3 Count: $1 Billion Question

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1: YouTube Has Paid $1 Billion to Copyright Holders Since 2007

First off today, NBC News is reporting that YouTube has announced that it has reached $1 billion in payouts related to the ContentID system, which is designed to automatically detect copyrighted material uploaded to the service and let rightsholders choose whether to remove the work or monetize against it.

ContentID was developed by Google in 2007 shortly after it bought the video sharing site. Prior to ContentID, many rightsholders complained that YouTube gained much of its popularity due to uploads of copyright infringing content, such as clips of movies and TV shows. However, ContentID let rightsholders automatically detect that content and either secure its removal or allow them to monetize against it.

According to YouTube, the majority of ContentID’s partners, which number over 500, monetize instead of ban infringing videos. This results in payouts to them, which is where the $1 billion figure comes from.

2: Aereo, Broadcasters Face Rematch In New York Court

Next up today, Wendy Davis at MediaPost reports that Aereo will be back in court tomorrow, facing down the TV broadcasters who are hoping to get a federal judge to issue an injunction against the service and prevent it from reopening its doors.

Aereo is a TV streaming service that, until recently, used a series of tiny antennas, one per customer, to capture, record and stream over-the-air broadcast television. Aereo claimed that, since each antenna was used by one customer, that the performances were private and non-infringing. It won several lower court victories, however, a recent Supreme Court decision went against Aereo causing the company to pause operations voluntarily.

Now TV broadcasters are hoping to make that pause permanent. Aereo, however, is arguing that the Supreme Court decision only deals with its live TV component and that it should be allowed to continue recording television for later viewing. Failing that, the company plans to ask the Federal Communications Commission to classify it as a cable company, which will entitle it to negotiate retransmission rates from broadcasters.

3: Video Bloggers Get ‘Microstopped’ by Microsoft Takedown Notices

Finally today, Klint Finley at Wired reports that several well-known YouTube video bloggers have been hit with Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notices from Microsoft, including several on videos that were many years old.

The DMCA notices came a company named Marketly, which Microsoft uses to protect it’s intellectual property. Microsoft claims that the notices were sent in error. It went on to say that the notices were triggered by comments on the video pages, comments that referenced illegal Windows keys that are commonly used to pirate Microsoft software.

Microsoft said that it is working to correct any errors and get legitimate content restored quickly. It also said that it is addressing the issue and will be working to prevent similar problems in the future.


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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