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Blender Foundation Video Taken Down On YouTube For Copyright Violation 306

Posted by timothy
from the now-it's-ours dept.
An anonymous reader writes "As if the automated take downs on Youtube weren't already bad enough, today fans of the popular open source 3D software Blender were greeted by a copyright take down notice for their third open movie, Sintel, despite it being released under a Creative Commons license: 'This video contains content from Sony Pictures Movies & Shows, who has blocked it on copyright grounds.' It is believed that the takedown was a result of Sony Electronics adding Sintel to their official 4k demo pool."
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Blender Foundation Video Taken Down On YouTube For Copyright Violation

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  • by fxbar (2627205) on Saturday April 05, 2014 @08:20PM (#46673157)
    https://cloud.blender.org/goos... [blender.org] For only 224 USD you can be in the movies credits. Others have to work their ass off to get into a movies credits, so if your name is not too offending to anybody this is a done deal ;-) Of course there are also cheaper deals.
  • Sony (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Richy_T (111409) on Saturday April 05, 2014 @08:20PM (#46673159) Homepage

    Nuff said.

  • by Narcocide (102829) on Saturday April 05, 2014 @08:24PM (#46673181) Homepage

    There needs to be a law against this. Sony should have to pay restitution to Blender.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Blender is nothing, a piece of dust in comparison to the Corporate Glory that is SONY CORP.

    • by Cryacin (657549) on Saturday April 05, 2014 @08:45PM (#46673287)

      Sony should have to pay restitution to Blender.

      This. I understand the need for corporations to be able to take down entire movie content et al from being served in public, as much as we would like things for free, movies do cost, there needs to be profit to get them funded etc.

      However...

      The pendulum is on the movie producers side right now, and they are shilling legitimate content etc as much as possible, and would rather have something by default taken down incorrectly than do their due diligence. The best way to solve this, is when an incorrect takedown notice has been issued without honest and reasonable proof that the correct steps have been taken to identify illegitimate content according to the laws, the party requesting the unlawful removal of content should become liable for any damages that occur from the takedown, and that those damages should be commensurate with the calculations used when movies are pirated, as obviously it is the same goods we are speaking of.

      • by MarkvW (1037596)

        A publicly-owned You Tube would drive Sony crazy.

      • by dbIII (701233) on Saturday April 05, 2014 @09:51PM (#46673509)

        The best way to solve this, is when an incorrect takedown notice has been issued

        When the DMCA was being debated it was assured that there were very strong penalties for incorrect takedown notices. Then the goalposts shifted so that "it didn't really mean it" became enough of a defence to escape those penalties. People who warned that this was going to happen were told to remove their tinfoil hats.


        That's not the only problem I have with how the DMCA turned out but it's a start. Takedown notice spamming is like putting a speeding ticket on every parked car you see.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 06, 2014 @12:09AM (#46673977)

        I make videos based on public domain classical music so my channel gets hit with copyright claims all the time. The thing that bugs me the most about the whole process is that the claimant doesn't have to respond to disputes for 30 days and a lot of times the claimant will wait until the 29th day then do something called a "reinstatement" which can take another 30 days to dispute. It's ridiculous. After the dispute is won and the video is re-monetized, it's a crap-shoot for how long it will stay undisputed because there are hundreds of matching recordings in the content tracking system and they only get flagged one at a time. You can't dispute them all at the same time, and each dispute can take 60 days to resolve. I estimate the most popular videos on my channel are in dispute 50% to 75% of the time they're up. If they would just shorten that 30 days to something more reasonable, like 7 days (which is about how long it takes the companies that are on it to respond), I'd be a lot happier.

    • by Sigma 7 (266129)

      I've been wondering if it already exists in already-existing copyright law:

      From http://www.law.cornell.edu/cop... [cornell.edu]:

      Sect. 106. Exclusive rights in copyrighted works

      [...]

      Sect. 106A. Rights of certain authors to attribution and integrity

      Subject to section 107 and independent of the exclusive rights provided in section 106 [17 USCS Sect. 106], the author of a work of visual art--

      (1) shall have the right--

      (A) to claim authorship of that work,

      This is probably meant to prevent other people from placing their name o

    • by Kaenneth (82978) on Saturday April 05, 2014 @09:06PM (#46673377) Homepage Journal

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S... [wikipedia.org]

      "... falsely claiming you own someone else's copyright"

    • Sony *and* Youtube should Gold sponsor the movie as a penalty for this mishap.
  • Perjury? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by janoc (699997) on Saturday April 05, 2014 @08:31PM (#46673215)

    IANAL, but shouldn't this qualify as perjury? Sony needs to certify in their automated DMCA request that they, in fact, own the rights to the content in question, under the penalty of perjury. Someone really needs to take the big studios to court for this sort of abuse, otherwise it won't stop.

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

      by wisnoskij (1206448) on Saturday April 05, 2014 @08:36PM (#46673243) Homepage

      Someone with a million or two to just throw out the window and a lifetime of freetime to spend.

    • Re:Perjury? (Score:5, Informative)

      by amaurea (2900163) on Saturday April 05, 2014 @08:55PM (#46673321) Homepage

      Sadly, I don't think that's the case. This is all voluntary agreements between Google and various coorporations that kick in *before* any DMCA stuff. I think what happens is that Google runs video/audio matching programs on behalf of other companies, and when something matches they take it down, notifying the user. The user can then assert that they do in fact have the right to upload the video. Once they do, the video is put back up, and the company is notified. They then file a real DMCA claim. The video is then taken down again, and the user is notified. They can then file a DMCA counterclaim, which would bring the video back but expose them to a lawsuit, or back down, in which case they get a "copyright strike", which leads to the loss of the ability to upload long videos, and eventually being banned from youtube.

      I think these voluntary agreements are a perversion of an already pretty nasty law. I've had one of my own videos affected in a somewhat milder fashion: They put advertisements on the video instead of taking it down. That makes it seems like Iæm selling out my viewers to advertisers, but though the video was quite clearly fair use (a video comparing the current and previous world rectord speedruns of a computer game), I would have to consult a lawyer before contesting it, which would take days, and be expensive. The power asymmetry means that Sony etc. can accuse you as much as they want with no worry, while defending oneself is a costly and risky endeavor to normal users.

      • Re:Perjury? (Score:5, Informative)

        by jdi_knght (3507915) on Saturday April 05, 2014 @09:30PM (#46673441)

        Sadly, I don't think that's the case. This is all voluntary agreements between Google and various coorporations that kick in *before* any DMCA stuff. I think what happens is that Google runs video/audio matching programs on behalf of other companies, and when something matches they take it down, notifying the user. The user can then assert that they do in fact have the right to upload the video. Once they do, the video is put back up, and the company is notified. They then file a real DMCA claim. The video is then taken down again, and the user is notified. They can then file a DMCA counterclaim, which would bring the video back but expose them to a lawsuit, or back down, in which case they get a "copyright strike", which leads to the loss of the ability to upload long videos, and eventually being banned from youtube.

        I think these voluntary agreements are a perversion of an already pretty nasty law. I've had one of my own videos affected in a somewhat milder fashion: They put advertisements on the video instead of taking it down. That makes it seems like Iæm selling out my viewers to advertisers, but though the video was quite clearly fair use (a video comparing the current and previous world rectord speedruns of a computer game), I would have to consult a lawyer before contesting it, which would take days, and be expensive. The power asymmetry means that Sony etc. can accuse you as much as they want with no worry, while defending oneself is a costly and risky endeavor to normal users.

        Just to expand on the process, when a video is first hit with the claim, you can dispute it within YouTube, and have to provide an explanation. What they *don't* tell you is that the company who made the claim (which would be Sony in this case) is the one who reviews it and makes a determination.

        If they deny your dispute, you can then appeal from within the YouTube interface, again stating an explanation about why your content is your own, or fair use, or whatever. But this time you get to read a lot more legal scare stuff, AND you have to provide your address & phone number along with the appeal. Yet again, the claimant is the one who reviews this. At this point they either have to retract their claim, or send a formal DMCA takedown notice to keep your video down. Or I suppose they could just directly sue you now that they have your info.

        If they go the DMCA takedown route at that point, that's where you can file a DMCA counter-notice, and they'll have to bring you to court if they want to pursue things further. Since you gave them your address & number during step 2, you won't be hard to track down.

        The system is completely stacked in favor of the big media companies, and I'm sure it works well for them. Make claims on all kinds of content, and the vast majority of people will be too afraid to challenge it, and many of those people might even assume that they were in the wrong even if they weren't. Next benefit is that the claimant's allowed to put advertising/etc on the video that Joe User made and profit from it. And the very existence of steps #1 and #2 allows big media to skirt around the risks of sending false DMCA notices.

        • by nurb432 (527695)

          The system is completely stacked in favor of the big media companies, and I'm sure it works well for them.

          Well, they did buy the law remember... Its a return on their investment, so to speak.

      • So... why not small claims? If every person who was in the right on YouTube filed a small claims case against a media entity, they could be bled to death through a thousand cuts, and it would either put a stop to the practice, or make judges aware that the big media companies are abusing their power, which could be very helpful once someone wants to do a class action to stop what is essentially private taxation (running ads on independently produced content) for the benefit of corporations. I mean, serio
    • by davecb (6526) <davec-b@rogers.com> on Saturday April 05, 2014 @08:55PM (#46673323) Homepage Journal
      In some countries, it would be obtaining a service (the takedown) based upon a false and fraudulent pretense. That's a criminal offence, and an injured party can call upon the Crown to prosecute it as such. Consult a lawyer in the jurisdiction in question, get a quote and take them with you to the fraud squad, to ensure the process happens correctly. It's arguably hard to do correctly in the U.S, as suggested by the low number of convictions reported...
      • by Altrag (195300)

        Given that this is done by US companies operating under a US law, I'm pretty sure they'd give exactly zero shits if they got a false pretense claim from some other country. At the most, if it looked like it was going to get above the small claims level in that country, they'd pay a few thousand $ settlement fee (ie: basically meaningless to Sony or whoever) and continue on with business as usual.

        Its basically impossible (by design) for an individual to fight copyright claims. Enough individuals getting to

    • by jaa101 (627731)

      Do we know this is the result of a DMCA request? Doesn't Youtube give studios like Sony an interface to take down what they want? So then it's back to being as annoying as hell but not legally actionable in any way :-(.

      • by Altrag (195300)

        Doesn't specifically say its under the DMCA, but claiming and attempting to enforce copyright on content you don't own is definitely illegal regardless of the DMCA.

        Sony and the other big companies are basically letting robots continuously break the law for them and operating under the principle that the people affected will either a) be small enough that they can't afford to mount a significant defense or b) be big enough that they'll contact Sony directly and "work things out" before getting legal entities

    • by Kjella (173770)

      Well, first of all many major copyright holders have special deals with YouTube where they don't actually send DMCA requests. In that case it's just a private agreement between Sony and YouTube on content monitoring, at best you have a slander suit but no basis for a perjury. Secondly, they may have a legal claim to copyright on the whole clip reel as a collection - basically the selection and composition of clips - and that's enough to get them out of the perjury part. In generic terms, "Under penatlity of

      • Sony not Youtube? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by JakartaDean (834076) on Sunday April 06, 2014 @02:17AM (#46674275) Journal

        Well, first of all many major copyright holders have special deals with YouTube where they don't actually send DMCA requests. In that case it's just a private agreement between Sony and YouTube on content monitoring, at best you have a slander suit but no basis for a perjury. Secondly, they may have a legal claim to copyright on the whole clip reel as a collection - basically the selection and composition of clips - and that's enough to get them out of the perjury part. In generic terms, "Under penatlity of perjury, we are the copyright holders of movie X. We believe that the posted scene Y is in violation of our copyright on X." Even if that last part is wrong because it's freely licensed or in the public domain or for some other reason not eligible for copyright it's not under perjury. It sucks, but any competent lawyer will manage to wiggle Sony out of any trouble.

        The youtube page in fact says: "This video contains content from Sony Pictures Movies & Shows, who has blocked it on copyright grounds."

        Assuming they're as careful with their language as I am, that says the Sony, not Youtube, initiated the takedown.

    • by dbIII (701233)
      There's an enormous intentional loophole which means the perjury thing never applies :(
    • Someone really needs to take the big studios to court for this sort of abuse, otherwise it won't stop.

      It's happened. The court ruled against Universal in that particular case [wikipedia.org]. The case is continuing on appeals.

      Once again, I'm not sure it applies in this case, because it's not clear there was a DMCA takedown notice. Google might have just blocked it as a 'favor' to Sony.

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

      by MrL0G1C (867445) on Sunday April 06, 2014 @07:34AM (#46675121) Journal

      What we need is a 3-strikes and you're out system - submit 3 false DMCA take-downs and any more take-downs become invalid.

  • by Zombie Ryushu (803103) on Saturday April 05, 2014 @08:35PM (#46673237)

    Blender should file a Counter Claim against Sony. As well as try and get a strike against Sony for this. There is a term for this, False Flag abuse.

    • Blender should file a Counter Claim against Sony. As well as try and get a strike against Sony for this. There is a term for this, False Flag abuse.

      Sigh. Please don't use expressions that you don't understand. False Flag: designed to deceive in such a way that the operations appear as though they are being carried out by other entities.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 05, 2014 @10:12PM (#46673607)

      The proper term is "Slander of Title". Basically, Sony claimed the Protected Work was theirs wherein they're merely licensing it for their 4K demo content. Under CC Attribution 3.0, they can't claim anything as their own work, they have to attribute the content to the original rights holders, and can't place any additional restrictions on the further publication of the content (i.e. You can't tell someone to do a takedown on the content, either as a DMCA or as a reciprocal agreement as Sony has with Google on YouTube. Violates the restrictions clause and attempts to claim sole rights over the content- you can't claim sole rights over your derivative work per license which would be the only way you could legitimately do a takedown.)

      This means they are no longer licensed to the content in question.

      Each and every copy they distributed or intend to distribute of the protected work in question, Sintel, is now a willful copyright infringement on Sony's part. Seems to me that the Blender project needs to retain counsel and sue for the Statutory Damages for this...which amounts to $150,000, per each copy done without licensing.

    • It looks like this is just a Youtube thing, that no legal action was taken at all. It was an agreement between two private companies (Sony and Google), to take down content that Sony doesn't like. That isn't illegal, because Google owns the site.
  • by Richy_T (111409) on Saturday April 05, 2014 @08:38PM (#46673251) Homepage

    free publicity.

  • they broke this system a few months back. it just flags everything now and theirs not a live persion in the building to take the flood of wtf they don't own this shit counter clames.
  • FUCK YOU.
  • by Megahard (1053072) on Saturday April 05, 2014 @09:27PM (#46673435)

    They could have added a rootkit.

  • by future assassin (639396) on Saturday April 05, 2014 @09:39PM (#46673467) Homepage

    and have Sony state under oath why they think the video is theirs. Seems Sony is excertising ownership right over the video, seems to me that's IP theft by Sony. After all according to the gove and media IP theft is the biggest danger to American way of life since the nuclear communist threat.

    I would happily donate $$$ to this court case.

    • by Alpha232 (922118)

      Please note that under Section 512(f) any person who knowingly materially misrepresents that material or activity is infringing may be subject to liability for damages. Where YouTube has a good faith belief that a person is materially misrepresenting that material or activity is infringing of their rights or the right of a copyright owner for whom they are authorized to act, YouTube may, in its discretion, not remove the cited content. In this case, we will notify the complainant.

      I hope to see a Defamation/Libel case coming to a court room near you!

  • How about... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NewtonsLaw (409638) on Saturday April 05, 2014 @10:44PM (#46673729)

    "You wouldn't steal a handbag...

    "You wouldn't steal a car...

    "You wouldn't download a movie...

    "But it's okay to claim someone else's IP as your own... if you're Sony!

  • by ikhider (2837593) on Sunday April 06, 2014 @01:13AM (#46674151)
    There are better alternatives, like Archive.org--especially for Libre/Opensource projects. I would not bother with Youtube, which is riddled with ads anyway. Archive.org has a mandate to serve the public, Youtube has a mandate to line the pockets of the rich. I'll take Archive.org. The Blender team should have known better.
  • by luckymutt (996573) on Sunday April 06, 2014 @01:23AM (#46674183)
    It is believed that the takedown was a result of Sony Electronics adding Sintel to their official 4k demo pool.

    This sounds like Sony is the infringer.
  • by Technician (215283) on Sunday April 06, 2014 @10:42AM (#46676325)

    It seems to have been noticed and fixed.

    Link to video on Youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]

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