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Author Topic: Content sharing & misappropriation  (Read 4677 times)

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Offline kat

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Content sharing & misappropriation
« on: August 09, 2015, 04:38:42 PM »
This entry is filed under "things that have to be done against ones better judgement" (read that as "something that has to be done to raise awareness of 'an issue' whilst being reluctant to "name and shame" participants in any way, or be part of the endemic "call-out culture" that's metastasizing across the Internet these days"). So probably not going to "Win friends and influence people" [amazon] on this one, but here goes...
Although the issue discussed in the tweet above has been resolved for the specific account in question ("KatsBits"), the broader issue remains in that the above mentioned "Author Accounts" are proxies, accounts created by the sites owner(?) on behalf of other individuals without their express knowledge or consent.
It does not go without saying that without exception this should never, ever, be done. It is never, ever, a good idea for Site Owners to create accounts on behalf of others without their express permission or knowledge as doing so is viewed as an attempt to forcibly obligate the invoked Individual(s) or Entity(s) to terms they may not otherwise agree with. An Individuals or Entities self-agency should never be ignored by Site Owners for the sake of convenience unless they're willing to risk fourth-degree burns.

Offline ratty redemption

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Re: Content sharing & misappropriation
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2015, 05:22:57 PM »
what site was doing this?

Offline kat

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Re: Content sharing & misappropriation
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2015, 05:35:09 PM »
BlenderHub, their Tweet is embedded in the post (it might not be visible depending on browser/device security settings) and their Terms of Use linked, which specifically states that creating an account means the account holder agrees to the sites terms and (unrevokable) use of content. They're not the only ones, just the most recent of a long line of websites that have had to be dealt with over the years :o|

Offline ratty redemption

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Re: Content sharing & misappropriation
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2015, 05:48:50 PM »
understood and i can see the embedded tweet, just wasn't familiar with that site. i see they also have videos by vscorpionc, who i know from youtube. she's had trouble in the past with other yt channels re-uploading her blender tutorials without her permission.

how much effort does it take for these sites to contact the original authors and ask permission? /sarcasm

Offline kat

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Re: Content sharing & misappropriation
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2015, 06:27:28 PM »
In their defense they were at least quick to address the problem (although probably due to the issue being raised publicly on Twitter), something that's not always the case, especially for sites not based in North America or mainland Europe. And yep, that's the problem, if dozens of sites are scraping an authors content it seriously eats into that persons ability to create a community around their own work (who should be the greater beneficiary of such). It would be a surprise if the user you mention even knows, and they might feel themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place in terms of asking for content to be removed.

Offline ratty redemption

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Re: Content sharing & misappropriation
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2015, 06:54:44 PM »
good points, and i've sent a message to vsc. it will be interesting to hear if she was aware of this. she might have uploaded to their site for all we know at the moment.

and yes, she's got quite upset in the past, with some of the yt channels who were doing this, as they were ignoring her requests to remove her content. if i remember correctly she even threatened one of them with a dmca. but then they were running ads on the stolen content. i think at least one of them eventually got shut down by yt, since it was against the tos.

am i correct in thinking that blenderhub aren't hosting the videos themselves, and instead embedding the yt player with links to the original content? if that is the case, it's still still not ethical (if they don't have permission) but it's not as bad as re-uploading.

regarding communities, like yourself, vsc answers a lot of questions from her viewers. especially as her videos are usually intended for beginners, and if users are watching her videos on some other channel, she won't get the feedback or be able to assist them if need be.

Offline ratty redemption

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Re: Content sharing & misappropriation
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2015, 07:20:39 PM »
vsc, just replied, thanking me for the heads up. she hadn't given them permission either, and she's going to request they remove her content. really it would save a lot of time and effort if they just asked first.

Offline kat

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Re: Content sharing & misappropriation
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2015, 07:55:10 PM »
There's no point in arguing if she (or anyone for that matter) is 100% sure the YouTube users/channels are misappropriating content, just send an initial polite request give them a week of two to comply then file an abuse report if it's still up (likely a DMCA) - the same rules that apply and protect multi-national Corporations also protect us when employed properly.

The broader issue with BlenderHub, and other sites like it, isn't so much collating content together, but doing that as a "bad faith" abuse of the syndication system as a means to generate income at the authors expense AND/OR, as is the case specifically with BlenderHub, the creation of fake Author Accounts that then lay claim to hold those named to the sites binding terms without their explicit knowledge or permission - there are caveats to the former (fair use, derivative works etc.), absolutely none for the latter.

Offline ratty redemption

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Re: Content sharing & misappropriation
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2015, 08:19:11 PM »
understood and agreed. 3rd parties re-uploading an entire video without permission, or any additional commentary, critique etc doesn't come under fair use, does it?

regarding the fake author accounts, it's also implying to the end users that the authors have chosen to support those sites, yes? is there any way to prove an author didn't set up an account on one of these sites, if a user or other company wanted to hold them accountable for something?

Offline kat

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Re: Content sharing & misappropriation
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2015, 09:22:32 PM »
There are some broad-ish 'guidelines' in case law concerning the degree of change required before something is no longer considered to be infringing, but that doesn't mean a person won't receive a Notice; the Copyright owner holds the all the cards in that respect, the Courts decide if/whether or not either party has a case (or not).

Yes that's another point about the fake/proxy accounts, it creates the impression the Author is endorsing the site through the presence of their content, when the opposite might actually be the case. This is why informed consent is important, something its not a good idea at all to mess with. In such circumstances one can only make general requests or appeals to site owner to remove accounts they knowingly created themselves on behalf of others, else it's up to the individuals allegedly being represented to take up the issue.

It's a Catch 22 though because these bad faith sites and actors could refuse to do anything or simply outright ignore requests unless the Author revealed some Personally Identifiable Information as proof; fake/proxy accounts can be used to essentially hold Authors to ransom in other words (used as a means to "doxx"). Sites like that are extremely difficult to deal with because they don't care, their hosting Companies often don't care, everyone down the chain equally doesn't care.

Offline ratty redemption

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Re: Content sharing & misappropriation
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2015, 10:00:17 PM »
understood i think, and interesting.

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