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Samsung 'blocks' exploding Note 7 parody videos (bbc.com)
606 points by Lio on Oct 21, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 215 comments

Wonder if the attention put on YouTube here will inspire Google to fix the financial and political 'infringement' takedowns.

Eg, during the takedown process, have something like:

> [ ] I understand that satire and political commentary does not in itself consititute copyright infringement, and that I am not filing this notice on the basis of the video satirizing or making commentary on my copywritten content.

> [ ] I understand that incorrectly flagging satirical or commentary videos that mention my trademarks but do not infringe upon my trademark rights may delay response to future infringement filings.

Or something similar. IANAL. Complainants must tick the boxes to be able to submit.

Your presupposition is that it is in Google's (and Youtube's) best interest to guarantee that videos are correctly allowed or denied based on the balance of copyright, trademark and fair use.

It could very well be that their best interest is in satisfying their big customers, the companies that invest massive amounts of money in advertising, publishing and divulging their products and services through Google platforms.

Hence the existence of Content ID as a tool for takedown as opposed to rely simply the existing tools like DMCA takedown notices.

The later is, in theory, fair as it gives the accused a clear remedy for false accusations (demand reinstatement of the video and wait for the court battle with the video in place) while the former is a process completely in control by Google and it is up to their discretion to fix the situation.

It's amazing how people act like they have the "right" to post some content anywhere.

Youtube, facebook, reddit, hacker news are all private organizations. They are not legally obligated to host your content (in some cases, like copyright infringement, they are legally obligated to NOT host your content).

The only thing that keeps these sites from arbitrarily censoring their users is money. If facebook deleted every article that zuckerberg disagreed with, people would eventually stop using facebook (there might be some speculation about how their "top stories" algorithm "filters" stuff out).

Less users means less ad revenue. But on the flip side, if samsung accounts for a noticeable chunk of ad revenue and that becomes at risk, less ad revenue means less ad revenue too. If blindly DMCA'ing videos yields a loss of 2% of users, but keeping the video up yields a loss of 5% of ad revenue (from samsung's share), then I imagine they will always prefer to side with samsung.

This isn't illegal, this is just one of the truths about capitalism. If a company exists to make money, it will side with money. if a company exists to provide a quality service, it will side with quality service. Quality service often doesn't have the marketing team though.

>It's amazing how people act like they have the "right" to post some content anywhere.

It's amazing how, every time a private organization is criticized for how it handles speech on its platform, some tedious rando jumps out of the woodwork to smugly lecture everyone about how private organizations don't have legal obligations to host anything.

Yes. We know. We know, we know, we know, we all know. The First Amendment does not apply. We are not saying that Google is legally required to do anything. We are saying that Google's behavior is not in the spirit of free speech and chills discourse. That's it. Can we take it as read that everyone's up to speed on this and move on without the pointless derail, please?

It's amazing how widespread the idea that that, because it's legal for private organisations to take down whatever content they like, no-one should criticise them for it has become. However could this belief that benefits those with immense influence over the public discourse have become so common?

Your tone suggests some sort of nefarious plot, but in the US that idea is widely consistent with fairly prevalent preferences for strong private property rights and a distrust of regulation that predates mass media.

A business owner is seen as more like the average person than is a regulator or other academic "public discourse"-spouting person.

Today they're telling Youtube what to do, tomorrow they're telling your company what to do...

See also positions on NIMBYism vs "it's my land, why can't I build whatever I want?", Uber and AirBNB vs existing regulations, and many others.

I don't think there's any kind of actual conspiracy going on; it's just that this argument is a convenient political soldier. If these companies were censoring the other side politically, it's the other political side that would be deploying it.

On on the side of, society extends corporations a lot of rights and protection. Stand to reason that demands that they serve the public interest aren't unreasonable. Especially in this case where the claim is corporations are abusing a right; copyright and trademark protection.

Which in this case, just to keep things concrete, would be in the service of compelling people to host objectionable speech against their will.

"objectionable speech" is a pretty melodramatic way of saying "parody videos of a consumer product", on par with "taxation is violence and theft"

They object to the speech and decline to host it. Juggle the words however you like to make it more emotionally palatable to you. My goal is to speak precisely.

If your goal is to be precise, you should double check the definition of objectionable. It means that the common man would deem it offensive, not that a particular party would object to it for a reason like saving face.

You want your common carrier protection or not?

Going even further, another way to interpret the 1st Amendment is that it is the federal governments responsibility to protect those freedoms, and that it would be well within the power of Congress to enact laws prohibiting the censoring of free speech, even on so called private platforms. This sort of thing has been done in the past, for example by prohibiting discrimination based on race even in private establishments.

Actually, I don't think this is a valid interpretation of the First Amendment, which is written specifically to circumscribe the powers given to Congress, beginning "Congress shall make no law..."

In other words, this is a right to be protected, not just passively allowed.

Perhaps people at HN know. But I'd argue internet users in general don't. Just look at the outcry that happens when reddit censors stuff.

Outcry is one of the mechanisms that dissuades censorship on privately-owned mediums. Let's have more outcry please.

You are totally right, we should disown whoever posseses the digital main-street. Its outrageous the public, the people of the constitution have to be beggars in some private backyard.

Huh? I absolutely have a right to come out and publicly say that YouTube or Facebook is practicing censorship of ideas for political or financial gain on their platforms, and express the fact that this is a bad thing for users. Expressing such an opinion is not tantamount to stating I have any "rights" under their platforms or being entitled; you are connecting those dots in your head without basis just to be snide.

You have the right to say it, but where are you going to say it where it will actually be heard?

All the big platforms are private and could hypothetically block your message without offering you any recourse.

Many of the safe-harbor laws protect a service only so long as the service is neutral. If they can make a good-faith argument that their mechanisms are used only to neutrally remove content based on good-faith assertions of copyright infringement, OK. If anyone can make a case that it's used as an editorial tool based on the opinions or ideas expressed in the removed content, well, that's the ballgame. YouTube suddenly has a negative value because losing its safe-harbor status will allow it to be pummeled into bankruptcy by lawsuits.

So maybe before you come rushing in to post your "ha-HA! Literally no one in history has ever considered that this is a corporation, or pointed this out, or had exactly this discussion, I must smugly educate them on that fact" lecture next time, you should do your homework first?

Its amazing how people act like money and short-term metrics are all that the matters, and the the only purpose of money is to accaccumulate it as an end in itself, and that the public shouldn't communicate to applysocila pressure and consequences to bad actors.

OP was just saying that is how most corporations act.

That doesn't make their behavior automatically good or beyond criticism.

Their entire business model of distributing arbitrary uploads is a grant from the government, one which was very controversial until the overton window passed.

edit: We can certainly decide that it's in the public interest to place limits on the editorial control over sites that rely on safe harbor, just as phone companies aren't allowed to censor particular conversations. Things get to be rights because we collectively decide that they are.


edit: Deleted, because it is completely wrong.

[Your libertarianism ignores the law. In order to qualify for safe harbor under DMCA, their ability to exercise arbitrary editorial control is limited. If they want to choose what they host, they are choosing to be legally responsible for what they host.]

That's not actually libertarianism; it's crypto-fascism. There is no distinction between a totalitarian government and a perfectly "libertarian" company which owns all land and property, so true libertarians must be concerned with how power is actually distributed.

Tech giants have scale and effects on par with government, especially as these "independent" companies tend to make decisions in lock step. Thus libertarians should be primarily concerned with the rights of the distributed actors within these ecosystems.

This is why the Distributed Web is so important. We need to be sharing all our videos/content in a P2P manner so it can't get censored.

Nothing stopping anyone from distributing their videos via torrents (some musicians do this).

That makes content discovery very difficult.


A centralized directory that hosts no content will be DMCAed or sued just as easily as one that does, so they will have to implement the same kind of result censorship. And decentralized directories are very vulnerable to spam.

Funny how people tend to view things like malls and social media as public places. It's a mass illusion we all place on what is inevitably a biased corporate product fully intended to make money.

It would be interesting to see what a municipal social media platform would look like.

There was a pretty famous course case in Canada on this point, on whether a mall could be useful as a public space.

Court decided no, but a dissent lamented that there were no public spaces in many instances.

I just searched, and the US Supreme Court has gone back and forth on this issue.


that being said, I think there is probably legal precedent in holding Youtube accountable to the public interest given its breadth and depth. Looking at the typical 1st amendment litmus test re: falsely yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater - even if that theater is private, what is yelled inside becomes public interest if it affects the public welfare.

It's a popular myth that yelling "fire" in a theater is unlawful.

For speech to be unlawful it must incite violence:



Being trampled to death is fairly violent. I wonder how non-intential violence would be viewed by a court.

Even the incitement or "fighting words" doctrine is limited to specific face to face threats: https://popehat.com/2015/05/19/how-to-spot-and-critique-cens...

Have you ever read the marketing material from those companies? Because they do talk about their mission to host your content.

Capitalism is great, but if it gets out of hand, government intervention is needed. Two good examples are the breakup of Ma Bell and US v. Microsoft (2001). For a present day problem, look no further than ISPs.

Ma Bell and ISPs are odd examples, because their monopoly or quasi-monopoly positions are possible because of government involvement.

> Ma Bell and ISPs are odd examples, because their monopoly or quasi-monopoly positions are possible because of government involvement.

False: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_monopoly

Doesn't enforcement of copyright fall under government intervention?

There is regulation. It's called the DMCA and it actually forces Google to take down any video that Samsung claims to be theirs.

And in this case, it's a false claim. Thus: it's an abuse of the DMCA.

Ironically, an implication of your words is that a state owned video sharing site would not only adhere to the 1st amendment much better but would also serve consumer interest in a more balanced way.

> Wonder if the attention put on YouTube here will inspire Google to fix the financial and political 'infringement' takedowns.

Man that's funny. Ya, THIS TIME Google's going to care.

Youtube really has terrible discretion here. The optics of banning a cancer patient's channel and sole source of income are not great...

"It's going to take three months to get the strike removed from my channel... I got my live stream taken away," he said in a video. "If I submit a counter-notification to say 'sue me', I wonder what they will do. Will they sue me, the kid that has cancer and just makes money off YouTube playing a video game?" "It really sucks, because I really worked hard on this channel."

edit: spelling

Yes unfortunately copyright trolls will complain about that because "It's not fair" and "dem pirates took our jobs"... They want to be able to use the DMCA to flag anything their employer doesn't like, whether it's actual copyright infringement, criticism under the fair use, or criticism without even using their content... Sad truth about the freedom on the Internet and the DMCA.

>Warner Bros. flags own site for piracy, orders Google to censor pages


It would've been hilarious if Google actually blocked those pages out of spite

How about an alternative to YouTube? It's such a pity that online videos have become so centralized ...

Vimeo exists and IMO offers a better desktop playback experience than YouTube. That said, they'll never compete, even if they're as good as YouTube as a platform for videos/video discovery because they don't have an entire ecosystem, not to mention name recognition, propping them up (e.g. Android, Google Apps).

It is a money-losing game (free video hosting/streaming), unless you re-appropriate user provided content to extort ad revenue (a la Content ID)?


Let me add, if somebody would be willing to subsidize such a service (large co, or gov), it would be possible to compete (market share, not ad revenue obviously).

> Let me add, if somebody would be willing to subsidize such a service (large co, or gov)

Except that such a large co or gov would probably not allow certain videos against itself. Can I force them to host it against their wishes?

I don't mean to add this link sarcastically: https://youtu.be/8CMxDNuuAiQ Maybe we have hope with ipfs? It looks promising to me https://www.reddit.com/r/ipfs/comments/4eyc3v/ipfstube_a_pla...

Edit: obligatory sample video https://ipfstube.erindachtler.me/v/QmPCTWTWqrDqRpquM4rqAmgBN...

No, I understood you.

Benevolent 501c3, maybe?

Really, the answer would be in symmetric last-mile internet connections, no? Having the ability to host and distribute/stream video would change many things in these industries.

As an aside, why aren't symmetric last-mile Internet connections a thing? Is it a technical, physical capacity thing, is it a customer demand thing, or what? The last time I had symmetric bandwidth was back in the days of ISDN.

Combination of things. For fiber, direct Ethernet connections, etc that have clearly separated channels symmetric is fairly common. In ADSL and cable network the spectrum is shared for up- and download channels, so they have to balance it. And since marketing mostly happens over download speeds and most people don't upload very much, offering eg. 50/10 instead of 30/30 makes more sense.

I don't know why basically all providers don't allow to adjust the ratio, I suspect to much "complexity" for to little demand. (Quite a while back a German ISP had that for their ADSL connections, was popular with web developers and other professionals that needed fast upload occasionally)

People don't upload very often because their upstream sucks.

This is chicken-and-egg bullshit.

I am sure it is not that difficult to provision.

The area I resided in, had only DSL.

Later, a cable company ran FTTP, with a ONT outside, that converted the fiber to coax-DOCSIS, and then requires the usage of a cable modem? The ONT has a RJ-45 port, but the cable company does not know how to enable it.

The DSL was oversubscribed, and provisioned for less than 6Mbps/768kbps. However, it was only $35/mo.

Once the cable company offered service, it was $60 (plus modem rental or purchase) for 6Mbps/1Mbps.

Many people switched to the fake-fiber cable network, freeing up capacity on the DSL, so now the DSL is provisioned at 12Mbps, but upload is still 768kbps, and still $35/mo.

To get 5Mbps upload via the cable company would require a plan costing over $100/mo. That is their upper limit of upload speed. They can do 105Mbps down (closer to $150/mo), but 5Mbps up is the max.

I would love to have even 3Mbps upstream from the DSL provider

For now, I can use LTE for periodic uploading, where I can get 20 to 50Mbps, but I am paying much more for that privilege.

But, when time is money, I cannot afford to wait 3 hours for data to transfer at 768kbps (not considering encapsulation - yes, the DSL is PPPoE).

"Later, a cable company ran FTTP, with a ONT outside, that converted the fiber to coax-DOCSIS, and then requires the usage of a cable modem? The ONT has a RJ-45 port, but the cable company does not know how to enable it."

Not to sound rude, but you don't actually believe that, do you?

No offense taken.

I agree, it sounds like total BS to me. But, I am not surprised considering it is a cable company.

It will have to be P2P of some sort. Even with full-duplex gagabit fiber, there's no way for one person to stream HD video to thousands of viewers simultaneously on a home or office connection,

This is exactly the sort of implementation I was imagining.

By participating, you would be caching content for other users.

I can see Mozilla doing something like this.

Youtube gets 45% of ad revenue, whether it's content ID or not. And content ID was forced on youtube when they were sued for $1 billion by Viacom.

So, after Google was found guilty, the judge ordered contentID to be created and implemented?

No they created ContentID so they could say "look we're doing the best we can". If they got rid of it all the large copyright holders could sue again.

It was a civil case, so no one is found guilty. It was settled, and part of the settlement was the google made contentid.

You can always host videos on your own website and pay for your own traffic and server costs.

Unlike Facebook, Youtube isn't a monopolic walled garden with such powerful network effects, so for most purposes it's not an awful alternative. Therefore, unlike Facebook, I don't think that Youtube ia under any moral obligation to be a fair playing field.

There's the Internet Archive. Not a good place for your personal files, but for stuff like this GTA mod, it should work. They have "Gangnam Style" there[0].

[0]: https://archive.org/details/Psy-GangnamStyle_8

How about hosting your own videos. Then someone would have to take you to court to have it taken down.

Couldn't they just send you a DMCA takedown request, then if you don't file a counter request and take it down, when it goes to court they can just nuke you for not following DMCA procedure?

Right. You counter their automated boilerplate DCMA notice with your won automated boilerplate DCMA. End result is the same - the have to take you to court.

IANAL, but the DMCA Safe Harbor is for hosting providers that want to keep their hands clean of their user's uploaded content. If you're hosting your own content, the whole procedure doesn't apply to you (though if your content really is infringing, keeping it up after receiving the takedown could be used as evidence of willful infringement).

Fair use is an affirmative defense, not a get out of trouble free card. The process is right and correct for the rules as written. The rules may be bullshit but that is a different problem, and one that isn't going to be solved by feel good measures.

Has it changed the financial incentives? If not, why would it change the results?

That's why we have 'I understand incorrectly flagging may delay response' which would change the financial incentives.

If Samsung waste Google's time with false takedowns of satirical content, Google won't be able to respond to, eg, companies marketing fake Galaxy phones or similar as fast as they would otherwise.

Likewise if trolls incorrectly flag videos critiquing them Google won't be able to respond as quickly to someone just pirating their material.

I think the person you are responding to's point is what does Google gain by changing its takedown procedure? Does Google really care if they take down some non-infringing content? Is it going to hurt their traffic that much?

Google is working hard to make content creators quit.

Lack of real recourse against false flagging and takedowns, new "advertiser friendly" rules, the new hero system (top 10 or so most downvoted video on youtube, absolutely the worst ratio

If they really start pushing on enforcement of this bullshit there will be nothing for me to watch there, just shitty non-content nonsense.

AvE is not PC, EEVBlog also is not PC, Louis Rossman swears in his videos, singsing streams are full of racial jokes, stereotypes and the like.

Two things (IANAL too, this applies to US only, etc.):

1) As I understand it, parody is not inherently non-infringing, it's just one factor that weighs in favor of a judge finding that a use is non-infringing.

2) I doubt that the DMCA allows a provider to punish copyright owners in this way (though this might be applied to YouTube's mechanisms that go beyond DMCA requirements). The law requires that "the service provider responds expeditiously to remove, or disable access to, the material that is claimed to be infringing". Intentionally delaying processing is pretty much the exact opposite of "acting expeditiously".

But that's the whole point, this probably wasn't a DMCA complaint. Google and YouTube on the pressure of rights holders have put in place a completely parallel system that offers the accused no legal recourse.

They just need to go back to all DMCA. Then at least someone with pockets deep enough can challenge these fraudulent requests.

In this case the article clearly says the uploader can submit a counter-notice to reinstate the video, so it sounds exactly like a standard DMCA notice to me.

Just because it sounds like it doesn't mean it is. http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2013/12/19/the-injust...

Not sure how that article is relevant. As I just said, you can submit a counter-notice. Sure the ContentID system might have flaws, but (as the article says) you can still dispute it.

You said "so it sounds exactly like a standard DMCA notice to me." My point was that ContentID isn't the DMCA, or even a legal notice. It exists only within YouTube.

If it was only ContentID and not DMCA-related at all, then there would be no counter-notice.

Why couldn't contentid have it's own counter notice? Your arguing from your assumption, not to.

Because I've received Content ID notices before. The wording is very different. First you "dispute" the Content ID notice, and then the appeal is rejected, and it gives you a separate form to send a "counter-notice", which contains explicit warnings that the copyright holder can then sue you after you send the notice. Sure it's an assumption, but based on the reading of this article, it seems very clear that this was the result of a DMCA notice.

How is Google's behavior even covered under the DMCA (safe harbor - not very hands off)?

Because 'algorithm'?

Most likely Samsung used the Youtube's "Content ID" system. DMCA is not necessary in that case.

That doesn't change anything. The algorithms are broken and they will always be without general AI. Either you have a human inspecting it and seeing that Samsung are trying to be fascists about it, or you use an algorithm and stuff like that happens.

You say AI is stupid, OK, but you strangely assume NI is not

Are you seriously comparing stuff like neural nets and perceptron to human intelligence?

How about huge monetary penalties enforced on these companies by law, instead of hoping that the industry police itself? There is no way anything else is going to work and hell will freeze over before abuses stop voluntarily.

nit: ...copyrighted content.

"Copywrite" and "copyright" are not synonymous.

I love you all. :-)

Here we are again, and this thread is full of comments about whether this was afoul of DMCA or whether there's a way to adjust the system so that these claims will be more costly to the claimant.

We need to break open the head here, people! We're scientists, right? Step back from your political ideologies and your fears and tell me what the real problem is with this biological system.

Right: it's that a single actor can make the decision to censor these things. It's fundamentally a weak link problem.

Whether or not we fix DMCA, which I'm sure we will, we need to fix the problem that the weak link exists in the first place. A centralized Youtube will not do for the information age. Our organism must build immunity such that, no matter the tantrums of the state, nobody is capable of giving in and handing over the lollipop.

I have great news! There are a ton of video hosts on the web, who attack the problem from all different angles. Your solution already exists! You must be thrilled.

I can't quite tell if you are being sarcastic?

...but yes, I am thrilled! The internet increasingly seems to have a will about it, and one that organizes around basic principles of freedom and decentralization. So that's good news.

I haven't quite picked a video delivery solution yet; I'm still largely a YouTube user. Do you have a suggestion or guide?

The solution will be in the form of AGI sold to end-users to take care of this problem. Let me explain:

In 2016 you navigate to https://youtube.com to browse videos

in 20X6 you navigate to my_agi://videos/ to browse, and it figures out how to quickly surf youtube and many, many other platforms to present your videos

In that way, personalized and ubiquitous AGI allows end users to access the plethora of video content sites in one single easy to understand endpoint that is controlled by the user.

True, the Apples of the world will sell you an iAGI that is walled-garden, and then we're back to square one. damn. Well, I tried.

I can't fix the problem so it's up to you. Good luck.

Increasingly, we live in a world of corporate ownership. Not private property.

Or more precisely, a world of rent-seeking instead of innovation. Society's consumption is constantly shifting away from traditional corporate interests. However, the one thing people will always need to consume is housing. I think this is why we're seeing property prices skyrocket - people with money realize the best and safest place for their money is property since it will always be in demand.

I'd love some idea of how to distinguish between corporate ownership and private property. Can you list some attributes that help toward that task?

i'm interested in joining your fight club

Both free markets and state-controlled systems reward centralized control of any given type of media. In the former case, it's the idea that a "network effect" drives revenue opportunity. There's a real sense in which, in either of these regimes, our organism cannot build an immunity to singular community-controllers deciding that they weren't going to give you the lollipop in the first place. That's their prerogative, whether or not it was written in a law. The question is, how do we economically incentivize decentralized social networks to the point where they're as feature-filled, advanced, engineered, and efficiently operated as the centralized ones? There's no simple answer to that question.

Isn't this going from one (perceived extreme) of making sole actors able to bring content down to another extreme where no-one can bring anything down?

Does fixing the issue really mean making all material (copyrighted or not) always available and impossible to take down?

I'm less sure.

I don't think that there is a per se connection between the definition of a right (ofI think that the human) or tendency (of the internet organism) as absolute with a viewpoint which is politically extreme. (In other words: sometimes the moderate position is the one which seems absolute, and the position of relativity or balance is the extreme one).

The notion that speech and expression always supersede "intellectual property" seems to be the tendency of the distributed network. I'm prepared to argue that holding on to industry-age statues regarding "intellectual property" (ie, that some actors justly have authority to change the shape of the network in order to subvert access which they claim violates their IP) is an extreme position - an extreme clinging to policies which are unrealistic and inapplicable to the internet.

I always get uncomfortable when copyright issues are conflated into free speech issues. I feel it's generally used incorrectly to give more legitimacy basically to people wanting to distribute material they are not permitted to.

Two responses - a weaker (but still sufficient) one and then a stronger one:

The weak argument is, "look at the current case! This was clearly, obviously not Samsung's IP and yet they were able to effectively erase a meme from a popular platform for a short time." This is sufficient to show that indeed it is a free speech issue.

The stronger argument is that the internet doesn't seem to recognize this concept of "material that they are not permitted to distribute." Introducing it has meant (often intentionally) causing all sorts of damage to various protocols and services. Even if it makes sense in the context of industry-age culture (and I'm not sure it does), it seems to go decidedly against nature now.

step 1: roll out IP multicast

step 2: ...

Start sing https://ipfs.io/

By uploading a parody video of a Samsung Galaxy exploding, I don't understand how there is a law being broken? Can someone explain how this is a copyright issue?

This is not a copyright issue, which is the problem here. YouTube allows "copyright holders" to file a DMCA claim which usually results in an immediate takedown and strike against the video uploader's account.

It's a bit draconian, but you can thank US legislation for that beauty.

I wonder if a larger Youtuber, someone who makes several thousand per video (advertising, Patreon, etc.), could sue (and win) for the takedown of a fair use video. If there was precedent for being liable for frivolous takedown claims, that might serve as a deterrent to additional frivolous takedowns.

YouTube goes beyond copyright, and totally ignoring fair use, there's also no neutral third party that you could ask to review.

I had a situation recently by uploading a dashcam video recently, it had song played from a radio and it got flagged. I appealed from it that it is fair use (no monetary gain, it doesn't affect their sales (very bad quality, not whole song), it's not center part of the video (in fact I would prefer if it wasn't there).

The studio owning the song responded that blocking it is still valid and youtube informed me that I can appeal again, but if I lose again I can lose my account, which at that point I gave up. I doubt that studio has any consequences for labeling things incorrectly.

You're right. Satire is fair use.

This isn't even a fair use defense, and I'm utterly baffled why anyone (let alone most people) in this thread seems to think it is.

Copyright does not protect Samsung from having their products rendered (in other words, I'm not breaking the law by drawing a picture of a Samsung phone) or their name mentioned.

Copyright does not protect marks, that's Trademarks.

Copyright does not protect basic look and feel.

There's no fair use defense here because there is no legitimate claim of infringement. Just because someone at Samsung clicked the "this is infringing" box does not A) make it true, or B) require the video author to defend themselves.

This is basically like Samsung trying to DMCA a newspaper from mentioning their name or publishing a picture of their phone.

>This is basically like Samsung trying to DMCA a newspaper from mentioning their name or publishing a picture of their phone.

I have no doubt that companies would do that if they could. Fortunately such draconian censorship methods aren't as effective against print media, especially when said media is ephemeral in the first place.

If the goal of the DMCA is to protect creative works, then it's a huge failure no matter how you look at it. Not only is it being used as a weapon against people who are actually creating innovative and original works, it is useless for protecting those very same individuals. The creative work of individuals is stolen and shared millions of times each day on sites like Facebook, imgur, tumblr, and instagram, generating ad revenue for the parent site, and followers for the pages and individuals committing the thefts, and leaving the creators of the content with nothing.

You can submit a takedown request as an individual, but by the time it's honored the post was old news anyways.

I don't have YouTube right now, but here's an article that gives a good rundown of the Facebook video controversy: http://www.businessinsider.com/how-facebook-is-stealing-bill...

Edit: And another link which goes in to a bit more depth: http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-copyright-infringeme...

Quick clarification: Parody is Fair Use protected, Satire is not. There's a distinct difference. For a real-world, tech/music battle that showed how true this distinction is, research GoldiBlox vs. Beastie Boys (settled out of court).

Unless you do satire about dictators and parties alike. And samsung is behaving a bit weird about this all.

I wouldn't be surprised if the texture of the model in the mod is a photo published by samsung in some way, meaning they would have a copyright on the texture, and publishing a video made with the mod made with the texture would indeed be a legit copyright violation.

Keep in mind that in general all gameplay videos are copyright violations because they display copies of textures belonging to video game studios, just usually the studios don't do anything about it since it's actually free advertisement.

That's not how copyright works. The forms of intellectual property protection that apply to the Note 7 simply don't apply to a texture in a video game that is video-captured. Even setting aside the broad protections given to parodies (in the US at least.)

Whoever made the texture in the mod owns the copyright to that texture. Even assuming it's made from a photo of an actual Note 7, the copyright is still that artist's, not Samsung's.

Think about the implications -- can Samsung assert copyright over any real-world photograph of any person holding a Note 7? Of course not.

Samsung probably has some design patents on the Note 7, but that means you can't manufacture phones with the same design. It doesn't mean you can't distribute images of that design.

What? Samsung comes with a copyrighted background image by default on their phones. The modder took that background image, modified it, and redistributed it. That's illegal.

> can Samsung assert copyright over any real-world photograph of any person holding a Note 7?

Uh, yes, of course they can. That's why on TV shows they blur out logos of T-shirts, etc. That's why an indie filmmaker was sued because his film had a scene with The Simpsons playing on a TV in the background.

Logos can be trademarks. They're very rarely copyrighted. And they are generally blurred out for product-placement reasons, not because showing them on television is infringement.

I don't know what you're referring to, but if a filmmaker is sued because the Simpsons is playing in the background of a movie... that is definitely a possible legitimate copyright issue. I'd assume that fair use would apply, though.

Logos can be trademarks. They're very rarely copyrighted.

How can that be? Every artistic work is automatically under copyright (see the Berne Convention, which the US adopted in 1988), so why wouldn't logos be?

Trademarks don't expire provided they remain in commercial use. Copyrighting them serves little purpose.

> Whoever made the texture in the mod owns the copyright to that texture.

Yes, and i'm saying it is possible they didn't make the texture, but downloaded a jpg from Samsung's website and used that directly, in which case Samsung would have a solid and legit case.

The entire rest of your post assumes i had said something else, so i hope you don't mind i skip it.

> The entire rest of your post assumes i had said something else, so i hope you don't mind i skip it.

It's a shame that you don't have time to read the rest of the comment, because it explains why your view of how copyright works is incorrect. Your videogame footage example makes this very clear.

The way i phrased the reasoning for skipping it should've made clear that i actually read it. I only skipped responding to it. The entirety of the comment assumes the mod was made without using an image file copy-righted to samsung, which is however a possibility.

Also your comment about the video footage is inane. Yeah, sure, it would likely be resolved under Fair Use, but only once a judge gets involved. The DMCA request is still entirely valid.

I wonder if in the mod Samsung's name and Galaxy brand was used and if they would have a case therefore.

Trademark defenses mostly only applies if it is a satirical or parochial product, and even then rather weakly. The song 'Barbie girl' is a good example where a trademark was used for profit, but the court upheld the parody exemption. Satire is in some cases more weakly protected than satire, but mostly if the satire is only using the mark, but not as much if it is critical at something covered by the mark. Found lots of interesting case references in http://apps.americanbar.org/litigation/committees/intellectu...

No, this would not be the case.

It's not a copyright issue. What Samsung is doing (filing phony DMCA takedown complaints) is completely illegal.

It's a funny story but also shows how pathetic (IMO) some companies and organizations become. They just don't realize the cat is already out the bag. "Damage control" should not be used for censorship. This is clearly fair use (satire).

And in general about YouTube and similar companies: This is what happens when the court principle of innocent until proven guilty is inverted to be guilty until proven innocent.

There is a reason why freedom of speech is the first amendment in the US constitution, and Google (and other companies) should adhere and respect the intentions behind it.

Oh boy, Streisand effect in full swing. Block a YouTube video and now get to the front page of the BBC.

Sadly I don't think Samsung has to worry about the Streisand effect: how much worse can it really get for them?

This is just damage control for their products not to become complete jokes.

But Samsung has now become a joke for trying to take down the original jokes. I don't see how anyone at, or working for, Samsung felt this was in the company's best interest.

That's the part I don't get. Presumably they have a PR team that aren't idiots with the money they have. Surely they had to have thought this might happen, right? Right?!

I imagine it's separate teams. Everyone is probably doing everything they can as fast as they can.

The good thing is, that after they blocked it. It appears EVERYWHERE in the news, so EVERYBODY see's it. Instead of some people (gamer community).

The block backfired.

The video appears to have had a few tens of thousand views before Samsung's complaint. Two days later, it's nearing 1.4 million views.


Nice job Samsung!

It really is superb parody.

Satire is fair use. Someone should sue Samsung, Get Lawrence Lessig on this!

US government just needs to enforce laws against corporations abusing the DMCA. Samsung committed perjury by saying they hold the copyright to these videos.

Not quite. Samsung claimed they own the copyright to some work, and that this video is in violation of such copyright (for example, the videos could include a photo or text owned by Samsung). I don't think the perjury clause applies if they're just wrong about the latter.

They claimed copyright on a Grand Theft Audio screen capture video that had the grenade model substituted for a cell phone. No way you could argue you own copyright on that.

This is the correct answer

I feel like the best thing Samsung could do for themselves right now from a PR perspective is just apologize and shut up.

methinks this will only lead to the barbra streisand effect.

I'd not heard of it until now. Streisand is in full effect.

I've also grabbed a copy of the mod in case they decide to abuse copyright to take that down too, pretty sure I can upload it to sites faster than they can DMCA them. The real lesson here is don't make exploding phones.

I have to bitch about Samsung once more, because their batteries are absolute shit and puff up even if charged with their original charger in the original phone, and so innocently the batteries' warranty is 6 month but they puff up and decrease in capacity dramatically after 7-8 months of use.

I have to agree. I should have learned my lesson after the Galaxy S2 Mini I had, but I went and got the S4 Mini anyway. I regret it now - after 18 months it barely lasts a day with me not doing much with it and gets very hot. Last Samsung I bought for a long time, that's for sure.

It getting hot just sitting there would be more a sign of some background process that is running the CPU at full tilt. I've had the same thing happen to a Blackberry and a Nokia Windows Phone.

Either way, it's a crummy situation to deal with. Sometimes rebooting helps.

Yeah when I notice it getting hot I usually reboot to kill any background processes. Typically what happens is I put it away and pick it up half an hour later only to see that it's dropped like 10% battery. My next smartphone purchase will be almost entirely based on battery life.

Not all are bad -- mine has never given me trouble and still has decent battery life fifteen months later.

Also a bad move for company IMO. These funny videos makes some positive feelings on this Note 7 failure, so Samsung would be better to publish more of these instead.

It is definitely happening. I checked Facebook yesterday and it was trending over 1M metric (views/shares?) at that time. Everyone is writing about it.

I wonder if Samsung took a calculated risk.

Risk of brand damage if the mod was not taken down, vs. Risk of brand damage if they took down the mod and the blogtwitfacesphere laughs about it...

And as I write this I notice I'm sitting in front of a Samsung LCD monitor, shit I hope it doesn't explode!


The Streisand effect is the phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide, remove, or censor a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely, usually facilitated by the Internet. It is an example of psychological reactance, wherein once people are aware something is being kept from them, their motivation to access and spread the information is increased.[1]

This is why we need strict, very harsh penalties for abuse of copyright (and patent laws). This has NOTHING to do with copyright, yet these Samsung assholes file claims with Youtube? How about 1% net revenue fine for every wrongful copyright claim (like, but not limited to, a bad DMCA claim), increasing by 1% (with no limit other than at 100% you lose the business) for every wrongful subsequent claim? But of course, this will never happen. Personally, I see these kinds of attacks as justification for piracy and the willful disobedience of our incredibly stupid laws (in the US).

Is there a major mobile phone producer with lower morals than Samsung?

Maybe not a mobile phone producer, but certainly YouTube has morals at least the same as, if not lower than Samsung. We really need to fight these censorship issues before it's too late.

It's an automated system designed to comply with the DMCA. Give it a few days for manual intervention to shake things out, then judge.

Are there morals in mobile phones?

capitalism has no morals.


Apple comes to mind.

How are their morals worse than samsung?

I don't remember them trying to bribe a president.

Your getting downvoted beacuse morals only apply to people in the same social caste as you.


Foxconn and their awful employment treatment are brought to you by the profits of more than just Apple however. Perhaps that's why people have a knee jerk reaction to singling out a tech company.


That's relative morality, not morality.

This thing is called "suicide net", plenty of images of them on Google Image, eg here http://www.secretsofthefed.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/FO...

If some people find them moral, maybe they will find this a bit less moral: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/jan/19/c...

And I am sure that employees working at factories that make parts for other manufacturers absolutely never kill themselves due to their work, and that foxconn never supplies parts for anyone else but Apple?

Let's be realistic for a second.

The context is tech companies (making phones) that are immoral in addition to Samsung. Complaining that someone singled out Apple Computers is missing the point badly.

No-one is saying your beloved Apple is the only company that hides behind corporatism as an excuse to be shitty, they're saying Apple is also such a company.

From the wiki

"Fell from apartment building[11] after losing an iPhone prototype in his possession.[12] Prior to death, he claimed he was beaten and his residence searched by Foxconn employees."

And if Apple used any other factory in China it wouldn't have happened? Or are you saying that Apple murdered someone?

> And if Apple used any other factory in China it wouldn't have happened?

It could have happened in another factory. However, it surely wouldn't have happened in every single factory. And it shouldn't have happened in any factory. If large corps like Apple are in a position to influence a change such than things like this do not happen in the factories they rely on, then perhaps it is their moral responsibility to do so. If not them, who else would do it?

The government of the country those factories are operating in, perhaps???

So manifest destiny is your arugment essentially?

I literally had no idea what that was, and after googling it have no clue how it relates. So the answer is - I don't know.

Colonial Americans believed that they were right in displacing native Americans due to that fact that God did not stop them from doing so. Basically its moral as long as nobody stops you.

From your link (emphasis mine): "The suicide rate at Foxconn during 2010 remained lower than that of the general Chinese population at the time as well as all 50 states of the United States."

I never would have seen the video without the 'block'. Thanks Samsung, that was funny!

I don't know what's the most abused laws are, but I'd say copyright would probably be in the top 10 list if there was such a list. I wish people who abuse copyright takedowns repeatedly would get a large fine. Then the fine should be split between the uploader and service provider. Plus the takedown abuser should have to pay all legal fees on top of the fine.

Such attempts have rarely gone successful in past. May be the Streisand effect will be known as Samsung effect

Maybe this has nothing to do with DMCA and more to do with Samsung spending millions of dollars in advertising on Youtube (speculation). If one of your major sponsors threatens to pull back advertising dollars, that supports your platform, maybe you bow to their requests. Maybe.

Boy, this is really going to blow up in their face.

This is the abuse of the copyright system people warned about and YouTube downplayed.

So this means that Samsung could ask that any video which shows their phones to be removed from the internet? Because it is a copyright claim...

Samsung must really not want to be in the mobile phone business anymore. The dim-witted actions they're taking in regards to these videos will only turn more people off. I for one will never consider a Samsung product now, and not just their mobile phones. They're set to join Sony on my relatively short "do not buy" list.

Like it'll work?

With Halloween coming up, expect plenty of pics and videos of people wearing Samsung Note 7 wrapped around them as a suicide vest.

Here are a couple of the videos with what I believe is the content:



Naturally I now want to see all of them.

I guess Samsung will keep a lonely Sony company on my "do not buy list", too bad. BTW, in the US, last I heard Parodies is a protected form of speech. So I think DoctorGTA has the law on his/her side (assuming he is living in the US).

There seems to be a lot of people saying the government should do something about this.

Keep in mind, this is not related to DMCA or copyright at all: this is a software system in use by a private company. No laws were broken, it is just extremely scummy behavior.

No shit. Is that the best you can do? Link to Wikipedia for the Streisand effect when the story already explains what that is?

I might follow your lead and add links to Wikipedia's entry for...

GTA V: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Theft_Auto_V

The BBC: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBC

and Youtube: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/YouTube

Just in case anyone out there has NFI what these are.

Have they never heard of the Streisand effect?

How do you say Streisand Effect in Korean?

I even heard Obama making a quip about the Note catching fire. Are they going to send him a reprimand as well? :)

Better title: Samsung sends copyright claim for exploding Note 7 parody videos

I love such news, their comment threads are the best source of funny Note 7 jokes :)

I can't find it now but I saw an image of a terrorist with a Note 7 belt under his jacket. Nice.

Why can't they think of a fun way to deal with this PR disaster, how hard can it be? Jeez what are they thinking??

Samsung probably gave ideas to terrorists

Typical Samsung

I would love a note 7

Internet censorship concerns, video games, faulty technology, and a big tech firm threatening legal action... No wonder this is top ranked on Hacker News.

Why would Google want to leave up a video that ridicules their top hardware partner? YouTube isn't a public service.

According to a recent UN report to be released in a few months and which I've gotten an advanced copy of, YCombinator is the worst organization in the history of modern civilization.

That was a satirical sentence. Now let's examine your argument as applied directly to this very comment. Why is it in YCombinator's (the organization that runs this forum we're both posting in) interest to "keep up" this comment, which is obviously satirical by being over-the-top.

Because the default is "keeping up."

They would be crazy to remove it, which won't happen. The situation might be different if this were a new account not making a valid, albeit satirical, point. The fact that "YCombinator is not a public service" is not right, because yes, in some ways, Hacker News is a public service in a sense, and so is YouTube.

Maybe not exactly, but it is not highly administered to promote only a single thought.

Note: I want to add the disclaimer that I really actually don't have negative feelings about YCombinator, in case someone misunderstands. I'm literally just making a point by showing that just because they run this service doesn't mean they would remove a comment like this one. You need really, really good reason to remove something. By default things stay up.

I've been downvoted, but I think people didn't get my point at all. There is no way that YCombinator is removing this comment, just because they host this platform, and for emphasis I pretend to be critical.

There is no WAY youtube would remove a video of an exploding samsung, just because samsung is a partner.

The downvote(s) on your comment were really saddening, though I was expecting exactly that when reading it few hours ago. This is sadly a trend with any discussion platform becoming "popular" past a certain threshold - the presence of forum warriors who "moderate" the content based on the few initial words is only going to rise up until everything becomes Reddit.

That said, I think your post was well written and right on spot - but the first sentence is a so obvious trigger that there are always going to be people that won't even bother reading past it. After all, there's so much to moderate and --- "Oh, hey! There's another post that looks dangerous! I've just noticed some words!"

On reflection and keeping the very useful posting guidelines in mind, I edited my comment into its present form, likely after you read it. (The original first sentence originally contained over-the-top trigger words like literally being an example of Godwin's law, as a demonstration that this was insufficent to cause it's removal.) I decided to edit it into its (still satirical) present form because the HN guidelines about making substantive comments are good and improve the site for everyone. Although the original phrasing invoking Godwin's law still wouldn't have been removed, and therefore still would have served as an apt demonstration, I think the present phrasing is better.

Actually the fact that my original phrasing did not meet the nominal guidelines on civility (because it invoked Godwin's law) whereas this one does is an important point: after all the video obeys YouTube's nominal guidelines. (For example it doesn't contain nudity.) So my present, quite civil (in line with HN guidelines) phrasing is the best analogy/demonstration.

There are plenty of videos on YouTube that are scathingly critical of Google, Google's partners, Google's vendors, Google's products, Google's policies, and Google's employees.

These people are so dumb and just don't get "it." Samsung is so dumb, they are very dumb, for real. So dumb, so dumb, so dumb, so.... they climbing in your windows trying to rape your GTA and youtube accounts. ([0])

All this is going to do is encourage tens of thousands of young kids to figure out what things like "DRM", "free speech", "EFF", "privacy", "copyright" and the like mean. Maybe we get a few good lawyers out of this, a lot of great parody and a lot of great art.

[0] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEAKsaQOCpQ

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