February 24, 2015

YouTube's broken copyright system (part 238942 of ∞) (, , )

by fluffy at 9:01 AM

So in the past I've talked about how broken the copyright system is from the perspective of someone whose content gets falsely-flagged. But there's also problems with it from the perspective of a legitimate rights holder!

What I want, as an independent musician who believes in a free exchange of ideas, is a copyright flagging system that:

  • Notifies me that my work is being used
  • Gives me a reasonable cut of any ad revenue already being applied to the work
  • Ensures that my work is being attributed in a way that people can buy my source material if they so choose

What YouTube's ContentID system provides:

  • Tells the user that they are violating my copyright
  • Gives them the option to either remove my music from their video entirely, or add new ads that go solely to paying me
  • Notifies me that my work is being used
  • Ensures that my work is being attributed and directs people to the Google Play store

There are a few big problems with ContentID as it's implemented:

  • It's an all-or-nothing traditional-copyright-based system (no allowance for Creative Commons being used in the way it's intended)
  • It assumes a totalitarian grip on materials (because that's what the RIAA members wanted, and Google doesn't give a crap about indies)
  • The verbiage provided to the content user implies that they did something wrong and that they have broken the law and now must pay penance to the holy content creator
  • Content creators can either enroll their stuff in ContentID (and get all the above) or they can have it not enrolled, meaning that content users will either get spurious matches on other things or can get away with not actually following the CC license in the first place

What would be awesome is if YouTube were to add a ContentID mechanism that were Creative Commons-friendly. Enforce compliance with the CC license, and give a cut of existing revenue to the content source. But asking for such a thing is still like pissing into the wind.