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Police playing music while being filmed, seemingly to trigger copyright filters (vice.com)
969 points by edward 24 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 487 comments



The real problem here is that there is no consequence for incorrect takedowns. If content is taken down and then it turns out to be fair use, no one suffers a penalty.

The DMCA and similar laws provide protection to the platform if they act quickly on takedown notices, but the law needs to be updated to provide penalties for the reporter for inappropriate takedowns.

This would allow Google/Facebook/et al to change their tools from automatic takedown to reporting the violation to the copyright holder, and then it is up to the copyright holder to file a claim. If perhaps the copyright holder makes too many erroneous claims, they lose their copyright altogether.

Let the platforms be neutral, put the liability on the copyright violators and copyright holders equally, so both have a reason to act fairly.


This is the worst part of this whole copyright mess, defenders of youtube constantly preach the "They have to do this", "they are forced to do this" etc. defense.

However the way Youtube handles dmca and copyright claims means that if you are a smaller musician, a big corporation can just steal your music and profit off it. Good luck if you don't live in the US and don't have the money to take back what is yours. From that point you can basically just hope that you make the news so that a human at Google looks into the mess they created for once.

Just leaving a reminder of how infuriation Youtube copyright handling can become even for larger channels: Back in 2018 TheFatRat got his music claimed by some randoms and Youtube just gave it to them on a silver platter https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4AeoAWGJBw . TheFatRat was a popular youtuber even back then, and even for him the process was hard. Now imagine how that situation would have played out for the average musician.

When people talk about "protecting the musicians" they typically only mean the richest musicians, the top few % and the largest record labels. No one cares about regular musicians.

The same logic also means that dmca claims can be easily weaponized by any entity as long as they choose their targets strategically (or own enough money to tank the situation in which a target fights back, but even then that can create more damage for the target).


There are three changes I would make to the DMCA:

1. All DMCA notices must contain an analysis of fair use and explain why the content does not meet fair use.

2. Anyone who has received an improper notice (including an analysis of fair use that would not survive summary judgement) can countersue (or sue, if the copyright owner declines to bring suit after a counter-notice) for at least $1000 in statutory damages.

3. Any non-DMCA system that can take down user-generated material for alleged copyright violations must give users the same rights as the DMCA: the (new) mandatory analysis of fair use and the right to counter-notice (and host the content until it is determined in court). These rights cannot be waived by contract.


I think #2 is probably too high for private citizens to risk needing to pay if their claims are reversed. Individuals can and do exercise DMCA notices for protected content that they personally own and if that route for reconciliation would be taken away and alternative would need to be provided.

There are some serious issues with DMCA abuse but I think that it'd be better to address the issues of abuse with a regulatory body that's specifically empowered to go after bad actors.

The core problem here is that the internet moves really really fast and is really really worthless so trying to protect owned content on it is extremely difficult.


> I think #2 is probably too high for private citizens to risk needing to pay if their claims are reversed.

As a musician I have a hard time imagining a case where an honest DMCA takedown could be reversed by someone listening to the same music I am and identifying something else.


Just fix the root problem. Copyright should last fifteen years max. The system now just incentivizes companies to hoard old stuff and eschew making risky new stuff.


15 years may be too short for some content. I'm ok with indefinite copyright, but there should be a steep price. Like the owner of the copyright pays X% of their revenue from that copyright back to the treasury each year, where X is the number of years it's been copyrighted.

So Disney would be paying 93% of their Mickey Mouse revenue in taxes this year. Have the IRS enforce it, where they can audit the books.

Or they can just give up the copyright.

This would also solve the abandoned works problem. Every copyright would have to have an annual filing to maintain it, with the owner listed publicly. No filing? Copyright invalid, public domain.

And lastly, it would basically put a cap of 99 years, because even if you're making a trillion dollars a year from your copyright, it wouldn't make sense to pay 100% or more of your revenue.


I think an even more simple and self limiting solution would be to require a payment for copyright that doubles every period.

For example, the first 5 years would be $100, the next 5 would be $200 ... by year 100 you're paying $52.5 million to extend your copyright by another 5 years.

You could even set up a scheme where you can pre-pay your copyright dues to a set period. Want 30 years w/o having to renew, put down $5,600 up front and it's good. Want to test the waters on something and lock in for 5? Send in $100 and let it go abandoned 5 years later if things don't pan out.


This can be easily gamed with some creative accounting.

IP is often owned by offshore entities not subject to any taxation whatsoever, or minimal at best (1-3% range). It then gets rented to onshore entities that actually use it, and they pay enormous IP licensing fees for that.

You can't fix complexity by building up even more complexity, something must be simplified instead.


Sure, they payment terms are certainly negotiable.

The main points are 1) Payment every year that gets cost prohibitive and 2) Annual registration to solve the abandoned works problem.


But that's a problem if you have to wait for years for your work to become popular.


The point of copyright is to offer a limited monopoly to encourage making risky things. If you can't or don't want to monetize it, then you don't need the monopoly, and it's unlikely that such a scheme would stifle innovation.

I can't imagine someone saying, "I want to work on this idea, but I won't because I know it won't be profitable for many years".


So start the clock after a (small) number of initial years. And/or make it free until publication (so e.g. making the rounds with publishers doesn't require you to start paying). Or tweak the exponents.


But if you aren't selling anything that lets you keep copyright forever.

And it seems very difficult to calculate a percentage among mixed works.


Good point. Make a minimum fee of $1000 times X years, or whatever is enough to find the right balance.

The ultimate goal is to put as much work into the public domain as possible, since that was the original goal of the framers of the Constitution.


It seems pretty complicated to strike a balance this way, in comparison to simple time-based methods. And there's basically no reason not to keep paying the fees up to 80 or 90 years under your scheme.

If you want more renewals to avoid orphan works, I'd just add more renewals. They don't need to cost much.


I want renewals to avoid abandonment and I also want most copyrights to expire quickly. I think a fee structure could be found that gets most copyrights to expire quickly without discouraging innovation.


I don't think it's good to make smaller holders' copyright expire more quickly than bigger holders'.

And the most effective way to get copyright to expire on bigger holders is to set a fixed time limit.

I dislike the idea of having "most" copyright expire quickly while the rest doesn't, because longer copyright is going to disproportionately be on big works owned by big holders. I don't think you should have that as a goal at all.

So I think you should just go with a fixed time limit. Like the original 28 years.

And a mechanism to avoid abandonment is a good idea, but make it fair to everyone.


>longer copyright is going to disproportionately be on big works owned by big holders

... which were expensive to create, generally. Remember, copyright is not intended as a "reward" or a tool for social redistribution, it is intended to incentivize creating new works.

An argument can be made that allowing the $100m movie production to pay for longer copyrights than the $1,000 amateur shoot gives the creators an incentive to run bigger budget risks, because they can monetize it better.

(I don't agree and I do think 28 years of blanket protection should be enough, but the argument is valid.)


The more incentive to go big, the more incentive for those with less money to go home and not even bother.

And big projects with big advertising budgets probably recoup their money faster than small projects.


"Mickey Mouse" isn't copyrighted, it's trademarked. There is, I believe, pretty wide consensus that trademarks remain valid as long as they're in use.

"Steamboat Willie" is copyrighted, but I don't know if Disney actually makes any money off of it at all (even if there were a good way to account that). What Disney wants is for you to not be using it.

You might have a better case for, say, Cinderella, a film that they actually do make some money off of. Again, I'm not sure how they'd account for it -- it's available on streaming, and how much of that revenue is due to Cinderella?

Even if you were taking a percentage of their DVD sales, I suspect they'd be happy to pay it. As with Steamboat Willie, their intention is for you not to be using it more than their actual use.


You seem to misunderstand how copyright works. Registration is not required and there is no comprehensive registry of everything copyrighted. Copyrights are created upon creation of the work and inure to the author. Registration merely grants the author certain benefits (e.g., a right to pursue statutory damages against infringers).

> No filing? Copyright invalid, public domain.

This would kill copyright entirely. 99.999% of copyright-eligible works are commercially worthless and always will be. Even if registration were free, it would not be worth the time to do it in most cases. However, we want to protect all copyrightable works so that in the 0.001% case, the right person or people can capitalize on the value of their work. For example, if you wrote a story years ago and would like to make it into a novel, it would be unfair if anyone could copy your story because you didn't register your copyright.


I'm actually very aware of how copyright works. I know there is no registration. That's a huge problem, as it leads to abandoned works. I want to change the system to require registration.

> 99.999% of copyright-eligible works are commercially worthless and always will be

Then it should be no problem to have it in the public domain.

> However, we want to protect all copyrightable works so that in the 0.001% case, the right person or people can capitalize on the value of their work

Why?

> For example, if you wrote a story years ago and would like to make it into a novel, it would be unfair if anyone could copy your story because you didn't register your copyright.

Why? The purpose of copyright is to encourage people to pursue risky creative endeavors and then know that they are protected from someone stealing it before they can make money on it. If someone has no intention of making money, then they will create for free, and there is no reason to protect it. If they want to make money, they can register it.


This would be a plagiarists manifesto. Just because I can't afford to copyright everything I write, that doesn't mean it's ok for anyone else to just take it. Also, what happens if i intend to copyright it when it's finished, but someone gets hold of a copy and publishes it before I'm ready? Some authors can take decades to develop a project. What you're advocating is a poorly thought out recipe for publishers to systematically rip off artists.


Creating something without the intention of making money is different from creating something without the prospect of making money. The former is already covered by the likes of Creative Commons licensing or just not enforcing copyright.

But if I create something without expecting it to be successful why shouldn't that be protected on the off chance it does end up being successful?


> But if I create something without expecting it to be successful why shouldn't that be protected on the off chance it does end up being successful?

Copyright is not meant to protect your profits. It's meant to encourage creative risk taking. If you're going to take the creative risk anyway, then copyright isn't necessary.


> Copyright is not meant to protect your profits. It's meant to encourage creative risk taking.

Copyright encourages creative risk taking precisely by protecting the economic interests (e.g., profits) of those creative risk takers.

> If you're going to take the creative risk anyway, then copyright isn't necessary.

People don't take risks when there's zero possibility of reward. Even people who create mainly for themselves would be demoralized by the idea that even if they were successful, anyone could just take and exploit their work.


Then they can just register their work. Make the first five years free or even 10.

The point is registration won't affect creative output.


There's no such thing as a free lunch. Processing registrations and maintaining a registry has significant costs. In 2019, the US Copyright Office made 547,837 registrations and received about $35 million in total fees. [0] In 2019, the Registrar of Copyrights asked Congress for a budget of $92.9 million. [1]

Currently, most works are only registered when owners have an actual infringer that they want to assert statutory damages against, or when a work is a commercial work that will certainly be infringed. If mandatory registration were enacted, the Copyright Office would need to handle hundreds or thousands of times as many registrations.

Even an impossible 1000x expansion of registration capacity wouldn't come close to being able to register everything that people would actually want to protect. For example, a user on Quora [2] estimated that 100 million photos are uploaded to Instagram every day. Even if registration were free and streamlined, the yearly capacity of a 1000x Office would be saturated by 5 days of Instagram photos alone.

If registration were mandatory, commercial producers of creative works would not be affected because they would quickly learn to register everything. Ordinary people who don't want their Instagram photos to be exploited by others for profit, however, would lose. Opportunists who want to use the works of others without paying would win.

So, even if mandatory registration didn't affect creative output, it would be ridiculously expensive and would upset who wins and who loses in a way that would be counter to the public interest. It's never going to happen.

Goals in copyright policy should be addressed narrowly. If you want more works to enter the public domain, then you adjust the copyright term. If you want people to be able to use apparently-abandoned works, then you make apparent abandonment a defense to a claim of copyright infringement. If you want to expand Fair Use, then you amend the statute. Mandatory registration, however, would be a dramatic change that would upset everything; it's not worth discussing and I regret spending so much time on this response.

[0] https://www.copyright.gov/reports/annual/2019/ar2019.pdf

[1] https://www.copyright.gov/about/budget/2020/senate-budget-te...

[2] https://www.quora.com/How-many-photos-are-being-uploaded-on-...


> ^The real problem here is that there is no consequence for incorrect takedowns. [..]

While your points are valid I think the real problem is that the Police is trying not to be accountable and to escape its responsibilities.


And being live streamed without consent is the right way?

The problem with the adversely approach is that it gets behaviour like this. You back someone into the corner and how do you think they'll react, defensive and insular or open to mutual understanding and growth.

I'm not a US citizen but I do feel there is something generally wrong with the policing there and a need for universal improvement that aligns the police closer to the citizens.


Not an US citizen but the issue with police is that for a start in every country that I know of, they are not your equal law-abiding citizen when wearing a uniform. Most of the time, they have law tools allowing them to arrest, fine you, etc. if they feel threaten, being at risk or insulted and only by their own appreciation. Nobody will review their appreciation and to contest such case, it fail on you side to make all the necessary steps to contest (best case scenario if you don't end up dead on the street).

So being live streamed without consent is first and foremost a citizen tool to overwatch the police's action and honestly you don't have anything else allowing to do that in real-time. Policemen are not backed in a corner when filmed, they are acting in broad light. It may seems adversely but police proved since decades that they always took the violent path when interacting with people one way or the other and giving policeman the power to take it down on people profiled or randomly is a repeated proof. If great powers comes with great responsibilities, an uniform does not seem to come with a way to enforce the later.


They have the same ability/powers in my country and it virtually never happens. To my mind, there's a problem with how US citizens view police officers, an how US police officers view US citizens.


It doesn't happen often here either. However when utility does your hear about it.


police are the enforcers for upper clases. of course they'd be immunized from all kinds of consequences, and they know it.

you simply can't do it any other way.


"And being live streamed without consent is the right way?"

A public servant or officer of the public, paid for by public funds, must not have any expectation of privacy while performing her or his job.


Not a US citizen either, but I feel there something wrong with US citizens to begin with. Policing is just a reflection of it.


Care to elaborate on this? I am a US citizen, and I find it hard to understand the implication that US citizens are responsible for the violence and aggressive tactics of police.


Not the GP, but my personal impression is that US culture glorifies violence and conflict, as conflict, rather than co-operation, is seen as a way to get ahead on an individual level. That spreads through all layers of society including law enforcement.

It is obviously not something that can be blamed on any specific individual, and it's only based on what things looks like from the outside, but the impression is there regardless.

The ridiculous amount of wars the US wages upon other countries also contribute to that image, but I suspect that's more related to the US fighting seemingly neo-colonial wars with European support than anything else. If European contribution had been on the same level, that factor would probably not be included.


As an American living in Europpe, I can say that Americans glorify violence, greed, individualism, more than any other country in the world.


For the most part this isn't true. The difference is that Americans are more willing to express themselves on these topics than people in some European countries. And I say this as an American who's been living in Europe for over 12 years now.


I guess? But that's a fairly huge generalization to portray a whole country, isn't it? And even it were true to such a degree that it influenced policing, that does't really address the concerns of disproportionate use of violence towards people of color, or repeated instances of corruption and illegal tactics.


In my view, the US citizens are too polarized in almost any category to work their issues with one another. Most have very limited capacity for compromise and it's not always limited by internal rationalization. You are either left or right, cop or a citizen, black or caucasian, etc. God forbid you say the word "social" if you are a republican or you'll be labelled as a traitor to your party, that kind of polarization. There is no middle ground with where you stand. There was an interview on Ben Shapiro's channel on youtube where people on the street which identify as liberal where asked if they would consider compromising in order to get along with the right. They said, "Yes, we must be united." However when they were asked to choose on some policies to compromise, they disagreed to do so on every single one of them. Obviously this was targeted interview and I don't agree with half of the things that Shapiro is saying. However for citizens to live in peace with the rest there must be some kind of process of discussions and resolutions through compromise. And in your case those usually start with a discussion and end up with "f* you", "no f* you". My theory is that you have not had enough experience with negotiations and that is attributed to the limited foreign encounters that you had in your history. In Europe we had so many conflicts and wars that we had to negotiate all the time to keep the status quo which meant sometimes compromising with the opposition. The US way to handle things is usually to go straight to the active and aggressive approach. I've seen this in my business meetings and IT meetings with US clients. In itself this way of handling things is neither correct nor wrong, however it must be applied only when it is suitable to do so. And in my opinion this is usually all that you have in your deck of cards. I have some other theories as well on why your social approach is usually more aggressive.


The is a problem with the power structures, not the people. American hierarchies give power to people who glorify those things, and those people exercise that power to prevent or suppress the spread of opposing ideas.


I don't know if that's true. Look at the Rambo movies. The first was a harrowing story of a man dealing with ptsd. The rest were just violence porn.


A lot of you are armed.


This does not excuse or allow the frequent and extreme violence that is perpetrated by police on unarmed citizens, which is the reason they feel the need to document their experiences with officers.

It was a violent encounter with police officers that led to the proposal that they wear body cameras (https://www.wired.com/story/body-cameras-stopped-police-brut...)

Even with the use of them, the release of them is often blocked or their existence is denied.

From the above article: " In Baltimore three years ago, one of the devices caught a police officer as he planted drugs at a crime scene; he was later convicted for fabricating evidence. After Rayshard Brooks was fatally shot by a cop in Atlanta on Friday, body cam footage of the incident was quickly released, and the officer was fired. "


The problem is that when you don't know if a citizen is armed or not, you just default to thinking they are. Because that is the safer assumption for you to make as a police officer. If citizens are not allowed to carry guns, that default assumption changes. It is a whole different dynamic.


> If citizens are not allowed to carry guns, that default assumption changes.

I am not sure this is entirely correct. Generally speaking, law-abiding citizens are not the ones that police have to worry about anyway (regardless of if they are carrying guns). Citizens that are not law-abiding (criminals), on the other hand, are the people that police generally need to be concerned about. It does not seem like a great idea to assume these people are not armed simply because they "are not allowed to carry guns."

Admittedly, the absolute saturation of American culture with guns is not making the cop's jobs any easier, but the answer to these problems is way more complicated than disarming law-abiding citizens.


I find your distinction between law abiding citizens and criminals hilarious.

There is no difference between the two and to pretend like there is a difference is how we get the same people chanting both "we need to punish criminals more severely!" and "It's shameful the US has so much of it's population in prison"

edit: But also, how do you expect a COP to be able to differentiate between the 2 in the field? They are essentially the ones that gets to decide who is a criminal or not which brings us back to how the police are given the ability to abuse their power.


> There is no difference between the two

Certainly there is no difference between them in terms of their human dignity and (unless otherwise specified by law) their rights as citizens. But it seems illogical to assert that there is no difference at all between a person who has broken a law and a person who has not...


It's not way more complicated. Get rid of the guns, and you will get rid of a lot of problems. It is really that simple.

But I would not know how to get rid of guns in the US now, because there are just too many guns around, and "non-law-abiding" citizens will still carry them.

A citizen should not carry a gun. Doesn't matter if they are "law-abiding" or not.


If it was likely the other person has a gun, I would think twice before doing something. It makes more sense to me to be more wary when I assume that the person I may be thinking of robbing has a gun on them, vs. knowing it is extremely unlikely that the person is not going to have a gun on them.

Are you sure the problem is guns? What makes you so sure? I am genuinely interested, because Serbia is known for having lots of guns, too, but firearm-related death rate is low, vs. Honduras, which has much less guns per 100 inhabitants and extremely high firearm-related death rate that is homicide.

In any case, here is the table:

  | Country  | Homicide | Guns per 100 inhabitants |
  | US       |     4.46 |                    120.5 |
  | Serbia   |     0.72 |                    37.82 |
  | Honduras |    28.65 |                9.9-11.24 |
Taken from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-r....

What do you think explains this? Curious to explore.


From the Harvard Injury Control Research Center:

"Where there are more guns there is more homicide."

"Across high-income nations more guns = more homicide."

"Across states, more guns = more homicide."

"More guns = more homicides of police."

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/hicrc/firearms-research/guns-an...


I would be careful with this information, because correlation != causation, as well as the fact that cause and effect might be reversed. And to be fair to the HICRC, they don't claim the causation.

Could it be that states with high homicide rates lead to people in those states buying more guns to feel more protected at home (and not the other way around)?

For a real life example, I live in Seattle, and we had a giant spike in the first-time firearm ownership numbers last year. It was driven by a lot of people who previously had zero interest in owning guns who suddenly became more concerned about their safety due to all the violence happening adjacent to protests, as well as due to the local District Attorney refusing to prosecute a lot of violent criminals with many repeated offenses and letting them out (to clarify: when I say "violent", I am not talking about protests, I am talking about people with multiple battery and assault charges, robbery, gang violence, rape, etc.). So in the Seattle scenario, it was indeed an increased rate of crime and homicides that caused a spike in firearm ownership, not the other way around.

And what about Switzerland, with their extremely high rate of gun ownership but low rate of homicides?

I don't have an answer to these questions, but it makes me feel like it is a bit less simplistic than just "higher rates of gun ownership in high-income nations create higher homicide rates".


The problem is, even if people buy guns to feel safer, it doesn't help. (It simply makes crime more violent. Guns don't deter crime.)

Politics is broken if the DA is not effectively enforcing laws. Guns can't fix it. (Just as every surveillance thread on HN has comments about "technology can't really fix this, it's a politics problem", guns are very much just technology when it comes to socioeconomics/politics of crime.)

Switzerland has very high regulation. Not just for guns, for everything. And a very effective (almost direct) democracy. And an almost universal very-very-very high standard of living. (Yet their suicide rate is pretty high! Used to be higher than the US' - https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/suicide-death-rates?tab=c... ) Gun ownership there is more of a cultural heritage, and very much not a safety device.


The thought that someone may have a gun may deter though. How effective is it? I do not know. If it is known that in my area most people carry a gun, then people may think twice to rob. Emphasis on may, because I do not know how effective it is at all.


Crime is motivated by opportunity (eg. if there's virtually no enforcement) and necessity. By the time someone gets to the point of committing violent crimes, armed or not doesn't really matter. (At least this is how I understand it.)

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/more-guns-do-not-...

There are many, many words written on how great guns are or how grave problem they are. I completely accept that if the plurality want this so be it, it's not as deadly as many other problems.


"Lies, damned lies, and statistics" as they say. Serbia and Honduras are anomalies. Within the entire data set there's a significant positive correlation between "Guns per 100 inhabitants" and Homicide rate.


Are they really anomalies?

  | Country  | Homicide | Guns per 100 inhabitants |
  | US       |     4.46 |                    120.5 |
  | Serbia   |     0.72 |                    37.82 |
  | Honduras |    28.65 |                9.9-11.24 |
  |          |          |                          |
  | Cyprus   |     0.50 |                     36.4 |
  | Canada   |     0.72 |                    34.70 |
  | Finland  |     0.20 |                     32.4 |
  | ...      |          |                          |
  |          |          |                          |
  | Jamaica  |    38.20 |                      5.8 |
  | Eswatini |    37.16 |                      8.1 |
  | Brazil   |    23.93 |                      8.6 |
  | ...      |          |                          |
Are they anomalies, too, or what do you mean by anomaly? I do not want to edit the table anymore, but someone also mentioned Switzerland, indeed, extremely low rate of firearm-related homicide (0.13) with high rate of gun ownership (27.6-41.2). There are many more.


Why cherry-pick? Just running the regression analysis on the entire dataset.


The fact that just about anyone can be heavily armed means police needs to be extra vigilant or else risk their life.

Otherwise people feel so extreme and polarised. You've got Hawaii and Bay Area liberals vs rednecks. Both are very strong with their opinions.


is hawaii very liberal? more so than bay area?


in my experience it's rather conservative there socially, but overall it's like 2/3 democrat voters there.


The obvious answer to this is firearms. I'm amazed at how little this is appreciated in terms of the extra stress for US police officers. US police officers are a completely different profession to every other country.

Every time they walk up to anyone, or a car, they could be shot and die. This is insane and I don't think many people appreciate this. It completely changes the dynamic of the relationship between citizens and police.

Not to mention, US police aren't trained to deal with this stress. Which is an extra problem.

I loved the interview Jocko Willink did with Joe Rogan shortly after the George Floyd killing. The answer isn't defunding the police. Its more funding. So they can spend 20% of their time training, like the military. So they can get accustomed to high stress situations and DEescalation. These skills need to be learned. And they're not.


There is a good argument too that police should not handle good chunk of social situations that are not violent or criminal. Steer the system so that social workers without ability to use force handle them first and escalate to police as necessary.


How about we keep their budgets the same, and force them to use 20% of that budget for training? They can reduce their expenditures on tear gas and rubber bullets and harassment campaigns against activists and Black people.

Maybe instead of sending 100 SWAT troops to deal with people marching in a street, then can send 20 cops to keep an eye on things and put the other 80 in a training class.


> And being live streamed without consent is the right way?

Cry me a river. Police, when using the powers that the people gave them, should not have any problem being held accountable for what they are doing.

There's a difference between an individual (and that may also be an officer off-duty) being live streamed without consent or an actor acting on behalf of the government like a cop or a politician being live streamed.


politicians should have bodycams on 24/7, indeed.

In fact, their signatures/actions should be invalid unless properly announced and distributed all their voters.


Yeah, that's a public job.


I never once implied they shouldn't be accountable, to be honest I don't think you read my post at all.


How can they be held accountable if people can't record what they do?

For mostly-good reasons, in any court case judges and juries will tend to believe what a police officer tells them happened. So in any situation where a police officer and an ordinary citizen are one-on-one, if the ordinary citizen thinks the police officer is, or might be, acting wrongly then recording the events may be their only hope of getting justice if that happens.

If there are multiple police officers and one civilian, you might hope that one police officer would report on another's misdeeds. Unfortunately, there's an awful lot of reason to think that that doesn't generally happen, and that what actually happens is that one police officer backs up another against civilians, even if they have to lie to do it.

A police officer interacting with a private citizen is (supposed to be) acting on behalf of The People, to uphold The Law. What possible reason could there be not to record what they do in that capacity?


Recording police only 'backs them into a corner' if they're doing something wrong in the first place.


And privacy only matters if you have something to hide, right?


Police work is a public matter. They have no right for privacy in the execution of their job.


But you dont have a right to everyone else's business. Police frequently deal with people in their worst, and yet some feel so entitled to seeing these situations they have nothing to do with as though it were just a drama on Netflix.

Example: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/police/news/read.cfm?id=28147...

The mother of the affected was telling people to go away, but they were so desperate to push their own agenda they ignored it. The BWC videos are on YouTube.


I agree that this is a problem, and it could be solved by a legal requirement - spreading of the material is illegal if it is done for degrading the subject of police action, and "traffickers" (i.e. "laugh of the day" video aggregators) are held liable for redistributing such content.


Do you expect the same privacy at work as you do at home?


You missed the point.


Not arguing against holding public law enformcement accountable, but in a society where everyone sues everyone at the drop of a hat it's very easy to do something reasonable in the context that nevertheless opens you up for potentially expensive legal consequences. I can understand why people get jumpy when they are being filmed, even if they aren't doing anything obviously wrong.


I'm torn on the idea of body cams. On the one hand, there really needs to be more transparency in public service. On the other hand, no one wants their boss looking over their shoulder all day. I know I wouldn't take that job.

Ideally no one, including your boss, can review body cam footage without a good reason (checking to see if the officer is slacking is NOT a good reason). I can't imagine that being practical though (it would be ignored).

Body cams don't seem like the right solution. Society can come up with better ideas. Improving training, increase penalties when wrong-doing is proven, etc.


Well yeah; they should have nothing to hide because they've done nothing wrong, right?

...right?


What you've described is largely how the DMCA already works.

1. Copyright holder files a claim.

2. Platform takes down content, and notifies the poster of the content.

3. If poster thinks the claim is incorrect, poster notifies the platform.

4. Platform restores the content, and notifies the copyright owner.

5. If the copyright owner wants the content taken down again, they have to sue the poster.

If the copyright owner must swear that they believe their claim is true. If they intentionally make a false claim it is perjury.

All that's really missing is it sounds like you would penalize the copyright owner for being wrong about fair use regardless of whether they were wrong because they honestly thought it was not fair use or they were wrong because they knew it was fair use but lied about it.

Fair use is subjective and tricky enough that it is not at all uncommon for both side to go into a case expecting for the court to go their way.

Some major platforms don't follow the above, because they have decided to handle copyright using their own procedures instead of following the DMCA procedures.


I know how the DMCA works. The problem is step 2. Step two should be "platform notifies possible violator that claim has been made". The platform should not be punished for leaving the content up. Right now, under the DMCA, if they leave the content up, they become liable. That should not be the case.

Furthermore, YouTube et al don't follow the DMCA. Their process is outside the DMCA, and starts with automated enforcement on behalf of the copyright holder, with no recourse for the potential violator.


By the way, the arrangement you suggest is called "notice and notice" (by contrast with "notice and takedown").

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Notice_and_notice


This is not about the laws. YouTube has their own copyright processes that are more stringent than DMCA. They allow companies to automate take down and take over requests with no repercussions. Everyone who shares a video to their platform has agreed to this process.


I'm aware of that, but the reason YouTube has that process is because they don't want to get sued. If the law gave YouTube immunity by simply reporting copyright claims instead of taking them down, they would switch their process. Especially if YouTube had a penalty for getting it wrong.


> I'm aware of that, but the reason YouTube has that process is because they don't want to get sued. If the law gave YouTube immunity by simply reporting copyright claims instead of taking them down, they would switch their process.

The DMCA already has a system that is much fairer to the average creator in the form of safe harbor provisions. YouTube doesn't like the DMCA process because it's expensive to handle and process individual claims, compared to letting their big partners just sling bogus claims across the entire site.

They'd prefer to be on the side of rightsholders over creators, simply because it's cheaper.


Exactly. So put a penalty on them for getting it wrong so it's cheaper to not take videos down.


There's already a "under penalty of perjury" in the DMCA for rightsholders. Though it's arguable whether it has been ineffective; most settle out of court before it gets that far.

YouTube and their partners intentionally sidestep the DMCA takedown rules in favor of their own system which doesn't have these rules. The point of Content ID is to remove the barriers the law and the DMCA have, in favor of an arbitration system which (mostly) sides with big rightsholders.


The "under penalty of perjury" is completely toothless and I don't believe has ever resulted in a judgement against a rightsholder.

Here is the exact text from the DMCA from https://www.aclu.org/other/text-digital-millennium-copyright...

(vi) A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly in-fringed.

Note the particular phrasing. The requirement that the information in the notification be accurate is not under penalty of perjury. The only thing that is under penalty of perjury is that you can only DMCA claim things that you have copyright to (or are a lawyer representing that entity).

And it's worse than that, because you can claim something that is totally unrelated without this penalty as long as you own the copyright you claim to be enforcing.


> There's already a "under penalty of perjury" in the DMCA for rightsholders. Though it's arguable whether it has been ineffective; most settle out of court before it gets that far.

Most? To my knowledge in the history of the DMCA not a single person has been hit with a perjury claim, not even the most egregious vexatious claimant.


The problem is that the only thing the claimant is saying under penalty of perjury as that they are actually the rightsholder (or are authorized to act on their behalf), and they have a good-faith belief that their takedown reasoning is correct. Since it's essentially impossible to prove lack of a "belief", no one ever gets in trouble for filing a false or weak claim.


> There's already a "under penalty of perjury" in the DMCA for rightsholders.

What about it? It only applies if it can be shown that you intentionally lied. There is absolutely zero penalty for negligence. Even a $20 fee for misfiling would lead to a drastically different environment around DMCA notices.


But that is exactly jedberg's point: To get them to stop doing this, there needs to be regulation that ensures that if you invent alternative systems like this, you get penalised if you wrongly take content down.


> YouTube doesn't like the DMCA process because it's expensive to handle and process individual claims, compared to letting their big partners just sling bogus claims across the entire site.

It's unclear to me why it would be expensive. The hosting provider just has to check that a take down request includes all the statutorily required elements.

That should be pretty easy--they don't have to check that the claims are right. They just have to check that the claimant identified the infringed works, the infringing activity, and where it took place; check that contact information was provided; check that the claimant includes a statement they they have a good faith belief that this is infringement; and check that they have a statement that the information is accurate and they are authorized to make claims on behalf of the copyright owner.

Similar when responding to a counterclaim.

This seems like something that could be cheaply outsourced to some cheap forest digital sweatshop to handle.


Not even: a machine could likely handle the entire interaction, pretty trivially. DMCA notices are pretty close to form letters. In the rare occasion it can't grok the notice, it could be flagged for human review.


They might have nonstandard contracts with big media producers that prevent YT from removing ContentID and/or require YT to grant special takedown powers, so any legal change would have to address those types of contracts (if they exist) as well.


YouTube has a process outside of the DMCA to let rights holders take down videos without risk of a false DMCA suit.


Yes I know, which is why the law should be changed to make this extrajudicial process illegal and expensive for YouTube, so that their most prudent course of action is to notify the copyright holder and then do nothing.


A proposal which amounts to making it 'illegal and expensive' for an internet platform to do any kind of moderation other than the process mandated by US copyright law sounds like a far more grotesque imposition on the internet than anything the most aggressive copyright lawyers have proposed.

The status quo where YouTube is full of voluntarily uploaded material by rightsholders, other videos featuring their songs (for which the rightsholders get compensated) and even some cover bands getting revenue share, and most copyright-struck videos just get demonetised sounds a lot better than the RIAA simply trying to get everything taken down.

Judging by the amount of unofficial Santeria videos on YouTube, I don't think anyone would struggle to publish cop videos with Sublime playing in the background on there anyway.


I have to disagree. Making the platform completely indemnified if they take no action and putting all the responsibility on the rights holders would be great for the internet. It would suck for the rights holders, but I'm ok with that, and I think most people would be.


I think you’d just see the shoe on the other foot, with giant companies exploiting the work of smaller creators who are left with little recourse.


I think a fair solution would be "Should your content be taken down by the ContentID system/outside the DMCA, you should be able to protest and require a DMCA claim", i.e. "I stand by the righteousness of my denial and want to invoke the legal process to defend it".


That's one of the problems, and I agree with your idea. It would be vastly better to put the burden of claiming the copyright on the holder, as they are the party who benefits from that action.

However unchecked use of police force and lack of effective oversight are also serious problems. These are a large part of what has led to the situation today, where it is necessary to film routine police encounters.

And why would police actively try to sabotage a video recording of themself?

"If you aren't doing anything wrong, then you have nothing to hide" cuts both ways.


> The real problem here is that there is no consequence for incorrect takedowns. If content is taken down and then it turns out to be fair use, no one suffers a penalty.

There are exceptions to this. See Lenz v. Universal Music Corp., 801 F.3d 1126 (9th Cir. 2015).

"Lenz v. Universal Music Corp., 801 F.3d 1126 (9th Cir. 2015), is a decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, affirming the ruling in 2008 of the US District Court for the Northern District of California, holding that copyright holders must consider fair use in good faith before issuing a takedown notice for content posted on the Internet."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenz_v._Universal_Music_Corp.

"In ... Lenz v. Universal Music Corp., decided by the Ninth Circuit on September 14, 2015, a mother's 29-second home video of her two toddlers dancing to Prince's 1984 song "Let's Go Crazy" has made important new law with respect to "takedown notices" under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA"), holding that copyright holders must consider fair use before sending a takedown notification. This decision increases the potential liability for copyright holders seeking to enforce their rights through the DMCA and should serve as a warning to ensure fair use is considered before sending a takedown notice."

https://www.jonesday.com/en/insights/2015/09/ninth-circuit-s...


> Let the platforms be neutral, put the liability on the copyright violators and copyright holders equally, so both have a reason to act fairly.

One simple solution is that every time a bad takedown notice is successfully challenged, the copyright holder has a 1 in 10,000 chance of losing their copyright.

So, DMCA takedown is successfully challenged. Now we roll two 100-sided dice. If they come up snake eyes, the IP is now in public domain forever. That would make copyright holders only challenge content that they are confident is in clear violation. Disney's not going to give some copyright troll the contract to shotgun DMCA notices across YouTube, if it means a serious risk of losing the rights to Frozen.


IANAL, but there are penalties for filing a false DMCA notice already. Almost never happens, but it exists.

> This would allow Google/Facebook/et al to change their tools from automatic takedown to reporting the violation to the copyright holder,

Is there anything stopping them from doing that now? I was under the impression that the current system was something google chose, not something forced on them by law. Like they have to respond to take down notices, but the content-id thing was something they chose themselves.


By encouraging the use of non-DMCA notices by providing increased ability, above and beyond the DMCA, to take content down, they reduce the legal risk of not properly handling a DMCA notice simply by getting fewer actual DMCA notices.

It's a win-win for Google and the copyright holders, but a loss for everyone else, who loses the (very limited) protection provided by the DMCA process.


The main thing that makes them use the current system is the liability they could incur by not doing it. And because it's cheaper than processing all the DMCA claims.

If they were indemnified by law and even worse liable for penalties if they keep the current system, then they would quickly change it.


> they lose their copyright altogether

Big no to this, as that can and would be abused by scavengers, but the rest is sane and broadly agreed to be the way.

What tou want instead is fines by revenue / income.


> Big no to this, as that can and would be abused by scavengers

How would scavengers abuse this?


You hold a copyright I want. I fraudulently pose as you and make dcma claims until you lose your copyright.


But if all copyrights required registration, then all the notices would have to go along with that registration. You'd have to commit identity theft, which is a separate crime that you would be prosecuted for.


A solution is to require that the DMCA notice contains proof of ownership of the copyright (or proof that you are acting as an agent of the verified copyright holder).


I am honestly wondering, is this case "fair use"?


Amateur analysis: for the citizens filming, yes. The copying is incidental, does not harm the market for the work, and the filming is for news/informational purposes.

For the police? They may be in violation of copyright law for playing the music without a Public Performance License. I don't see an argument for fair use on their part.


Can you not sue back for losses or anything in that situation? The US does punitive damages don't they?

I'd imagine you could make a mint baiting the RIAA if you were ok with being as sleazy as them


No, the real problem is the cops know what they are doing is an attempt to circumvent the spirit if not the letter of the law and they need to be punished.

Copyright laws and DMCA take downs are an issue, yes, but not here. If police recordings are being taken down because the cops are playing music then make it known far and wide which cops are doing it and get their local district attorney involved.

Hell we likely are going to get a few Qualified Immunity rulings on this protecting both the cops and other officials but the only issue we should concentrate on is bad cops doing whatever they please and purposefully making society worse


Wow there are issues with dmca, and fair use is a problem. Recording copyrighted music and reposting it is not fair use.


Really? Copyright law is the real problem and not the extrajudicial murder of citizens by police? Must be nice to be insulated from worrying about that.


Erm yes. Documenting police activities with video is a good way to improve accountability. Copyright law is getting in the way of that.

Merely being aghast at extrajudicial killings doesn’t stop them.


>Documenting police activities with video is a good way to improve accountability.

The Rodney King beating was filmed 30 years ago, so evidently we need more than just documenting it. We need to elect people who will actually defund the police, because reform clearly doesn't work.


You can’t seriously be suggesting that the ability to record video with cellphones that even the homeless now own and upload it to be viewed globally by millions in real-time has existed for 30 years.


What's different now? Cops still aren't punished when they murder people, despite the prevalence of cell phones.


You can’t seriously be suggesting that public opinion and awareness about police brutality hasn’t changed in the last 30 years.


>public opinion and awareness about police brutality

>Merely being aghast at extrajudicial killings doesn’t stop them

I genuinely don't know what point you're trying to make.


You wrote:

> Copyright law is the real problem and not the extrajudicial murder of citizens by police?

I am pointing out why this is a false dichotomy.


"Documenting police activities with video is a good way to improve accountability. "

Where is the evidece of this?

Documenting deadly encounters with police probably is a good thing.

But 99.99% of encounters with police are not that, I'm not sure filming every encounter is necessarily productive, you'll have to provide some evidence.

In my country, we don't film the police, there is not a lot of police violence, and of course, there is not a lot of gun crime.

In US about 40% of households or 22% of individuals own guns. More likely among those doing bad things, so you can say 30% of the people cops are dealing with own guns. There's a very high chance that someone they pull over, has a gun.

Other complex issues aside, consider if you could magically take away those 270M guns, what would the outcome be? And how would policing change? How would the posture of public servants in those situations change?

As for filming, I'd rather see strong rules about their bodycam uses, ie when it has to be on, off etc.. Like for example, they have to have it on for pullovers, or if they are in any kind of complex interaction.


So, the police in these instances are breaching copyright, specifically "performance rights", which prohibit the public playing of music outside of a circle of family and friends, unless they have received permission from the copyright holders.

I'll hold my breath while the individual police officers are pursued for these egregious copyright violations with as much vigour as those receiving take-down notices.

https://www.bmi.com/faq/entry/what_is_a_public_performance_o...


What's preventing them from making their own tune, put it on cdbaby or whatever it was to get it into the content id system, and then issue copyright takedowns?

Similar to this[1].

[1]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mz14Ul-r63w


IANAL, but then the uploader could file a counter-notice claiming fair use (which seems reasonable).


But AFAIK it's primarily up to the copyright holder to decide if it is fair use or not. From YouTube's help page[1]:

YouTube gets many takedown requests to remove videos that copyright owners claim are infringing under copyright law. Sometimes these requests target videos that seem like clear examples of fair use. Courts have decided that copyright owners must consider fair use before they send a copyright takedown notice. Because of this, we often ask copyright owners to confirm they’ve done this analysis.

[1]: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/9783148?hl=en#zipp...


That's a stretch. The purpose of that law was to prevent public unlicensed public performances, such as playing a song over a public address system to a crowd at a park, not someone listening to their personal cell phone at normal volumes.

It would certainly not be good if we set a legal precedent that it's illegal to listen to music at any volume that a nearby person could hear or record.


Not a stretch, considering this is their intent. See in particular the 2nd point from 17 U.S. Code § 101 - Definitions

  To perform or display a work “publicly” means—
  (1) to perform or display it at a place open to the public or at any place where a substantial number of persons outside of a normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances is gathered; or
  (2) to transmit or otherwise communicate a performance or display of the work to a place specified by clause (1) or to the public, by means of any device or process, whether the members of the public capable of receiving the performance or display receive it in the same place or in separate places and at the same time or at different times.


The purpose is to prevent revenue loss by the recording company who could host their own public event (or selling rights thereof). It would be an impossible argument to make that the police (or anyone) playing a song on their phone is reducing the ability of the record company from gaining revenues from hosting their own local event.


And yet filming a police officer who's playing a copyrighted tune, and uploading it to Youtube results in a take-down.

I don't think many folks are going to YouTube to listen to music from a filmed phone.

"reducing the ability of the record company from gaining revenues"


Well, that is the difference between the rule of law (there are tribunals for deciding whether the police are breaking the law or not) and the rule of incorporated companies: you are screwed if they decide it...


The difference is that Google can do whatever it wants because it is a private company.

Misapplying the law because a private company does something is not a logical argument.


The author of the first public drinking law, in 1979, said on the law's purpose:

>"We do not recklessly expect the police to give a summons to a Con Ed worker having a beer with his lunch". [0]

Yet today, if you have a beer in the park at lunch you will get ticketed, or at least a warning. The lesson? Do not rely on discretion and restraint to make up for an overly expansive letter-of-the-law.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcohol_laws_of_New_York#cite_...


Are you making the argument that because the public alcohol ban is misused, that therefor we should also misuse this copyright law?


They are pointing out that the codified law is applicable, not what you claim was the original purpose.

(I don't agree with you that the original purpose was restricted to protecting revenue. The original purpose of copyright law is to codify the moral rights associated with creative works. Moral rights are fundamentally a property right connecting the work to the person. When we hear that an artist tries to prevent their works being distorted by being associated with a certain political campaign, this is an appeal to this kind of right, not revenue.)


It's not really about the purpose - it's about the rights. And it's rights in the plural - not just right to revenue - but also the exclusive right to public performance.


Next time, bring an RIAA lawyer to any cop encounter...

Hah, it'll be like the joke of bringing a predator to get rid of some insects in your home, and a predator to get rid of the first predator, and ending up with an apex predator...


“When winter rolls around, the gorillas simply freeze to death.”


> and ending up with an apex predator...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Atomics_MQ-1_Predator


Or the "joke" of arming mujahideen to fight your communist enemy, and then they turn the guns the wrong way.


Enforcing copyright against this at best seems like a stop-gap solution. Next they'll legally play the official police union song and use the DMCA against people recording and sharing that.


Filming them breaching copyright as evidence of their breaching copyright is the solution. Send to copyright troll lawyers and the various RIAA hangers on that attempt to prosecute these breaches.


? The filming and distribution of someone listening to music is literally the breach of copyright, not anything the cop is doing, i.e. playing music to himself, which is obviously legal in every sense.


> The filming and distribution of someone listening to music is literally the breach of copyright, not anything the cop is doing

no, unlicensed public performance is itself a breach of copyright.

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/music-public-performance-r...


? Playing music to yourself is not a 'public performance'.

It's completely unambiguous.


> Playing music to yourself is not a 'public performance'.

cops weren't playing music to themselves though, they were playing it at a protest, audible to all the public participants.

> It's completely unambiguous.

what's your angle here? like yes, this is completely unambiguous, you can't do what the cops are doing, that is public performance of music. why are you digging for a reason to justify what is clearly an illegal action?


Goes to show why the cop wouldnt like to be recorded. Ridiculous people who would freak out if a police officer bothered them for listening to music are now their own worst enemies.


No, the police are not breaching copyright by playing music, it's very obviously the person doing the filming and posting to public channels that is breaking copyright if anything is being broken.

Playing music to yourself is 100% legal.

Making videos of content of said music, and posting to YouTube, is not.

"I'll hold my breath while the individual police officers are pursued for these egregious copyright violations"

So given that it's the person filming that is breaking the law, and not the cop, I'll assume you'd point the same disdain for those individuals egregious breaking the law?


No copyright broken if the music is filtered out prior to upload to a public platform.

At the same time, deliberately playing music while conducting an activity that entails conversational interchange is clearly a ploy to prevent that which I understand to be (perhaps incorrectly) a lawful activity in the US.

https://www.dmlp.org/legal-guide/recording-police-officers-a...


> What is a public performance?

> A public performance is one that occurs either in a public place or any place where people gather (other than a small circle of a family or its social acquaintances).

https://www.ascap.com/help/ascap-licensing

> Generally speaking, public performances are very broadly interpreted under the law and are defined as performing “at a place open to the public or at any place where a substantial number of persons outside of a normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances is gathered.” This has been interpreted to mean that most performances at so-called private clubs and fraternal organizations are “public” under the copyright law.

https://www.bbb.org/council/for-businesses/toolkits/bbb-broc...

It's a place open to the public, so it is a public performance.


"It's a place open to the public, so it is a public performance. "

No, that's not a rational inference.

Care to take a moment and search the case law for this?

Given that millions of people play music in public every day, can you find even a single instance of case law that supports the absurd claims in this thread?

No?

Nobody ever charged for listening to music themselves?

This comment really helps to highlight how badly HN melts down in the face of facts they don't like.

By your argument, playing music at the beach or at the office, even to yourself is a against the law.

It's a false argument based on a magical reading of the code.

It is 100% legal for someone to play music for themselves, full stop.

This is not one of those issues that IP lawyers just don't pursue because it's not worth it, rather, they don't pursue it because they cannot.

Just because you are 'in public' does not mean you are giving a public performance. Otherwise every radio everywhere would be banned, or come with a warning label.

If you are playing music in your store, for customers, you may be breaking IP law.

If you play it for a large number of employees, maybe.

If you play it as part of a performance intended for the public and have a public audience, then probably.

And of course, if you film someone listening to music - real or rehearsed (like a cop) - and put it up on YouTube you're probably breaking copyright. Maybe.


It's a rational inference if you read what the definition of a public performance is.

Yes, playing music at the office is against the law.[0] It's just difficult and extremely impractical to enforce. UK law is similar, and as others have attested on this post, rightsholders are much more aggressive in enforcing them there - if it's not absurd that that would constitute a public performance in the UK, why is it absurd that it wouldn't constitute a public performance in the US, when the law is written the same way?

> It is 100% legal for someone to play music for themselves, full stop.

If you're playing music on a speaker in a public place (and the law defines what a public place is), then you're not playing music for yourself, it's a public performance.

> Otherwise every radio everywhere would be banned, or come with a warning label.

There are specific exceptions in the law that cover playing the radio in an establishment (17 U.S. Code § 110(5)(B)). Yes, the limitations on public performance would apply that broadly if there were not a specific provision in the law carving out an exception for these, and even then they're required to follow certain provisions.

> And of course, if you film someone listening to music - real or rehearsed (like a cop) - and put it up on YouTube you're probably breaking copyright. Maybe.

There is no copyright infringement here, this is covered by fair use. If this went to court, a judge would determine the video was published for the purposes of commentary/criticism of government officials, among other fair use factors. Otherwise government officials could come to an arrangement with rightsholders and always play licensed music at all times and deny these licenses to critics in order to prevent any critical videos from ever being published, which is obviously just circumventing the First Amendment.

Even if Instagram had taken it down, it wouldn't mean it wouldn't be fair use as platforms are notoriously conservative with respect to these matters, but the fact is that Instagram hasn't even taken this video down for copyright infringement. So your theory about this being copyright infringement is moot.

[0]: https://www.bmi.com/news/entry/20030509_Playing_Music_in_Wor...


Considering the police officer is on duty and inside the precinct - which is aimed at serving the public, I wouldn't consider this "playing music to yourself".

Otherwise, every employee in bars and restaurants could "play music to themselves", without paying anything and without infringing copyrights ?


That he is on duty is irrelevant. If he's playing music for himself - even one other person, it's not a public performance.

The arguments being made here are infantile, and embarrassing.

Because people 'hate cops' (shameful), they use magical thinking to twist even common sense upside down.

The person making a video public is the person making something public, not the cop.


Just another of the myriad examples of how the DMCA is abused with no repercussions to the abusers at all.

Remember when Youtube removed a video of someone in their garden with the rationale that the sounds of birds chirping infringed on some company's copyright [1]? And then they upheld the removal even following manual review, so the tired refrain that it was just an automated bot was not even applicable.

[1] https://waxy.org/2012/03/youtube_bypasses_the_dmca/


I am amazed I am going to say this, but the issue is not with the DMCA but with Google/YouTube allowing a bypass of DMCA.

If you read carefully, you will see they refer in the cited case to the Content Id system. In that case Google allows the claimants to verify that it is indeed their content and takes their word for it with no repercussions.

If the company above had made a false DMCA claim they would be in rough water, as DMCA provides the tooling for damages etc and "countersueing."

Essentially Google found a way to produce something worse than DMCA in all aspects besides automation and angering their product (that is the users and content creators).


I think what you say is technically true (technically speaking in the cited case the issue is indeed with the Content ID system), but the broader issue is absolutely with the DMCA because the whole reason Google/Youtube implemented Content ID is to cut down on the number of actual DMCA requests they receive. In other words, without DMCA there would very likely be no Content ID.


Yes of course; the source is the music copyright spirit that has been assumed by legislation over years.


Bypassing the DMCA doesn’t make life harder for owners of publishing rights. It makes life easier and I assume is a consequence of a negotiation with major publishers.


Is human review under sufficiently strict and inflexible policy even distinguishable from machine review?


Diabolical, but I'd be lying if I didn't say this is a clever hack.


But do the police have the proper BMI/ASCAP license for public performance?


Will be interesting if they pick the wrong company and get sued for that in the process.


Large businesses do not generally seek to enforce their rights against the police as the police are responsible for breaking the law to keep those businesses humming away.

Indeed, many businesses large and small give free goods and services to the police for exactly this reason.


*Laughs manically in UK*.

In UK playing commercial radio at work is a breach of copyright if anyone else can hear. Police departments were notably targeted by copyright associations.

They similarly targeted people like solo garage mechanics: they work alone with commercial radio playing in their private workshop ... but if a customer comes up then they're technically breaching public broadcast provisions. So, you find solo workers and send a copyright association enforcer to see them ... if they can hear a radio (or other music, even on a properly licensed TV) from a publicly accessible area then they can successfully sue!

I used to work in a shop, the copyright people would ring, there'd be 10s of silence on the line presumably as they try and catch us listening to music. We used CC0 and other similar music but the repeated suggestions 'you have to have a license to play any music' made us fear being sued, so we stopped.


Time for a technology company to come in to create a service that emits some form of A/V and trigger DRM enforcement procedures. Imagine when sporting events start to implement this to jam social media sharing.


Apple patented a system to do this in 2016[1] but has yet to implement it afaik.

[1]https://m.dpreview.com/news/0190365065/apple-patents-system-...


This is one of infinitely many ways to act without responsibility and obstruct justice for police brutality victims.

It should not be praised.


The article indicated no such thing.


So what happens if the person filming starts playing a different song? I don't imagine the filter would be smart enough to make out the two different songs playing at the same time?


I'm glad someone said it this is genius if that was the intent.


[flagged]


Do you mean that law enforcement can get away with breaking the law, or do you mean that the law permits law enforcement to break the law? Either way, your comment seems overbroad and comes across as uselessly snarky.


The law permits law enforcement to break laws (e.g., buying or selling drugs) if it serves a legitimate law enforcement purpose. Breaking copyright law would almost certainly be covered.


> if it serves a legitimate law enforcement purpose

What legitimate law enforcement purpose is being served here?


Article says they are playing Santeria by Sublime.

Perhaps they should be playing April 29th 1992 by the same band, or does their cognitive dissonance actually have a limit?


He's a Beverly Hills cop so he should play Axel F instead.


Perhaps Crazy Frog would be better in this instance.


I am 100% for accountability in policing, but I find it telling the number of these kinds of videos that don't show the full context and are instead 30s clips of the middle/worst part of the interaction.


What is the point of this comment if you don't back it with receipts? The videos are available, you could make the effort to find out but chose to post this instead.


Well his point was probably to reference these videos, so you can go look it up yourself if you are interested.

Not every comment has to be a multi page long essay.

Instead, merely telling people that something exists is useful, so people can search for it later.

If you really care so much, then you should feel free to find then yourself.


He actually has a 5 minutes long video about the first interaction: https://www.instagram.com/p/CLCpHBQjX8r/


The 30 second clip is to provoke outrage and I guess clicks; the full recording is evidence in a court of law. DMCA will not apply then.

I think it's perfectly acceptable to collect your own evidence when it comes to interactions with the police or anything that may end up in a court of law.

Which is why it's kinda weird that where I live, you can't use security camera footage from inside your own house if you haven't clearly warned about security cameras being present. Even burglars get privacy protection, apparently.


The police can always release the full recording from their side if they think there is context that is missing.


Everyone here seems to be focused on the copyright laws, and not the behavior of this officer, which to me feels misplaced blame.


I'll point out while mostly working youtube has a tool to mute background music while keeping other sounds. If this happens to you not all is lost.

A next step could be for the artist to sue the police department for unliceased music. Create a story and it might become a national story.


I feel like if you know the song being played (which could also be automatically identified with an algorithm like shazam's) it would be pretty easy to generate an inverse waveform to remove it from a video's audio. It wouldn't be perfect, obviously, but it should screw up the song enough to not set off the copyright filter while leaving the conversation intelligible.

On a more general note, respect for the law requires respectable laws. Short sighted laws meant to benefit some special interests implemented without clear and effective safeguards are a would-be tyrant's wet dream. How fortunate we are that these officers blew their load trying to shut down some random guy's interview rather than saving this hack for a special occasion like suppressing a major protest or worse. Imagine the danger of someone more ambitious manipulating the system in analogous ways but on a much larger scale. Who knows what sorts of law-hacks the next wannabe despot is already sitting on? Constant vigilance is the only defense.


Does the cop playing the music qualify as a public performance if the citizens are the audience?


Simply playing a song "in the background" without any critique, educational purpose, or other transformative fair use is almost certainly an performance of the original work. If the cop doesn't have an appropriate license, they could be liable for statutory damages up to $150,000[1] per work.

Unfortunately, enforcing this will probably only happen if someone with standing files a lawsuit. I doubt many music labels that hold the relevant copyrights are interested in suing the cops.

[1] damages normally start much lower, but the performance of the copyright protected work is patently willful


If I were an artist and learned that my work had been used in this manner, I would be outraged and would absolutely want to pursue damages for the unauthorized public performance, or demand that my record label pursue damages.

I wonder how the members of Sublime feel about this.


The lead singer died decades ago, but I think it is still very clear what the band would think: the lyrics of one of their songs are about very similar issues:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_29,_1992_(Miami)

TLDR : Sublime is about as "anti-cop" as you can get.


A cop, playing music for himself and one other person, most certainly is not in violation of anything.

The person making the video 'without critique or educational purpose' is probably in violation, hence the take down.

A label would never sue the cops first and foremost because they have no standing.


There are also sovereign immunity issues, see Allen v. Cooper.


Wouldn't you have to be a party to the infringing work for that to be true? Presumably you can sue the copyright holder of the film and not the "actors" as it were?

For example, if a romcom rips off some music I created can I sue Ben Affleck because he appeared in it? I doubt it. I especially doubt it if he didn't want to be in the film.


There are two separate potential copyright issues here: The public performance, and the recording. The cop was the one responsible for the public performance.


ASCAP, etc. will eventually want their bill paid for the public performances. That was my experience volunteering at small church coffee houses.


I think the idea is not to get hit with a "public performance" charge, but to have the video get automatically taken down on Youtube/Twitch/Instagram once it gets uploaded (due to the algorithm detecting copyright-infringing material).

And for that purpose, it doesn't matter whether it was a public performance or not. I can make a video of me sitting in a chair with a copyrighted song playing in the background, and it will get taken down. Hardly what I would call a "public performance".


The point is people should turn around and try to nail the cops for illegal public performances.


You can try. I'm sure the cops will just start playing songs by artists who approve of cops playing but don't approve of the songs appearing in the background of social media posts.


Do the labels and/or RIAA police that over the objection or permission of the artists?


Depends on who holds the rights. Whoever holds them decides on the permissions.

If the rights are held by a major label, then they don't care a single thing about the artist's permission. For example, a few years ago or so, Madeon's soundcloud account (a big EDM artists) got a bunch of his own songs removed due to the label being the one actually holding the rights. The artist himself was pretty pissed about this.

But if the rights are held by the artists or by a small independent label, then they get to give out the permission.


The point is that it's not a public performance just because someone recorded it in the background.


thanks - came here to say the same thing. does the police department pay the appropriate BMI license to be able to blast out those tunes in public?


Seems like it. Last time I checked, unauthorized public performance was a crime.


I like to think I came up with this idea first and posed the question to the legaladviceofftopic subreddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/legaladviceofftopic/comments/8zpudx...

IANAL so I can't claim the top answers are correct but it was an interesting discussion so take away what you will.

Edit: If the police played a song that they had the rights to it would mean that they themselves could issue the takedown requests, but it means the uploader could file a counter-notice and the rightsholder needs to a) Show Google they filed a lawsuit to defend their copyright within 10 days, and b) Prove that the infringement is not fair use


It only took a few months!

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24372036

Should have seen who would be the main benefactors of this trick though...


US cops seem pretty actively malicious frankly. Must suck for citizens


It's terrifying


Slightly related, but the only way I was able to get a site taken down for a fraudulent listing of my rental property was to file a Trademark/Copyright claim on the photos and description. The fact that had my property with them listed as the owner and their own phone number was not enough.


That is really interesting and surprising.


If only we paid artists from a generous public support of the arts instead of making them scrimp and appeal to rich people or get pennies from individual streamers we could do away with copyright and such filters completely.

Musicians would be paid fairly and culture would flourish from not being confined by private entities that buy up the rights to how people express themselves.


There is nothing bad with them having to work hard to make money. The offer for music is incredibly high and most people would prefer playing music over doing their job. The market is oversaturated and it gets worse and worse the more time passes (assuming a portion of people will be content with music from the past). It's normal that making music pays penny.

Redistributing money would be terrible: the government would have another token to use to raise taxes (on which they can surely pocket a % for managing the work - free of market interference, so with zero competition or attention to waste) and the artist would have less of an incentive to make truly great pieces.

That said, we don't need copyright laws or any other law which facilitate rich producers to get money or censor people. If we didn't have an expensive government upholding copyright laws, producers could just sell music with a non-redistribute contract. If someone breaks that contract they can go to a court and get a monetary compensation. If they're selling so many copies that they can't keep track of all the people sharing their music, consider it a market fee on excessive profits.

The problem in our society is that rich producers can corrupt the government (and media / education: how many people consider copyright to be fair?) and get them to pass laws which give them extra power.


Given our lopsided wealth distribution, why don't we redistribute and make our musicians more well to do? Another tax is really a great idea, it wouldn't solve everything but would help make a more equal society if it could be applied without corporations avoiding it.

We already have enough production and even unemployment! We have more than enough spare labor capacity to let people try their hand at music more freely.

In any case, I know several musicians and they essentially get repeatedly spit on by society, work for peanuts, and never give up on their mission even after sometimes becoming near suicidal. The current system is inhumane and starves us of non-commercial art.


Could myself and everyone else quit our careers, open a SoundCloud, and start living off the public purse?


When the Beetles were forming, they lived off the dole in the UK. The dole is credited with creating the music culture of the UK back in the 60s.

I imagine that the way the system would work would be some kind of minimum disbursement for everyone, a higher level arts disbursment for people that are recognized to be working or emeritus musicians by their peers, and public contracts worth more money for particular projects.

The ceiling of financial success might be lower, but many fewer musicians would be living on ramen for decades or speculating on GameStop out of frustration. The idea is create a system that is explicitly not winner-takes-all.


> they lived off the dole in the UK. The dole is credited with creating

FWIW, slightly odd to read 'dole' here, it's just a slang term for unemployment benefits/'jobseekers allowance'/PC term du jour.

It's not some pedestal-worthy since-scrapped UBI or whatever.

It's partly just fashion I suppose - for whatever reason (self-reinforced, I suppose) there was more 'pride' in it, that I can't really imagine in modern lyrics, but we do have 'drill' etc. proudly rapping about illegal activities and turf wars, which is similar I suppose, in the sense that an outsider thinks 'why is that something to sing about, keep it to yourself, surely'.


> I imagine that the way the system would work would be some kind of minimum disbursement for everyone, a higher level arts disbursment for people that are recognized to be working or emeritus musicians by their peers, and public contracts worth more money for particular projects.

I think it would be better to just have universal basic income for everyone (definitely not something restricted to music or even "art") and then have people find their own way if they want more on top of that. Highly regarded musicians can earn money without copyright just like anyone else: concerts, contract work, etc - just like everyone else.


Yes, but instead of making sure people's needs are met, have you considered giving the money to billionaires in the form of subsidies instead?


The dole is just welfare bud. The idea that fewer artists would be living the ramen lifestyle on welfare is goofy.


I'm not saying we should exactly replicate this system, I'm saying that a more basic version of it produced a cultural boom.


Right? I draw in my spare time sometimes can I get free money?

Or does the art have to pass some kind of appeal test in this scenario.


As I stated in another comment, higher pay would be reserved for people recognized as practicing musicians by their peers. They could also earn money via performances like they do now, but they would be guaranteed a standard of living so long as they stayed current. For example, playing for free in a coffee shop, publishing videos on YouTube, producing sheet music, logging hours of practice etc would count towards currency.

The idea being that society is richer for having cultivated talents and art regardless of whether a random person on the street is willing to pay for it.

For your drawing, I guess it would depend on if you met the criteria of being "a practicing artist" by a rubric devised by artists. There might be lower or moderate levels on that scale that would e.g. cover supplies for talent development or initial forays into full-time practice.


How do you get recognized by practicing musicians? Could I generate white noise and pay them a cut of my future government hand outs so they would approve my white noise as music?

Like honestly this idea is so amazingly terrible and full of an infinite number of holes I'm surprised anyone is arguing for it.


This is essentially how science grants work. The state awards some money for science in general and allots it to a few agencies to distribute, who then use practicing scientists to figure out who deserves it. How does anyone determine whom is a practitioner of a given art? It's some interplay between demonstrated objective skill and practitioner consensus.

I'm proposing a gentler version of that that would be open to more people.

What you are describing is corruption and would be illegal.

I would also note that public support of the arts is nothing new. This is simply a generous expansion that qualitatively changes the relation of artists to markets and to the public.

For example: https://www.loc.gov/exhibits/hope-for-america/government-sup...


The think the government paying artists directly would solve problems? It would create tons of problems and just end up as another broken system like everything else.


The market breaks the government and then we blame the government so we'll cede more power to the market is another interpretation. Another interpretation is that the American government was designed to cater to elites from inception and one day we will fully democratize it and make it work for all of us.


Why is it not possible for individuals to just pay a fee like a radio station to not get copyright striked?

There are so many solutions for industry like listening devices for venues that figure out what was played so that licensing can be processed.

I see this yet as another failure of the RIAA to get a leg up and provide a win-win solution. Instead these idiots are stuck in their old thinking until it's too late and someone else will once again "steal" a huge part of their profit. Apple is one that took such a chunk from them because they sat around.


It still shouldn't be needed. This situation is a great example of Fair Use Doctrine.


Some media in some jurisdictions have compulsory licensing, but music recordings in the USA do not. Licenses are discretionary. I.e. must be negotiated from the owner.

Part of that negotiation is about leverage and bundling (you can buy our hits but not without also buying all the crap) and gives a whole industry of middlemen jobs. A-la-cart licensing would be a disaster for some of the goons in RIAA.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compulsory_license


> Why is it not possible for individuals to just pay a fee like a radio station to not get copyright striked?

Worked for some people trying to get that kind of thing going with the record companies but they were beyond ambivalent about it. (As well they might be given that money rolls in without much effort on their part.)


I would assume radio stations have contracts that allow them to, quite literally, pay to play.


They pay the songwriters, but interestingly enough don't have to pay the artists for broadcast rights at least in the US.

https://soundcharts.com/blog/radio-royalties


My wife is a belly dancer.

Because Covid, she and her team (yep, those exist!) are practicing remotely using various streaming software.

Last training session this saturday, suddenly the teacher stopped everything, and said they would need to change what music they are practicing, after lots of dancers with confused faces, she then said: "Well, Facebook just threatened banning my account permanently if I keep streaming this music, because copyright violation."


This is a good point, and very sad.

I think the DCMA people may want to change their tune on this (pun intended).

Playing music among a small group even if they are disparate, is probably actually legal, or it should be.


That’s actually hilarious.

Repelling livestreamers with licensed music, like they are vampires and it works!

Cops are about to start wearing JBL Clip 3’s on their utility belt.


Ugh, this isn't funny in the least bit, and it's just an extension of this apathy towards our society and the other people in it. This is an extreme version of people lying about their pet's support animal status.

The police are supposed to defend the law. When you see a uniformed officer, on duty, behind the desk AND on camera, use what he KNOWS to be a cheap abuse of the intent of one law in order to break some other law, you should be really sad about where we've landed as a country.

Shouldn't this officer be helping the man behind the camera?


Yes, and its also hilarious.

Cops in motion picture land use motion picture law to thwart motion picturers.

I think there is enough consensus to see that this should be fixed.


The tweet is mostly just a link to this article:

https://www.vice.com/en/article/bvxb94/is-this-beverly-hills...


This really should be the article link.


I guess at some point platforms will stop removing media that contains copyrighted audio, and instead just remove the copyrighted audio from the media. (?)


Twitch does this. They mute the audio but still allow the video. In this case it wouldn't help because the non-music audio is still important.


It should be possible to remove the music while retaining the rest of the audio. It will be a little bit more complicated than just subtracting a known waveform because of imperfect speakers and mics, but I suspect it's still possible.


Vocal isolation has been a thing for a long time, but the lines of https://krisp.ai/ might already be able to do this sort of thing well?


Youtube already does or did this. I remember multiple videos that had no audio and a notification that the audio has been removed owing to a copyright complaint.


Ah, I meant extracting the copyrighted audio signal from the remaining audio signal, and leaving the remaining signal.


There was a time when they did that. I had a video with music from The Doors and people talking over. They removed the song and you could still hear the distorted voices


I'm not sure how feasible that would be if someone is talking over a song playing...


It's theoretically straightforward if you have the actual copyrighted audio; you can just invert it and add it to the audio stream.

But I believe YouTube stores some kind of digest related to the audio they identify, not the audio itself.

Then again, that audio is available for many pieces that happen to be present in other videos on YouTube, which ContentID would automatically identify.


Thought experiment: Would such a use of the original music as anti-music count as a transformative work of the original song (not the video, where it definitely would) under copyright?

I mean, thinking of a hack. I could distribute two sound files that alone don't sound like anything much, but if you run them through such an inverter, it produces a copyrighted song. I'd guess the legal system would jump on me and claim one of my files has a music-shaped-hole in it that infringes on the original work.


AKA "colored bits": https://ansuz.sooke.bc.ca/entry/23

The example used in this article uses one-time pad to produce random noise and an appropriate key that, when XORed together, produces a copyrighted work. No worky in the eyes of the law.


If human beings can tell the difference between speech and background audio while both are playing simultaneously, it has to be possible somehow for a machine to do it.


This is certainly something that humans do, but they do have a significant error rate.


Deezer's library Spleeter seems to do quite a good job at separating out various instruments from a raw recording with fairly low phase smearing. I could see that kind of technology could be adapted to this use case not because it's right or wrong, but because there's an incentive for the platform to leave the content up and able to be monetized rather than 86'd entirely.


Given that copyrighted audio is- more or less by definition- available as a separate track without interference, it shouldn't be too difficult to subtract it from the video's track.


The uploaders- or tech-savvy early downloaders- might be able to do the same. So as a way to prevent videos from being uploaded to social media seems completely lame. As this video proves, it's just a ticket for becoming quickly a very famous asshole.


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