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YouTube Promises Changes To Copyright Claim Policy (thestack.com) 95

An anonymous reader writes: YouTube has set up a new team dedicated to weeding out false copyright claims and subsequent erroneous takedowns, responding to community criticism. Complaints have accused the video streaming site of a lazy approach to monitoring content, and using an unreliable automated system, Content ID, to enforce copyright policy. In response to these allegations, YouTube has announced that it will be introducing a workforce focused entirely on minimizing mistakes that delete legitimate videos. The tech giant has also promised to improve transparency into the status of monetization claims, and help strengthen communications between video creators and its support teams.
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YouTube Promises Changes To Copyright Claim Policy

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    They won't do jack shit because any movement in the other direction has the MPAA/RIAA sneaking on to Google's campus in the middle of night, writing LIABILITY on the lawn with gasoline, and setting it on fire.

  • it's about profit, profit!
  • by grahamsaa ( 1287732 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2016 @10:04PM (#51619115)
    Should lead to automatic denial of the next 2 claims from the same claimant. The second false claim should lead to automatic denial of the next 4 claims (and so on). I think that would solve the problem pretty quickly.
    • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2016 @10:32PM (#51619227) Journal

      After receiving thousands of false, incomplete, and otherwise invalid claims from one company, Comcast starting ignoring them. The court ruled Comcast was therefore liable for the claims they ignored. Under current law, the ruling against Comcast was more or less correct (it was borderline, arguable, under current law).

      So while "three strikes and you're out " may be a sensible policy, YouTube can't really do that under current law. The DMCA REALLY needs an amendment that strongly discourages improper notices. Something along the lines of "three strikes and you're out" would greatly reduce the number of wrongful claims, which is actually the one big problem with the DMCA. Congress has to do that, though, not Youtube.

      If that were fixed, and people were educated about counter-claims under DMCA, it would actually be a pretty good law. The DMCA system works pretty well in cases where the complainant isn't being reckless about filing improper claims.

      • I totally agree -- under current law, this isn't workable, but I think it would be a novel solution if congress were to pass something to allow for this. That said, my faith in congress passing any meaningful legislation on any topic is practically nonexistent.
      • by jxander ( 2605655 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2016 @10:55PM (#51619315)

        You can't simply stop replying to copyright notices. That was comcast's mistake.

        You could, however, route all 10,000 claims to a single queue, where the intern while initiate a thorough investigation to determine the validity of each claim. Individually. Your claims aren't being ignored. They're simple being handled in the order in which they were received.

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Meanwhile, said intern, being a priot future alphabet employee prospect, will develop a method of analyzing music to compare against a database to help automate the boring task of analyzing thousands of take down requests by hand.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          The DMCA says that you must move quickly to remove infringing material, so deliberately rate limiting them won't stand up in court.

          The best option would be for YouTube and every other company that gets spammed with DMCA notices to leave US jurisdiction. I get DMCA notices now and then and I can just delete them, because US law does not apply here. I used to email back at first, pointing out how stupid the author was for not bothering to figure out what legal jurisdiction applied, but most of the notices are

        • The claims are generated by an automated web crawler. It finds anything that is even close to their copyrighted material and sends a claim. Because of the volume, it was easier to just comply. What google should do, is write a similar algorithm that compares the content to the copyrighted content and rejects the claims automatically.

          Or better yet they could just reject the claims without checking. Then we would have the first all out autonomous bot war from major players; one sending in claims, the other
          • "Rejecting" a notice isn't an option under DMCA. The company hosting the content doesn't isn't the judge, and exercises no discretion. If they get a notice for a particular URL, and don't receive a counter-notice from the other side, they must take it down in a timely fashion.

            They can only "reject" it if it's notice a DMCA notice, because it doesn't contain the information required by DMCA, such as the URL and the statement of agency.

            • That should read:

              They can only "reject" it if it is not an actual DMCA notice, because it doesn't contain the information required by DMCA.

            • I'm 99% sure that a notice generated by a bot is not a valid DMCA notice. YouTube takes them seriously because of agreements with the content providers, not because of the DMCA itself.
              • > I'm 99% sure that a notice generated by a bot is not a valid DMCA notice.

                What do you mean by "valid"? Do you mean 1) "correctly identifies an actual infringement which is not fair use or any other defense", or do you mean 2) "is a notice, as defined by DMCA"? Or do you mean 3) "I think that somewhere in the DMCA it says that you're not allowed to use any computer programs to assist in generating notices"?

                As to 3), here's the text of the law.
                https://www.law.cornell.edu/us... [cornell.edu]
                You'l notice it does not ban

                • However,
                  >(v) A statement that the complaining party has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.

                  Should open the door to perjury charges, since there's no way "good faith" is satisfied by a video being flagged by a system known to have an atrocious false-positive rate. Hence any claim based entirely on such a system is inherently fraudulent, regardless of whether or not any infringement is actually occurring.

                  • It may well be negligence, which opens the door to a civil suit.

                    > Should open the door to perjury charges

                    That's a common misconception, and the reason I specifically ended the post by highlighting which clause that applies to:

                    > > Note that in (vi), the "under penalty of perjury" comes AFTER the word "and", not before. it applies only to the statement of agency.

                    The clause is:
                    âoeunder penalty of perjury, that the complaining party

                    • PS, here's why the perjury clause is limited only to agency. Suppose I say that I'm a lawyer representing LucasFilm. That's either true or false. If I say I am, but my claim is false, that can be perjury.

                      On the other hand, suppose I publish a song that sounds a lot like "Stairway to Heaven". Is that infringement? It depends. It depends on how close my song is to Stairway, it depends on how much of my song sounds like Stairway, it depends on if my song is a parody of Stairway. Ultimately, it's a matter o

                    • Hmm, maybe nort quite as simple.

                      As far as good faith is concerned though, I should think that continuing an action *after* you have been informed of ongoing harm it is doing would constitute bad faith.

                    • I see your point. However, it would seem to me that making a habit of claiming infringement on things that are clearly noninfringing (say, the only similarities are that it includes "Heaven" and "Stairway" in the title) would open you to charges of something akin to vexatious litigation.

    • by mysidia ( 191772 )

      Should lead to automatic denial of the next 2 claims from the same claimant.

      I would suggest a 3-strikes policy; a strike should occur upon any claim against a video that turns out to be false or turns out to be fair use. One strike should remove all access to "advanced" tools for a 3-month probation and require a specific form be used for further claims that will require answering CAPTCHAs to prevent automated use.

      After 2-strikes, 6 month probation.

      After 3 strikes, banned from Youtube; taked

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        It really makes much more sense to treat the with total seriousness and legallity. So after having collected a bunch of false takedowns, say 100 Google turns around with those falsely accussed to sue those making the false claims with a class action suit to recover all losses, Googles cost, Googles lost marketing revenue on that content and the content creators and uploaded losses and well as defamation claims. So planning ahead to insure legal defences taken will pay for themselves and repeating the exerc

    • Sadly as others have pointed out such strategies would backfire badly under the current law.

      On the other hand there *is* theoretically liability imposed for fraudulent takedown notices within the DMCA text, it's just that Joe Shmoe doesn't have the resources to sue Sony, Disney, etc. over false claims. So, what Google *could* do, is take their giant list of false claims received, and help organize class-action lawsuits against the offenders. It shouldn't be that hard for a good lawyer to argue that the st

  • Can't we just promote the alternatives?

    • We need the content creators to switch. And for that, we need an alternate site to provide a comparable wage to those who have made a career out of creating content.

      As strange as it may seem to some people, there are rank amateurs who make a good living spouting their opinions into a microphone (and no, I'm not just talking about Rush Limbaugh.)

      If a true competitor to youtube were to emerge, with the ad revenue and sponsorship deals, we might get somewhere. But for now, cheap dime-a-dozen video hosting sit

      • YouTube red just took the creators hostage. I don't know how exclusive the agreement is, but if anyone depended on yt as a medium they got raped. And lots of great people are on YouTube.

        You need the kind of generational change that killed MySpace and geocities and dialup. Real big shit, not just a capable adversary.

      • the youtube model is kind of a dinosaur, it doesn't mesh with what people expect for consumable media anymore, I don't see this incarnation of it lasting much longer. I suspect we'll see a fundamental shift in the next few years. Competitors simply don't have the google datacenters to use as a backend, and that's why all the competitors are worse than youtube. Lower quality, many many more ads, less control over said ads
    • Can't we just promote the alternatives?

      How will that solve anything though? Once an alternative gets popular enough the same people will come after them with the same frivolous claims. The problem is the US law which lets them do this with impunity, not the particular website which gets targeted by these idiots.

      • The problem is the US law which lets them do this with impunity...

        Well, that's not going to change in the foreseeable future until the incumbent parties are voted out, so the next best thing is to hop around, do what we can

  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2016 @10:16PM (#51619165)

    We purchased the rights to use a particular piece of music for the intro sequence we use on many of our department videos. Every time we post a new video, an automated "third party content" claim is immediately placed against it. I contest it and, after a while, the claim is removed... only to repeat the next time with a new claim based on the same piece of music we've already demonstrated many dozens of times we have the rights to use.

    So I'll believe it when I see it.

  • by jxander ( 2605655 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2016 @10:24PM (#51619197)

    Until false claims carry some penalty, false claims will continue.

    The penalty doesn't need to be particularly harsh. I'd say 3-strikes and you can no longer submit automated take down. After you've falsely accused 3 videos, all further accusations will go into a queue for human review

    It would allow a company to police its trademark and take down any flagrant violators, but dissuade automated scripts that flags dozens of videos on flimsy grounds.

    That's just my suggestion, there are certainly more options to punish false accusers. Until some punishment is in place though, youtube's words are hollow.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Many of the notices come from YouTube itself. They developed a content detection system that tries to spot when copyrighted music is used in videos. Companies can upload copies of their music to the analysis engine. Unfortunately it doesn't work very well, flagging up things like bird song and clear examples of fair use like a radio playing the background incidentally.

      • I wasn't aware of that. If youtube is flagging and removing videos of their own volition, that needs to stop immediately, if not sooner.

        Really, takedown requests should only be accepted if they come from a verified source, or at least a verified domain (e.g. legal@sony.com). Otherwise, what's to stop you or I from filing takedown requests against the entire Nickleback catalog, on the grounds that it violates a patent and-"/or trademark that I hold on sewage delivery systems?

        Really, Youtube should require

  • by Jody Bruchon ( 3404363 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2016 @10:33PM (#51619235)
    If you read the linked Google Groups thread, YTSpencer didn't make any actual commitments and didn't ever come back to respond to anyone. This reeks of a company trying to sweep a major publicity problem under the rug without taking any action. The fact that you can literally steal monetization with a copyright claim and the money isn't clawed back when the appeal process finds in favor of the video author means that there's no downside to "jacking" monetization with bogus claims en masse--which is exactly what's being referred to in the thread: an incident where "[Merlin] CDLTD" monetization-jacked as many "Damn Daniel" videos on YouTube as possible and YouTube/Google gladly raked over the bucks.

    This is not news. Nothing has changed. There was some murmuring and hand-wringing from YouTube and the status quo resumed its march.
    • by fgouget ( 925644 )

      I understand that the DMCA makes no provision for penalties for a bogus claim. But couldn't these bogus claims be considered to be Tortious interference [wikipedia.org]?

      These claims cause all the revenue to be sent to the entity filing the bogus claim instead of the video author. Thus they prevent the author from receiving revenue as per his contract with YouTube (the contract here being whatever determines what money he will receive). That's interference. Now it may also be necessary to prove that the interference was in

      • I would think so, but IANAL either. The problem with monetization theft could easily be solved by Google holding the monetization back from both parties until all copyright dispute windows on YouTube expire, INCLUDING the one that opens immediately after a claim that grabs monetization is issued. Whoever is the "winner" after all dispute time limits are exhausted gets the monetization. Right now, if I were to make a copyright claim with monetization redirection on someone's video, I immediately start gettin
    • The notorious YouTube troll CDLTD did a pitiful excuse of an AMA on Reddit, it's worth looking at: https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/... [reddit.com]
  • a bunch of nothing (Score:4, Informative)

    by slashmydots ( 2189826 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2016 @10:36PM (#51619245)
    Nowhere do I see "consequences for false flags" or "actually giving people their stolen monetization money back." What a bunch of corporate fluff bullshit.
  • Change the law (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2016 @10:40PM (#51619259)

    I'd rather see the law changed so companies (and people) that file bogus takedown notices are fined (or better, face criminal charges, or both)

    If fair damages for each infringing song range from $750 to $80,000 per song, then the record industry can afford to hire lawyers to thoroughly vet each takedown notice. Even if it takes 15 minutes to review the video and ensure it's a valid copyright claim, that lawyer will be saving the industry $3000 - $320,000 per hour. They'll all be rich!

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Can't the victims sue? Some of the affected channels are fairly large, estimated to bring in millions a year from YouTube alone.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    you guys forgot to mention that all this is because of a youtuber called GradeAUnderA who started this whole #MakeYoutubeGreatAgain in one of his videos, urging people to tweet it to the CEO of youtube. She then responded to the tweets and someone at google even got hold of GradeAUnderA to talk to him. Gotta give credit where its due guys.

    • yes, it was that 1 dude, not the millions of youtubers filing complaints over their broken DMCA policy for the past 6 years.
  • Until this weekend my main Youtube channel was inaccessible for over a year, as it didn't have an email address associated to it. I was so happy to see it back.

    This one I used all the time but could only view. Granted it was of no outside value as it's just a lot clips of my game play, and unless you play games you could care less that I found the first glitch in Call of duty's BO https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

    FWIW the youtube channel I have able to access has two videos, one has seen over 400000 views

  • Big corporation does something bad: How dare they?! When are they going to do the right thing?

    Big corporation does something good (or at least tries to): Whatever! It won't work! Big stupid corporations don't care about us and big stupid government is in the pocket of the big stupid corporations!

    There is no such thing as good news on here, apparently. Unless it involves Raspberry PI or 3D printing. (But not 3D printing guns.)

  • Repeat offenders (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Todd Knarr ( 15451 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2016 @11:58PM (#51619573) Homepage

    I'd like to see a "repeat offenders" classification for copyright claimants like the copyright holders want for alleged infringers. If more than a certain percentage of your copyright infringement claims turn out to be bogus, your claims get diverted for review and won't be acted on until someone's checked the content and checked with the uploader. Same standard for any automated system, if it can't maintain at least the same level of accuracy expected of claimants then it's results can't be used until after human review.

  • YAWN. Is YT pandering microphone still on?
  • Want to stop "erroneous" take-downs of non-infringing content? Amend the law so that if 0.1% of your take-down claims is improper the content in question is transferred to the public domain. Companies would tread really carefully if they risked losing ownership of the content in question. If content holders expect such severe penalties for infringers its only fair that there be severe penalties for claiming infringement where none exists.

  • Well Its About time we put the abusers at the stand! too many people beating on the system. also Check out Richie Nuzz in this Remix https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]
  • I recently had two of my videos blocked worldwide thanks to BBC Worldwide. Previously they had had copyright matches against them for use of music, but no blocks - I assume the BBC (the proper UK BBC) was getting any ad money, which was fine by me.

    Anyway, I disputed both with a long rant about how it was a heavily edited montage with a specific new, uh, y'know, thing behind it and they were restored immediately. So far nothing else has happened, so I assume BBC Worldwide aren't bothered enough to employ a h

  • So I assume i pissed off a youtube troll because all 1900+ videos in my channel were flagged for copyright. I promptly removed all of the videos flagged.. well that's a lie, I unlisted them, set them to private, and I'm deleting them in batches of 30 because apparently you can't just delete all of your videos. Anyhoo. I complained to them that fair use license applied to all content i posted, and even included the VIDEO where the content owner asked people to share the videos via their channels and gave
  • I have an animated film I made in college in 1986 (pre internet) -- which I uploaded to youtube well before they had things like channels or monitization or anything. Videos at the time were limited to 10 minutes. I uploaded the film to youtube so long agao, I can't even tell you what name and password were used to upload it.

    Recently (about 5 months ago); I was treated to a takedown notice cliaming my video violates someone's copyright, but that was all they could tell me. To dispute the claim, as well as s

    • How did you receive the takedown notice? If by email, wouldn't that be the account used to upload the video, and wouldn't you then be able to reset the password? (I don't have a Youtube account, so if things don't work that way, sorry)

  • They were on their way to having NOTHING on YouTube with a bullcrap policy like that

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