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They're deleting my channel, but they don't know why? [video] (youtube.com)
987 points by notRobot 33 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 760 comments



The fact that Google/Youtube has zero support infrastructure should be evidence that they are a monopoly and engaging in monopolistic activity.

If Google/Youtube were NOT a monopoly, they would have invested significant amount of money in customer support. However, there is zero. The only reason they get away with this is because they have a monopoly. They are saving hundreds of millions in support costs by not delivering any support. Unlike more overt monopolistic actions like raising prices, etc, what they do instead of increase their profits by taking away functionality that their customers should be receiving.

The fact you can get all your work taken away because of fraud, and have no recourse is unacceptable. Yet there really is no viable alternative. I hope content creators band together and form a class action lawsuit against Google and break up their monopoly. It's disgusting.


I think so too. If they were not a monopoly they'd have content creators fleeing the platform for how they handle these type of situations but for many youtube provides a decent source of income. Content creators respected their part of the bargain and worked hard to build their channels and Google benefitted quite well. But they're not only not equal, one zero power and the other one has all of it.


There have been attempts to fight the Youtube/Google platform, Patreon in a way is fighting against the Youtube ad revenue as a channels main source of income, so channels can survive on their own. Linus tech tips is creating their own video platform called Float-plane aiming to also do the same.


A music educator/vloger Adam Neely has been promoting two more platforms: Skillshare (https://www.skillshare.com/) and Nebula (https://watchnebula.com/), they seem like a good idea for educational and creative content but nowhere near YT omnipresence. A bunch of popular youtubers are present there though.


I've seen another channel do this too, Corridor Digital. They're creating their own video platform, though it seems to be more so to get away from the traditional Hollywood model, but I guess that also has the benefit of not being beholden to the whims of YouTube.

I wonder what the internet would look like if everyone did something like this rather than having all their content hosted on a central platform. What would the internet look like if video hosting platforms were as popular and as easy to set up / maintain as a blog platform like WordPress?


Won't this approach eventually lead to what happened with blogging?

10-15 years ago we all had our own wordpress/static/ghost blogs hosted on our own domains, and then Blogger, Medium and Substack entered the space with the added benefits of discoverability and a very significant chunk of the self-hosted blogs moved to those platforms.

I feel that with YouTube we just skipped that initial self-hosted step and immediately went to the centralized platforms (Google Video, Vimeo and eventually YouTube)


There used to be self-hosted video content on the web as well. It’s just that it isn’t very memorable due to the technical limitations of the time before YouTube and other platforms took it over.


Even today, self-hosting video is very far from trivial, and requires a lot of bandwidth and traffic if you aren't just sharing your videos with a couple of friends, that's not something I'd want to do on a small VPS.


This idea is intriguing: what if it's the other way around?

I mean, before the Internet, how many people used to read vs watch TV? Video was meant to win. If video demands centralization for technical reasons, centralization wins too.

In the same way, blogs can't compete with video for ads.


i have a problem with floatplane. its in canada and therefore isnt as strong with free speech protections. My bet is they would buckle more quicker than youtube would. Also, its not peer to peer.


>Also, its not peer to peer.

This is a benefit for most users, I'd imagine.


Flee to other platforms and get their videos taken down too. It’s so ridiculous to see the majority of the comments here not to understand the simple reality that other platforms also have to adhere to these copyright laws.


As shown in the video, YouTube is either lying (something a competitor could provide better service on) or is not actually complying with the DMCA which requires a specific description of the content that is being claimed under copyright.


They do have support infrastructure for their customers. Youtube content creators are not customers, they’re more akin to contractors (when paid) and volunteers (when not). In fact, google is the customer in this relationship, and they are within their rights to stop buying the product without having to explain why.

It is on content creators to diversify their business. If a contractor has only a single customer because that customer is the most profitable, would you pity them when they are fired by that customer? Or would you call them bad at business for failing to diversify?


It is on content creators to diversify their business. If a contractor has only a single customer ...

Yes, this is the monopoly part of the argument. There are no real and practical alternatives for content creators, it seems.


> Yes, this is the monopoly part of the argument.

If there is a single customer, it is not a monopoly, but a monopsony:

> https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Monopsony&oldid=9...


I can just picture a gaggle of google employees jumping out of their seats: "They used the wrong word for it! Their argument is invalid!".


> I can just picture a gaggle of google employees jumping out of their seats: "They used the wrong word for it! Their argument is invalid!".

Would the "average" Google employees really care about this? I would rather imagine that only executive level employees of Google could be happy about this. And these people play much deeper political games than caring about a wrong word.


I did see a non YouTube video link on HN recently...


The definition of monopoly isn't the absence of alternatives, it's the absence of significant alternatives, and the fact that monopoly distorts the surrounding ecosystem.

Killing small businesses definitely counts as a market distortion. Good luck arguing it doesn't.

And there is no competitive service, because YT is an audience provider, and not specifically a video hosting provider.

In fact these problems would go away if YT offered a paid tier - with proper support - for content providers.

But YT and Google are averse to treating anyone else as an equal partner, so that's never going to happen.


Great point. Because people get something out of engaging in business with Google/YouTube/Facebook/etc. they think that they are the customer and that they should be entitled to certain things. They forget that they are the product, and the company is the customer. By using these platforms you are providing them with a source of revenue for free. These companies make money off content that you freely give them.

Ad-revenue you receive doesn't even make you a contractor. It's basically like working for free and then being tossed something at the end for your efforts. There is no legal agreement or obligation to continue paying you.

It is amazing what the Internet has turned out to be. A place where big tech companies can profit off the work of others, while convincing them that they are the beneficiaries.


> It is amazing what the Internet has turned out to be. A place where big tech companies can profit off the work of others, while convincing them that they are the beneficiaries.

I disagree. I think that people have convinced themselves that they are customers of YouTube.

There is a lot of projection on things like YouTube and Facebook, then people get mad because it actually isn't that after all.


I agree with regards to projection, but I also believe that the companies are helping quite a bit. It feels more like love scammers. Yes, there's the victim telling themselves the scammer loves them and just has some financial troubles they need help with, but there's also the scammer doing everything in their power to make their victim believe that.


> By using these platforms you are providing them with a source of revenue for free.

Not for nothing - platform usage costs money. It's for the average per-user cost of building and running the platform.


> they are within their rights to stop buying the product without having to explain why.

This might be right if they were a mom and pop store with 5 others within a couple of blocks. There is no viable alternative to Youtube so they don't get to make these calls.


You said don't, did you mean shouldn't? Because seems to me like they do get to.


They will get smashed for this eventually


The are betting on that "eventually" being many many miles down the road. They will fix some of the issues/cases (ad hoc) for the vocal minority, they will pretend they didn't see for the silent majority that suffers from the same side effects.

As a parent stated, the content creators are NOT the clients. Client is the one who pays you money. So advertisers need to be kept happy. If this guy goes down, the guitar makers will advertise on the next guy/lady in line. And the (true) client (advertiser) will be happy.

One of the reason that Google is making crazy money is that they cut plenty of corners in support. And it serves THEM (YT) right to do so.

This video has less than 100k views. "Charlie bit my finger" has 876 Million views.

In work I use the phrase "it is not a Problem until it becomes one".

One content creator (or a thousand) complaining is NOT a problem for YT. A Problem is if YT drops from 100M views per day (or whatever that number is) to 20M views per day.

If you ask me, YouTube is having it good. And if this content creator goes down, his followers will jump on the next guitar player teacher person.

Apologies if my comment seems to cold. I believe it reflects the mentality of YT.


Your comment is cold but it's also bang on point. Ethically how they act is inexcusable however. I hope many years is actually a few months in reality.


> They do have support infrastructure for their customers. Youtube content creators are not customers, they’re more akin to contractors (when paid) and volunteers (when not).

In a sense, they are Google's products.


I beg to differ: content creators use the service provided by youtube to offer their content for consumption and receive payment via a ad service.

Youtube does not order contractors but offers a service for production and consumption of content- so they have customers creating content and others just consuming- both being customers of their service.


Isn't monopsony also handled by antitrust rules?


I feel like this is the problem. The content creators and users don’t matter as they aren’t the customers.


> The fact that Google/Youtube has zero support infrastructure should be evidence that they are a monopoly and engaging in monopolistic activity.

I'm not sure one has anything to do with the other.


If they weren't a monopoly then they wouldn't be able to get away with fraudulent activity like deleting someone's Google account or accepting false DMCA claims with no recourse or not paying out Ad Sense revenue because they flagged your account (without explaining why).


The accepting false DMCA claims is something that the DMCA system sort of requires them to do. However they have in the past sued people who have issued false DMCA claims.


> The accepting false DMCA claims is something that the DMCA system sort of requires them to do.

No, the DMCA allows for counter claiming and it not being an issue. Google's policies go beyond what's required for the DMCA, and stem from the early several billion dollar copyright lawsuit they settled out of court with the major labels fairly early on. It's an extralegal system negotiated between Google and the labels.

> However they have in the past sued people who have issued false DMCA claims.

Can you give an example of someone they've sued for making false claims?


>No, the DMCA allows for counter claiming and it not being an issue. Google's policies go beyond what's required for the DMCA, and stem from the early several billion dollar copyright lawsuit they settled out of court with the major labels fairly early on. It's an extralegal system negotiated between Google and the labels.

You're conflating two different things, perhaps intentionally.

Content ID, which is the additional system you're referring to, does not and cannot cause an account to be closed[1]. If content in your video is flagged by Content ID, all that happens is that the advertising revenue from your video is directed to the purported copyright holder, or the video is removed from YouTube. You do not receive any strikes and your channel is not limited in any way.

[1] https://www.youtube.com/howyoutubeworks/policies/copyright/#...

Copyright strikes[2] are a completely different kettle of fish, and Google is bound by the DMCA to immediately and without question remove the allegedly infringing content. In fact, they are expressly forbidden by law to perform any sort of investigation before making the content unavailable or they risk losing immunity under the safe harbour provisions.

And far from accepting DMCA claims "with no recourse" as you suggest, they openly publish a variety of training materials to teach users exactly how to file a counter-claim[3], and they routinely accept those counter-claims and restore the content.

[2] https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2814000

[3] https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2807684

>Can you give an example of someone they've sued for making false claims?

Christopher Brady.

https://www.engadget.com/2019-08-20-youtube-lawsuit-false-ta...

https://www.theverge.com/2019/10/15/20915688/youtube-copyrig...


This guy this whole thread is about is getting his channel shutdown "with no recourse." You still get copyright strikes after they restore your content.

The whole copyright strike system is in addition to the DMCA, and is part of what was negotiated with the labels (in addition to ContentID).

Also, what are you quoting "with no recourse" from?


>The whole copyright strike system is in addition to the DMCA, and is part of what was negotiated with the labels (in addition to ContentID).

That's completely false, and all you need do is click the links I provided to see that it is. Copyright strikes are only issued in conjunction with DMCA takedown requests, Content ID does not and cannot cause you to receive strikes, and does not and cannot shut your channel down.

>Also, what are you quoting "with no recourse" from?

From a parent comment at the start of this thread, which I've only now realised wasn't made by you, so please ignore the phrase "as you suggest" and focus on the substantive portions of my comment that address the inaccuracies in your claim.


> That's completely false, and all you need do is click the links I provided to see that it is. Copyright strikes are only issued in conjunction with DMCA takedown requests, Content ID does not and cannot cause you to receive strikes, and does not and cannot shut your channel down.

I never disputed any of that. I'm saying that the copyright strike system used by youtube on takedown requests:

* goes above and beyond what's required by the DMCA.

* is part of what was negotiated by Google and the labels (in addition to ContentID). The labels were concerned about people spamming their content and just uploading faster than they can takedown. This gives them a mechanism to shut down accounts for 'bad actors' who just keep uploading faster than the labels can issue takedowns.

* doesn't always remove strikes even when a counter-claim is filed because of above.

I never brought up ContentID, and my arguments are orthogonal to it's implementation and history.


This requires very minimal effort to find.

https://www.theverge.com/2019/8/19/20812144/youtube-copyrigh...


It's not the copyright claims that they had a problem with (or else they'd go after any of the other false copyright claims), it's using their platform for extortion. The "I'm going to file false copyright claims unless you pay me" thing.


100% it does. it means they have no incentive to justify their actions to the market


No, you can have a business model with no customer support without a monopoly. The potential lost sales are just part of the equation.


i see what you're saying. yelp is a testament to your point. maybe it can be priced in even if its not a monopoly


Google has a support infra structure, but it's only for big and/or paying customers. If you don't pay Google anything, you are not a customer. You are either a supplier, delivering content, or a user, consuming (free) content.


why then is it that suppliers and users shouldn't expect support?


Why should they? You're using a free (and honestly, amazing) service, and you agreed to the terms and conditions. Don't like it - don't use it.


>"Don't like it - don't use it."

Applies equally to heroin. When are we legalising it?


He also said 'free'


So if I hand out free drugs I won't be sent to jail?


They have customer support. Their customer is an advertising company or brand. Hosting video from anyone in the world at up to 8k resolution is expensive. The product is your eyeballs. They revenue share with content creators who bring you eyeballs. They have lots of content creators. They use automation to manage the content at scale so they can be profitable.


> Unlike more overt monopolistic actions like raising prices, etc, what they do instead of increase their profits

Now thats a keen insight and not a warning of a monopoly I was aware of. You're dead right.


There has got to be a better word than Monopoly for companies like Google or YouTube. The barrier to enter the market is relatively low and there is almost no inherent lock-in to the platform. Everyone could stop using Google and YouTube today and switch to another platform. However, creators won’t because of the viewers and viewers won’t because of the creators.

People could stop using Google today but most don’t, because Google is just so much better than everyone else as searching.

Should Google/YouTube be regulated because people dislike what the company is doing, but just not enough to actually stop using their products.


Why get so far with the proof? Looking at market share is far easier.

Great point, though. They are saving millions - in order to provide actual customer support they would have to hire a lot of people from all around the world.


I wonder - but I'm sceptical - if a competitor internet giant will come to the fore that offers similar services that google and youtube does, but whose USP would be better support, less aggressive copyright enforcement (it HAS to have copyright enforcement else they'll be torn apart in court).


> The fact you can get all your work taken away because of fraud, and have no recourse is unacceptable.

Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't Google/YT TOS saying that by uploading materials user gives away its rights to these (or at least some rights)?


There is an extortionate component to the ToS, yes.


Creators are not customers for youtube. They are bountiful, free resource.


Anti-trust laws (and the concepts that are based upon) do not apply to free services, and portions of YouTube that do collect subscription fees do have a full support structure.

Your assertion that Google has a monopoly in this market is wrong for several reasons. The first is that there is no market for Googke/YouTube to control. Ad revenue which covers less than their overhead makes them a non-profit and YouTube in particular is closer to meeting the requirements for being classified as a government protected service than an anti-trust concern.

Second,nobody makes money in the free media hosting and distribution product domain. This is well known and is a large part of why they have virtually no competition.

Third, YouTube wouldn't even have a system that automatically takes down channels except that laws were written that required them to do so.

Google doesn't make money from YouTube, and they only acquired it for the good will providing a free service generates for them. Recently the head of YouTube has been making weird even retarded decisions, but it's still a free service that operates in an application domain that basically can't make money by definition.


>Anti-trust laws (and the concepts that are based upon) do not apply to free services

Do you have a source for this? I feel like Microsoft would have liked to have known that, back when they lost an antitrust case around a freely provided web browser.

>Ad revenue which covers less than their overhead makes them a non-profit

That's not what "non-profit" means.

>nobody makes money in the free media hosting and distribution product domain.

Nobody has been profitable, but that doesn't mean nobody is trying or nobody could if the market weren't anti-competitive. There is also plenty of case-law in the US establishing that just because an anti-competitive scheme wasn't profitable doesn't make it legal. Hell, a lot of anti-competitive activity works specifically because it's not profitable in the short term.

>YouTube wouldn't even have a system that automatically takes down channels except that laws were written that required them to do so.

But not in the manner that they do. The point being made wasn't that their management of takedown notices is itself anti-competitive behavior, it's that the fact they don't have to change it to something more reasonable is evidence that they don't have any competition, which is indicative of a monopoly in the space.

>they only acquired it for the good will providing a free service generates for them

Again, source. I know YT is unlikely to be profitable right now, but I seriously doubt the purchase was a good-will gesture rather than a strategic long-term investment. I don't think there were a lot of people whose opinion of Google went up as a result of the purchase.

>r......d

Really? Was that necessary to make your point?


sad to see this get downvoted because it does not go along with the youtube bashing sentiment, the amount of people who think other video platforms will not have copyright claim problems is ridiculously high.


As I point out in my other comment, that comment doesn't seem especially well reasoned or sourced, but I for one wouldn't have downvoted if not for the language. I could have agreed 100% with what they were saying and I would still have downvoted, because there's no reason to let disparaging and ableist language stay visible, regardless of the point being made. Make your own version if you feel strongly about it.

In any case, I don't think anyone is saying other video platforms wouldn't have copyright claims, they're saying that in a more competitive space, the mechanisms for handling those claims would be better. E.g., they might actually tell the creator in the linked video what the violation actually is.


I'm not a lawyer, and I definitely think the whole copyright system needs reform, but I believe there could be legitimate issues with the legality of publicly posting guitar covers as this person is doing on their channel.

I'm not very familiar with the channel, but from the little I've seen, I believe the educational nature (and thereby fair use defense) could be debatable. Even if some of his videos are clearly educational, it seems that some videos are just covers of popular songs. And even if he's not using published sheet music to play the songs, he may still be required to have mechanical licenses, and possibly also sync licenses.

Most published music has three licenses that could be relevant here: the mechanical license (covering the combination of notes, rhythms, and/or lyrics that make the song distinct and "recognizable"), the sync license (using the song along with images/video), and a master license (covering a specific recording of the song). From my limited experience (and confirmed here [1]), it appears that many of these videos probably require at least a mechanical license to be performed publicly on the channel.

That being said, I absolutely agree with the sentiment that YouTube's handling of these issues is extremely problematic. They really need to start treating content creators with more respect and assume innocence until proven otherwise. There also needs to be more transparency into the process (and claims) so creators aren't left in the dark, along with improved ways to respond to erroneous claims.

[1] https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/posting-cover-songs-on-yo...


Our current copyright laws do nothing hut stagnate human creativity. As much as people like to believe they're creative geniuses, most creations tend to be based on previous creations.

Just look at the majority of popular music between 1955-1980 or later. Just about all rock music is either heavily inspired by or directly ripped off of blues. If copyright laws had been what they were today entire genres of music wouldn't exist.

Same goes for Hollywood, tons of movies are just wholesale ripoffs of older ones or 'heavily inspired by them'.

And i'm sure people on HN are likely familiar with such things as the 7 main literary archetypes and whatnot that apply to most human story telling in general.

The best kind of human creativity comes from building on what came before. Sure, we need a system to ensure creators are paid and have control of their creations, but our current system goes so far overboard it limits overall human creativity.

Profit should not come over the benefit of society and humanity, especially when there's room for both. I doubt anyone was really losing any significant amount of money by this channel existing, but somebody was gaining through its existence.


Disney's Grimm's based stuff is just about older now than Grimms' Fairy Tales were when Disney made those films.


Yet try and make any reference to the Disney version in your own production and see how fast the C&D's show up.

On that note, check out the Popeye version of the Aladdin and the magic lamp story. If you've ever read the original, you may notice the Disney version doesn't resemble it much, what the Disney version does resemble though a fair bit is the 1930's Popeye version of the story...which is actually quite good.

Actually, just check out any of those original Max and Fleischer Popeye cartoons...they're all pretty great.


In Japan, they have a much better culture around copyright, and I would argue it’s why Japan is such a creative powerhouse. In Japan, amateur artists can remix whatever popular characters they want, and make money off it, and it’s seen as a tribute to the original artists, not as “theft”.

Our copyright laws should be largely eliminated. Anything that isn’t basically an exact reproduction should be fair game. It would be good for the creative arts.


according to Tom Scott's very informative summary of all things youtube and copyright [1] there are seemingly reasonable alternatives to suddenly shutting down a whole channel - it seems like we're not getting the whole story as to why those were rejected or aren't being considered in this case?

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Jwo5qc78QU


Remember YouTube and its staff will never make decisions on the validity of copyright claims. They put their safe harbor position at risk if they do so. Instead they consider every copyright claim as valid unless legal proceedings tell them otherwise.


> They put their safe harbor position at risk if they do so.

Only if they don't comply with a DMCA takedown notice, which allows the supposed violator to claim responsibility. That is, whoever posted the video can say to Youtube "This video doesn't infringe on anyone's copyright, let them sue me if they disagree" and Youtube would be in the clear according to the DMCA.

From what we can see in this case, Youtube didn't receive a DMCA takedown notice, since they didn't make it available for the channel owner. Youtube has other internal processes (like Content ID[1]) to detect and remove copyright content, it looks like one of these processes is what triggered the copyright strikes.

[1] https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/6013276


> but I believe there could be legitimate issues with the legality of publicly posting guitar covers as this person is doing on their channel.

In a legal sense, it is illegal unless they've paid the compulsory licensing fees.

That said, Youtube was once a place to find new stars who did covers, and many of them got famous. And now people who got famous like KHS do covers without any kind of issue.

https://www.youtube.com/user/KurtHugoSchneider

I just see it as the music industry locking the door behind the people who've already made it.


I am not from US, and I imagine you are, but it doesn't seem right that I cannot teach people to play instruments by playing a song.


Exactly, and YouTube, now an incumbent has the incentive to shut down the path they themselves used to become the monopoly.


> They really need to start treating content creators with more respect and assume innocence until proven otherwise.

Doesn't DMCA and similar law strongly bias them in the opposite direction of having to assume guilt?

In any case, transparency seems like a good idea from the point of view of the outside world.


This is a common pattern where law/regulations meet monopoly power:

There is a Byzantine bureaucracy that no one understands. The monopoly blames the regulator. The regulator (if they speak at all) blame the monopoly.

It's the same way with banks. Any strange and irrational bureaucracy they throw at you is claimed to be legally mandated. This is kind of true, but disengenious.


Alas, yes. That's a big part of why I suggest that regulation, if we want any at all, should focus on lowing the barriers to entry and shy away from mandating specific behaviour.

The latter can be gamed by the people who can afford the good lawyers, and makes entry for newcomers even harder.

Your comparison to finance is apt. It's one of the worst examples of regulatory capture. And many people have very dangerous ideas, eg that deposit insurance is a good idea.


You need regulation with teeth, that is reviewed and updated dynamically with the marketplace it is regulating to ensure fair competition AND consumer benefit.

Right now we have regulations that heavily lag current realities and weak regulatory bodies that can be corrupted or lack power to effect change.

The alternative you mentioned of no regulation can't exist, because someone is always regulating the market, if not the .gov, then whoever has the biggest clout within the marketplace gets to play regulator and gatekeeper often to the detriment of the competition and consumers.


Financial regulators have teeth.

That's besides the point though. Large banks and regulators are, effectively, a single entity.


> The alternative you mentioned of no regulation can't exist, because someone is always regulating the market, if not the .gov, then whoever has the biggest clout within the marketplace gets to play regulator and gatekeeper often to the detriment of the competition and consumers.

Yes, exactly. I am suggesting that competition and low barriers to entry to ensure that it's _customers_ that are regulating the markets, whenever possible.

> You need regulation with teeth, that is reviewed and updated dynamically with the marketplace it is regulating to ensure fair competition AND consumer benefit.

I agree that regulation needs to have teeth. My favourite example of a jurisdiction with light regulation but lots of teeth is my adopted home of Singapore.

By and large, our government here leaves the economy alone, but when they implement some regulation, they do so properly and enforce it.

> Right now we have regulations that heavily lag current realities and weak regulatory bodies that can be corrupted or lack power to effect change.

Honest and competent civil servants are the rarest and most precious of resources. Arrange matters to economise on their time and energy.

An interesting example of that principle is in bankruptcy law. There are generally two ways to deal with a business can't pay:

(1) Cut a deal with the creditors

(2) Liquidate the business and pay off the creditors as much as possible according to the fine print signed

If the business in question is a going concern, (2) is a losing proposition, but its very possibility tends to encourage everyone involved to work out a deal under case (1). (And even if you sell off the business to the highest bidder in case (2), the new owner can opt to continue running essentially the same organisation, if that makes sense.)

In a sane legal system, the judiciary might be involved briefly for option (2), if current management is unwilling. But most of the time, all participants can just agree that negotiations failed, and proceed with orderly liquidation.

Now in eg the US that beautiful simplicity is marred by a third option, where a judge gets involved big time. Judges are (hopefully) almost the prototype of a highly trained, honest, competent civil servant.

Alas, the very existence of this third option, blunts the previously sharp incentives on everyone to get a deal done under case (1).

To come back to your point: it's also pretty obvious that there's many more opportunities for corruption and graft for the court appointed manager in the third case, than the simple auction of all assets in the second case.


I want to add that consumers are weak and voting with your wallet is often not possible in a constrained market, plus many consumers are stupid or "not rational" and make poor choices and are easily swayed by marketing.

Obviously we don't want to remove all avenues for self determination, but I don't think adhoc regulation or relying on consumers to reign in global corporations who now have market caps greater than GDPs of large countries is an effective option.

Finding good civil servants is difficult, but so is finding honest and effective businessmen who genuinely have consumer interest in mind.


Well, at least the honest and effective businesspeople have a chance of going bankrupt when they screw up. And consumers typically can choose a different provider.

You are right about constrained markets. Hence everything is conditional on my plea for opening markets. It can be hard to encourage new startups, especially in areas of the world or country with less of an established startup mentality; but it's generally much easier to encourage foreign companies to come, and to encourage companies from other industries to branch out.

For the latter, see eg when Walmart tried to do retail banking in the US. (Obviously, the established US banks used the regulation-happy American authorities to thwart that desire.) For more happy endings, see the kinds of industries Amazon is getting involved in.


I am going to add given that revolving doors and golden parachutes much of the C-level experiences, actual consequence is often something that many of the highest paid people in the world evade with ease. You can drive a company in to the ground and/or sexually harass employees, and still walk off with millions of dollars. At least with public servants, their position can potentially be term limited and subjected to a vote.

Constrained markets are not always or even regularly the fault of regulators. There may just be few options or only one option available, and the cost of entry to the market is extremely high. It's not just a matter of some plucky startup entering the market when the incumbent can bleed money for a a year or two to kill off any competition in that area, then jack up rates. You also have collusion issues, which often occurs in the oil industry and DRAM/flash memory markets, and even in places like pre-made ice markets. A startup may not just have to be better than the immediate competition, they may have to be better than an entire cartel set on destroying them, which is very difficult and anti-consumer. Imagine going up against Microsoft and Intel in the 90s, who literally had billions of dollars at their disposal to turn the market against you, and actively did so.


I agree with you that relying on startups alone is not enough.

Hence my heavy emphasis on foreign competition entering local markets; and of cross-industry competition. Like Walmart entering retail banking.

Microsoft and Intel are excellent examples! They were eventually toppled in their dominance, but it took quite a few years.

My argument is essentially that toppling Microsoft and Intel in about a decade is all we can hope for; and that it is enough.

Adding extra regulation mostly just gives the guys with the more expensive lawyers and lobbyists more tools.


It's not about honest individuals, nor smart consummers. It's about structures.

Trying to fix monopolies with regulators is like trying to fix monarchy with princes.

Regulators harden market structures.


Trying to fix monopolies by allowing them to continue to exist results in the monopoly continuing to exist. How is this better? There is nothing in a "free market" that disallows a monopoly existing or continuing to exist forever, buying and extinguishing all competition in its wake. It is essentially the end game, ultimate vertical integration and market dominance. You might say some startup is going to "disrupt" these incumbents, until we reflect on all the cool products bought and extinguished by the FAANGs. Basically you're relying on the monopoly getting lazy and hoping there's enough interest and capital available to do battle, all the while consumers get reamed for who knows how long.


Buying upstart competitors ensures that founders and VC are motivated to provide a steady stream of upstart competitors.

Ultimate vertical integration has been tried as a fad on and off. But it did not endure.

None of the FAANGs are all that vertically integrated. Apple doesn't even make their own hardware in-house, do they? (Foxconn makes most of the phones, don't they?)

If the monopolists are reaping excess profits (or having high costs) there's an incentive for new market entrants to come and take a share of those profits.

If the monopolists keep prices low enough that this doesn't happen, then consumers don't have too much to complain about, do they?


You also would need the sync license for creating a video which includes the music.


> I run a YouTube channel that is over 10 years old, has over 770,000 subscribers, almost 600 public videos, 120,000,000 views

When writing software involved in managing a live, public, massively multi-user system, the traditional unix-style commands that are immediate, often silent, and capable of damaging effects become a really easy way to shoot yourself in the foot. Worse, some commands might let you accidentally shoot everyone's foot on a typo. The traditional example is accidentally typing something like "rm -f * .bak" (note the extra space after the star).

For a good discussion of this type of problem, I highly recommend Bryan Cantrill's talk[1] about the time an operator accidentally rebooted an entire datacenter with a single miss-typed command.

The general solution to this is building sanity checks into the software. The user just asked to reformat 500 hosts, but almost all previous uses olf the 'reformat' command affected less than 10 hosts. Maybe we should ask for verification from an actual human if they really intended to run this unusually destructive command.

Why doesn't YouTube have this kind of sanity check in their automated takedown/strike/channel-deletion tools? Google wrote automation that can decide to delete a channel with a long history and many successful videos. Why doesn't that automation have basic sanity checks that ask for operator input when asked to do an unusually destructive action like deleting a 10 year old channel with a huge history?

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30jNsCVLpAE


Two days ago I restored a customer's data from backup because they typed "ALL" and hit OK on a dialog that said "This will change ALL of your things, type ALL to confirm". This dialog only pops up if N > 100, and normally makes you type the number (ALL is a special case). I just do not know how to make this more idiotproof short of making them fax in the request.

No matter what you think is sane, some insane person will prove you wrong. In this case, tiredness + ESL = bad reading comprehension. It's going to happen.


An old office mate had been a systems programmer back in the days of mainframes. He once put a local-site patch into the mainframe boot code where the question about wiping and restoring the on-line storage required operators to type in, correctly capitalized and punctuated, the precise string: "Yes, I really do want to spend the entirety of my shift hanging tapes."

.... and someone still did it. The struggle is real.


In electrical engineering, the saying is "Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool."

Also, in computer folklore, there are numerous stories of how non-technical users purposefully destroy foolproof mechanisms by brute-force, e.g. cut the slot on a DDR3 socket to insert a DDR2 RAM module and fry everything... And I wonder whether "don't use brute-force, if you have difficulty getting it in, it means you are doing it wrong" should be taught as the first rule when working with hardware. Unfortunately, to add the confusion, we also have connectors that can be surprisingly hard to connect and disconnect even under normal circumstances...


> And I wonder whether "don't use brute-force, if you have difficulty getting it in, it means you are doing it wrong" should be taught as the first rule when working with hardware. Unfortunately, to add the confusion, we also have connectors that can be surprisingly hard to connect and disconnect even under normal circumstances...

And everyone has likely experienced in their lives plenty of appliances, self-assembly kits and other objects where some components required application of force to put together, because there's resistance coming from the feature that prevents the object from coming apart together. My rule of thumb is now that if the force seems to be veering into "could break surrounding structure" levels, or if the thing starts making unexpected sounds, then I'm doing it wrong.

... and then I have to put a CPU on a motherboard and the correct way absolutely does involve close-to-breaking forces and squeaky sounds.


In my environment the adage is "when you say foolproof you mean fooldetecting".


I think this is a good analogy for software. To the typical user, some software is easy and sensical, while other is obtuse and requires significant jiggering just to do the thing it was ostensibly designed to do.


There is a difference, however. The connectors that require a lot of force for insertion and removal have some true advantages, they are usually the simplest, cheapest and generally reliable components. Almost nothing can go wrong with a simple wire terminal, it's just a piece of rectangular or round metal. Although it can be difficult to disconnect for servicing, but you're only expected to do that once per year. On the other hand, "easy" connectors are designed in a way that, instead of requiring the mating force necessary for a good contact , it's provided by the connector mechanism itself, and as a result, they're often more complex, expensive, or fragile, such as a USB connector or a ZIF socket.

A software analogy for an "easy" connector would be, "fancy software with good user experience often has a lot of complexity hidden behind of scene, and can be fragile". But I'm not sure what would be the analogy for a cheap connector. Perhaps, a shell script?


Yes, a shell script, but for the sake of the discussion, you must imagine that to the average user, invoking a shell script is “the same” as navigating through a few settings menus and clicking some checkboxes they don’t understand: that is to say, when the UX is sufficiently lacking, users often enter “well I don’t really know what I’m doing just push through” mode.


Atleast in this instance some blame lies with computer hardware designers. Make things simple, no one puts a three the wrong way.


It sounds like you found the solution, you just made it really cumbersome: undo.

All confirmation dialogs should be replaced with undo. The happy path has lower friction, and in case of a mistake they'll heave a huge sigh of relief. When possible, it's better in all cases for all users, whether novices or power users.

And many things that at first blush seem like undo isn't possible, are actually easy to make undoable with a simple tweak: deleting data? Don't actually delete it until 24 hours later. Sending an email? Wait 10 seconds to actually send it, similar to Gmail's Undo Send.


Implementing soft-delete is much easier than "soft-update", which is what this would have been.


You could still wait 10 seconds, and have a 'fake' undo button that aborts. (You can even put up a progress bar to pretend you are doing work during those 10 seconds.)

That's purely a UI element and is completely independent of how the actual destructive operation is implemented in the backend nor how hard it would be to reverse.


I don't think that would be much better than a confirmation dialog that makes you wait 10 seconds before you can click OK. It's often only after clicking around and seeing the resulting changes that it sinks in that a mistake was made, and they reach for Undo. And that would add just as much friction to the happy path.


It can be much better than the confirmation dialog, because it's meant to be implemented in such a way that you can get on with the rest of your work while the undo-countdown is ticking.

From personal experience with gmail's fake undo, in terms of things sinking in, it works almost as well as regular undo for me; and not like a confirmation dialog (which doesn't work at all).

So there's less friction, there's no extra click you need to make after ten seconds. And, also from personal experience, the force-delayed confirmation dialog I've used (I think in Chrome and Firefox for certain actions), don't seem to lead me to thinking at all. At least not any better than a regular confirmation dialog.

But in any case, all these are empirical questions, and it would be interesting to run a little user study with the different options, instead of endless speculation.


Gmail is a pretty specific case - email is fundamentally asynchronous and "delay send" for something that's already scheduled is straightforward.

Imagine trying to apply this undo to a bulk add/remove labels operation. Once you've committed the transaction, there is no simple 'undo'. It's possible to build a system capable of undo, sure, but you're talking about a lot of upfront work and complexity. Plus a fairly exotic database schema.


I don't see the problem?

I would imagine you would stick all your UI actions in something like a log, and then only apply that log to your actual data with a delay?

But not sure whether you call that 'a lot of upfront work and complexity'?

Perhaps I'm a bit blind, because I come from a part of the programming world that's very keen on persistent datastructures, where undos are trivial to implement. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persistent_data_structure)


There's nothing exotic about it, you just need an OLAP rather than OLTP database schema: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OLAP_cube


Yeah, unfortunately in some cases if you didn't plan for it from the beginning it's not easy to tack on later.

In my opinion, it's usually worth it though. You only hear from the folks asking you to restore things from backup—you won't hear from the folks who experience unnecessary friction and tell their friends or coworkers "it's okay, it works, it's kind of annoying to use though, I can't put my finger on anything specific".


Unless you're actually trying to do a huge synthetic operation where info would choke, e.g. creating an archive while removing existing files.

That one is still possible to undo, just slower and more expensive...

Then there are fun ones like Windows update holding 20 GB of insufficient undo, mechanical or hardware failures induced by extra load, and how to decide where an operation ends.


Unfortunately human error can never be completely eliminated. However, I'm not really talking about this type of problem. In my previous [1], the operator understood how the tool worked; they simply made a mistake when typing the command, and the tool without warning accepted the command to reboot the entire datacenter. Particularly telling are these comments: (sic)

    Operator-1: I ewas rebooting an rb
    Operator-1: forgot to put -n
    [...]
    Operator-5: [...] i've almost done what Operatolr-1
                just did a *number* of times.
That isn't a user understanding problem; it's a dangerous tool that doesn't fail safely. In your case, at least you detected the unusually destructive action and asked for verification. Youtube isn't even attempting simple sanity checks like your "N > 100" test.

> normally makes you type the number

> I just do not know how to make this more idiotproof

Requiring explicit typing of the number or an explicit phrase like "Yes, I want to delete everything." are can help a lot.

If possible, another good approach is to explicitly show the full list of proposed changes. Phrases like "This will change ALL of ..." might have multiple interpretations (ALL what? All of the the things in my entire account? All of the things in the current/last project/group? All of the things I think (perhaps incorrectly) were referenced in this action?). If someone is expecting to change only a few records, a confirmation popup that asks "Do you want to make these changes:" followed by a huge list has a large size/presence that should conflict with their expectations. "I only wanted to change a few things - wtf is this huge list?"


Require a different user's authentication or admin code to approve an "ALL" transaction.


While there might be emergency conditions that would make this cumbersome, in general that sorry of two person control makes sense. That's why the military uses it for especially dangerous actions or conditions. (Weapons loading on the sub i served on, for example).


Yes, it works.

But when the sample is large enough, it still happens once in a while. In 2004, a CSB investigation showed that an entire chemical plant exploded after the interlock was bypassed by the supervisor password [0][1].

> The explosion occurred when maintenance personnel entered a password to override computer safeguards, allowing premature opening of the sterilizer door. This caused an explosive mixture of ethylene oxide (EO) to be evacuated to the open-flame catalytic oxidizer by the chamber ventilation system. The oxidizer is used to remove EO in compliance with California air quality regulations. When the EO reached the oxidizer it ignited and the flame quickly traveled back through the ducting to the sterilizer where approximately fifty pounds of EO ignited and exploded.

Apparently the supervisor who owned the password didn't receive any training on the nature of the process and the dangers of bypassing the interlock...

[0] https://www.csb.gov/assets/1/20/sterigenics_report.pdf

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2UnKLm2Eag


Why would you ever ever have the ability do this "allowing premature opening of the sterilizer door".

Ironic it was air quality regulations - that did for them.


There needs to be something in case the implementation forgot something. These are dangerous of course, but they can also save the day when something unexpected happens.


This is a physical chemical plant not a website - if you do need to do something like that you do it manually.


Printing a list of the fist 100 or so affected files is useful to give a real wake up call and a chanse to double check.


The bigger question I have, why did you not delete the data when asked to?

I understand idiot users, but what about users who actually want to delete it?


GP mentioned restoring from backups. You generally don’t delete from backups outside of the normal cycling policy, because otherwise they’re not backups.


Don't allow the user type "all", but another guy (admin) to verify such commands.


Reverse survivorship bias...


Good luck checking in code that will increase the human burden and reduce automation. Imagine how many TPS reports you would have to fill out to get permission to make a system page a human more often at “Google scale”.

When the metrics finally hit the dashboards sounds like it would be career limiting.

“But we prevented pdkl95’s channel from being deleted!” is definitely going to be a solid defense for why you hobbled their infallible AI from ruthlessly executing its system oversight responsibility.


And yet they've created a widespread perception that YouTube mistreats it's creators, and we see stories like this all the time now. Surely someone at Google is capable of taking the long view. And if the culture at Google prevents that then Google is broken.


Every time a person come close the have a long time view, they get senior enough to leave the company or the product team. All companies have a tendency to lost bearing of its mission and focus on the wellbeing of the company owners or executives.


Youtube runs the way it runs because they don't care if a bunch of creators get hosed. All they care about is keeping the copyright wolves at bay.


Under DCMA, on receiving a valid counter notification they are free to put the content back on the site, remove the strike from the content uploader and let the courts handle the matter between the two parties.

https://twitter.com/leonardjfrench/status/130794817037951385...

It’s only if Google “ignore” valid dmca takedown notifications they are at risk of losing their safe harbour exceptions. How they handle the counter notifications can be pretty hit and miss. (but tbf, most of the time it’s because the person filing the counter notification didn’t fill it out exactly how Google’s bots like) I’ve seen cases where YT just automatically removed the strike from the account and restored the video on receipt of the counter notice. I’ve seen cases where they have locked the account even though the person filing the DMCA notifications has publicly admitted to taking down the video because it was critical of the work and the video only contained small pieces of the original content (exactly what you would expect to be covered under the criticism and comment portions of fair use exception).


They're not afraid of DMCA, but big money pulling out if they're insufficiently aggressive about claims...


Which is why they have Content ID. Big money can use the system to claim the ad rev / remove the content (without giving the user a strike) then putting the onus on the uploader of the video to then take the fight to the claimant for breaching their rights.


I don't know, but I've read that the counter here is that YouTube's system isn't actually DCMA - they are pursuing copyright over and above that system, and therefore the "protections" in DCMA don't apply - you broke a Google policy, not a law, and therefore you have no recourse.


There is "copyright take down requests" which are DMCA takedowns and gives the uploader strikes against their account and there is Googles own copyright system (Content ID) which Google would rather have right holders use (as they don't have to issue strikes to the users) that allow the claimant leave the video up but get the analyics from the video, claim the ad revunue from the video, mute the video (in cases where its an audio claim) or remove the video.

When you get a claim on the latter system (Content ID) you don't get a strike on your account but if you appeal the claim its (normally) upto the claimant to decide if your appeal is valid or not (sometimes YT does step in an say "yeah its fair use, have your ad rev back" but that is not the norm).

These takedowns are actual DMCA takedown requests. (even TeamYouTube are telling him to issue (valid) counter notifications to these claims - https://twitter.com/TeamYouTube/status/1306733040211824645)


They have ways to detect the "unusual". If I fill a form really fast, or something is weird in the state of my browser I get prompted to select crosswalks, road-signs or hydrants. It will be great if they would apply them on their algorithms too, when an "unusual" result occurs.


I'm now imagining a newly emergent dark pattern, where when you try to delete some expensive cloud resource, but before it'll stop charging you you get into one of those insane recaptcha loops that keeps saying "Click on all the Lovecraftian Gods that drive you insane just by looking at them!" or "type the text" where the displayed text is all in Druidic runes or something...


Sounds like the Land of Azure.


This is actually a pretty effective control. I almost deleted the wrong storage account in Azure the the other day.

We do not generally allow deletions of stateful resources to be done via automation after being bitten, and use the Azure lock mechanism.

We are now also changing our naming standards from “component-environment” to “environment-component”. In this example I almost deleted “app-prd-sa” instead of “app-dev-sa”. Much harder to do when you lead the name with “production”.

Anybody have “safer” naming conventions in use out there that I should be aware of? Didn’t find much authoritative out there via search; naming things is hard.


Reminds me of when s3 went down in 2017, and took a chunk of the internet with it (to include their own status dashboard) due to someone entering a command wrong.

https://aws.amazon.com/message/41926/


I was just coming to see if someone mentioned this! I work for AWS, and it's both surprising and heartening to see how often I see this anecdote get repeated, and many times by us to our own customers. We had teams looking for weeks at all of our other services for other instances of this.

It was a good operational lesson and one I'm happy to see shared still. If a command will let you perform a self-inflicted wound like that without checks, then it's time to review that command. Err on the side of caution and bias towards minimizing blast radius even if it means sacrificing some speed. "Move fast and break things" may be true at times, but not when the "*" character is ever involved. =)


It is my personal opinion that you don't need "*" character ever there are other alternatives available always. And if avoiding that character makes it far safer I'm all for it.

rm -rf /+(?)

If anyone not understanding the joke, + character matches 1 or more instances, and (?) matches any one character. And / is start of entire filesystem. rm is remove. -rf (recursive, never ask verification). So it removes every file that you have rights to remove.

You can also do same thing accidentally by proxy. When my first computing teacher asked entire class to write anything to terminal to show that you had to write specific commands and computers don't understand normal language. Then she told to press enter. I asked her if she was sure. She asked why. I said that I wrote "format c:" . I have never seen teacher walk so fast in a classroom. I think that was last time she used that line in the classroom.


Yeah its an interesting one. I tend to think of it in the context of, well you screwed up and deleted the wrong instance, but at least it wasn't that bad.

I also think about the response to it. Sure it sucked that it happened, and someone was probably feeling really bad about it. But it was a learning opportunity as well. Not just for them, or AWS, but for everyone in tech. Put those safety nets in place.


Other than websites and maybe some web-ish apps not too much else would be affected by S3 outage, a DNS outage would affect more of the Internet vs the web.


Maybe "the internet" was a bit too generic. But it destroyed a lot of tech worker productivity for the day at least.

Slack, GitHub, GitLab, BitBucket, Docker, etc all had issues.

https://venturebeat.com/2017/02/28/aws-is-investigating-s3-i...


Websites and web-ish apps are not a chunk of the internet? Also there are tons of non-web-ish apps that depend on S3.


i work on multiple projects that are 100% data crunching with content stored on S3 and accessed solely by ec2 instances. there is no UI or public access. yet if S3 went down, we'd be up a certain creek without a certain self-propelling device and a big whole in the boat without a bucket (physically and in the cloud)


All of Google was gone from my country due to bungled router configuration for half a day some time ago. Now that was fun to watch. Everything from 8.8.8.8 to all their backend APIs for android, to all their web properties, went poof.


Yikes. Time to use a few different providers?


There's actually quite a few enterprise client of S3. Lots in finance, too.


Because building it won’t get you a promotion at google.


That's what we called 'promotion oriented programming'.


Yeah. If the channel owner has spent so much effort it would be fair to expect actual human to spend literally a minute to verify it is legit removal case.


Because that would be sprints not spent making more money for Alphabet shareholders


But that’s not true though. Creators create content and make money with ads. No creators = no ad platform.


The number of creators harmed is less than the number of other creators, new creators and other factors. Loss of 0.00001% of the content on YT is, literally, no big deal. You, me, all other creators just don't matter.

That is BigG just don't give a f---.


Not sure your logic holds.

If Google is so big that 0.00001% loss of revenue doesn't register for them, they are surely big enough to spare 0.00001% of total engineering time to fix that loss?

In fact, I hear that as a common complaint that when working as an engineer at Google most of the time you are just making some system fractions of a percent more efficient.

Just to be sure, I am not saying that either your premise or the statement you are inferring is wrong. No opinion on that. I'm just saying that your premises don't lead to the conclusion. (But your conclusion might be right for other reasons.)


I'm saying that a loss of content does NOT create a loss of revenue.


OK, then it makes sense.


Weigh the cost of false positive against false negative. In the current landscape YT has little incentive to change.


and if you start implementing these sanity checks, they better be everywhere. Operators will start to rely on them and might become careless - they believe the system will catch any egregious typo. The one spot where the sanity check isn’t implemented will become more vulnerable.


How could some sanity checks be worse than NO sanity checks at all? In the YouTube case, I mean. This is happening ALL the time.


An inconsistently applied sanity check creates a false sense of security. Like how a safety barrier that isn't strong enough to take someone's weight might be worse than no barrier.


Yeah, some people recommend something like

    alias rm=‘rm -i’
Unfortunately, as soon as you’re on another computer or at someone else’s shell, you’ll be more comfortable thinking less about rm-ing things and the sanity check won’t be there.


The better recommendation is to alias rm -i to del:

    alias del='rm -i'
And then get in the habit of using 'del' unless you really want a no-confirmation delete.

Then when you are on another computer or at someone else's shell you get:

    del: command not found
Instead of having a bunch of files silently deleted.


Another trick is to run

    touch —- -i 
In important directories. Then rm -rf * expands to rm -rf .... -i ... and you get the “are you sure” prompt.


This strategy will fail pretty badly if you're on someone else's computer using Windows or DOS, where 'del' is the delete command.


Does `del -rf /` do a lot on Windows?


I doubt it, but `del *` should do the same thing on both systems.


Except that on windows, "del" defaults to prompting "are you sure" when one types "del *".


Right, I understand the concept. What I'm saying is that a safety barrier that sometimes doesn't work is better than rails that always guide you off a cliff; which is currently the YouTube model.


Many of the cases we hear about don't seem to be mistakes, including this one. Sometimes nobody can figure out any possible reason for a ban and sometimes it gets reinstated (that's the undo feature in action). But often there are obvious copyright issues or offensive material and the channel owner only goes clutching at fair use or freedom of speech after the ship has sailed.


For the same reason human babysitters of autonomous vehicles don't succeed in preventing pedestrians from getting run over.


Right, but a human babysitter is better than NO babysitter.


That's the same mentality of people stating because one form of pollution reduction or green energy generation isn't solving the problem that it's not worth attempting to do what you can when you can where you can. Those small moves are what gets the thing moving.


Where is Bryan anyway he's been unusually quiet and I know he lurks on HN.

bcantrill where art thou


Have you heard about Oxide Computer Company? https://oxide.computer/team/


Because writing good software is haaaarddd. /s


It sucks that Google doesn't offer better support, but are they really to blame here? Isn't the root of the issue IP and copyright laws and this very nebulous notion of "fair use" that seems extremely easy for IP owners to dispute and win?

I see people in this comment section posting alternatives to Youtube but I really wonder if, should they become equally as successful, they could end up behaving any different.

When you get thousands of videos uploaded at any given moment and probably a huge amount of DMCA takedown requests what choice do you reasonably have? If there's one thing Google doesn't want is to be sued by the copyright owners, so they always take the defensive stance of taking the content down until proven innocent, which seems cynically reasonable to me.

That guy makes song covers. He claims it's non-profit, he claims it's fair use. The IP owner disagrees, issues a takedown. At this point Google either takes the content down, or starts a lengthy and risky legal battle on behalf of third party content that they do not control. I can't really blame them for not bothering.

BTW, IANAL and all that but I'm not entirely convinced that his "non-profit fair-use" defense would even hold up in court. Surely he monetizes his videos on top of asking for donations and putting ads on his website. Given his number of subscribers he probably makes a significant amount of money from these videos.

To be clear, I think ethically what he does is perfectly fine, but as we all know IP laws have very little to do with ethics. Focusing on big bad google is a bit simplistic here IMO.


Yeah, I think it's pretty obvious Google is completely to blame here. Rather than say "Your channel will be deleted for unexplained copyright infringement" they could say "Videos X, Y, and Z contain copyrighted material at timestamps X', Y', and Z'. This material has been claimed, you may dispute it, because this is your first infringement we will allow you to correct the issue, etc."

As the video points out, in order to make a copyright claim the claimant must specifically state the content that is infringing. Thus, Google knows what material is (allegedly) infringing and has the information to provide to the user. Also as stated in the video Google is not required by law to delete the YouTube channel. They've taken that upon themselves.

To review, Google is being unnecessarily vague about what material is involved and unnecessarily harsh about punishing someone for an unexplained infringement.

The copyright system is, no doubt, messed up - but clearly Google is completely at fault for their lazy and Kafkaesque actions here.


The whole thing is play for media uproar. Gareth Evans has channel based on playing & covering songs. Courts have always held that this is textbook copyright infringement.

Gareth Evans videos all have the songs and artist name in the title.

Whoever filed the takedown was lazy in that they didn't include the description because the entire video is infringing.

Edit for sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cover_version#U.S._copyright_l...

https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/posting-cover-songs-on-yo...

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/question-when-mechan...


> Rather than say "Your channel will be deleted for unexplained copyright infringement" they could say "Videos X, Y, and Z contain copyrighted material at timestamps X', Y', and Z'. This material has been claimed, you may dispute it, because this is your first infringement we will allow you to correct the issue, etc."

Other than the timestamps that IS what happened here. The creator knows the exact videos that were flagged, and the creator had the option to dispute it - which they did, and the channel was never actually deleted as a result. It's still up: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf5WyhQHoYKy2ZcY1l51w7A

The situation is now that the claimants can either drop the copyright claims or sue him (this is stated in the video at timestamp 2:40). Neither of which involves YouTube, and YouTube isn't going to delete the channel unless the claims remain. That is, if the claimant opts to sue the creator.

As for timestamps, not all takedown notices must include such information. Notably DMCA takedown requests do not, and Google cannot require more than the law does on those. If Google failed to forward the notice along, or refuses to, that'd be something to be upset about. But we don't have evidence that they didn't, only that the data from that claim was not manually entered into a database to be shown in a pretty UI. But given the channel in question, it seems likely that it's just the entire video in violation.


You're trying to say that Google should be generous to people using their service to commit criminal offences?

You can disagree with the law, but it's pretty clear he's breaking it.

https://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap5.html

> 506. Criminal offenses6

> (a) Criminal Infringement.—

> (1) In general.—Any person who willfully infringes a copyright shall be punished as provided under section 2319 of title 18, if the infringement was committed—

> (A) for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain;


Yes Google should be generous to people breaking the law. There are many laws and they are complicated and often inscrutable and sometimes unfair. Breaking a law is something everyone does frequently, often without realizing it, so being generous and lenient with law breakers, especially those who have been valuable contributors, seems reasonable.

The allegation is that five of his videos had infringing content. Five out of six hundred. Being generous and letting him fix, remove, or contest the allegation prior to deleting the channel strikes me as a much better course than to just tell him "Your channel is being deleted for copyright infringement but we won't tell you where it happened."


> When you get thousands of videos uploaded at any given moment and probably a huge amount of DMCA takedown requests what choice do you reasonably have?

Legally following the DMCA process. The DMCA process allows a response and does not demand channel deletion. Also the DMCA complaints are supposed to be forwarded.

> That guy makes song covers. He claims it's non-profit, he claims it's fair use. The IP owner disagrees, issues a takedown.

Automated takedown software issues the takedown because it's crappy software that can't tell a cover from infringement. Covers are not new, they are very well protected and very common. This isn't some kind of new internet thing, covers date back to like the dawn of radio.

> I'm not entirely convinced that his "non-profit fair-use" defense would even hold up in court

That he makes money from the cover isn't infringement, anymore than other covers are infringement when they were sold on physical CDs.

> Focusing on big bad google is a bit simplistic here IMO.

Yet other services are capable of handling the DMCA process correctly. Instead Google didn't even forward the DMCA notices, list the specific infringements or give him the legally required ability to respond.

Google is choosing to not follow DMCA and instead just delete channels because it's more cost effective. That's it - this is about a few dollars of profit margin that they're destroying someone else's business they've spent a decade building. So yeah, they're the big bad in this situation.


>That he makes money from the cover isn't infringement, anymore than other covers are infringement when they were sold on physical CDs.

The law is clear that both are valid infringement and subject to DMCA takedown, unless the songs have been licensed.

Not saying a like it, but there is a long list of cases upholding it.

Edit for sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cover_version#U.S._copyright_l...

https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/posting-cover-songs-on-yo...

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/question-when-mechan...


> It sucks that Google doesn't offer better support, but are they really to blame here?

Can't we blame them for shitty support at least? For not providing any explanation at all? For not having an appeal process? For always taking side of the IP Owner? For deleting the channel instead of some other mechanism? For not actually fighting for reasonable IP laws for this kind of video?

I don't know why people come out to defend the shitty actions of a Fortune 50 company and explain why the underdog had it coming.


>Can't we blame them for shitty support at least? For not providing any explanation at all? For not having an appeal process?

By all means, that's a well known problem with Google, way beyond Youtube. The way they treat content creators and smaller customers is frankly disrespectful. That being said I still think that while they could handle these matters better, in this case I suspect that the end result would effectively be the same.

>For always taking side of the IP Owner? For deleting the channel instead of some other mechanism? For not actually fighting for reasonable IP laws for this kind of video?

No, that part is not something I'd necessarily blame them for. You're asking them to go through a world of trouble for content that's not even theirs. When you create a Youtube account you're not entitled to Google's legal team. You're not a partner in this relationship, you're arguably not even a customer unless you buy ads.

>I don't know why people come out to defend the shitty actions of a Fortune 50 company and explain why the underdog had it coming.

The relative size of these entities is frankly irrelevant in this case. I could spend all day bashing Google for various things (and do on occasions, as my comment history shows) but in this case I'm not sure that the guy uploading unlicensed song covers while claiming fair use and getting copyright struck to death is really the best showcase of Google's abusive practices.


Because some people are tribal, and root for the underdog.

Other people are impartial, and do not consider the relative size of parties when figuring out who's in the wrong.


So you are also agree YouTube is doing the right thing here? That their actions are just and correct?


> BTW, IANAL and all that but I'm not entirely convinced that his "non-profit fair-use" defense would even hold up in court. Surely he monetizes his videos on top of asking for donations and putting ads on his website. Given his number of subscribers he probably makes a significant amount of money from these videos.

Also not a lawyer (and I think that Google sucks for not disclosing what is allegedly being infringed and what is allegedly infringing), but I suspect this is not a slam-dunk case of fair use.

Running through the 4-factor test (https://guides.lib.utexas.edu/fairuse/fourfactor), it really feels like a fair-use claim would hinge on how transformative the work is:

1. The fact that he's monetizing it at all (even if not in a quid-pro-quo exchange of content for money) I suspect undermines the "non-profit" argument, even if the purpose is educational.

2. Music is pretty clearly in the "imaginative or highly creative" bucket.

3. He states that he "uses no more of the original subject matter than is necessary". Which implies that he might be using more than just a little (or even all of it). But that kinda seems to contradict what he says elsewhere in the video, which that he "doesn't use any resources or materials which are distributed or sold at a premium" and "every thing I've ever created has been 100% self-generated".

4. The website (https://www.goliathguitartutorials.com/) he mentions in the video has guitar tabs and (broken) links to Youtube videos which share names of popular artists and their songs. Without seeing the videos, I would infer that his lessons teach how to play popular commercial songs, which do have an established market for licenses he is avoiding.

It's hard to judge because we can't see the videos... but it kinda looks like this falls firmly under "not fair use" unless he's writing music that is only very loosely inspired by the songs it is named after.


Covers need a license. This is established in copyright law. There is no fair use defense for this. It makes no difference that a person is playing covers for educational or non-profit purposes. Doing cover songs for free still requires a license.

A person needs a mechanical license for audio distribution, whether it be physical or digital, and a synchronization license if there is video distribution. Most established streaming sites already have a synchronization license that covers (pun intended) covers, whereas the site will divert ad revenue. However, it is up to the performer to make sure a synchronization license is available from the site for all the songs they will be covering. Some publishers or copyright holders refuse to issue synchronization licenses as there isn't an obligation and there isn't a fixed rate, each license is negotiated separately.

The current mechanical rate is $0.091 for songs five minutes or less and $0.0175 per minute or fraction thereof for songs over five minutes. This rate is set by the Copyright Royalty Board, part of the Library of Congress, and for United States territories only.


> What choice do you reasonably have ?

They are the ones providing the tools and also set a number of rules (following the law mostly) to use it. Are you arguing that they can’t improve their tools to add even surface validation, or go deeper and force the filling party to provide enough information for the claims to be reviewable by a human (the receiving party)?

Would the copyright owner sue Youtube for forcing them in the interface to provide evidence of the claims ?


The thing is, this is not only a YouTube channel, it's a small business. Google is literally shutting down a small business without any proof. You could think that it's somewhat illegal to do, but apparently it's not.


The channel is the retail space and the landlord just kicked them out. I think this content producer should get a lawyer.


Landlords and tenants have contracts, and there are rules about what and how these are enforceable.


Then this is a case of a tenant agreeing to onerous terms before setting up shop in a retail space, terms which allow the landlord to kick the tenant out at their whim, with no legal recourse.

I can't believe this needs to be said literally every time one of these types of articles gets posted on HN: if you build your business on top of someone else's platform, and have no contracts in place to protect your interests, your business's existence is completely at the whim of the platform owners.

I wish we lived in a world where the Googles of the internet had sane, transparent, easily-appealable processes for these sorts of things. But we don't, and absent government regulation, we probably aren't going to. People need to take these sorts of risks into account when deciding how to run their businesses, and have contingency plans.

It's interesting to note that in the landlord/tenant analogy, most jurisdictions have laws in place that prevent tenants from agreeing to such unbalanced, predatory contracts, and give tenants rights even in the absence of any agreement at all. Perhaps we do need something like that on the internet, for some things.


It's not possible to build a business without participating on platforms.

Even the web is a platform now. You won't do well running a website if Google Search and Chrome don't favour it. Depending on how you plan to get your initial customers, you may hit a sizeable roadblock if Google Ads or Facebook Ads decide that they don't want to run your ads.

Windows and MacOS are also platforms.

Even pretty big companies depend upon platforms. Take the example of Epic getting booted from Apple's app store. Facebook have not been able to get Apple to approve Facebook Gaming.

If you want to start an ecommerce business, are you meant to build your own rather than using Amazon & Shopify?

It doesn't make sense to not participate on platforms. What does make sense is to consider what it means for your business. In certain extreme cases like YouTube or Apple's app store, it seems like some degree of regulation may be necessary to prevent the platforms from abusing their position.


> Then this is a case of a tenant agreeing to onerous terms before setting up shop in a retail space

One small caveat - the small business owner had no choice in the matter when they moved in 10 years ago. There was only one mall people would actually visit across the entire world. And that mall has a clickwrap agreement for all their rentals, one which includes a clause that says "and we can change this agreement at will and without notice."


10 years ago it was probably less like a "small business" and more like a lemonade stand, so neither youtube nor the creator really cared about having a strong agreement or understanding in place.


20 years ago my student tv station had online videos, including live stuff.

You use a platform, that’s on you. It’s never been cheaper or easier to run a website, make videos, and host them.


Imo, government regulations is basically admitting defeat and trying desperately to mitigate a little harm while locking in a lot of it.

A regulator tends to lock the status quo into place, it's almost always incumbent friendly... like banking, casinos, tobacco, etc. Remember that Philip Morris benefits greatly from tobacco regulation.

What "good" would be is wrenching video out of YouTube's Kafkaesque hands.

Have we given up on decentralisation?


Another thing coming to mind is some kind of trade union for creators


So does copyright law, and it sounds like the creator received 5 DMCA notices. So yes getting a lawyer would still be the correct course of action.


He hasn't received any DMCA notices, Youtube don't do those - since DMCA gives creators fair use rights and have punishments for fradulent reports.

Youtube has its own "extra jurisdictional" copyright system.


> Youtube don't do those

YouTube can't just "opt out" of the law. YouTube absolutely responds to DMCA notices, and per the video he issued counter-claims already - that's a core part of responding to DMCA.

https://www.youtube.com/howyoutubeworks/policies/copyright/#...

And you don't have to go through youtube's webtools to submit one, either (which of course you don't - the law doesn't require that). You can mail, fax, or email the DMCA takedown notice: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/6005908?hl=en&ref_...


> YouTube absolutely responds to DMCA notices,

Sure, but these aren't proper DMCA claims. As kristofferR pointed out there are other extra jurisdictional mechanisms that Google employ to make your life difficult as a creator.

And then, which laws apply? US, UK, EU, Russian, Indian....

Now sure, it's a private platform and they can shut you down any time. I recognise there ain't no free speech on private platforms.

But if they've been making a tidy sum of lots of ad money due to your apparent infringement (and much, much more than you the creator) along the way then I'm sure we might see a well funded case against this practice, maybe not in the US, but other jurisdictions that still recognise the limits and powers of private companies and the right not to be fucked over by them.


It's not entirely clear what type of process actually lead YouTube to terminate this channel, so we can't know either.

> there are other extra jurisdictional mechanisms that Google employ to make your life difficult as a creator.

That's not quite true. The DMCA is a very strict mechanism. You get a notice, you take down the content, and if the uploader isn't happy with that, they have to sue the claimant.

Of course, Youtubes process is streamlined for its own interests and the interests of big corporate copyright hoarders. But it's not designed to bully creators.

The problem isn't really the process in itself, it's how Google applies it and the fact that Youtube doesn't seem to care that much for its creators.


This is kinda missing the point: to appease Viacom and the other media companies when Google took over years ago, they set up a parallel but separate system for processing copyright claims that is in addition the DMCA.

A creator can have up to three strikes, with them disappearing over the course of time if they don't get more strikes. Contested copyright strikes may be elevated to DMCA requests if YouTube finds in favor of the creator, but it's not required.

If you run out of those strikes, your channel is immediately shut down. It's possible (especially with a large backlog of videos) to exceed this strike count before you can use their tools to argue against the strikes. When this happens, your account is shut down, and a "grace" timer is enabled to allow you to try and challenge the copyright strikes (one at a time). If that grace period passes and you're still out of strikes (don't dare to take a vacation), the only remaining choice is to appeal to the public.

No DMCA claims necessary.


When Github was sent a DMCA for the PopcornTime repo, PopcornTime was able to submit a counter DMCA which allowed the repo to be reinstated. Then, if the repo was really in violation, it had to be proven in court by the original claimant. Youtube doesn't allow creators to file a counter DMCA.


The same thing happened here. The creator issued a counter claim, and his channel is currently still up and unaffected https://www.youtube.com/c/GarethEvansYT

Youtube does allow DMCA counter claims because they legally have to. Youtube has absolutely no wiggle room with DMCA. No amount of complaining to them can ever change that, either. You have to get the laws changed.


Here and elsewhere in this thread, you're exaggerating the power of the DMCA over YouTube. The only consequence to YouTube if they fail to follow along with the DMCA takedown notice/counter-notice procedure is that they lose safe harbor protection against being held liable for their users copyright infringement. In a case where YouTube is overzealously removing content that is not actually infringing, they really aren't at much risk of that somehow leading to them being sued for infringement. And you can bet that their Terms of Service adequately indemnify them against any torts their users might come after them for related to such behavior.


> they lose safe harbor protection against being held liable for their users copyright infringement. In a case where YouTube is overzealously removing content that is not actually infringing,

Do you understand that the content in the submission is infringing? And not just to the civil level but to the criminal level? And so YouTube losing safe harbor would be huge.


> And so YouTube losing safe harbor would be huge.

No, it wouldn't, because YouTube is actually removing the content. So they're not going to get sued for infringement, and other parts of the DMCA still protect them even when they operate outside the bounds of the takedown notice procedure.


Youtube works in its own little court, they're not real DMCA notices. Otherwise companies wouldn't be allowed to blanket claim random stuff with no repercussions.


How do you know these aren't real DMCA notices? From the video it's a manual claim, which means it's not Content-ID. The email he received from the support agent also specifically states that they responded to a "complete and valid takedown notice." It also doesn't have the required information that YouTube's manual non-contentid system requires. And, finally, the creator issued a counter claim (stated at 2:40) and states the claimant's course of actions are now to either drop the claim or sue him.

All signs therefore point to this being a DMCA notice. If you have evidence to the contrary please provide it.


0:30 he says "without any evidence at all". A DMCA notice should have "identifying infringing material clearly and specifically". Even though it sounds like a real DMCA notice, it still sounds like YT isn't facilitating it correctly. At 3:55 he mentions not being able to get this information. Seconds later he mentions YT doesn't mediate disputes. So what's going on here? Through their strike system and communicating to both parties, are they not mediating this? It looks more like a DMCA against YT, in which they immediately roll over, allow the company to file false DMCAs with no repercussion, and tell the content creator "kick rocks"


YT never mediates DMCA complaints. That's not their role or responsibility, nor something they can even do at all. DMCA requires the sites receiving them to immediately role over and comply. Which is the system that should be getting the ire and calls for changes.

And the video itself is identified. He does have that information.


Note that you can definitely get a "manually detected" non-DMCA Content ID claim on a video[0] - but the screenshot he shows at 3:43 is in fact a DMCA claim since it says "This video is contributing to a copyright stroke on your channel".

https://youtu.be/jpOzW_kRzHs


Sorry that I didn't read much. But above comment section there are directly contradicting comments. One person says he may have received 5 DMCA notices and another person says it is not true. I have seen similar very contradictory things in other social medias too. How is this possible? How to quickly find who is lying without spending too much investigating?


I'm not sure anyone is lying here, so much as being misled by the conventional wisdom that YouTube has no incentive to straighten out. "DMCA" is a well-known buzzword, and the shallow understanding is that copyright infringement claims that get content taken down are all under the DMCA umbrella. The deeper understanding is that most of the big content hosts like YouTube have frontline systems that exist outside the DMCA procedure and its associated legal requirements, but YouTube is happy for the DMCA to take the blame for anything that is handled poorly by their own system. Disputes through that system can be escalated to real DMCA takedown notices.


It is very obvious this is not Content-ID, which is what the big content hosts use for broad protection. It's a manual claim.


Content-ID is something else entirely - an automated preemptive system. But last I checked, it looked like formal DMCA procedures weren't the only manual complaint alternative.


That "small business" is what tips this copyright violation from a simple civil matter into a criminal offence.

https://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap5.html

506. Criminal offenses

6

(a) Criminal Infringement.—

(1) In general.—Any person who willfully infringes a copyright shall be punished as provided under section 2319 of title 18, if the infringement was committed—

(A) for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain;


Can it be both a small business and "non-commercial in nature"? Because that's at the crux of his fair use claim I think.


That's the bit that doesn't ring true to me, his "non-commercial" claim. I'm not at all suggesting that he deserves the treatment he's getting, but it doesn't seem like he's being entirely straightforward here. Can anyone who knows the law weigh in on whether I'm missing something about the distinction between 'commercial' and 'monetized via advertising'?


My sense from listening to him talk is that he believes that not profiting from the videos directly, on YouTube, means that he's in the clear. I fear that this is not exactly how the law works, but I'm also not a lawyer.


>he believes that not profiting from the videos directly, on YouTube

I don't see where he says that. He says he's never profited from selling other people's material. I think he considers putting up content for free with ads to not be selling content.


You are probably being more precise about what he said than I was, but I think the two claims are roughly isomorphic, and also roughly equally incorrect. If I use someone's song in my advertisement I didn't "profit from selling their material," but it's still a commercial use and they will succeed if they sue me or take down my ad.


Yes if we used copyrightable music on the TTRPG shows I play in for musical cues - we would need a licence.

Which is a pity as it would be nice to be able to use music cues to set the mood and enhance the experience.

Id have loved to used a clip from Bettye Swann's "then you can tell me goodbye" at the end of our recent Expanse one shot.


Fair use does not apply to cover songs, independent of profit.


Fair use doesn’t require the usage to be non-commercial, otherwise news sites wouldn’t exist as they are today.

It’s one of the aspect that the usage is evaluated on, but not a requirement.


He has Patreon, PayPal donate links, and (I can imagine) ad-revenue from YouTube. The content is offered for free otherwise.


You could think that it's somewhat illegal to do, but apparently it's not.

What specifically is illegal about this? If it's not and you think this should be illegal, how would you write the law that would make this illegal?


I've seen this on Twitter, Reddit and now HN, so I assume there will be enough buzz for Google to do something. I expect his channel to be undeleted, then a Twitter apology, then to repeat this all over again with another channel with sufficient clout in 5-6 months.

It's a complete shitshow.


It's a shame that there's likely hundreds if not thousands of similar cases that didn't hit the internet quite like OP did. I think you must be crazy to have your income be only as a youtuber. It's like mountain climbing with no ropes, you can reach these tall peaks but any moment a foothold can break and you lose it all.


Here's the other way to look at it, videos like this are becoming fairly rare comparatively, maybe 2-3 a year. They definitely used to be more common before. Considering the millions or creators you have, and even with the fact that only a small number of them would make a video like this and blow up, it still is surprising that it's happening so infrequently.

The thing is, for all we know, 99.99% of cases could be handled properly, and we wouldn't have a clue. We only get to see it when it goes wrong, and someone complains. But again, such complains at the very least have been decreasing, while Youtube itself is ever growing, so it looks like at least something is improving in here.


The only thing you can say is that the number of videos that get traction is decreasing. You don't know how many are shut down.


Is there a source you could point me on how this is happening infrequently over the years ? I am curious to see the progression.


Meanwhile, all the smaller channels/businesses without that clout that get suddenly and automatically shut down die a quiet death.


Well, on the other hand, at least there’s a review process now.


https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/9374251?hl=en

> It’s important that creators always have detailed knowledge about who is claiming content in their videos, where it appears, and what they can do to resolve the claim. That’s why all new manual claims will require copyright owners to provide timestamps to indicate exactly where their copyrighted content appears in videos they claim, and we’ve updated our editing tools to make it easier to automatically release a claim.

Is it a bug with Youtube or do they not follow this policy (consistently)?


Disclaimer: I have extensive knowledge about YouTube Content ID (CID) and DMCA notices, but I'm not a lawyer. This isn't legal advice.

He received a DMCA takedown, which is different from a copyright claim. Copyright claiming is a system made by YouTube for copyright owners to easily monetize/monitor reuse of their content instead of having to take down the content. It also allows splitting revenue in cases where one party owns copyright in specific territories. When you put content in CID, it will automatically claim videos and provide timestamps to the uploader. Sometimes CID fails to claim a video, and the copyright owner can then manually claim a video. There was a time where copyright owners didn't have to provide timestamps when they manually claimed a video. Nowadays, all manual claims need to provide a timestamp. Only highly trusted companies have access to CID, and getting a claim doesn't result in termination of your account.

The DMCA is a law that makes it easier to remove copyright content from the internet. It also makes it so that a service provider isn't responsible for the content they host. It is basically a legal action to take down content you own from the internet without having to start a lawsuit.

It works like this: when a copyright owner sends a DMCA takedown, the service provider needs to take down the content. If the uploader disagrees, they can send a counter notification. Unless the copyright owner that filed the takedown files a lawsuit within 14 days, the service provider needs to reinstate the content. You can be sued for damages in case of an incorrect DMCA takedown.

If YouTube would reject a DMCA, it would make YouTube responsible.


If this is related to a DMCA notification, shouldn't YouTube removing the (alleged) video that violates the law, and not delete the whole channel?

I guess that's how Google's index works, they remove indexed results, but not the whole index.


I'm not sure if it's a legal requirement, but YouTube has the rule that once a channel gets 3 DMCA takedowns (without counter notification) within 90 days, it will suspend the channel. Such a warning is usually referred to as a copyright strike (not to be confused with a copyright claim or a community guidelines strike).

One difference between the Google index and YouTube is that links in the Google index can be service providers like YouTube, while the owner of a YouTube channel is always the one responsible for the content.

Something notable that happened here is that instead of bundling the 5 videos in 1 DMCA takedown resulting in 1 strike, the party sent 5 separate DMCA takedowns causing 5 strikes.


> He received a DMCA takedown

Do you have a source for this? I can't find evidence that this is a DMCA notice. Those are fairly straightforward to appeal on youtube which means the next step is court. I don't think this guy got actual DMCA notices.


3:47 in the video


> the service provider needs to reinstate the content

I believe this is may reinstate the content, I don't think they're obligated too. Also not a lawyer.


Reading the DMCA (512(g)[1]) it seems a little more nuanced than that.

The DMCA provides wide protection to the service provider against liability for taking down stuff due to a DMCA notice (e.g. contractual SLA with customers mean nothing). However that protection disappears if the correct counter claim steps are followed, at which point the service provider becomes liable for not providing a service.

Of course with YouTube, they almost certainly have broad T&Cs that let them delete/disable your content for any reason at anytime (it’s not like creators are paying for hosting). So YouTube never had any liability to be protected from.

The net result, YouTube can do whatever they want with your content, and you have little to no recourse.

[1] https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/512


> all new manual claims

It must not be a manual complaint. That's some nice PR-Legalese.


Video explicitly shows it's a manual complaint.


There's a difference. If someone manually claims a video through YT's content-ID system, they have to provide timestamps (this is enforced by Google).

If someone just sends a regular DMCA notice, they're only required (by law) to provide the URL, and Google has no choice but to take down everything at that URL, until/unless they receive a counter-claim from the poster.

The content-ID stuff is a convenience outside the law, if content owners (who have access to it) choose to use it. Anyone can file a DMCA notice, and Google has to respond in a particular way in order to be compliant with the law, and cannot impose extra requirements (like timestamps) before acting on the DMCA claim.


The law also requires that the DMCA notice describes what copyright is being infringed on. [1]

You can’t just go “this video infringes on my copyright, but I’m not going to tell you which copyright”. That isn’t a valid DMCA notice at all.

[1] § (512(c)(3)(A)(i-vi)) https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/512


To quibble a bit, the video shows that YouTube's control panel tells users that a claim was "manual" and doesn't detail what "manual" means, or provide the DMCA notice (which is a written document, fwiw) that was filed, if one was.

I barely trust the information in the logging functions that I write, and those don't have legal consequences attached to providing extra detail.


They don't care, and they don't follow that policy.

Even if that is "just a technical issue", no one cared enough to spend resources to fix their underlying system to reflect that policy.


DMCA notices are not issued by YouTube. I think you're confusing this with Content-ID, which is youtube's auto-algorithm thingy. That's not what happened here, though, per the video.


OP is talking is quoting a support article about manual claims, and how google require these manual claims must include a timestamp and description.

Something that is notably missing from the strikes shown in the video.

GP is saying that their system shouldn’t let copyright claimants just ignore Google’s policy. Which is clearly what’s happened here. Which just further demonstrates Google’s contempt for its creators.


Those are manual claims via YouTube's non-DMCA system. YouTube still has to respect DMCA claims and YouTube cannot impose requirements on DMCA notices. If it's a valid legal DMCA complaint, YouTube must comply. Google's policy is irrelevant here as it's not law.

The point of confusion here is that there's multiple ways to issue a copyright strike on YouTube. If this is via YouTube's internal mechanisms, then yeah this is bullshit. But if it's not and is instead a DMCA notice, and the evidence suggests it is a DMCA notice, then YouTube has no authority over the matter.


DMCA notices must include:

> (ii) Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed, or, if multiple copyrighted works at a single online site are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works at that site. [1]

Now a timestamp isn’t required in a DMCA notice, but a description of the copyrighted work being infringed upon (i.e. a description of what has been stolen, not just a link to the supposed stolen article) is required to make it a valid notice.

In the video, the creator shows an email and YouTube page where Google claims that they haven’t been given a description of the copyrighted work being infringed upon.

If that’s true, then the DMCA notice given to YouTube is invalid, and once again YouTube demonstrates how little it cares about creators.

[1] https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/512


The creator should have requested the notice be forwarded to them for further inspection. We don't have the notice, we just know the details of it were not entered into YouTube's UI.

But given the channel in question, the notice & details are really not a mystery? If you cover a song, and get a copyright strike, is it not fairly obvious what the strike is about?


> The creator should have requested the notice be forwarded to them for further inspection.

How can they request that? Also, it's Youtube's stated policy that all copyright strikes must include the details. Also also, the creator did request the details of the strikes and Youtube didn't provide any.

> If you cover a song, and get a copyright strike, is it not fairly obvious what the strike is about?

No, it's not. There are numerous instances where companies would issue blanket copyright strikes even for content those companies don't have a copyright to [1]. There are instances where there are copyright strikes for silence and for bird noises [2]. Copyright strikes are anything but obvious, even for cover songs.

[1] https://www.ccn.com/youtube-has-massive-false-copyright-clai...

[2] https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-42580523 and https://thenextweb.com/google/2012/02/27/a-copyright-claim-o...


The video explains that these are DMCA notices but the problem is how YouTube is handling them.


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