Today in Youtube's joke of a fair-use appeal process

This was sent to me with the subject, "Did a jwz write this?"

How Explaining Copyright Broke the YouTube Copyright System

The primary purpose of the panel was to have these two musical experts explain to the largely legal audience how they analyze and explain songs in copyright litigation. The panel opened with each expert giving a presentation about how they approach song analysis. These presentations included short clips of songs, both in their popular recorded version and versions stripped down to focus on specific musical elements. [...]

First, it highlights how challenging it can be for users with strong counter-arguments to dispute an allegation of infringement by large rightsholders. The Engelberg Center is home to some of the top technology and intellectual property scholars in the world, as well as people who have actually operated the notice and takedown processes for large online platforms. We had legal confidence in our position that would cost an average user tens of thousands of dollars (if not more) to obtain. Even all of those advantages were not enough to allow us to effectively resolve this dispute. Instead, we had to also rely on our personal networks to trigger a process - one that is still unclear - that resulted in the accusations being removed. This is not a reasonable expectation to place on average users.

Second, it highlights the imperfect nature of automated content screening and the importance of process when automation goes wrong. A system that assumes any match to an existing work is infringement needs a robust process to deal with the situations where that is not the case. Our original counterclaim included a clear explanation of the nature of the video and the reasons for using the clips. It is hard to imagine someone with any familiarity with copyright law watching the video, reviewing our claim, and then summarily rejecting it. Nonetheless, that is what happened.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Tags: , , , , , ,

5 Responses:

  1. Steve Smith says:

    "What lessons can be learned from this process?" Then the article lists items which can all be summarised as "the whole thing is a complete mess, entirely stacked in the favour of the richest side", as anyone who's ever tried to deal with Google/Youtube already knows. Meanwhile, nothing changes.

    • jwz says:

      Nothing changes? Of course there have been changes. For example, the EU has basically enshrined Youtube's behavior into law, moving it from mere corporate malfeasance by but a single multinational monopolistic megacorp, to a requirement for every operator of any web site that accepts uploads.

      See? The System Works!

  2. Nick Lamb says:

    It's frustrating that from the concern that they might lose a court case, in the US court system, because it's tilted in favour of huge corporations - they reach the conclusion that it's Youtube's fault. That's the "confidence" NYU Law has in its own people's expertise - it decided it daren't risk going to court.

    Take any grievance to the root of the problem, if US courts start awarding generous costs to dozens of Youtubers who have a successful fair use defense you can expect this nonsense to calm right down. So long as people stick to demanding that Google magically change US law nothing will improve. Gonna need some more radical reform or you're going nowhere.

    Hey now you have a choice of two different rich old white men who will contest the existing rich old white man for the job of US President. Truly a beacon for the Free World. At least the very richest (and possibly whitest?) old man in the pack dropped out.

  3. Dave says:

    tangential but kind of hilarious: (if you just want to read about it without seeing a video: here

    • thielges says:

      Wow. That’s a textbook case for Fair Use. Ironic that the party seizing the video revenue legally lost ownership of that content. Doubly ironic that the seized video was defending their case to recover that asset.

      Thanks for the link to the text version as an alternative to watching the video.

  • Previously