takedown notices

The curious case of the YouTube Bots- updated 2-19-14

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Photo AttributionShare Alike Some rights reserved by Santos "Grim Santo" Gonzalez

UPDATE: 2-19-14

It could be entirely coincidental but on February 14th the official YouTube Creators blog had a post about bots inflation on YouTube. You can read the whole blog here. The blog certainly isn’t a complete response to our blog nor does it address the many complex layers of the Bots problem but it does recognize two important things.

First it recognizes the importance of likes and comments to the YouTube community and acknowledges that these “interactions both represent and inform how creators connect with their audience.” This was one of the biggest complaints we heard from creators. Not just that their videos were taken down but that they permanently lost the likes, insightful comments and best wishes from their fans. Even when creators reposted their videos they were unable to recover this part of their community.

Second, the blog may suggest that YouTube may focus on auditing view counts as opposed to taking videos down. The blog states that:

As part of our long-standing effort to keep YouTube authentic and full of meaningful interactions, we’ve begun periodically auditing the views a video has received. While in the past we would scan views for spam immediately after they occurred, starting today we will periodically validate the video’s view count, removing fraudulent views as new evidence comes to light. We don’t expect this approach to affect more than a minuscule fraction of videos on YouTube, but we believe it’s crucial to improving the accuracy of view counts and maintaining the trust of our fans and creators.

Although YouTube has been auditing views for some time now, there has been an inconsistent policy of removing some videos while simply auditing views of other videos. If YouTube’s new plan is to audit views instead of taking videos down; we support that plan. Almost every single creator who we talked to wanted a way to remove fraudulent views from their accounts. These creators are part of the YouTube community and believe in the importance of accurate view counts.  However, these creators don’t want to be punished when someone out of their control uses Bots on their account. By reducing view counts instead of taking down videos, the potential use of Bots attacks for censorship purposes greatly decreases, which was one of our biggest concerns.

That said if the recent blog doesn’t match reality we want to hear about it.  After all, it could be a complete coincidence that this blog was released shortly after our own blog. It is still entirely plausible that nothing is actually changing and YouTube intends to continue to ignore problematic Bots related takedowns. That said, if you video was wrongfully taken down for bots inflation AFTER February 14, 2014 we want to hear about it.

NMR helps remix artist Jonathan McIntosh fight Lionsgate's Youtube takedown of "Buffy vs. Edward"

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Buffy vs Edward unfairly removed

A new year brings new battles for independent creators to share their work.

Pop-culture hacker and remix artist Jonathan McIntosh (RebelliousPixels.com) explains in this post how New Media Rights is fighting for him in his battle with Lionsgate over the copyright takedown of his well known Buffy vs. Edward remix video.

New Media Rights is proud to be helping Jonathan fight this battle with Lionsgate over his video.  Asserting the right to make fair use of content simply shouldn't be this hard.

It is part of a bigger picture development in the world of online video.

His story, and our experience working with folks one-to-one suggests there are large media companies that intend to blindly monetize every reuse of content, even if it means steamrolling fair use and the freedom of speech. 

Read the full story to learn more.

Remember New Media Rights is a non-profit project doing this work on a shoe string budget, so if you support this work please donate now so we can keep advocating for creators like Jonathan!

 

YouTube's victory over Viacom reinforces DMCA safe harbor protections for websites

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On June 23, Viacom's claim for $1 billion in damages was shot down when the District Court for the Southern District of New York found YouTube and its owner Google not liable for copyright infringement in a much-anticipated decision. The two corporate giants have been at it since 2007, when Viacom joined with other plaintiffs including Paramount Pictures and sued YouTube, claiming that the online video service was legally responsible for copyright infringement when users posted clips of copyrighted material, including The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, owned by plaintiffs.

Lenz court interprets and limits damages available under DMCA 512(f) for wrongfully issued takedown notices

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The newest Lenz decision interprets damages available for bogus takedown notices under 17 U.S.C. 512(f), but its practical effect will be to limit the amount plaintiffs can recover.

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