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First off today, Stephen Totilo at Kotaku reports that many video game-related YouTube channels have been caught up in a seeming blizzard of copyright notices, all produced by YouTube’s automated Content ID system, in some cases hitting them with hundreds of copyright notices.
Though the notices don’t result in the removal of the videos, they do prevent users from being able to monetize them. The claims have been particularly common for those who do “Let’s Play” an review-style videos that feature game footage (including background music).
Though it isn’t clear what has caused the recent spike, it’s widely believed to be a part of a change in policy as to how YouTube approaches Multi-Channel Networks (MCNs). Recently, YouTube has removed copyright protections for MCN affiliates, requiring them to go through the same scans and checks as other, non-affiliated channels.
Next up today, The Local reports that a mistake by a German court has resulted in some 10,000 users of the pornographic streaming site Redtube receiving legal threats from a Bavarian law firm for copyright infringement.
The firm had been widely engaged in mass copyright litigation in the country, often referred to as “copyright trolling” and had been active in sending threat letters to those who share content illegally on file sharing networks. However, Redtube, despite being pornographic, is a streaming site akin to YouTube and its legality under Germany law is less clear. However, the court misunderstood what kind of site it was and ordered the release of user information.
Lawyers have advised the people who receive those letters to ignore them and neither sign the cease and desist nor pay the €250 ($345) settlement. The letters were sent on behalf of the Swiss media agency The Archive.
Finally today, Jeff John Roberts at GigaOM reports that The Beastie Boys have filed a countersuit against GoldieBlox over its use of a parody of their song “Girls” in a viral video produced by the company.
The company used the 1989 song in its ad but changed the lyrics from the misogynistic lyrics of the original (which in and of themselves were a parody of rap culture present at the time) and replaced them with girl-positive lyrics. Four days after the video was posted, GoldieBlox proactively sued The Beastie Boys saying that they were threatened over the video. However, The Beastie Boys denied any such threat and said that that they were sued after just asking about the use.
GoldieBlox removed the song from the video out of respect of MCA, the recently-deceased member of the group, who had requested in his will that their music never be used in advertisements. However, the lawsuit was never dropped, leading the group to file its counterclaim. That counterclaim says that that the commercial use of the song does not qualify as a fair use and that the company owes them profits, damages and lawyers’ fees for their use.
That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.
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