Wednesday, September 30, 2009

(empo-utoobd) Duncan Riley's YouTube story, January 2009

Duncan Riley, who runs the Inquisitr, has had several issues with YouTube, but this one is the most interesting. Riley talked about this on a January 2009 blog post, YouTube Now Blocks Copyright Material First, Asks Questions Later. In essence, Riley gets pitches from various people who want Inquisitr exposure. For example:

On January 23 we received an email from one of our regular PR contacts...for the upcoming film Sunshine Cleaning. The email included links to private downloads for the movie, including a trailer and poster. I downloaded the trailer this morning, ran it through iMovie for processing, then uploaded it to YouTube so we could run it on The Inquisitr.

So Riley uploaded material which he had permission to reproduce. And what happened?

Imagine then my surprise that after the clip had finished prcoessing, YouTube immediately identified it as being in breach of copyright and didn’t allow it to go up.

However, unlike the people who receive "your account has been permanently disabled" messages, YouTube DOES have an avenue for upload issues. Riley used that avenue, YouTube quickly agreed that Riley had the right to upload the material, and everything was solved. But Riley still wondered:

[W]hy has YouTube seemingly abandoned the DMCA process in favor of blocking material upfront, and automatically presuming that the uploader isn’t authorized to share the material?

So what is the "DMCA process" to which Riley referred? Let's see what...oh...Google says about it.

To file a notice of infringement with us, you must provide a written communication (by fax or regular mail -- not by email, except by prior agreement) that sets forth the items specified below. Please note that you will be liable for damages (including costs and attorneys' fees) if you materially misrepresent that a product or activity is infringing your copyrights.

Google then states what someone needs to submit to claim a copyright violation, and talks about the counter-statement that the alleged infringer can provide.

Riley's concern is that Google didn't wait for a copyright infringement notice, but simply decided on its own - incorrectly - that Riley was uploading unauthorized material.
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