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Censorship Your Rights Online

A Second Lessig Fair-Use Video Is Suppressed By WMG 187

Posted by kdawson
from the irony-abounds dept.
Bios_Hakr points out an ironic use of the DMCA: for the second time, a video tutorial on fair use that Larry Lessig uploaded to YouTube has been muzzled. This time the sound has been pulled from the video; last time the video was taken off of YouTube. (Video and sound for the new "webside chat" can be experienced together on BlipTV.) Both times, Warner Music Group was the party holding copyright on a song that Lessig used in an unarguably fair-use manner. TechDirt is careful not to assume that an actual DMCA takedown notice was issued, on the likelihood that Google's automatic copyright-violation detectors did the deed. "The unintended consequences of asking tool providers [e.g., Google] to judge what is and what is not copyright infringement lead to tremendous problems with companies shooting first and asking questions later. They are silencing speech, on the threat that it might infringe on copyright. This is backwards. We live in a country that is supposed to cherish free speech, not stifle it in case it harms the business model of a company. We live in a country that is supposed to encourage the free expression of ideas — not lock it up and take it down because one company doesn't know how to adapt its business model. We should never be silencing videos because they might infringe on copyright."
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A Second Lessig Fair-Use Video Is Suppressed By WMG

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  • .. does not give you the right to use someone's property to express it. There are no protections in the Constitution that says a newspaper can't create rules for printing editorials, or YouTube can't determe what can and can't be displayed.

    Don't like it .. start your own newspaper or video service. Or use Vimeo [vimeo.com]. I've stopped using YouTube for all my videos because of their copyright take down actions.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "Freedom of speech ... .. does not give you the right to use someone's property to express it."

      Yes, you are right. It is copyright law that gives the right, in the circumstance that the use qualifies as "fair use".

      • by Annymouse Cowherd (1037080) on Tuesday March 02, 2010 @06:02PM (#31337436) Homepage

        No. Google is still allowed to take down any videos they want on YouTube, regardless of their status as fair use.

        • by MindlessAutomata (1282944) on Tuesday March 02, 2010 @06:04PM (#31337466)

          The problem is, they do this because of copyright law, not because they want to.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            Yes, but Google can avoid the hassle of evaluating on its own whether each video is fair use by just removing the videos WMG claims violate copyright without a double-check.

          • by twidarkling (1537077) on Tuesday March 02, 2010 @06:09PM (#31337530)

            Irrelevant. Talking about freedom of speech as it relates to private companies is taking the argument in the completely wrong direction. The guy basically crippled himself by bringing up freedom of speech.

            • by Sloppy (14984) on Tuesday March 02, 2010 @07:23PM (#31338502) Homepage Journal

              It's not irrelevant. If it wasn't for the threat of government force being used against Google, they wouldn't be taking down (hardly) any videos.

              Congress is involved in this. Congress did things which caused this to happen, and Congress making some pretty common-sense changes to the DMCA's notice/counternotice procedures for handling liability issues, would make it stop happening. All they have to do is put a price/deterrent on sending fraudulent DMCA notices, and this chill on speech that they created and is manifested on private servers, would be lifted.

              It's a free speech issue.

              • by hey! (33014)

                Not irrelevant, but case not proven yet.

                Yes, Google would not be doing this if it weren't for Congress.

                But Google is not *required* to use this *particular* mechanism to preemptively quash potential copyright violations. That was its choice.

                The question is whether Google's actions are a reasonable response to current statutory law, as opposed to being an overreaction. If a reasonable person would find it advisable to quash fair use of IP in a policy debate, right there you have a demonstrable chilling effe

          • by jdcope (932508)

            The problem is, they do this because of copyright law, not because they want to.

            No, they do it because of lawsuits. Google has big pockets, so they are a target.

        • by emarkp (67813)

          No, the founding documents of the USA state that all rights come from the creator. "Copyright" is a law (well, set of laws) created by our society to temporarily (hah!) grant exclusive permission to one entity to copy something. However, that permission is not universal -- fair use and archives are examples of where copyright does not apply.

          • No, the founding documents of the USA state that all rights come from the creator. "Copyright" is a law (well, set of laws) created by our society to temporarily (hah!) grant exclusive permission to one entity to copy something. However, that permission is not universal -- fair use and archives are examples of where copyright does not apply.

            What Google chooses to allow on its servers is entirely up Google, and has nothing to do with the Constitution. Nor does it need to have anything to do with copyright.

      • by Aphoxema (1088507) *

        [...] It is copyright law that gives the right[...]

        It is impossible for a law to create a natural freedom.

    • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Tuesday March 02, 2010 @06:04PM (#31337458)
      That doesn't mean that they can tell you its illegal and remove it.

      Its like this, I own a billboard company, I can choose which advertisers can and can't advertise on there. However, it becomes a bit tricky if I say "I can't print this, this is illegal" when its not. Of course Google can do whatever they want to, the problem is, they are saying something is illegal when its not.
      • by Barny (103770) <bakadamage-slashdot@yahoo.com> on Tuesday March 02, 2010 @06:08PM (#31337520) Homepage Journal

        No, their automated system is saying "this might be illegal", the user does have the right to challenge it, I have and won before (in one, google claimed a nine inch nails song was copyright, and yes the version released by the record company was, I used the version from remix.nin.com, which is creative commons licensed).

        • by tomhudson (43916) <barbara.hudson@b ... h u d s o n .com> on Tuesday March 02, 2010 @06:21PM (#31337668) Journal

          The whole DMCA thing really needs to be revisited. The penalties for false declarations aren't cutting it. It's pretty bad when someone can cause you grief by filing a false DMCA notice on material they don't even own the copyright to [transboutique.com] to try to stifle discussion! It's the new version of a SLAPP suit - far cheaper, since it only takes an email, and lots of people cave in immediately because it's not worth the hassle, or because they don't want their hosting provider to decide that their business just isn't worth it, even though they've done nothing wrong.

          • It's pretty bad when someone can cause you grief by filing a false DMCA notice on material they don't even own the copyright to

            Yes, someone can cause you grief by committing perjury in a takedown notice. But then someone can also go to jail.

            • by tomhudson (43916)
              Well, in this case there's more. While the web site is public, the person knew (and acknowledged in posts on another forum) that they were on the list of people banned by the terms of use for prior abuse, and continued to access it from California. That's a violation of section 502 of the California penal code - unauthorized access to a computer system - fine and/or jail time.
        • Out of curiosity, how long did your appeal take and how many hoops did you have to jump though?

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by tepples (727027)
            I've had two auto-matches (Cryptomnesia: Animal Crossing [youtube.com] and Cryptomnesia: Vertigo [youtube.com]) and one OCILLA takedown (THIS FAN GAME VIDEO WILL BE FLAGGED [youtube.com]) against me on YouTube. Disputing the auto-matches was as easy as checking the "this use does not require the copyright owner's permission" and writing a 140-character fair use rationale in the reason box. If you've ever written a rationale for Wikipedia, it should be a doddle. The OCILLA takedown was more difficult to dispute; I had to install PGP support into my
            • by Barny (103770)

              Yeah, mine was like your first one, easy as anything (provided a link to the site, a link to their CC license and a link to the song (harder to do on such a dynamic site, but doable)).

      • problem is, they are saying something is illegal when its not.

        I don't believe they've actually said it's illegal. If they receive a DMCA, they take the video down. They don't investigate. They're not making any kind of judgement. If it trips their "copyright infringeor detector," they take it down, they don't say "hey, it's illegal." Most you'll get is probably "this video has been taken down due to a ToS violation" or "at the request of" notifications.

      • by EdIII (1114411) * on Tuesday March 02, 2010 @06:35PM (#31337850)

        That doesn't mean that they can tell you its illegal and remove it.

        Not so sure about that. It's a free service, they can certainly remove the video. It's their servers. I am not playing Devil's advocate here or anything, but a lot of these protestations about Free Speech are concerning activities that are happening on private property . I have a problem with telling YouTube that it must host content, any content, regardless if I agree with it or not.

        What I do have a problem with is when the DMCA is abused. If WMG used the DMCA to attempt to force YouTube into taking down the video, that is a different matter entirely and one that falls into oppression and suppression of Free Speech. It's not just YouTube either that is harassed in this fashion. Plenty of web site owners, hosting providers, ISPs, get this bullshit all the time in an effort to suppress Free Speech, transparency in government, unpopular speech, etc.

        We don't know if this was YouTube's decision (within their rights) or simply a reaction to DMCA take down requests by WMG (They decided to cave in to the demands more easily than we would like).

        I fail to see how YouTube is not within it's rights to do any of this.

        they are saying something is illegal when its not

        AFAIK, they are not doing that at all. That's what confuses me so much about this. I get notices all the time:

        Dear XXXXXXXXXX,

        Your video, XXXXX, may have content that is owned or licensed by XXXXXXX Group.

        No action is required on your part; however, if you are interested in learning how this affects your video, please visit the Content ID Matches section of your account for more information.

        Sincerely,
        - The YouTube Team

        They never actually stated it was illegal. Only that there was a possibility it was. I was not told I had to do anything either.

        I have received hundreds of these notices as well, and to date, I have not had any videos removed at all. This probably is *not* the automated fingerprinting at YouTube doing this. I would bet it is a reaction to a take down notice.

        Even if they did state it was illegal, when it was not, how is that 'illegal'? I assume that is what you mean when you say, 'they can't'? Or did you mean to say, 'they shouldn't'?

        People and businesses have a right to be stupid and say stupid things. Not libelous or slanderous things, but they have a right to say wrong and stupid things. We can also take our business elsewhere too.

        In the end, I would not give so much grief to YouTube about this. They are just trying to survive in a corrupt in inequitable environment. What I would do is write a letter to WMG telling them that you have decided to not give them any business at all, and stick to your guns .

        • by tepples (727027)

          Content ID Matches

          This probably is *not* the automated fingerprinting at YouTube

          Actually, "Content ID Matches" is the automated fingerprinting. You'll get a more strongly worded notice for a takedown notice under OCILLA.

          • by EdIII (1114411) *

            That was my point though. All of the Content ID notices (automated fingerprinting) that I have received have never resulted in a video being pulled. I have never receied a takedown notice either regarding them.

            If the video was pulled I am very skeptical that it was the automated fingerprinting system that was directly responsible.

            • by tepples (727027)

              All of the Content ID notices (automated fingerprinting) that I have received have never resulted in a video being pulled.

              If the Content ID matches the audio, it might get muted. If the Content ID matches the video, the whole thing might get pulled, or it might get pulled only in specific countries.

              • by EdIII (1114411) *

                I'm just saying that I have received hundreds of these notices and have yet to receive any negative treatment of any kind regarding them.

                So based on my own personal experiences, I am skeptical that it really is the Content ID system doing this at all. It is more than likely the action of a human being enforcing a policy or complying with a demand of some kind.

                • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                  by somanyrobots (1334451)

                  It's ContentID. They do have humans who go through and review (they absolutely refuse to say how many), but ContentID does 90% of it these days. I spoke with one of the developers working on the system last fall, and they essentially consider it to be the Holy Grail of not having to waste time on DMCA notices. What's most likely is that in your case, the owner of the content hasn't asked YouTube to do anything about it, so they're merely flagging it, informing you, and not taking anything down. Compare

    • This isn't an argument specifically on one's Constitutional right to free speech. It's more about third parties performing censorship activities that they otherwise would have no reason to perform, except that they are unduly pressured by the content companies into performing those activities, to the detriment of their own customers, on the basis of flawed assertions of copyright and a deliberate misinterpretation of the safe harbor provision of the DMCA.

    • by bmo (77928) on Tuesday March 02, 2010 @06:30PM (#31337806)

      >.. does not give you the right to use someone's property to express it.

      Yes it does. It's called the fair use doctrine. Without which there would probably be no academic papers at all. There would be no movie or book reviews. There would be no informed criticism at all. There would be no parody.

      Bad troll. No cookie.

      People who modded you up are tools.

      --
      BMO

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by EdIII (1114411) *

        You misunderstood him I think. He did not mean property, as in Intellectual Property, but rather property being the newspaper itself.

        If am I correct about what he meant, then he is correct. Free Speech does not give you a right to publish in my magazine, or walk into my living room, to deliver your manifesto.

        Other than that, you are correct. Fair Use is not well understood and the impression that we (the people) don't have the right to use Intellectual Property to in the ways you mention needs to be foug

        • by bmo (77928)

          >If am I correct about what he meant, then he is correct. Free Speech does not give you a right to publish in my magazine, or walk into my living room, to deliver your manifesto.

          I reread what he wrote. Taken that way you're correct. All this spouting off of "intellectual property" over the years has warped the definition of property, I think. Apologies to GP if I was wrong.

          Guys, feel free to mod me down.

          --
          BMO

        • Yes .. you are correct in what I meant, as my examples pointed out.
      • by selven (1556643)

        You grossly misunderstood the parent. He does not mean that you can't use someone else's copyrighted stuff, he means that you can't force someone else to host your free speech on their servers.

      • by Tanman (90298)

        I'm sorry, sir, but you are wrong. There is no law that says google has to allow you to use Youtube to post your diatribes. The parent poster was not referring to the content of your expression, he was referring to the private owners' ability to refuse to allow you to post on their service since they own it and it's theirs.

        I wish people would mod you down and mod up parent, since he is right and you are out-of-context.

    • This is about fair use of copyrighted material, the threat and confusion created by DMCA, and the problems caused by automated take-downs.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      .. does not give you the right to use someone's property to express it.

      Music is not property. Video is not property. Words are not property. Someone can have copyrights of some content, but that does not mean the content is somehow "theirs". It's supposed to mean they were the ones that created it, though it doesn't mean that anymore.

      Mickey Mouse is not the property of the Disney corporation, no matter how much they stamp their feet about on the issue. He isn't their property because he can't be their prope

      • Music is not property. Video is not property. Words are not property.

        Wikipedia states: "Property is any physical or intangible entity that is owned by a person or jointly by a group of persons." A limited exclusive right to reproduce a work is an intangible entity, and it is owned by a person. Therefore, copyrights are property. Your argument boils down to one of semantics [c2.com]: saying a work of authorship is owned is a recognized whole-for-part shorthand [wikipedia.org] for saying that the copyright in that work is owned.

        This is where the madness of modern "intellectual property" pundits has lead us.

        As I see it, the problem with "intellectual property" isn't as much as the

      • by bws111 (1216812)

        So if someone uses a computer to transfer the money in your bank account to theirs they haven't actually stolen your property? Even if they take it as cash, what have they actually stolen? According to your thinking, just paper (the only thing that is tangible). Any value it has is only because of some ink on it, and that isn't worth very much. The first definition of property in the dictionary is: the right to process, use, and dispose of something; ownership. I see nothing in that phrase that preclud

        • by adolf (21054)

          When someone empties a back account, it is empty. The account holder no longer has access to that account's content, because it's gone. Just like if someone walked into my house and took my CDs -- I would be deprived of them.

          This is nothing at all like copying someone else's copyrighted material. Everyone can copy everyone else's stuff, while the creators are never deprived of their own copies of the stuff.

          Please feel free to make as many copies of my bank account as you like.

          • by bws111 (1216812)

            But that is not what the GP was arguing. He was trying to make the claim that in order for something to be 'property' it must have intrinsic value. There is no intrinsic value in a bank account (or cash). The only reason it has any value at all is because there are laws stating it has value (and can be owned). Exactly the same as copyright.

            Also, the only thing that copyright gives you is the EXCLUSIVE right to make/distribute copies. Once someone infringes their copyright they no longer have that - it

  • Free Speech (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Kraagenskul (828606)
    Isn't guaranteed by companies.
    • Re:Free Speech (Score:5, Informative)

      by twidarkling (1537077) on Tuesday March 02, 2010 @05:59PM (#31337394)

      Thank you. Free speech isn't for allowing you to say whatever you want in a video that's being hosted by someone else. YouTube has every right to take down the video for absolutely no reason other than they don't like his face, if they so desire. Free speech means that the government is the one that simply cannot go to YouTube and tell them to take down the video without certain circumstances. Is it right that corporations have more ability to muzzle people than the government? I don't know. My opinion is that neither should be able to, barring defamation of character or other malicious speech.

      However, that's currently beyond the scope of free speech as commonly enshrined in the laws of countries. It only applies to governmental abilities.

      • Damn, I got it wrong, I thought that Free Speech was a right that could not be abridged by anyone, not even a Corporation. Are you absolutely sure of your facts? Now there is a contract involved with YouTube the EULA and thats what give them the right to abridge your freedom of speech, They don't have the right, outright to do anything they want to muzzle speech. They have a prior legal agreement with the poster on You Tube.

        So be careful that you view it correctly. Corporations do not have the right to do a

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          You have this very wrong. YouTube is not a soapbox on the corner from which you can freely speak. They own their servers. just like you may own your house. If someone at your house is saying things you don't like you can make them leave. You have not in any way violated their free speech - you simply had them take it elsewhere. Google is under no compunction or force of law to host any particular content.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by LordLucless (582312)
          Free speech is a right that can't be abridged by anyone. YouTube deleting videos from their own server, however, does not violate free speech. Nor does being asked to leave a store when you're distributing pamphlets, or me kicking you out of my house if you bust in raving about TimeCube. The only way your freedom of speech can be abridged is by preventing you from speaking at all.

          The only entity that has the power to do this is the government (through jail, or injunction), so while free speech technically
        • by bws111 (1216812)
          How can YouTube (or any other corporation) abridge your right to free speech? They may not publish your speech, but that is their right (free press). If YouTube won't accept your speech, take it somewhere else. If no-one will take it, publish it yourself.
        • Re:Free Speech (Score:4, Insightful)

          by element-o.p. (939033) on Tuesday March 02, 2010 @09:20PM (#31339540) Homepage

          I got it wrong, I thought that Free Speech was a right that could not be abridged by anyone, not even a Corporation.

          Yep, you got it wrong.

          The Bill of Rights* says absolutely nothing about what individuals or corporations can do. It limits what the Government can do through the laws it passes. So, no, sorry to burst your bubble, but Free Speech is not a right that "could not be abridged by anyone, not even a Corporation." "Free Speech" is a guarantee that the Government shall not pass any laws that prohibit speech. It does not guarantee you a corporate-built, corporate-owned, corporate-maintained forum to say whatever you like, whether or not the corporation that runs the forum likes it or not.

          Now there is a contract involved with YouTube the EULA and thats what give them the right to abridge your freedom of speech, They don't have the right, outright to do anything they want to muzzle speech. They have a prior legal agreement with the poster on You Tube.

          Ummm...yeah. You just contradicted yourself there, dude. If, as you claim, Free Speech is a right that cannot be abridged by anyone, then a contract abridging your Free Speech would be null and void, since such a contract would, in that case, be prohibited by the First Amendment ("No one, not even a corporation can abridge it", remember?). However, since that is most definitely not what the First Amendment says, then such a contract is valid, and YouTube can pull any video it wants, with or without reason, and there's squat you can do about it except complain and try to raise enough groundswell of public opinion that YouTube relents.

          Just be clear about your rights.

          Now that I agree with.

          *Disclaimer: I live in the U.S. and I have no idea where you live. Therefore, my arguments above may or may not apply in your jurisdiction. Furthermore, I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. Use your own judgment.

      • Is it right that corporations have more ability to muzzle people than the government? I don't know. My opinion is that neither should be able to, barring defamation of character or other malicious speech.

        Corporations don't have more ability to muzzle people than the government. FoS was introduced because, absent that, governments have the power to prevent you speaking. Corporations only have the ability to prevent you speaking on their property - whether that be their main office or their server farm, they have the ability to ask you to leave. In other words, Google can't stop you from showing your video. They can stop you from showing it on YouTube. Take it to another provider, or host it yourself - your

    • by BobMcD (601576)

      Isn't guaranteed by companies.

      But if they're benefiting from the internet, particularly using it is their primary vehicle for delivery, then it should be. The internet came into being funded by a government that cherishes the idea, and abandoning it now is morally reprehensible.

      • But if they're benefiting from the internet, particularly using it is their primary vehicle for delivery, then it should be.

        Ummm...no.

        Yes, the Government built the (original) Internet. You could even argue that through the grants and subsidies to telcos that allowed the Internet to be grown to its current size. However, if I build, pay for and maintain a web server that is connected to the Internet, and upon which I allow users to post media, opinions or whatever, then as the web server owner, I get the right to say what gets put on it.

        Warning! Bad /. car analogy follows!

        Your argument is like saying that because t

    • by Khyber (864651)

      Then companies should not be guaranteed free speech.

  • by tekrat (242117) on Tuesday March 02, 2010 @05:53PM (#31337310) Homepage Journal

    The contents of this post have been removed because they *might* harm some company's profit margin, and we know that in the USA, corporations are WAAAAY more important than people.

  • Counternotice (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Spazmania (174582) on Tuesday March 02, 2010 @05:57PM (#31337362) Homepage

    Lessig is now required to fill out a counternotice challenging the takedown [...] The system is broken.

    Seems to me the system is broken *IF* the video isn't restored and doesn't remain that way following the counternotice.

    Seems to me the system is also broken if there actually was a DMCA notice from Warner and they fail to pay Lessig damages too.

    • by mariushm (1022195)

      As far as I know, DMCA requires Google to keep the video down for a "cool out period" of 10-14 days. So even if you're right and the video was legitimate, the video has to stay down for at least 10 days, and then it's restored.

      That's Ok for a regular person, but if someone actually makes a living out of videos and its competitor simply sends a DMCA complaint to Youtube (or your hosting company if you host the videos yourself on a rented dedicated server) claiming copyright over it, he's able to disrupt your

    • No, the system is broken when anyone can accuse anyone else of a crime and have them punished until they prove they didn't do it. That's called Guilty until proven Innocent and while it might be legal in Civil cases it's definitely not right.

      The burden of proof should lie with the copyright holder to demonstrate that they own the copyright on something before they claim copyright infringement, and then to give some reason why they believe it violates fair use (i.e. it's too long, commercial use, etc).

      Is it

  • by selven (1556643) on Tuesday March 02, 2010 @05:58PM (#31337376)

    Are there any Youtube alternatives that don't take content down so easily? With HTML5 and the video tag I imagine it would be a lot easier now to create something like that.

    Internet decentralization is good, and we need to take advantage of it and not put everything on Google's servers (and not put everything on Microsoft's servers, and not put everything on (insert freedom-loving startup based in Sealand here)'s servers) so that internet freedom doesn't rest on a single pedestal. Single pedestals can be brought down, but a million can't.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by twidarkling (1537077)

      Single pedestals can be brought down, but a million can't.

      Well, that's a good sentiment, but unfortunately, that's incorrect. Especially as goes with the Internet. Here's your easy two-step guide to shutting down unapproved videos from being streamed over the Internet:

      1. Mandate deep packet inspection, block all video not coming from approved servers.
      2. Any data that's encrypted is automatically dropped by ISP routers.

      Congratulations, you've now effectively shut down unauthorized video sharing on the Internet. Sure, you can get around it by directly connecting to

      • by selven (1556643)

        ISP servers, there's your single pedestal. Thank you, you've made my point even stronger than before.

      • by EdIII (1114411) * on Tuesday March 02, 2010 @07:23PM (#31338496)

        1. Mandate deep packet inspection, block all video not coming from approved servers.
        2. Any data that's encrypted is automatically dropped by ISP routers.

        1. - Most of the time that stuff is prohibitively expensive at a large scale, not all that effective, and easily bypassed with TOR, FreeNet, Darknet, and just plain regular encryption and password protected compressed files.

        2. - I think you meant any data that's encrypted *without* the appropriate key escrow IDs that allow the encryption to be verified as authorized. Commerce would disappear overnight if you truly eliminated encryption and I doubt that is what you meant.

        The day encryption is outlawed, is the day that the Revolution will begin. It's the canary in the coal mine for me and at that point I will diligently attempt to start the Revolution myself involving whatever means may be necessary to bring down the current government and restore the ideals and principles that used to be the foundation of this country.

        On this point, I do not jest in any way, shape, or form. On that day, the Revolution will begin and the blood will flow... and it must do so. Otherwise, we all sat by while the People lost their country which used to stand for Freedom.

        Of course we are not there yet are we????? No, I sincerely doubt the U.S government will ever outlaw encryption or enact a key escrow system in my lifetime. Way, way, WAY too many people like me with guns out there and they know it.

      • First Amendment (Score:3, Interesting)

        by tepples (727027)

        Mandate deep packet inspection, block all video not coming from approved servers.

        Then only the operators of "approved servers" have the privilege to speak. I don't know about Canada, but here in the United States, I don't see the federal government getting away with abridging freedom of speech or of the press in this way.

      • by Jack9 (11421)

        > 2. Any data that's encrypted is automatically dropped by ISP routers.

        Explain to me how you determine that data is encrypted instead of being corrupted, padded, or partial and maybe I'll agree with you.

      • Congratulations, you've just replaced the Internet with cable TV. Welcome to sixty years ago.

  • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Tuesday March 02, 2010 @06:02PM (#31337442)

    We live in a country that is supposed to cherish free speech, not stifle it in case it harms the business model of a company. We live in a country that is supposed to encourage the free expression of ideas — not lock it up and take it down because one company doesn't know how to adapt its business model. We should never be silencing videos because they might infringe on copyright."

    I think it's quite obvious what's going on. The new sacred cows of America are not free speech, individual pursuit of happiness and safety from tyranny, but corporate profits and dictating morals to others.

    Sad, really. Well, there's still hope that maybe the US won't make Churchill into a liar when he said that America always does the right thing - after it tried everything else. But it's not looking good.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by siloko (1133863)

      I think it's quite obvious what's going on. The new sacred cows of America are not free speech, individual pursuit of happiness and safety from tyranny, but corporate profits and dictating morals to others.

      well you'd be right if you omitted the 'new'. The free speech hyperbole was just there to fool the masses, seems to me it worked a bit too well because we all think we used to have it . . .

    • by TubeSteak (669689) on Tuesday March 02, 2010 @06:35PM (#31337848) Journal

      I think it's quite obvious what's going on. The new sacred cows of America are not free speech, individual pursuit of happiness and safety from tyranny, but corporate profits and dictating morals to others.

      New sacred cows?

      Where were you 100 years ago (+/- 30 years) when monopolies were running rampant, the prohibitionists were girding themselves for a Constitutional Amendment, and saying "God Damn" in public was considered a jailable offense under indecency/obscenity/profanity laws?

      I'm not necessarily arguing for or against your point, just showing how amazingly without context it is.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by nsayer (86181)

        Additionally, 100 years ago, the exact same situation we have today was being played out vis-a-vis recorded music. Only back then, it was piano rolls instead of MP3 files. Playing the part of the big music companies today, were the big sheet music publisher of years ago.

        Same arguments, almost word for word.

  • by Korbeau (913903) on Tuesday March 02, 2010 @06:03PM (#31337450)

    ... free broadcast (hosting, distribution)

    ... having people being forced to listen to your rant

    ... having people not disagreeing with you, or actively trying to mute you

    Don't say that Google supressing videos like they want is a matter of free speech.

    • by retchdog (1319261) on Tuesday March 02, 2010 @06:08PM (#31337524) Journal

      It is when the reason for the suppression is a law. That is, they (ostensibly) don't really "want" to do it otherwise. If you can't grok that even a little bit, then shut up and let the citizens talk.

      • by Korbeau (913903)

        It is when the reason for the suppression is a law. That is, they (ostensibly) don't really "want" to do it otherwise. If you can't grok that even a little bit, then shut up and let the citizens talk.

        That's pure business decision:

        1) I scratch your back you scratch mine - big business probably pay them or give them incentive to find automated ways to find copyrighted material.

        2) It's probably less costly to apply a guilty until proven innocent policy than the other way around. That means that there are very few false positive using such system. The article's author has been unfortunate in this matter, but notice he can contact Google to have his stuff back online.

        There are about a dozen DRM-related dis

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by element-o.p. (939033)
        No, that's just an abuse of the law, which I thought was supposed to be punishable under the DMCA. Don't see that happen very often, though, which is truly a shame.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by b4dc0d3r (1268512)

        Since you brought the law into this, I feel the need to correct you. Not sure what you meant by "the reason for the suppression is a law." The origin of freedom of speech was a time where saying something unpopular could get you thrown in prison or executed. There is no law requiring suppression of the type of content in question. It's not like someone is trying to suppress the spread of information in this case. Most likely it's an automated tool which analyzes audio tracks for familiar fingerprints,

  • by howlatthemoon (718490) on Tuesday March 02, 2010 @06:28PM (#31337764)
    The summary says, "...used in an unarguably fair-use manner," but the problem is that there are no definitions of fair use that can't be argued. There are guidelines, but the only way to determine that a use is fair is to argue it in a court and prevail. Sure there may be uses that are so clear cut that a reasonable person would agree that the use is fair, and prior case law helps guide decisions, but try asking a lawyer to confirm your use to be fair use, and you'll rarely get a clear answer.

    I'm not saying this is not a case of fair use, but in having a system where the one way to be certain is to go to trial is going to lead to conservative behavior in users of content.
    • by demigod (20497)
      ... having a system where the one way to be certain is to go to trial ...

      Let me see if I got this straight.

      The only way I can really exercise my fair use rights is to hire a lawyer and go to trail.

      Who thought that up?

      Oh wait a bunch of lawyers...

      Never mind

  • Streisand Effect? Now, off to find a copy of that video...
  • by gurps_npc (621217) on Tuesday March 02, 2010 @06:46PM (#31338016) Homepage
    Many of you are talking about free speech having to do with the government, not the corporations. This is completely correct, if you are naive.

    It's called subcontracting. Let's assume that the government does not want people to do X. But it knows it can't legally outlaw it. For example, to listen to a political commenter they dislike (say Glenn Beck or John Stewart, depending on who's president.)

    So instead they subcontract out the work to corporations. So they give people the right to sue a corporation for huge amounts of money if they insult gays, liberals, etc. / conservatives, religions, etc. (depending on Beck or Stewart)

    Indirect enforcement is still enforcement. And that is what this is. This is a corporation doing some that the government wants, in order to avoid fines for failing to do it.

    It doesn't matter that government is doing this indirectly. The corporation are removing content out of fear of lawsuits. They are NOT doing it for their personal profit/political views/etc. etc. This makes their actions proxy for the government. Free Speech rules apply.

    • by selven (1556643)

      The corporation are removing content out of fear of lawsuits. They are NOT doing it for their personal profit

      Agree with the first part, but they're still afraid of lawsuits because they reduce their personal profit.

    • by SQL Error (16383)

      Wrong.

  • if he's trying to communicate or just challenge the system. If it's the former, he should upload a video that can't be removed on the basis of copyright fair use or not. If it's the latter, well, he's made his point by being censored.

    • by Arker (91948)

      if he's trying to communicate or just challenge the system. If it's the former, he should upload a video that can't be removed on the basis of copyright fair use or not. If it's the latter, well, he's made his point by being censored.

      The two goals are not mutually exclusive, it is quite possible he is trying to do both.

      • "The two goals are not mutually exclusive, it is quite possible he is trying to do both."

        My point is that they were mutually exclusive in practice (OK, HAL probably knows what he said).

  • It is correct to say that Warner issued the previous takedown notice, but it's not correct to say that they actually owned the copyright to any of the songs in the video. Warner's takedown notice was due to the Muppet version of the song "Mahna Mahna" which was published on a Muppet's Greatest Hits album released by Rhino (a Warner Subsidiary). However, Warner does not own the copyright to that recording of that song. They were just licensed to release it. The copyright is owned by the copyright holder

  • We really (start to) live in an industrial feudalism like I always foretold.

    With companies owning the “town”, and making the rules.

    I guess it’s a natural result of two things:
    1. Natural selection, life, and the law of the jungle resulting from it.
    2. Groupings of humans becoming way too large (>50-100 people), and thereby making accountability and morale of the individuals to their communities go away and everyone becoming an anonymous face.

    I guess if I would found a country, I’d m

  • Amazon's DMCA procedures [amazon.com] are very deliberative. If you don't like youtube's enforcement policies, shop around! Host your file on S3, and post a video preview on youtube with a link to S3.

    For example, Amazon's procedure requires an electronic or physical signature on the takedown notice and a statement made under _penalty of perjury_ that the notice is accurate and that you are the copyright owner or authorized to act on the copyright owner's behalf. This won't slow down a legitimate owner or agent much,

  • I am predicting that we have approached a point where the second derivative with respect to time of the public's sentiment towards Google will be negative for a long time.

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