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Flaw In YouTube Takedown Process Exposed

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the in-the-case-of-chicken-v-egg dept.

Youtube 181

New submitter BraveThumb writes "One independent rap group found it impossible to post their song on YouTube. When they tried to put up their video, they were informed that the copyright belonged to Universal Music, even though the rap group wasn't signed to any label. Another group working with Universal had used the music in a video of their own, which then accidentally leaked online. YouTube's filtering software then blocked the original. The Hollywood Reporter shares what happened and concludes by saying, 'For an industry that's pursuing copyright reform, the portrayal of a copyright regime that works against young artists can't be a good thing.'"

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181 comments

Sue Universal For Copyright Ingringement (5, Insightful)

rhook (943951) | more than 2 years ago | (#38845693)

Give them a taste of their own medicine.

Slander of title is more like it (4, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38845739)

Wouldn't the proper claim be "slander of title"? Universal represented to YouTube that it had the exclusive right to block a work from appearing on YouTube, when it in fact had only a nonexclusive license from this rap group.

Re:Slander of title is more like it (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38845815)

Where does it state the "other group working with Universal" had a non-exclusive license?
Perhaps it was fair use (although enough of the track was used to be recognized), but according to Universal et all, fair use == copyright infringement.

Benefit of the doubt (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38845869)

Where does it state the "other group working with Universal" had a non-exclusive license?

On a quick reread, I discovered that it doesn't. In my comment, I gave UMG the benefit of the doubt, ass-uming it had licensed the sample from ATS, the same way that (say) a judge would when considering a motion for summary judgment.

Re:Benefit of the doubt (3, Informative)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 2 years ago | (#38846761)

In my comment, I gave UMG the benefit of the doubt, ass-uming it had licensed the sample from ATS,

And from what I read in TFA, it appears that Yelawolf used the music and presented it to their label as their own work. I don't know if UMG had the responsibility to verify that claim or not. I'd think it would be rather hard to do that, considering that the music was from an unsigned indie artist who, it appears, hadn't published it yet anywhere.

It looks, to me, like Yelawolf is the bad guy here, not UMG. I should be able to leave it unsaid that the fact that I think UMG isn't the bad guy in this case doesn't say anything about any other actions.

Re:Benefit of the doubt (1)

eineerg (2098930) | more than 2 years ago | (#38847315)

They both the bad guys, doesn't have to one or the other. I assume UMG owns the copyright to their artists works, so why shouldn't they be liable when they publish copyrighted material as their own?

Re:Benefit of the doubt (3, Informative)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38847507)

I don't think it matters who said what, if UMG uploaded the infringing work then its them who should be sued. It would then be up to UMG to get the money it lost from the suit back from Yelawolf.

Re:Slander of title is more like it (5, Informative)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | more than 2 years ago | (#38846497)

They had *no* license to use the work. linky [techdirt.com]

The summary also makes it look like YouTube did this. In fact, Youtube allows the music labels themselves to add songs to filter on. So UMG saw their artist play a song then someone else play the song (the true author) and so uploaded the song as a violation...even though their artist was in fact the violator.

They did have a license. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38846591)

Their license agreement was Agreed and Assented upon when they Asserted the Assumption that they owned said Intellectual Property.

The license agreement was agreed to after 3-days of implicit satisfaction of such'n'such thousands of dollars for every assertion Universal Music Group claims towards vendees, or Universal Music Group implies agreement to the Offer to Buy said Intellectual Property for One---Hundred----millllion----dollars. %D?

Re:Slander of title is more like it (3, Informative)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 2 years ago | (#38846737)

So UMG saw their artist play a song then someone else play the song (the true author) and so uploaded the song as a violation...

No, actually, UMG listed the song after someone had leaked a ripped copy of the Yelawolf version so that nobody could upload the Yelawolf version to YouTube again. They were protecting the product that they believed they had clear copyright to, but didn't know at the time it contained music from a different author.

Whuzi wasn't the target of the takedowns, ripped copies of Yelawolf were. It's just that the detection system caught the fact that Yelawolf had used the Whuzi music, and now the issue is did he do it with or without permission. Whuzi isn't clear on that, and didn't answer that explicit question when asked.

Re:Sue Universal For Copyright Ingringement (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38845741)

You can't fight fire with fire when they have more napalm than you.

Re:Sue Universal For Copyright Ingringement (1)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 2 years ago | (#38846245)

Sure you can. But you'd better be wearing your asbestos Underoos when you try ;)

Re:Sue Universal For Copyright Ingringement (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38845763)

unsigned group's budget for lawyers: $20
Universal's budget for lawyers: millions

see the problem?

Re:Sue Universal For Copyright Ingringement (4, Insightful)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38845807)

unsigned group's budget for lawyers: $20
Universal's budget for lawyers: millions

Public opinion: priceless.

Re:Sue Universal For Copyright Ingringement (3, Insightful)

headkase (533448) | more than 2 years ago | (#38845879)

Getting appreciable public attention? Priceless (no /. doesn't count).

Re:Sue Universal For Copyright Ingringement (5, Insightful)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38845919)

There are some things money can buy.

For everything else, there's lobbyists.

Re:Sue Universal For Copyright Ingringement (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38845923)

Public opinion: $0

Even with the uproar about bills, ACTA will become the law of the land still.

Re:Sue Universal For Copyright Ingringement (4, Insightful)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#38847191)

Even with the uproar about bills, ACTA will become the law of the land still.

If you sit on your duff and do nothing about it? Sure. Or you could make some phone calls like we did against SOPA and maybe we can chalk up another win for the good guys.

Re:Sue Universal For Copyright Ingringement (2)

Trogre (513942) | more than 2 years ago | (#38846419)

unsigned group's budget for lawyers: $20
Universal's budget for lawyers: millions

Public opinion: priceless.

Apathetic public opinion: worthless

Re:Sue Universal For Copyright Ingringement (2)

uniquename72 (1169497) | more than 2 years ago | (#38846575)

Public opinion: priceless.

What good would public opinion do in this case? Those who would boycott Universal have done so for years. At most a real outcry might prod someone in Washington to act, but I'd argue that if that were going to happen, it would have happened after the Dajaz1.com incident. [techdirt.com]

Re:Sue Universal For Copyright Ingringement (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38846175)

Wouldn't Google help the Artist on this type of issues. Small independent artists are probably bringing more money to Google than large labels. I get big label music everywhere, but independents not so much.

Why Google doesn't take a step and sets a precedent on this issue? It's no like SOPA/PIPA/UMG weren't planning on going against them... so Google should use this type of incidents to fight back.

Re:Sue Universal For Copyright Ingringement (4, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38846025)

Give them a taste of their own medicine.

Take down Universal Music, because, you don't know they aren't pirating other artists works, too.

Re:Sue Universal For Copyright Ingringement (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38846057)

>Sue Universal For Copyright Ingringement

hahahahaaaa...

>Give them a taste of their own medicine.

oh.. you're serious... let me laugh even harder.. HAHAHAHAHAAAAA

Re:Sue Universal For Copyright Ingringement (5, Insightful)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38846103)

He's making the mistake of assuming that big corporations are subject to the penalties of law. Forgive him, he must be new here.

Re:Sue Universal For Copyright Ingringement (5, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38846287)

Give them a taste of their own medicine.

Massive escalating fines for take down orders that prove to be false is the only solution here.

$100,000 for first offense, payable 90% to the victim, 10% to the hosting site, escalating 10% (compounding) for each instance.

The risk of even one false take down order should be enough to get their attention.

Re:Sue Universal For Copyright Ingringement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38846899)

I like the idea, but I think you're starting way too low to actually get their attention.

Re:Sue Universal For Copyright Ingringement (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38846933)

10% compounded for each offense grows frighteningly fast given the pace of these take down orders, which in come cases exceed thousands per day.

Re:Sue Universal For Copyright Ingringement (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38847001)

Exactly why this should happen. Then the take down orders would be reviewed by humans to avoid situations like this for the company. Thousands a day would drop to the low hundreds, and they would be less abusive, to avoid the massively growing fines.

And stopping abuse of the DMCA is a win - the "little people" still get a chance to create and share their own works, and the big corps have a legal system to protect their holdings.

Re:Sue Universal For Copyright Ingringement (1)

stms (1132653) | more than 2 years ago | (#38846331)

This isn't a flaw its a feature you see the big publishers now own the copyright to "anything that sound like rap". Universal was the only publisher excluded from this copyright.

Song Osmosis (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38845737)

Independent artist: "Yay, we made this awesome song!"

Universal: "We like this song. We'll use it in a video that we will then put a copyright on." ...days pass...

Independent artist: "Why can't we post our song on YouTube?"

Universal: "Oh, you mean this song? It's ours now. Thanks!"

Re:Song Osmosis (1)

jesseck (942036) | more than 2 years ago | (#38845829)

I wouldn't be surprised if that is how it went (I won't RTFA yet- better to just jump to conclusions)- young rap group makes song, big rap group (signed to Universal) says "Cool, can we use that for a project?", young rap groups says yes because of exposure, and Universal proceeds to claim sole copyright on the song.

Re:Song Osmosis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38845955)

Sadly that is how the music industry usually works. An example of how they do it is in the movie "Dreamgirls":

- A producer discovers unknown artists singing a great, unreleased song.
- Producer offers contract, artist refuses.
- Producer steals the song, hires another artist, gets it recorded and launched using big recording company resources drowning limited release by original artist.

I bet there gotta be a bunch of ambulance chasers ready to take the case.

Re:Song Osmosis (5, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38846117)

Independent artist: "Yay, we made this awesome song!"

Universal: "We like this song. We'll use it in a video that we will then put a copyright on." ...days pass...

Independent artist: "Why can't we post our song on YouTube?"

Universal: "Oh, you mean this song? It's ours now. Thanks!"

First occurance I heard of this sort of back-ass-ward copyrighting was the voice of Foghorn Leghorn. The dialect humor of Kenny Delmar began with Counselor Carteblanche on the Alan Young radio show, followed by his use of the same character, but amplified a bit more on a southern character for his Senator Claghorn (see the name similarity?) on the Fred Allen radio show, in the Allen's Alley segments. Delmar even played a Claghorn character in the 1947 film "It's A Joke, Son."

Then of all things, the crazy and fun people making Looney Toons and Merry Melodies, who enjoyed a nod to other characters, people or fads of the day, incorporated a big blowhard of a rooster, The Foghorn Leghorn into a cartoon - with Mel Blanc doing the voice. Eventually Warner would Copyright the voice of Foghorn Leghorn, much to the chagrin of Delmar who had effectively created it and a few of the catch phrases "listen while I'm talking to ya, boy" & "That's a joke, son!", preventing Delmar from using the voice for his own profit.

Re:Song Osmosis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38846409)

"UMG wouldn't comment publicly on our requests for an explanation. But the company did release its claim over the video."

"we believe in strong (c)!" (when it suits us!) (4, Insightful)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38845757)

Really, how is this any different than the commerically incited mass copyright infringements from criaa labels on their back catalogs 3 years ago? Or how they all shamelessly violated copyright on an anticopyright psa?

These fuckers are classic hipocrites. Hello kettle. I am pot. You are black.

They only support "artist interests" when it suits their profit motive. The same is true for their support of copyright.

Re:"we believe in strong (c)!" (when it suits us!) (4, Informative)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#38846219)

They only support "artist interests" when it suits their profit motive. The same is true for their support of copyright.

The only 'artistry' the media companies are interested in is the artistry needed to hide profits from the artists themselves. You don't really think all that money goes to rock stars, do you?

I got the chance to look over a 'standard starup contract' for a new band a few years back. Yeah, they got a $30,000 advance, on 3 albums. The fine print said, they had to use the label's recording studio at the usual rate, plus the label's engineers & techs, also at the usual rate. The label wiould supply the producer, paid for by the band at the producer's usual rate. Advertising and promotion would be provided by the label and paid for by the band at the label's usual rate. And so on and so forth. All of this was supposed to come out of the band's share of the profits before they got paid a dime. Oh, they also had to pay back that $30,000 advance before they saw any money. And they only got a small percentage of the profits.

I remember a commercial for a tax service that aired about 3 years ago where one guy played a musician and said "I made 250,000 last year. If I do that good this year, I might break even!'.

Re:"we believe in strong (c)!" (when it suits us!) (1)

firex726 (1188453) | more than 2 years ago | (#38846387)

Yep, 100% normal.

Often times a bank will be in debt tens or even hundreds of thousands which their share has to pay off. Keep in mind their share might be as small as 0.1%. Plus the label can then go and do more advertising with consultation of the band so the band would rack up additional debt.

The only groups who ever made real money were the ultra popular ones. All the stuff you see on TV and the like is on loan to the group, at a nominal fee of course too.

Being signed to a major label might as well be slavery.

Re:"we believe in strong (c)!" (when it suits us!) (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38846959)

Often times a bank will be in debt tens or even hundreds of thousands which their share has to pay off.

You're off by about 6 orders of magnitude and they have the government to pay off their debt.

Oh...you meant band...never mind.

Missing the point (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38845781)

It is not adverse to small bands. It is adverse to the COPYRIGHT OWNER. Damages proved!

What exactly is the problem with this? (4, Interesting)

Etcetera (14711) | more than 2 years ago | (#38845785)

We keep asking for more intelligent and/or rational application of Copyright laws, including people bitching about draconian use of lawsuits, etc.

The alternative is something like this. IT'S NOT YOUTUBE'S FAULT. Youtube discovers someone else has uploaded this music and (presumably) claimed copyright over it. Someone "else" uploads it, and their software catches it. Good job, Youtube. The "original" artists should work things out with the other group, and/or sue someone.

Just not Youtube.

Re:What exactly is the problem with this? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38845967)

> Just not Youtube.

THIS. Youtube should stay out of this battle and NOT provide one side with a tool that lets it take down videos without proper procedure.

Re:What exactly is the problem with this? (1)

darth dickinson (169021) | more than 2 years ago | (#38846283)

We keep asking for more intelligent and/or rational application of Copyright laws, including people bitching about draconian use of lawsuits, etc.

The alternative is something like this. IT'S NOT YOUTUBE'S FAULT. Youtube discovers someone else has uploaded this music and (presumably) claimed copyright over it. Someone "else" uploads it, and their software catches it. Good job, Youtube. The "original" artists should work things out with the other group, and/or sue someone.

Just not Youtube.

But YouTube has all the money...

Re:What exactly is the problem with this? (4, Insightful)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38846361)

Or we could just stop shilling for the copyright industry entirely, get rid of copyright, and go back to actually selling physical objects and considering information free. Worked for, what, ten thousand years? Funny that most of the truly famous music, literature, and art was created before copyright was even a thought.

Information was never... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38847441)

considered free. Only young romantic ideologues think that.

--

Re:What exactly is the problem with this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38847527)

Orrrr Mr. +4 Insightful could realize that the internet is a great way to get yourself out there as an artist, especially as one without much money, and if everyone stopped using it to sell music then the few people that continued utilizing it would make a fortune.

There are flaws alright. (4, Insightful)

gellenburg (61212) | more than 2 years ago | (#38845787)

Flaw #1 - Using YouTube to distribute your video. There ARE alternatives now.

Flaw #2 - Not suing UMG in Small Claims Court for damages. You want Small Claims since Universal would expressly be prohibited from using any lawyers.

If enough people who've had their videos taken down erroneously sue UMG in small claims court you'll literally bankrupt them.

Re:There are flaws alright. (2)

rhook (943951) | more than 2 years ago | (#38845839)

You're not going to bankrupt any corporation in small claims court, the maximum damages are far too low.

Re:There are flaws alright. (3, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38845915)

If ten thousand plaintiffs sue a large company and win $1,000 each, that's $10 million that the company has to explain to its shareholders.

Re:There are flaws alright. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38846035)

If ten thousand plaintiffs sue a large company and win $1,000 each, that's $10 million that the company has to explain to its shareholders.

You ARE aware of how big companies get nowadays, right? The "explanation" to the shareholders for that amount would go something like "...and we dug into petty cash to pay off a few street urchins. On to the BILLIONS we made this quarter..."

From small claims to class action (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38846141)

Or perhaps after a few small-claims cases are decided against a company, a lawyer might try to find more plaintiffs with similar cases and take it to class action, seeking an injunction against further misbehavior. I agree that it won't bankrupt a company, especially a diversified one, but I bet it'd still be worth it just to get a certain kind of misbehavior declared wrong.

Re:There are flaws alright. (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#38847049)

They'll just write it off on their taxes as 'cost of doing business' and save enough to more than cover it, making the stockholders happy.

Re:There are flaws alright. (2)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#38846125)

And they will explain to their shareholders that it is the cost of doing business and then the shareholders will reward the CEO with $50 million for explaining it to them and $100 million to lobby to have it illegal to sue them in small claims court.

The amount of money involved is so ridiculous that you cannot nickel and dime them to death, you have to cut off their stream of revenue, not just drain it.

Re:There are flaws alright. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38846005)

Parent said "[i]f enough people" - which is true, it would just take 10,000s to 10,000,000s (depending on the state, the company, and just how much is awarded) of people.

Re:There are flaws alright. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38846039)

It's a legal DDoS. They still have to fly a body into every court and pay labor for them to stand there.

Re:There are flaws alright. (1)

c++0xFF (1758032) | more than 2 years ago | (#38846123)

Indeed, the limits in small claims court seem to be [nolo.com] in the range of $2,500 to $25,000 (depending on the state). Then again, the RIAA has been awarded roughly this amount as the per-song damages in cases they bring against individuals ... that makes it feel about right in my mind.

So, it's not enough to bankrupt UMG by any means, but it's still just and appropriate, given the actions they would take if the tables were turned.

Sue and repeat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38846679)

They sue them. Then get the damages.

They they try and post their song. When if fails, they sue them again.

Repeat.

Beats working for a living.

Re:There are flaws alright. (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38845941)

What are the primary alternatives to YouTube that automatically transcode a submitted video to both VP8 and AVC in 240p, 360p, 480p, 720p, and 1080p, and automatically select the right encode for the user's screen size, CPU speed, browser, and Internet throughput at playback time?

Re:There are flaws alright. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38846033)

Alternatives to YouTube: http://duckduckgo.com/?q=alternatives+to+youtube

But most of all, has ANY other video sharing site granted UMG carte blanche to remove any video for any reason? I've stopped using YouTube on that principle alone.

Re:There are flaws alright. (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 2 years ago | (#38845991)

I'd disagree. Yes, there are other video sites, but a lot of them use dodgy ad rotators that serve up exploits, require Web based add-ons or codecs (which likely are exploited), or just won't display on most machines.

Youtube is nice because it won't just give you the middle finger if you decide to browse it on your iPad; most other vid sites, the only thing you will be viewing is a link to Adobe to download Flash, Shockwave, or RealPlayer.

Re:There are flaws alright. (1)

FrankSchwab (675585) | more than 2 years ago | (#38846007)

Having experienced this once..

Who, exactly, do you think Universal would send to court to represent them in your small-claims court action?
Hint: A lawyer.

Re:There are flaws alright. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38846093)

Flaw 1: Small claims courts are for private litigants not public companies.

Flaw 2: There is no such thing as a federal small claims court in the US.

Flaw 3: Bankrupting UMG in small claims court, while mathematically possible is a fools errand that won't happen.

Re:There are flaws alright. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38846447)

You want Small Claims since Universal would expressly be prohibited from using any lawyers.

Absolutely 100% false. C'mon...you really don't know anything about small claims courts, do you?

Small claims? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38846687)

Sure, then Universal appeals their loss in Superior Court, on any specious basis, it doesn't matter what. Now you're in "real court" with "real lawyers" that cost "real money" on both sides. Even if the basis of the appeal is unfounded, you're going to have to have lawyers to file the appropriate papers to claim that they are, and that doesn't come cheap.

Re:There are flaws alright. (2)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 2 years ago | (#38846847)

Flaw #2 - Not suing UMG in Small Claims Court for damages. You want Small Claims since Universal would expressly be prohibited from using any lawyers.

Small claims limits the damages available, and venue issues would often require an inconvenient venue for the claimant. Plus, small claims rules don't prevent parties from consulting with lawyers to prepare for the trial, nor do they even prevent them from being represented by a lawyer at the trial (typically, IIRC, the small claims rule is that a lawyer may only represent a corporation at trial if the lawyer is an officer of the corporation.)

Plus, UMG would likely have the ability to remove many cases from small claims court to another state court or even to federal court even if the cases were initially filed against them in small claims.

If enough people who've had their videos taken down erroneously sue UMG in small claims court you'll literally bankrupt them.

Probably not; there probably aren't enough people with a credible claim to that to even make noticeable dent in UMG's profits if UMG was found liable for the maximum small claims award available in each and every case.

It works just fine. (5, Insightful)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 2 years ago | (#38845791)

How is this not working as it is intended to? The point of copyright, as the big labels intend it, is to prevent competition from unsigned artists.

Re:It works just fine. (2)

JeanCroix (99825) | more than 2 years ago | (#38846697)

Exactly. It's not only about "fighting piracy," it's about controlling distribution channels. MAFIAA doesn't want internet and digital recording technology replacing them as the middle-man between artist and audience. They make a big stink about the piracy aspect, but most laws the MAFIAA lobbies to get passed also impede independent distribution. So-called piracy is (mostly) a diversion from their long-term strategy.

See? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38845837)

Google *is* evil!

The music industry wins (5, Insightful)

tatman (1076111) | more than 2 years ago | (#38845843)

This is a win for the big labels. They want young artists not affiliated with a label to have a hard time getting their music out there.

Copyright reform? (4, Interesting)

jc42 (318812) | more than 2 years ago | (#38845929)

'For an industry that's pursuing copyright reform, the portrayal of a copyright regime that works against young artists can't be a good thing.

The copyright reform being persued is clearly aimed at further control of new artistic works by the old corporations that have been such a heavy weight on artists for the past century.

If we want true "reform", we'll use this as a tool to push for legislation that supports the rights of artists to control of their own works.

If there were any justice in the copyright issue, Universal Music would be hit hard with a fraud charge (and serious fines) for their part in this atrocity. We all know that this won't happen, though, and they'll continue to commit such acts in the future.

It might be interesting to start a collection of the Big Labels' claims of copyright for things that they don't in fact own.

Re:Copyright reform? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38846541)

Universal Music would be hit hard with a fraud charge

The only fraud they committed was with the specific permission and encouragement of government.

Re:Copyright reform? (1)

jc42 (318812) | more than 2 years ago | (#38847481)

Yeah, you're right. But that doesn't make it any less fraudulent to claim someone else's work as your own. And I suspect they knew what they were doing. At least their lawyers did, if they were the least bit competent. They just thought they could get away with it.

This isn't a flaw (4, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 2 years ago | (#38845933)

This is one of the many use cases for draconian copyright persecution. It allows the big name corps to lay exclusive claim to all media, even those who they do not represent.

The Chewbacca Defense come true? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38846111)

Not saying the actual chewbacca defense, just the story in the episode, where a major label appropriated Chef's song.

So why isn't the rap group going after Universal? (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#38846121)

Sounds like the rap group has a good copyright claim against Universal. Why haven't they filed complaints to have Universal's product yanked off the market?

Youtube's copyright enforcement has a Catch-22 (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38846127)

This has happened to me multiple times.

I upload a video that uses classical music, which I have a buyout license to use. Within seconds, it is flagged as infringing by a DIFFERENT licensor of classical music.

There is an appeals process. It has no provision for reporting a false positive, and the appeal is "judged" by the company claiming I am infringing. They then proceed to monetize my video.

There is no way to inform Youtube of this issue, other than firing off a lawsuit ($$$). Even the CEO of the licensing agency I used can't get an answer out of them.

The absurdity of claiming to be able to distinguish between two performances of common classical music ought to be obvious -- not to mention that what with sublicensing, multiple groups may have the right to grant buyout licenses for the exact same performances.

If you want a preview of what PIPA/SOPA would do, look no further that Youtube's Content Match process.

QOTD (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#38846147)

'For an industry that's pursuing copyright reform, the portrayal of a copyright regime that works against young artists can't be a good thing.'"

Newsflash: They don't care how bad they look. they're like the NRA, tobacco companies, and people who murder orphans, dolphins, and eat babies, then pee on the corpses and set fire to them using antique shredded american flags from the civil war... reputation doesn't matter. Profit matters.

Get 'em hooked young, and a whole generation will grow up clueless about how free the internet used to be...

can't be a good thing? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38846211)

You assume that its for the little guy.. it works quite well for the industry.

They consider it a good thing.

Rap Sucks (4, Funny)

CapOblivious2010 (1731402) | more than 2 years ago | (#38846295)

Anything that reduces the amount of rap music out there is a good thing.

Now get off my lawn!

Just Curious... (4, Interesting)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 2 years ago | (#38846469)

I'm a bit confused as to what happened here. I recently posted a video of a portion of a motorcycle trip I took on YouTube (http://youtu.be/gQbwJjcO2N4 if anyone cares ;). The audio consisted exclusively of the sound of my motorcycle engine and wind noise (through the really, really crappy microphone on my camera) -- no music mixed in after the fact, no voice over, just motorcycle engine and wind noise -- and the video was all shot by me, on the road. A couple of weeks later, while on YouTube, I saw a notice that one of my videos contained "potentially infringing material". I followed the links, and sure enough, this was the offending video. There was another link that allowed me to dispute the claim, so I clicked it, and offered the justification that all of the audio and video was recorded by myself and that to the best of my knowledge, it contained no infringing material. Just checked YouTube -- the video is still there, and the "infringing content" notification has been removed.

Why did I have no trouble with this, but the artists in TFA did? Perhaps none of the **AA's are even remotely interested in my video (likely), but the rap artists had the potential of $$$ with their video?

Re:Just Curious... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38847389)

was it a Harley? I believe they have (copywritten/trademarked) the engine noise.

The problem isn't Universal. It's the DMCA. (4, Informative)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38846513)

Seriously. For those who don't remember, the DMCA put in place this ridiculous takedown process, which requires sites to take down works based merely on somebody's say-so, without any due process. That has inevitably led to situations in which some people do not have access to certain media at all. And of course, as usual in recent years, the whole process is slanted toward big corporations.

There should never be a law in the United States that forces compliance without first having to go through due process. The system wasn't broken, and the DMCA didn't fix it. The DMCA made things worse.

I was against these provisions of the DMCA and protested them before the law was even passed. We are merely seeing the results that many of us knew had to happen if such a bad law was passed.

As far as I am concerned, the ONLY good parts of the DMCA are the "safe harbor" provisions. Given a choice, I would shitcan the entire rest of the Act.

Laugh... (3, Interesting)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#38846535)

Copyrights aren't for protecting artist...

Re:Laugh... (1)

eriklou (1027240) | more than 2 years ago | (#38847107)

I was looking over a new artists youtube page trying to decide if I wanted to buy an album.
One of the music videos ON THE BANDS OWN PAGE was removed my their "label". After that I never looked at another album from them again.

Not Reform (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38846657)

"For an industry that's pursuing copyright reform, the portrayal of a copyright regime that works against young artists can't be a good thing."

They aren't pursuing copyright reform. They are pursuing aggrandizement, extension, enlargement, enforcement, enhancement, globalization, privatization, and institutionalization of copyright.

(copyright) Hell on Earth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38846661)

It's coming...and I feel almost every negative emotion possible about it.

nothing new here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38846723)

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/09/10/07/1517239/artist-not-allowed-to-stream-his-own-music

relevant Picasso quote (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 2 years ago | (#38847275)

Whenever I read a story about copyright I am reminded of a great quote from Pablo Picasso: good artists borrow, great artists steal.

Artists do not depend on copyright to make their art or benefit from it. Only business-types need copyright, so they can keep making money off of someone else's work for decades after the artist has expired.

No worried (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38847337)

They're an indy artist; they probably suck anyway. And play venues like Cafe Brazil on Central. You Dallasites know what I'm talking about.

Indy bands just have a high suck percentage, like this unsigned band for example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jj7pDNDuoJ0

Before Your Knee Jerks, Read the Whole Thing (2)

wynterwynd (265580) | more than 2 years ago | (#38847343)

Yes, Universal is evil and greedy and etc, but all the reactionary comments are glossing over a key fact here:

Per the article in link 2, Universal was asserting rights over a song by an signed artist called Yelawolf. Yelawolf sampled the music without getting permission and released his own rap over the original song. He happened to be signed by Universal, so their lawyers assumed *(and here's the part where Universal fucked up)* that Yelawolf owned the rights and issued a takedown notice. So Universal was lazy and presumptuous, but it's Yelawolf who was the most to blame for this.

While this is not entirely Universal's fault, they clearly dropped the ball here by not looking closely enough into it. They just assumed they were right and that the original artists were lying/wrong/hatin' and didn't do their homework. The brunt of the blame is on Yelawolf, but Universal's lawyers got caught napping when they should have treated this more seriously. Hence, incoming PR landmine.

The real problem here is that YouTube trusts Universal and their lawyers with the policing of copyrights without giving equal weight to a complainant. And then the foxes guarding the chickens just did what comes naturally. If you're going to proclaim to be a neutral site for hosting videos, you have to really fight to stay neutral and give everyone the same fair shake. Otherwise you're being controlled just as if you were owned by them, they just have a more convoluted method of giving you orders.

Shame on Yelawolf for being a groove-thief, Shame on YouTube for trusting the Devil, and then any leftover shame can go to Universal for not properly checking up on their signed artists' work.

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