Copyright Bite

March 10, 2010 | By | 5 Replies More

copyright criminalI received a warning when I logged into my YouTube account recently. I had openly and with attribution used a couple of popular tunes in some of my videos. Those have been flagged as violations of copyrights, my account to be reviewed, and the videos may be pulled, or my account suspended. Meanwhile, those videos sport pop-up ads to buy the tunes.

The two offending videos use tunes that had their heydays in the 1930’s and 1970’s. Even the children of the original creator and performer of the older tune are all dead. Is it right that some corporation is making a fuss over my sharing this with a few friends? There have been less than 75 views in the year since it’s been posted.

I see no reason to fight this. I’d be quite content to have ads pop up for the tunes I use. I even wish there were a mechanism in place to request ads to pay for use of related content. It’s not so much that I like ads, but that I respect content creators. But I don’t respect any right in perpetuity for corporations to hold creative rights once a creator and his direct heirs are out of the picture. Like McCartney having to pay the estate of Michael Jackson to use his own songs.


Category: American Culture, Art, Censorship, Entertainment, Films and Videos, Intellectual property, Law, Videos

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A convoluted mind behind a curly face. A regular traveler, a science buff, and first generation American. Graying of hair, yet still verdant of mind. Lives in South St. Louis City. See his personal website for (too much) more.

Comments (5)

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  1. Brynn Jacobs says:


    What are your views on the proliferation and platforms of the various "pirate parties" that are springing up, mostly in Europe? Do you think the growing influence of the open-source movement will force us to reconsider our copyright laws?

  2. Dan Klarmann says:

    I see plenty of buzz, but little bee in these "Pirate Party" movements.

    Open Source and Free Software ("As in free speech, not free beer") will eventually prevail. But we are now living in the tumultuous middle period of the information revolution.

  3. Erich Vieth says:

    Dan: Two words for you on this topic: Lawrence Lessig.

    See also this Wikipedia entry on the vast expansion of copyright over the years:

  4. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    The purpose of both copyrights and patents are to presumably to allow the writers and inventors to profit from their work by providing a limited monopoly over that work.

    In reality, copyrights and patents are useless at protecting “intellectual property” (I cringe at this nonsensical term) because both instruments only give the right to sue those who use the the ideas without permission. In the courts, it becomes a game where the litigant with the most money wins, often by attrition when the poorer litigant runs out of money for the lawyers.

    Corporations have been at the forefront of extending IP laws and protections primarily for the purpose of creating a high barrier to entry into the market they want to control. This should be in violation of anti-trust and anti-monopoly laws.

    In recent years, the publishing industry has started to attack the concept of “Fair Use”. Some corporations have tried to get copyrights on public domain works that were digitized into proprietary formats, with the presumption that they could force a pay-per-view access model to literature and multimedia works.

    Most attempts have failed. They tried to get laws passed that would require special dvd players that would phone home for authorization each time the dvd was played. They have developed special dvd that degrade into an unusable state within a few days of exposure to air. There is a patent for disks with embedded rfid chips. And don’t forget about the palladium “Trusted Computing” concept, because it is not dead either.

    It seems that the corporations who demand freedom from the government don’t want the people to be free.

  5. Dan Klarmann says:

    I just got another warning from YouTube because I uploaded this 1 minute clip today. Within an hour, YouTube's algorithms detected that I'd used a snippet from the middle of a musical number written and performed by an artist who died 40 years ago without biological heirs. But the corporate entity Sony jealously guards their (essentially eternal) rights to his music.

    Again, I don't particularly mind that YouTube puts up an ad for the song over my video. But I am amazed at how fast it figured out exactly what clip I'd used.

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