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Copyright Claim Thwarts North Korean Propaganda

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the use-your-own-lies dept.

Government 147

ianare writes "A propaganda video from the North Korean authorities has been removed from YouTube following a copyright claim by games maker Activision. It shows a space craft flying around the world and eventually over a city resembling New York. The buildings are then seen crumbling amid fires and missile attacks. However, the dramatic images (video) were soon recognized as having been lifted from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. By Tuesday, the video had been blocked, with a message notifying users of Activision's complaint shown in its place."

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147 comments

First takedown! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42815789)

I claim North Korea for the MPAA!

Re:First takedown! (2)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about a year ago | (#42815989)

I claim North Korea for the MPAA!

I'm so confused about this. I suppose NK has done more physical harm to other humans than the corporate entities that have been able to abuse the DMCA. So I suppose it's a victory, but it feels like a Pyrrhic one.

Re:First takedown! (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#42816405)

I suppose it's a victory, but it feels like a Pyrrhic one.

True,
If the nut job running that country does manage to lob something our way, or toward Japan or Seoul, we are going to look pretty stupid waving the DMCA at them.
Especially when it has already been seen by the people it was aimed at, (North Korean TV viewers). The sad part is, that Kim family has pretty well made his own country the dunderheads of the far east. Even Vietnam could whip up a better sim than stealing one out of a common game.

Re:First takedown! (5, Funny)

cffrost (885375) | about a year ago | (#42816795)

Even Vietnam could whip up a better sim than stealing one out of a common game.

I'm not so sure; North Korea's driving simulation [theregister.co.uk] technology approaches a level of sophistication not seen since the heyday of Pole Position.

video clip of gameplay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42815811)

I've seen tons of movies captured from videogames on YouTube. Isn't that fair use?

Re:video clip of gameplay (3, Insightful)

arbiter1 (1204146) | about a year ago | (#42815881)

Um fair use, no. Those movies captured from video games give credit to the game they are taken from. The video used by north korea uses games with 0 credit to the game makers. But with that said any those videos on youtube the game creator is well within their rights to remove them but they don't as its not to piss off their fan's. N korea used the video in what is a clear IMO threat to the US of nuclear weapon use. China their biggest ally wouldn't stand by and allow that to happen.

Re:video clip of gameplay (4, Informative)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#42816939)

I disagree, in that a lot of those videos are indeed fair use. Corporate America has been working to redefine fair use, but recording yourself doing something, such as playing a game, is fair use.

The problem with North Korea's video is that it isn't for "personal use", but for commercial and/or political use. There is a huge difference between private, personal use and political use. A foreign government can't just take your stuff and apply it to their political goals, without permission and or compensation. Not unless they have the political and/or military power to back up that seizure.

Re:video clip of gameplay (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42817233)

The problem with North Korea's video is that it isn't for "personal use", but for commercial and/or political use.

Actually I think the main problem with North Korea's video is that it is fucking ghey and stupid.

Re:video clip of gameplay (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42817459)

I disagree, in that a lot of those videos are indeed fair use. Corporate America has been working to redefine fair use, but recording yourself doing something, such as playing a game, is fair use.

And you'd be wrong. It's already gone through court, well before Internet video, so it's not even a theoretical. In case you're wondering, it was over unauthorized strategy guides. Legal if they're pure text like on GameFAQs, not so much when they're video tapes showing game play footage.

So any time you see some idiot on YouTube showing how "awesome" he is at Super Mario Bros. or "pwning n00bs" in Call of Honor, it's blatantly illegal. The only reason the videos aren't immediately taken down is that most video game companies are afraid that they'd piss off their fan base.

But don't mistake "fear of fan backlash" as "legal."

Re:video clip of gameplay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42818169)

You are so out of touch with reality that it isn't funny.

Re:video clip of gameplay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42817641)

For quite some time, the definition of what was fair use or not didn't have much to do with personal use versus other use, but instead what the actual purpose of use was, and if the quantity of material used is appropriate. If you are giving a review of a game, you could use clips of it to discuss it or make jokes about it. But to just lift a whole cut scene or cinematic with no other use specifically requiring referencing that video, you are going to run into trouble with fair use.

Re:video clip of gameplay (1)

Smauler (915644) | about a year ago | (#42818015)

Isn't that fair use?

There's no such thing as "fair use" in most of the world. The US is kind of on it's own legally, with it.

Parody, you can do everywhere - use of the original material, not so much.

This is very worrying. (4, Funny)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | about a year ago | (#42815827)

I had hoped that North Korea was spending a large percentage of it's budget on original computer graphics propaganda rather than it's actual weapons, but unfortunately I was wrong.

Re:This is very worrying. (0)

DigiShaman (671371) | about a year ago | (#42817007)

All together now. "We are the world....We are the people...."

North Korea is the best Korea! Ronald Reagan, we're coming after you! You can't hide from us forever. You'll pay for what you did to our comrades in the USSR!

Umm, ya...Those poor poor SOBs. They haven't a clue, do they?

The South Koreans however, would be all PMSL (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | about a year ago | (#42817059)

Well, given the gaming reputation of the South Koreans, NK isn't really going to fool anyone down South, is it? If that was the target of their propaganda, that is -- SK would enjoy a huge laugh at NK's expense.

Re:The South Koreans however, would be all PMSL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42817713)

I think it's for internal use. The North Korean elite probably knows that kind of propaganda wouldn't help at all in winning over South Korea.

Two sides to the coin (4, Funny)

canadiannomad (1745008) | about a year ago | (#42815831)

I don't like how easy it is for people to take down other peoples work, and lately we have seen a lot of that.
Though it is nice to see when the evil tool is used for good.

Re:Two sides to the coin (1)

AlexLibman (785653) | about a year ago | (#42815979)

Though it is nice to see when the evil tool is used for good.

You cannot achieve good ends by evil means.

(This is especially true in the modern world, where technology makes non-violent communication ever-easier.)

Benevolent ends are a cheap excuse that all sides can claim, thereby proliferating evil.

Socialist propaganda needs to be debunked, but never stifled by force.

No matter if it's North Korea or Barack Obama, or anywhere in between.

--libman

Re:Two sides to the coin (1)

SolitaryMan (538416) | about a year ago | (#42816223)

Unless copyright claims is how they are planning to cope with real nuclear shots from NK.

Re: Two sides to the coin (1)

tippe (1136385) | about a year ago | (#42816399)

Of course not, don't be silly. Use of nuclear weapons is clearly a case of patent infringement and will be dealt with through litigation. Duh!

Re:Two sides to the coin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42816637)

Eh, freedom of speech and so on. It would be great if we could see these propaganda videos for education purposes. Take down notices are just plain evil...

Re:Two sides to the coin (2)

ma1wrbu5tr (1066262) | about a year ago | (#42816891)

" Oh, wait... it turns out that the original video was actually taken down by the user who uploaded it (i.e., whatever North Korea's version of Ronaiah Tuiasosopo is), so it wasn't so much a victory for America! as it was a failure of America!'s media fact-checking efforts."

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130206/10392021893/north-korea-threatens-to-nuke-us-with-copied-video-game-footage.shtml

Cough.

Re:Two sides to the coin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42817359)

Where's the good? This just takes away from the public the opportunity to learn something, especially if it was really done by the North Korean government. Information is power, and taking away information reduces the public's power... That evil tool is always evil.

I wonder something... (0)

xevioso (598654) | about a year ago | (#42815871)

Can North Korea demand that YouTube take down any video clips of Kim Jung Il singing "I'm so Ronery" from Team America, as that is clearly an unauthorised reproduction of the Dear leader singing?

Re:I wonder something... (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | about a year ago | (#42816063)

I believe the cases are completely different as parody is allowed, straight out stealing video from a game using in an attack type statement is not.

Re:I wonder something... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42817029)

No no! He really does sing like that. Thus, it is unauthorized reproduction! See, that's the problem.

Re:I wonder something... (1)

drkim (1559875) | about a year ago | (#42817625)

Can North Korea demand that YouTube take down any video clips of Kim Jung Il singing "I'm so Ronery" from Team America, as that is clearly an unauthorised reproduction of the Dear leader singing?

No. The real Kim Jung Il never actually sang "I'm so Ronrey." He used to sing:
"Your Little Body's Slowly Breaking Down" from "Evita"
"I Kissed a Girl"
"Walk Like an Egyptian"
"Easy To Be Hard"
  and
"America" from "West Side Story"

Activision or North Korea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42815875)

No one wins.

Marines (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#42815887)

I have a friend who's a marine and we had a good laugh about the mock fighter jet the Iranians put out last week. I bet I'll have them on the floor when I show them this...

The media portrays Iran as this menacing threat. People in our military however tend to look at them as that kid who kicks sand in everyone's faces. Harmless, but annoying.

Re:Marines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42815949)

"N. Korea put a video out, I'd better make an Iran comment!"

Re:Marines (3, Insightful)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year ago | (#42816197)

Iraq was a lot more "harmless" than Iran, but I'm sure the 5000 dead and 30,000 wounded US soldiers would dispute that description.

Re:Marines (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42816459)

Iraq was a lot more "harmless" than Iran, but I'm sure the 5000 dead and 30,000 wounded US soldiers would dispute that description.

I'm sure the dead are the ones who wouldn't dispute anything.

Re:Marines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42816679)

That's arguable: the Iraqi military was indeed harmless. It was the militants afterward that were dangerous, and many of them likely aren't even connected to the old Iraqi government.

Re:Marines (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year ago | (#42817363)

I don't know if the Iraqi soldiers were "harmless" as much as "had no loyalty to Saddam Hussein and his family".

I'd imagine a fair number of Iranian soldiers feel the same way about the Ayatollah, but it's hard to say when it's a matter of loyalty to a religious leader vs a secular dictator.

Re:Marines (1)

bkmoore (1910118) | about a year ago | (#42817473)

I'd imagine a fair number of Iranian soldiers feel the same way about the Ayatollah, but it's hard to say when it's a matter of loyalty to a religious leader vs a secular dictator.

I doubt any Iranian soldiers are on /. to comment on this, but since the Ayatollahs have established a "revolutionary guard" as a parallel military with its own command structure, logistic chain, etc. it seems they don't trust their professional army.

Re:Marines (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year ago | (#42817523)

That's a good point. 125,000 well equipped loyal soldiers (give or take) would be a hell of a lot worse than a few thousand insurgents in Iraq. I hate to Godwin the discussion but there are parallels, of course...

Re:Marines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42817945)

Not necessarily. Insurgencies are complicated by the ease with which the enemy can blend into the civilian population, combined with our aversion to civilian casualties and the desire to maintain infrastructure for nation-building. All out war with a uniformed military opponent is something the US is VERY good at, and well prepared for. Only question is political and public will.

Re:Marines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42816881)

Out of nearly a million soldiers during the whole campaign and with many more Iraqis dead or wounded.

Re:Marines (3, Insightful)

Smauler (915644) | about a year ago | (#42818051)

This.

girlintraining, ask your marine friend about how many people died, and how they died in Iraq. Laugh over coffee.

Re:Marines (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about a year ago | (#42817043)

True. But if they do launch a high altitude nuke and detonate it way up there, the resulting EMP (sand) could blind us for a very very long time. Not so funny now is it round eye?

Re:Marines (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#42817231)

True. But if they do launch a high altitude nuke and detonate it way up there, the resulting EMP (sand) could blind us for a very very long time. Not so funny now is it round eye?

First, they need to have a nuke to launch, and their nuclear scientists have an odd habit of exploding, dying in car accidents, or taking vacations to the United States that they never return from. And then there was that unfortunate problem with all their centrifuges self-destructing. Couple that with their apparent inability to construct anything high-tech like, say, a fighter jet, without it having basic design flaws like, say, the afterburner melting the aircraft and setting fire to the pilot, and I'll just say "Hammer industries... 20 years."

Chilling Effects (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42815891)

This is an abuse of the DMCA process, irrespective of the merits of North Korea. Propaganda is political discourse and using copyright against a political viewpoint is censorship.

Re:Chilling Effects (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42816025)

I agree with your post, but I really don't see the "Chilling Effects". It's not as if this is the first or a landmark case for DMCA abuses, shit, even scrolling down on the front page of Slashdot you will find another example used for personal persecution.

Re:Chilling Effects (0, Flamebait)

arbiter1 (1204146) | about a year ago | (#42816037)

You are pretty much a retard aint ya? They stole video from the game, gave 0 credit and pretty much played it off as an Attack on another country. This was proper use of DMCA if there has even been one.

Re:Chilling Effects (0)

davydagger (2566757) | about a year ago | (#42816039)

I hate to agree but I do.

While I certainly find NK despicable, I don't like how they are using copyrights, trying to make them seem more acceptable to us, by showing how they can attack someone we all don't like

Re:Chilling Effects (1)

Smauler (915644) | about a year ago | (#42818095)

Youtube is a US company, using US laws. Sorry... I feel no sympathy for plagiarism (which is completely different from copyright infringement, btw).

No one is stopping them from producing their own content, and publishing it on a major US website. They can publish whatever they like.

Re:Chilling Effects (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42816127)

But it's not government censorship. It's Activision censorship.

Legally (by US law, at least) and morally, that makes it allowable. Governments can't stifle political dissent, morally. In a logical sense, it's a conflict of interest. That makes it unjust and immoral and thus at complete odds with the whole reason for government to exist.

But corporations aren't a first-party to political discourse, thus making their political censorship specifically not a conflict of interest. They don't have a direct interest in political points of view or judicial processes. Their interests are monetary.

All of these things are concepts that North Korea's government fails to grasp in any adequate manner. Unfortunately, the same thing applies increasingly to western governments as well. Oddly enough, China is improving in this regard, though it's not impossible to believe since there's a certain amount of "it can't get any worse" involved in their case. Russia went through similar modernization in the 90's when they finally decided to relax decades of stubborn refusal to make progress and joined the rest of the world in governing in a closer-to-sane manner.

Re:Chilling Effects (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42817509)

But corporations aren't a first-party to political discourse, thus making their political censorship specifically not a conflict of interest.

(ummm.. geeks feel the need to be precise even if irrelevant).

I don't think one cares if there is a conflict of interest or not if/when a corporation is capable of exerting censorship over a political speach

Re:Chilling Effects (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42816145)

Shutting down propaganda from an enemy (literally a hostile sovereign state in this case) is not censorship

Re:Chilling Effects (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42817555)

Shutting down propaganda from an enemy (literally a hostile sovereign state in this case) is not censorship

Is US at war with NK and nobody knows?

Headline Trollops (4, Insightful)

rmdingler (1955220) | about a year ago | (#42815923)

North Korea has morphed into a Kardashian class nation, whereby it matters not "what" they're in the news for, so long as they're in the news....

Cardassian class nation (4, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#42816069)

North Korea has morphed into a Kardashian class nation

It already was [wikipedia.org] : "Cardassian society is often depicted as being Orwellian, with strict government control over information and violent force. Denizens are shown as having unquestioning obedience to authority due to the general lack of human rights, which provides a contrast to the personal protections of the Federation."

Re:Cardassian class nation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42816393)

Why would the Cardassians worry about human rights?

Re:Cardassian class nation (1)

n3r0.m4dski11z (447312) | about a year ago | (#42817651)

Hopefully you dont know that the celebrity and the race are two very distinct things and the grand parent was not talking about that some alien race, but one who wants to be on the tabloid grocery market isle.

But the point is that the cardassians were supposed to be nazis. Bajor was obviously isreal, klingons germans, romulans russians, etc.

North korea on the other hand are the ones with the spaceship that "wont go" and needs geordi to fix them, only to have his good will taken advantage of by malevolent imbeciles.

Peter Griffin (1)

Freaky Spook (811861) | about a year ago | (#42816345)

When I see NK doing testing with rockets I just get reminded of the family guy episode where Peter crashes the petercopter then the hindenpeter into Joe's front yard.

"How can you afford these things?!"

Awww.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42815933)

The video wasn't real? I mean, what kind of threat is that. Shameful.

How convenient. (0)

Yaa 101 (664725) | about a year ago | (#42815971)

Censoring by copyright, the law is working well for the masters.

However, not that one should like the North Korean proganda makers, but that is besides the point here.

Re:How convenient. (1)

SolitaryMan (538416) | about a year ago | (#42816249)

Well, as much as I hate "Big Content providers" and their shills, I can totally see why Activision does not want to see its content in NK propaganda video.

Re:How convenient. (1)

Smauler (915644) | about a year ago | (#42818141)

This is exactly what copyright is for, or what it should be for. Moral and ethical issues about where the product you have produced are much much much more important than financial ones. I don't quite know where you are coming from with this.

Copyright is by it's very nature censorship. That's its point. Unless you disavow it altogether, you support censorship.

We are the World (3, Funny)

Zeni (52928) | about a year ago | (#42815983)

WTF? Really We are the World that crappy 80's song so we give money to the starving people of Africa.

Oh I get it DPRK is starving and that's their way of saying please help us.

Re:We are the World (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42816029)

we would, if their government would get out the way so we could help.

Re:We are the World (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42816899)

WTF? Really We are the World that crappy 80's song so we give money to the starving people of Africa.

Oh I get it DPRK is starving and that's their way of saying please help us.

To be honest, I'm expecting that's exactly what it is. Before they launch their so-called missile, there'll be a "mysterious" explosion in one of their factories. Hundreds will die, we'll hear them claim it was their nuke misfiring (despite all evidence to the contrary), that they've learned their lesson, and that without that factory, they can't provide for their people, so halp plz kthx.

Transformative Use? (1)

allaunjsilverfox2 (882195) | about a year ago | (#42815987)

I'm sure there is a argument for that somewhere? Regardless of message, it is not just a clip of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

Re:Transformative Use? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42817225)

I would surprised if it was not transformative and fair use. Are we so frightened of North Korean propaganda that we sink to the level of the MAFIAA?

Actually I think whoever filed the take down notice was just being a dick. But, if we do not stand up for the freedoms of those we despise, we do not deserve them ourselves.

How dare! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42816017)

The filthy American imperiocapitalist pigdogs at Activision and Google will be being exterminated with prejudice for this offense against glorious nation of Best Korea!

America is no better (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42816153)

So the North Koreans made a video, even if with lifted footage, of a burning new york. Who cares? Look at all the American video games where you kill foreigners, including North Koreans. The first Crysis anyone? You spend most of that game cutting north korean throats or running them over or blowing them up. We shouldn't be surprised when they do the same to us. It is just irony that it used footage lifted from of all things an american video game.

Why Not Homefront? (1)

zenlessyank (748553) | about a year ago | (#42816175)

It already has NK invading the US. Guess I'm the only person that got the game gifted to them. Of course i would sell THQ too after playing the game!!!

We are the world? (1)

Weaselmancer (533834) | about a year ago | (#42816291)

Anyone notice the theme music in the video? A strangely sappy song to have playing for the nuking of New York.

Oh, and I'll bet they didn't get permission for the song either as well as the Activision video. Wait until the RIAA bills Dear Leader for eleventy billion dollars for lost revenue. That'll fix 'em.

Fair Use (4, Insightful)

Frankie70 (803801) | about a year ago | (#42816653)

Isn't it covered by 'Fair Use'?

Re:Fair Use (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42816695)

I was thinking the same thing.

Re:Fair Use (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42817041)

When was the last time a company gave a shit about that? If American law makes it so fucking easy to get rid of shit, shit will be gotten rid of.

Re:Fair Use (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about a year ago | (#42817291)

In what way? In checking the four considerations for Fair Use in the US, I'm not seeing how any of them (other than perhaps the point about affecting the market value of the work) favor the idea that they were engaging in Fair Use. The fact that the clip is fictional, was used for their own profit, and that it made up a major piece of their video (i.e. that they didn't contribute much, at least, based on the descriptions I've read, since I can't find the original clip) all work against them in this case.

Re:Fair Use (1)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about a year ago | (#42817699)

"The fact that the clip is fictional, was used for their own profit, and that it made up a major piece of their video (i.e. that they didn't contribute much, at least, based on the descriptions I've read"

Profit? These guys are old-line Commies, so profit is probably the least of their motives, unless they've become so bankrupt they need to cash in on their YouTube hits. As for "fictional", I'd say much of what politicians claim during election season falls under that same broad category.

While I suspect the video was done in poor taste, I'd say it pretty much falls under the standard definition of fair use. Add to this the fact that it's a government doing it. And as we all well know, governments, even presumably democratic ones, can get away with far many more criminal acts than the average Joe Blow or fringe group.

Re:Fair Use (2)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | about a year ago | (#42817305)

No it is not. Glorious Leader should sue those thieving imperialist talentless hacks at Activision for stealing his footage which he made himself by typing out the binary.

Re:Fair Use (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42817313)

It certainly is fair use. There is no doubt about it.

This is EXACTLY the kind of thing that the U.S. 1st amendment is there to protect. I may disagree with what is said, but I will defend with my life the right of people to say it.

Were It So Easy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42817095)

The USA's Hermann Gobbles will testify to the Intelligence Committee of Congress.

His message will be clear.

His message will be direct.

'The President of the USA IS the determinator of the life of any USA Citizen. As such, HE has the power to end any USA Citizen or any other human being's life on planet Earth as his Great Intellect Demands and WE THE FEDERAL CORPS will kill any and all that oppose HIM, SO HELP US GOD.'

This is madness! (3, Funny)

russotto (537200) | about a year ago | (#42817251)

Kim Jong-Un wrote Call of Duty himself, in an evening. Activision is the thief here, and they will feel the wrath of the Supreme Leader.

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