WTF, YouTube?

WTF, YouTube?

The recent #WTFU campaign hasn't resolved the problems with YouTube's content ID system.

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Yeah, I mean, this is what happens with a private company's platform. This isn't about Fair Use, which is where the WTFU hashtag always fell short. YouTube can dictate the terms on which you use their platform, long as they don't violate any laws in the process. They can take down videos even if they are fair use.

And TBH, it's kind of funny how many of the WTFU folks are people who normally support a free market and the "don't like it, don't buy it/vote with your wallet/go somewhere else" crowd.

But this is the end result of that attitude. People put all their stock in YouTube, giving Google a virtual (if not practical) monopoly on video service, and that means that we are beholden to our terms. I mean, we could go to the government and demand they intervene with a business' right to conduct things, but that sounds a lot like that evil socialism I hear people complaining about so much.

Amazing how quickly our priorities change when something actually affects us.

Also, the DMCA is a codification of the 1996 WIPO treaty, meaning it's not really America who's setting the terms. 94 states have ratified the WIPO agreement.

Of course it hasn't. Only cause YT keeps plugging their ears.

We need to do 2 things:

1: Start taking ad revenue from bigger youtubers. Once Pewdiepie starts getting hit and makes a stink they'll listen.

2. Sue one of these false claim makers to set a precident. Though I believe IHE is currently in the works to take Merlin to court.

If you want an instant copyright dispute system then you pay for it. Don't complain too much if you get paid while not having to pay for the backend servers and bandwidth. If you think there's a magic wand, put your money were your mouth is and set up your own site. YouTube just about breaks even despite millions in investment and 1 billion views.

The real stink of all this is that a Content ID claim automatically and instantly re-routes the money. If the ad revenue sat in a holding account for 30 days or until the claim was resolved (whichever came first) then went to the winning party there would be no problem.

But that's not how it works, you make a claim, you get the money, end of. Youtube are effectively facilitating a scam because it only costs the end user money, they get their cut of the ad revenue regardless. Sooner or later someone's going to take them to court over that.

RaikuFA:
2. Sue one of these false claim makers to set a precident. Though I believe IHE is currently in the works to take Merlin to court.

Content ID claims can be anonymous to everyone but Youtube. To successfully take one of these scammers to court, first you would have to sue Youtube/Google to force them into the revealing their identity. Some (like Nintendo) at least have the grace to name themselves, most don't.

A full Copyright Strike tells you who made it and contains more information, a content ID claim could be anybody, they just need a user account.

Until Youtube fucks over someone who can actually fight back (which is unlikely, since even the biggest names on Youtube can't fight the likes of Google), the only recourse people have is to simply leave. Start your own site, or go somewhere like Dailymotion to host your content. Google has demonstrated time and time again that they don't give a shit about how they handle copyright infringements, so if they're unwilling to listen to us, we have to take action on our own.

But that has its own share of problems. No one else has the amount of industry support that Youtube has, and in order to make an impact, literally every big gaming Youtuber has to leave and take the financial hit that leaving will bring.

Baring that, the only thing we can do is wait until Youtube eventually has a lawsuit stick...and that could take years.

Google is kind of shooting themselves in the foot here. While it is utterly true that they are within their rights as a platform provider to conduct themselves as they have been it is important to note that sooner or later the smaller fry youtubers will be driven out. When that happens a lot of the diversity that makes it a good content platform will be gone. Pewdiepie and Vevo and whatnot have a lot to offer but they don't have the breadth of reach that all of the smaller guys have.

youtube is only successful as long as the content stays fresh and diverse. If they keep ignoring this, the free market will prevail and turf them sooner or later. They might be the biggest out there right now but there is nothing stopping someone else from filling the void. The best thing the smaller channels can do right now is move en mass to a different provider. Once there are fewer views and clicks we'll see how fast Google changes their tune.

I've never understood why there hasn't been a class action lawsuit over this yet. Google is violating the DMCA with ContentID--when a false DMCA claim results in a scammer taking income from a video they did not produce, that is itself copyright infringement that Google is facilitating.

All it takes is one lawyer to wake up and name Google as defendant to a class action representing all wronged content producers as plaintiffs, and you're talking enough money to put YouTube out of business...

If I was a lawyer or a content producer with skin in the game, I'd be all over looking for a way to make that happen.

SlumlordThanatos:
Until Youtube fucks over someone who can actually fight back (which is unlikely, since even the biggest names on Youtube can't fight the likes of Google), the only recourse people have is to simply leave. Start your own site, or go somewhere like Dailymotion to host your content. Google has demonstrated time and time again that they don't give a shit about how they handle copyright infringements, so if they're unwilling to listen to us, we have to take action on our own.

But that has its own share of problems. No one else has the amount of industry support that Youtube has, and in order to make an impact, literally every big gaming Youtuber has to leave and take the financial hit that leaving will bring.

Baring that, the only thing we can do is wait until Youtube eventually has a lawsuit stick...and that could take years.

Bigger YouTubers often have departments within there companies to deal with this sort of thing or work for MCN's who have the clout to deal with this.

fix-the-spade:
The real stink of all this is that a Content ID claim automatically and instantly re-routes the money. If the ad revenue sat in a holding account for 30 days or until the claim was resolved (whichever came first) then went to the winning party there would be no problem.

But that's not how it works, you make a claim, you get the money, end of. Youtube are effectively facilitating a scam because it only costs the end user money, they get their cut of the ad revenue regardless. Sooner or later someone's going to take them to court over that.

RaikuFA:
2. Sue one of these false claim makers to set a precident. Though I believe IHE is currently in the works to take Merlin to court.

Content ID claims can be anonymous to everyone but Youtube. To successfully take one of these scammers to court, first you would have to sue Youtube/Google to force them into the revealing their identity. Some (like Nintendo) at least have the grace to name themselves, most don't.

A full Copyright Strike tells you who made it and contains more information, a content ID claim could be anybody, they just need a user account.

One already might be taking a guy known for making false claims to court.

https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/47s99w/were_merlin_cdltd_a_rights_management_company_on/

Merlin is a company known for making false claims. Few posts down a user known as Video Game Attorney mentions he can't say anything about the matter. Same goes for IHE in this video:

My guess is Merlin's being sued for doing this shit.

Frankly I'm suprised all of this wasn't fixed years ago when that Russian star claimed Persona as her word and took down all videos pertaining to the word. Even Atlus' own trailers for the Persona games. Then it turned out to be a phishing scam to get your info. Or when Jim had written evidence that a company was doing it to silence criticism.

Youtube is a money sink Google has never been able to get it to turn a profit so Google would probably be happy if they where forced to shut it down or all the users migrated somewhere else so they wouldn't have to deal with hundreds of millions of pissed off users angry at them for shutting it of their own volition.

Unfortunately for Google neither of those things seems likely to ever happen so they use automated systems as much as possible to keep big companies that can afford to from suing them.

P-89 Scorpion:
Youtube is a money sink Google has never been able to get it to turn a profit

I sometimes wonder if that isn't the entire purpose of Youtube's existence, it provide Google with an almost bottomless pit in which to hide their profits from elsewhere.

They wouldn't be the first major corporation to use a 'loss making' subsidiary to hide gigantic profits.

Honestly, the only way Youtube is going to do anything besides pay lip service to it's content creators is a class action lawsuit. The current system could be improved by simply them not rerouting the money automatically to the other person. It should go into Escrow (where it collects interest) and should only be routed into the proper account when a dispute is settled. They could then keep whatever interest the money earned as a way of getting paid to make sure a dispute is settled properly. But they route it to the other guy, and as the article said, the person who made the false claim gets 95% of the revenue for them.

fix-the-spade:

P-89 Scorpion:
Youtube is a money sink Google has never been able to get it to turn a profit

I sometimes wonder if that isn't the entire purpose of Youtube's existence, it provide Google with an almost bottomless pit in which to hide their profits from elsewhere.

They wouldn't be the first major corporation to use a 'loss making' subsidiary to hide gigantic profits.

A lot of successful companies have some sort of under performing asset for situations just as this.

of course it hasn't fixed anything.

Youtube doesn't care about anything or any one that isn't making them lots of money.

fix-the-spade:
The real stink of all this is that a Content ID claim automatically and instantly re-routes the money. If the ad revenue sat in a holding account for 30 days or until the claim was resolved (whichever came first) then went to the winning party there would be no problem.

Exactly. It would be very easy to solve the worst aspects of the system by keeping the ad revenue reserved until one party has won the dispute. YouTube would get an extra 30 days of holding the money so there is even a small cashflow win for them. It is puzzling that they haven't done this and does make one think that they are receiving kickbacks from the copyright holders instead.

I posted an idea on Twitter a while back about this;

Everyone claim everyone else content.

Once Sony and all that find their videos automatically taken down, they will demand YouTube fix the broken rules. And voila, big business will fix our problem for us.

Nothing will change. people protested about it for years now but youtube policies keeps getting worse. As long as there is no competition or regulation to youtube its oging to stay the same.

First thing should be done that would force all content claimants file PROOF of their copyright being broken and only they have sufficient proof can the video be taken down. But that wont happen since same Megacorporations are the ones writting the laws.

and make no mistake, DMCA wasnt written by people who didnt knew how internet worked. it was written by people that intentionally wanted to cripple internet because it didnt follow their old retail sale model.

Something Amyss:

Also, the DMCA is a codification of the 1996 WIPO treaty, meaning it's not really America who's setting the terms. 94 states have ratified the WIPO agreement.

True about DMCA, but pretty much whole copyright law history can be traced via United States does something, rest of the world follows suit, those that dont get pressured to do so in a few years.

RaikuFA:

2. Sue one of these false claim makers to set a precident. Though I believe IHE is currently in the works to take Merlin to court.

Wont work. Its practically impossible to prove a false claim under current rules. so much so that there isnt a single case in history of copyright law where this happened over DMCA claim. I wish IHE all the luck but dont expect him to win.

Something Amyss:
And TBH, it's kind of funny how many of the WTFU folks are people who normally support a free market and the "don't like it, don't buy it/vote with your wallet/go somewhere else" crowd.

I've watched quite a few of the Youtubers who took part in the #WTFU thing, I don't recall any of them ever saying that. Why are you putting words into people's mouths?

Something Amyss:

And TBH, it's kind of funny how many of the WTFU folks are people who normally support a free market and the "don't like it, don't buy it/vote with your wallet/go somewhere else" crowd.

But this is the end result of that attitude. People put all their stock in YouTube, giving Google a virtual (if not practical) monopoly on video service, and that means that we are beholden to our terms. I mean, we could go to the government and demand they intervene with a business' right to conduct things, but that sounds a lot like that evil socialism I hear people complaining about so much.

Amazing how quickly our priorities change when something actually affects us.

So are you saying that the content creators should have seen this coming and split themselves among other platforms to foster competition, because that seems incredibly unlikely to have ever happened even if people knew exactly what was in the future (and I be a lot of them could make a decent guess). Hell, a lot of the people getting punished by this now weren't even making videos back when there was any real opportunity to jump ship. I get the idea you're going for here in that they are reaping what they sowed, but it's not really working that way for many of the current users.

So ya, government intervention would probably be necessary, and to be honest, should have already happened. I have no idea how this shit works when it comes to the internet, but I do know that many countries which claim to embrace the free market still do have laws about monopolies, so I don't really see where your evil socialism comment applies. Unfortunately, at least in the US, I doubt they'd ever intervene. Especially considering, as far as I know, they haven't done anything major to Comcast yet.

SomeGuyOnHisComputer:

I've watched quite a few of the Youtubers who took part in the #WTFU thing, I don't recall any of them ever saying that. Why are you putting words into people's mouths?

Interesting how "I haven't seen it" translates into "she's putting words into people's mouths."

Also interesting that you limited the scope to "content creators" when I did not.

I suppose the question, then, is why are you putting words in my mouth to condemn the same?

RedDeadFred:

So are you saying that the content creators should have seen this coming and split themselves among other platforms to foster competition

Nope.

Something Amyss:

Interesting how "I haven't seen it" translates into "she's putting words into people's mouths."
Also interesting that you limited the scope to "content creators" when I did not.
I suppose the question, then, is why are you putting words in my mouth to condemn the same?

Fair enough. I will say this, there is nothing in your post indicating the scope. #WTFU is primarily a youtube movement, in my opinion, the assumption that you were alluding to the content creators is a perfectly fair and valid one. With that, none of the content creators I follow who have participated in the movement have ever spouted any of that "vote with your wallet" stuff. Ergo, it came off as if you were accusing people of hypocrisy with made up nonsense.

Heres the thing, it needs to go to court. But no one wants to actually do that, and those few who might cant. I don't know enough about the legal system to give any real advice but, you have to break eggs to make an omelette. May not be the same caliber, but LGBT rights didn't get going until people physically fought back against the abusive cops who'd raid gay bars because they could. If bigger youtubers would unite with other big and small youtubers, something likely could be done.

SomeGuyOnHisComputer:
[#WTFU is primarily a youtube movement

It's really not. That's kind of the problem. It's about YouTube, but we've had multiple threads on this site alone talking about it. Even if we limit it to YouTube, however, the bulk of the WTFU talk is coming from users, not content creators. Unless you want to get super specific and talk about video creation, in which case I will grant you that tautologically it's content creators making videos about it, but that grossly limits the scope of the conversation.

Rather, you made a shoestring of assumptions and took me to task for the end result. These assumptions seem to be based more on your personal opinions than any solid foundation. Folks like the Nostalgia Critic (ironic) have seen a groundswell of support, sometimes from thousands upon thousands of people, and if you think they're all the ones making the videos then I don't even know what to tell you.

RedDeadFred:
I have no idea how this shit works when it comes to the internet, but I do know that many countries which claim to embrace the free market still do have laws about monopolies, so I don't really see where your evil socialism comment applies.

Since I'm already responding again, let me add this:

You have no idea how these things work, but you don't see how my socialism comments play into it.

First, that's conflating two separate arguments. That's fine, I don't really care. My internet writings appear to have more secrets than any treasure hunt Indiana Jones might go on, and I'm the only one not privy to them.

But things get dicey when you start talking monopolies[footnote=for this purpose, "monopoly" will refer to the illegal sense, as it's perfectly possible to have a legal monopoly, as I will get into below]. See, when I phrased it as I did, the wording was deliberate. I called it a virtual monopoly because it is not, at least as far as I can see, an actual one. The reason I say "far as I know" is less because I don't know how these things work (though I'm far from an expert) and more because I don't have evidence of these things.

Google is, generally speaking, not a monopoly in the legal sense because there's little or no evidence of anti-competitive practices. A lot of people compare Microsoft's monopoly in the 90s to Google now, but they're too young to remember what it was like when you couldn't search up a rival product on a search engine. Hell, there used to be a need for workarounds just to download Netscape from an IE broswer. When we say "monopoly" in terms of legality, we're not talking about someone who simply dominates a field. While yes, a company that controls say, 80% of a given marketplace has a monopoly, they don't in the sense of anti-monopoly laws.

The problem here is that people have flocked to YouTube by choice, not because Google has tried to stifle the market. Many of the people I now follow on YouTube felt that Blip was a better platform based on the exact grounds that are the source of WTFU. It simply wasn't seeing the success of YouTube, however. Many Blip creators also hosted on YouTube (as have other sites, like...this one) because they want the views. Again, this is not a case of coercion, but rather of choice. YouTube dominates because it's considered the "better" service, whether due to content or services or ubiquity. I'd prefer Blip except I always had trouble watching Linkara or Rap Critic because their ads would fuck up constantly. I do find being able to actually watch videos to be the superior was to watch them, whether I otherwise like YouTube or not.

"Better" is, of course, subjective. It's less what makes a good service and more, as Bill Nye would say, what makes a "good enough" service. People have decided that YouYube is good enough. Good enough, in fact, that the endless complaints about it are often done by people who still use the service. And since we are talking the free market, that's enough to validate its continued dominance.

A monopoly created by such a service is not illegal. And while it's possible Google is violating antitrust laws in some way I'm not aware of, calling them a monopoly here is not enough to trigger antitrust laws. But a monopoly created by making a service people choose to use over competitors' services is not illegal. It is the free market in action. It is people voting with their wallets.

Which, incidentally, makes the sort of intervention you're talking about what those same free-marketeers call "socialism." It would be interfering with the sacred Free Market (praise be upon it).

Saelune:
Heres the thing, it needs to go to court. But no one wants to actually do that, and those few who might cant. I don't know enough about the legal system to give any real advice but, you have to break eggs to make an omelette. May not be the same caliber, but LGBT rights didn't get going until people physically fought back against the abusive cops who'd raid gay bars because they could. If bigger youtubers would unite with other big and small youtubers, something likely could be done.

It's really not the same caliber. Please don't compare LGBT rights to people who voluntarily join an optional service.

So who wants to bet on this shit show eventually resulting in a mass temporary or permanent shut down for YouTube?
This whole thing can only explode from here as far as I can see. The number of smaller content creators who are getting exploited will eventually reach a highly vocal point. So from there I can only assume that the bigger ones will have to start listening in the end.
Either that or I just lost my own bet. It's a lose-lose in any case.

Something Amyss:
These assumptions seem to be based more on your personal opinions than any solid foundation.

More or less ignorance of past forum drama than any opinion. Reread your post as someone who doesn't bother lurking the escapist and got most of their info from their youtube subscription box, the foundation for my assumption is certainly there. Not really a personal opinion as much as living under a rock.

This next part is purely my personal opinion though, but I gotta say, even if the majority of the discussion is through other means, I don't think it's fair to say that "it's really not" primarily a youtube movement. The content creators have the majority of the power in this case, as they are the ones making google the money1, hence they would be the ones google would listen to. All other discussion is just kind of a fart in the wind. If this was ... a more normal movement where the power wasn't so concentrated into a select group, then I would agree.

1. I know It's technically the viewers who make them the money. However the creators are the reason they have viewers in the first place. You could argue it should be the viewers who take initiative to migrate, hence the other discussion not being a fart in the wind, but youtube is so ubiquitous that I don't think that's feasible unless a chunk of creators migrate en masse, and I don't see that happening.

Jack O' Ripper:
So who wants to bet on this shit show eventually resulting in a mass temporary or permanent shut down for YouTube?
This whole thing can only explode from here as far as I can see. The number of smaller content creators who are getting exploited will eventually reach a highly vocal point. So from there I can only assume that the bigger ones will have to start listening in the end.
Either that or I just lost my own bet. It's a lose-lose in any case.

Come on, the big boys raising a stink would be a major scandal, and when have major websites ever gone out with a bang instead of a whimper? I've got my money on "enough people will just leave youtube, get popular somewhere else, then YT will be replaced with said somewhere which will inevitably become the exact same thing as youtube until people get popular somewhere else". Rinse and repeat. Because if there's one thing the internet keeps consistently proving, it's that you always become the monster you set out to kill, but at least you'll be sitting on piles of gold and jewels when you fade into oblivion.

Something Amyss:
Snip

Thanks for the detailed response and for making me chuckle (the Indiana Jones bit is surprisingly accurate sometimes). I think I have a much better idea of what you were talking about now. So what do you think should happen now? I know I wouldn't be opposed to more government intervention, but then again, I've never thought of the free market as the Holly Grail to base my beliefs around. Unfortunately, if that was the solution, I don't see it going through without some major shifts in public ideology, which I suppose is what you were getting at.

 

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