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Wow now I'm really getting angry over this Content ID disaster from +YouTube regarding the Mars landing. On Sunday night I hosted a live broadcast with contributors from CTTechJunkie.com and NASASpaceflight.com to watch the landing live.  We brought in footage provided by NASA, including their live feed of the landing. NASA footage is released into the public domain and can be freely used by anyone.

I just came home to my inbox filled with dispute claims from no less than FIVE news organizations claiming this footage as their own.  BS. It's mine. And now Youtube says it might start running ads against content I created and handing that money over to these crooks who are essentially bigger players with the ability to claim rights to content they do not own.

The worst part is that Google clearly is not requiring these "rightsholders" prove they actually own the content. But it's somehow incumbent upon me to prove my innocence.  This is outright theft of my content - plain and simple.

If anyone from YouTube is listening, this needs to stop. It's completely unfair that me as a small content producer gets screwed out of revenue like this.

You can watch the broadcast here: CTTechJunkie Mars Coverage - Live!
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102 comments
 
This is BS - you're a credentialed member of the news media. Guarantee you most if not all of these claimants have never been to NASA and are just gaming the system to gobble up views and potential ad revenue. It's like the domain registry extortionists. Would love to litigate the bejesus out of this.
 
It's insane! I think this will be a good topic for Thursday's show :)
 
Is there a review or response process?  I mean your face is the first one on the video... Can't you send them a pic, of you, holding up a sign saying "I am CT TECH JUNKIE!"  The video is of me and no one else owns it?  That to me seems pretty much the solution...

Actually, seriously... Why don't you "Post a video in response", link the video from Sunday night to it... and just talk for two minutes... ON CAMERA, about other people claiming your product.
 
+A Samuel Disraelly the issue here is not us in the video, it's the NASA footage we're using. These other organizations had the footage in their videos that they entered into the Content ID system and YouTube is just giving them the right to claim it.  

I did  have an issue with this video : Parrot AR Drone 2 Super High Altitude Footage And Tips  that I shot in my own backyard that took over a month to finally clear for revenue sharing. 
 
Log it with techdirt.com, they blog about these things constantly and are helping to draw some attention to this problem.  You're not the only one to have this happen from this landing.
 
Ludicrous situation. Will try to publicize your post and call further attention to this problem. There has to be a better way. 
 
Ask these companies to show you their trillion dollar government-funded space exploration buildings and then maybe you'll consider what they have to say.
 
I think thats why the we should have the dibs system. 
N. King
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I think you have a 'fair use' issue even if the photos are copyrighted. I doubt they can copyright it if NASA photos and videos are part of the public domain. Lawyer up if you can find a lawyer and counter-sue them. You might get some money out of this as any sane judge knows NASA photos are public domain and this is harassment and libel.
 
I wouldnt worry about it at this point, every one knows you've won now :)
 
Attention it's always about the biggest wallet. Sad but true.
 
I've got a pretty big wallet, but its empty. Do i qualify?
 
What I want isn't money, but for independent producers to be put on a level playing field with the larger organizations.

ContentID does not protect the rights that were guaranteed to me and other content creators under DMCA. Instead we have this SOPA like environment where speech can be trampled and/or revenue stolen by people and organizations that can claim they own content without any proof that it truly belongs to them.

These copyright claims are getting more frequent and more arbitrary. See above with a video I shot in my own backyard taking more than a month to work through the system.
 
What a joke. It's disgusting enough that these companies try to claim it as theirs, but Google is really dropping the ball on this copyright issue, pushing the burden of proof from the accuser to the accused. Guilty until proven innocent.
 
Another chapter in the love story of a company, their money and the revenues of their content partners.
 
"This is outright theft of my content - plain and simple."

Exactly and the irony is astounding; piracy isn't theft, nothing is taken. Here your content is being stolen, these corporations are committing theft in every definition except for the legal one.
 
Lazy youtube drm at it's worst.
 
Just mirror the video and reupload. It won't hassle you on a mirrored video.
Liam R
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Check with the EFF - they could potential help you sue the claimants.
 
Well, that's one way to kill the value of being able to post a Hangout to Youtube.  
 
Hi Lon

I've had a similar problem with two of my videos (which did use copyrighted content, but did so for the purposes of parody and satire and so constituted fair use). There is a process to dispute a Content ID match, but YouTube allows the Content ID claimant to reject the dispute and reinstate the claim without providing any reasons.

This is contrary to YouTube's stated policy which is to require a claimant to lodge a DMCA takedown notice if a Content ID match is disputed. (I've extracted the relevant policy below - there's also a reasonable article in Wired about the issue here http://www.wired.com/business/2012/02/opinion-baiodmcayoutube/).

I wrote to YouTube pointing out that their actions were inconsistent with their stated policy. Unfortunately YouTube fobbed me off - but they did provide me with the contact details of the Content ID claimant. If you really want to get rid of the ads, request the contact details of the claimants from YouTube (copyright@youtube.com) and email them directly.

The whole situation is deeply unsatisfactory but I hope this is of some help.

Hugh Atkin
youtube.com/hmatkin


The relevant page in the Copyright Center addressing Content ID matches contains the following statement:

"If you feel that your video has been misidentified by the Content ID system, you can dispute the identification. This involves filling in a short form listing the reason for your dispute. We then notify the content owner whose reference material was matched. The content owner will then review the match. If the content owner disagrees with your dispute for any reason, they will have the option to submit a copyright takedown notice, which will result in the disabling of your video and/or penalties against your account. To avoid penalisation, only submit legitimate dispute claims."

That statement is consistent with the policy articulated in this YouTube blog post which states:

"When you receive a notice in your account via Content ID, we tell you who claimed the content, and direct you to a form that lets you dispute the claim if you so choose.
If you believe your video is fair use, check the box that reads "This video uses copyrighted material in a manner that does not require approval of the copyright holder." If you're not sure if your video qualifies, you can learn more about fair use here.
Once you've filed your dispute, your video immediately goes back up on YouTube.
From this point, the claimant then makes a decision about whether to file a formal DMCA notification, and remove the content from the site according to the process set forth in the DMCA."
Liam R
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You could probably sue the media companies, rather than Google, for lost ad revenue and possibly for damages related to additional views (potential subscribers) the authors may have received had the post not been taken down at a critical time.

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyfraud 
In the U.S. Copyright Act, only two sections deal with improper assertions of copyright on public domain materials: Section 506(c) criminalizes fraudulent uses of copyright notices and Section 506(e) punishes knowingly making a false representation of a material fact in the application for copyright registration
 
glad you posted this on reddit this whole copyright thing is getting beyond a joke. does Vimeo have live streaming? 
 
The culprit isn't YouTube. You need to be looking at the major media companies. They are the ones who are forcing through laws to gain content control on the Internet.

Instead of joining the "lets sue everyone" war, think about changing the system. Support EFF, vote for candidates that want to strengthen fair use and vote with your wallet. Avoid buying products or consume goods from companies that were sponsoring SOPA/PIPA initiatives.

Stop blaming YouTube and start going after the source of your problems...
 
I hope you are communicating with Youtube directly rather than expecting them to read something marked "if anyone from youtube is reading"
 
It's not only Youtube's problem though, I hope you'll be naming and shaming the News organisations that are abusing the system by making false copyright claims too.
 
Personally, I would just let it go. I am not sure what you have to gain by fighting this, and I am not sure you can win even if you do. I am not saying you are wrong, but all these organizations have more money and resources than you do. Unfortunately for you (and all of us), the law is more about those two things than anything else. Even if you could win a motion for summary judgment, you'd have to get a lawyer to draft that motion for you which will cost you at least several hudred to over one thousand dollars. I am not sure what you had invested in that hangout or what you want, but it didn't sound like there was any monetary value from your description. 

As for your claim that the NASA videos were put into the public domain, I am skeptical about that. Would you please cite the source that says that NASA is giving everyone in the public a license to publicly display, perform, etc. the content? They are more likely allowing people to view some content, but not rebroadcast it or make derivative copies. 
 
So Mike we will all just sit back and let these people walk over us just because its not likely we will win? Things don't change if people don't try to bring about change, you cant just sit back and expect others to do it for you.

also http://www.nasa.gov/audience/formedia/features/MP_Photo_Guidelines.html there is your source and ill even quote it for you:

"NASA still images; audio files; video; and computer files used in the rendition of 3-dimensional models, such as texture maps and polygon data in any format, generally are not copyrighted. "

That is the first line in the body of the text on that page thus making any copyright claims null as i doubt very much any of these News organisations have their own rover to take pictures with themselves...
 
Actually, the problem is Youtube's (also), they have chosen to provide a "voluntary" service to the big content owners and have setup the system with no downside for them to over assert ownership. This guarantees abuse, any other outcome would be unnatural.

If instead they provided you with a practical process for contending the copyright claim and further if you win placed some penalty on the other party (say next 1000 assertions of ownership will be ignored automatically, or a direct dollar deduction from the ad revenue balance due to them), then the corporation will have some incentive to get this right. The more punitive the penalty the better. 

This is Youtube's problem and within their power to address because for good and bad, this entire process is not subject to DMCA and is a voluntary offering from Youtube. So they can change the terms of the program, and the content owner is still free to file an actual DMCA takedown.

Of course the other "market" solution is to dump Youtube in favor of other alternatives. 
 
Post on Reddit, you could easily garner some attention\support there.
 
+Lon Seidman my team is responsible for Hangouts On Air and we are working with the YouTube team now to address your specific problem - we are definitely hearing your concerns. I'll reach out to you directly to discuss this further.

In general, providing live streaming for everyone is a tricky problem to solve. Content ID is an important part of the product which enables us to offer public live streaming to all users. Having said this, there are clearly particular cases where Content ID is causing frustration for real users who are not abusing the system. These frustrations (or "pinch points") are hard to predict ahead of time so each time an issue like this arises we reconsider our assumptions and try to systematically prevent other users having similar issues.

We will probably never have a perfect solution, so I always encourage people to continue to provide feedback like this. It is only by understanding the current limitations that we can make improvements. I'm always happy to talk about how we can make Hangouts On Air and live streaming better.
 
These big media corporations... They can't adapt to new business models so they just try to milk people. Unbelievable!
 
Large corporations abusing smaller entities.  Unheard of. 

What absolute jerks.  

Good luck, man.  
 
From the news channel's perspective: They can claim ads on the video because it's in the public domain, so they do that. However what they've done wrong is forget to untick a little checkbox that they normally leave checked that means any other similar videos (like yours) will be claimed automatically as using their content. I know it's really annoying but just know that they haven't done it on purpose, just some noob on the web team forgot to untick a checkbox.
 
+Matthew Leske Why not "pre-clear" certain users, for example US Government run channels where all content is posted into the public domain.  Just make them immune from Copyright ID claims.  Then, make all content matching those in pre-cleared channels also immune from these claims.

This seems to be happening an awful lot to be a "pinch point"...
 
the problem here, I think, is that it's not actual people issuing these notices. they are automatically generated and the system cannot differentiate between common content and original content. all the notices seem to be news stations which probably broadcast the same images so their systems think it's their own. I wonder if they sent each other similar notices...
 
So much for innocent until proven guilty.
 
i wish we can do something to make youtube change their mind.
 
I just sent them all a polite mail and received swiftly from RTVE:
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Hello:
We've released our claim on this asset. It was a mistake.
We are sorry.
Thanks a lot.
 
Best
David Varona
www.rtve.es
 
It would be nice if content trolls like these got their accounts disabled after one too many claims that proved to be false
 
I had NO IDEA that this could even happen. What a bunch of BS! I truly hope you are able to get this resolved FAIRLY (Yeah, YouTube, I'm talking to YOU).
 
+Matthew Leske  I think the issue here is that people are abusing ContentID. Plain and simple. I deal with bogus ContentID claims all the time and unfortunately it takes a front page post at Reddit to get anyone to notice what's happening to us out here.  

I love YouTube and I love Hangsouts on Air. A lot. And it's just incredibly frustrating to know that there many others out there like me who are not raising a stink or filing dispute claims and having someone else benefit from their work. We little guys don't have the same ability to do the same to these corporations sadly, and Google needs to get transparent about how this process works AND penalize those who make claims like this.
 
+Lon Seidman I don't agree they missuse it. As edited (by me) Hanlon's razor goes: "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by laziness."
The issue is that ContentID is broken and the reason for dispute claims is most definitely "footage provided by NASA".

As far as I understand how the system works, or how false claims occurred, is:
1. every frame of every video submitted by those (recognised) news organisations is automatically claimed
2. they used NASA footage and it was per 1. claimed as their own
3. your usage of NASA footage was detected by ContentID per 2.; issues were automatically submitted and also accepted (not one person in organisations that raised claims saw your video)

You are definitely not the first that was burned by this - there are numerous vlog game reviewers this happened to - because they used game footage provided by game developers and one of the big boys also used it in their reviews ...

I'm sad to say that #Google and/or #YouTube are at false here, and it looks like they are unwilling or at least unable to fix it ...
 
so you're basically complaining that youtube is not a level field, but remember you entered it by choice, it's not like anyone is forcing you to upload to youtube, is it?
 
@МаксимЗубков - that's not the problem here, read the first post again.
 
I am a contract designer for NASA and can verify that EVERYTHING we produce, not just a couple of things, but every single frame of video we produce and every single still image is released into the public domain for all to enjoy. That said, our official Kennedy Space Center youtube channel www.youtube.com/nasakennedy regularly gets bogus copyright claims from content ID robots. It really isn't a problem for us aside from annoyance, but I can see how it would really be harmful to an individual. Lon, I'm sorry that you're going through this, but you aren't alone.
 
I always say "vote with your feet" — that is, if they want to run their platform questionably, it's arguably not the best possible experience for you or your viewers. F*&# 'em, leave their platform and find another who supports fair policies like those violated in this case. Good luck.
 
Shame on you google
 
I don't understand why claims without proof are allowed in the first place. No wonder the system is being abused.
 
Walk with your feet is not a viable option. YouTube is the most heavily trafficked website in the world. It's the only place our stuff gets seen in any respectable quantity and the only place we actually realize any real revenue.

Content providers should be treated fairly, that's all I'm asking for.
 
Same thing happened to me with CCP live feed from fanfest in Iceland
Future Publishing said they owned all the footage and google said they put adds on my videos from that live feed in the end I won but they did it again with the WoD trailer from the live feed.
 
Guilty until proven innocent, sounds pretty grim.
 
+Karthik Balakrishnan can you please define an "awful lot". I haven't seen other cases of this occurring with Hangouts On Air broadcasts. You're input is very valuable so if you can provide some examples I'd love to review them.
 
+Matthew Leske The Hangouts on Air are really not the problem, abuse of ContentID is. Mine got flagged because I was bringing in NASA footage, but that would be the case with any video that contained it I suspect.  It's just too easy for people to claim content as their own.  

And my chief concern remains that so many of these claims are going undisputed and a lot of potential revenue is flowing out of the hands of the people who created it and to those who are successfully abusing this system to their benefit.
 
By the way I'll be discussing this topic on my podcast Behind the Video which records live, using Google+ Hangouts of course, tomorrow (Thursday August 9th) at 11:30 a.m. EDT 9:30 a.m. Pacific.
 
+Matthew Leske Hey Matthew, as stated previously I work for NASA making our videos available to the public via youtube. ContentID abuse is a problem for us, and I would more than happy to provide whatever statistics you need.
 
IMHO best thing you could have done was to put a copyright notice in the video itself. Right there above the hangout participants - (c) 2012 Lon Seidman (or your organization)
 
+Matthew Leske  Matthew, the problem of CID flagging material on the behalf of a CID participant, when the material in question was either PD or actually someone else's owned material entirely, seems to really be on the upswing.  The system appears to assume that material is owned by a CID participant merely on their say-so, and non-participants have no way to indicate that material is otherwise owned or PD.  I had another case of this recently with PD music. I used it, and a CID participant used it (much later) but the CID participant got the benefit of the doubt and flagged me.  I was able to quickly counterclaim in this case (definitely the YT claim response forms are covering more use cases than before, though there are still various situations that are difficult to characterize on there).  In the NASA case, I don't know if NASA participates in CID or not, but there should have been a way for them to definitively indicate that such and such footage is PD, so that CID matches would not be triggered solely on the inclusion of that footage in other material or simple standalone reposting of that material.  I understand at least some of the complex nuances involved in this area -- I don't claim any of this is simple to resolve -- but it seems to be an area of increasingly concern that may need  some sort of technical/philosophical sea change to reasonably deal with.  Right now it appears that too much weight is going to the CID participants.  One suggestion I have is that immediate blocking (as opposed to ads, which still allow the vids to be seen) be limited as much as possible, and instead CID flags trigger a warning to the user to which they can respond within some period (e.g. 24 hours) before blocking would otherwise take place.  I understand that this interval could be abused -- and in the case of footage that has already been confirmed as abusing blocks could still occur immediately -- but I believe a major sore point in all this is the assumption of guilt and immediate blocking regime before an innocent user even has the opportunity to protest.
 
NASA does not participate in CID. Everything we produce is public domain, so there is no need to protect anything we produce.
 
Name and shame.
Have the Nasa officially explicitly deny them the rights to any more images, and sue them if they try.
 
Chris, perhaps NASA should start participating in CID, if only to lay first claim as the actual producer of the content. 
 
Google needs to set up a three-strike system that if a rights holder abusively claims content more than three times, the loose their pre-emptive right.
 
+Bertil Hatt I doubt that would be practical.  Vast numbers of videos are involved in some cases.  You can't just lock out major media firms due to limitations of an automated system.  The key is to improve the system and associated policies.
 
I don't think it's productive for NASA to have to join CID. Our stuff is PD, so that would seem to run counter to that. It's unfortunate that the suggestion even has to be made, which in my opinion is the crux of this problem.

Sent from my iPhone
 
Well, Nasa could join CID with a negative ‘This cannot be claimed’ tag.

Lauren, set the limit to higher than three if you want, or make it dependent on views. The problem is that this automation from TV channel is careless, and needs oversight. “That would not be practical” is not an acceptable answer when you are preventing people from showing what they worked hard for. Many non-TV massive YouTuber have been banned for using copyrighted material; I can't see why televisions need be exempt from their own abuse.
 
+Lon Seidman thank you. I'm following up on several aspects of this and will get back to you. The immediate solution I can provide is to suggest that you notify myself, +David Wang or +Loren Groves with issues like this. I'm sorry that this exists at all but I will commit that between the 3 of us we will find an answer to your issues as quickly as possible.
 
+Matthew Leske Thanks, I do appreciate your response. It pains me to make such a stink about this because I am a very big fan of the platform. But I'm very worried that those with more dollars can push those of us with few resources out of the content eco system unfairly. ContentID needs an overhaul.
 
Both are treated with automated censorship, and neither seem to involve a lot of preemptive checking by YouTube.
 
Seidman.......I don't suppose you're from Plainfield?
 
+Thom Garrison No, from Westbrook originally. There's a whole bunch of Seidmans in state but no relation :)
 
If you want to really see Content Match go berserk, upload a video with licensed buyout classical music... then sit back and watch the feeding frenzy of rights groups try and claim it. The fact that you paid for a license from a buyout company means nothing. And any disputes are robodenied -- their strategy appears to be to make people jump through so many hoops that most give up and let their content be monetized.

I am currently going through the hoops on over 30 (!) videos.
 
+Robert Woodhead This is exactly the problem I deal with on just about everything I upload these days. It's an absolute mess and most of the time I end up giving up.
 
There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding of how copyright works, and an expectation that most rights holders are large entities. For instance, I had a video-to-DVD transfer rejected by Costco because it was "copyrighted." I explained that yes, it was in fact copyrighted, by me. I got it back about a week later,  with an explanation stating "your name appeared in the credits, so it will be allowed this time." How is it my job to prove that my content isn't someone else's?
 
The problem with Content Match is that the alleged rights-holder is judge, jury and executioner. Any appeals go to the entity making the claim, and they have a positive incentive to deny appeals because they know the followup process (DMCA COUNTERCLAIM, which will eventually get you an email address to talk to) is so onerous that most people will give up.

One hack that Google should contemplate is just matching the template files rightsholders are uploading against each other. If two different rightsholders have template files that match against each other, neither should be permitted to make a claim, since in that case, Content Match clearly cannot distinguish between them.
 
Uh, no, Dylan. You miss my point entirely. And while I appreciate your idealism and spirit, it is a little naive. You should watch your advice as it could bury this guy in legal fees. I don't support the media companies, but just based on the information he provided I cannot support fighting them (unless I had unlimited funds that I didn't mind parting with). 

And no, what you cite does not prove that anything NASA releases is not copyrighted. Maybe this is his mistake too, but if you will re-read your quote:

"NASA still images; audio files; video; and computer files used in the rendition of 3-dimensional models, such as texture maps and polygon data in any format, generally are not copyrighted. "

It precisely limits that set of content to that which is "used in the rendition of 3-dimensional models." Furthermore, it qualifies that they are "generally" not copyrighted. No where does it say it is absolute and applies to all content. 

I am not sure if the author is right in that he didn't use copyrighted content (I would need more information such as the precise images/videos he used), but giving him the benefit of the doubt, he would still be fighting something that wouldn't be worth it unless he was planning on making more money off of that content than he would be spending on fighting. 

My response is one of pragmatism, not of ideals. Copyright infringement is strict liability, meaning you can't claim ignorance. So your claim that "oh I thought what NASA posted covered more than just 3-D models" will fail as a defense. 
 
Let me reiterate my intent here is not to build a lawsuit but get some changes and transparency to the contentid system. Coincidentally a bogus claim on some stock music that I've been fighting for two months suddenly disappeared. Hmmm.. :)
Liam R
 
If you are genuinely interested in achieving that change then a lawsuit may be one of the most effective routes. It certainly is a lot more work than posting about it on Google+ but, I think, is more likely to achieve change. I doubt that you would monetarily benefit such a lawsuit. The ideal outcome would be to win punitive damages, which exists in law precisely to stop bad practices. 

The famous "Hot Coffee" lawsuit awarded punitive damages to force McDonalds to reduce the temperature of their coffee served, because it was burning other customers too. Here you have a media companies burning smaller businesses and individuals with false copyright claims, and getting away with it. 
 
Here we go again  with the False Flagging with youtube
 
For those following along: All of the phony rights claims have finally been released. That one that was added a little while ago released itself a few minutes ago. 

I have never seen this happen this quickly, so I'd imagine the media attention this generated had something to do with it :).  Sadly I've lost out on monetizing the 2,000+ plays I've already received. 
 
Found on +Boing Boing and already shared. People need to know about this stuff. This is getting very ridiculous. 
 
These so-called rights holders are stealing from you, plain and simple. This Content ID system is deeply flawed and Youtube need to fix it if they want to encourage independent content creators onto their platform. Good luck with this fight.
 
+Lon Seidman I have a repeat offender (a name I've seen mentioned a few times here on G+, so I know it's a bigger problem than me) who is trying to leech money from all my videos by making bogus copyright claims. (I just had another by the same group this morning).
 
+Joltrast . Can you point to a post?  I'd like to see what problems you're having.
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