The Big Picture: Copywrong

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medv4380:
The YouTubers are King George in this situation.

They Copyright Laws didn't just stop being enforced by the RIAA, and others.

YouTubers were blatantly violating the Laws, and their Networks were attempting to abuse Fair Use laws that are really intended for Non-Profit uses. Yea, criticism can be profitable, but not paying the royalties on a clip of AC/DC music slipped into a GTA V review is breaking the rules. The blatant violation of the rules, the refusal to negotiate licencing, and the failure of the youtube networks to actually pay the royalties is what got the networks bot free scanning taken away.

After the French and Indian war the British government signed a number of treaties with the French and the Indians defining what expansion would be tolerated. Which the colonists immediately ignored because they didn't think the English were capable of enforcing those laws. Also the british government passed a series of tariffs to help pay for the war they fought on the colonists behalf. Which the colonists also ignored because Britain seemed so far away.

and for years they got away with it because Britain couldn't afford to do anything about it.

After a point The Crown decided to do something about this. So they abolished all tariffs, except the one on tea, and began enforcing that one remaining tariff. This was to demonstright that while they didn't really want to make life difficult for the colonists, the rule of law must be maintained. Thing is that in that time the colonies had effectively been self governing and they had gotten used to that, so things came to blows.

It is actually an apt metaphor on Bob's part. Especially since the "bad guys" aren't really doing too much wrong, but they might still end up on the wrong end of history anyway.

Robot-Jesus:

medv4380:
The YouTubers are King George in this situation.

They Copyright Laws didn't just stop being enforced by the RIAA, and others.

YouTubers were blatantly violating the Laws, and their Networks were attempting to abuse Fair Use laws that are really intended for Non-Profit uses. Yea, criticism can be profitable, but not paying the royalties on a clip of AC/DC music slipped into a GTA V review is breaking the rules. The blatant violation of the rules, the refusal to negotiate licencing, and the failure of the youtube networks to actually pay the royalties is what got the networks bot free scanning taken away.

After the French and Indian war the British government signed a number of treaties with the French and the Indians defining what expansion would be tolerated. Which the colonists immediately ignored because they didn't think the English were capable of enforcing those laws. Also the british government passed a series of tariffs to help pay for the war they fought on the colonists behalf. Which the colonists also ignored because Britain seemed so far away.

and for years they got away with it because Britain couldn't afford to to anything about it.

After a point The Crown decided to do something about this. So they abolished all tariffs, except the one on tea, and began enforcing that one remaining tariff. This was to demonstright that while they didn't really want to make life difficult for the colonists, the rule of law must be maintained. Thing is that in that time the colonies had effectively been self governing and they had gotten used to that, so things came to blows.

It is actually an apt metaphor on Bob's part. Especially since the "bad guys" aren't really doing too much wrong, but they might still end up on the wrong end of history anyway.

Except for the fact that just like Youtubers the colonists had no say in these taxes and laws imposed on them so naturally they would be pissed.

deth2munkies:
tl;dr: Youtube's content-ID system is the real problem, the DMCA is flawed and drastically needs updating, but would cover reviews under fair use.

I'm not going to claim to be a copyright expert either, but I am a first year law student that has discussed this topic with people that are. You're half right in the video: copyright as a concept was largely codified as it is today in the early 20th century, however, what we're dealing with now, on the internet, is the Digital Millenium Copyright Act which was largely passed in 1998 and amended later (though I can't remember when, probably 2004, but Wikipedia has failed me). But the DMCA isn't even the problem in this case, as all the reviews (and I imagine some of the other content) are covered EXPLICITLY by the fair use exception.

The problem in this case is Youtube's content ID system. Many companies that were cited as taking down content (see Riot Games, Deep Silver, etc.) have said they had nothing to do with it and will restore anything that people bring to them. What happened recently was they started applying this content ID system to PARTNERS in addition to random accounts. So people that made their living on Youtube were getting their videos flagged. That's why it's such a huge deal right now.

There are many problems with the DMCA, but the Youtube copyright scandal highlights one of them: it's damn near impossible to punish excessive and erroneous takedown notices. In order to do so, you have to take them to court, then prove, at trial, through a preponderance of the evidence that they did not have the copyright to that work and that they KNEW they didn't have the copyright to that work. You cannot take them to court for repeated violations of fair use.

On the direct matter at hand, my opinion is that Youtube needs to clean up their system. They should have a team dedicated to investigating copyright claims against partners at the very least, so they can catch fair use before this kind of stuff happens. Game and movie reviews should be protected and should be allowed to run clips of b-reel and trailers with impunity so long as they are doing it for the purposes of criticism.

The stickier point is let's players. On the one hand, it's arguble that their commentary is transformative and a large base of their audience comes to see them and not the games, however, an exhaustive (through the whole game, all options) let's play can definitely damage the saleability of a game and might exceed the scope of fair use. It's similar to reading an entire novel out and recording yourself doing it, what you're making is a bootleg audiobook and that definitely exceeds fair use. A good example would be pretty much any game by Telltale: if you run through Walking Dead or any of the Sam and Maxes, you reveal all the content to the player, there's very little gained by actually playing the game. Different, perhaps, from things like I Wanna be the Guy, Starcraft, and other competitive or challenge-driven titles where you can't get the experience solely from watching them. It's a legal question that hasn't been answered yet, and I think it's one that can only be answered inter-medium and not by over-arching legislation.

I think we might be in luck, though. The house recently passed the Innovation Act which comes down hard on patent trolls by making frivolous litigation very expensive. While this doesn't affect copyright at all, it indicates a trend that Congress is taking notice of the deficiencies in Intellectual Property Law and is doing something about it. We can only hope a followup to the DMCA (that isn't SOPA-esque) is what's next on the agenda.

I quote this to give it more exposure because he explains an important point a lot deeper that I could:

The issue with this YouTube situation is not about little guys vs big corporations. While many of the corporations are being shortsighted for a long time, many of them have said they have nothing to do with most of the videos being pulled out. The problem is that YouTube is extremely open and defensive about copyright laws. Basically, if I report a video on behalf of a corporation, YouTube will put it down, even if I can't prove I have any rights to act on behalf of said corporation.

That, combined with the new automatic system YouTube implemented, where a claim would extend automatically to other videos with similar content, has created hundreds of claims on videos that, until recently, were considered fair use, even when the owners of that copyright didn't even saw the videos.

The most baffling case I have heard of this issue recently was the case of Johnathan Blow having gameplay of his own game being removed because of a claim by "Sony". This was over the line because a) Sony doesn't have copyright rights to content of The Witness and they claim they didn't file the complain and b) Johnathan Blow is the creator of The Witness, and the owner of the content rights. So, the new YouTube AI flagged and remove content published by the creator of the content only because it was gameplay...

hiei82:
The thing about copyright law is that its up to the owner of the rights to enforce. No country spends time looking for people braking patent and copyright law; they just expect owners to bring cases of infringement to them.

Ahem:

7 Charged as F.B.I. Closes a Top File-Sharing Site

Why is the Department of Homeland Security shutting down popular rap sites?

I think governments have shown a willingness to play hitman on behalf of big corporate content-owners. That should be frightening.

shirkbot:
You have a point in that the clip of AC/DC is still under copyright, but the problem is how do you manage stuff like this? That clip was licensed to Rockstar, who knew it would end up on Youtube, and does that brief clip of music mean the entire video, which can be anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour, needs to come down?

The next logical question is, if I take a video of my friends playing frisbee in the park, and someone in the background happens to be blasting the same AC/DC track from a portable stereo, and then I upload it to YouTube, is my personal video going to be taken down?

Akichi Daikashima:
Also, I don't think that the Indepence War stands as an analogy; the colonists refused to pay taxes, even when doing so was possible, so the English had no choice except to use force.

And it wasn't as if this was done specifically to America, all colonies were taxated to help in the war effort, it's just that America thought itself untouchable.

To clarify, Britain's national debt was enormous after the Seven Years' War, part of which had been fought in defense of the American colonies, and they tried to pass a share of the debt to the colonies the war had been fought over. And it was a mere fraction of the taxes British residents were paying--the vast majority of whom also didn't have representation. Don't get me wrong, I think the outcome of the American Revolution was ultimately a good thing that eventually led to modern liberal democracy. But the initial grievances do seem kind of petty compared to the high ideals the likes of Franklin and Paine espoused.

Calling copyright infringement stealing is inaccurate, an appeal to emotion, and damaging to any sort of cogent discourse.

Also, the guys creating the next Bug Bunny ARE being impacted, so that's a really bad argument.

Vault Citizen:
Did King George really have much say over how the colonies were run?

You're right on this, but I think the broad strokes are the more important point.

Also, one could probably draw a comparison between the financial motives behind each (though it's not a perfect parallel by any means)

Akichi Daikashima:
The Content ID thing is not about game publishers wanting to obscure criticism.

Maybe it's because I've got a major case of the flu, but I thought his point was how it could lead to that exact premise, not that this was the current point.

shirkbot:
This is a huge legal gray area because the last update to the law was the DMCA, which has gone unchanged since it was passed in 1998.

DMCA has seen legal updates since 1998. Then again, it was a decidedly anti-technology law in the first place, so any major revision would go the other way.

That clip was licensed to Rockstar, who knew it would end up on Youtube, and does that brief clip of music mean the entire video, which can be anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour, needs to come down?

Even Rockstar didn't license absolute control over the music as it pertains to their game. They can't even use it to promote the game unless specifically licensed. I've seen trailers for movies on the DVD of tat movie where the original music has been replaced. They do this primarily for licensing. What Rockstar knows is irrelevnt here and has little bearing on whether or nto a third party can distribute it.

However, yes. It's wrong that a ten second clip can invalidate everything.

But I do also want to point out this isn't a legal issue. It's a Google issue. A YouTube issue. and what you were responding to:

medv4380:

YouTubers were blatantly violating the Laws, and their Networks were attempting to abuse Fair Use laws that are really intended for Non-Profit uses.

(emphasis mine)

Is patently false.

There is a wide breadth of allowances for profit in terms of fair use doctrine and it's been upheld in court.

hiei82:

shirkbot:
I'm not sure the companies are refusing to adapt so much as I think copyright law is encouraging and/or compelling bad behavior. I mean, in trademark law if your trademark becomes so ubiquitous that everyone uses it even for generic products, then you quickly lose your trademark. I get the sense copyright law is somewhat similar in this regard. The fact that Youtube has consigned this job to unthinking robots is only putting pressure on an already outdated system and making the cracks more visible. It's a good idea, but the law has not kept up with the times. It's just too lengthy and inflexible to cope with the way the internet deals with content.

Less so. Copyright law gives exclusive production rights to the creator of the art for a set period of time (Life of the author + 70 years I think).

Ugh, that's Disney's copyright extensions at work.

image

"Adapt or fail"

I'm afraid that this does not apply for many corporations that have any kind of large influence, in the USA especially, and that companies like Warner Brothers and the like warp the law and practices around them to creative an uncompetitive system.

We don't have a free market. The game is rigged.

Communism is the solution.

1st, in Communism working hours are reduced, giving people more time to produce art.
2nd, what drives most artists and intellectual work isn't money (check http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc) and in Communism poverty is not a preocupation.

Scrumpmonkey:
"Adapt or fail"

I'm afraid that this does not apply for many corporations that have any kind of large influence, in the USA especially, and that companies like Warner Brothers and the like warp the law and practices around them to creative an uncompetitive system.

We don't have a free market. The game is rigged.

On the other hand, reality is on our side.

The Internet is getting too big to break it, and short of breaking it, there is no way the Copyright Industry will be capable of stopping people from breaking copyright instead.

I do not believe in IP as property in the traditional sense rather I believe you can limit its profit rights to the IP owner and whoever they license it too. Without a revenue stream something cannot be distributed to the point it gains enough market share to do damage thus you limit IP to true non profiting ventures and those with the license to sell it.

As far as copy right goes I believe if it has not gaining revenue it can do no harm. Copyright needs to be based more on revenue stream/profit and less on distribution. As far as fair use goes it needs hard limits based on time/quality factors as so lawyers cannot sue you at the drop of a hat. We also need a IP system that can easily track harmless noncommercial derived works like re mixs and music video tributes. This way a for profit site like youtube just selects the IP owner and the IP owner gets a cut of revenue and no one gets banned or a video gets blocked. Basically a system that seeks to okay harmless and or nonprofit redistribution first before trying to ban it because it shows too much, ect.

As far as copy right goes I believe if it has not revenue stream that it can do no harm. Copyright needs needs to be based more on revenue stream/profit and less on distribution. As far as fair use goes it needs hard limits based on

I can understand Hollywood getting pissed that movies are being illegally posted online but part of that is their own fault for multiple reasons. One of them is that most movies or TV shows have yet to made public via DVD/Blu-Ray or digital download. For example, there are tons of import shows from Japan where a lot of people want to see (I.E. the Kamen Rider and Sentai series) but its not happening due to companies sitting on them and not considering the idea that there is a market for this stuff outside of their own country. Same with Hollywood, especially older movies that haven't seen a new release since it was put out on VHS. There is a lot of profit to be made, maybe not big profit, but you have to think long term rather than focus on the quick buck.

In regards to the "Let's Play" copyright issue, YouTube/Google, the movie, and the games industry need to get their heads out of their asses and figure this shit out properly. Because if they continue with shutting down channels and hurting the people, THEY WILL FUCKING LOSE! What makes me sure about that? Talk to the music industry about their legal battle against Napster. When someone made a program where people can share songs and movies for free, the corporations tried taking them to court for cutting them out of their profit. But, ironically, they began losing money due to the countless lawsuits they had to file. Also, Steve Jobs came along with iTunes and not only revolutionized the industry but made the companies carrying out these lawsuits look even more retarded.

I admit, its a different situation than what YouTube/Google have on their hands but its boils down to one thing-companies trying to resist change. Companies need to learn how to adapt to the ever evolving presence of technology and they need to hammer out new copyright rules that will benefit all parties and not just themselves. To me, what these channels are doing is offer free advertisement for new and older games. I'm willing to bet that if someone watches a tutorial on a new fighting game or a "Let's play" on a classic game, they will want to purchase and play this game. They need to take advantage of this and not strike down people who could be working alongside you. If they continue to step on the backs of the people, then they better not act surprised when the people strike back.

Zachary Amaranth:

Akichi Daikashima:
The Content ID thing is not about game publishers wanting to obscure criticism.

Maybe it's because I've got a major case of the flu, but I thought his point was how it could lead to that exact premise, not that this was the current point.

True, but he opens up with it, so he implies that that the Content ID thing is designed to allow the removal of criticism.

It could be because I have a bad habit of writing my response as I watch the video.

Full Metal Bolshevik:
Communism is the solution.

1st, in Communism working hours are reduced, giving people more time to produce art.
2nd, what drives most artists and intellectual work isn't money (check http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc) and in Communism poverty is not a preocupation.

Not really as you will never attain true Communism as the people at the top will acquire more and more while placing more burdens upon the public. Capitalism works in the sense that you give ALL people the chance to acquire more the trouble is if you set apart those at the top as untouchable nobility it will collapse just the same.

Zachary Amaranth:
*Snip*

Stop quoting me, you make me feel stupid... But in all seriousness, thank you for the corrections. This is largely the fault of Google/Youtube, if not entirely, and they really need to sort themselves out. Or at least hire some people to do the bots' jobs. Come on Google, you could probably singlehandedly solve the unemployment problem!

ZippyDSMlee:

Full Metal Bolshevik:
Communism is the solution.

1st, in Communism working hours are reduced, giving people more time to produce art.
2nd, what drives most artists and intellectual work isn't money (check http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc) and in Communism poverty is not a preocupation.

Not really as you will never attain true Communism as the people at the top will acquire more and more while placing more burdens upon the public. Capitalism works in the sense that you give ALL people the chance to acquire more the trouble is if you set apart those at the top as untouchable nobility it will collapse just the same.

Capitalism gives ALL people chance to acquire more (I dispute this), but that does not mean that everyone CAN adquire more. The problem is that in a Capitalistic society there will ALWAYS be exploitations of the working class.

Just like Capitalism was an upgrade compared to Feudalism, Communism is the next natural step.

Full Metal Bolshevik:

ZippyDSMlee:

Full Metal Bolshevik:
Communism is the solution.

1st, in Communism working hours are reduced, giving people more time to produce art.
2nd, what drives most artists and intellectual work isn't money (check http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc) and in Communism poverty is not a preocupation.

Not really as you will never attain true Communism as the people at the top will acquire more and more while placing more burdens upon the public. Capitalism works in the sense that you give ALL people the chance to acquire more the trouble is if you set apart those at the top as untouchable nobility it will collapse just the same.

Capitalism gives ALL people chance to acquire more (I dispute this), but that does not mean that everyone CAN adquire more. The problem is that in a Capitalistic society there will ALWAYS be exploitations of the working class.

Just like Capitalism was an upgrade compared to Feudalism, Communism is the next natural step.

I can agree with that the only trouble is you are going to have to get rid of governmental corruption and greed for it to happen.Its going to take awhile for humanity to get away from greed and self interest when that happens you will get a stable long lasting communistic system.

Entitled:

Scrumpmonkey:
"Adapt or fail"

I'm afraid that this does not apply for many corporations that have any kind of large influence, in the USA especially, and that companies like Warner Brothers and the like warp the law and practices around them to creative an uncompetitive system.

We don't have a free market. The game is rigged.

On the other hand, reality is on our side.

The Internet is getting too big to break it, and short of breaking it, there is no way the Copyright Industry will be capable of stopping people from breaking copyright instead.

The problem with YouTube and with many big 'portal' sites is that it is becoming increasingly difficult for individuals to operate truly independently even online. Google and other big companies have essentially become the gatekeepers of the internet for most people.

You have to go REALLY far the other way to avoid this. The 'lets play' people aren't determined copywrite anarchists like the Pirate Bay, they are simply people trying to make a legitimate living of their popularity. Right now there seems to be two options; operate within a now almost completely closed and corporate operated system or become an outlaw and live outside the mainstream web. Policies like these push people into the "Fuck you all, I'll take all the content i want legitimate or not" camp. The middle-ground is shrinking.

When Youtube was a start-up it couldn't police it's content very well and as such many full movies and TV showes ended up on there. In todays climate early YouTube would be ordered to be blocked by ISPs like The Pirate bay, Files tube, Rapidlibrary, ExtraTorrent, Monova the list goes on. Or raided like Ninja Video or Megavideo was. If YouTube started in 2013 it would not be allowed to succeed. In it's current form the internet is less competitive than it has ever been.

Falseprophet:

hiei82:
The thing about copyright law is that its up to the owner of the rights to enforce. No country spends time looking for people braking patent and copyright law; they just expect owners to bring cases of infringement to them.

Ahem:

7 Charged as F.B.I. Closes a Top File-Sharing Site

Why is the Department of Homeland Security shutting down popular rap sites?

I think governments have shown a willingness to play hitman on behalf of big corporate content-owners. That should be frightening.

1st off, that's the point. It's up to the owners of copyrights/patents to point out when someone is abusing their copyrights; then the government steps in to enforce the law. This isn't the government "playing hitman"; it's the government protecting the rights of creators in accordance with the law.

2nd, both of those articles show pretty clearly that the government and companies were in the right (at least in this particular case). Not frightening to me at all.

Full Metal Bolshevik:
Communism is the solution.

1st, in Communism working hours are reduced, giving people more time to produce art.
2nd, what drives most artists and intellectual work isn't money (check http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc) and in Communism poverty is not a preocupation.

Easy does it there, friend. While you're certainly correct, humanity still hasn't come to grips with ethical ideas from the Enlightenment, and that was a century before Marxism (and I wonder if I'm being too generous and the same could be said of most ethical ideas introduced by artists and philosophers of the ancient world also). Our collective failing to wrangle even basic ideas like freedom of speech, freedom of privacy, and so on is more than enough to attest to the idea that our glorious capitalism has more than a little feudalist/Pharaoh-like baggage. I certainly want to have faith in the idea that Marx's dialectical model of history could transpire over the whole of time, but the idea that the 'capitalism' that we all know adhered (and continues to adhere) to some 'invisible hand of the market' or whatever has been complete bullshit at all historical points.

Am I crazy, or has Bob been exceptionally insightful these past couple of weeks?

OT: The "internet is the new world" metaphor makes sense, but that only covers the psychology. Just because two conflicts are started for the same reasons doesn't mean they will end the same way.

How much do successful lets players make out of ad money? It can't be like thousands of dollars a month, right?

Marik2:
How much do successful lets players make out of ad money? It can't be like thousands of dollars a month, right?

Unless you are a extremely popular Let's Player with nearly a million subscribers then you only make a couple hundred a month I believe.Of course that's not counting the costs of getting up to date recording equipment and making sure you have the right gear.

Sadly though the point is clearly missed. This isn't ONLY about the big publishers, and for the most part some of the publishers didn't even want this. What's happened is publishers on kept the rights the music, mo cap, voice acting for so long that it went back to the People that made it and now THEY are seeing their work being used in not fair-use and in stuff people are making money off it.

Music is the big thing right now, It might not be the publisher claiming the music, it might be the person that made it that made a hundred or so bucks making it. You have Guy Cihi, who was only paid once for his voice acting and mocap and still owns it who could take down every silent hill 2 gameplay footage if he wanted.

Hmm well at least there are always other things besides youtube and I see more people flocking over to something else or maybe even getting their own websites for videos and such to keep the entire ad rev.

Another problem with this fiasco is this:

People are abusing it like crazy. In another topic I mentioned that some russian whore claimed she owns the word Persona and abused the YT copyright system and had every video relating to the word persona got removed. Even Atlus themselves got hit by it. Same with Littlekuriboh and every hater thinking they can pretend to be 4kids and SEGA with anything that involves the Shining Force game series.

That's the first thing we need to get rid of.

After watching the Angry Joe post the other day (well most of it), the problem I am not sure is with the Publishers/Copyright holders, but random companies as well, Angry Joe had an interview he had with the people that made Tomb Raider, basically him standing with a mic and talking to the people who made Tomb Raider flagged that it was Tomb Raider content. The video had no game footage or audio from what I remember just Joe interviewing a couple of guys. There was another video I think it was Jim Sterling that said (I am not 100% sure), but a television station claimed they had the rights to a video game that was related.

Right now I think the biggest problem isn't the Copyright Law, but how YouTube is enforcing it maybe that is one and the same, but the feeling I am getting from the video creator side is that they feel they are guilty until proven innocent even with the big publishers saying they didn't flag those videos.

I would just like to applaud Bob for bringing up the point that not all intellectual property is owned by massive corporations (though it probably will eventually). Copyright protects the little guy as much as the big guy, even though the big guy tends to have more property and thus is able to abuse copyright more. Nothing so far is illegal, but I join Bob and everyone else who clamors for at least an update on the law itself.

For those people who think artists should be okay with making their work ubiquitous, keep in mind that people must eat. Bob hit the nail on the head, for people who make a living off of selling their art, then every copy is made and illegally distributed is another potential sale down the toilet. However, another scenario that frequently happens is that, once an intellectual property starts growing popular, a corporation comes and buys the rights to it with a lump sum and then start trying to cash in all the use of it. Can't think of any particular cases, but I know it's a thing.

We as people need to constantly update our society as we update everything that society consists of. That society is defined as much by the things we choose to keep as the things we throw away.

EDIT: Another clamoring group I support is all those people who say YouTube should just update their damn system. Talking about archaic ideas, their bots are just plain stupid sometimes.

Banzaiman:
I would just like to applaud Bob for bringing up the point that not all intellectual property is owned by massive corporations (though it probably will eventually). Copyright protects the little guy as much as the big guy, even though the big guy tends to have more property and thus is able to abuse copyright more. Nothing so far is illegal, but I join Bob and everyone else who clamors for at least an update on the law itself.

For those people who think artists should be okay with making their work ubiquitous, keep in mind that people must eat. Bob hit the nail on the head, for people who make a living off of selling their art, then every copy is made and illegally distributed is another potential sale down the toilet. However, another scenario that frequently happens is that, once an intellectual property starts growing popular, a corporation comes and buys the rights to it with a lump sum and then start trying to cash in all the use of it. Can't think of any particular cases, but I know it's a thing.

We as people need to constantly update our society as we update everything that society consists of. That society is defined as much by the things we choose to keep as the things we throw away.

EDIT: Another clamoring group I support is all those people who say YouTube should just update their damn system. Talking about archaic ideas, their bots are just plain stupid sometimes.

My grandma brought up the case of a man who invented the windshield wiper and was screwed out of any money and rights he had to the product.A game related case of a corporation hogging the rights to a copy right would be Capcom and the Megaman franchise where the creator can't even use his own creation.

The Shakespeare argument: all Shakespeare's plays are in the public domain, and a goodly percentage of the greatest of classical works are as well, aside from contemporary translations. In fact, the only IPs whose copyrights extend far beyond the life and death of the original author are the ones that are so successful that big companies spend their time spinning out endless iterations of said IP ad infinitum, like Spiderman.

But we don't all spend our time watching and reading Shakespeare stuff, do we? Its ubiquity means we need critics to tell us which plays are worth our time, which movies of it are any good, and that we sometimes just want to see different stuff because it's different. What if a studio just couldn't own an IP, but just had to legally give the original artist a fair share of the royalties/profits? Then they might...my God, have to compete with somebody else and not have a monopoly on that product! Whether people go see a movie might no longer be based on what property it's attached to but how good it is. And that's where critics come in, start to get views, get respect, all that good stuff.

If GE makes the only blender, you buy it because you want a blender. If five companies make blenders, they each have to compete to make their blender better and you need the reviews industry to help you decide which one you buy.

The biggest problem with copyright law is that it can being handled by the harshest legal method possible. When I say that, remember that YouTube is a subsidiary of Google, which is an international corporation.

Banzaiman:
Copyright protects the little guy as much as the big guy, even though the big guy tends to have more property and thus is able to abuse copyright more.

It's not just about the amount of "property", so much about it's value.

Big publishers hold monopolies over the exclusive usage of pop culture icons such as Superman, Star Wars, Bugs Bunny, or The Sound of Music.

They have control over everything big that has defined 20th century culture, while individual artists have to carefully navigate between these to even be allowed to write anything relevant without stepping on one.

Banzaiman:

For those people who think artists should be okay with making their work ubiquitous, keep in mind that people must eat. Bob hit the nail on the head, for people who make a living off of selling their art, then every copy is made and illegally distributed is another potential sale down the toilet.

And every copy illegally distributed is also another step to wider audience size. Unless we are not talking about a 100% piracy rate, a grown audience size WILL lead to a proportionally grown customer number as well.

Remember this study?

I'm not saying that copyright itself is harmful. If you write a book, you should have the exclusive monopoly to sell it in bookstores. If you make a movie, you should be the only one to play it in cinemas, or commercialize it on Youtube. There are some basic copyrights that are both valuable for commerce, and feasible in enforcement.

But it should extend neither to file-sharing, nor to derivative works that are creatively doing their own thing.

Fair Use shouldn't be the exception to copyright, but copyright should be the exception to Fair Use.

One thing I'm noticing in this thread so far is that it may not be suitable to compare something to history in a black and white manner, history is very rarely that black or white...

...just like the rest of the video before that comparison, pointed out about copyright.

Vault Citizen:
Did King George really have much say over how the colonies were run? I thought that all came under the part of British history were the monarchy had already lost a lot of the power it once had and a lot of the day to day governing was done by what would become known as the Prime Minister (for those unfamiliar with British history we didn't just decide to have a a Prime Minister one day, the role sort of developed over time and the early prime ministers are described as such retroactively rather than through some announcement at the time)

Things were changing in The British Empire at the time, an unwise power shift at the the same time Britan was involved on a massive scale militarily on a large number of fronts. The funny thing about Bob's example is that in the conflict between the colonies and King George, objectively viewed King George is exactly who you'd want to be, and would expect to be likely to win. The colonies won largely because The Empire was under too much pressure domestically and internationally to focus on properly putting down a revolution. The ironic thing though is that the corporations holding onto the copyright laws right now really don't have the same kind of divided interests, stretched resources, and politico-bureaucratic messes preventing clear leadership in regards to all of those things going down.

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On the matter of copyright laws themselves (in response to the video in general) this is a bigger deal that what we're seeing on Youtube and the like. It's a good example of a case where the typical person is too set in their own beliefs, immediate need, and point of view to see a big picture they are blinding themselves to.

Above and beyond the issue of reviewers, yotube videos and the such, one has to understand that the USA and a number of other nations, especially in the western world, have moved away from actually producing anything and more towards providing services and innovations. The most valuable things in the USA are pretty much the ideas we've come up with for products, characters, entertainment, etc... the physical manifestations of which we build elsewhere. Patents, copyrights, and IPs are our big source of power and prosperity nowadays.

One of the big problems facing the USA and other nations, and decimating our economy, is countries like China who innovate very little (though this is not to say that they innovate nothing at all) simply taking our ideas, manufacturing the products, intellectual or not, and then selling them for their own profit and betterment while cutting out the innovators entirely, all the while claiming that this is fine because "we don't recognize international IP laws". Creating an ironic situation where the western world is largely being weakened and outright destroyed by eastern "robber economies" that pretty much steal from us and then wind up lending money back to us... a whole situation which gets complicated beyond my ability to easily summarize here.

One of the big issues in this is that it's very difficult to take action, or get much organized, militarily or otherwise, when a nation like China can turn around and point to things like Youtube and ask why it's okay for some dude there to make money off of violating IP laws, but not okay for them to do it. Leading to accusations of hypocricy and of course conflicts even between western powers over who is stealing what and what's being enforced... etc... the bottom line is that it's a huge mess which needs to be sorted out for economic reasons and which becomes a bigger crisis every day.

The whole battle between free speech and IP protection is very much an interesting one, but something that needs to be viewed in terms in the sense of a big picture, after all laws have to be universal and can't be subjective in order to work, you cannot say it's okay for some Youtube reviewer to make money off of copying someone else's IP or parts of it, but not okay for someone with a factory to do the same thing, when in a legal sense it's pretty much the same thing, the only difference is scale and the kind of business being run.

The problem is of course further complicated by the use that corporations will put these kinds of protections to, silencing critics and the like.

Overall I do not like sleazeball corporations silencing reviewers and such. Emotionally I'm pretty much on the side of the guys getting hit on Youtube. Rationally though I have to admit that in the big picture the protection of IPs is a much more important thing given that they are largely the basis of American, and arguably western, power.

When it comes to the Youtube assault in particular I think half the problem is in the specifics of the enforcement, rather than the principle. As many people have pointed out video game companies and the like release tons of promotional material that they actually encourage people to use towards these purposes. A lot of the videos being hammered are being nailed unfairly when they were not doing anything that was wrong to begin with. The problem here is that the guys bringing the accusations have been able to get results while being vague, simply pointing fingers at something and saying "these guys are using copyrighted material without permission" without having to specify what they are using, and action is being taken before any kind of rebuttal can take place.

To be fair what we need to see happen is for those making complaints about violations to be very specific about what and where in a video is being questioned, with each violation being addressed by an actual person rather than a machine. The cost and trouble of doing to properly, especially given the likely results, will mean that your not going to see corporations spending tons of time and money chasing kids around something like Youtube, while they can go after more worthwhile and eggregeous [SP] offenders.

What I propose is akin to how porn is handled. By definition all pornography in the US is illegal, being defined as something which is offensive and without any redeeming value. The thing is that one cannot simply take a "shotgun" approach and define anything someone finds offensive as porn. Each specific item needs to be addressed individually, and needs to be reviewed, and actually found to be without any kind of redeeming value, with the group producing the work being given time to defend it if they so choose. This is incidently why a lot of "porno" has laughable plots, and it's also why the adult movie/porn/shock smut industry thrives, since so much of it is produced it's simply impossible to ban it all, so it takes something really special to get enough attention to start the process.

At the end of the day the entire point being that your not supposed to see action like this taken just on someone else's say so, and really when done correctly the system tends to be it's own defense mechanism as frivolously chasing down every petty violator for lulz winds up doing more damage than it prevents.

I'll also end this with something else fairly controversial and say that I think half the problem is that a lot of reviewers have gotten arrogant and stupid. When the whole "nasty reviewer riding the edge" thing got started it was cool because it was kind of underground, standing out because of a few people saying the kinds of things a lot of people thought but wouldn't come out on a mainstream source. Them getting away with it, because nobody knew who they were for sure, except MAYBE an editor if they were in print. The whole thing had a degree of class though because it was kept within limits simply by being on the edge. Today it seems half the problem is reviewers want to basically come out as public people, badmouth everyone, get away with it "because free speech [email protected]!", and make serious bucks doing it. There is a point at which it becomes sort of absurd when you see an industry basically being forced to invite people to events who make a public living taking a verbal whizz all over them. In short nobody should have been expecting this status quo to continue endlessly. All of the good reviewers out there seem to have gotten caught in a kind of expected blowback that should have been expected long before now. It's simply surprising that a bunch of people standing in a legal gray area seem to think they were going to be able to mouth off to those with actual money and power endlessly while in public view, and never have anything happen in response. Right or wrong, it should have been expected, and honestly I imagine 90% or more of those hit by this have no real idea what to do now as a result other than cry.

shirkbot:

This is totally off topic, but I think there's a couple points to be made there. The people claiming that they shouldn't be in it for the money have a point insofar as nobody should really be doing anything just for money. Sadly that's not how capitalism works, and as such everyone has to make money in some way or face death. It's called "wage slavery" amongst the more politically incendiary circles. It's harsh, and I think we'll start to see that change as we slowly realize the limitations of that particular model. I don't think it's fair to call them small minded so much as to ask if they've thought it through all the way.

No, that is not what he is talking about. There are actually people out there who seriously think that musicians (for example) should support themselves by waiting tables or other menial labour and that they have no right to make a living from their art. They make Lawrence Lessig and Richard Stallman look like Laissez-faire Capitalists.

Entitled:
Crappy artists make crappy stories whether in pre-existing or new universes. You can't legally enforce artistic value, but great artists could only make greater stories if they would be free to create whatever they want.

Um... great artists are allowed to create whatever they want.

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