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A Crime?
Old 03-03-2015, 08:05 AM   #1
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A Crime?

Two years ago, i posted a link to YouTube comedy skit that my friends had put on as a part of a "talent" show in our Florida Senior Community. Some of you may have watched it here:
Sharing 23 years of Frugal Retirement
As I went to the post to link it for a friend, I found out that it had been removed from YouTube ... Blocked by UMG because it contained content covered by copyright.

So here's what I think may have happened. The skit was of some of my "old guy" friends... performing an silly olympic water ballet. It was in our clubhouse, and the sound came from the MPG video... crowd sounds and a very scratchy background recording of some dreamy music, which might have been a song by Sarah Brightman from "Dive" (not sure about that).

The thought that UMG (Universal Music Group) has this power just boggles my mind. Somebody tell me that this could not be the case. Really... a funny skit with distant sound in the background (along with crowd laughter) now banned, because of copyright laws. Is someone really monitoring the 8 trillion YouTube videos?

Feels like we've entered the world of Big Brother. Is this the wave of the future?

?
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Old 03-03-2015, 08:15 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
Two years ago, i posted a link to YouTube comedy skit that my friends had put on as a part of a "talent" show in our Florida Senior Community. Some of you may have watched it here:
Sharing 23 years of Frugal Retirement
As I went to the post to link it for a friend, I found out that it had been removed from YouTube ... Blocked by UMG because it contained content covered by copyright.

So here's what I think may have happened. The skit was of some of my "old guy" friends... performing an silly olympic water ballet. It was in our clubhouse, and the sound came from the MPG video... crowd sounds and a very scratchy background recording of some dreamy music, which might have been a song by Sarah Brightman from "Dive" (not sure about that).

The thought that UMG (Universal Music Group) has this power just boggles my mind. Somebody tell me that this could not be the case. Really... a funny skit with distant sound in the background (along with crowd laughter) now banned, because of copyright laws. Is someone really monitoring the 8 trillion YouTube videos?

Feels like we've entered the world of Big Brother. Is this the wave of the future?

?
I remember that video. It was one of the first posts I read here.

It is likely that the signal was strong enough that a robot came through and identified a signature match to an artist/publisher that his hot about youtube plays. There may have been a person to follow up.

But you'd be surprised what digital signal processing can do these days.

It is not the future. It is the now. Prepare for even more intrusion. Your face is now in a database somewhere and there's a good chance if you walk down a NYC street, someone may know you are there. Yeah, scary.
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Old 03-03-2015, 08:32 AM   #3
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I don't know that I'd call it intrusion. The post was on a public forum accessible to anybody with a computer or smartphone, equivalent to a soapbox on a public square. What's more, a sufficient number of viewings could result in income to the poster from YouTube, which makes it a potentially commercial use. Yeah, that's unlikely, but some unlikely things have gone viral on YouTube.

If the video had been shared among a limited group of viewers via email or on a forum that required registration to view the contents and UMG swooped in, that would be a different story.
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Old 03-03-2015, 08:36 AM   #4
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It does seem absurd to take down a video when a song just happens to be in the background of a scene mixed in with other ambient noise and not part of a video taped "performance" or dubbed onto the video.
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Old 03-03-2015, 09:13 AM   #5
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Maybe. But what if the vid had attracted this kind of attention?

Who'da thought a vid like that would have attracted 29 MILLION views? It's crazy where lightning might strike. YouTube has reaped hundreds of thousands in ad revenue from "I Like Cats," and a chunk of that went to the poster.

The situation is similar to when BMI and RIAA sue restaurants and bars for playing the radio to provide background music to patrons.

BTW, that legal action is civil. The title of this thread suggests an allegation of criminal activity, which is obviously isn't
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Old 03-03-2015, 09:26 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Mr._Graybeard View Post
I don't know that I'd call it intrusion. ....
Agreed - using commercial music like that is a copyright violation, and Youtube needs to take certain steps to protect themselves.

You and I may not agree with the current copyright laws, but that's another story.

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It does seem absurd to take down a video when a song just happens to be in the background of a scene mixed in with other ambient noise and not part of a video taped "performance" or dubbed onto the video.
OK, but remember that these videos are being scanned by 'robots' that are not making subjective decisions. If the DSP algorithm recognizes the 'fingerprint' of a copyrighted song, it shuts it down.

Quote:
Is someone really monitoring the 8 trillion YouTube videos?
YES - but that 'someone' is a robot (see above).


imoldernu - a simple solution for things like this is to use open-source music. There are plenty of places you can download music that you can use, typically it only requires that you credit the artist. You get music, they get a little free advertising.

Although if that background music was part of, and interactive with the skit, that might take a bit of tricky editing after the fact.


All that said - there sure seems to be a lot of music on youtube, much of it live, but a lot of it seems right off the albums? I know some gets pulled, but a lot seems to be up for ages. I don't get it?

-ERD50
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Old 03-03-2015, 09:40 AM   #7
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OK, but remember that these videos are being scanned by 'robots' that are not making subjective decisions. If the DSP algorithm recognizes the 'fingerprint' of a copyrighted song, it shuts it down.

-ERD50
I realize that, and that is why it has become absurd.

Yes, still tons of copyrighted music still available on YouTube that someone did the video and uploaded the song. Makes imoldernu's case even more absurd.

Oops, I walked by a bar blaring some music when I was shooting "our day in Amsterdam". Now what do I do?
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Old 03-03-2015, 09:48 AM   #8
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A couple of years ago I heard about a guy who did a podcast that included his comments on a news worthy item. A local station picked up his podcast and played part of it on their evening news show. As a result, he was contacted about using copyrighted material in his podcast. In other words, his podcast now was deemed part of the station's copyrighted material because his material was used by the station's copyrighted newscast. Go figure!
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Old 03-03-2015, 09:57 AM   #9
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A couple of years ago I heard about a guy who did a podcast that included his comments on a news worthy item. A local station picked up his podcast and played part of it on their evening news show. As a result, he was contacted about using copyrighted material in his podcast. In other words, his podcast now was deemed part of the station's copyrighted material because his material was used by the station's copyrighted newscast. Go figure!
That doesn't sound right. Did he later upload the newscast, to show that the news picked up his podcast?

Or does he have a time machine (his podcast was before the news picked it up, so it could not include the news)?

It sounds like they might have gone after someone for posting the newscast, and that is copyrighted, so that makes sense. The other way does not.

-ERD50
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Old 03-03-2015, 10:44 AM   #10
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The thought that UMG (Universal Music Group) has this power just boggles my mind.
A few years ago I had an EP up on iTunes. I wanted to be sure everything was according to Hoyle legally. What I found out during the research was if you want to sing "Piano Man" in the shower you A) need permission and B) need to pay Billy Joel. Yes. Paying for this stuff is unrelated to your personal commercial or financial benefit from it.

The concept of "intellectual property" is a useful economic lubricant and can be an excellent carrot & stick. But it is a concept created by huge money interests who want to work once and get paid in perpetuity for it. Swapping, selling, trafficking in the "rights" to thing instead of creating new things. And of course what these"rights are are simply what they say they are. What they can have written into law. Beats working for a living. They want to control all that is and all that will be. And retroactively if possible.
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Old 03-03-2015, 11:36 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
... there sure seems to be a lot of music on youtube, much of it live, but a lot of it seems right off the albums? I know some gets pulled, but a lot seems to be up for ages. I don't get it?

-ERD50
Here's an explanation of how it works: Royalties for Kitteh? YouTube and Artist Compensation | Future of Music Coalition
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Old 03-03-2015, 12:24 PM   #12
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I realize that, and that is why it has become absurd.

Yes, still tons of copyrighted music still available on YouTube that someone did the video and uploaded the song. Makes imoldernu's case even more absurd.

Oops, I walked by a bar blaring some music when I was shooting "our day in Amsterdam". Now what do I do?
Don't post your video on youtube?
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Old 03-03-2015, 01:17 PM   #13
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Agreed - using commercial music like that is a copyright violation, and Youtube needs to take certain steps to protect themselves.

You and I may not agree with the current copyright laws, but that's another story.



OK, but remember that these videos are being scanned by 'robots' that are not making subjective decisions. If the DSP algorithm recognizes the 'fingerprint' of a copyrighted song, it shuts it down.



YES - but that 'someone' is a robot (see above).


imoldernu - a simple solution for things like this is to use open-source music. There are plenty of places you can download music that you can use, typically it only requires that you credit the artist. You get music, they get a little free advertising.

Although if that background music was part of, and interactive with the skit, that might take a bit of tricky editing after the fact.


All that said - there sure seems to be a lot of music on youtube, much of it live, but a lot of it seems right off the albums? I know some gets pulled, but a lot seems to be up for ages. I don't get it?

-ERD50
Even "Happy Birthday" is copyright protected. Music written and published before 1927 and the copyright not renewed is not copyright protected. Many performances fly under the radar. But if a community concert band wants to make a CD as a fundraiser, they have to either play very old music (early Sousa marches) or pay royalties.

So Beethoven, Brahms, and Chopin get played more often than more modern music by our classical musicians.

If a video doesn't go viral, it often flies under the radar, I suspect. Copyright laws need updating.
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Old 03-03-2015, 01:44 PM   #14
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If a video doesn't go viral, it often flies under the radar, I suspect. Copyright laws need updating.
I uploaded a video of my partner and I doing Argentine tango, with some obscure Argentine music from the 30s. It was for our friends to see. But it got pulled for copyright violations.

Basically I don't care, I want to be as far out of sight as possible. I never thought anyone would see it other than close friends, as we were not expert, just a middle aged couple that liked to do a sexy dance.

Ha
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Old 03-03-2015, 02:15 PM   #15
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... Copyright laws need updating.
Well, as I said earlier, agreeing with copyright law or not is a different story from what is or is not legal.

The problem is, copyright law has been updated. And the updates keep making it more and more generous to the composer. When Sonny Bono was in Congress, he worked to get a bill approved. I'd have to look up the details, but IIRC, even several generations down can still be collecting royalties paid to the estate of a deceased composer (no de-composing jokes - please!).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyri..._Extension_Act

Quote:
The Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA) of 1998 extended copyright terms in the United States. Since the Copyright Act of 1976, copyright would last for the life of the author plus 50 years, or 75 years for a work of corporate authorship. The Act extended these terms to life of the author plus 70 years and for works of corporate authorship to 120 years after creation or 95 years after publication, whichever endpoint is earlier.[1] Copyright protection for works published prior to January 1, 1978, was increased by 20 years to a total of 95 years from their publication date.
This law, also known as the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, ....


The Walt Disney Company lobbied extensively on behalf of the Act, which delayed the entry into the public domain of the earliest Mickey Mouse movies, leading to the nickname "The Mickey Mouse Protection Act". In addition to Disney, California congresswoman Mary Bono (Sonny Bono's widow and Congressional successor), and the estate of composer George Gershwin supported the act. Mary Bono, speaking on the floor of the United States House of Representatives, said:

Actually, Sonny wanted the term of copyright protection to last forever. I am informed by staff that such a change would violate the Constitution. ... As you know, there is also [then-MPAA president] Jack Valenti's proposal for term to last forever less one day. Perhaps the Committee may look at that next Congress.[9]
And patents are good for 20 years from the earliest filing date, or 17 years from the issue date, whichever is longer.

Doesn't seem equitable, does it? I guess we've had more performers in Congress than inventors?

-ERD50
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Old 03-03-2015, 02:25 PM   #16
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Copyright holders have to protect their copyrights even in the most mundane of circumstances, even noncommercial and inadvertent use of a work in a YouTube video; otherwise the works could be presumed to be allowed to go into the public domain.
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Old 03-03-2015, 02:37 PM   #17
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So Beethoven, Brahms, and Chopin get played more often than more modern music by our classical musicians.

The fact that they were really, really good composers has something to do with it, too.

I am a strong believer of copyright protection for composers of a piece but less so for individual performances/interpretations of it.
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Old 03-03-2015, 04:06 PM   #18
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I'm okay with the situation decribed by Imoldernu. The way I see it there are three interested parties and they each have different priorities (and alternatives available to them):

The copyright owner (or agent acting for the owner) is free to let others use their work or not as they please. I might suggest that it's good for business to allow reuse in personal videos but ultimately it's their decision and they have the authority to prevent it. The one exception is fair use.

Youtube hosts the videos and they potentially have a lot of liability if they knowingly aid in copyright violations. To mitigate this risk they developed a "robot" (software algorithms) to automatically detect use of copyright material. This algorithm is probably tuned to catch all of the egregious violations but as a side effect catches a bunch of borderline / fair use cases. There's simply no way around this. They made a conscious decision that it was more important to catch the bad violations even at the cost of denying some fair use cases. Their house, their rules.

If the OP believe that his use is fair use, he can dispute the takedown on youtube. He is free to post his video on other sites. It's also trivial to setup a website and post the video there.

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Yes, still tons of copyrighted music still available on YouTube that someone did the video and uploaded the song. Makes imoldernu's case even more absurd.
I imagine this is because some copyright holders are fine with home videos using their music and others are not.



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Copyright holders have to protect their copyrights even in the most mundane of circumstances, even noncommercial and inadvertent use of a work in a YouTube video; otherwise the works could be presumed to be allowed to go into the public domain.
I've only heard this in terms of trademark not copyright. As far as I know copyright does not ever lapse into the public domain unless the author explicitly puts it there or a certain number of years have passed after the author's death. Do you have a reference for this?
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Old 03-03-2015, 04:16 PM   #19
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That doesn't sound right. Did he later upload the newscast, to show that the news picked up his podcast?



Or does he have a time machine (his podcast was before the news picked it up, so it could not include the news)?



It sounds like they might have gone after someone for posting the newscast, and that is copyrighted, so that makes sense. The other way does not.



-ERD50

As I understand it, the software detected his podcast in the station's broadcast and in effect cloaked the podcast with the station's copyright causing the podcast to be flagged as a violation of the station's copyright, even though the podcast itself existed independently of the broadcast. It was purely an automated response, proving again that computers do what we tell them to do not what we want them to do.
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Old 03-03-2015, 04:56 PM   #20
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...
I've only heard this in terms of trademark not copyright. As far as I know copyright does not ever lapse into the public domain unless the author explicitly puts it there or a certain number of years have passed after the author's death. Do you have a reference for this?
Ah, you are correct re the lapse into public domain. I mispoke. Clarification is here:

Copyright Basics | BYU Copyright Licensing Office

Quote:
Myth #11: If I don’t defend my copyright I may lose it

False. Copyright protection is effectively never lost, unless explicitly given away or the copyright has expired. However, if you do not actively defend your copyright, there may be broader unauthorized uses than you would like. It is a good idea to pursue enforcement actions as soon as you discover misuse of your copyright protected material.
I was thinking someone could protest that other uses of a work under copyright went undefended, but cannot easily find a source for that either.
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