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YouTube Alters Copyright Algorithms, Will 'Manually' Review Some Claims 71

Posted by timothy
from the get-your-hands-off-my-manuals dept.
thomst writes "David Kravets of Wired's Threat Level blog reports that Google's Thabet Alfishawi has announced YouTube will alter its algorithms 'that identify potentially invalid claims. We stop these claims from automatically affecting user videos and place them in a queue to be manually reviewed.' YouTube's Content ID algorithms have notably misfired in recent months, resulting in video streams as disparate as Curiosity's Mars landing and Michelle Obama's Democratic Convention speech being taken offline on specious copyright infringement grounds. Kravets states, 'Under the new rules announced Wednesday, however, if the uploader challenges the match, the alleged rights holder must abandon the claim or file an official takedown notice under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.' (A false takedown claim under the DMCA can result in non-trivial legal liability.)" Update: 10/05 11:24 GMT by S : Google has clarified its earlier comments. The user videos will be placed in a queue for manual review not by Google, but by the content owners.
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YouTube Alters Copyright Algorithms, Will 'Manually' Review Some Claims

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 04, 2012 @05:32PM (#41553323)

    The algorithms are almost perfect. They keep Google from getting sued while placating the major content providers enough so that they will host items on YouTube.

    Were you assuming that the algorithms were designed to do anything else other than keep YouTube profitable?

  • by djl4570 (801529) on Thursday October 04, 2012 @05:34PM (#41553341) Journal
    PBCS got raked over the coals by Thunderf00t et.al. Not sure what all happened to him. This case also pointed to a central problem with false DMCA takedown notices. Persons in foreign countries can claim rights under the DMCA but are not subject to DMCA jurisdiction for making false claims.
  • by Hatta (162192) on Thursday October 04, 2012 @05:35PM (#41553345) Journal

    Why isn't YouTube requiring official DMCA notices in the first place?

  • by ExecutorElassus (1202245) on Thursday October 04, 2012 @05:44PM (#41553421)
    Because responding manually according to the required procedure, for the (I'm estimating here) thousands of requests they receive would eat up a huge chunk of their administrative and support budget.
  • by Hatta (162192) on Thursday October 04, 2012 @05:56PM (#41553489) Journal

    That "unreasonable burden" is the legally prescribed remedy. If you can be sued for doing the minimum required by law, it's not really the minimum required. That means there must be some other law that requires more from Google, which law is it?

  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Thursday October 04, 2012 @06:10PM (#41553579)

    Has a false DMCA takedown notice ever resulted in legal liability? I'm genuinely curious, we always hear about bogus takedown notices that don't result in anything bad happening to the evildoers.

    That's because they only target people who don't have money. When RIAA started going after peer to peer users (file downloaders), they meticulously selected people for prosecution whom they knew would be unable to mount an effective legal defense. Then, when they lost, they used those cases to establish precident to go after other file sharers in the same jurisdiction. If an appeal did happen, or they targeted someone who did have money, they backed off, offering to settle -- or in the case of a certain infamous law professor who's students worked for free assisting in the defense of an otherwise indigent person, they made sure to make an example out of them by pulling every legal trick possible to cost time and money, and then demanded the maximum penalties across the board, ruining the person's life.

    By doing this repeatedly, they managed to do things like neutralize the right to reverse engineer out of the DMCA. They've established that punitive amounts should be used instead of compensatory amounts. They have repeatedly lobbied to establish all of copyright law under the umbrella of strict liability, which requires no proof of intent, and makes no distinction between accidental and intentional harm. They have attempted (and often succeeded) in creating criminal laws where downloading is punished more harshly than rape, assault, or murder.

    The reason you don't hear about false DMCA notices is because they're only made against the poor. Copyright law has always targeted the most vulnerable members of society -- the poor and disadvantaged, and punished them disproportionately in the same manner as the war on drugs has. The rich have licensing agreements and lawyers who can arrange settlements. From simple traffic violations to murder, money buys you a clean record almost every time -- unless you get noticed by the media, or you step on the toes of someone with even more money. Right now, in my own county, I was given a speeding ticket. As is common with people with a clean driving record, I was offered a chance to continue it for dismissal, a sort of probation -- if I don't get any more traffic violations, it falls off my record. It was never there. Ah, but there was a $700 "court costs fee" before the judge could offer it.

    Don't kid yourself: Our judicial system has been corrupted by money. In time, it will be corrupted by other things as well, as has every other... over a long enough timeframe, every justice system fails. Every empire that acquired the rule of law has later lost it under pressure by the rich, the powerful, and slowly corroded under the weight of its own uncountable rules.

  • by Blakey Rat (99501) on Thursday October 04, 2012 @06:42PM (#41553803)

    They could only look at ContentID providers who frequently have their claims successfully disputed. To be generous, YouTube could then help re-jigger their source videos to produce fewer false positives (for example, removing the stock Nasa footage from news service source videos). In reality, YouTube would find that something like 30% of them are simply frauds who uploaded source videos they don't actually have any rights to.

    Similarly, if someone has been a successful YouTube member for several years with a clean copyright record, YouTube could manually review claims made against their account, and maybe even create a way to say "ok we trust this user, disable ContentID for their uploads".

    Right now, as far as I can tell, they don't do any of this basic housekeeping-type work for the average Joe user. This announcement just says they'll maybe start looking into it for the high-traffic users. (Translation: not you. Only millionaires.)

    We're not talking about needing an army of 50,000 employees to do this, we're talking about pulling 10-15 guys off click fraud duty (if only Google treated YouTube copyright fraud 1/100th as seriously as they treated click fraud!)

  • by TapeCutter (624760) on Thursday October 04, 2012 @09:20PM (#41554795) Journal

    Every empire that acquired the rule of law has later lost it under pressure by the rich

    Not a student of history, eh?

The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can't be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it. -- E. Hubbard

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