• http://meowhouse.net Meow House

    I found these two points in particular very interesting:
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    “As it turned out, some of those videos didn’t violate Viacom’s copyright at all. So it could be a big number of those clips aren’t violations, though Viacom has said only about 60 to 70 were mistakenly withdrawn.”

    and

    “Using “crawler” software for its reconnaissance, BayTSP reviewed some 1.8 million videos for keywords such as “Beavis and Butthead” from Viacom’s MTV, “SpongeBob SquarePants” from Nickelodeon and “Jon Stewart” from Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.” More than 150,000 clips were identified as improper, which Viacom estimated had been viewed 1.6 billion times.

    But Viacom didn’t want to shoot and miss in filing its claim. So it had to painstakingly verify whether clips were improperly copied, might be considered fair use or were even relevant to its lawsuit.

    For example, was a clip featuring comedian Jon Stewart in the title lifted from Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” or did it come from one of his outside appearances? Snippets of a video from MTV meshed with an amateur one could be considered fair use. And a clip with Comedy Central’s “Stephen Colbert” in the title might simply be an amateur stand-up desperate for the attention of viewers.”
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    I know of someone who wrote to Viacom and received a reply stating they never mean to pull fan-created “mashup” videos such as what are commonly called “fanvids” – short clips taken from various shows and set to music. And yet, I know of at least 20 people with such fan-created videos who had their accounts pulled, including me.

    I also know of people who had their own 100% original-content videos that were removed MERELY for having the words “Stephen Colbert” in the description. His image appeared nowhere in the video. I know of another person who was a well-known YouTube user who regularly posted sociopolitical commentary illustrated by very short snippets of The Daily Show and/or The Colbert Report. He does exactly what every news organization does but on the “YouTube Scale” instead of on NBC Nightly News, and his videos were “disappeared” and his account was vaporized.

    Frankly I find it hard to believe that I – one tiny person – would know of 20+ of the supposed 60-70 cases of mistakenly withdrawn videos, among the hundreds of thousands of videos on YouTube. Mathematically that is just about impossible. Either I am extremely popular or there were more than 60-70 videos improperly pulled.

    I actually do support Viacom’s getting their fair share of revenue from YouTube. But their methods for solving the issue have been extremely sloppy, unethical, and downright draconion. Whoever these people they hired are, they are not very smart. Is that what happens when you get paid to watch YouTube all day?