3 Count: YouTube Silence

In multiple respects...

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1: CBS Sues YouTuber for Posting Episodes of ‘The Andy Griffith Show’

First off today, Ashley Cullins at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that CBS has filed a lawsuit against ComedyMX and Edward Heldman III over a YouTube channel that hosted public domain episodes of The Andy Griffith Show.

The lawsuit centers around episodes 80-95 of the series, which lapsed into the public domain due to the lack of copyright re-registration. However, CBS argues that, while those episodes are public domain, they do hold legitimate copyrights to the first 79 episodes and the later episodes use copyrightable material from those works.

According to the lawsuit, Heldman claimed that he should not be held liable because, in addition to the works being public domain, he “remastered” them making them derivative works. CBS is seeking both an injunction and either actual damages plus profits Heldman made from the videos or statutory damages.

2: Embedding Isn’t Copyright Infringement, Says Italian Court

Next up today, Glyn Moody at Ars Technica UK reports that the appeals court of Rome has overturned a site block of the KissTube site, ruling that the site simply embeds videos from YouTube and, thus, is not infringing.

KissTube is both a website and a YouTube channel. The site contains many copyright infringing videos, enough so that it ended up on a list of 152 websites ordered to be blocked within the country. But the Italian court ruled that, since the videos are publicly available (albeit on their own YouTube channel) that the embedding is not illegal and the site should not be blocked.

The ruling mirrors a recent Court of Justice of the European Union case on embedding that held it is not copyright infringing if it’s already publicly available. However, it goes against a similar ruling from the same court that found linking to pirated material is only legal if the person linking is unaware it is illegal and doesn’t do so for profit.

3: The Game Awards’ YouTube Archive No Longer Muted by Copyright Claim

Finally today, Samit Sarkar at Polygon reports that The Game Awards 2016 took place on December 1st and was livestreamed on YouTube, Twitter and elsewhere. However, the YouTube archive of the award ceremony was quickly hit by a copyright claims that caused the video to be muted in its entirety.

The show, which is an award show for video games, featured a large number of trailers for games as well as music from popular artists such as Jay-Z, Smashing Pumpkins and Linkin Park. It’s unclear what copyrighted work triggered the complaint or whether it was brought on by YouTube’s Content ID system.

Interestingly, IGN’s rehosting of the entire show remained live and unmuted despite containing the same material. In the end, The Game Awards was able to resolve the copyright dispute and the audio in the track was restored.


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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