Monday, June 18, 2012

So much for "Private"

Back at the beginning of this year, there was a post on this blog which noted the birthday of an entertainer by the name of Sophie Tucker, who passed away almost 50 years ago. As an illustration of Ms. Tucker's style and song delivery - a style relegated to a time long gone - I created and posted my first You Tube video from materials in my personal files. The video comprised a song clip from a movie released in 1937.  The movie studio involved has been bought and sold several times, and there are hundreds of clips from that studio's movies on You Tube.

The clip was intended solely for use on this blog, and was thus marked "Private".

Today, I received  the following email from You Tube (owned by Google, which also owns Blogger, the host of this site):

YouTube help center | e-mail options | report spam
Dear --(I deleted my YouTube account name from this post)---,

Your video "SophieTucker.mpg", may have content that is owned or licensed by Quiz Group Pro, but it’s still available on YouTube! In some cases, ads may appear next to it.

This claim is not penalizing your account status. Visit your Copyright Notice page for more details on the policy applied to your video.

- The YouTube Team 

© 2012 YouTube, LLC
901 Cherry Ave, San Bruno, CA 94066


Of course I immediately took a look at my You Tube account. The video was still marked "Private". When played, my video had an advertising banner at the base of the You Tube frame.

I worked for many years in the movie business, many of them in the area of repertory and revival titles. I know a lot about copyrights, underlying copyrights (i.e. a song used in a film clip may not be owned by the studio who made the movie), etc. I have never heard of "Quiz Group Pro". I know who owns the copyright to the film clip, and I know who owns the rights to the music. Neither are owned by Quiz Group Pro. Nor are they licensed by Quiz Group Pro. So who is Quiz Group Pro? An internet search turned up a Russian marketing company which claims it is the #1 You Tube partner in Russia. "We run the most profitable revenue sharing programs on YouTube..."

Now, my account did not suffer any strikes against it based on their copyright claim - made against a PRIVATE video with a total of 13 views. To have such a claim, they are supposed to have on file with Google/You Tube a copy of the material that the Google/You Tube scearchbot utilizes to see if there are  sufficient similarities to justify their claim. I do not have money. If I did, I would notify Google/You Tube and demand to see the proof of this claim. Such action could open one up to a lawsuit. I did find notice of one person who went to court over such claims (don't know from who) and won, but it is still an expensive proposition. And, if I had money, I would take on Google/YouTube for even allowing such a scan in an area that was supposed to be "Private".

Although I was in no way required to do so, I deleted the clip. And the only reason I did so is that I will not provide the vehicle for someone else's free ride advertising revenue. 

Caveat emptor and all that.


Austan said...

"Private" doesn't apply to YT itself, of course. If you post on their site it's theirs to say or do whatever they want to do. I have many Youtubian friends who don't post anymore because of all the new rules.

sdt (a.k.a. stevil) said...

Oh, I'm more than familiar. I was denied the right once to use my own writing and research on film stocks after I wrote a monograph for a wealthy individual that contained that information. But I can still be ticked off about it. There are many 8mm films of my family, or taken by myself at places like the 1964-65 New York World's Fair, which I had hoped to one day make available. But I don't want to do it if someone else can put their advertising on top of my images. Put it elsewhere on the page, not so much a problem - I'd assume it's part of the cost of using a site like YouTube.

Twisted Scottish Bastard said...

I got a Cease and Desist email from Google (Blogger) saying that something on a post in 2010 (Honeymoon post) was annoying somebody.
They didn't say what was causing the problem.
I had 4 photos on that post. One of a terraced house from the 80s, a Ford Capri from 1979 and two landsapes of the highlands.
I was told to search the database for the original complaint, but nothing has ever come up, and Blogger won't tell me who or what.

Beats the hell out of me.