Off Topic Messages

ADVICE: I Didn't Fight; The Law Won

Sat Dec 29, 2012 10:35 am

I want to know how other people handle YouTube problems. I'm very bummed over what happened to one of my earliest videos.

I pulled down one of my first videos, one of which I was most proud - especially since I did it so early, and it was very well-liked, even if it could be more sophisticated. It is, nevertheless, very creative for what I could do about a year ago, and it meant a lot to me. I was going to upgrade it as soon as I got the hang of After-Effects, but I deleted it, and that's it. It was "If I Can Dream."

Seems the Smithsonian Channel claimed that I took or obtained "Full Episode" of something they had on their channel. I don't get the Smithsonian channel, and the small, low-res piece of film was the end of MLK's last speech. Just enough to make my statement on the song. No one complained about the bit of Robert Kennedy at the beginning of the video. They are bookends; without that footage, there's no video - nothing else in it makes sense. Not to what I was saying with it. Which is my constitutional right, and why there is a Fair Use statute. YouTube will NOT stand up for you at all. They just don't want any trouble. They were very "nice" about this, as you'll see. Didn't harm my account at all; just buried it where no one could find it!

Now, you can go through a procedure, and argue that it's "Fair Use." I did that with a piece of public domain music, and it was easy. But this was about this footage. Intriguingly, someone else claimed to own it as well. Now, wait a minute. When Martin Luther King GAVE that speech, and the news media filmed it during a major crisis, NOBODY "owned it"! But maybe him. And not even him, because it was in the context of a newsworthy crisis. It was news, period.

Now, some cable channel that didn't exist in 1968 (or '78, or '88, or '98, or even '08), says I somehow "took" something that belonged to them! In their objection it said "Full Episode" but it doesn't say of what. I wouldn't know, since I don't get the Smithsonian Channel, so I have no idea what they're talking about. I've had that footage on my disc(s) since the '90s, and I don't know where it came from. I don't even remember how I managed to download it -- those two clips. I just had 'em. It just IS. It's part of history. I've used it in classes - long ago. On a heavy old laptop from '97.

But I didn't want to fight them, imperil my account, which is in "good standing," etc. The thing is that it disappeared from my public uploads (although it was in a playlist I made), and I could not search for it. So, unless it passed ALL the tests, including SONY music, which hardly ever complains about Elvis songs (unless maybe you rock their boat), it would be very complicated to get it back in the search results. They effectively made it "unlisted" is what they did. It's up there for the purposes of "Fair Use" - to educate, to inform, to start discussion, etc. But the way they made it difficult to create a work of art that was a pastiche, that made a multimedia statement, made it virtually impossible to fight for. So I just deleted it.

And I'm so damned depressed that I didn't fight them.

rjm

Re: ADVICE: I Didn't Fight; The Law Won

Sat Dec 29, 2012 10:52 am

I found their web site, and it had a clip search function, interestingly. I found a much cleaner, shorter, different-looking version of my old piece of footage. And this is what it said about the rights:

"Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his final "I've been to the mountaintop" speech in Memphis, TN.
Rights: Rights Managed
No Rights Restrictions
Clearance Status:
Talent Not Released
Property Release Not Applicable, Footage Assurance Available"



What does this mean?

rjm

Re: ADVICE: I Didn't Fight; The Law Won

Sat Dec 29, 2012 11:16 am

rjm wrote:I found their web site, and it had a clip search function, interestingly. I found a much cleaner, shorter, different-looking version of my old piece of footage. And this is what it said about the rights:

"Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his final "I've been to the mountaintop" speech in Memphis, TN.
Rights: Rights Managed
No Rights Restrictions
Clearance Status:
Talent Not Released
Property Release Not Applicable, Footage Assurance Available"



What does this mean?

rjm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rights_Managed

Re: ADVICE: I Didn't Fight; The Law Won

Sat Dec 29, 2012 11:42 am

So they can take possession of something that didn't belong to them originally? This was not footage shot for their own, profitable use. It was news footage. I saw the same notice on a little clip of a skate-boarding trophy, and they wanted 200 bucks to use it! But they shot it. It was original, for what it's worth.

Fair Use specifically addresses news footage, and the rights and lack thereof of the public figures in them, to the footage. I don't understand a third party claiming the ownership to something it did not create.

Really, the laws must be re-written for the 21st century. My organization has gotten free DVDs of such material from PBS. But DVDs are getting passe in educational and artistic use. People use the 'net. And private companies (Showtime actually runs that channel) are buying our history so they can sell it back to us. Only because the law has not been revamped to protect educators, artists, and historians who wish to exercise their right to free speech. Times have changed; YouTube didn't exist at the time of last overhaul of copyright law.

And I'm really mad.

rjm

Re: ADVICE: I Didn't Fight; The Law Won

Sat Dec 29, 2012 4:58 pm

Apparently they obtained the footage legally through the original owners at some point in time.

Re: ADVICE: I Didn't Fight; The Law Won

Sun Dec 30, 2012 4:39 am

Rjm, I'm shocked that you of all people would embark on a life of crime! Why, I'm half-expecting to see you on Moonshiners next season! But if that happens put me down for a gallon.

Re: ADVICE: I Didn't Fight; The Law Won

Sun Dec 30, 2012 6:21 am

Pete Dube wrote:Rjm, I'm shocked that you of all people would embark on a life of crime! Why, I'm half-expecting to see you on Moonshiners next season! But if that happens put me down for a gallon.


I could maybe use a gallon! :lol:

Aw, well, it's something that's in progress . . . I mean, eventually, people who understand how things have changed will be in a position to bring things up to date. Unfortunately, there are those who are capitalizing on this new "wild west" for profit. But it's one thing to charge for ridiculous "original" footage, because someone is too lazy to make a brief clip of their own; it's quite another to grab up history and sell it. As I pointed out, the network is run by Showtime, who has access to a vast amount of historical clips, which it decided to put up "for sale." This would be acceptable if consisted of privately shot footage of ordinary people from the early days of moving pictures - the Smithsonian has that, and it was donated to them. As to how it acquired "rights" to footage that was on every television station in the U.S., and across the globe in April 1968 - who knows? If such footage does not belong to the American people, but is offered up for sale/rent, that's wrong. They have a LOT of history there, that they say they own - you should see it! And it's all for sale, or rent. There is something terribly wrong about about "Showtime" (which is who it really is) buying history.

Perfect analogy, btw, Pete, to "moonshining."

I just got through watching Ken Burns' "Prohibition" all the way through this afternoon, and it's really quite ironic. He paid to licence all sorts of materials: photos, film, music, etc. for the purpose of selling DVDs, and got the money from foundations, from Bank of America . . . etc., to make a documentary film about the damage of hypocritical legislation. It ends with the commentary that since prohibition, no one has successfully passed any laws attempting to "legislate morality." First of all, that is incorrect ("marijuana"???). Secondly, this very notion of "copyright" relating to historical materials IS a moral issue, and one that has been decided by those who have the means (the money) to buy, and thus interpret history. In the film, of course, prohibition is a bad, bad thing: "a stupid idea."

The weird thing is that a lot of "his" stuff ends up on YouTube, however briefly. And of course, will be taken down, one way or the other. But allowing ALL the people to tell their history is what democracy is supposed to be about, I thought, and what the Internet has enabled. Yet, when one tries to do it, it's not "legal."

(And there's the whole DRM controversy. There's been a lot of media attention lately to that in relation to books. Music has already been stripped of DRM restrictions, but the digital books you "buy" do not actually belong to you! That's another kettle of fish, I guess.)

I think I'll buy a fresh digital copy of Orwell's 1984, and consider the ironies. (While cussing my way through a book I bought, but do not own.)

rjm
UPDATE: Maybe I could have fought them, after all. But, it's not worth it - too complicated. http://archive.org/details/gov.archives.arc.54547 Jump to 8:26, and there it is. And these are the rights:

National Archives and Records Administration

MARTIN LUTHER KING CLIP REEL

U.S. Information Agency. (1982 - 10/01/1999)

ARC Identifier 54547 / Local Identifier 306.9479. NINE SHORT STORIES ON MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., ARE PACKAGED FOR FEBRUARY'S BLACK HISTORY MONTH. STORIES INCLUDE: KING HOLIDAY; MLK/WREATH-LAYING; JACKSON/ MLK; KING/CIVIL RIGHTS; REAGAN/KIDS; MLK BUST/ CAPITOL; ANDY YOUNG REFLECTS; MLK CELEBRATION/ ATLANTA; MLK CELEBRATION/ WASHINGTON, D.C.


This movie is part of the collection: FedFlix

Producer: National Archives and Records Administration
Language: English
Keywords: archives.gov; public.resource.org
Creative Commons license: Public Domain


No way to know. This is generally monochromatic, not in color. Perhaps that's a consideration. It also says 1982-10/01/1999. Maybe that's when it "ran out" or somebody bought it. It is nevertheless up on this site. And if it is still in Creative Commons: Public Domain, then I would say the other party is in violation.