Friday, February 06, 2009

YouTube's copyright Content ID tool is questioned (EFF)

Electronic Frontier Foundation today has posted YouTube’s Copyright Content ID service. EFF believes that copyright “owners” are making frivolous claims against video content that clearly would be found to be “fair use” if it went to trial, because most amateur users don’t have the resources to fight. It gave an example of a child playing the piano and singing “Winter Wonderland,” the text of which is probably copyrighted music (apparently Warner Brothers somehow is the legal owner) but the performance probably falls within fair use doctrine. I have a feeling that there is a lot of “amateur” music performance on the web of other people’s music, often believed to have passed into the public domain.

The news story is by Samantha Rose Hunt and appears on Tech Daily, “YouTube’s copyright system goes wrong, EFF intends to sue,” link here.

C21 “Media Net” has a postingYouTube in My VideoRights Pactin which it maintains that the service is intended to improve YouTube’s reputation with advertisers, particularly in a challenging economy, where advertisers may not look so well on amateur content that might sometimes be pirated. But the boundaries seem to be nebulous.

So far, I have posted all of my own video content on my own site,, in the photo directory. I am contemplating some YouTube work on issues and situations that concern me – but carefully.

Update: March 3, 2009

Check out the detailed update on EFF by Corynne McSherry, "Hey, Warner, Leave Those Kids Alone!" link here. That was a featured Electronic Frontier Foundation story today. The basic problem is a "chilling effect" that would prevent YouTube posters from appealing to protect their Fair Use rights (the Content-ID step occurs before the DMCA safe harbor takedown notice anyway).

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