Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Television Media The Internet Entertainment Games Your Rights Online

Viacom Claims Copyright On Irrlicht Video 258

Posted by kdawson
from the some-kinda-nerve dept.
stinkytoe writes in with the news that Nikolaus Gebhardt, developer of the cross-platform game engine library Irrlicht, recently had one of his video tutorials taken off of YouTube. A thread on Irrlicht's forum contains a copy of the takedown notice. From Gebhardt's blog: "Viacom, the corporation behind MTV, DreamWorks and Paramount is now claiming they own the copyright on a video of an Irrlicht tutorial. Which is completely ridiculous, of course: The whole thing has been written by me and the Irrlicht team, even textures and skins and logos have been created by me, and an Irrlicht Engine user... simply filmed and published it on YouTube.com. Here is a screenshot of the tutorial, it's really just a 2D GUI rendered using the 3D engine, nothing special at all."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Viacom Claims Copyright On Irrlicht Video

Comments Filter:
  • Woops... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @04:21PM (#17911110)
    They must have gotten carried away. Quick guys, copyright your wedding videos and personal amateur porn before they do!
    • Re:Woops... (Score:5, Funny)

      by kaizenfury7 (322351) on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @04:36PM (#17911412)
      Thankfully my wedding video and personal amateur porn is the same video.

      ...

      ...

      Goddamnit, use the INSIDE voice...the INSIDE voice!
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by dougmc (70836)

      They must have gotten carried away. Quick guys, copyright your wedding videos and personal amateur porn before they do!

      To be fair, they're probably already copyrighted [templetons.com]. That is, unless 1) you've explicitly released them into the public domain, or 2) created them before 1989. (And I'm not sure exactly what `created' means in this context. Perhaps you filmed it in 1945, but didn't upload it to youtube until 2006? (whoa!, that looks like those old photos of grandma! and what's that goat doing to her? ew!) The uploaded version would clearly be a derivitave work, but I'm guessing that putting it into another tangible for

      • by Kadin2048 (468275) <[slashdot.kadin] [at] [xoxy.net]> on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @05:00PM (#17911822) Homepage Journal
        The uploaded version would clearly be a derivitave work, but I'm guessing that putting it into another tangible form would mean it's automatically copyrighted right then even if it wasn't originally.

        This is actually a fairly interesting question, and IMO an important one. I'm not sure I share your conclusion that the uploaded version is a new work, though. Although it certainly could be, if you changed it (say, retouched, or even just cropped it), a straight scan+upload probably wouldn't be original enough.

        It's an interesting question, because I recently scanned hundreds of old family photos and slides. Many of them, provided Congress stops extending copyright indefinitely, will be out of the original photographer's copyright relatively soon (as in, probably within my lifetime -- copyright, like geology, has its own relative time-scales). However, if the act of scanning the photo automatically makes a new work, then it's under copyright for another 120+ years, beginning 2006. Not really a concern to me, since I'd be the copyright holder, but of concern to a hypothetical other party who might want to use them.

        I suspect that simply scanning a photo, in its entirety, and uploading it, does not represent enough of a creative act to warrant a renewal of copyright as a derivative work. Essentially, all that is happening, is that the older work is being "format shifted." However, if you were to do any type of alteration to the original photo that wasn't totally automatic, even something like color correction, I could see an argument for protection on the grounds that it was a creative act.
        • by HTH NE1 (675604) on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @05:19PM (#17912230)
          A copy of a public domain work is public domain... for now

          But there is pressure to change it so that any refixing in a medium of a work grants a new copyright duration, even if (or if-and-only-if, I'm not certain on that detail) the original work had passed into the public domain. You can't make copies of the new copy; you need to go to the wellspring (a copy with expired copyright) and make your copy from that.

          Of course this means if a company keeps a stranglehold on their works using DRM so that no one can make a new copy without the original masters, they can just keep reissuing the work and retain perpetual copyright control. It would allow for the reduction of copyright duration and stop dragging all works along with Mickey Mouse, but at the expense of granting perpetual copyright to immortal corporations and estates, which should violate the Constitution in the US.
        • Bridgeman v. Corel
        • by dougmc (70836)

          I'm not sure I share your conclusion that the uploaded version is a new work, though.

          Well, that's not really my conclusion.

          I don't think it would qualify as a *new* work (unless it was manually edited or retouched, as you suggested) but since the purpose of the Berne convention was to make sure everything was copywrited unless explicitly put into the public domain, I'm inclined to think that by being published (uploaded to youtube), especially by the owner of the item, would cause it (the uploaded version) to be copyrighted, even if the original wasn't before. (But to be sure, adding

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Excelsior (164338)
          However, if you were to do any type of alteration to the original photo that wasn't totally automatic, even something like color correction, I could see an argument for protection on the grounds that it was a creative act.

          Wrong, sorry. The rules for Copyright Registration for Derivative Works [copyright.gov] says specifically:

          Only the owner of copyright in a work has the right to prepare, or to authorize someone else to create, a new version of that work.

        • by Sancho (17056) *
          I think it's reasonable to assume that format-shifting sets a new copyright timestamp, but only for that specific representation. If I were to grab your photos and scan them in myself, I would have a set of photos (copyright: me, 2007).

          There may be difficulties in proving copyright infringement in a case like this, and that's largely ok with me. I mean, if, instead, I simply copied your digital scans rather than making my own, can you prove that I did so? Probably not, unless you watermarked them.

          Put a
    • by iamacat (583406)
      You would surely appreciate the ability to quickly remove your personal amateur porn from YouTube if Viacom posted it without your permission. And if you mistook someone else's vagina for your wife's, well a) Viacom can just send mail to YouTube and restore it and b) you in a hell of a lot trouble at home.
    • Anybody want to start emailing takedown notices to Viacom's ISP?
      Or if anybody here pwns their own botnet, DoS the bastards for us, huh?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by noidentity (188756)
      "Quick guys, copyright your wedding videos and personal amateur porn before they do!"

      That's somewhat of a problem, because they are automatically copyrighted when you make them. Even my lame post here is copyrighted. Permission-based culture indeed.
  • by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @04:21PM (#17911114) Homepage Journal
    you have to break a few eggs
     
    they don't care if there is a little collateral damage in this war against 'piracy'
    • by gstoddart (321705) on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @04:38PM (#17911444) Homepage

      they don't care if there is a little collateral damage in this war against 'piracy'
      Well, I'm hoping that some of this "scatter shot" technique being used by the media companies in their so called war on piracy starts backfiring. I'd like to see them become some of the collateral damage, and for the lawmakers to reign them in and make them have a higher evidentiary burden.

      As it is, they basically get to threaten anyone without any justification or consequence. It's getting absurd, really.

      Cheers
    • by DrYak (748999)
      It's smashing in Viacom's itself face :
      It's ridiculous.

      Anyone remember the take-down [slashdot.org] notice for a 144k file called doom3.zip dating back from 1988 ?

      The DMCA Auto-sue-bot strikes again !

      A question :
      A complain filed an a un-attended manner, without any human intervention, could it be considered valid in a court ?
      As far as I know, only humans (themselves), corporations (with an employed lawyer) and the government (idem) may sue. No provision is made for robots or computers. And in this case, there's is a very
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by soft_guy (534437)
      I hope there are penalties for fraudulent takedown notices.
    • by Dread_ed (260158)
      Dognabbit! Motherchicken, turkey baster, Barbra Striesand!!!

      Sorry to be so vile but I thought we were making an omlette.
    • by Belial6 (794905)
      Actually, I would say that THEY committed an act of piracy. They seized control of another persons property without authorization, and claimed it as their own.
  • by Karzz1 (306015) on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @04:22PM (#17911134) Homepage
    If you elect to send us a counter notice, to be effective it must be a written communication provided to our designated agent...

    So this means that the media companies can falsely claim copyright to *any* material and the publisher is provided an email by youtube. However, in order to counter, you (the publisher) have to send a snailmail to them and wait how long before something is done about it? Are you even guarenteed a response?

    This is complete and utter bullshit. As we have seen in other articles [slashdot.org] this only provides the media companies with the means to takedown *anything* posted on youtube or any other similar site for that matter for any reason whatsoever. Talk about Freedom of Speech and anti-trust* issues.

    * -- If I don't like something that is said about my product online... I can simply have it taken down with the DMCA.
    • * -- If I don't like something that is said about my product online... I can simply have it taken down with the DMCA.

      No, Viacom can do this. You can't afford to go to court over bogus takedown notices every week.

      The law, of course, favors the megalithic entity, because they're the ones who pay for it.

      • by frdmfghtr (603968) on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @05:32PM (#17912532)

        No, Viacom can do this. You can't afford to go to court over bogus takedown notices every week.

        The law, of course, favors the megalithic entity, because they're the ones who pay for it.
        Maybe that's the point.

        If the big media companies keep doing this to quality, independent content producers, then the independents won't be so inclined to use sites like YouTube to distribute their content, since there's a good chance that it will be mistakenly taken down, and restoration takes a while and more effort than the content is worth.

        Thus, Big Media poisons a new outlet that is outside their control, for media that is also outside their control.

        (Not trying to be a tinfoil-hat-conspiracy-theorist, but raising a point of discussion.)
        • by Karzz1 (306015)
          Maybe that's the point.

          That was exactly the point -- You, however, put it much more eloquently than I :)
    • by bugnuts (94678) on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @04:36PM (#17911416) Journal
      That is how the DMCA works. The point is that it holds the carrier (in this case, Youtube) harmless as long as they comply. Generally, the carrier of the alleged copyrighted works will comply and give the "owner" an opportunity to fight it. The point is, you can fight it, and should within the law. If they throw a bureacracy at them, show them you're merely a concerned citizen with too much time on his hands and fight back. Hell, if they don't back down, file a federal lawsuit and demand their evidence. Subpoena their CEO and force them to spend thousands to quash it. Settle only when they give you written agreement never to issue another takedown notice to you for the video or another other video covered by your produce.

      Free speech doesn't include copyrighted material, and you should know that. But this type of thing shows yet another manner that the DMCA can be used to harass or silence legitimate speech.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by pairo (519657)

        Free speech doesn't include copyrighted material, and you should know that. But this type of thing shows yet another manner that the DMCA can be used to harass or silence legitimate speech.

        Actually, in the US, it does. It's called Fair Use [wikipedia.org].
        I don't really see much connection between that and the GP's comment, though. Moreso, this has nothing to do with free speech, since they're not censoring you, you can have your stuff reinstated and they'll have to sue next. Not to mention that you can counter-sue.

      • by Hatta (162192)
        If they throw a bureacracy at them, show them you're merely a concerned citizen with too much time on his hands and fight back.

        What concerned citizen has too much time on their hands?
      • by Karzz1 (306015)
        Free speech doesn't include copyrighted material, and you should know that.

        *Blush* I do know that, but in my effort to make a speedy post overlooked the blatent error :/
    • by Bogtha (906264)

      this only provides the media companies with the means to takedown *anything*

      Takedown notices are provided under penalty of perjury. In order to take things down that they don't hold the copyright to, like in this instance, they need to commit a crime.

      • they are filed with the "on faith and understanding" clause - which mostly means they believe they hold the rights to the material they are requesting to be taken down. In order to get perjury, you would need to be able to prove that they knew they didn't own the rights to the material when they sent in the request. If you can prove that, you can probably prove malice - which will get you into Slander of Title [groklaw.net] where you can actually make some of the big money because it would involve corperate fraud.

        Neglig

      • by terrymr (316118)
        Oddly enough the perjury thing rarely applies because :

        Big corporation owns ABC

        You post XYZ

        Big coporation serves notice saying that under penalty of perjury they own the copyright on ABC. XYZ appears to infringe this copyright and must be taken down.

        See how it works? - they only thing they swear to is ownership of ABC, not that XYZ is in fact a copy of ABC.

    • Agreed that this is bullshit. IANAL but is there some way they can sue Viacom for falsely claiming to own the copyright, and asking for damages based on the marketing value of the video being posted on YouTube for the duration it has been down?

      I'm curious what Viacom's response would be if I sent a letter out claiming I had the rights to their properties.

    • There's only one argument missing here: the DMCA does nothing to prevent actual copyright infringement. If I want to host a video that's clearly infringing on the MAFIAA's copyright, then I'll host it on my own server, with no logs (I might not have common carrier status, but I'm still my own ISP) with no public access, stored on an encrypted drive. Have all the bots you want, I laugh at you thus: "Arrrr!". It just goes to display, yet again, another ill-conceived idea that mistakenly identifies the innocen
  • by Qzukk (229616)
    So, aside from filing a lawsuit to recover the DMCA's "oops" damages, can they also file charges of theft for Viacom attempting to steal the property part of their intellectual property?
    • by tinkerghost (944862) on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @05:07PM (#17911994) Homepage

      Per Groklaw - Slander of Title [groklaw.net] would apply to this, if you can show some sort of malice. If there were a pattern of the types of videos they 'erroneously' had taken down, it would go a long way towards establishing malice. However, if there is just a bunch of random crap thrown into the legitimate claims, then it's unlikely that you would be able to persue a Slander of Title claim very far.

      They have obviously failed to check on the actual status of the Copyrights for the video, which would set them up for a negligence suit. Since it's a tutorial on using a companies software, you might sneak it in under 'Tortuous Interferance' - ie. their actions are causing harm to the company's business and are not related to competition by VIACOM itself. [irony]MS couldn't claim interfierance by Apple just because Apple sells an OS. If Apple were to blackmail/bribe software houses into not developing for MS, then there would be a legitimate suit.[/irony]

      Of course if you want to be boring, you could go with

      • libel - they have accused you in a writen document of engaging in copyright infringement without proof.
      • damages - lost time/effort/expense to correct their error.
      • emotional distress - hey, it's an old standby - works better for people than companies.

      Depending on how many of the videos they asked to have taken down were not infringing on their copyrights, then this might be a prime target for a CAS against Viacom. That would rattle their chain - and might give the other big distributors a pause before they sent out mass takedown notices as well.

  • "All your base are belong to us!" Sincerly - Viacom
  • That's not all... (Score:5, Informative)

    by ack154 (591432) on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @04:25PM (#17911184)
    Apparently Viacom owns the rights to a few people eating dinner [harvard.edu] as well.
    • by HTH NE1 (675604)

      A statement under penalty of perjury that the subscriber has a good faith belief that the material was removed or disabled as a result of mistake or misidentification of the material to be removed or disabled.

      IANAL, but it sounds to me like they want you to indemnify them for their mistake, thereby excusing them from a charge of perjury themselves, while opening you up for such a charge as well. Don't excuse them for their actions. Get your own lawyer.

  • Sue them? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PineGreen (446635) on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @04:25PM (#17911190) Homepage
    Can't he sue them? Surely they are appropriating something that is clearly not theirs?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Frosty Piss (770223)

      Can't he sue them? Surely they are appropriating something that is clearly not theirs?

      They haven't "appropriated" anything. They've done a shitty job of trying to ID Viacom copyrights on YouTube, and the spineless pussies at YouTube / Google have folded to their blanket take-down requests instead of demanding more solid proof. YouTube /Google are now the Official Bitches of Viacom

      Sure, Viacom needs to improve their accuracy in automatically IDing their stuff, but the weight of the balme needs to land squa

      • by raehl (609729) <raehl311 AT yahoo DOT com> on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @05:17PM (#17912190) Homepage
        YouTube and Google are not supposed to demand proof. The DMCA is very specific: The party who believes their copyright has been infringed must send a signed statement stating that the copyright is theirs, under penalty of perjury. Once that has happened, the ISP must take down the content if they don't want to risk being held liable for having the content.

        So if Viacom sent the DMCA request, then the beef of the actual copyright owner is with Viacom, not with the ISP.
        • YouTube and Google are not supposed to demand proof.

          Come now. Google / YouTurd has these dogs called "lawyers". If they had given a shit and wanted to question the Take-Down, they could have. What this does is set a precident for Viacom to walk all over Google/YouTube and take steaming dumps on them. If YouTube / Google was smart, and not "evil", they would not have folded so easy.

          • by OverlordQ (264228)
            Come now. Google / YouTurd has these dogs called "lawyers". If they had given a shit and wanted to question the Take-Down, they could have. What this does is set a precident for Viacom to walk all over Google/YouTube and take steaming dumps on them. If YouTube / Google was smart, and not "evil", they would not have folded so easy.

            If you do that you're effectively surrendering your Safe Harbor protections so . . . no.
            • The problem with what you say is that it effectivly destroys the "value" of YouTube. If I where a stockholder, I'd run. Basically this makes YouTube just another corporate shill, and this means its days are numbered a lot shorter than last week.
        • Can you put the company in prison? Or just the guy who signed the statement?
  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @04:26PM (#17911202) Homepage Journal

    I give you, courtesy Wikipedia, the List of Assets owned by Viacom. [wikipedia.org]

    Your comment has too few characters per line (currently 17.1).Your comment has too few characters per line (currently 17.1).Your comment violated the "postercomment" compression filter. Try less whitespace and/or less repetition. Comment aborted.Your comment has too few characters per line (currently 17.1).Your comment violated the "postercomment" compression filter. Try less whitespace and/or less repetition. Comment aborted.Your comment has too few characters per line (currently 17.1).Your comment has too few characters per line (currently 17.1).Your comment has too few characters per line (currently 22.6).Your comment has too few characters per line (currently 22.6).Your comment violated the "postercomment" compression filter. Try less whitespace and/or less repetition. Comment aborted.Your comment has too few characters per line (currently 22.6).Your comment has too few characters per line (currently 22.6).Your comment violated the "postercomment" compression filter. Try less whitespace and/or less repetition. Comment aborted.Your comment has too few characters per line (currently 22.6).Your comment has too few characters per line (currently 22.6).Your comment has too few characters per line (currently 22.6).

    Internet

    * MTVi Group
    * Nickelodeon Online
    * BET.com
    * Contentville.com (35%)
    * Neopets
    * GameTrailers
    * iFilm
    * Xfire

    Film production and distribution

    * Paramount Pictures Corporation
    o Paramount Vantage
    o Paramount Classics
    * MTV Films
    * Nickelodeon Movies
    * Republic Pictures (or Republic Entertainment, Inc.)
    * DreamWorks, LLC (or Dreamworks SKG)
    o Go Fish Pictures
    * Paramount Home Entertainment

    Television networks

    * MTV
    * Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite
    * Nick GAS
    * Nicktoons TV
    * TV Land
    * CMT
    * Spike TV
    * VH1
    * Noggin/The N
    * BET
    * Comedy Central
    * LOGO
    * MTV Networks International (includes TMF, VIVA and Paramount Comedy)

    Publishing

    * Famous Music

    Television production and distribution

    * DreamWorks Television (following DreamWorks acquisition, to become part of CBS Paramount Television in 2006)

    Miscellaneous Assets

    * Bubba Gump Shrimp Company
    * Cinema International Corporation or CIC
    o United International Pictures or UIP
    * MTVN Direct
    * Viacom Consumer Products

    "List of assets owned by Viacom." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 25 Jan 2007, 23:34 UTC. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 6 Feb 2007 <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=List_of _assets_owned_by_Viacom&oldid=103256937 [wikipedia.org]>.

  • Stupid (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Isn't Viacom the company that just told YouTube to remove something like 100,000 video clips of its stuff? They probably just ran some searches and came up with yours by mistake, although it'd be nice to know why.

    IANAL, but I believe that they can simply file a DMCA Counter Notice and make Viacom put up or shut up--hopefully that would be enough to make them realize that they've misidentified the clip as being something of theirs.
    • "Put up or shut up." doesn't stop Viacom from doing it next week to 100 different people.
      A class actions of "Show a Jury why you weren't negligent in filing these 100 requests.", tells Viacom and all the others to use a scalpel not a shotgun to do this or we will hurt you.
    • although it'd be nice to know why.

      This is Slashdot. Obviously, Viacom is afraid of YouTube's popularity competing with Viacom's. So they send a broad DMCA (they bought it for a reason!) takedown notice in order to YouTube. Duh.
  • Possible Reason (Score:5, Informative)

    by indigest (974861) on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @04:31PM (#17911302)
    There happens to be a 1972 album by Klaus Schulze that is also called Irrlicht [wikipedia.org] which was originally released in 1972 and then re-released in 2006. Perhaps Viacom owns the rights to this album and their search bot mistakenly flagged the video as a copyrighted work.
    • Re:Possible Reason (Score:5, Insightful)

      by truedfx (802492) on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @04:33PM (#17911340)
      Since when are takedown notices supposed to be sent by search bots?
      • by profplump (309017) <zach-slashjunk@kotlarek.com> on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @04:45PM (#17911584)
        Since the legal staff hired a perl programmer, circa 1998.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Raul654 (453029)
        IANAL, but I believe each DMCA complaint must include a statement along the lines of: "I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in the notification is accurate and that I am the copyright owner or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed."

        Using a bot to send out such notices would be dangerous, as any false positives would open the sender up to a countersuit- ala, Michael Crook [eff.org].
    • Perjury! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Benanov (583592) <`gro.fsf.rebmem' `ta' `pmek.nairb'> on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @04:39PM (#17911460) Journal
      I wonder if by firing off a C&D letter you're committing perjury if you're found to be wrong?

      • by dougmc (70836)

        I wonder if by firing off a C&D letter you're committing perjury if you're found to be wrong?
        That would certainly be a nice interpetation, but so far I know of nobody ever getting prosecuted for this sort of thing.
      • by zakezuke (229119)
        I wonder if by firing off a C&D letter you're committing perjury if you're found to be wrong?

        I think the rule of thumb is.... it's not perjury if you are wrong, only if you lie. Generally, the best defence is being an idiot.

        Now automated harassment on the other hand... that would IMHO be a reasonable claim.

      • Re:Perjury! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@gmai ... m minus language> on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @05:02PM (#17911894) Homepage Journal

        I wonder if by firing off a C&D letter you're committing perjury if you're found to be wrong?
        Unfortunately, no. IANAL, but my understanding is that Perjury requires proof of intent. Which means that they need to know that they're incorrect ahead of time. Since Viacom believes that their list of takedowns is correct to the best of their knowledge, there would be no perjury committed.

        In any case, a DMCA notice would probably not be considered purjury. The sender took no oath to be truthful when they sent the notice. However, they could land in hot water for harrassment. It would be tricky to prosecute, but if you could show a significant degree of error in Viacom's takedown procedures, you could get them slammed with an injunction against sending DMCA notices. At least until a judge is fully convinced that Viacom has corrected the errors.
        • by AK Marc (707885)
          Since Viacom believes that their list of takedowns is correct to the best of their knowledge, there would be no perjury committed.

          Great, so now that their bot has been proven to be unreliable, further use of it to identify material would be reckless. We'll give them this one, the next time an automated process incorrectly identifies material as copyrighted, they knowingly used a process known to falsely identify copyrighted material. If they aren't prosecuted the second time, then it's no different than
        • In any case, a DMCA notice would probably not be considered purjury. The sender took no oath to be truthful when they sent the notice.

          Excepting, of course, that they did [youtube.com]:

          6. Include the following statement: "A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed."

          This isn't a random rule YouTube/Google made up, it's part of the DMCA [loc.gov].

          (Link to

      • by nuzak (959558)
        > I wonder if by firing off a C&D letter you're committing perjury if you're found to be wrong?

        Not in general, but DMCA notices are specifically filed under penalty of perjury. It's part of the law.

        Perjury requires intent however -- it's not a crime to be mistaken. Viacom's automated notices are a grey area that is at worst negligent (and at best for them, well, the system's rigged enough that they're guilty of nada).

        Maybe we can get them declared vexatious litigants?
      • According to this:

        http://www.cyberlawcentral.com/2005/06/musings-on- dmca-takedown-provisions.html [cyberlawcentral.com]

        You have to make a statement that you have a good faith belief that the material is infringing. A bot matching a word seems to be streching good faith a bit - can a bot have good faith?

        Obviously they used bots. How else could they have found such a vast volume of material? What they should have done is checked each item found before issuing a notice.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      So what? The point here is that Viacom should be doing more than running around demanding the removal of anything that might belong to them, they need to be demanding the removal of things that definitely belong to them. The burden simply can't be on regular people to have to fight Viacom legally for the right to have their own stuff up there.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by drinkypoo (153816)
      Per Wikipedia Irrlicht was released on Ohr Records (some about them here [eurock.com] - "Later OHR Records turned into the Cosmic Music label". There is an article on Cosmic Music [southern.com]. I found http://www.cosmic-music.com/ [cosmic-music.com] but the babelfish translation of the site's history page (browsing there left as an exercise to the reader) says nothing about Ohr, so I am forced to conclude that it is the wrong label (and it looked indie anyway.) So anyway I lost the trail here. Can anyone pick it up?
  • 1) It's copyright infringement: sue.
    2) It's restraint of trade: sue.
    3) It's defamation of character: sue.
    4) It's slander of title: sue.

    Sue, and do not accept a settlement. Make sure to use loaded words like "piracy" and "theft" in every press release. Have fun!
    • Most of us do not have a rectal-capital fountain, and so we can not afford to sue if this happens to us. Here's an even better idea, get rid of the DMCA and go back to the tried and true "innocent until proven guilty." The DMCA has always been a tool to help the largest players in the entertainment industry control their market.
      • I bet you could find enough copyright holders who've had their IP removed from youtube due to Viacomm's shotgun approach to takedown notices that you could get a class action lawsuit going. It doesn't matter that the members of the class don't get that much as long as it sets Viacomm back by, oh, lets say... 3 BILLION DOLLARS! That should be enough to insure that they'll be more careful next time they try any shenanigans.
      • by westlake (615356)
        Here's an even better idea, get rid of the DMCA and go back to the tried and true "innocent until proven guilty."

        "Innocent until proven Guilty" has meaning only in criminal law. In civil law there is simply a finding for the plaintiff or the defendant based on the weight of the evidence.

        It doesn't take much to shift the balance against you.

    • 1) It's copyright infringement: sue.
      No, it's not infringement. All of the others can be used, but that one can't. If they broadcast it, even claiming it as an example of their error, then it would be.
  • Seriously. Sounds petty and too "american cliché" but - they are asserting, under penalty of perjury, that they own the copyright to the items they are flagging with a DMCA takedown notice.

    It's been said time and time and time again on slashdot whenever wrongfull DMCA takedown notices are sent.

    I'm sure you can find a lawyer that'll be willing to nail their collective ass to the wall and sue for defamation and whatever else you care to throw in for good measure and monetary value.

    Same goes for the peopl
    • What we need is some sort of public defender that will file all sorts of nuisance suits against the industry for this sort of thing, the cost be damned. Someone who will just strive to be a thorn in their side, and if need be, a total asshat. Basically, a geek variant of Jack Thompson.
  • by AmVidia HQ (572086) <gfung@@@me...com> on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @04:51PM (#17911674) Homepage
    I can attest to very similar situations as a service provider. We've dealt with member corporations of the RIAA sending us blanket takedown notices containing links to porn, and I don't think they do porn. Not yet anyways.

    So apparently Viacom, DreamWorks and Paramount are sending legal spam, without verifying what they are actually sending out, and Google is taking them without verification on their part either. I guess DMCA procedures aren't good enough - censor now, ask questions later.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Bent Mind (853241)
      We've dealt with member corporations of the RIAA sending us blanket takedown notices containing links to porn, and I don't think they do porn. Not yet anyways.

      This makes me wonder what would happen if someone posted illegal content to YouTube with a filename that would be found by Viacom's bot. Does Viacom's claim of ownership make them liable for the content?
  • Let's face it. This is a theft of intellectual property. It already happened.
    I know that irrlicht is not a GPL software, but is is a Free Software and FSF should act now, instead talking over and over about many different things.
    Why not use the law they have to fight the "evil company" and show the world that this battle can be won?
  • by Purity Of Essence (1007601) on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @05:00PM (#17911824)
    http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/02/03/011925 3 [slashdot.org]

    This really calls into question the validity of Viacom's claim that YouTube was hosting 100,000 infringing videos belonging to them. I wonder what the real number is. I wonder when the backlash hits YouTube over these "false positives" if they will start to require a little more diligence on the side of the claimants who request for videos to be removed. Shouldn't there penalties for making false claims of ownership over the copyrighted materials of others? YouTube's success was built on the shoulders of the little guy, not these giant media conglomerates. Will they do the right thing and help protect their legitimate users?
  • I would love to see some group scrutinize every single thing media companies release. I am sure that somebody in something like Viacom screws up, even with all of the lawyers they have. I would love to see Apple have to take some video off the iTunes store because one of these companies "pirated" (at least by these companies' definition) some content. Maybe such an effort exists, or such a thing has happened, but I would just love to see it. Someone has to screw these bastards the same way they screw everyo
  • Who cares? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ErikTheRed (162431) on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @05:04PM (#17911918) Homepage
    Most people will be upset by my post subject, but it's a question that needs to be asked. What are the actual damages here? Viacom's not claiming ownership - they fucked up. If their fuck up causes damages, there is legal recourse for this. If this is the case, then the victim should seek those legal recourses. Or STFU.

    Getting a few thousand Slashdotters all hot and bothered may feel good, but it's a purely masterbatory exercise. If the victims are that pissed off, they can sue. And don't give me that shit about "oh, how can poor tiny little us possibly prevail against the mighty Viacom?!??" IANAL, but it looks like it's a pretty open-and-shut case. The victi,s could do all of the legal work and filing themselves, and with a little extra work can probably find some lawyer to make it all nice and pretty pro bono. Unless the damages are significant, I'd be halfway surprised if Viacom even sends anyone to defend it. If the judge finds in the victim's favor they might try filing a complaint against the attorney that filed the DMCA takedown notice with the relevant bar association - Viacom's lawyers may have committed perjury. If the victims can find a prosecutor that thinks it's in their political interest to beat on Mighty Corporate Viacom vs. The Little Guy, then it's a nice high-publicity case for them.

    Other than that, the rest of us feel badly for the victims and wish them the best (fuck Viacom and all that), but let's be real - it's not like we're going to stop watching South Park or anything.
    • It really depends on what level of accuracy was involved. If there were 40 videos out of 100,000 that were incorrectly identified, and the correct videos are a transposed digit away/a number off/etc then it's forgiveable. If 30% of the videos are incorrectly identified then it's an example of gross negligence & needs to be smacked down hard enough that they feel the sting every time they try this.
      As for damages, that is going to depend on the exact video involved. If this were video 5 of a 6 part video
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by CompMD (522020)
      Damages (as would be awarded in a civil suit) are irrelevant here. Upon issuing a DMCA takedown notice, Viacom did assert copyright over the material in question. They asserted this copyright under penalty of perjury, which is a criminal offense. Therefore, Viacom has committed a criminal offense and is subject to federal prosecution.
  • by Tom (822)
    Welcome to the 21st century, where thanks to the DMCA anything you made can be removed by a simple email from the right lawyer or big-sounding corporation, and you then have to prove that yours actually is yours, before its put online again... maybe.

  • I think the bigger problem here is that the legal system has become so complicated and expensive that the average Joe cannot fight back at this ridiculous bullying. What we need is a complete overhaul of the justice system and all those idiotic laws and new processes need to be established.
  • "Our copyrighted video contains the bit string 0001011010100110b, so all videos containing that same bit string have to be taken down."

    Or something to that extent.

    I hereby claim copyright for the bit strings "1b" and "0b". They appeared in my diploma thesis.
  • by randyflood (183756) on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @07:41PM (#17914644) Homepage Journal
    IANAL

    But this is what I would do:

    Repost the video and send Viacom a Cease and Desist letter asking that they stop telling people that your copyrighted works are there's. Then, when they do it again, they cannot claim ignorance or that it was an oversight or whatever. Put up the video on a web site with an advertisement that pays you per page view, and claim that by lying to Google, they are causing you a loss of income.

    So, essentially, they are lying about you, in writing, and it is negatively affecting you. Then you would probably have a better legal case. In addition, thanks to the RIAA and others like them, there is a great deal of negative coverage for people who engage in copyright infringement. So, now that it has been slashdotted, it could also damage your reputation...

       

Between infinite and short there is a big difference. -- G.H. Gonnet

Working...