Blocked Video Restored on YouTube
By Amy Terrill on Jun 28, 2012
PEI band In-Flight Safety was in the news yesterday concerned that their music video
for the song "Out of Sight" was blocked on YouTube. Within hours of the error being identified, the videos were restored for the band but it was clearly a source of frustration.
Unfortunately in the CBC news story
about the problem, there were numerous inaccuracies, primarily, it would appear, coming from the representative of CIPPIC.
The video was blocked, not as a result of a specific takedown request from Universal Music Group, but as a result of YouTube's proactive anti-piracy policies, designed to assist all copyright owners, from small to large, to protect their copyright. YouTube has a strong "content verification program
". The vast majority of the time the videos that are blocked are actually infringing content but every once in a while a mistake is made - this is obviously one of those times. In this case, In-Flight Safety was misidentified as working with Universal on account of a past distribution arrangement between the band and Universal, leading to this technical glitch. Universal responded within 24 hours of the request from the band when it was received.
However, the larger problem in the story was the misinformation regarding US law. Not only was it not used in this case to take down the video, but the process described to unblock a video was completely incorrect.
In fact, contrary to what the CIPPIC spokesperson said, the onus is not on the user. Anyone filing a takedown notice is required to file a statement under penalty of perjury stating that they believe the copy or use is infringing. If they have made a materially misleading statement, they are liable for penalties, including damages and lawyer fees. If someone has posted content to a website and finds it subject to a takedown notice through the DMCA, they can complete a simple form objecting to the takedown. Once received, the website is obligated to repost the content and the onus turns to the individual or organization that requested the takedown to seek a court order if they seek to have the content removed.
Unfortunately we operate in an environment where copyright is often not respected. If not for that, YouTube wouldn't need anti-piracy policies and errors would not occur, however infrequently.