YOUTUBE CAST-OFF’S, READ THIS!
Via Boing Boing comes this link to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is jumping into the fray to help those who, like Kevin Lee recently, have found their clips taken down by the user-generated video giant. (For the record, Lee’s account was reinstated, although I believe individual videos remain pulled.)
Fair use has always been at risk on YouTube, thanks to abusive DMCA takedown notices sent by copyright owners (sometimes carelessly, sometimes not). But in the past several weeks, two things have made things much worse for those who want to sing a song, post an a capella tribute, or set machinima to music.
First, it appears that more and more copyright owners are using YouTube’s automated copyright filtering system (known as the Content ID system), which tests all videos looking for a “match” with “fingerprints” provided by copyright owners.
Second, thanks to a recent spat between YouTube and Warner Music Group, YouTube’s Content ID tool is now being used to censor lots and lots of videos (previously, Warner just silently shared in the advertising revenue for the videos that included a “match” to its music).
EFF, along with many other public interest groups, have repeatedly expressed our concerns to both copyright owners and YouTube about the dangers of automated filtering systems like the Content ID system. These systems are still primitive and unable to distinguish a tranformative remix from copyright infringement. So unless they leave lots of breathing room for remixed content, these filters end up sideswiping lots of fair uses.
The piece goes on to advocate that YouTube fix their Content ID system and calls on artists whose transformative, remix work has been removed from YouTube due to a Warner Music Group claim to contact them for possible assistance with regards to a counternotice.