Category: Google

Google-funded study on copyright takedowns drops the ball

Google-funded report generates desired headlines and conveniently downplays the role of DMCA counter-notices–ignoring fact the system is weighted against rights holders

A new report on the DMCA notice and takedown system, Notice and Takedown in Everyday Practice, was released yesterday.  Co-authored by researchers at Berkeley Law and Columbia University (collaborators for The Takedown Project), the release is clearly timed to generate buzz to coincide with the April 1st deadline for comments to the U.S. Copyright Office on the state of the 512 statute.

The study is said to offer, “a rare, in-depth, empirical look at ways online copyright disputes are handled between Internet companies, such as Google and YouTube, and content creators, such as movie, music, and publishing companies.”  Hmmm, color me a tad suspicious of any piracy-related report funded by Google*.

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Google really, really doesn’t like you to send DMCA requests via email

The Google team doesn’t seem to appreciate email as a form of communication

I’ve written about Google’s laborious and time-consuming DMCA takedown maze, a process that forces creators to find, then fill out cumbersome online forms. I’ve also written about the fact that Google makes it difficult, if not impossible, to find the email address for its DMCA Agent–in apparent violation of  the law’s requirements.

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YouTube’s DMCA decision and the campaign to morph victims into villains

YouTube will pay copyright court costs for a few users–not because it’s right–but to protect Google’s bottom line

According to a story in today’s NY Times, the folks at YouTube are ready to pony up cash to support some of its users “fair use” claims in court.

“YouTube said on Thursday that it would pick up the legal costs of a handful of video creators that the company thinks are the targets of unfair takedown demands. It said the creators it chose legally use third-party content under “fair use” provisions carved out for commentary, criticism, news and parody.”

You’ve probably read a lot about “fair use” lately.  It’s the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s mantra and if the folks there had their way, pretty much everything and anything would be considered “fair use.”  Fair use an important legal doctrine and when applied properly (criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research) is not an infringement of copyright.  However, these days, too often is used as a disingenuous defense for copyright theft.

The tech-funded campaign to turn villains into victims

When a court recently ruled that a snippet of a Prince song was indeed “fair use” in the notorious Dancing Baby case it gave a boost to efforts to use fair use as a cudgel against rights holders who legitimately assert their rights using the DMCA takedown process.

Note that the actual video at the center of this case was reposted after the uploader sent a counter-notice. The only reason the case ended up in court was because the uploader, Stephanie Lenz, filed suit and the only reason she did so was because she was bankrolled by the EFF.  The EFF saw it as an opportunity to advance its Google-funded agenda.

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Google’s continued do-si-do around its piracy pledge

Google continues to dodge responsibility for its role in promoting online piracy

This past week members of the House Judiciary Committee traveled to California to hold a pair of roundtable discussions on the future of copyright.  On Tuesday committee members were in Santa Clara, the heart of Silicon Valley, and on Wednesday traveled to Los Angeles to hear from a variety of stakeholders discussing everything from overhauling an out-dated U.S. Copyright Office to DMCA circumvention for tractor repairs.
Though I wasn’t at the LA event, I read with great interest a report in Variety by Ted Johnson that documented an exchange between Google’s legal director for copyright, Fred von Lohmann and Richard Gladstein, founder of Film Colony…von Lohmann’s posturing on Google’s piracy problem is nothing new, but it is worth pointing out how his statements are carefully crafted to dovetail with Google’s own (vague) propagandistic promises.

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Google hopes to see more Green with new YouTube Red

YouTube Red’s new subscription streaming service offers consumers (and pirates) ad free content to watch (and steal).

YouTube has decided to enter the subscription streaming fray with the announcement yesterday of its new (ad-free) premium channel, YouTube Red.  Despite the unfortunate choice of a name —similar to a rather notorious porn site that has both the word “red” and “tube” in its title– YouTube is hoping its new endeavor will catch some of the ad-free streaming mojo enjoyed by the popular subscription based offerings of Netflix, HULU, and Amazon Prime.  And, like the others, YouTube will develop its own slate of “YouTube Originals.”

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