Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Get The Fastest VPN For Your Internet Security Lifetime Subscription Of PureVPN at 88% off. ×

Man Licenses His Video Footage To Sony, Sony Issues Copyright Claim Against Him ( 190

An anonymous reader writes: Mitch Martinez creates high-resolution stock video footage, and then licenses it out to people who need footage to go along with their creative projects. He has written an article at PetaPixel explaining his bizarre interaction with Sony Music Entertainment, and the hassle they put him through to fix it. Martinez licensed one of his videos to Epic Records, and they used it as background for a music video on YouTube. Less than two months later, his original video on YouTube was hit with a copyright claim from Sony. After figuring out that Epic Records was a subsidiary to Sony, he disputed the copyright claim — which is usually the end of it. But after reviewing the videos, Sony rejected it, saying their claim was still valid. Martinez then tried to contact the person at Epic Records to whom he issued the license. None of his emails got a response. Then he had to get in touch with Epic's legal department. After a lengthy series of emails, voicemails, and phone calls, he finally got somebody to admit it was his video. It still took a few more calls to work out the details, but the company finally released the copyright claim. Martinez concludes by offering some tips on how to resolve such claims.

FBI Chief Links Video Scrutiny of Police To Rise In Violent Crime ( 372 writes: This year, murders have spiked in major cities across America. According to FBI director James B. Comey the additional scrutiny and criticism of police officers that has come in the wake of highly publicized incidents of police brutality may be the main reason for the recent increase in violent crime. "I don't know whether that explains it entirely, but I do have a strong sense that some part of the explanation is a chill wind that has blown through American law enforcement over the last year," says Comey. He says he's been told by many police leaders that officers who normally would stop to question suspicious people are opting to stay in their patrol cars for fear of having their encounters recorded and become video sensations.

That hesitancy has led to missed opportunities to apprehend suspects and has decreased the police presence on the streets of the country's most violent cities. Officers tell Comey that youths surround police when they get out of their vehicles, taunting them and making videos of the spectacle with their cell phones. "In today's YouTube world, there are officers reluctant to get out of their cars and do the work that controls violent crime," says Comey. "Our officers are answering 911 calls, but avoiding the informal contact that keeps bad guys from standing around, especially with guns."

The Courts

YouTube 'Dancing Baby' Copyright Ruling Sets Pre-Trial Fair Use Guideline 127

Mr. Droopy Drawers writes with news that the famous "Dancing Baby" case will move forward to trial, after a pre-trial ruling Monday that's already unpopular with the copyright holders on one side of the case. The New York Times reports that a three-judge panel has "ruled that copyright holders must consider fair use before asking services like YouTube to remove videos that include material they control. ... [The guideline] "sends a strong message that copyright law does not authorize thoughtless censorship of lawful speech," Corynne McSherry, the legal director for Electronic Frontier Foundation, said in a statement." Mr. Droopy Drawers adds, "Of course, the RIAA is none too happy about the ruling saying, that it puts undue burden on copyright holders. However, the judge countered, 'Even paying "lip service" to the consideration of fair use is not enough, and could expose a copyright holder to liability.'"

(Also covered in an AP story carried by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.)

Judge Rules That Inglewood, California Cannot Copyright Public Videos 67

UnknowingFool writes: Recently a judge ruled in California that the city of Inglewood cannot hold copyrights of videos of public city council meetings which they published on their YouTube account and thus cannot sue individuals for copyright infringement for using them. In several YouTube videos, Joseph Teixeira, a resident of Inglewood, California, criticized the mayor, James Butts. Under the account name Dehol Truth, Teixeira took city council meetings posted on their YouTube account and edited them to make pointed criticisms about the mayor.

The city responded by registering the videos with copyrights and then suing Teixeira for copyright infringement. Many would say it was a thinly veiled attempt to silence a critic. Teixeira filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that (1) the city cannot claim copyright over public records (videos of public city council meetings) and (2) even if they could, his videos fell under Fair Use.

Unsurprisingly, a judge dismissed the city's case, citing California law which bars the city from holding copyrights on most public records. (This case may not be over as Teixeira's pro bono lawyer has not filed for attorney's fees. The ruling can be found here.) What is notable is that the judge dismissed the case with prejudice, so the city cannot refile. Normally judges do not do this unless they feel that the plaintiff's case was so weak that he feels no judge should hear the case ever again. Since the judge agreed with the defendant on the first point, he would not normally need to address Teixeira's Fair Use defense, but he did anyway. Anticipating that the city may appeal his decision, judge ruled that Teixeira's videos substantially met all four factors for Fair Use:
  1. There is no evidence Teixeira used the videos for commercial gain and was transformative
  2. His work was creative by adding music and commentary to the normally boring council videos
  3. Despite the city's claim he used their "entire work", it clear that he only used portions of meetings that lasted as long as four hours editing them down to a max of 15 minutes.
  4. Teixeira did not harm the city's market for the videos because the city is barred by state law from recouping more than direct costs of duplication. Even if the city could sell the videos (which they published themselves for free on YouTube), his short videos are not a substitute.

CNN and CBC Sued For Pirating YouTube Video 222

vivaoporto sends word that in a rare case of an individual taking on large corporations for copyright infrigement, a New York man has sued news networks CNN and CBC after they took a video of his from YouTube and broadcast it on the air without licensing it. His video shows a winter storm in Buffalo generating huge amounts of lake effect snow. The man, Alfonzo Cutaia, decided to enable monetization on his video, selecting the "Standard YouTube License," "a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of [the video]. All other rights are reserved to the copyright owner and standard copyright laws and exceptions apply." Cutaia says the CBC used his video with their logo on it. The CBC confirmed this, and said they received a 10-day license from CNN, who had no legal right to do so. His lawsuit now accuses them both of "intentional and willful" copyright infringement.

Google Pressured To Police Stolen Webcam Videos On YouTube 62

An anonymous reader writes: A new report from Digital Citizens Alliance has called on Google to do a better job of making sure illicit webcam footage doesn't stick around on YouTube. Over the past several years, hackers have found profit in hijacking webcams and using the footage they capture to embarrass or extort money from their victims. This footage is frequently posted to YouTube, sometimes even as livestreams. DCA says these videos collectively have millions of views on YouTube, and that Google is part of the reason hackers can profit from it. They add that Google has not yet responded to their request.

Rumblefish Claims It Owns 'America the Beautiful' By United States Navy Band 97

ptorrone writes: Adafruit is now shipping the USA-made open-source Arduinos. In celebration Ladyada the engineer posted an Arduino rotating in front of an American flag with the public domain "America the Beautiful" by the United States Navy Band as background music. Adafruit immediately received notice from from YouTube stating that the song is owned by Rumblefish. Rumblefish previously claimed to own copyright to ambient birdsongs, too.

YouTube Algorithm Can Decide Your Channel URL Now Belongs To Someone Else 272

An anonymous reader writes: In 2005, blogger Matthew Lush registered "Lush" as his account on the then-nascent YouTube service, receiving as the URL for his channel. He went on to use this address on his marketing materials and merchandise. Now, YouTube has taken the URL and reassigned it to the Lush cosmetics brand. Google states that an algorithm determined the URL should belong to the cosmetics firm rather than its current owner, and insists that it is not possible to reverse the unrequested change. Although Lush cosmetics has the option of changing away from their newly-received URL and thereby freeing it up for Mr. Lush's use, they state that they have not decided whether they will. Google has offered to pay for some of Mr. Lush's marketing expenses as compensation.

Google Announces YouTube Gaming 50

An anonymous reader writes: Today Google announced a major new rival to YouTube Gaming. In addition to providing structure for the gaming content YouTube already serves (like walkthroughs, reviews, "Let's Plays," speed runs, etc), it'll also be a livestreaming hub for those who like broadcasting their games or watching other people play. Each video game will have its own dedicated page, and users will be able to add games to their "collection" to see other users's videos relating to those games. YouTube Gaming will have its own dedicated app, as well as being a part of the YouTube website. Google is also touting a recommendation engine that will help gamers find more content to watch.

The Music Industry's Latest Shortsighted Plan: Killing Freemium Services 244

An anonymous reader notes that there have been rumblings in the music industry of trying to shut down freemium services like Spotify's free tier and YouTube's swath of free music. The record labels have realized that music downloads are gradually giving way to streaming, and they're angling for as a big a slice of that revenue as they can manage. The article argues that they're making the same mistake they always make: that converting freemium site listeners (in the past, music pirates) to subscription services will be a 1:1 transfer, and no listeners will be lost in the process. Of course, that's no more true now than it was a decade ago. But in doing trying to do so, the labels will do harm to the artists they represent, and shoot themselves in the foot for acquiring future customers by getting rid of several major sources of music discovery.

Google Rolls Out VP9 Encoding For YouTube 109

An anonymous reader writes: The YouTube engineering blog announced that they've begun encoding videos with Google's open VP9 codec. Their goal is to use the efficiency of VP9 to bring better quality video to people in low-bandwidth areas, and to spur uptake of 4K video in more developed areas. "[I]f your Internet connection used to only play up to 480p without buffering on YouTube, it can now play silky smooth 720p with VP9."

The Revolution Wasn't Televised: the Early Days of YouTube 81

mrflash818 sends this report from Mashable: A decade ago, Netflix meant DVDs by mail, video referred to TV and the Internet meant simple text and pictures. All that changed in about 20 months. ... It was hard to get a handle on what YouTube was, exactly. The founders didn't know how to describe the project, so they called it a dating site. But since there weren't many videos on the site, Karim populated it with videos of 747s taking off and landing. Desperate to get people on the site, YouTube ran ads on Craigslist in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, offering women $20 for every video they uploaded. Not a single woman replied. Another vision for YouTube was a sort of video messaging service. “We thought it was going to be more of a closer circle relationship,” Chen said in a 2007 interview. “It was going to be me uploading a video and sharing it with eight people and I knew exactly who was going to be watching these videos — sharing with my family and my friends.” What actually happened was a “completely different use case” in which people uploaded videos and shared them with the world.

YouTube Ditches Flash For HTML5 Video By Default 225

An anonymous reader writes: YouTube today announced it has finally stopped using Adobe Flash by default. The site now uses its HTML5 video player by default in Google's Chrome, Microsoft's IE11, Apple's Safari 8, and in beta versions of Mozilla's Firefox browser. At the same time, YouTube is now also defaulting to its HTML5 player on the web. In fact, the company is deprecating the "old style" Flash object embeds and its Flash API, pointing users to the iFrame API instead, since the latter can adapt depending on the device and browser you're using.
Electronic Frontier Foundation

EFF Rates Which Service Providers Side With Users 16

An anonymous reader writes: The Electronic Frontier Foundation has issued a report grading online service providers for how well they side with users over intellectual property disputes. They looked at sites like YouTube, Imgur, tumblr, and Twitter. "The services could receive a maximum of five stars, based on criteria including publicly documented procedures for responses to DMCA takedown notices and counter-notices, how the services handle trademark disputes, and if the company issued detailed transparency reports." Only two sites got a perfect rating: WordPress and Namecheap. tumblr got the worst score, and Imgur was not far behind. The rest of the sites were in between, though the EFF did give a bit of extra credit to Etsy for its educational guides and Twitter for its transparency reports.

Put A Red Cross PSA In Front Of the ISIS Beheading Video 300

Bennett Haselton writes After footage of James Foley's beheading by ISIS terrorists was posted online on Tuesday, Twitter and Youtube elected to remove any footage or links to the footage posted by users. Obviously this reduces the incentive for terrorist groups to post such content, by shrinking their audience, but it also reduces the public's access to information. Would it be ethical to make the content available, if it was preceded by an advertisement for a cause that runs counter to everything ISIS stands for? Read below to see what Bennett has to say.

ASHes to ASHes, DOS to DOS.