Tag Archives: Digital Millennium Copyright Act

The YouTube Dilemma – Users vs. Copyright Protection

Jeong-Hyun Lim performs Pachelbel's Canon in o...
Image via Wikipedia

There is simply no denying that YouTube is still the most important video-sharing site, at least in the United States.  It is not likely to see this position change much, at least not in the next year.

As YouTube has grown it has been forced to decide if they want to side with the users who have made the site what it is or the rights-holders to a lot the material that users have posted.  More and more, YouTube is siding with rights-holders, even in cases where fair-use can easily be argued.

YouTube is trying to avoid a never-ending string of lawsuits (justified or otherwise) from RIAA, DMCA, et al. with pre-emptive actions against their users.  Unfortunately for both YouTube and its users this means that the site is rapidly becoming a very unfriendly destination for the kinds of “mashup” entertainment that independent video creators and viewers so enjoy.

Here are just a few of the things YouTube will take down and eventually ban users completely for doing:

1) Dancing to a pop song not in the public domain

2) Remixing videos to existing songs not in the public domain

3) Using TV news clips to make a political statement

4) Kids singing Hannah Montana songs at a birthday party

5) Video-collages of Hollywood movies. (like every time they say “fuck” in Pulp Fiction)

The really sad part is that the vast majority of these kinds of videos are completely fair-use but there is no way to argue that with YouTube.  It is also incredibly short-sighted of rights-holders not to understand the intrinsic value of being used and exposed via these kinds of videos.  It is hard to imagine how Warner Music loses money when a teenager lipsyncs to the latest top-ten single.

The end-result will be that people who want to create these types of videos are going to find a new host.  And a smart host could make a good amount of cash providing a legal safe-haven.

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DMCA Shuts Down Fansite Run By Preschool Teacher

The Lumière Brothers

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On of the many super-cool niches out there on the web is the world of “fanedits.”

As defined by TorrentFreak:

“Taking famous movies as a base, faneditors spend huge amounts of time editing with sophisticated software in order to create improved or just plain different versions of existing movies. Most of the time, faneditors try to improve what is wrong or bad with a movie, using advanced techniques to create a new piece of art based on the original. Of course, faneditors love to share their work with others in the community, something the movie industry wants to bring to an end.”

Now comes word that one of the most popular sites for fans to share their edits is being shut down due to DMCA takedown requests.

Not only is it yet another absurd example of the major motion picture studios attacking the core fans they rely on for ticket sales, but, in this case, it exposed one of the horrible pirates they are trying to stop.

“I am boon23, faneditor and administrator of the biggest fanedits website in the world. I’m a preschool teacher from Europe and as faneditor I post under the name CBB (created by boon) and have so far created 29 fanedits, which is quite a lot. It is my hobby, my art, the thing I really love to do and will continue to do.”

Yup.  A preschool teacher.  Nice work, guys.  Go get ’em!

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Dear Barack Obama, Please Kill RIAA

Mitch Bainwol, chairman ...

RIAA’s CEO – Ew!

A couple months into the new acedemic year and one thing is clear – RIAA wants to sue the crap out of college kids for listening to music.

Every day it seems there is some new story about how RIAA is trying to force colleges and universities to share info about what their students are downloading and sharing so that RIAA can then assault their students with criminal charges, court dates and mammouth lawyer fees that can often result in students being forced to drop out of school altogether.

Considering that there is no real proof that music piracy has a direct impact on the profits of labels and that there are real problems facing America perhaps it is time to reign in RIAA and stop them from screwing up the lives of people who have done little more than click on a link.

Please, Presendent-elect Obama, call these people in and tell them to stop the unnecessary abuse.

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