The death of youtube? UMG has the right to take down any content - whether it owns the copyright or not

I think this might be my first P&C topic here and while maybe it isn't P&C in and of itself i can imagine the thread might get that way. So.... on to business:

arstechnica[/url]]Universal Music Group has responded to Megaupload's request for a temporary restraining order barring the music giant from further interference with the distribution of its "Mega Song." UMG insists that it had a right to take down the video—not under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, as Megaupload had assumed, but under a private contractual arrangement between UMG and YouTube.

UMG's filing raises more questions than it answers. Most obviously, the firm has not explained why it took down the video in the first place. But the filing also raises deeper questions about UMG's effort to essentially opt out of the DMCA takedown rules. UMG seems to believe it can take down videos even if it doesn't hold the copyright to them, and that when UMG takes a video down from YouTube, the owner of that video can't avail herself of even the weak protections against takedown abuse provided by the DMCA.

I'm not sure i can fully express my disdain for this move if, in fact, this is the wording and proper interpretation of the Google/youtube/UMG contract. IMO, if they want to claim that they are in any way respecting copyright and/or those laws then they must respect other people's copyrights as well.... Of course, I'm sure i'm not the only one who believes that "copyright" as businesses see it is not as it was intended or commonly accepted as in society to exist. They see it as "my way or GTFO".

Thoughts? Death of youtube as a service?

[edit]
More reading:

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/n...

There's a curious wrinkle you bring up there: if this is about the YouTube-UMG contract, YouTube is a private enterprise and they can take down anything they want for just about any reason they want unless they've legally bound themselves in some way not to do so. Just because your material is copyrighted that doesn't obligate the places where you upload it to show it.

Duoae wrote:

The problem is that i'm pretty sure that your contract states that "youtube" can remove content at will. Not UMG.

UMG's not doing it at will, they're doing it in accordance with their contract. That would be my guess not seeing anything but the article. What makes you think there's something in the user agreement that prevents YouTube from farming out the ability to take stuff down?

Not only that but, like i said... does this mean the death of youtube? What's to stop UMG from taking down another media group's stuff so that it doesn't go viral or whatnot? What's to stop them from removing promising up and coming artists from advertising their work? IMO, this seriously compromises Youtube's attractiveness and credibility. I thought that conclusion was obvious from what is being put forth here by UMG in their filing to the court.

I'd hope YouTube's got some way written into that contract to stop abuse. It true that it will become a PR issue for YouTube if it lets some third party run around irresponsibly taking stuff down on its site.

Of course, none of that has anything to do with copyright and the DMCA.

The problem is that i'm pretty sure that your contract states that "youtube" can remove content at will. Not UMG.

Not only that but, like i said... does this mean the death of youtube? What's to stop UMG from taking down another media group's stuff so that it doesn't go viral or whatnot? What's to stop them from removing promising up and coming artists from advertising their work? IMO, this seriously compromises Youtube's attractiveness and credibility. I thought that conclusion was obvious from what is being put forth here by UMG in their filing to the court.

[edit]
I should make it clear that the takedowns were/are under the guise of copyright infringement (at least from UMGs initial notifications) so that's why i included that blurb about the issue.

from the above link wrote:

We've confirmed that UMG did flag the "Megaupload Mega Song" for copyright abuse.

CheezePavilion wrote:
Duoae wrote:

The problem is that i'm pretty sure that your contract states that "youtube" can remove content at will. Not UMG.

UMG's not doing it at will, they're doing it in accordance with their contract. That would be my guess not seeing anything but the article. What makes you think there's something in the user agreement that prevents YouTube from farming out the ability to take stuff down?

Of course, none of that has anything to do with copyright and the DMCA.

Actually, as my edit points out. It does and is. You can't "pretend" that you're flagging things by citing copyright infringement and then turn around and say that "it wasn't CI at all but due to a private contract that no one has seen and, nu-uh, you're not seeing it until you file another lawsuit". I'm pretty sure that misrepresenting and abusing (as would fall under using that law to threaten a take-down) the DMCA is a punishable offence.

I'd have to read the contract again but I don't remember anything about Youtube delegating or allowing third parties complete veto over any video on their service.

Duoae wrote:

Actually, as my edit points out. It does and is. You can't "pretend" that you're flagging things by citing copyright infringement and then turn around and say that "it wasn't CI at all but due to a private contract that no one has seen and, nu-uh, you're not seeing it until you file another lawsuit". I'm pretty sure that misrepresenting and abusing (as would fall under using that law to threaten a take-down) the DMCA is a punishable offence.

I'm not as sure as you about DMCA misrepresenting and abusing because I don't see anything in the edit that points that out.

I'd have to read the contract again but I don't remember anything about Youtube delegating or allowing third parties complete veto over any video on their service.

I don't think it's the kind of thing they need to inform you about in advance: it's their private enterprise.

It's not the death of Youtube because the the amount of uploaded video is so incredibly vast that even a lot of UMG takedowns will go unnoticed by the public at large.

And it's also worth noting that Youtube is not the only place on the web you can upload a video to share.

CheezePavilion wrote:

I'm not as sure as you about DMCA misrepresenting and abusing because I don't see anything in the edit that points that out.

Fair enough.

I'd have to read the contract again but I don't remember anything about Youtube delegating or allowing third parties complete veto over any video on their service.

I don't think it's the kind of thing they need to inform you about in advance: it's their private enterprise.

Actually, if i'm "signing" a contract then they better well legally inform me of any decisions they make that may affect that contract. You may be blazé about it but that's a contract they "signed" with me before all this sh*t from the media companies came about.

I'm sorry, but you can write all the "we will change what we want about this contract" clauses into the thing but it won't make it any more legal. Oh, though the americans seem quite happy to sign away every right they have so maybe that doesn't apply here. :/

Quintin_Stone wrote:

It's not the death of Youtube[sic]

And it's also worth noting that Youtube is not the only place on the web you can upload a video to share.

Isn't that a potential contradiction? It's not the death of youtube but youtube isn't the only place you can upload a video. i.e. If youtube becomes onerous for users they'll just go elsewhere.

Duoae wrote:
Quintin_Stone wrote:

It's not the death of Youtube[sic]

And it's also worth noting that Youtube is not the only place on the web you can upload a video to share.

Isn't that a potential contradiction? It's not the death of youtube but youtube isn't the only place you can upload a video. i.e. If youtube becomes onerous for users they'll just go elsewhere.

I'm sorry, was my spelling so mangled that a [sic] was needed? It's a quote, the [sic] is implied.

The point I was making was that it'll affect such a tiny fraction of users that the overwhelming population won't care, won't even notice, won't even realize what's going on. And for those who do get trampled by UMG/Youtube being dicks, it's not the end of the world because there are other options.

Quintin_Stone wrote:

I'm sorry, was my spelling so mangled that a [sic] was needed? It's a quote, the [sic] is implied.

Oops! Sorry, i meant to write [snip]! No offense intended.

The point I was making was that it'll affect such a tiny fraction of users that the overwhelming population won't care, won't even notice, won't even realize what's going on. And for those who do get trampled by UMG/Youtube being dicks, it's not the end of the world because there are other options.

I think you're right, unfortunately :/

Youtube has reinstated the video and stated that their partners don't have the right to request takedowns of materials they don't have the rights to. UMG and MegaUpload are also duking this one out in court. Stay tuned.

Same story on Wired and The Escapist.

Robear wrote:

Youtube has reinstated the video and stated that their partners don't have the right to request takedowns of materials they don't have the rights to. UMG and MegaUpload are also duking this one out in court. Stay tuned.

Huh... funny seems like content creators taking down things that they don't have the right to is still happening...

Clarification: It seems to me that the power is held not by content creators, but by copyright holders, which are increasingly not the same entity. In small outfits and solo ventures, that is still the case, but the trend is for large companies to stake copyright on content created by employees or affiliates, who give up rights to their creations in exchange for a paycheck, sometimes whether they want to or not.