Here is what I see:
These content owners have reviewed your video and confirmed their claims to some or all of its content:
Entity: UMPG Publishing Content Type: Musical Composition
These content owners have reviewed your video and agreed with your dispute:
Entity: Music Publishing Rights Collecting Society Content Type: Musical Composition
Your dispute is still awaiting a response from these content owners:
Entity: Social Media Holdings Content Type: Musical Composition
What should I do?
No action is required on your part. Your video is still available worldwide. In some cases ads may appear next to your video.
What can I do about my video's status?
Please note that the video's status can change, if the policies chosen by the content owners change. You may want to check back periodically to see if you have new options available to you.
Please take a few minutes to visit our Help Center section on Policy and Copyright Guidelines, where you can learn more about copyright law and our Content Identification Service.
Anyway, it's good news, I've just received this email.
Thank you for your note, just read your email and I share your concern. The YouTube content ID system mis-ID'd birds singing as one of our artists songs. We reviewed the video this evening and released the claim that YT assigned to us. One of our content id representatives made a mistake in the identification process and we've worked diligently to correct the error once we were made aware of it earlier today.
Thank you for voicing your concern. Very much appreciated. We're doing our best to improve the process as it's very challenging for our team to keep up with the massive amount of claims coming through which grow every day.
All the best,
Paul Anthony | Founder and CEO | Rumblefish
Yeah, good point, are there humans at Google? Or have their bots finally taken over?
However, it seems pretty clear that the DMCA is not fine. There need to be better protections against this sort of thing - no hiding behind "it wasn't a DMCA takedown notice" when your automated takedown bot fraudulently implicates someone.
Also, and this almost goes without saying, we need to modify the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA to at least legalize jailbreaking, whether the device is an iPhone, a PS3, or whatever. Though ideally the anti-circumvention provisions should be repealed wholesale, since they're unreasonably broad and create huge damages for a wide class of perfectly valid uses.
There is always a better protection against this sort of this: host your own content.
It is regrettable that as the Internet has grown, and services that offer hosting for free in exchange for attaching ads have grown, a lot of people have forgotten that you're under no obligation to host a video file on one of those services.
If your blog/pictures/videos/whatever are important to you, look for a self-hosted solution. If enough people are interested in doing that, businesses will appear to help the less technically literate do it as well, just as there are numerous businesses today that will make you a web site, register you a domain, and host everything on their servers but otherwise under your control.
Unless that starts happening, all the big video sites (not that there are many of them in the grand scheme of things) can impose more or less any terms they want, including claiming all kinds of rights to use any content you upload and not giving any guarantee that they will continue to host it or that they will not modify/corrupt/ad-splatter it.
The sentiment was mostly that DMCA provided enough and more than enough "protection for the artists" (as demonstrated by the numerous fraudulent DMCA cases over the year, DMCA is already way overboard).
Then again, this has little to do with DMCA, it's Youtube's content copyright management tools, producing entities don't even need a DMCA they can just go "I have the copyright on this" and down goes the video.
Seriously, Rumblefish's behavior reminds me of a certain CEO I used to work for. The guy would rip off just about anyone he could (including his employees) by exploiting loopholes. Some of the exploits worked, others didn't. But, he would hold out a carrot just far enough to avoid a critical mass of lawsuits.
Google's business model seems to involve fucking over anyone who can't sue them.
Apparently all it takes to kill someone's AdSense account is one person reloading and clicking through ads a few dozen times. This is pretty fucking horrible on Google's part.
Google's business model is reducing overheads in business processes in order to scale them down to the point where anyone can use them. This involves eliminating human participation from their side as much as possible.
"By keeping on their good side" would be my stab at that one. If the advertisers trust Google to take their side, they're more likely to spend money. Nothing particularly 'evil' about that or anything, just how it works.
Here's the loophole. Your EULA with YouTube states that YouTube may take down your videos for any reason. YouTube also has a side deal with certain large rightsholders that they may take down videos at any time for any reason. It is implied that these takedowns will be only for DMCA purposes, but since the companies never have to officially file a DMCA notice, there are never any legal repercussions for false takedowns.
 (Edit) Well, they are only supposed to take down videos for good reason, but we haven't seen YouTube enforce that. Either way, this is between YouTube and the rightsholders; the DMCA doesn't get involved.
Shouldn’t this prevent YouTube from relying on the common carrier defence - they're are clearly manipulating and policing the content [to benefit their commercial interests] and not acting as a common carrier.
What troubles me more is that they're somehow allowed to deny individuals their copyrights - they're putting other peoples advertising next to your content presumably without waiting for it to be acceded to. They should surely, to keep lawful, take down dubious content until the ownership of rights has been resolved.
In some jurisdictions I'd have thought that they couldn't add a EULA that would allow them to use third-party copyright material without explicit permission. That is when a corp claims your uploaded material and YouTube simply decide to add ads for that corp and send earnings to that same corp then this should (and I contend probably is in some places where YouTube are operating) be unlawful.
In short: Google are actively infringing copyright. Is a EULA statement really sufficient to make this lawful?
It looks like it's not the easiest claim to prosecute, but in the case of YouTube videos where the content is entirely original and thus cannot be owned by a music label, the only hard part would be proving lost income. If that can be done, then the label can be held liable for actual and punitive damages, and legal costs.
'Misrepresentation of ownership causing damage to another party or benefit for oneself' is generally fraud (criminal too), but intent tends to be weighted far more than status. That said, the test is usually a good faith belief that one is the legitimate owner, and I don't know of many bots with that sort of discretion.
That's not how copyright works. If you make an original work, it can be identical to a copyrighted work and not be infringing. It's only a problem if you make your work from the copyrighted one.
"Infringement of Copyrighted Photographs
Under U.S. Copyright law, you violate the copyright owner's exclusive rights of copying and/or to create a derivative work by creating a work that is a copy of or "substantially similar" to another's. The courts determine whether the two works are substantially similar by comparing them and evaluating whether copyrightable elements have been used in the second work. A court is much more likely to find an infringement if the subject of the photo has been "set up" by the photographer and contains creative and original elements, compared to a photograph of subjects that already exist, such as in nature or a structure such as the Golden Gate Bridge."
The case you quote is not so easy, though.
The tough decision is if New English Teas intended to violate copyright, and if the Red Bus photos were original enough to claim copyright.
The judge decided that the Red Bus photos were original enough (creator claimed 80 hours of work), and New English Teas had used the original photos earlier on, and was made to remove them, so there was clearly intent to violate copyright. However, I'm not so sure if the Red Bus photos were original enough, or if there was intent to mislead buyers into thinking the New English Teas were Red Bus licensed.
pretty sure - just guessing, sure from some other knowledge, or just misusing words?
fraud - like, they have committed a crime in some jurisdiction?
I am pretty sure this amounts to uninformed speculation.
Though in the realm of copyright, "slander of title" might be the more appropriate phrase.
The first is Google's algorithm incorrectly identified something as another work. This is bit is a bit "yeah, whatever". False positives will happen, what's important is the processes that are put in place around the algorithm to help resolve the errors.
And that's the second bit and the foobar bit, where a "human" check has confirmed it. Now, I may be skeptical but it feels very much like no-one ever looked at this, that Rumblefish basically automatically reply "yeah, that's ours" to any request or question and then leave it up to the poor video owner to show otherwise.
What I'd suggest needs to happen here is, at the very least, Google, Rumblefish or whoever need to state the piece of work that's being infringed. On Google's part this should be trivial - it's algorithm must have got a match against something specific which is cataloged.
The "copyright owner" at that point has a far more straight forward check (if they bother with it) and the video producer at least knows more about the claim rather than ending up in a slightly Kafka-esque position.
They at least appear to be answering questions, that's a start.
Edit: apparently an AmA on Reddit too. From http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3640452
They aren't doing anything illegal by not having the tool, which means they are doing it voluntarily, and since the tool is not perfect, Youtube itself can be more abusive than the copyright owners asking for takedowns. Google needs to stop this practice.
5,345,377 Social Soundtracks Licensed(and counting)
Rumblefish presumably gets thousands upon thousands of copyright infringement claims every day. And so far, there has been one guy who had birdsong mistaken for music. Instead of just writing an email and getting it fixed, he decides to make a post about it to make people angry, and then once Rumblefish hears what happens it gets fixed.
Let's look at the key elements here.
1) It got fixed!
2) Of course they use an automated system for confirming copyrighted audio content. It's a second line of defense after Google's initial scan. The third line of defense is called customer support, and in any other situation that would be the obvious and trivial solution.
3) It's one guy! This happened ONCE!
4) It got fixed!!
And if you're still worried about your own stuff being falsely identified as copyrighted music, rest assured you can always make an internet s*storm about it and your problem will be solved (this is clearly the ideal solution, yes?)
Now can we please get on with our lives?
It's good to pay attention to cases like this, if only to flush other such cases out of the woodwork. You say it's once, but it's more accurate to say it's at least once.
I also say that if I were greedy, I'd make my "automated system" confirm everything as a violation. I'm not making that up as a crazy consume conspiracy theory. That's exactly what robosigning was: mass-production of claims that put the burden on consumers to figure out, and show evidence, of whether the company was making a valid claim or not. Robosigning (or simply returning "true" in this case) is extremely cheap, gets the job done in cases where the company is in the right, and gets the job done in many cases where the company is wrong because some people fail to jump through the hoops placed before them. In either case, it softens people up a bit before the company has to do any real work.
In the case of robosigning, it might actually have been profitable, even though they got caught at exactly the wrong time, when people were mad as hell about the crisis. At any other time, the penalty for getting caught would have been lighter, and it's certainly profitable when you don't get caught. If the strategy comes close to making money even in the worst possible case, I'd call it successful, and any established means of gaining an advantage at somebody else's expense merits a certain amount of vigilance. We put locks on our doors, we have laws against fraud, and in cases like this:
rest assured you can always make an internet s_storm about it and your problem will be solved (this is clearly the ideal solution, yes?)
Exactly. I'm not any good at it myself, but I have to admit, it's the best way to get things done as a consumer.
Due to the low quality microphone the sound is a bit metallic. Perhaps that throws off YouTube's recognition software. But if there are a lot of false positives then Google should adjust its algorithm.
Also, report Rumblefish for sending fake DMCA requests, it's illegal.
If it's the latter, then I believe that makes Rumblefish guilty of copyright infringement, since they're profiting off the copyright (the video) of the poster.
DMCA request or not, that seems like it would be actionable.
I'm pretty sure that's not the case here, but I'm also pretty sure that's the intended interpretation of intensionally misleading messages sent by Google/YouTube/Rumblefish.
As far as I can tell (and as mentioned in previous comments) there has been no DMCA takedown notice issued. That means Rumblefish hasn't crossed any legal line over the DMCA (but might still be acting fraudulently), and Google has no obligation under DMCA to take the video down.
Google/YouTube _do_ require you to agree to terms and conditions that say they can take down _anything_ you upload for any (or no) reason.
So Google have no obligation to host/serve your videos for you.
Google also have a business deal with Rumblefish (and many businesses like them) saying "we'll attempt to automate detection of uploads of copyright infringing material with your content and place ads on them and give you a cut, and we'll let you adjudicate disputes", presumably with something in return along the lines of "and you'll agree to ask for takedowns instead of suing us over things our automated systems miss".
It's obvious that the relationship with power is the one between Google and large-scale rightsholders, not the one between YouTube and the free uploaders and downloaders.
(Queue the old "The advertisers are the customers. _Tou_ are the product" line.)
Then again, should we not say that the algorithm that processes for copyrighted audio is imperfect and therefore could be improved further to not have false positive such as this?
I would bet that someone would have copyrighted sounds such as cash register's ka-ching!. Although use of such sounds from a specific recording should be copyrighted, I should be able to record a video of a real world cash register without anybody in the world claiming my work to be theirs.
I wonder of Rumblefish intentionally err on the side of false positives, and use that stance in marketing their service to copyright owners? Cynical-me thinks perhaps this is just some viral marketing scam - with the birdsong being used on purpose since there's no legal-entity who could be said to be "the copyright holder" who could file fraud charges?
Secondly, I wonder if there's some recourse available to audit Rumblefish over this? If they're accepting payment from Google for their alleged copyright interest in the birdsong, how exactly are they disbursing that money and to which "copyright holder"?
Other than the fact that false DMCA claims occur regularly on youtube. People end up blaming youtube. I guess that's not what happened here, but I don't think my assumption was unjustified. I've seen this happen often. The original post on the google support forum also refers to "false copyright claims", and barely mentions ads.