YouTube's copyright system is a bit of a mess right now. The popular video streaming site makes efforts to protect the property of those who use it, but the whole thing is set up very much in favour of big companies at present, with individual users often hit with takedowns which - if they choose to fight - could lead to loss of revenue and posting rights.
If you need an example of just how messed up YouTube is, then look no further than a recent episode of Fox's Family Guy TV show. Entitled "Run, Chris, Run", the episode in question features the NES titles Double Dribble and Tecmo Bowl.
In the Double Dribble clip - which is shown below (and, seeing as it's Family Guy, you're advised to watch at your own discretion), the character Peter exploits a glitch which allows his team to shoot for three points on every attempt.
As serious Nintendo experts will know, the glitch isn't fabricated and actually exists in the game - in fact, the actual footage shown in Family Guy was taken from a YouTube video posted by user 'sw1tched' back in February 2009. Cheeky? Yes, but what followed was almost unbelievable. After the show aired, Fox filed a copyright claim on the original clip and - as is the case when big companies throw their weight around on YouTube - it was taken down from YouTube immediately. Fox also filed a claim against some Tecmo Bowl footage which it had also "borrowed" from the site.
While it might seem like Fox was really pushing its luck, what actually happened was that Fox's automatic search robots will have found the original clip and spotted that it contained the stolen footage featured in the Family Guy episode, and will therefore have assumed it featured material which legally belong to the network - hence the automatic takedown.
What makes this system so infuriating is that righting these wrongs is almost impossible for small-scale YouTube publishers, so even when obvious mistakes are made - like this one - it's very difficult to sort things out, especially when you're going up against a giant like Fox.
Thankfully, in this case, common sense has won. Fox has removed its claims from both videos, stating:
The video in question was removed as a result of Fox's routine efforts to protect its television show Family Guy from piracy. As soon as we became aware of the circumstances, the content was restored.
You could not make it up.
Thanks to Gonçalo Lopes for the tip!
[source torrentfreak.com, via familyguy.wikia.com]
Youtube recently changed their policies though, didn't they?
@Detective_TeeJay I'll believe it when I see it.
Surreal. Youtube is a scary place.
So what about the fact that Fox "borrowed" the footage from Youtubers? Did Fox have to compensate for them to use their videos possibly without permission?
I thought the clips were really funny. Love Family Guy. It's a pity it has ties with Fox.
Been following this on NintendoAge since before it went viral. Wondered when Nlife was gonna cover it. Really stupid but glad they fixed it. Also Fox might wanna ask permission next time before using someone's clip without permission.
Also the Bo Jackson football skit was the funnier of the two...
That clip was funny. YouTube and Fox needs a much better way at handling these sorts of claims, but it'll always be tricky due to the sheer volume of copyrighted material being added.
As if the show wasn't already lazy enough with its idiotic writing, they use an entire minute of footage (at least) of some obscure NES game... and... is it supposed to be funny? You'd think that, being Family Guy, there'd be some stupid, tasteless joke in there somewhere. Nope. Just some characters playing an old video game, for no other reason but to fill airtime. :/
@crimsontadpoles It would be funny if this was the VA's playing NES games just for S&G's, but it's just them commentating over footage of a video game.
@sillygostly Oh no, you discovered the truth that the show is lazy. Looks like I need a distraction. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr Conway Twitty:
I saw this episode, that part was great.
This shows you just how broken YouTube's (Google's) copyright and takedown notice system is, and how blatantly skewed it is towards serving the whims of huge corporations and abusing any smaller YouTube content creators.
As I said on the actual video: If possible, someone needs to bring some kind of class action lawsuit against Google for all the lost revenue that has occurred as a direct result of Google's blatant mega-corp-serving copyright and takedown notice system on YouTube, which companies like Nintendo have been quick to abuse (repeatedly) for their own illegitimate claims (in most cases they are totally illegitimate, or at least need to be properly determined by the due process of law, as far as I'm concerned).
The solution isn't even that complicated: Anyone who makes a copyright claim should be forced to prove its validity before any content owner is punished in any way, shape, or form by Google (such as having their content removed or whatever, losing revenue in the meantime). The onus should be on the claimant proving the accused guilty (before any action is taken) and not the other way around; that's how the law is supposed to work. You know, the whole "innocent until proven guilty" thing. Here, however, Google's system just ***** all over that basic legal right—and I think Google needs to be held accountable for it, because it knows fine well what it's doing here. Also, at the very least, these giant corporations should be made to fear some kind of repercussions if they make claims that turn out to be false—maybe this will encourage them to encourage Google to set up the system properly (because now false claims will affect the big guys too)—and either they or Google should certainly be made to pay any lost income to the content creators in question.
At least since this gained traction online, Fox had to actually step in and do something about it. But in the middle of all of this mess... did they even secure the broadcast rights from Tecmo (who merged with Koei years ago) and the rabid Konami for the use of each game's footage? Or will they declare "fair use" in the event they do get into lega trouble with the companies? Ah, the irony of it all...
And if you need further evidence of how messed up the whole YouTube copyright system is, I have dozen of my own songs taken hostage by third party music representatives because the same samples and loop packs I legally bought to be able to use in my compositions are being flagged as stoles from other songs... who just happen to use the very same samples and loop packs than me. What a world people, what a world...
People still watch family guy? Huh, okay
Ha Fox steal the video from the YouTuber who stole the content from Konami who don't know that their content got stolen by both lol... Everyone gets to play the thief. I pity no one.
For God Sake, #WTFU?
i swear youtube copyrights is odd, even when i upload gameplay of games they clam that im using copyright music (that i don't even have in my videos btw.)
in general, Youtube's Copyright System is Ridiculous and needs to be fix asap! :/
Double Dribble is the GOAT basketball sim tho
I wish they would have stolen footage from a Nintendo NES game instead so Nintendo could have reported Fox and taken down their video.
Wouldn't Nintendo have a copyright claim against Fox for using the games in the first place? What a mess.
What Family guy did is fair use, what happened to the original video is a symptom of the content ID system. The same system that Nintendo gets hounded for using.
Goin' for three!
@crimsontadpoles Oh no, the juice is loose!
For everyone who says the game developers/publishers/Nintendo should go after Fox, they couldn't. First, Fox made a creative work using their programming - think like if I make a song using a synthesizer, whoever made the synthesizer wouldn't have a copyright in the song I just wrote. And as far as Fox using the individual youtuber's video, that's almost certainly fair use, as they are adding their own creative material to it.
Scariest thing is that these companies have the ability to take down any video at will. At least they righted the wrong here, but it's still a complete mess.
That is a mess. I actually saw this episode on Hulu, and thought that part was pretty funny.
I think companies should be punished for false claims like this, accidental or not. My only idea atm is fining companies who put false claims. The amount depends on how big the company is. Nintendo and the like wouldn't be so trigger happy with claims if they lose a million per false claim.
@Spooj how would that be enforced? And what would happen to the money- either Google keeps it or if it goes to the offended party, it would be chaos as people would intentionally be trying to push the boundaries of "fair use" looking for a pay day and the resulting backlash would affect all the genuine users.
IMHO anybody attempting to make a living based off of Fair use of content is taking a lot of risk until the case law and legislation is firmer and takes account of the particular issues of the internet.
Maybe they'll come out on top, maybe they won't.
@EJzelda I laughed, I found it very very funny! If you reset it you are banned!
@Detective_TeeJay All they've changed was where the money goes when a video get's claimed. Originally, it goes to whoever claims to video until the claim is proven false. Now it goes to a side account, then goes to the rightful owner after the claim if proven true or false.
HOWEVER, it still doesn't change the fact that anyone can claim a video, and the claimer has final say if the video actual infringes copyright or not, making the entire change nearly pointless when you look at the bigger picture.
In the end, very little really changed.
@sillygostly And what do YOU want, A CLIP SHOW?! I'm glad I chose to stop watching after a few seasons! I'm a My Little Pony man, anyway! STARLIGHT GLIMMER FOR NEXT PRINCESS!
Because I just know @ThanosReXXX loves this stuff.
It seems today, that all you see,
is violent, vulgar humor, but just on TV!
Because if you find some on Youtube...
it's gonna be taken doooooooown!
Youtube's rules make as sense as clowns,
taking down whatever, doing so whenever,
and if you have a big name,
claim it as yours,
you'll, be, right, of, cooooooooooourse!
Oh wait, wrong article.
Last time I heard about family guy was Brian dying haha, shows is just not as great as the older seasons, and yeas youtube copyright sucks I've had my fair share of music claims glad it got resolved for this guy though, and got him more attention!
This is a recent episode? Family Guy still fills their episodes with nothing-content like this, and people still watch it?
@DoctorOverbuild Brian's back, it was only temporary. (time machine nonsense)
The hilarious thing is that the comments are blaming Youtube and the horrible automated Content ID system, whereas if the claim was from Nintendo, the comments would be blaming them rather than the stupid system.
@masterLEON Oh I know haha, I just meant that was the last time I was even remotely interested in the show!
The sad part is, I'm not even surprised this happened. Still feel bad for the guy who had his video claimed due to Youtube's BS copyright system, though.
@crimsontadpoles Oh God I hated those so much. F*ck you Conway Twitty.
@Detective_TeeJay You're thinking of the debacle with Jim Sterling. He wanted to keep his videos ad-free by using footage from games published by companies who frequently DMCA videos. That way, the multiple companies who claimed ad revenue Jim's videos won't get to run ads on his videos. YouTube was embarrassed and changed the rules a bit: companies don't immediately get to run ads or run ad money immediately after they claim ad revenue a video. The issue is that if someone tries to repeal the claim, the one who files the claim, rather than the uploader of the content, gets final say, meaning that nothing much has changed. Moreover, nothing has changed to stop crap like in this article.
Bit of a tangent there. I'm honestly shocked that Fox DID retract their DMCA.
Way to go, Fox. This is why I'm joining Star Wolf.
Copyright laws are jacked up as it is.
How about we just take Fox down and then everyone goes home to a good night.
In cases like this, couldn't YouTube simply update their bots to ignore content which was uploaded prior to the content they are trying to "protect"?
I had a copyright claim on Mario Kart 8 footage uploaded from the games own upload feature :/
The video's still down.
Yeah, Youtube's copyright system sucks. I watch a channel where a guy reacts to various cartoons and animé, and he's often given copyright strikes, sometimes not even by the legitimate rights holders, and he's even had his channel terminated a couple of times. Fortunately for him, he has the means to fight back and always wins, but it really sucks having to wait for his strikes to clear before he can post more reactions for some things.
i find it dumb that Fox would flag any youtube videos on the behalf of Family Guy, considering that pretty much NOTHING is originally from Family Guy..
I don't know, your "uncomplicated" solution seems full of holes to me and would punish smaller independent content creators making their own works (the ones who don't rely on the regurgitating other people's work with commentary) in the process.
I think you are right that the current situation has come about by YouTube appeasing forces to keep itself from being sued out of existence, but the alternatives aren't very clear. I don't think YouTube is even profitable yet is it? http://www.wsj.com/articles/viewers-dont-add-up-to-profit-for-youtube-1424897967
This isn't aimed at you, but the sense of entitlement some people feel towards YouTube is astonishing. "I should be able to post whatever video I want, no matter the source, and make money from it!" As soon as someone uses their stuff to make money, "I worked hard for that, you can't post my stuff and claim it as your own!"
Truth is, nobody cares for internet nobodies at the end of the day, and for Google, only big guns like FOX and turning youtube more into something like TV only on interwebz can salvage them in their minds. Youtube bleeds money since Google bought it, so they have to make money somehow. With making a deal with big companies, they had to be more pro-active about copyright etc.
Only thing youtube/google did wrong here is not writing the searcher for copyright violations to not search for infridgmenet BEFORE the supposedly violated content happened to be shown, but after.
But anyway, to all the kids here not even having to balls to make a statement and not use it (if it sucks so bad, then why even bother?) saying "ZOMG LEL2BE SUCKS WITH CAWPHY WHITE!", I will throw some numbers so you will better understand the situation.
There are 300 (three hundred) hours worth of bideos uploaded on youtube... PER MINUTE.
Now think about that - how the f#ck they can check every, single one of them for anything? That's a lot of crap to deal with, so OF COURSE THEY GONNA F-K UP!
To do legit check with lawyers if there is copywrite braking or not, lawyers can take something like 500 bucks per hour, and considering how much there is uploaded, there would be money involved to build hundreds if not thousands of death starts and it would probably take longer than we will all live on this sad world.
The goy bideo is back, so no harm done.
Oh going for 3!
Just wow. I'm aware Google's copyright system is a joke, but this takes the biscuit. Outrageous.
Fox has always abused Youtube's flawed system.
Heh, I liked the NES game parts of the episode. Yeah, it might not be all THAT funny, but it actually really captured moments between friends playing games together, especially if you have the one friend who always cheats. (It's not cheating if it's part of the game!)
Same reason I can never play Wario Stadium on Mario Kart 64 with my best friend since he always waits for me to get to the jump and sends me half a lap back by hitting lightning. As for the copyright claim, it's just dumb technology being dumb. Fox really should have reached out to the youtuber for the footage beforehand instead of just stealing it, but at least they fixed the claim.
I'm pretty sure I can't use profanity here but FOX CAN GO NIBELSNARF THEMSELVES. Stealing it was bad enough, but god man WOOOOOW!
if you were sure then why did you do it? -Megumi
@aaronsullivan How exactly would my solution punish smaller content creators making their own works?
The only things I've really suggested are making it so anyone making a copyright claim would have to prove the accused party is guilty before YouTube/Google would freeze/remove their content and however else it currently punishes the accused beforehand (also, under the current system, they should pay back any lost revenue to anyone it turns out they falsely accused and who had their monetisation and source of income frozen in the meantime), and also to bring some kind of class action lawsuit against YouTube/Google for all the money that smaller content creators have lost thus far due to the totally broken and intentionally skewed system that's currently in place, which YouTube/Google knows fine well is totally broken and intentionally skewed in favour of the mega-corporations (who are almost always the ones making these claims).
So, how exactly would that punish smaller content creators making their own works?
The smaller content creators making their own works aren't the people making all the spurious/false copyright claims and having monetisation frozen or whatever on thousands of YouTube content creators in the process—that I'm aware of.
Typical YouTube stuff, I see. At least it got solved.
fox should loose the ability to file any DMCA notices with google ever again. its not like anybody else can break the law and suffer no consequences
@Sionyn But this is Google we're talking about so...
...Good luck with that.
" After the show aired, Fox filed a copyright claim on the original clip"
"what actually happened was that Fox's automatic search robots will have found the original clip"
So what you're saying is, Fox didn't file anything intentionally.
I thought this article would be a joke article. Family Guy still being on the air with those long ass moments to save money on animation is the real joke in all this.
I guess Fox's automatic search robots is not so perfect, or most bots online (yay humans). Let's just hope they don't get a physical body to "fix" these types of issues.
Granted one can also argue that a robot is as good as the human(s) who programmed it, but that's a comment for another day.
@Kirk So I produce this great original content and it starts to take off, but 30 to 100 people just copy it and repost it claiming its their own. Now I start to lose all the money I'd have made while I change hats and become my own legal dept., or go into debt to hire a copyright lawyer or just give up because the onus is now entirely on me to prove they copied me which of course won't happen in the window that it matters for me.
I'm also not sure how any company is supposed to deal with 100's posts of their own content a day without an automated process. The problem is created by a user-curated video service. Something we all love to take advantage of, but people also abuse. Some reaction has had to take place, and simply saying the content owners should have to do everything doesn't really seem reasonable for indy content creators or larger businesses who'd have to deal with 100's of new infringements a minute.
Your solution below as a reminder:
"Anyone who makes a copyright claim should be forced to prove its validity before any content owner is punished in any way, shape, or form by Google (such as having their content removed or whatever, losing revenue in the meantime). The onus should be on the claimant proving the accused guilty (before any action is taken) and not the other way around"
@aaronsullivan Well, it's the big boys making virtually all the copyright claims (CBS, Nintendo, Microsoft, etc.). How many smaller YouTubers do you see either stealing material from other YouTubers* or making claims against other content creators on a regular basis?
If you make a copyright claim then, yes, you should be made to prove its validity before any punishment is issued on the accused. That doesn't mean you can't make a claim, but Google should not be punishing anyone until it's proven they're actually guilty. And, if you're gonna make a copyright claim, then you really should have some evidence to support it—that's just common sense. Also, the argument about requiring expensive lawyers or whatever is largely junk. I beat Warner Bros. legal "wizards" in a Trademark dispute and I did it all myself at zero cost (and I'm certainly no lawyer); so I think most of the smaller YouTube content creators could manage their own affairs when it comes to simply providing some proof that content is actually theirs (if they're gonna make such copyright claims in the first place). Right now the smaller YouTubers kind of have to do that in defending all the claims from these mega-corporations anyway (proving their work is actually theirs), so this would just flip the script. It's more about having the balls to realise you can in fact stand up to the big boys than it is about requiring any in-depth legal smarts. They're not as untouchable as most people think, and they're not the good guys or innocent party as often as most people believe either.
It's simply about giving the little guys their power back again. And, while not everyone is going to be served perfectly by doing it this way around (you will never find a solution that works perfectly for everyone), I think it's certainly a whole lot better than what we have right now—and that's the point in suggesting doing it this new way.
The main thing is simply not punishing any content creators until it's been proven they're actually guilty—because the vast majority of the time you'd find it turns out they actually aren't guilty at all (should you actually force these giant corps to genuinely prove their spurious claims).
And, one more time, because this really is the main point, imo: Most of these claims aren't for real copyright infringements. They're just mega-corps abusing the system to get more than they legally deserve—just like Nintendo has done with the whole monetisation of almost any content that contains even a sniff of Nintendo characters or whatever. That's the point. The point is these mega-corps are abusing their positions, and they've got everyone believing all the rights of the Universe belong to them just because they tell you they do. And until we challenge that belief (and the system that serves it), most people will continue to believe the lie and serve the whims of the corporations, with no legal need to do so (they're not actually within their genuine legal rights doing what they do much of the time; they just know that most people will believe they are, so they can get away with it and a make some easy bucks in the process). So, we have to find a way to stop them abusing that power and taking advantage of the ignorant.
*And I not talking about claims made against them where you believe they must be guilty because the claim was made by a company you inherently trust like Nintendo (like any claims Nintendo makes surely must be legit and not abusing its position at all). Some corporation like Nintendo making thousands of copyright claims agains content creators does not equal thousands of cases of copyright infringement—they have to prove those claims are legit for them to be counted (and that also doesn't mean just having people simple bend over and give in and then equate that to the likes of Nintendo being in the right, which is what has happened here with Nintendo in most cases).
Did Fox get permission from Nintendo or the games' publishers at least? It looks like they obviously didn't bother to ask the Youtuber...
My only point here is that it's harder for smaller companies and individuals to prove every infringement than it is for large corporations (who have their own problems of sheer volume) so "flipping it" so content creators have to do all the work is probably hurting the little guy worse than the big guy.
I also don't understand how you think little guys don't get infringed on. Anybody can add anything so everything everywhere on YouTube gets copied all the time everywhere always. (yes, hyperbolic) It's why a somewhat automated system seems completely necessary.
Here's the original: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQ9gs-5lRKc
Here's a few of the copies:
The viral Facebook message that led me to it was someone who cut off the name at the start. All are poorer quality video and at least one even copied the description as if it was their own creation born of hard work.
@aaronsullivan It's not about people posting copies of whatever; it's about people/companies making claims of copyright infringement on pretty much anything and everything.
Most people don't really care if you copy a bit of their work and put it in your own video as long as you're not copying it almost in its entirety and basically trying to pass it off as your own. Go right now and copy one of my videos in its entirety and post it on your own channel and see if I care. . . . See if I've even set it up in the first place to make a copyright claim if you do exactly that. . . . This is how most of the smaller guys operate, in my experience; they don't really have a problem with other people using bits of their work and sharing it around, and regardless, they probably don't care enough to start setting up copyright flags on all the videos. But the big corporations have absolutely set up their flags, even on content they've stolen from someone else (as we saw in the example above), and YouTube's system works such that all the little guys are getting claims against them constantly from the giants—which freezes all monetisation on their videos before anyone's even proven if the copyright infringement claim is valid or not—and no one is really making any claims against the giants. So, the current system is entirely skewed to serve the whims of the mega corporations who can and absolutely will/do abuse it.
Do you see the guy who made the original video above making copyright infringement claims against the likes of CBS and freezing other content provider's videos?
Or do you see CBS making copyright infringement claims and freezing other content providers videos, even though they are the ones that stole the copyrighted material from the other guy in the first place?
So, again, the current system serves the whims of the big corporations and does not serve the smaller content creators that make up the vast majority of the videos on YouTube, and I'm simply saying it would be better to flip the copyright claim script. You disagree, but I can tell you that not flipping it is matter-of-fact serving the giants and abusing the smaller guys—so why not at least try it the other way before you tuck tail and run into the service of the corporations.
You've not got a better solution, or at least you've not suggested it thus far (that I'm aware of)—and the current system absolutely isn't working—so I say my idea is worth more than a shot. In fact, I think my idea largely is the solution, and certainly a better one than we have right now.
PS. I also read on Polygon the other day that it's exactly what YouTube has proposed trying recently anyway, so there is some very real merit in it:
It's basically along the lines of what I've been suggesting for some time now—and many other people too, I have no doubt—but still not quit perfect.
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