(on behalf of Sony BMG Music UK); UMPI, Kobalt Music Publishing, LatinAutor, Warner Chappell, BMI - Broadcast Music Inc., UNIAO BRASILEIRA DE EDITORAS DE MUSICA - UBEM, LatinAutor - UMPG, SOLAR Music Rights Management, AMRA, UMPG Publishing, CMRRA, LatinAutorPerf, LatinAutor - Warner Chappell, and 15 Music Rights Societies
What is happening here? Does YouTube have legal arrangements with all of these bodies to make sure they get their penny per kiloview?
Sadly, it seems like it’s going to be the norm now. I recall hearing the EU wants to legally mandate the mechanism of Content ID, just another nail in the coffin for the open web really.
The concept of public domain resources is not a difficult one, you don't need special legal training or advanced math to understand the idea that copyright expires and that works whose copyright has expired are free to all. There is no mechanism to even assert public domain status on Youtube.
You have to wait and offer it as a defense if subjected to a copyright infringement claim, and the copyright infringement claim is presumed to be valid and the claimant is the first judge of the public domain assertion.
Youtube didn't invent the system, but they are far from being helpless victims as you imply.
Unfortunately it’s lucrative enough for companies to exploit loop holes by utilising subcontractors, paying the fines and so on.
The real issue is the proof, but it’s nothing new. When the banana industry first took off a “magical” amount of small banana farmers disappeared or sold their lands to militant groups in South America, these groups then sold the land to companies like Chiquita.
Chiquita tried to buy the land the normal way first, when that didn’t work they then made I known that they were buying the land in circles that could “get” the land. Chiquita never actually hired anyone to do the dirty work though.
Every piece of hardware I own is made immorally, yours is probably too, exactly because of companies using these methods of having other parties do the dirty work, but because they have more money than governments it’s impossible to come after them in a legal manner, at least without making some radically different legislation.
Maybe we should do that, but it probably wouldn’t be healthy for democracy.
Some headline catching big fine that gets quietly reduced to insignificance. Some giant parading announcement of a commitment to zero carbon and no meaningful action taken after the cameras leave.
It's pure political theater.
After we landed once on a plane, air marshalls came on before anybody could leave and escorted a passenger off. What happened? He smoked a cigarette. That's actual consequences.
Nobody arrested Exxon or BP executives for their gross negligence in their extremely avoidable ecosystem destroying oil spills. They didn't suffer any personal consequences. There was no tribunal for lying about climate change through propaganda campaigns since the 1980s
The FBI never showed up at Phil Knights house on charges of child labor or call in to question the very peculiar legal acrobatics of subcontractor shell games Nike uses to create liability distance.
It'd be like if the guy smoking on the plane had one friend light it and another hold the cigarette as he puffed it and we were like "Well I guess that's too complicated for the law to handle so it's no longer a crime! Carry on!"
If child labour exploitation was enforced as loosely as copyright infringement most of the world's children would be in workhouses.
That's not fighting the battle and losing. That's fighting the battle and surrendering.
They won every time their case was argued. When did they lose?
Ultimately I am not a lawyer and I can’t analyze how and why the case ended the way it did. However, I do think it is obvious to anyone that Content ID is a key component of how YouTube managed to escape further lawsuits and legal scrutiny. And as can be seen in the Oracle case, fighting something all the way into legal precedence can backfire in enormously painful ways, like having APIs all be eligible for copyright.
Really. It was all a direct reaction to the lawsuits: https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB118161295626932114
When I say it has improved, I mean it genuinely has. Back in 2008 the usual outcome of copyright strikes were deleted videos and deleted channels. Copyright cartels monetizing videos they didn’t make due to dubious Content ID matches may seem like an unreasonable response, but it is still a better compromise than content flying down blackholes.
And yes. It would be great if all of these problems could just be solved. I’m sure they’ve heard every idea imaginable. There is no one obvious way to solve everything. So asking “why don’t they just do this?” is not productive. What we could ask is “how did we get here?”
And the answer to that is that copyright is broken. And if we could fix that, or at least make it less broken, some of these problems would literally disappear.
And if you don’t believe me, there’s tons of backup from people more persuasive who have perspectives of being in the direct line of fire. Like Tom Scott: https://youtu.be/1Jwo5qc78QU
And yeah YouTube could do better, but all too often you get the perspective that this is all their fault because they could solve it with one easy trick. It’s easy to say that when none of the competition managed to stick around to prove it.
Instead, the opposite happened instead, when Twitch had its own copyright reckoning.
We knew copyright on the internet was fundamentally broken in the Napster days. Did we forget?
And they didn't try the one that is the actual subject of this subthread.
> asking “why don’t they just do this?” is not productive
That doesn't make your answer to it valid.
> the answer to that is that copyright is broken
Why not go further back? Why is there greed? Why aren't all humans brothers? If only we could fix that, some of these problems would literally disappear!
For what it’s worth, Twitch has not implemented this idea either.
Oh? When did that happen?
It’s entirely YouTubes fault. Their business model is automated moderation and it’s constantly proven faulty. Yet they haven’t made a decent support system around it.
Their automated systems is the primary reason why we would never consider using Google Cloud, even though parts of it would enable us of building apps that we can’t with Azure or AWS. Their support is just horrible though. When something goes wrong with our office365 or azure setup we can call Seattle (I’m not sure where exactly Microsoft is located, sorry) and they will give us hourly updates until it’s fixed. With Google the support we get, even as an enterprise organisation with 10.000 employees is the same you get, an automated process that likely won’t solve your issue until it gathers enough publicity to make a real human at Google notice.
The automated bans and takedowns work for YouTube because it’s content creators and it’s viewers are it’s products and not it’s customers, but I’m looking forward to when the EU puts their foot down on it.
> EU wants to legally mandate the mechanism of Content ID, just another nail in the coffin for the open web really.
The EU is slowly moving to making platforms responsible for their content and how they treat their users. I don’t see it as the end of the open web, however, because the web isn’t open now and haven’t been for quite some time as this channel getting wrongly banned shows you.
Google is an evil advertising company and the sooner they get broken down the better.
I suspect (but cannot prove) that the bandwidth and server costs will be small in comparison to the wages for the moderation staff.
If we take "you need about 3x the time of a video to make a considered moderation decision" as a baseline, and trust the numbers from https://merchdope.com/youtube-stats/ as valid, we would need....
300 hours per minute * 1440 minutes per day * 3 moderator hours per day. Let's round that up to 1.3 million hours of daily reviewer time. Let us also assume we have super-human reviewers that can squeeze out 8 hours of solid reviewing a day. That means we need 160k - 170k reviewers. And then we need to account for illness and hols, so make that about a quarter of a million people, to keep up with the incoming and maybe make some inroads on what's been uploaded in the past.
That is actually less than what I expected, I thought the numbers would end up in the "low millions" (call it 3.14 million).
I'm imagining a world where the answer was "tough luck, you have to or you don't get to do business". Imagine a Facebook where due to the enforced human moderation you were only able to make a single post a day. That actually sounds like it might solve a lot of problems!
Why? I can want regulation of big tech corporations without building a competitor.
Are these humongous advertising companies even a net benefit to the EU? I doubt it, and if they aren’t, then why on earth should we keep them around as is?
It is possible to make a non-antagonistic system that complies with DMCA: Respond to the takedown upon receipt and give account holders an easy path to restore the disputed content under fair use or for invalid claims. Then the originator of the claim can use the normal legal process and Google is off the hook as a safe harbor. Google doesn't want to do that because they're in bed with the media companies to get favorable treatment on their paid services.
I don't think there is a mainstream anymore. The only place to hear popular music is advertising and it is always from much earlier eras.
Shows like WKRP cannot work anymore. You can't even get it on dvd because of the music licease demands.
Todays popular music are highly profitable but only heard by a small group.
It already passed. Now we're just waiting for the consequences.
Erm, what? Aren't those just two different ways of saying the same thing? The tragedy of the commons happens because there is no owner of the commons who can regulate their use.
What? Clean water, clean air, deforestation, overfishing, noise pollution. There are infinite externalities that have been shifted onto the commons that social compact and peer pressure haven’t (and arguably won’t) solve.
Once you start talking about the modern, post-privatization world, things are different of course. Resources like water may be in theory community managed, but in practice private for-profit entities acquire the right to extract as much as they can. Think Nestle and water for example.
That said, I think privatization was inevitable. I don't think it makes sense to long for the days where community management was possible, because that was probably always limited to rather local resources and not to handling global problems like climate change. (Maybe a "global community" is possible in some utopian future, but thinking about that doesn't seem like a way to solve the problems we have now.)
Yeah, and I understand what we've got right now ain't that.
I think the two requirements for that kind of community governance are 1) relatively stable long-term relationships - ie, stakeholders are well known to each other and expect to bear the long-term costs of their decisions - and 2) relatively evenly distributed power, such that no one actor can ignore the will of the overall group.
Broadly, I think there are two changes in the modern world that put an end to that, both technological - 1) transportation technology increased to the point where it's no longer a given that people will effectively stay in one place for their entire lives, which affects both how people see their surroundings and what they can assume of others, and 2) mechanization increased both the scale of resource extraction we're capable of and the power disparity we can bring to bear if, say, the Crown agrees with us.
> That said, I think privatization was inevitable.
Broadly I agree. I'm not sure privatization as we have it was inevitable, but I think given technology progressing to even trains and rifles is sufficient to disrupt the social and psychological world in which most resources were held in common.
> I don't think it makes sense to long for the days where community management was possible, because that was probably always limited to rather local resources and not to handling global problems like climate change. (Maybe a "global community" is possible in some utopian future, but thinking about that doesn't seem like a way to solve the problems we have now.)
Part of why I push back on the idea of "the tragedy of the commons" is because it fosters a narrative of human beings as inescapably greedy and incapable of acting communally at any scale, and that's simply incorrect. I don't know what a "global community" would look like, but I think if we've any hope of achieving some kind of headway against climate change, we need more narratives encouraging us to be members of a community and fewer telling us we're "rational actors."
For example, many fisheries in the USA have recovered tremendously through smart limits. The Atlantic cod fishery is often cited. I personally have experienced the Pacific North West salmon fishery and can confirm that the fishing gets better up there every year while the Dominican fishery gets worse. The DR fishery has experienced the tragedy of the commons.
The DR also experienced fantastic forest preservation in the 1970s. This was after all the old growth was destroyed. There was a success of the commons following a tremendous tragedy. Still, in the last few years these old laws have been disrespected and so the forests have been decimated to make way for Haas avocado plants. Do not buy Dominican Haas avocado.
The tragedy of the commons is very real. Learn more about the success and failure of different shared resources through Elinor Ostrom’s work.
Could you elaborate on how "'inventing money because barter is inefficient' doesn't seem to exist in the real world"? The idea that barter's inefficiency drives demand for money seems to me to be self-evidently true, so I'd be interested to hear a different perspective.
3. Graeber D. 2011. ‘Debt: The First 5000 Years'. Melville House, NY
F*ck me, if that's the only thing you take away from this thread I'll have done my job. The problem is they keep taking that poor history and using it to spin tales about humans as greed-stricken robots who'd sell their grandmas if it would generate a dollar more value than whatever you want to price a plate of fresh-baked cookies at, and the bigger problem is we've built an entire society and economy off their collective delusions.
Others point out Debt below, and that's the canonical argument here. Effectively, the kinds of small societies that most people lived in for most of human history manage exchange based on personal relationships and reciprocal exchange, not abstract or closed monetary transactions. Money arises in the context of either long-range trade, in which sustained relationships aren't guaranteed, or in the context of large states which actually require some form of bookkeeping to track things like taxes and tribute.
The "self-evident" nature of the "barter becomes money" story is the origin myth of Economics - it absolutely sounds like a way things could have happened and feels deeply plausible, but there's no evidence it did.
You mean through exclusionary rules, investing in monitoring and punishment etc all of which divert resources from the productive activity solely by the existence of the incentive to overuse the "commons" or others' goodwill.
True, while the subgame unique subgame perfect equilibrium of most models is full free-riding, most lab experiments show less than full free-riding. That does not mean the incentives are not there.
Why are dorm bathrooms not as clean as bathrooms in your house?
> inventing money because barter is inefficient
That's a silly statement: No one decided to invent money in a similar process of invention like the lightbulb. Instead, coins, tokens, and other recognized mediums of exchange dominated over barter because barter is inconvenient and inefficient.
Even animals can learn to use a medium of exchange.
No, I mean through collective policing and social pressure. In villages before privatizaton, free-riders faced social pressure, shame, and other consequences for violating the group trust. This is how most societies operated for the bulk of human history.
> True, while the subgame unique subgame perfect equilibrium of most models is full free-riding, most lab experiments show less than full free-riding. That does not mean the incentives are not there.
The lab experiments show "less than full free-riding" because humans are predominantly a social species, not a value-maximizing algorithm.
> That's a silly statement: No one decided to invent money in a similar process of invention like the lightbulb. Instead, coins, tokens, and other recognized mediums of exchange dominated over barter because barter is inconvenient and inefficient.
Except there's no historical record of that happening anywhere. The two things that look like money are trade goods between distant groups and coinage required by rulers for taxes or tribute. There's no record of money being invented de novo to replace barter in societies which didn't already have it.
> Even animals can learn to use a medium of exchange.
Obviously, but I haven't seen any record of chimps spontaneously deciding to coin money, so I'm not sure what the point here is.
Edit for the point I missed:
> Why are dorm bathrooms not as clean as bathrooms in your house?
Because my mother doesn't live in the dorm.
Music (and likely other media) is typically licensed for distribution regionally or nationally. What you're seeing here is probably the (unexhaustive) laundry list of different rights holders for various international markets.
Remember region locking for DVDs? That wasn't (just) due to NSTC vs PAL.
Correct, in fact most DVDs were encoded 480p and 24 fps, so they're neither NTSC nor PAL.
Only in NTSC regions. PAL region DVDs are generally 576p and 25 fps.
Sped up by 4% to make them 25fps. The audio is supposed to be pitch-corrected, but some poorly done conversions did not do that.
It's a bit weird in the sense that everything is sped up and faster than normal. In the other hand, it's super simple and does not introduce the even weirder judder that a cinema-to-NTSC (telecine) conversion would do.
Personally I think it's easier to get used to everything being slightly faster but unmodified otherwise than to having additional frames being inserted and the resulting judder in all motion.
Well except youtube keeps it in all this cases. Sad sad google now has to keep all the money for them self in a system they designed. What a unlucky coincident. Nothing they could do against that.
EDIT: changed pronouns, been a while since I last looked into this creator.
Edit: Yep, they/them. Should've looked it up.
>They/Them. Pan & Trans Gendertrash in Non-Binary Finery. Indie wrestling supervillain. Polyantagonist. Hated by Gamers(tm)
The arrangement is, essentially, yes, they have agreements with all of those bodies to give them the ad revenue in exchange for leaving the videos up
1. The viewer or listener of the music, you might or might not get the right to listen to music in your "territory" or country, and often the music is monetised which means you get ads, or a portion of your subscription revenue is apportioned to the "view";
2. YouTube itself, whom decides on the viewers' right to listen to the music based on their complicated set of algorithms or "claims" on the music track. They also have a complicated database of rights which includes not only rights holder relationships, but the much of the music catalogue itself;
3. A publisher of a piece of music. This copyright is for the composition (sheet music), and often YouTube may be able to work out the publishing right in a territory based on the melody match. So when you say "Content ID algo finds similarity in a dozen different recordings" this is in fact by design. Their melody matching system is in play as often publishers get paid on the composition;
4. The performance copyright of the music. This copyright is for the actual performance - whether it be live, on CD or MP3. Usually this is the record company, they will often upload or provide the music to YouTube and expect to get paid for performances. Content ID will then "claim" any third party copies of the performance and monetize them too (or sometimes block, depending on the territory of viewer, and what the publisher and performance owner wants to do for that territory);
5. Most countries also have music societies who collect on behalf of artists. So GEMA in Germany or PRS in the UK will collect money per view and by some complicated reporting will pay artists directly some small pittance every year if they are lucky. Some countries don't have societies which means YouTube doesn't need to pay. Where YouTube does not have an agreement in a country (less and less now) the music will not be monetized or may be blocked.
There are huge data reports which move around to keep this system going - and the collecting societies themselves work together to ensure that the money for a view of "Never Gonna Give Up" is passed to PRS who then occasionally will pay Rick Astley. It's a nice earner for a minority of musicians to have this income when all the cover versions and MP3 sales have dried up.
YouTube does have a lot of agreements with all the other parties and it's a constant job to renew and renegotiate these contracts constantly. You can see that in the rights notice you mention, this includes all the territories in which there are rights established: it's mind-boggling. No-one wants to lose control of this system and I imagine that makes it brittle and very difficult to disrupt...it's lawyers all the way down.
I hope that is not all too misleading!
The intellectual commons has been (and is), literally, subject to "I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further." scenarios. That shouldn't have ever been acceptable. Since no "normie" has ever given a damn about copyright terms only those who were financially incented to care (read: holders of copyrights) got a say. They used their lobby to make the change happen.
If so, that law was unconstitutional:
"[the United States Congress shall have power] To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."
It totally won't enable over a hundred years of rent seeking for him, descendants who could inherit his property after he's dead and of course the monopolistic copyright giants.
I, on the other hand, am alive and would definitely have decided to become a world-renowned operatic singer, if only copyright wasn't so short that I couldn't pass on the rights to my artistic creations to my children's children's children's children's children's children's children. I could pass it on to my children's children's children's children's children's children, but I worry about their kids. Copyright isn't sufficiently long enough for that so I decided to produce no art at all instead, and become an engineer to produce trade secrets that can last indefinitely.
We definitely need an extension to copyright to incentivize long-term planners like me to create more art.
and can also be invalidated immediately. AFAIK trade secret gets no formal protection outside secrecy.
Corporations can persist beyond the life of any humans within them for a good reason. It enables longer term investment and decision making to achieve things that can't be done in a single lifespan. Why should human lifespan be some essential time limit on property rights?
It also has the ethical problem that old or unhealthy people's work would be worth less than young healthy people's.
The median planning term for US corporations is far closer (even on a log scale) to one quarter than to one century. It's offensive to even suggest that any major US corporation is planning multiple human generations into the future, except, ironically, to be able to exploit their current IP holdings ad infinitum. Completely detached from reality, like most pro-IP arguments.
Neither scenario is testable. It ends up being a question of the kind of world you want to live in-- one where the estates of the dead lock up artifacts of culture and don't allow them to be used to create new works or one where new works based on older works can be more freely created.
Have you seen "Wicked" (or read the novels upon which it is based, or listened to the soundtrack, or purchased branded merch)? Have you read "The Last Ringbearer"? One of those works exists commercially and as a broad cultural phenomenon because expiration of copyright allowed it to. The other won't see a commercial release until at least 2043 because the estate of a dead man says it can't.
The success of Disney in "monetizing" and influencing culture with public domain stories makes me think there's significant validity in the argument of allowing old works to enter the public domain more quickly so they can be freely built-upon. It seems like both an economic and cultural good.
"Wicked" has probably done a lot more business than the estate of L. Frank Baum was going to in the early 2000s using the "The Wizard of Oz" properties.
What was the last movie you've watched that entered the public domain? I bet not a single person on this site will see that happen within their lifetimes.
The fact is copyright monopolists have systematically robbed us of our public domain rights.
Copyright term duration is about society. The truth is copyright is bullshit. Artificial scarcity is exactly that: artificial. It's a lie. Society is doing creators a huge favor: we're all pretending the creator's works are scarce. We're pretending we don't know how to make copies. We do this so that they can make money from their work. And we're doing it with the understanding that after a while the work will belong to us all. It will no longer be the creator's, it will become part of our culture by joining the public domain. Public property.
The longer you make those terms, the more unfair it is to the society that enabled the creator's business in the first place. The more unfair it is, the less reason there is to uphold the original social contract.
This arrangement must be tolerable for society. This eternal rent-seeking monopoly bullshit will not be tolerated. One day society is going to stop pretending and these monopolists will understand that everything is public domain.
It's already happening. See Sci-Hub.
My point is that copyright is to incentivize authors to produce work but if it's limited by the author's lifetime, then older people will be incentivized less than younger people because they won't be able to sell the rights for as much money because they'll expire sooner. We don't particularly need work created by young people more than old people, so why incentivize it that way?
> Money also has artificial scarcity
I don't understand. Why do you think that?
I don't think this can be called artificial scarcity though. It's real scarcity that's gradually inflated away by governments and banks. Data is already infinitely abundant as soon as it's created.
I'm all for keeping much of the current copyright regime around, including extending the term to some reasonable period after the author's lifetime. The terms need to be reasonable.
Copyright is granted by society. It should be based on give and take. Historically "normies" haven't paid any attention to it and the only parties who have had any say have been those who had a vested financial interest in increasing copyright terms. It has been a "take and take" relationship.
Preventing works from entering the public domain also has a "pulling up the ladder" effect. It prevents new works based upon older works from having economic value. The Walt Disney company's success and subsequent lobbying to extend copyright terms is a particularly galling example of this to me.
I'm not sure what you mean re: "...maybe forever (like indigenous culture)." Are you suggesting that making works that are derivative from indigenous cultures should be prohibited? At some level all of our stories are from the "indigenous culture" of all of humanity. There are no new stories under the sun.
For patents, it's important to ensure that ideas become available for everyone else to enjoy despite giving a monopoly to the inventor. That's because an invention may be the best way to do something and we would be worse off if we couldn't use it. Copyright, on the other hand, doesn't protect anything fundamentally important. It's just individual products of human creativity. If you want a cartoon animal, you can always create your own without having to build on Mickey Mouse. The protected ones don't really matter except that they've been pushed into popular culture and people have lapped them up. We could do our culture in a way that doesn't suck at the teat of industrial culture-generation factories like Disney if we didn't want the impediment of copyright.
So I don't think your argument about give and take is really convincing. We could even have infinite copyright and the world would get along fine. If some obnoxious copyright owner enforced their rights to strongly, somebody else could create an equivalent work that was just as good to replace it.
I don't think they'd do it without copyright though, as evidenced by the fact that almost nobody does. Even open source developers still use copyright to restrict distribution (GPL) and amature artists demand credit (CC-BY).
> YouTube’s takedown algorithm claims that the following corporations all own the copyright to that audio recording that was MADE IN THE YEAR 1914: “SME, INgrooves (on behalf of Emerald); Wise Music Group, BMG Rights Management (US), LLC, UMPG Publishing, PEDL, Kobalt Music Publishing, Warner Chappell, Sony ATV Publishing, and 1 Music Rights Societies”
So what's going on here? Did some record company reissue the song later on CD, so YouTube is treating it like it was released at a later date than it was?
> All works first published or released before January 1, 1926, have lost their copyright protection, effective January 1, 2021.
Google probably should compile a list of public domain recordings to act as a blacklist for YouTube copyright claims. Maybe that should even be legal a requirement for such automatic enforcement systems. If they partner with some library or national archive, such a project could help with media preservation efforts.
That's not the entire story. Sound recordings are a separate category, and pre-1923 sound recordings have a special clause that means they don't enter public domain until 2022.
I don't think there's the political will to keep doing that.
Should or would. Why would they be interested in that, the current situation brings them money and that's all they seem to care about.
We should pass legislation that forces them to rectify it, at the expense of hiring actual humans if they have to.
When they’re looking at policing copyright on basically all modern works versus just the last 20 years worth of works, there has to be some automation involved. When you involve automation, you’re inevitably going to see dehumanizing situations like this. They can’t just decide to not uphold the law though.
Why is that? Google is not, nor should they be, a law enforcement agency. There are multiple law enforcement agencies and interested individuals/organizations (the copyright holders) who should bear the responsibility for enforcing copyright. Putting the onus on the "public square" to police speech is the worst solution for all parties with the possible exception of copyright trolls.
It particularly shouldn't require YOU as web host to try to ascertain the legal status of every 100-year old sound clip. That's not realistic, as Youtube's experience clearly seems to show. It does require you to respond when someone sends a signed document claiming it's theirs.
I'm not a lawyer etc., would be happy to have this explained if I'm wrong.
Instead of playing favorites, YT chose to use automation to its greatest potential and let the citizenry put pressure on lawmakers to reform the system. I think what they're doing is smart, although perhaps lawmakers are more resistant to reform than YT originally anticipated.
Downside of having an automated restoration system that puts an actually offending piece of content back up: Multi-billion dollar lawsuits from the media cartels.
Happens all the time, they don't give a shit, in fact I'm starting to suspect that some music creators do this on purpose.
I made the video public so people can see it, but I hate the idea that these creeps get to make money off of a scam on my part, so I usually mark them private.
I just said that YT should receive and acknowledge claims of fair use or public domain status. Then, if a copyright claim arises, video uploaders know that YT is already aware of the asserted status and will evaluate it alongside the copyright claim, instead of assuming the latter to be true by default.
1. Unless you believe artists should make money solely from performances and not from streamed music which I was sorta onboard with until streaming-music-as-a-service turned into a gigantic industry.
In the US, sound recordings used to be handled under state copyright law. That's a phrase which should give any lawyer younger than 60 an aneurysm, as there is no such thing today - sound recording rights were brought into federal law in the 1970s, and preemption means that states can't extend copyright law at all anymore. However, the actual recordings weren't properly grandfathered into federal law until 2018 with the passage of the MMA, which includes concepts from the CLASSICS Act.
Under the MMA, pre-federal sound recordings get a new copyright term on a sliding scale, with the lowest term length being 3 years for recordings made before 1923. Since the MMA was passed in 2018, those new terms expire... this January.
Assuming there is no current legal rights holder for this recording, I firmly believe that companies that falsely assert their rights should be held criminally liable for theft.
So at present: owner tags some content as owned by them, content is fingerprinted, YouTube does similarity-matching, content that is similar gets flagged for takedown until the uploader intervenes. It's certainly not fair to hold the content owner accountable for false-positives any more than it's fair to hold the uploader.
(Now, in cases where the uploader pushes the "This content is legit" button and the content owner responds with the "no it isn't" button, I'd be very much in favor of incentives changing so an error at that point on the part of the content owner gets them raked over the coals. But there's no real legal mechanism for that to happen right now. Remember, this entire process exists as an alternative to the content owner's legal option: to sue YouTube or to sue individual YouTube users. YouTube doesn't want that).
For example It's a Wonderful Life went into the public domain in 1974 when copyright registration was not renewed. After which it became popular on TV. But it went back under copyright when the USA signed the Berne Convention in 1989. And starting in 1993 Republic Pictures began collecting royalties from TV networks that showed it.
I'm curious, how did re-copyrighting impact the legal status of (possibly hypothetical) works derived from _It's a Wonderful Life_ during its in the public domain?
The system is meant to flag the vast majority of uses of other people's videos but glosses over any questions about whether such use is considered "fair use" per local law or whether the presumed owner of the video actually cares or has granted permission for the use.
It assumes anyone using a video that's not theirs is doing so in violation of copyright, and refuses to allow that video to be posted. It's automatic and often wrong, but Youtube don't care because it's keeping the parties that can have a significant effect on Youtube's business (and bottom line) happy - the large conglomerates, corporations, and industries that profit off of media world wide.
They want any valuable media to be producing income for them forever, with Youtube and other online providers strong armed into policing their unfair system.
Thus, the imbalances in the present copyright system (infinitely extending copyrights providing rent to corporations) is extended into Youtube's de facto monopoly on sharing user videos.
Youtube's automated takedown system steps on ordinary content creators daily, but Youtube (Google) doesn't care, because individual content creators can't cause them as much trouble as corporations.
So, it's working just fine if you keep that in mind.
Youtube and Google are monopolies that need to be broken up.
How did it becoming a huge money maker for people who already have way too much change your views?
There is a better way: setting up your own video hosting platform.
I think it is not that difficult or expensive these days, although I have not done it, to set up your own website which allows you to upload videos for your own purposes.
That's the only business model that makes sense. Once you record a song, it's trivially copied and distributed. The musicians remain scarce: there's only one of them.
So are books. What do we do with writers?
What I know is this copyright business is fundamentally incompatible with the digital age we're living in. It's trivial to copy. Selling copies makes no sense.
To actually enforce copyright in the 21st century, there must be no software freedom. Only well-behaving software that refuses to copy will be allowed to run. I don't think anyone here on HN wants that.
It's also trivial to stab someone. Not all crimes can or should be prevented by technical means.
In fact most cannot even in principle be prevented. Most of law depends on detection, not prevention.
That's where the "there must be no software freedom" is exactly what might be mandated. It's trivial to re-purpose Apple CSAM mechanism to do this "detection" and something that might actually happen in the future.
Now nearly everyone on this planet has a pocket computer capable of creating and transmitting unlimited numbers of any piece of data at practically zero cost. People don't even realize they're doing it, it's so natural. They create truckloads of derivative works of copyrighted material every single day in the form of memes.
Running a red light? And yellow light?
It's easy to litter, and by FAR most people get away with it.
It's easy to infringe copyright, and by FAR most people get away with it.
Yet you feel this is justification to remove copyright laws, but not littering laws.
If nobody will ever get paid for intellectual property again, then it will absolutely affect me. It's the end of a whole category of creation, and a huge net reduction.
Like I said, you're making no sense at all.
With or without technology (you meant with, right? no that makes no sense either) copyright is clearly enforceable.
We have over 300 years of enforcement on copyright, even when it's trivial to copy.
Technology, or copying, wasn't invented this century, you know. "Piracy has proven that"... we have hundreds of years of easy reproduction pre-copyright too.
> either we abolish copyright, or all computers will eventually be turned into consumer appliances and we'll need programming licenses to write code.
"Either we make murder legal, or nobody may own a knife or other sharp object ever again".
See how it's nonsense?
(I can't reply deeper because HN limitations)
I'd argue the world is different now. We've only had general purpose computers and ubiquitous ultra-cheap networking for the last few decades. Infringing copying on any scale required significant financial investment in the past. I think it's also safe to say there was typically financial incentive behind most mass infringement in the past (i.e. "bootlegging").
I'm not sure that's the case today. I'm guessing most infringement is today is casual-- created by the ease of copying brought on by everybody carrying around mobile computers with those ultra-cheap network connections.
> > either we abolish copyright, or all computers will eventually be turned into consumer appliances and we'll need programming licenses to write code.
> "Either we make murder legal, or nobody may own a knife or other sharp object ever again".
I'm not aware of the "legalize murder to preserve freedom" lobby (though, admittedly, the gun lobby in the United States does kinda fit that bill-- but that's a separate issue). There most certainly is a "regulate general purpose computers" lobby (e.g. "circumvention devices" and the DMCA).
> See how it's nonsense?
Equating copyright law and murder is equally nonsense.
No it didn't. More, yes. But 40 years ago you just needed two VCRs and a blank tape. The only thing preventing mass reproduction was copyright law.
And pre-copyright this is also what happened. Because it was just not that hard. Even 500 years ago.
> I'm guessing most infringement is today is casual-- created by the ease of copying brought on by everybody carrying around mobile computers with those ultra-cheap network connections.
I bet less now than 20 years ago. Today you can buy spotify, apple music, google music, or whatever. You can stream stuff.
Blockbusters didn't die because of piracy, but because of streaming.
> I'm not aware of the "legalize murder to preserve freedom" lobby
It's your argument. If a thing cannot be prevented, then it should be legal. Right?
> Equating copyright law and murder is equally nonsense.
That's wilfully missing the point.
Take shoplifting instead, then.
The actual argument is that society has fundamentally changed after the invention of computers. People copy, transfer and even modify copyrighted works every day without even blinking. It happens on an even larger scale than and at a fraction of the cost of VHS tape copying. Copyright no longer makes sense in the 21st century: it's become natural to infringe.
The fact that copyright no longer guarantees artficial scarcity is just yet another sign that it should probably go away.
There are countries (e.g. Sweden) where it's legal to rip a CD and give a copy to your friends. "Always" has been.
But it's not legal to sell copies. Or to put the music in a "holywood" movie you made and make a profit.
Copyright protects both of these. And if you think holywood movies don't properly license their music then you are mistaken.
Copyright absolutely makes sense.
Could a reform be in order? Well, could you come up with a laws or precedents where me putting a funny meme picture on my facebook wall is legally fine, but holywood taking my art and selling it as part of their product is not?
Because when you say "abolish copyright", that means no more games or movies as we know them today. You may say "good riddance", but you don't have to watch them. You can choose to only listen to music and see movies made under creative commons license. But you'll be pretty alone in that. Your life will look like that of Richard Stallman.
Okay. Selling copies makes no sense anyway. So let people share their files in peace. No profit will be made.
> There are countries (e.g. Sweden) where it's legal to rip a CD and give a copy to your friends. "Always" has been.
My country has similar laws. Does it matter to the monopolists? No. They put DRM in their stuff specifically to stop you from exercising your legal right to copy. I remember one case where one guy backed up a game disc, lost the original and had to sue the company because the game wouldn't accept his copy. Judge made them give him a new disc. Fair use? Doesn't matter to the monopolists either. They'll DMCA content and sue companies out of existence whether they're legally justified or not.
Besides, the copyright monopolists are always trying to destroy these laws. They have considerable lobbying power and the US government imposes american laws on foreign countries via trade agreements.
> Could a reform be in order?
You can certainly make copyright tolerable. Make terms last 5-10 years. More than enough time for creators to make their millions. Anything more than that is rent seeking.
> Because when you say "abolish copyright", that means no more games or movies as we know them today.
Fine. Between computing freedom and the whole copyright industry, I choose computing freedom. Computing is much more important than some entertainment industry and I hate the way its potential is being limited because of these monopolists.
Stallman would probably disagree with me. Free software licenses depend on copyright to work.
This is so naive and ignorant. Some people will maintain the huge libraries of movies. And it won't be free to do so.
They will do this service for pay.
This happens today, with pirate topsites and even closed torrents.
> Make terms last 5-10 years.
I'd say 10-20, but no more than that.
> Between computing freedom and the whole copyright industry, I choose computing freedom.
Good thing we don't have to make that choice.
It's not. Computers are increasingly non-free and DRM is a big reason. The copyright holders want guarantees that I can't run unathorized software against their data even though it's my machine.
Combine this with worldwide governamental desire to regulate or ban encryption. It's an existential threat to the computing freedom we all enjoy today.
This applies to every single crime. Try getting the police or courts to do anything about your stolen bike. They won't. You can have the name of the thief, with video of them stealing it, and it won't be worth their time.
Also won't be worth your time and money to sue them civilly.
So theft should be legal?
Not really. Crimes are limited by reality. One criminal can only do so much.
With copyright infringement you have insane situations such as over 80% of a country's population being guilty of it. At this point, is it even a crime? More like a local custom.
> Try getting the police or courts to do anything about your stolen bike. They won't.
Maybe in the US. It's rather common here. I have examples in my family. I see it in the news nearly every week: some drug addict steals a phone, police arrests him and the phone is returned to its owner.
> So theft should be legal?
From what you just told me, it looks like it already is.
Not just the US. In fact I'm not in the US.
>> So theft should be legal.
> From what you just told me, it looks like it already is.
That's not what "legal" means.
Law is paper. What makes it real is police enforcement, prosecution. If this real stuff is not happening, there is no law.
It's an easy choice for me. As it should be for anyone who browses Hacker News. In a copyright world we won't be able to hack anymore.
So let the creators sort their business out. They'll find a way or go bankrupt. We must not keep inching ever closer to the dystopia where the government and monopolist corporations own our computers.
Absolutely no need to make it technically impossible, or even hard. They'll do just fine suing people who infringe, and/or get criminal conviction.
As they have been doing.
They'll be just fine, don't worry about copyright holders.
I'm not. I'm worried about the freedom to program general purpose computers and the freedom to create derivative works. It seems like copyright holders have been consistently using their lobby to make both harder.
Then why do they keep doing it? Get them to stop, please. Make them stop adding DRM to everything. Make them get rid of DMCA anticircumvention laws. Just stop interfering with our computers.
Why keep doing it? Because they made a thing, and they want to make money selling it. Pretty obvious, no?
This is like saying I shouldn't be able to sell widgets at a profit to cover the cost of construction my production line or for the effort spent to create the design.
Your work is valuable and you should be compensated for it. I just think that should somehow happen before you create the valuable data, not after.
Trying to sell copies of that data in a world where data is trivially copied and distributed worldwide just doesn't sound like a good idea to me. It was a good idea before computers and networks existed.
Composers, designers, programmers, writers... What would be the equivalent for any of these? Working in real time?
The labor of creation is extremely valuable but once created the resulting data will be in infinite supply and this will drive its price down to zero. Therefore creators only have the necessary leverage before the data exists.
>> ownership of digital products
>There is no such thing. Data is just bits. Really big numbers. Asserting ownership over numbers is simply delusional.
I'm a musician working on an album at home at the moment. It's a bit odd to hear I'm delusional, or worse, "simply delusional", for thinking that the music I'm making will be in some sense mine! Maybe I should go back to painting, where I'm making an object at least, and maybe not so delusional in the eyes of the GP, not just numbers? Not sure.
p.s. I want to put "my" music on Bandcamp. Jazz and latin stuff mostly. The Australian music licensing org APRA/AMCOS informs me for 3 or more songs, I should pay them a flat fee of $300 per year to cover the licence fees, then more if I sell more than a few hundred. Seems like a lot, to put songs I performed online, but maybe I can just tell them no, that asserting ownership over numbers is simply delusional, there's this guy on Hacker News..
Hmm come to think of it, money in a bank is just numbers..
Scarcity of information is gone because information isn't tied to physical distribution anymore. Tomorrow's bits will be easier to copy than today's. Short of legislating away general purpose computers bits aren't ever going to get harder to copy. Staking your livelihood on a business model where bits get harder to copy is probably a bad business decision.
Will this mean the end of some types of for-profit artistic expressions? Yeah-- probably. If those types of expression are valuable to humanity creators will figure out how to get people to pay for them.
Will this be the end of all for-profit artistic expression? Not likely.
As per-copy-based business models dry up "intellectual property" creators will be forced to move to new business models or find other jobs. After awhile (maybe a generation or two) the new business models will seem as self-evidently "right" as those that came before.
The morality ascribed to old business models probably won't disappear until the people who grew up in earlier times die. (I am reminded of John Philip Sousa railing against sound recordings in a 1906 Congressional hearing). Hopefully the legal copyright regime will evolve as people coming of age under in a world of easy-to-copy bits take the reigns of power.
Alternatively I suppose we could end up in a dystopian "Right to Read" world, with general purpose computers heavily regulated and old business models enforced by jack-booted thugs.
To expand on the morality point here:
In most areas, we recognize that we need to be careful limiting innovation for the sake of existing markets. For example, we're not trying to ban electric vehicles just because it makes it harder for gas companies to make a profit. The existence of DVDs and CDs lessening profits of movie theaters and concert halls is not a good argument to make the technology illegal. We didn't ban typewriters because they put the illuminated manuscript writers out of business. We do regularly get the government to interfere in some cases where a regulation or restriction clearly helps the market, but we try to be kind of careful about how we do it, and we view it through that lens: as an artificial restriction that is justified because of its social benefit.
However, with copyright it's really difficult to make people even understand that the market and human rights are being restricted in the first place -- it has that moral quality for a lot of people. Part of it is the name: "copyright" implies a right, but it is not a natural right. There is no inherent property/personal right to an idea, there's no way to derive a natural property right that is a restriction over what other people are allowed to talk about or build. It is an extremely modern idea to believe that inventing an idea implies that you own the idea itself, or that inventing a story means that the story can't be morally retold without your permission. So copyright isn't a "right" in the traditional sense, it is a government restriction on an innovation (easy copying), that helps prevent that innovation from disrupting the existing market too much or putting people out of business.
That's not to say copyright is bad or that we should just drop it tomorrow, but we should be looking at it through this lens; copyright is a subversion of natural market forces and a restriction on the natural human right to communicate, copy, and build on information they see in the world. Copying is a fundamental part of culture and a fundamental part of what it means to be human.
As such, we should be highly skeptical of copyright expansion, and we should be constantly evaluating whether or not the market really needs copyright restrictions at their current level. We should be actively looking to evolve the market so we can weaken copyright, because copyright is an artificial restriction on natural human activity, and an artificial restriction on the free market itself.
When people talk about expanding copyright, the burden is on them to justify why it's worthwhile to restrict human rights. Just saying that some businesses will fail isn't good enough, copyright is an extreme measure we're collectively embracing so that we can prevent the collapse of the entire creative market. Unless we're talking on that scale, we probably should be weakening copyright over time, even if it means a few businesses fail or have to pivot. In general, it's OK for the market to evolve and for some old profit-generating ventures to become unprofitable. And many will evolve and transform into other markets -- we don't have illuminated manuscripts now, but we do have mass-produced beautifully illustrated books, so in general the printing press seems to have been a pretty good trade and enabled more markets than it destroyed.
All intellectual digital work boils down to discovering a number. A file in a computer. The path to this discovery is valuable labor. The number itself is not.
The only way you can own a number is to keep it to yourself. Like a private key in cryptography. Nobody can guess it. Nobody can discover it.
As soon as you publish it, there's nothing you can do anymore. It can be copied, transferred, modified, stored, used... You're not in control anymore. This will happen regardless of any rights you're entitled to.
It's the 21st century. People look up songs on YouTube. They upload it there if it's missing. There's no way to go back to the old record selling world.
> Maybe I should go back to painting, where I'm making an object at least, and maybe not so delusional in the eyes of the GP, not just numbers?
You're correct. Physical objects are naturally scarce and paintings in particular have properties that make them valuable beyond just the image projected. It's possible to make digital reproductions but those are generally worthless compared to the original work. As they should be.
It seems like what would really help would be to make rights public and easily accessible. However, making the rights platform into an NFT platform specifically wouldn't really help.
There is no such thing. Data is just bits. Really big numbers. Asserting ownership over numbers is simply delusional. The second that number is published, it's already over.
Non-fungible tokens do absolutely nothing to change those facts. They just let people delude themselves into believing they actually own stuff. The only thing they own is the token.
I own a house. In what way? The land registry says that I do. If it starts saying something else, then I don't. The police and courts will make it real.
My wallet is only mine because that's what we agree.
The brand Coca Cola is just information. But if you start selling your own under their brand you'll find out just how real intellectual property is.
Everything is society is only real because we make it real. "Ownership" isn't any more or less real of tangible or intangible things.
Data is the opposite of all that. Society is trying to retrofit all of that physical world intuition into the virtual world. It doesn't work. It sorta worked up to the mid 20th century because data was still tied to the physical world. Now that computers exist and are globally networked, there are absolutely no physical barriers holding us back.
> The police and courts will make it real.
Police, courts, entire industries worth trillions of dollars, entire countries have been trying to make it real for what, over 50 years? The US will put your country in a literal naughty list if it doesn't take measures against infringement. Yet it happens every day, all the time. People don't even realize they're infringing copyright when they download a picture and post it somewhere. It's just a natural thing to do.
It's not working. Maybe it's time to understand that the world just isn't the same anymore. Times have changed. It's time to let go of these illusions of ownership and control.
"Ownership" isn't physical.
> It makes intuitive sense to most people.
This is just pleading to the anonymous crowd of an imagined silent majority who agree with you.
Ask a majority if they think it should be legal to open a store selling bootleg copies of Britney Spears CDs, videogames, and whatever else they want to sell.
> Police, courts, entire industries worth trillions of dollars, entire countries have been trying to make it real for what, over 50 years?
So you think it's not real? Go ahead. Try it then. You're saying it's both ethical and de facto legal. Seems like a slam dunk million dollar idea. Good luck.
> This is just pleading to the anonymous crowd of an imagined silent majority who agree with you.
What? I'm saying that most people intuitively agree with you when it comes to ownership of physical things. I don't see what the issue is.
> So you think it's not real? Go ahead. Try it then.
Have you ever been to a developing country? There's an entire block filled with stores just like you described less than 15 minutes from me right now.
> Land is.
But ownership isn't. How are you not getting this?
You need to be there and defend your land if you want to keep it. The fact that in civilized society people have transferred this responsibility to governments doesn't make it any less physical.
But now it is Google and venture capital perpetuating the slow, banal, bureaucratic injustice.
The good news is, there's no reason to believe that Google won't also be disrupted eventually. It's sort of happening already, with people voluntarily deciding to not use music in their videos, which makes YouTube less valuable as an asset, something Google brought upon themselves.
If tomorrow you come with an alternative that pleases customers but irks IP lobbies, you'll be fighting that battle alone while Youtube continues business as usual. Today the only alternative is pirating related, and it is notoriously a tough business model now that financial system players can just cut offending companies off their network.
Who wants to work for these companies anymore?
I don't know the full details, but as a point of interest, the Ig Nobel awards was a project at MIT, and after a dispute between the editor, Marc Abrahams, and MIT, he claimed to own the intellectual property rights and MIT dropped it and he moved it to Harvard where he is an alum.
here from "The Tech" http://tech.mit.edu/V115/N48/ignobel.48n.html
"Legal rift takes awards from MIT
For the past four years, the Ig Nobel prizes were awarded at MIT, by the Journal of Irreproducible Results and its successor, the Annals of Improbable Research. However, a legal dispute that arose between the MIT Museum - the publisher of AIR - and its editor, Marc Abrahams, caused the ceremony to be moved from MIT to Harvard.
Abrahams and the MIT Museum produced AIR for a year without a contract between them, but the museum wanted to create another organization to publish the magazine because handling the AIR required too much effort from the museum staff, said Warren A. Seamans, director of the MIT Museum.
Last March, contract negotiations broke down, and Abrahams claimed sole control of AIR. To avoid a lawsuit, MIT abandoned the magazine and the Ig Nobel prizes."
Soon a single stroke of a piano will be all it takes to take down videos :(
I'm rambling, but I'm over youtube. I'll access it via third party tools stripping adverts, and recording (just like I did as a child) but I don't see them as necessary.
Youtube was a delight before. And generally still can be. But not necessary and increaslingly clunky and way too overly advert dominated.
Maybe they should rebrand it as a historical archive and be done with it. If they can't make the copyright work, sunset it like almost everything else and let other players emerge who can.
We need suitable alternatives. Maybe something decentralized in nature.