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Is it time to look at monetisation as a new exclusive right of the author? (technollama.co.uk)
56 points by walterbell 77 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 19 comments



This is the result of a several decades worth of normalising the process of clicking through unread shrink-wrap agreements: confusion about the nature of copyright, which is the author’s exclusive right to ‘monetise’ their work. Creators assign this right to YouTube in exchange for the hosting service. If YouTube dominates the market such that no copyright holder can afford to reject their terms, that problem is not going to be solved by granting creators new rights which will also be assigned to YouTube under revised terms and conditions.


...that problem is not going to be solved by granting creators new rights which will also be assigned to YouTube under revised terms and conditions

If I've understood TFA correctly, the proposal is a law that prevents exactly that from happening. You can define a right as unwaiverable. Any new terms and conditions will be void.

Oh and yes, I think it's a good idea. Either you remove the video or you pay.


This is a reinvention of "moral rights / droit moral" which are already a thing in some jurisdictions.

But it won't help, because the exact problem is the claim to ownership! If your video is demonetised because of copyright infringement, then youtube is asserting that it's not your video anyway; because you included 30 seconds of incidental music or whatever, the video actually belongs to Sony or Universal.

This can only really be fixed by putting the question in front of a court, and the minimum cost of that is far more than either party is willing to pay.


I thought the problem was that YouTube won't give you money while keeping the video online and keeping the profits. If they need to take it offline, the perverse incentives disappear. It's in their best interest to take the creators' side by default so they can keep taking their part.

The ownership question is better completely removed from the publisher's hands. The problem seems to be that it's actually true that people "create" using patches of someone else's works without permission. The abuse of take down requests could be just the effect of an overreaction. YouTube won't waste time checking authorship so better take down everything right away at the minimum sign of trouble.

But really, can someone go against you if you have properly registered the ownership of the video? There must be some method of proof so you can prevent frivolous takedown requests without too much hassle.


DMCA takedown requests are supposed to be made "under penalty of perjury", but this simply isn't enforced. It is, as others have said, a power differential issue: whatever the "right" thing is, without some sort of real legal action in a court you can't force them to do it.


> DMCA takedown requests are supposed to be made "under penalty of perjury"

That's true, but it's important that the key claim (of an actual violation) of a DMCA takedown only requires good faith belief, which mostly makes the only thing that is really meaningfully subject to the perjury penalty in most cases the claim of owning the copyright-protected work you claim is infringed.


> I thought the problem was that YouTube won't give you money while keeping the video online and keeping the profits.

A demonetized video has no ads so there is no money for anyone when this happens.


Well, Google makes sure that YouTube's autoplay resets to on for a reason. Maybe this video has no ads, but as long as you stay on their site you'll play an ad before long.


If the video is flagged by ContentID as having music or video that's registered to someone else, they can still run ads over it but the revenue will go to whoever registered it. https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2797370?hl=en


That's true for the copyright claims, though not for the controversial videos that YouTube also demonetizes. Still, I'm not sure who would gain by taking away that option, and forcing them to decide whether to take down the video or not.

I guess it gets easier to claim "censorship", but on the other hand, it gets easier for YouTube to justify taking any controversial video down: they can just claim (truthfully or not) that they have no advertisers willing to pay, and therefore under the new rule they must remove the video altogether.


> If your video is demonetised because of copyright infringement, then youtube is asserting that it's not your video anyway; because you included 30 seconds of incidental music or whatever, the video actually belongs to Sony or Universal.

No, I think the idea is that Sony/Universal aren't the creators. The musicians are. So Sony/Universal would have no right to file the complaint in the first place. I think the article didn't explain this very well.

It's a little simpler for music, but this gets more complicated with something like a movie, because so many people are involved in the creation. The director is a pretty clear creator, but is the lead actor one of the creators? What about producers? Script writers?

Ultimately, the original idea of intellectual property laws was to protect the rights of creators/inventors, so I think the idea of this is to go back to that root. There are lots of details that would need to be worked out, but I think a return to the base principle is a good idea. Allowing transferability of intellectual property rights has enabled patent trolling, excessive renewing of copyrights, and often, exploitation of the very people intellectual property laws were intended to protect: creators.


You do not assign YouTube your copyright except for premium videos. You grant a nonexclusive licence.


Good point. It is not technically an ‘assignment’ of the whole copyright, but it does involve the creator conferring contractual rights on YouTube which would otherwise belong exclusively to the creator.


Pretty much don't agree with the premise (which is that the most relevant part of copyright is monetisation). With existing copyright, you can offer a license that lets you decide exactly what you want. If that's monetisation, then so be it. CC-NC is probably exactly what you want.

Of course Youtube (and similar services) can't be forced to accept those terms. There should be no copyright-like law that says, "You must use me content and you can't make money from it". They have to be free to accept or reject the license. That they are on the power side of the equation is too bad, but that's life. You are free not to use Youtube and distribute your material using an NC license another way.


There is bitchute, there is patreon and 100 others like them.

POSSE is a very much workable model nowadays. Why are we stuck with youtube? I 'd like to see at least some nonprofits like PBS who make great content put their content on youtube rivals too.


The article suggests a right to monetization such that YouTube would not have the ability to "demonetize" a user's videos or channel.

However, that would also require that YouTube is not allowed to have content guidelines for what is eligible for their monetization program, which does not seem workable. For one thing, advertisers typically want to appear next to content that is "brand safe".


Whose law was it again that if the headline asks a yes/no question, the answer is always 'no'?


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betteridge%27s_law_of_headline...

Most posters are already quite familiar with it, so comments which point to it with no further context or substance tend to get downvoted.


FWIW (as a meta comment), I was happy to find out that there was a name for this and what that name was. I like it when people ask honest questions and I wish people wouldn't assume sarcasm (though I can fully understand why they do and sympathise).




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