The primary issue is that the appeal process was rejected. This shows that either all appeals are rejected outright or the person who was physically responsible for checking it didn't read the appeal or view the video.
I'm not sure how anyone could reasonably assume "this is me personally performing a 300yo song" - either by reading the appeal notes or viewing the video could assume that it breached copyright.
This is why there needs to be damages / fines for all incorrect appeal rejections. Because if there's no penalty for getting it wrong, there is no motivation for a company to actually do anything about it.
If it costs them $1000 - $10,000 for getting it wrong, it will be more cost effective for them to pay someone $20/h to double check before rejecting an appeal.
The nice thing about this IMO is 1$ is a small amount for me and you, but for a big corporation like sony this will cost them thousands every time it gets invoked (because legal will probably get involved).
Of course it needs to be slightly more advanced I guess but it would be a good start.
And IANAL, but charging for claims is probably not allowed by DMCA.
Apply the same to process to incorrect flagging of copyrighted content. Break the rules, prevent Sony from uploading for a day or two (or some other functionality).
This will never be implemented because there is a symbiosis between a mega content creator and an advertising company.
Sanctioning a producer like Sony would be a sanction against google itself.
I'm afraid the little people will have to suck it up.
The argument that lots of crime happens and it's difficult to make sure that efforts to police the law only target the guilty doesn't hold up under that. We're not meant to bias towards punishing a few innocent people because of that difficulty.
How large a block should be could be a difficult thing to judge. Perhaps a bock could just be all the reports made in one day. Perhaps let the reporter chose: if anything in a given block of reports is rejected then they all are and need reporting again, this would make the reporter group the definite infringements together but be more cautious with the more spurious/speculative reports. Though a concern with any system like that is implementation and UI/API complexities.
Might be worth trying to put together a class action suit for all of the people that this keeps happening to... but again, the recovery would likely go primarily to the legal firm, though it might be enough to get Google to wake up and do something about their auto-rejecting appeals system.
I won a case against American Airlines doing that (a baggage related issue.)
I wish it were possible, but I don't know that a county court would consider itself to have jurisdiction in such a case.
If you live in an "insignificant" country it is possible Sony as no presence and so your win won't get you anything. However in the US or most of Europe Sony has enough presence that some part of them will have to pay.
The best explanation for this I could find is here: https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/free-books/small-cla...
But, it doesn't really answer the question. The agreement between Facebook or YouTube and the uploader definitely requires suits be brought in the jurisdiction of the company (so, Delaware, probably, but maybe California). Sony is using Facebook or Google to do their dirty work in these cases...so, who can you sue and where? I don't think it's at all clear that Sony could be sued in a local small claims court for a matter like this, though I would like for them to be.
But first check the terms of service to make sure you didn't agree to mandatory arbitration and waive the right to class action.
I think "if a takedown notice is wrong" - counternotice need to be sent back with a mandatory bill to pay to compensate for effort of receiving party to prove that takedown notice is invalid.
This will curb down this BS practice of frivolous opportunistic notices.
And an additional layer, if the victim has the time/resources to countersue, and can manage to prove malice or negligence behind the takedown, the punitive fine should be absolutely massive.
Some random kid in Iowa could cost you thousands of dollars in daily revenue for weeks (while you wait for your dmca'd content to come back up) and you have no recourse because the law doesn't have any teeth.
As such, I suspect the best system is “hire a bunch of humans to check”. And that’s expensive, which is fine because it should be. These companies try to completely decimate online publications just because it might infringe on their precious properties, and that needs to be a massive cost to deter frivolous takedown notices.
It’s kind of amazing that sites so rapidly reached the point of just insta-killing potentially infringing content with no evidence. That has surely crushed some up-and-coming artists who probably said “screw it” after having their platform taken out from under them by mistake.
"How many more ways do we need to say that copyright bots and filters don’t work? That mandating them, as the European Union is poised to do, is dangerous and shortsighted?"
I'm not even sure who the victim would sue here. Facebook or Sony? Both, I guess, and let them sort it out ;) And yes, maybe in small claims court.
Under penalty of perjury I certify that the information contained in the notification is both true and accurate, and I have the authority to act on behalf of the owner of the copyright(s) involved.
If you don’t it should be dismissed outright.
Just saying “sorry the process got confused, of course we don’t own the works of Bach” would go a long way.
These conditions make actions like this not only "not outlandish" but outright reasonable (as seen from the logic of the cooperation). If the system that encourages this behavior doesn't change, the cooperations certainly won't act any different.
On one hand, rights holders can indiscriminately send out takedown notices to any they suspect of infringing, and the burden is then placed on the poster to prove that it's OK. On the other hand, sites will be required to police all posts, just in case something infringing is posted.
So #1 - it's OK for the rights holders' bots to be inaccurate, but sites will be punished if theirs are.
and #2 - all responsibilities accrue away from the rightsholders. They get all the rights, but have none of the responsibility or burden for (accurately) watching over those rights.
Also, I wonder about speculation that Sony might have owned copyright for the score that he played.
I think if the law is any more strict, things like covers wouldn't be able to exist legally, and looooots of genuinely entertaining small-time youtube entertainers that develop their talents by singing or playing covers would suddenly be under legal fire. Even a complete novice can sing along to something on the radio, so trying to claim that they shouldn't be allowed to do so fails my smell test.
If you write down an original song in a score, then you have copyright for that song, including performances of that song. This is actually true for any time an original song is first placed in a fixed medium, so if you record a song but don't write it down, then the rules are the same.
If you make a novel arrangement for a public domain song, then you have copyright for that specific arrangement, including performances of that song.
If you transcribe a public domain song, then you may have copyright for that transcription (so if someone were to photocopy it, it may infringe), but you do not get any copyright to songs performed from that transcription.
Radio play of a song pays a fee to the owner of the writer's copyright, but not the performer of a song, so David Paich & Jeff Porcaro (or whomever paid them for ownership of the rights) are getting money every time Wheezer's cover of "Africa" plays on the radio, while Wheezer does not get money.
It's going to be hard to find a place where you'd want to live then. I agree that this is a thing that should not exist but it does and the practice is very wide-spread. For an encore: There was a case (I really wished I could find a reference) iirc where a band had sold the rights to a piece and they were then required to pay royalties on a performance of their own creation.
<rant>I'm getting to the crotchety old man stance of - drop copyrights, drop patents, everyone gets paid for [a live performance|first sale of a physical object] and screw all this secondary income bullshit. None of it makes sense and it leaves too many openings for pirates/scumbags/greed to suck money out of the public. </rant>
The alternative is just to ignore it all, and use adequate OPSEC to avoid prosecution. If the system is so totally dominated by monied interests that there's no hope for relief, what else can we do? Just declare independence, and let them pound sand. China and Russia have at times done that, more or less. And we can create our own overlay Internet that can't be coerced or taken down. Or at least, can't be taken down without unacceptable consequences for the commercial Internet. If it comes down to it, overlay routers can spread as malware, and use covert channels, hidden in HD video etc.
From what I've read of the tech behind Shazam/SoundHound, I was under the impression that the kind of audio fingerprints produced and indexed relied on the waveform/FFT and rhythmic input being identical, and that a band doing a really accurate cover would never trigger a match because it would be totally different in a million tiny details, the details used for the actual fingerprinting.
But clearly that's not the case here. No two pianists play perfectly alike, so what kind of algorithm is robust enough to match the underlying composition as opposed to the execution of it?
EDIT: also see  for a semi high profile case of a busker getting banned from FB for doing a cover
which I presume was generated by an automated process that couldn't accurately distinguish between performances.
Social media went from one extreme to another. Now the big corporations can exploit social media to rob and steal.
This is exactly what it is. Theft by sony and other large companies. Since social media doesn't punish sony and large corporations for abusing the copyright claim system, they will abuse it.
Small copyright violators get suspended if they continue to abuse the system. Each social media platform has a threshold after which your account is banned. Why are corporations not held to the same standard?
If sony knowingly and willingly makes false claims X number of times, then their account should be banned and they should be prevented from making claims. Otherwise, they will claim everything since there are no consequences.
It's sad how social media went from user/people centric to corporate centric in such a short time. Youtube is no longer "you"tube, it's "CNN/HBO/SNL/Late Night Show"tube now.
That plausible deniability offered by the automated system probably gives the large players sufficient cover.