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Author Topic: Sony blocks Sintel on YouTube  (Read 7809 times)

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Offline kat

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Sony blocks Sintel on YouTube
« on: April 06, 2014, 01:05:20 AM »
The official version of Blender Foundation Sintel movie appears to have fallen foul of YouTube's automated Content ID Matching system which checks videos for Copyright infringement - if the system finds what it thinks is a 'match' the associated video is pulled leaving the author, depending on the severity of the match, to appeal the decision. As KatsBits found out recently this whole process results in far too many 'false positives', leaving the author to contest the decision, providing YouTube/Google see's fit to provide the option. It is not always made available and when it is, the process to getting content reinstated can be prolonged and protracted.


The more insidious aspect in this however is the Content ID systems apparent operation under the auspices of third-parties that might not otherwise be aware of what's going on in their name. And this is where the whole issue of flagging content gets very murky because for an Copyright and/or content infringement claim to be legitimate it is supposed to be made by the Copyright owner, it cannot be done by a third-party unless said party is appointed an 'agent' for that purpose (which raises its own questions). Unfortunately YouTube/Google have yet to clarify their position with respect to Content ID operating in this way.

Equally troubling in this regard is that if YouTube/Google are acting as an third-party agent, it means they may very be in direct conflict with their claiming "Safe Harbor" under US Copyright Law which requires they not actively "police" their content or network. Failure in this regards tends to imply loss of Safe Harbor status and opening themselves up to all sorts of liabilities, something they've gone to great lengths to avoid previously, by hiding behind that very same "Safe Harbor" claim - "we don't 'police' or 'monitor' uploads or our network". For all intents and purposes it appears this is no longer the case.

The upshot here for Blender Foundation is not to bother, necessarily, with YouTube's appeal process, but rather to have their legal representative contact Sony PM&S directly to clarify the situation and, depending on the outcome of that, send legal notice to YouTube to reinstate the material with immediate effect (assuming the claim to be both false and Sony having nothing to do with any claims of infringement).

The broader picture is that now YouTube/Google is clearly policing content, their Safe Harbor status should be questioned. Someone needs some very large brass monkey's for that though.

Offline ratty redemption

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Re: Sony blocks Sintel on YouTube
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2014, 01:14:51 AM »
very interesting. do you think a company could ever sue youtube/google for denying them the right to display their own original and legal content?

Offline kat

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Re: Sony blocks Sintel on YouTube
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2014, 01:40:54 AM »
Obviously a 'real' Copyright legal beagle needs to look into the merits of this but in many respects the only claim YouTube/Google has ever had over content is for Terms of Service Violations - when content is uploaded a declaration of ownership is made; if that is found to be false YouTube is only supposed to be able to act upon the veracity of the claim, not the content (to which it has no claim, rights or obligations [unless they are an agent as mentioned above]). But to answer the question specifically, I don't know that Ton or Blender Foundation has the wherewithal to address issues of Copyright through legal channels, which can be excused in part due to the time and energy it takes for them to be dealt with.

But it has to be said there is an incredible amount of hypocrisy and double-standards on display here, certainly from some quarters of the community, because not just the other week/month a Mario64 facsimile port was being lauded as a great example of what Blender Game Engine can do despite the fact it made heavy use of assets ripped from Smash Brawl. In other words, the Blender community is in no position to get it's proverbial knickers in a twist when someone 'abuses' the sacred cow that is 'Blender', whilst condoning similar abuses just because they pertain to some non-Blender party, person or entity.

Offline ratty redemption

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Re: Sony blocks Sintel on YouTube
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2014, 01:53:35 AM »
understood. thanks kat.

Offline kat

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Re: Sony blocks Sintel on YouTube
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2014, 03:00:14 PM »
As of writing it appears Sintel has been reinstated by YouTube after pulling it after receipt of apparent Content ID Claim against it on behalf of Sony. Blender Foundation, luckily, appears to be large enough for issues like this dealt with forthwith because, as mentioned above, the dispute and resolution system for Content ID claims is notoriously ponderous to deal with.

Offline ratty redemption

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Re: Sony blocks Sintel on YouTube
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2014, 03:12:23 PM »
that's good news. also it couldn't have done sony's pr any good with their company being seen to block someone else's original content.

Offline kat

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Re: Sony blocks Sintel on YouTube
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2014, 03:45:32 PM »
Agreed, but they don't care as they have "plausible deniability" (writing something up on this as it happens).

Offline ratty redemption

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Re: Sony blocks Sintel on YouTube
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2014, 03:49:26 PM »
interesting, i'll look forward to reading your article.

Offline kat

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Re: Sony blocks Sintel on YouTube
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2014, 08:34:50 PM »
Content ID, Sintel, Sony & Plausible Deniability repeats the central concept mentioned in other posts, that this is not a Copyright issue per se, and delves a little deeper into what that actually means.

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