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YouTube's Copyright Protection System Is a Mess (torrentfreak.com)
324 points by okket 86 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 129 comments



I used to republish scam marketing videos for binary options trading scams on YouTube.[0]

I recently got an email saying they had received a claim from the copyright holder, which seems strange as it is unlikely that the copyright holder would wish to identify themself.

The so-called "copyright holder" was actually a music publisher, and there was music in the video at various points, so I assumed it must be about that.

But I looked at the identified time section, and there was no music at all. It was just a guy talking. I have no idea why it matched.

I submitted an appeal. It gives you several options for why you want to appeal, but notably absent is "the video does not contain any of the claimant's material", so my "appeal" had to be submitted on the grounds that my (non-)usage of the claimant's audio is fair use...

YouTube's copyright system is laughable.

[0] If you're interested, this is one of my favourites: https://youtube.com/watch?v=BeeUXNF1H8s


> I recently got an email

"an email". You're lucky.

I got a couple of videos with Creative Commons music. I also contacted the original author and copyright holder about this. Apparently CDBaby just took his songs and files copyright claims on all YouTube videos with his music. He's a poor guy from Australia and has no resources to go against them. So, now, every time I get a copyright claim, I have to challenge it. After giving the evidence, they just let me have it, wait a couple of weeks and submit the same claim again.

What's funny is that if you go to that album's page on CD Baby, you can see that the Creative Commons license and original author's name and copyright are right there next to the option to listen to the songs.

After numerous claims, I finally gave up and just removed the audio track on all the videos myself.

If you read the thing carefully, YouTube doesn't even review the case. Whatever you write there goes directly to people claiming to be the "copyright holder".

YouTube should really have an option "The claimant doesn't have copyright on this material". If you give enough evidence, and if they release the claim on video after that was checked, the claimant should lose the right to claim copyright on that audio match for all videos.


Totally agree, but that is almost certainly going to require humans to review the complaint. I think that is ultimately why these systems are awful — way too much dependence on laughably immature automation.

Google seems incapable of admitting that humans are still a necessary component in these sorts of things. You see the same thing play out in many other Google services.


> that is almost certainly going to require humans to review the complaint

The solution that I'm proposing does not. At least, not YouTube employees. It would work like this:

1. Offer "the claimant doesn't have copyright for that audio" as one of the options.

2. You supply the proof of this (as it already works)

3. The claimant reviews this proof (as it already works) In my case, it's going to their own website and seeing that they are claiming rights on a public domain music.

4. The claimant releases the claim

5. YouTube marks that the claimant has no rights over that audio and they cannot pester anyone else with that. This would only work if I select that they don't own the copyright in the first step, and they acknowledge it themselves in step 4.

Basically, all it changes is adding one more checkbox when fighting a claim and aftermath that the claimant has confirmed themselves that they don't actually own copyright to that work.


What Youtube really needs is a method of telling them that you're using the content with a valid licence. See this guy for an example of someone who did the right thing and paid for a licence and who got caught in the nightmare of getting YT to recognise that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmYwgqlDolA


That one is even "better"

How my video with 47 million views was stolen on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4AeoAWGJBw


Were those Content ID or manual claims? If manual and you cared about the fight it seems like there might be avenues....


> Were those Content ID or manual claims?

ContentID.

But I feel like that's good. It means that the audio is already in YouTube database, so YouTube could simply remove that audio from that claimant's "library" of protected works.


Or just ignore the claim via YouTube and reupload the video. Then send a letter to CDbaby literally telling them you will continue to reupload it and to fuck off.


You'll just get a copyright strike and be banned from YouTube itself. Any accounts made after that is just breaking YouTube TOS


Yup. It's guilty-until-proven-innocent, autonomous evil. Scammers get away with bloody murder and hurt actual tiny content creators. YT is more and more turning into a platform for megacorps, not individuals to build from viewer one.


So what? You make a new account and who gives a crap about the tos? It's a bunch of words no one reads and can be outright ignored.

Tos is meaningless. You can break it. There is pretty much never going to be any real consequence for doing so.


I play the piano and sometimes record and put on YouTube. Over 50% of the time, I get a copyright claim, usually from a big publisher, that my recording of myself that I made myself, of Bach, Chopin, Liszt, etc., is violating their copyright.

And I, too, am angered that there's no option in the contact from YouTube for "this is a fraudulent or false claim. I own this material."

YouTube should tell BMI, Sony, DG, to be more careful when flagging amateur performances of classical works.


YT doesn't care because megacorps and a handful of elite creators butter their bread. The only way around this is just like the problem with ad-driven journalism: content and user-experience corrupted by perverse relationships and motivations... corpo bullshit. User-supported journalism works, so must streaming to break free of megacorp bullshit.


I can only assume YT bends over backward to cater to the copyright claimees so that the major labels keep uploading their copyrighted content to official channels.

Basically, at some point this conversation happened:

Label: We don't want to upload our music to YouTube because we're afraid of piracy.

YouTube: We promise that won't be a problem. We'll work with you to ensure you'll be happy with the state of things on YouTube.

The current system was born of that and nobody gives a hoot about the small/medium players who get screwed over by the insanity.


> The current system was born of that and nobody gives a hoot about the small/medium players who get screwed over by the insanity.

No surprise there. Encouraging small creators may have been necessary at some point, to increase user base, but at this point it's the creators that are compelled to be on YouTube, because that's where the audience is. Meanwhile, as long as the big labels upload their official music videos to YouTube, the userbase is pretty much guaranteed.


It's automated ContentID flagging, right? Classical music is a problem because different (copyrighted) performances have very similar music fingerprints. If you tune the music fingerprinting to distinguish between different performances of the same piece by Chopin, you will probably get false negatives if someone uploads a video with a Taylor Swift song that has some background noise added or slightly sped up or slowed down.

False negatives are a problem, because big content rights holders get upset. False positives rarely matter.

Not to ignore cases of manual copyright flagging abuse, but that's usually done for vindictive or careless reasons; there shouldn't be any reason for anyone to flag a video of someone performing an old classical piece.


It's Google's responsibility to create a system where false positives do matter.

Neither users nor even copyright holders really have that power (at least against automated system). Consequently, it seems like there's nobody in the room pushing for better outcomes for false positives.


This is a really fascinating channel. There is a whole underground network of this stuff most of us are probably not privy to. You can tell it's a successful scam because these are not one-off videos but seemingly tried-and-true formulas.

Edit: also fascinating that scams call out other scams, such as this: https://www.binaryoptions-sentinel.com/the-trader-app-scam-t...


Ah man. That video :/ so awkward. Looks like they used some 3D-rendered backgrounds, too?

I do career coaching and occasionally get clients who have worked for incredibly scammy outfits. It's sad but these businesses can easily grow on the backs of (often really low-paid) employees who are just treading water in their careers, and the employees typically hear similar career-related promises from the principals. "You'll be off the ground floor in no time," etc.


That video is hilarious! The stone-cold act, basement dwelling 'reviews', green screen -- let's get it!


That "professional trader" was over-acting the hell out of that scene. I also love that each consecutive "day", they had the same clothes but slightly more undressed.


He might just really like that style of shirt and have a bunch. Like do you have a 78% success rate?


Also, wears a wig


You should upload some of those videos to https://archive.org


Thanks! I didn't know that was possible.

The only reason I put anything on YouTube is because it's the most convenient video hosting platform. If archive.org can host videos, that is perfect.


That video is hilarious!


I've been hearing a lot lately that hiking/nature photography people, who is mostly what I follow, have been getting copyright striked by "meditation" publishers for recording the actual waves crashing against a shore, or the rain on a tent, things like that that happen naturally and they just happen to film within their hiking videos.

I really, really wish Youtube had competition.

edit1: Example; https://www.reddit.com/r/videos/comments/a74f7p/youtubes_con...

edit2: TheFatRat made this song, it's his own music. He said anyone could use it so long as they credited him. Some publisher made a remix of it, copystruck his original, claimed it as their own and now they receive the revenue for its views.

https://twitter.com/ThisIsTheFatRat/status/10729330469391933...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KR-eV7fHNbM


> I really, really wish Youtube had competition.

It would change absolutely nothing. This is NOT a platform issue, and any other platform would face the exact same problem (needing a content ID, making mistakes like this).


Allowing automated copyrighting with zero oversight is definitely a platform issue. Youtube has an overabundance of content and can't control it all, that's clear. But when they have zero actual competition they have no reason to NOT be the bad guy. You're still going to go to Youtube, right? I can't shift to tcdtube. My content creators aren't there.


There are other platforms, like Vimeo or Dailymotion, why aren't people uploading there? Because there's no audience and Youtube is so widely integrated (iOS, Android, Smart TVs etc).

But if another platform got to Youtube's size, it would have the exact same issues, with having a fragile automated system, and not enough human reviewers (too much content, humans are expensive and error prone).

There's no ideal or perfect system for monitoring audio/visual data, look at Reddit for example, I can ban you because I am bored, or I dislike you, or because I want to censor you.

What can you do about it? Nothing. Who cares? Nobody, Reddit carries on as usual.

r/videos mods can control which Youtubers get traffic, ironically enough. They can automod channels/posters away 'just for the lolz'.


> it would have the exact same issues,

Disagree, say you are a Patreon and also host the videos, games. If you wrongly block your users they move, if they move you lose money. If small youtubers have some videos removed YT won't lose as much since other videos will be pushed to the viewers, the issue is that YT loses a ton more money if they upset large publishers or some political party.


It's a serious chicken & egg scenario. I know. I watch youtube far less than I did 2 years ago. But the other video publishers need to really focus on getting creators over to them. Or making it easy to aggregate content between the options (I have no idea about this, it could be stupidly easy right now).


Disagreed. YouTube is an unsually bad actor in this space, pretty much anyone who has to interact with them have complaints.


I suspect it’s deliberate, as it supports Google’s agenda of exploiting others work for free.


Competition, like Vimeo et at?


That's like saying to me that Opera is competition to Chrome. Come on. What's it have, 0.1% of the videos and 99% of them are from professional photography studios? I can't even remember the last time I visited Vimeo.

edit: I just signed up to give it another chance, looked up something I constantly watch on youtube; "Medieval Documentary" and the few selections I have (3-4) are 5-10 years old.

On the flip side there are so many choices from that search on youtube I'm not even sure what to watch.

Youtube is my cable TV replacement and has been for maybe 10 years, and I'm in my mid 30s.

edit-2: I finally stopped scrolling and getting medieval documentaries. It's endless scroll so it's hard to gauge but I'm guessing I'd be on page 30-40 by now. The only way that I can tell that my search ended was now I'm getting thrown random Youtube rental videos. The first one at the end of my search is An Inconvenient Truth. But they still speckle interesting historical stuff in there for me. Lots of native american, 18th, 19th century stuff, etc. Then a lot of completely unrelated movies, like Holy Hell and Once in a Lifetime, Bill & Ted, what we do in the Shadows. I guess you could use a very vague "historical" against those so maybe that's legit, but not really my aim with that search.


The popularity of it doesn't change the fact that it is a competitor


It's not a competitor until it has the content to compete for my business. I don't consider Blockbuster a competitor to Netflix. I don't consider the ice cream man in his van a competitor to Ben & Jerrys. I might randomly buy something but I'm reliably spending money at the main source.


Refusing to offer patronage to alternative and competitive services, while bemoaning the lack of alternative and competitive services is a baffling position, surely you can see the irony?


I see no irony -- it's no individual's responsibility to ensure that a functioning market exists or to voluntarily use a worse service/product out of some vague sense of duty.


I understand ; one that hold this opinion must believe that every service that he uses is a pure monopoly then


That's only true in a world where everyone has the same preferences. People don't drink Pepsi because they think Coke needs competition, they drink it because they like the taste.


Of course, I meant for example if this consumer thought Coke is a bad monopoly that should be broken that would be a little bit illogical to me, because there's Pepsi and other soda.

Remember the great great parent just said that Opera is not a competitor to Chrome, which is really really an odd statement


Why have some people here such a hard time acknowledging that strong network effects can be one form of market failure? A network effect is a classical prisoners dilemma / tragedy of the commons / whatever it's called for everyone but the few involved making money... youtube and publishers.

The "market" will have a hard time fixing itself. As with other market failures, it will probably only happen because of regulation, or the threat thereof.


It's not. There's no prisoners dilemma and tragedy of the commons have all to do with difficulties in setting property rights, not related to market failure


It’s not duty, it’s voting with your page views.


They shut down my channel with more than 20k subscribers earlier in September. I sent in all the digital publishing rights contracts signed by all the artists whose content I had.

No response, just automated emails. Even tried my assigned partner manager, just more automated emails.

I feel most sorry for the artists... Most were from my home country in Africa and I had given them a sustainable source of income. Overnight, like Thanos, it was gone. I tried to fight for them, but YouTube would not even bat an ear.

Maybe one day we will get a better service than this.

And if there is a person from YouTube or Google here, your company really needs to do better.

I personally have not forgiven them yet.


Looking at the revenue, growth rates, etc, it looks like Youtube sadly does not need to do better.

It seems protecting the rights of massive media companies at the expense of tiny players has resulted them in attracting the massive crowds, at the expense of tiny crowds.

Keeping Marvel trailers and Madonna music videos up brings in much more money than serving the indie sector. They care very little for the false positives, because only false negatives actually cost them money.


>Looking at the revenue, growth rates, etc, it looks like Youtube sadly does not need to do better.

Careful with this line of thinking. Youtube got to having massive players by moving up market from indie videos. The main thing blocking a competetor from following the same path is that Youtube still dominates in the indie sector as well. If they damage themselves in that market enough to give a competetor a foothold, then they lose that moat; and their competetor can follow the same up market path that Youtube took.


I think there is a chance a competitor could pop up and hurt YouTube. They would need to have a ContentID like system, monetization, and a non sucky copyright system that isn’t gamable, and of course infastructure. Very tall orders but could be done with a talented team.

YouTube has it exists today are out right abusing their indie people. Shuttering channgles, demonitizing channels with very little feedback. A could case in point would be Max Yurev. He has a great photograpy channel and they demonistized him for months until he recieved some weird fwd email that said re-monitize him its becoming a “PR problem”. They have zero accountability.


Clear your browser history and load a “fresh” YouTube to see how low that denominator is.


That's also what pisses me off. They'll claim to the end of the earth they're a neutral platform. Your recommended videos say otherwise.


The false negatives will only cost them money when they are litigated against consistently on the basis that they systemically aid fraud and/or engage in unlawful interference in economic relations.

There might be other nice torts to ding them on, but as always, the channels that are too small to matter for manual review are also too small to support the economics of litigation.


It seems like such a blanket statement to say that false negatives don't cost them money so they just let is happen. First it's very clear that Youtube spend considerable effort creating content ID and not used a dumb filter which would have been so easy to create and might I add cheaper also. They also care about their reputation to the extent that it doesn't impede them in making money in a significant way. Don't get me wrong I completely think Youtube's copyright system is a joke and for instance if Kim .com was operating it, it would have been raided by the FBI out of existence spontaneously.


Right, they've clearly put a lot of amazing work on the engineering side, but sadly, this is something that really need more humans. Especially in the edge cases.

I don't know if anyone remembers how bad Steam customer services used to be. They tried super hard to use engineering to solve it and it was awful. They finally gave up and hired more people and now it's much better.

This definitely isn't an easy problem as some make it, but yeah I don't think the answer lies in better algorithms. You just need a lot more partner supports that actually assist creators who run into issues.


It's sad to hear this. We're currently building a video streaming platform (live and VoD) with a major focus on letting our users control their entire brand identity and viewers.

I might personally help you to resolve this situation. But we need to explore and scope it out. I'm currently the head of the product here at vVents (we're hunting for better name now, since our product is ready! ).

When we started with our platform, we genuinely felt a need to help artists stand on their own feet. Unlike other platforms, it was and is hard to cache our frontend assets, because everything is customizable. But we still took a bet to fix many issues just to make sure our users can showcase their own brand.

If you, or any other person needs to react out to me please mail me at pk at vVents dot com


Or maybe instead of crying and groveling at Google's feet we could get up in arms and create a better platform.

But, oh, we can't make it a centralized platform because then we'd have to replicate something similar to Youtube's copyright system to avoid getting litigated to death by media companies.

So how about a federated or fully distributed platform? That could work... except it couldn't use regular payment processors because they will block payments.

I seriously believe cryptocurrencies were the final piece to this puzzle. Maybe we'll see a resurrection of cryptocurrencies in 5 to 10 years, like the one the internet had after the dotcom bubble.


there are tons of alternatives. the probme is, no traffic, no viralness, and terrible user experience relative to YouTube


Chicken and egg issue and having good website with good UX and good bandwidth and accepting anyone who wants to open his own channel costs a lot of money... The parent comment is kinda right crypto currencies could help here


One of PewDiePie recent videos highlights this issue. He had one of his videos copystriked in which he used a fair use segment from another video. And in that segment was a song playing in the background. So, that's like three levels deep of systematic abuse.

Apparently, you can also get in trouble by humming or singing (for a few seconds) copyrighted songs. That's just plain stupid.

It's kind of funny though, seeing a song copyright holder getting hit by a 3rd-party strike. Goes to show what kind of a mess YouTube is turning into.

And it for sure does not help that YouTube's motto is 'screw creators. we are always right.'.


It seems to me like the viewers are finally starting to give a shit. Otherwise, YouTube Rewind wouldn't be the most disliked video ever in a matter of days.


That sure showed them!


If your biggest project of the year that includes (or is at least supposed to include) the biggest creators on your platform becomes the most disliked video on your platform, you're bound to take notice.

Your marketing team is surely gonna attend a meeting or two to answer some questions about what the hell happened and how could a creation that's supposed to unite the platform become the most disliked one in its history.

Of course, you wouldn't want to go public with the internal drama, because why would you, that would only weakens your position. You can't minimize the damage either, it's a done deal. You can either accept the alienation of your audience or do something to fix the situation. Regardless of what choice they make, it is bound to become a point of no return.


Maybe that's just an effect of mixing different youtubers catering to different crowds in one video. Put monster trucks and chess in one video, and you get dislike from not a small part of both monster trucks fans and chess fans.


Yep, my kid had a video of himself singing a popular song removed on copyright grounds. He was like 8 years old.


Well that is what copyright upholds. The problem is there is no simple way you can get a license for the video clip from the rights holders. And then no sensible way of verifying that license with the platform.


Not necessarily. I think for most countries only public performances are prohibited.

While YouTube certainly is a public platform I think an interesting case could be made for videos with a limited popularity, say only viewed by family and friends.


So you would need a change internationally to copyright law, and then for YouTube to limit the number of viewers to a video (which doesn’t make much business sense).

There are a lot of opinions on how copyright should work, however little understanding of how it actually works.

There are possible tech solutions that could work with the current copyright system. The truth is both big tech and the rights collection societies like the status quo as they both profit off the actual creative works done by others. The actual battle is between who can get the biggest slice.


It wasn’t meant as a suggestion, I actually meant that a case could be made in court that a particular performance isn’t public with a reference to low view counts.


Fair enough :)


was it a Prince song? lol


> Apparently, you can also get in trouble by humming or singing (for a few seconds) copyrighted songs. That's just plain stupid.

Disregarding the main issue, I'm impressed by that level of detection. I mean, if it works reliably, they could spin it off to make a better Shazam. I find myself in need to identify a melody stuck in my head, which I can hum, far more often than a song playing in the background.


Try Sound Hound! I've been using it for several years, and it does identify hums and badly song music I have in my head.


Another brilliant YouTube stupidity case has just shown up. This guy [1] reviewed a channel that is very likely inappropriate.

HE gets a strike on his channel, the one he reviewed is still ticking along, no consequences!

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JM4OwGhchUA


[flagged]


Or not? What the hell kind of attitude is this?


I refuse to get used to that kind of stuff.


That's how I and many others used to feel about homosexuality.

This is where we are now: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/dragkid/

You don't like this? What are you, some kind of bigot? It's almost 2019, for fuck's sake! ;)


The article touches on this, but a big factor of Content ID is that it's not in any way tied to copyright law or the DMCA.

Yes, Youtube says users need to play by DMCA rules regarding what they own, but content creators are not entitled to disputes, fair use, or even the ability to sue over a claim.


> The article touches on this, but a big factor of Content ID is that it's not in any way tied to copyright law or the DMCA.

Yup - it's a "Copyright Protection System" that has nothing to do with Copyright. So, how long before people start referring to it more simply, as a "Protection" system"?


There is no need to implement DMCA if the people that would sue you over it are happy. The system they use is extremely aggressive in matching anything and everything, and gives copyright owners the choice to get money from it without doing anything, remove it, or just give credit.

There does not have to be a connection with DMCA rules if this is what keeps the bigcorps happy. Laws typically only get enacted when you make someone angry.


I've taken to tweeting every time my plugin-release videos are hit by a ContentID troll: https://twitter.com/applejinx/status/1070249318609752064

I'm using Logic's Test Oscillator to generate white noise, which goes through my plugins to demonstrate how they react, and gets shown on a frequency analyzer.

Some bright spark (over the years it has been more than one 'publisher') has ContentIDed noise… different sorts of noise… in order to stealth copyright strike people's videos and get revenue. If you file a complaint they quickly remove the claim so they're not noticed. Your only form for filing the complaint involves making a statement that you think they're doing it by mistake, and acknowledging that you know YouTube has nothing to do with it and won't do a thing about it.

So this becomes an exercise I do over and over and over again.

Or I suppose I could never use a test oscillator or noise source again, because somebody owns the idea of audio noise now. They've got a bunch of different EQings of noise, so demonstrating a filter is no refuge. Since once upon a time it was a different claimant, I think that from time to time someone gets YouTube to kick them out of ContentID: I've been told of some magic URL to go to where you can complain against this sort of abuse, but I don't remember what it was and don't know if it's helpful or actually dangerous for a creator to make use of such tools. I do know that it doesn't help because the Noise Owners come back under different names and keep operating.

I've been dealing with this for YEARS.


Also, Drew Gooden this November was not at all the first to copyright strike themselves: I've done that as well, uploading an old CD of my own music which, it turned out, I'd also distributed through CDBaby.

I don't remember ever telling CDBaby to attack people on YouTube over my work, much less myself, and I wasn't able to get a satisfactory answer about whether I could withdraw from their automatic listing with ContentID, so I ended up removing the album from CDBaby entirely.

I'm sure others have had that experience with CDBaby. Probably some find it valuable: as an individual I can't put stuff into ContentID, so it's one obvious way to jump to the 'abuser' side of the equation. I'm not clear on how you'd tell YouTube that you've licensed your music to somebody and to let their channel/etc play your content, and without that there's no commercial use to the system.

Well, except for copyright striking stuff that's not yours and seizing tiny crumbs of ad revenue in however many hours or minutes you get before you're noticed. It's generally old videos so I'm sure the real paydirt here is copyright striking stuff that's old and forgotten.

It's still pathetic because stuff like that doesn't get views…


It would be wonderful if every single takedown request required a phone call. And let these copyright claimers be put on hold for 40 minutes like they’re trying to reach the cable company.

It sure as hell shouldn’t be automatic or point-and-click, and it sure as hell shouldn’t be this guilty-until-proven-innocent system.


Good article but falls completely flat at the very end:

> For TheFatRat the recent trouble was the final straw. Yesterday he launched a petition urging YouTube to fix the copyright protection system which 22,000 people have signed already,

Since when do online petitions matter? Like... never?


I wonder whether Article 13(2b) of the infamous EU copyright directive will change anything.

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&langua...

It requires "effective and expeditious complaints and redress mechanisms" for users affected by unjustified removals, and complaints shall "be processed without undue delay and be subject to human review", and that "users shall have access to an independent body for the resolution of disputes as well as to a court or another relevant judicial authority to assert the use of an exception or limitation to copyright rules".

It might, or maybe YouTube's current mechanism already satisfies the above, don't know.


Just to be clear, what you linked to is the European Parliament's proposal for the law. Compromise negotiations are currently ongoing with the Council (representing the member state governments), which in its own proposal does not ask for human review or an independent dispute resolution body. At this point it's unclear what the final law will say. https://juliareda.eu/2018/10/copyright-trilogue-positions/

No matter what the safeguards end up being though, Article 13 is likely to make the problem worse overall because it will force all other platforms that host a lot of user posts/uploads (all content types, including text and photos) to also implement automated copyright systems, which are likely to be even shoddier than YouTube's.


I'm not wanting to defend Youtube entirely but perspective is important with issues like this. Never before in human history have we have had the ability to have a free, unlimited access repository of our endeavors, and allow anyone to share their stories or creations.

Youtube is still at the wright brothers level of their systems; they're fragile, prone to mistakes and are pretty terrible to use. We didn't get to airplanes in a decade or two, it took thousands of years and we're still making improvements.

I see a lot of frustration but not many answers. How do you develop a system that has to be flawless for everyone and deal with 350 hours of video uploaded every minute.

That's like designing a perfect 4 lane highway with 350 cars every second of every day, week, month and year, and having a perfect system in case of an accident.

It's not possible, there will be mistakes and we should accept that but always push for improvement, but we're still in the early stages. Just like aircraft, it'll get better but it will take some time.

This isn't exclusive to Youtube, why do you think no one else is insane enough to challenge them? Any provider would have these issues (there are many Twitch dramas for example).

If I were Youtube I'd throw in the towel and just say "well, we can't deal with this, goodbye".

That, I think, is far worse than a few videos being demonetized or channels deleted.

Perspective is important.


A significant portion of the grumbling around this is that YouTube has put their head in the sand and refused to admit that their service has issues, and steadfastly continues to use automated systems when what they really need is backup from a subjective human.


People aren't complaining that it isn't perfect. People are complaining because the system is and has been in favor of fraudlent claimants what, seven years now? We don't need a technically perfect solution, we just need some balance in the system so people can fight fire with fire and make claimants liable for their fraud and broken auto-harassment systems. It doesn't take decades to do that. It just takes will.


Fuck YouTube and the copyright trolls infesting the service.

I have repeatedly fought copyright claims on material that was obviously public domain. Being tired of reminding claimants and YouTube that NASA air to ground comms and presidential speeches are not subject to copyright, I deleted the content.

There were absurd claims, where my uploads were on YouTube for years before the claimants published their material, and the audio was from events recorded by the U.S. government a half century ago.

Yeah, fuck YouTube and the copyright trolls who infest it.


YouTube seems like they're stuck between a rock, and a hard place. The stakes for copyright infringement seem to be getting ever higher. The EU's Article 13 is perhaps the most extreme example of this, which effectively expects platforms to be prescient and in whether or not content is infringing. On top of this, the extremely large amount of content YouTube hosts make it effectively impossible to manually review a large number of videos This puts a huge pressure on the platform to be strict with copyright infringement, and to try and minimize false negatives even at the cost of false positives.

To make matters worse, the media companies filing the copyright claims are the established players that are getting disrupted by internet services like YouTube. These companies have zero incentive to avoid false copyright claims, and it seems like they have no accountability for the instances where they flag unambiguously non-infringing videos. If you're even more cynical, they actually have an incentive to file bogus claims as it degrades the experience of using YouTube and thus hurts the established media companies' competitor.

The main solution I see is to have some element of accountability on the one filing the copyright claim. E.g. charge $X for every false claim. Or revoke the copyright holder's ability to file claims if they exceeding a certain number of false claims, or they they flag unambiguously non-infringing videos. Give the ones filing claims a strike, for once. But as far as I can tell, enforcing these mechanisms would put YouTube and other platforms in violation of the DMCA which is effectively a death sentence for such a platform.


For accountability: DMCA claims require a sworn statement under penalty of perjury. The fact that it's a crime is a deterrent.

Unfortunately YouTube's Content ID system does not actually deal with DMCA claims directly and so false claims are not unlawful under that provision. YouTube has been fine with this because it keeps Viacom et al. off their back.


> The fact that it's a crime is a deterrent.

That was the goal, yes. In practice, it doesn’t work, and bogus claims are widespread. Being a crime doesn’t deter in itself, when it’s never prosecuted.

Heck, some assholes openly brag about willfully abusing DMCA for politics: https://mobile.twitter.com/vanaman/status/906983575337107456... - there’s no fear of committing a crime when it comes to DMCA, it’s a perfectly safe perjury to commit.


So what would be the consequence of giving strikes to those that make bogus copyright claims, or revoking the ability to make claims if the rate at which they are overturned goes above a certain percentage? It seems to be a pretty obvious solution to me, but I'm willing to give YT the benefit of the doubt if people give compelling explanations.


Dave of EEVblog got hit with a copyright strike for something in the public domain that a corporation uploaded and claimed as theirs. It's bullshit.

Worse, other randoms are extorting small-but-growing channels to pay them in exchange for not pulling similar crap.

How I see it is that YT facilitates copyright abuse, fraud and racketeering much more than it enforces legitimate copyright assertions.


Big youtubers should sue, win and create a precedent. Instead they make video where they whine and things only get worse.


This is a very good point. Top youtubers definitely have the resources to put up a decent fight and add a certain level of consequence for haphazard video claims by the Music Companies.


Dealing with YouTube support (and Google support in general) is the epitome of 'Kafkaesque'


Youtube has gotten out of control regarding copyright take-downs. Something as inconspicuous as a MIDI file or some really old video game music in the background can get a take-down notice. A publisher I used to follow, 10k subs, got taken down recently for this. Appeal process was useless for him. I suspect a someone will submit tons of flags and then YouTube will automatically suspend the account. Guilty until proven innocent in the eyes of YouTube.


I had a video up once, and after a bunch of issues with background music on other videos, I decided to use one of the royalty free selections youtube offers up in their editor/upload tool. It still got flagged.

Past videos I made my own simple drum loops etc, and those got flagged.

I just don't really bother with creating content for youtube anymore. In part because it's a pain, but equally just because I'm ADD and have moved on to other interests :)


I had a channel where I did silent game streams (no-commentary streams) and I was playing a game where its background songs were generated procedurally (not citing names today), and I got flagged by a company that represented "keygens and cracks blah blah blah".

A company that represented songs in keygens. The ones used in piracy.

The irony was so strong I shut down my channel to never look back.


On a somewhat unrelated and maybe tangential note, I felt the logo of Torrent Freak reminded me of Techcrunch quite a bit and ran it against the logo database I have and indeed found Techcrunch show up in the results.

http://compute.vision/brands/logo-results.html?hash=CD1POO56...

Edit: Updated Link


Not to mention, YouTube req. a Google account. If you lose that, you lose your YouTube account.


YouTube has no incentive to enforce copyright laws correctly. As long as large rights holders can claim and takedown content on the platform YouTube gets to keep placing ads against videos regardless of who actually owns the copyright.


We all know it's a mess. Most comments provide anecdotal or other evidence of how terrible and unjust it is, but it's not a disputed issue. What I am more interested to hear is what we can do about it.


Implement a framework where YT and/or copyright holder issuing the takedown needs to pay damages for each mistaken takedown notice.

At this point the copyright holders keep the advertising revenue (!) for period of demonetization even if the takedown was completely fraudulent. They actually have a financial incentive to just issue as much Content ID takedowns as possible because they earn money from them.


Really it is impossible for it not to be a mess when the law is a mess. Until there is a sufficiently severe punishment for fraudulent take-downs and it is applied frequently there will be no hesitation. If they could give a three strikes on false takedowns to be removed youtube would probably happily do it just to reduce their load as all rightholders would have gotten themselves banned.


YouTube is a perfect example of a platform that has somehow managed to serve as host to an incredible ecosystem of content creators despite the management having little real concept of the value of the system and consistently treating its most important creators poorly. They would kill the goose that laid the golden egg just to make things marginally easier for advertisers or to save themselves the trouble of having to do real work.

Not only that, but they do a very poor job of contending with what can only euphemistically be called "the wide diversity of content" on the site. Dumb as rocks machine learning based recommendations and content filtering means that for a vast majority of users (including minors and children) it's common to watch perfectly ordinary videos and then be recommended all sorts of ridiculous videos to watch next, from flat Earth and ancient aliens conspiracies to misogynists to holocaust deniers and actual nazis.

To call YouTube a "mess" is a vast understatement. Much like twitter they have captured the attention and engagement of enormous numbers of people, and yet somehow they cannot figure out how to prevent the platform from becoming a toxic hell hole (because they refuse to do the work), they treat their users and creators poorly, and somehow they are constantly in a battle to increase revenue. I support about half a dozen different folks who make youtube videos via patreon but I refuse to give youtube money until they get their head out of their ass.


We should support and switch to Bitchute.com if we want to have more than one internet cable channel.


And does it HAVE to be? At what point does YT just say "piss off, you can't control the internet"? When they use the DMCA properly and not Content ID only because they don't want to lose money on lawsuits?


The mess is simply a syptom of dated copyright laws applied in the modern era.


A lot of comments are assuming that any competitor to YouTube must have something like ContentID. Why? It's not required by any law.


I was uploading family videos transferred from VHS and one got flagged down because in the background someone had a radio on.


False flagging shall be a crime with jail sentence. The result of automation shall be responsible.


Ok, put me in jail (I just flagged yer message)!

I agree though that there should be severe penalty for large scale, intentional false flagging with intent to profit or cause losses to someone else.

Smaller scale "accidents" that slip through from companies that do mass flagging should probably have at least a small penalty, and if the flag caused monetization to shift in favor of the false claimant, then all of that income must be returned to the rightful owner. This would disincentivize false flagging, and incentivize companies to fix their shit (or stop mass flagging until they figure out something that doesn't have so many false positives).

AIUI the current system on YT is completely in favor of those who fraudlently claim copyright, because they have nothing to lose and something to gain. This is all Google's fault as far as I can tell.

Ultimately Goog will need to do human review in cases of dispute but they're already doing that anyway for other reasons (e.g. child porn, gore, and other content that isn't allowed on the site).

Though I'd really prefer that this isn't handled by Google at all. It should go to courts, and if it's too much paperwork for courts to handle the flood of copyright cases, then it's on the lawmakers to fix their broken laws and make the system workable. One can dream..


Every minute "over 400 hours" of content is uploaded to YouTube. It's a serious challenge to moderate a community at that scale.

This extends far beyond just the copyright claims. There is all sort of objectionable content being uploaded that needs to be removed, and it's easy to find literal neo-Nazi propaganda in the YouTube comments, as well as all sorts of racial slurs. Reporting this seems to have little effect in my experience.

I don't have any good answers to this problem, but it's frustrating that YouTube is so opaque in their process. I have no idea what happened to my reports of neo-Nazi content for example (it wasn't removed) and also no notification that it was reviewed but denied. I hold little love for Facebook, but in my experience their process is a lot better.


Every minute "over 400 hours" of content is uploaded to YouTube. It's a serious challenge to moderate a community at that scale.

If only YouTube had a large parent company with a significant portion of a trillion dollars that could be spent actually taking care of this problem.

Instead we get, “Let the bot script handle it. Oh, the system doesn’t work? Too bad.”


It should be obviously that the issue with humans is the same if not worse. People already complain en masse about Google censoring all kinds of stuff. Put a human behind things and then people will demand their head for taking down controversial videos.

Their algorithm is absolutely terrible however and doesn't absolve them of allowing incredibly awful content to exist on their platform. However this is simply not an easy problem to solve when you serve such a large community and want to bend to support as much of it as possible.


"If only the world had a significant portion of several trillion dollars that could be spent curing cancer".

Money isn't the answer to all the world's problems. But I'm intrigued to hear how you think they should "take care of the problem". Maybe you can share your innovative python script that solves the problem for good.


I'm intrigued to hear how you think they should "take care of the problem".

Hire actual humans to review disputed decisions, while putting in a proper appeals process that is also overseen by actual thinking humans.

Maybe you can share your innovative python script that solves the problem for good.

I'm not Google. I don't pretend that all of the world's problems can be solved by computers, and then fail while trying.


They do have humans, but they make mistakes and have bias. And if we need to cover the amount of content Youtube gets per second we'd need a country of people.

Oh wait, Youtube have just gone bankrupt.


This is about disputed copyright claims, not all videos. Besides, most of these copyright holders probably file hundreds of automated claims (from examples in the thread: chiptune samples, royalty free drum loops, presidential speeches, CC licensed music). If it's obvious that it isn't copyrighted, YouTube can remove the fingerprint from the Content ID system and force the supposed copyright holder to issue a DMCA notice, which is much easier to dispute and works in favour of the uploader.


Machine learning IS the solution. If you have a better idea, you should contact Google immediately.


How to contact Google?


> had a large parent company with a significant portion of a trillion dollars

You are describing Alphabet.


No shit, Sherlock


It seems that the whole "copyright claim" system is just a distraction. We are all getting distracted instead of looking at the bigger picture: while we are fighting, Google earns money no matter what.

I recently noticed my own work being sold on Etsy by thieves. Guess what, Etsy doesn't even want to hear from you about copyright problems. There is no way to report it (try it).

I hope eventually people will start suing and things will end up in courts. I don't think courts will look kindly on profiteering from stolen property.


The magic word for reporting copyright infringement is DMCA. First hit for searching “etsy dmca”: https://www.etsy.com/legal/ip-dmca/




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