Youtube copyright infringements are not all bad for the copyright holders?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Colin B, Dec 4, 2006.

  1. Colin B

    PTravel Guest

    That's easy -- assume fair use won't apply. Fair use is, first of all, a
    defense to copyright infringement, meaning it will only be addressed in the
    context of a lawsuit. If it applies, you're not liable. If it doesn't
    apply you are. Copyright infringement lawsuits can easily exceed $250,000
    or more in legal fees. Do you want to spend that much to find out?

    "Conscientious filmmakers" should not copy other's protected expression.
    PTravel, Dec 12, 2006
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  2. Colin B

    Larry in AZ Guest

    Sort of like U-Turns. If you don't know it's legal where you are, then don't
    do it.

    But, people don't like to think that way...
    Larry in AZ, Dec 12, 2006
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  3. Colin B

    Colin B Guest

    Thanks PTravel for frightening the life out of us all once again! Yes, it's
    possible that someone could sue you for a copyright infringement and it
    could bankrupt you in just defending the law suit! But I guess if you won
    the case, you could recover your legal fees from the person who sued you?

    In Robert Tur's law suit against Youtube, he is seeking $150,000 per
    violation, so I wonder if Youtube uploaders are aware of the large sums of
    money involved?

    It's interesting that Tur claims that YouTube representatives inquired
    whether Tur would be interested in receiving a share of the advertising
    revenue generated by his video clips, see:

    I wonder PTravel, whether this is the first indication that the safe harbor
    of the DMCA could be vulnerable if a copyright holder can prove that
    advertising was taking place on Youtube at times when the offending video is
    being played?

    Some of the videos uploaded to Youtube have had huge numbers of viewers. For
    example, Enya singing "Wild Child", has been viewed 138,000 times, and
    favorited 1633 times and has been on Youtube for 5 months:

    Or what about Da Ali G Show:

    This one, called "Dangerous Weapons" has been viewed 376,000 times and
    favorited 1035 times and has been on Youtube for 4 months.

    I'm sure if I uploaded one of my copyright clean and inspiring travel
    movies, I would be lucky if I got one hit per day, so perhaps the copyright
    focus really needs to be on the videos that are generating huge numbers of
    hits, such as those referred to above?
    Colin B, Dec 12, 2006
  4. Colin B

    Colin B Guest

    Exactly Larry, so does this mean that a person in Australia needs to study
    the US copyright laws before uploading a video to a web site based in
    California, USA? It's most likely that the Australian copyright laws and
    procedures are different to those in the USA. Would an Australian filmmaker
    need to get copyright approval in the USA, rather than Australia, for videos
    uploaded to Youtube?
    Colin B, Dec 12, 2006
  5. Colin B

    Larry in AZ Guest

    If it's his own original work, he can upload it to wherever he wants. If it
    contains the work of others, then YES - he needs to clear the copyright.
    Larry in AZ, Dec 12, 2006
  6. Only seems "frightening" if you make the (false) assumption
    that you can do whatever you please with other peoples'
    property. If you start with a flawed assumption, you can
    (and likely will) work yourself into trouble.
    Richard Crowley, Dec 13, 2006
  7. Colin B

    PTravel Guest

    Because, by doing so, you've purposely-availed yourself of a U.S.
    jurisdiction and subjected yourself to its laws (probably). It's a worse
    situation when it's not clear where the website is venued. For example,
    Google has localized versions for a number of countries, but it's not at all
    clear where the servers are actually located.
    For the most part, yes. However, I'd be surprised if there was a dramatic
    difference in the scope of protection afforded protected expression in
    Australia and the U.S. -- both are Berne Convention signatories and have had
    to harmonize their copyright laws to be consistent with the Berne treaty.
    However, I still maintain this isn't that difficult -- don't copy others'
    expression without permission. Why would you do this, anyway?
    PTravel, Dec 13, 2006
  8. Colin B

    PTravel Guest

    It's not my intent to scare anyone. There does seem to be, however, an
    attitude that's become more and more prevalent that the presumption should
    be you could do whatever you want with someone else's expression. The
    presumption, not just in the U.S. but in all Berne Convention countries, is
    that original works of authorship are protected -- period. Doctrines like
    fair use are very fact-specific niche exceptions and, in the U.S., are
    predicated upon resolving conflicts with the First Amendment.

    Why do you think it's okay to upload someone else's expression to Youtube?
    Rarely. Under U.S. laws, intentional infringement can result in an award of
    attorneys fees to the plaintiff. Courts have held that there is a
    reciprocal entitlement for prevailing defendants, but it usually requires
    fairly obvious bad-faith on the part of the plaintiff. In virtually all
    fair use cases, because they are so fact specific, the likelihood of
    demonstrating that level of bad faith would be almost impossible.

    I'd bet, no, though I'd also bet that the ones doing the Youtube uploading
    are of the same demographic as the ones sued by the RIAA for peer-to-peer
    music sharing.
    I think the DMCA is very bad law. However, I'm not convinced that this
    particular provision of the DMCA is wrong. As I mentioned in another post,
    the rationale for it is the same as for exempting libraries from copyright
    infringement liability for the books in their collection. I havern't
    followed the Tur lawsuit because news reports of legal actions are usually
    wrong and very incomplete. I'd be surprised, however, if he prevails.
    Yes. I'm not sure what point you're making. My Youtube videos have been up
    for about 3 months and have been viewed 400 times. Not quite the same
    popularity as Enya, but far more exposure than they get on my website, and
    they've gotten very nice ratings and comments. The difference is, I own the
    videos (and licensed the music track that accompanies them).
    I just don't see your point. My travel videos do a little better than a hit
    a day, but not much better. So what? Isn't that the purpose of Youtube?
    People who want to see a short video about Venice or Copenhagen can watch
    mine. People who want to hear about young-adult angst can watch any of the
    myriad video blogs. The producers of Lonelygirl15 have created an entirely
    new genre that gets more hits than just about anything I can think of.
    Youtube would be very popular, even if uploaders respected the law and
    didn't upload IP that they don't own. In fact, I think it might ultimately
    prove even more popular -- I like seeing original work on Youtube, and get
    tired of having to wade through 100s of uploads of some silly music video
    that can probably be viewed on MTV or downloaded from iTunes.
    PTravel, Dec 13, 2006
  9. Colin B

    PTravel Guest

    On the nose! I just don't get the fundamental premise that underlies so
    many objections to copyright law. Intellectual property is _property_. It
    has value, it can be exchanged for consideration, and it requires effort to
    create. Why would anyone think it's fine to use someone else's property
    without permission?
    PTravel, Dec 13, 2006
  10. Colin B

    PTravel Guest

    Please watch your quotes -- I didn't write what you've attributed to me.
    There is a difference in the fundamental nature of intellectual property and
    tangible property. However, both are personal property from the standpoint
    of law, and both have the attributes of property as I pointed out in another
    PTravel, Dec 13, 2006
  11. Colin B

    PTravel Guest

    Did you read what I read? The copyright owners, i.e. the music companies,
    receive royalty payments every time their music gets paid -- the radio
    stations pay it to BMI and ASCAP. Record companies also sell records, and
    exposure helps, which is why they like it to play on the radio.
    PTravel, Dec 13, 2006
  12. If you are good, you can use it in your own advantage. Create a lot of
    fuzz, so you get a lot of attention, and retract the work at the very last
    moment, just before the black limo's of the corporate lawyesr stop in front
    of your door :))
    Oh, and of course in Australia you defenitly read up on American laws for
    American servers. Howard is after all good mates with Bush!


    Martin Heffels, Dec 13, 2006
  13. Colin B

    Colin B Guest

    I certainly DON'T think it's OK, but a lot of other people don't seem to
    mind doing this without first getting copyright approval. I am just stunned
    that many uploaders don't seem to be aware of copyholders' rights. In
    addition, I am very surprised that so many people are prepared to risk the
    possibility of being sued by uploading material that has not been copyright
    I agree with what you say above. My point is that I am very surprised that a
    lot of videos that probably infringe copyright can survive on Youtube for
    many months and, in some cases, receive hundreds of thousands of views. When
    an "illegal" video becomes this popular, you would think that the rights
    owner would become aware of it and ask for it to be taken down. But some
    rights owners may leave such videos on Youtube because of the free
    advertising their work obtains.

    Although a lot of videos are, no doubt, taken down at the request of the
    rights owners, most fair-minded people would be concerned at the number of
    videos on Youtube (and similar sites) that shouldn't be there because
    permission from the owners has not been obtained.
    Colin B, Dec 13, 2006
  14. Colin B

    J. Clarke Guest

    We may be at the beginning of a sea-change in perceptions of intellectual
    property with regard to video. If enough of the public decides that they
    want video to be freely copiable then the legislators won't have any
    choice but to tell the MPAA to go pound sand and remove copyright
    protection from such material.
    J. Clarke, Dec 13, 2006
  15. Colin B

    Bill Guest

    With all due respect-- and I mean that-- , did you read what I said?
    Merely that there is a well-known public allegation (by the then
    attorney general of New York State, Eliot Spitzer) that Sony-BMG and
    other music companies have been providing radio stations with various
    "incentives" to play their songs. This is well-documented, in the New
    York Times. I didn't say what you imply I said-- that Radio stations
    don't pay to play songs, though clearly I don't think that's pertinent
    to this issue.

    Besides all that, my point was really that of irreverence: I simply
    don't believe that most mainstream media companies really want their
    copyrighted material off of Youtube. It is inconceivable to me that
    Enya's lawyers would allow her video to play 100's of thousands of times
    if they really wanted to put a stop to it. Clearly, they can, if they
    want to.

    In fact, I find it somewhat amusing that while we are all squawking
    about "how dare they..." when the thing many artists want more than
    anything else in the world is to have their video played 100,000 times
    on Youtube.

    I find myself often in agreement with you, but in this case, I think you
    misread my post, or, at the very least, ignored the gist of it.
    Bill, Dec 13, 2006
  16. Payola as a defense to copyright infringment? You gotta
    be kidding. Unless you're lobbying to actually validate
    two wrongs make a right. Try going for 2 + 2 = 5 while
    you're at it.
    Richard Crowley, Dec 13, 2006
  17. Colin B

    Bill Guest

    I didn't say that either.

    But I will say this: if you believe in stringent copyright enforcement,
    you can't have it both ways. You can't-- morally, if not legally-- let
    your video be played 100,000 times because you benefit from the exposure
    and then cry, copyright theft and sue the uploader.

    You tell me: is that logical? And -- with all due respect again-- can
    you answer that question and not some other question that provides a
    straw-man argument? Is it logical or moral for copyright owners to
    allow their rights to be conspicuously violated and then turn around and
    sue the uploader?

    Could you at least admit that copyright holders that allow their
    material to continue to be played without making any effort to have it
    stopped undermine the general idea copyright as it applies to videos and
    music? And before anyone tells me that the law doesn't change no matter
    how many people disobey it-- fine, I know that. That's not what I said.
    I said "undermine the general idea". I think most of us know what is
    meant by "general idea".

    I anticipate Paul responding that it doesn't matter if Enya benefits
    from the endless viewing of her video-- she still has absolute copyright
    and property rights and all that. Fine. I grant you that. The
    question is, in the minds of the uploading public, does her claim have
    that abstract general thing that most people understand as credibility"?

    If you don't think that matters, fine. Say so. But don't erect another
    strawman argument and please, above all, spare me the assertion that
    anything I said can be construed as meaning that I don't think artists
    and creators should be paid for their work because I do. I just don't
    think the current system does it very efficiently at all.

    I apologize if I sound a little curt -- I think I'm just a little
    exasperated with an industry that wants to pick and chose how it's
    rights are enforced, without any regard for the fact that consumers have
    some rights as well.

    As I have said many times: if anyone today doesn't like the current
    state of the marketplace, they are absolutely free to keep their stuff
    out of it. But if they want to benefit from the marketplace, I don't
    think they can rightly expect to be able to dictate all of the terms
    upon which the entire marketplace, not just their own product, will

    You want to sell your music? You can use a proprietary format that
    nobody can copy. How many copies will you sell? Not many. Want to use
    the CD format that every consumer expects? Don't do it! Because CD's
    can be copied! Got that! So if you really want all the rights you
    should have under the law: protect your self and keep your music on some
    other format and try to convince consumers-- as you have the right to--
    to buy your own proprietary player.

    Don't like that idea? Fine-- release it on CD instead and quit whining.

    And that really will be my absolutely last word on this thread.
    Bill, Dec 13, 2006
  18. Colin B

    PTravel Guest

    Complete nonsense. First of all, the Constitution reserves exclusive rights
    to copyright owners in Article I, Section 8. Second of all, copyright
    owners are businesses that pay taxes and, more importantly, pay lobbyists.
    Youtube copyright infringers are children and very young adults who don't
    work, don't create content and, most likely, don't vote. Just because that
    group might like to legalize intellectual property theft doesn't mean that
    (1) the majority of Americans would approve, and (2) Congress would be
    inclined to amend the Constitution and pass legislation that would enable IP
    PTravel, Dec 13, 2006
  19. Colin B

    PTravel Guest

    I may have misunderstood your post, in which case I apologize. Payola has
    been a problem with radio stations and record companies since the 50s. I
    don't understand the relevance of payola issues to public posting of
    protected expression.
    Perhaps they don't. I know that my content-creator clients wouldn't
    necessarily object to some forms of their protected expression being posted
    on Youtube. In fact, they encourage fan sites, and have a variety of
    material on their website available for free download.
    The point, though, is that this may be true for "many artists." It's
    certainly not true for all content-creator/owners. Moreover, there's
    clearly a viable commercial interest in internet-accessible material such as
    this. As an example, Revver provides a means of profiting from free access
    to this kind of content. Youtube obviously cuts into the bottom line for
    this kind of thing. Right now, it's relatively simple -- a content provider
    can send a take-down order to Youtube. If revenues are really hurt, the
    larger content owners can bring RIAA-type lawsuits against some select
    infringer. The fact that a few major content creators may receive some
    benefit from the infringement doesn't justify the disregard for legal rights
    displayed by the Youtube uploaders.
    PTravel, Dec 13, 2006
  20. Colin B

    PTravel Guest

    Of course you can. No analogy is perfect, but that's like saying if you
    take my car while I'm out of town and rent it out to someone, I shouldn't
    complain of the theft if you share the rental fee with me. An economic and
    legal system that recognizes the concept of private property does not, and
    should not, excuse appropriation of that property because there may be some
    benefit to the property owner.

    It's very logical.

    Let's go back to my travel video example. My travel videos were first
    posted on my website which, if I ever finish it, will be all about how to
    shoot travel videos. My site isn't, and will never be, commercial, but it's
    a fun hobby and I derive non-economic benefit from people visiting the site
    and, eventually, exchanging information and ideas. My videos can be
    downloaded, and frequently they are. If someone downloads my video and then
    puts in on Youtube, I'm deprived of the benefit that _I'd_ like to receive,
    because people will go to Youtube and see them rather than come to my site.
    You may argue that I get more exposure on Youtube, and that's probably true.
    However, I don't care about Youtube exposure. I care about people visiting
    my website.
    Of course. The uploader violated the law. Period. It's not the uploader's
    call as to whether the property owner would want their property distributed
    in an unauthorized manner.
    There is a concept in law called "acquiesence." If a plaintiff sues a
    defendant for infringement, and the facts suggest that the plaintiff had
    known about the infringement and encouraged (or, at least, tolerated) it,
    the defendant can assert acquiesence as an affirmative defense. If the
    trier-of-fact believes that the plaintiff acquiesed in the infringement,
    then the defendant will be held non-liable.

    A good example of that is the Colbert Report "Green Screen Challenge." The
    show expressly encouraged viewers to create derivative works based on the
    Green Screen Challenge video. The producers of the Colbert Report would be
    equitably-estopped if they then turned around and sued anyone who made such
    a derivative work for copyright infringement.
    I think you have a very narrow view of who is the "uploading public." The
    fact that a lot of teenagers and young adults have no conception of, or
    respect for, copyright doesn't not mean that disregard of intellectual
    property rights is typical of everyone.
    PTravel, Dec 13, 2006
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