YouTube: Universal Music Abused the System

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YouTube: Universal Music Abused the System

That cheeky Megaupload ad is back on YouTube, and apparently it never should have been taken down in the first place.

The controversial video, in which popular hip-hop performers including Kanye West, Mary J. Blige and will.i.am literally sing the praises of Hong Kong-based file-sharing service Megaupload, was reinstated last Wednesday.

"Our partners do not have the right to take down videos from YT unless they own the rights to them or they are live performances controlled through exclusive agreements with their artists, which is why we reinstated it," said a YouTube spokesperson.

Apparently Universal Music abused YouTube's content filter system to remove the video, which cost Megaupload a cool $3 million to produce, shortly after it was uploaded. Megaupload has since taken Universal to court, claiming the company violated a provision in copyright law designed to prevent bogus copyright claims. Universal wouldn't disclose why they removed the video, at least not in court, but it has accused Megaupload of enabling piracy in the past.

According to Universal's lawyers, Megaupload isn't entitled to monetary compensation even though the takedown wasn't legit. Universal's argument is that YouTube's private content filtering system doesn't count as an official takedown notice under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), and thus the company isn't legally liable. Megaupload's lawyer Ira Rothken called the argument "preposterous."

"UMG did not have a good faith belief that this video was infringing any of their copyrights," he said. "What they are basically arguing, they can go ahead and suppress any speech they want without any consequences. That's not a workable paradigm."

Universal has previously argued that YouTube video takedowns do come under the purview of the DMCA, and, because of that, it doesn't have to consider "fair-use" doctrine when taking down videos such as this one.

No word on how YouTube will respond to Universal's attempt to game the system, presumably we're going to see some savage finger-wagging.

Source: Wired

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I like that UMG seems to think they can argue that a ContentID takedown is the equivalent of a DMCA takedown in one case, then immediately argue that a ContentID takedown *isn't* the equivalent of a DMCA takedown in another. Megaupload clearly needs to take action to have UMG's lawyers disbarred.

Over here in Hong Kong, we can't even access Megavideo or Megaupload despite the fact the company's based in Hong Kong. So frankly, I can't give much of a damn on this issue.

I will, however, grab some popcorn and take a backseat while I watch two companies I despise tear each other into bits in a wonderful catfight.

don't all the record companies abuse the system to take down stuff like AMV,s or trailers?

henritje:
don't all the record companies abuse the system to take down stuff like AMV,s or trailers?

That they do. Recent ecample would be Viacom (gametrailers) taking down diablo 3 intro and others (eg the Rainbow 6 Patriots Debut Trailer) that were first seen in the VGA 2011. Even if you got the upload from the publishers themselves.

i kinda hope universal gets their asses handed to them. as its my understanding they have no IP involved, artists *snorts,coughs* on contract maybe but no IP, and god forbid the prefer one service over another :p

Whoa whoa whoa, hold the phone...did Youtube actually develop a SPINE?! When the hell did this happen?!

In any case, I'm glad to see they decided to put their foot down on this. At no point in the entire video do they advocate piracy or infringe upon Universal's copyright holdings. Of course, the irony is that the video's bound to be even more popular because of Universal's efforts to shut it down.

Here's hoping Youtube starts standing up to other companies that do similar practices. I'm looking at you, Warner Music Group.

Neverhoodian:
Whoa whoa whoa, hold the phone...did Youtube actually develop a SPINE?! When the hell did this happen?!

In any case, I'm glad to see they decided to put their foot down on this. At no point in the entire video do they advocate piracy or infringe upon Universal's copyright holdings. Of course, the irony is that the video's bound to be even more popular because of Universal's efforts to shut it down.

Here's hoping Youtube starts standing up to other companies that do similar practices. I'm looking at you, Warner Music Group.

Now if Youtube was standing up to Universal alone in this situation, then they would have a spine. But alas, Youtube is only standing up to Universal because Megaupload is standing up to Universal- Megaupload is Youtube's spine in this instance.

tthor:

Neverhoodian:
Whoa whoa whoa, hold the phone...did Youtube actually develop a SPINE?! When the hell did this happen?!

In any case, I'm glad to see they decided to put their foot down on this. At no point in the entire video do they advocate piracy or infringe upon Universal's copyright holdings. Of course, the irony is that the video's bound to be even more popular because of Universal's efforts to shut it down.

Here's hoping Youtube starts standing up to other companies that do similar practices. I'm looking at you, Warner Music Group.

Now if Youtube was standing up to Universal alone in this situation, then they would have a spine. But alas, Youtube is only standing up to Universal because Megaupload is standing up to Universal- Megaupload is Youtube's spine in this instance.

Well, if they win, this could set up one hell of an interesting precedent. I don't think Youtube has ever stood up to a corporation like this, even if MU are leading the fight.

We can only hope this case is successful and that Youtube becomes more emboldened in the future to protect its (and our) rights. There are plenty of other cases of companies abusing the system, and they need ot be adressed too. Like AMVs, which I am SURE count as transformative works...

*sigh*

It still pisses me off to see these musicians appear in this ad.

That ad was the most obnoxious one I've seen in a long time. Honestly, I made it to 1:17 before I wanted to simultaneously pull my hair out of my skull. Those annoying voices crooning "MMMEEGGGGGAAAAAAAAAAAA UUUUUUPPPPPPPPLLLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAADDDDDDDDDD" grate hard. I'm never using MU again. Who the hell thought that ad was a good idea?

Still, I'm amazed Youtube actually has half a ball regarding this matter. Usually they just bend over for the corporation and take it. Then they proceed to bend the community over and pass along the present.

With the current climate of TOS violation -> Felony, I hope Youtube/Google has a prosecutor they can poke into going after UMG. It would be a Win/Win case for the rest of us (either weakening the TOS violation -> felony link or sticking it to DMCA takedown abusers).

Way to deflect the issue, Google/Youtube! You had no business giving Universal the unilateral right to arbitrarily remove content without even as a DMCA takedown in the first place.

Never mind. Watch the video anyway.

I'm getting so tired of all this copyright bullshit going over the fence hoping into the field of insanity, do a little nude dance and crab-walks back to us. And then expects us to still take it seriously.

I won't argue that copyright laws are useless, or need to go. They are there for a reason and should be enforced. But lately it's just all gone too far.

I'm a mailman to pay for my studies.
I deliver mail on Saturdays and while doing that, I got my mp3 in my pocket and listen to a few songs while working.
I usually whistle, humm or even sing along (badly).
If this copyright stuff goes on the way it does, I might sued one day on singing a sing in public that I do not have the rights off.

I lost all sympathy for music industries when they tried to remove guitar tabs from websites.

Hope Universal gets fucked on this one

Thanks Universal, without you I would have never even heard of this video.
But imagine what companies like Universal Music could do after SOPA has passed.

Well, good to see this happening this way. Also, everyone shouldn't act as if SOPA is either a new thing or likely to happen. People have been trying that for a long time in a lot of different areas.

Raiyan 1.0:
Seriously, fuck Universal, fuck Sony, fuck Nintendo, fuck EA and fuck the US Congress.

Indeed. SOPA would allow them to do this crap to entire websites.

Because piracy.

And (most of) Congress doesn't seem to even want to care to understand the bill. Because "they're no nerds and there's no reason to bring in the nerds to explain it" (actual god damn quote).

Irridium:

Raiyan 1.0:
Seriously, fuck Universal, fuck Sony, fuck Nintendo, fuck EA and fuck the US Congress.

Indeed. SOPA would allow them to do this crap to entire websites.

Because piracy.

And (most of) Congress doesn't seem to even want to care to understand the bill. Because "they're no nerds and there's no reason to bring in the nerds to explain it" (actual god damn quote).

It's scary how many gaming companies and their lobbyists are backing SOPA - Electronic Arts, Epic Games, Ubisoft, Square Enix, THQ, Nintendo, Capcom, Take Two, Sony and some others. Though on the slightly brighter side, Microsoft, Valve, Bethesda and Activision/Blizzard/Vivendi have so far refused to back it.

Edit: My bad, appears like those guys were misrepresented by the ESA. No wonder I was aghast Tim Sweeny, the guy who released a freeware version of UE3 and rails against programming copyrights, would be backing this bill! Never change, Sweeny.

http://judiciary.house.gov/issues/Rouge%20Websites/SOPA%20Supporters.pdf

Raiyan 1.0:
It's scary how many gaming companies and their lobbyists are backing SOPA - Electronic Arts, Epic Games, Ubisoft, Square Enix, THQ, Nintendo, Capcom, Take Two, Sony and some others. Though on the slightly brighter side, Microsoft, Valve, Bethesda and Activision/Blizzard/Vivendi have so far refused to back it.

Strange to see Activision so far refusing to back it. I think it may stem from the fact that they want as many people out there talking about, and showing video of, games like Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 as they can get, especially given that the former is essentially the backbone of esports.

It amazes me to see the list of companies backing it though. Not so much that I'm amazed they would back it, but that they're so short sighted they don't realize that they lose too if the bill passes and they exercise the rights it gives them all willy nilly.

Vivi22:

Raiyan 1.0:
It's scary how many gaming companies and their lobbyists are backing SOPA - Electronic Arts, Epic Games, Ubisoft, Square Enix, THQ, Nintendo, Capcom, Take Two, Sony and some others. Though on the slightly brighter side, Microsoft, Valve, Bethesda and Activision/Blizzard/Vivendi have so far refused to back it.

Strange to see Activision so far refusing to back it. I think it may stem from the fact that they want as many people out there talking about, and showing video of, games like Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 as they can get, especially given that the former is essentially the backbone of esports.

It amazes me to see the list of companies backing it though. Not so much that I'm amazed they would back it, but that they're so short sighted they don't realize that they lose too if the bill passes and they exercise the rights it gives them all willy nilly.

It appears I've been misinformed. Most of those companies aren't actually backing the bill. Sorry. Also, yay!

http://judiciary.house.gov/issues/Rouge%20Websites/SOPA%20Supporters.pdf

*deleted*

What I think is the most terrible, and frankly offensive, in this whole SOPA thing.

Big movie companies want this, they poor money into it, and it's obviously working.
The people do not want this. But are ignored.

And people say that communism didn't work because of corruption.

Raiyan 1.0:
It appears I've been misinformed. Most of those companies aren't actually backing the bill. Sorry. Also, yay!

http://judiciary.house.gov/issues/Rouge%20Websites/SOPA%20Supporters.pdf

Cool, thanks for the correction.

As for Google fighting this bill, that's not a surprise for them. They've always been one of the single biggest supporters of a free and open internet, despite the fact that they could probably gain the most from locking things down a lot of the time. No other company really has the amount of power they do over the internet.

erbkaiser:
Way to deflect the issue, Google/Youtube! You had no business giving Universal the unilateral right to arbitrarily remove content without even as a DMCA takedown in the first place.

Youtube is saying no such agreement exists.

"Our partners do not have the right to take down videos from YT unless they own the rights to them or they are live performances controlled through exclusive agreements with their artists, which is why we reinstated it," said a YouTube spokesperson.

Therefore UMG abused the system by taking the video down under an agreement that doesn't exist. Now what UMG does next is going to be intertesting. They've effectively been called liars by Youtube. How they react to Youtbe's statement will tell us a lot about UMG.

The music companies have been slashing away at any company that gets near them. Illegally. It can only last so long. Then the feds will step in and take 1/4 of their yearly profits away and they'll go back to business as usual.

Well now isnt that interesting. I figured something like this was going to happen since it was obvious from day one universal was full of shit.

It's nice to see someone taking a stand against this sort of bullshit, now if they can just keep it up...

Ldude893:
I will, however, grab some popcorn and take a backseat while I watch two companies I despise tear each other into bits in a wonderful catfight.

I'll join you! (Grabs a chair and some snacks)

Apparently I know nothing about this, but can someone explain to me how someone other than YouTube can take a video down from YouTube?

Anyway, it's obvious that Universal is abusing the power they apparently have, so I hope they lose.

Megaupload/Megavideo is total shite anyway. Can't it just leave and make way for a better service?

Now give BLR back their Dirty Spaceman you monsters!

Hmm, I wonder why companies like Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Cisco and Channel Awesome are all rising against this "Sopa" Bill...
After all the Senators allready told us "This is aimed at international piracy, not domestic. DO NOT WORRY, we wouldn't use it against you!"

How freaking f*ing wonderfull ! Why yes, lets hand companies like UMG a nuclear bomb that looks like a money printer and put the detonator under the "press for unlimiited money" button.
DO NOT WORRY, we wouldn't push that button!

If sopa passes, I strongly urge anonymous to post their My little pony posters on every major website and get those sites delisted for wrongfully hosting copyrighted contend. Add some links to your posts on the white house forums so that those go down as well.

Some days I wonder why these headlines make me feel sicker then the news about pedophiles systematicly raping babies and toddlers.
Propably because the sick f*ers that abuse children end up punished and behind bars and not with a pay check for abusing the system.

Ranorak:
I'm getting so tired of all this copyright bullshit going over the fence hoping into the field of insanity, do a little nude dance and crab-walks back to us. And then expects us to still take it seriously.

I won't argue that copyright laws are useless, or need to go. They are there for a reason and should be enforced. But lately it's just all gone too far.

Yeah, why is alleged copyright infringement being enforced by the Department of Homeland Security?

Slayer_2:
That ad was the most obnoxious one I've seen in a long time. Honestly, I made it to 1:17 before I wanted to simultaneously pull my hair out of my skull. Those annoying voices crooning "MMMEEGGGGGAAAAAAAAAAAA UUUUUUPPPPPPPPLLLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAADDDDDDDDDD" grate hard. I'm never using MU again. Who the hell thought that ad was a good idea?

Still, I'm amazed Youtube actually has half a ball regarding this matter. Usually they just bend over for the corporation and take it. Then they proceed to bend the community over and pass along the present.

The ad becomes infinitely better when you realize it sounds similar to parts of the intro song for Paranoia Agent, lol.

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