several patents related to methods for melting snow to produce numbers, letters, symbols, designs, signatures, logos, caricatures, obscene diagrams, and territorial, hobo, or warchalking marks using manually-directed streams of warm bodily fluids.

(6,902,525; 7,320,710; 7,380,203; 7,538,148; 7,811,237; 8,177,996 and other patents pending.)
posted by straight at 9:59 PM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


The last investigated this, YouTube's copyright system was actually very reasonable.

The first time they get a takedown notice on an item of yours, they instantly take it down, with basically no proof at all. However, if you contact them and put up any sort of argument at all as to why it's yours, they'll put it back up and notify the original complainer - who then has to actually supply proof the second time around.

I believe that's what happened here - the moment YouTube discovered there was a dispute on whether the video was an infringement, they popped it right back up.

Basically, 99.9% of the videos removed from YouTube were added by violators who knew they were doing it, and probably are doing it from throwaway accounts, so they never reply. Only a tiny number of people respond to defend themselves, and if they do it goes into a much more intelligent conflict resolution mode.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:04 PM on May 24, 2012


The fact that NBC is staking claim to ownership is wrong and should be fought, but I get the feeling there's a kind of double standard floating around when it comes to "copyright".

1. "Hey, Jay Leno stole my video, the bastard."
2. "Hey, Conan used my video. Awesome!"

davebush, your point would be meaningful if "copyright" was defined as "the owner is the only one in the world who may ever use this work, even if he/she/it specifically says it's OK to use it, uh-uh, ever."

It's not copyright infringement if the owner of the work says it's not. Period.
posted by IAmBroom at 1:19 AM on May 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Man Gets Irritated Because He Doesn't Understand YouTube.

Man Gets Irritated Because YouTube Automatically Gave The Benefit Of The Doubt To A Computer Program Owned By A Corporation And Fucked Him Over At The Same Time
posted by obiwanwasabi at 2:26 AM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Travis Irvine for Mayor of Bexley. Ohio 2007


This video, uploaded on November 3, 2007 plays just fine. Isn't this the one all the hoopla is about?
posted by notmtwain at 5:24 AM on May 25, 2012


I'm an archive producer and more and more often am sourcing and using what they call UGC (user generated content) from sites like YouTube. Unless the clip is going to be fair dealt/cleared under fair use, I always, always, always clear the clip with the original uploader - sometimes free with attribution, sometimes for a fee.

I wonder how it's going to work with shows that are uploaded that contain archive and UGC - are the original content provider's going to be penalised by having their content removed regularly?
posted by ebear at 7:46 AM on May 25, 2012


It's already pretty common - that's why challenging a YouTube takedown gets it immediately reinstated, pending more a more detailed challenge from the alleged rights holder. But it seems like most people here feel like that 30-second step is an tragic abuse of power rather than a decent compromise.
posted by chundo at 8:01 AM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


One option would be just to live under the DMCA, and require a proper DMCA complaint to remove a video. No proactive removal.

Better but still not perfect. The mandatory cooling-off period is fraught with possibility for abuse and the lack of (any) repercussions for misuse of takedowns is offensive. It's maddening how many of my tax dollars fund these law enforcement raids on copyright violators but none are devoted to smacking down corporate overreach.
posted by phearlez at 9:00 AM on May 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Content ID Run Amok: Isaac's Lip-Dub Proposal Removed from YouTube

Same thing: "As a final stupid footnote, there are still multiple copies of Isaac's proposal on YouTube. The most popular? This one — uploaded by a TV news network."
posted by mrgrimm at 1:09 PM on June 7, 2012


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