The copyright cartel has decided how they want us to play. According to Reuters:
The companies agreed to use technology to eliminate copyright-infringing content uploaded by Web users and to block any pirated material before it is publicly accessible.
Yeah, well that sucks. Will their fingerprinting technology be able to tell that I’m posting 15 seconds of Bill O’Reilly as part of a mock news report to make fun of him? That’s Fair Use. Technology can’t tell Fair Use from infringement. The copyright cartel’s idea would squeeze the leeway out of the system that allows culture to advance.
Google’s idea with YouTube is a lot better. Copyright holders would register their stuff so that Google can fingerprint it. If I then post the fingerprinted clip of O’Reilly, the copyright holder is notified (actually, Google says they’ll have a tool to identify infringers, so I don’t know if they get actively notified) and is given the option of asking Google to remove the clip or keep it up and get ad revenues from it. If the copyright holder has Google take my clip down, I’m notified and can counter-notify. (This is much like the DMCA, but it’s not the DMCA.) Google’s lawyers will then adjudicate the claim. If it’s not covered by Fair Use, the clip comes down. If they think it is, it stays up.
This beats the cartel’s plan by a mile. Actually, by three miles:
Mile 1: Material is not preemptively blocked from being published. Google thus allows for the possibility of Fair Use.
Mile 2: I have a right of appeal, so to speak, to Google’s lawyers.
Mile 3: Google has provided copyright holders with a damn good reason to allow people to post copyrighted material — the holder not only gets the mind share that comes from letting your material be spread, they also get cold hard cash via ad revenues.
Note, please, that IANAL. If I’m misunderstanding how either the cartel or Google plan works, lets me know. But, as I understand it, Google’s plan is far more aligned with our Founders’ intentions than the piratical cartel’s plan is.
Categories: Uncategorized Tagged with: digital culture
• digital rights
Date: October 18th, 2007 dw