Monday, September 27, 2010

Week 59 of POOP

The past week has been tailor-made for our POOP feature, since it involves yet another mind-numbing fuck-up by a Google-owned service.

A few days ago, I discovered that YouTube had disabled a video I posted almost 2 years ago. The video was taken crossing a long bridge in North Carolina, and it was disabled because the IFPI (which represents music publishers) complained because it used 10 seconds of the song "It's Raining Again" by Supertramp.

For the record, the manner in which I used the tune was fair use. Anybody who doesn't have a vacuum inside their head can see that, for fair use protects brief snippets of much longer songs, if the snippet is being used for a much longer work of a noncommercial nature. I carefully combed websites about fair use before I made this clip, just so I'd be on the correct side of copyright law.

In other words, the IFPI committed perjury when it submitted its complaint. They knew it was fair use, yet they lied about it.

They've done this to other people before. In 2008, the IFPI lodged a DMCA takedown order against a blog - even though the blog had been licensed to use the music that it featured. In fact, the IFPI's complaint listed a different song by a different band than what appeared on the blog.

When informed of this apparent mistake, the IFPI relented and sent a reply that read in part: "Due to the volume of infringing content we find online there will be instances where legitimate files are picked up as infringing."

So the IFPI admits to making bogus complaints. That's perjury. End of story.

Following YouPube's disabling of my fair use video, I did what 90% of folks confronted with such an act don't do: I fought back by filling out the counter-complaint form that YouTube offers.

YouTube says it submits all counter-complaints to the original complainant. That's fine with me, because I was fully prepared to defend myself in court if the IFPI sued me. But YouTube's claim that it notifies complainants of counter-complaints turned out to be another lie. YouTube e-mailed me saying that 1) they won't enable my video again (even though it's fair use); and 2) because my video is not being enabled, they are not sending my counter-complaint to the IFPI.

Um, didn't YouLube just say it sent all counter-complaints to the original complainers?

Google says I need a court order just to delete my own copyrighted posts from its archive. Where's the IFPI's court order to delete my video? You can't have it both ways, bleezixdolfs.

In the meantime, I redid the offending video and uploaded it again - this time without the music:


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