16 Comments

Summary:

Regular NewTeeVee commenter Nicolas Charbonnier, who goes by the alias Charbax, has seen his YouTube account “permanently disabled,” he told us this afternoon. Why? He participated in a Burger King-sponsored mashup promotion on YouTube, where users were encouraged to use a web-based voiceover-creation tool to dub […]

Regular NewTeeVee commenter Nicolas Charbonnier, who goes by the alias Charbax, has seen his YouTube account “permanently disabled,” he told us this afternoon. Why? He participated in a Burger King-sponsored mashup promotion on YouTube, where users were encouraged to use a web-based voiceover-creation tool to dub over videos from Seth MacFarlane’s Google-distributed Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy series.

cavalcade-takedown
Now, it seems Twentieth Century Fox, MacFarlane’s studio, and Media Rights Capital (MRC), the digital studio that coordinated Cavalcade, have placed copyright claims on the footage provided for the contest.

YouTube sent Charbonnier a notice saying his account was terminated, and there would be no option to have it reinstated. He found the dubbed-over clip he created was replaced with the message “This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.” As Charbonnier describes it, the takedown notices most likely affected other users as well because the promotion automatically uploaded the cartoons to participants’ YouTube accounts. Other dubs posted on Burger King’s channel have been replaced with the message “This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by MRC” (see image above).

Charbonnier is understandably upset. “I created my YouTube account in 2006, with hundreds of thousands of views on many of the videos,” he said. His story seems to check out, so we have to imagine after his complaint comes to light his account — and perhaps many others — will become reinstated.

Update 5/6: YouTube restored Charbonnier’s account. See his comment below.

  1. Thanks for posting this! It sounds kind of hillarious doesn’t it?

    I hope someone at Google is going to fix this soon. I expect that they have backups of everything and that they can actually restore suspended “terminated” accounts even though they say that they don’t.

    This MIT project has monitored and detected at least 4 of my videos which have now been removed among the about 400 videos removed with my youtube account being suspended: http://youtomb.mit.edu/search?q=Charbax

    Most of my 4 year + video-blogging project at http://techvideoblog.com has lately mostly been relying on Youtube so my site is basically useless right now because of this.

    Share
  2. Funilly enough, this was triggered by BayTSP which is a company that “Monitor for your content online and, when necessary, take action to have it removed.” I just got this email from copyright@youtube.com:

    Dear Charbax,

    We received notification from BayTSP as agent for Twentieth Century Fox
    Film Corporation. When we’re notified that a particular video uploaded to
    our site infringes another’s copyright, we remove the material as the law
    requires. If you feel a content owner has misidentified your content as
    infringing, you may file a counter-notification.

    For more information, please visit the Help Center page about
    counter-notifications,
    http://help.youtube.com/support/youtube/bin/answer.py?answer=59826

    Sincerely,

    Harry
    The YouTube Team

    Share
  3. Amateurs.

    What were they thinking? Why totally erase your account instead of making it invisible and have you 1) remove the offending vidclips or 2) provide proof of license/rights to keep it up. A pointer to the Mashup contest should have been good enough.

    I guess your hundreds of thousands of views mean nothing to them when they are getting 100,000,000 views per month. They seam to be forgetting that they built the business on people like you.

    Maybe you have seen the future and predicted how the end of YouTube, as we know it, will come about. By providing bad service and alienating their core contributor base they will have to pay for their content. UGC will move to another platform….

    And BayTSP – why do companies use these services. They too are amatures trolling the internet looking for, what they deem, copyright violations. Hasn’t the industry learned their lesson from the MediaDefender debacle?

    Would you have paid $0.05 to license the properties in question for the mashup?

    -TK

    Share
  4. I think Youtube has a responsibility to fix the whole copyright and monetization mess that Youtube still is today.

    Sure I can understand that it can be a very complicated challenge to monitor millions of Youtube users who upload videos every day to Youtube. I can understand there is a real pressure in making sure to limit the amount of those 100 billion yearly Youtube video views to not be too much on copyrighted contents used without permission.

    Though Google does have digital and analog fingerprinting technology. So when is the day that Google simply offer all content owners the right to simply “Activate Monetization” for all of their contents being used and remixed all over Youtube by all Youtube uploaders.

    Viacom would have been making hundreds of millions of dollars of extra revenues by now if they simply had an easy to use monetization switch at Youtube, where quite basically, all Daily Show and Colbert mashups would display overlay advertising and bring $10 per 1000 views in the pocket of Viacom. Tens of thousands of other content copyright owners would very likely choose the exact same monetization plan. Simply allow remix, sampling, publishing of all content owned by the coyright owner, simply monetize it using relevant overlay advertising, perhaps even pre-roll and post-roll being available at the choice of the content owner.

    Now the other very important responsabillity that I think Youtube has is towards to huge amounts of independent content makers like me. Youtube seriously needs to get their act together and basically allow all independent content providers to monetize their videos very simply. Just like activating Adsense on any blog, any Youtube uploader should be able to activate overlay advertising.

    Of course Youtube has to make sure an independent content uploader does not monetize on a copyrighted work without the permission of the copyright owner. But that is basically many solutions for this:

    1. Youtube uploaders like me with hundreds of uploads and millions of views since 2006 are to a very certain extent more reliable than a new Youtube account created yesterday with only 1 video on the account.

    2. Youtube can hold monetization payments in some type of escrow for a certain verification period. Where not only Youtube staff can monitor the content being legit, but that there are basic flagging tools that all viewers are asked to use such as “Do you think youtubeusername is publishing this video on Youtube without using any copyright owners content without permission? Yes/no”. Once Youtube registers a whole bunch of Yes, then the video is very likely to be “Clean”. The more clean videos uploaded by the same user, the more reliable the youtube user. The faster payments are processed for that user.

    3. Errors like the one from Youtube towards me are not acceptable. Firstly, they suspend my account without warning because of a TOTAL MISTAKE on BayTSP’s part and the only automatically generated communications that I get from Youtube say that “Suspended accounts cannot be reinstated.”, “Your account has now been terminated” and “Note: In the event that your account is restored, your account information such as videos and comments will NOT be restored.” SERIOUSLY Youtube, they should not go around saying those things. They can hold the account invisible or locked while we clear things out. But threatening me by saying that my account is closed, all that because of a stupid video voice-over I did on Burger King’s Youtube account as part of a competition and a promotion, I am not going to accept it.

    It has now been 39 hours and 31 minutes that my Youtube account has been suspended. I still have only received automated email replies by Youtube bots and automated FAQ type responses on the Youtube help pages. A thread on the Youtube Help Forums has not provided any solutions either yet http://help.youtube.com/group/youtube-howto/browse_thread/thread/73da5e7e013ff2c7

    I filed a DMCA Counter notice at copyright@youtube.com but I have no idea if Youtube has received it, if they are forwarding it to 20th century Fox or to BayTSP and if anyone at 20th Century Fox or BayTSP are going to rectify any of this soon. And I also have no idea if Google has keept a safe backup of all of my videos, with all my views statistics, Google search rankings, Youtube search rankings, all of my video comments, ratings and everything.

    As I stand right now, I don’t know if I should believe the automated messages by Youtube saying that all my videos are deleted forever, even though this is clearly a mistake on BayTSP and Youtube’s part.

    Share
  5. [...] copyright infringement claims on something they officially endorsed. In this case, it involved a mashup contest promotion, where Burger King and 20th Century Fox created a promotion asking people to create their own [...]

    Share
  6. [...] copyright infringement claims on something they officially endorsed. In this case, it involved a mashup contest promotion, where Burger King and 20th Century Fox created a promotion asking people to create their own [...]

    Share
  7. [...] copyright infringement claims on something they officially endorsed. In this case, it involved a mashup contest promotion, where Burger King and 20th Century Fox created a promotion asking people to create their own [...]

    Share
  8. [...] can read more about my problem at newteevee.com, on Youtube’s help forum and on my http://charbax.com [...]

    Share
  9. [...] copyright infringement claims on something they officially endorsed. In this case, it involved a mashup contest promotion, where Burger King and 20th Century Fox created a promotion asking people to create their own [...]

    Share
  10. Thanks to your article, Youtube has now restored my account!

    Dear Nicolas,

    Thank you for your counternotification. Fox has retracted its copyright
    claim with respect to the following videos:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sb7iphIFyoY

    This content has been restored and I have reactivated your accounts. For
    technical reasons, it may take a day for the video to be available again.
    Please let us know if you have any further issues.

    Sincerely,

    Harry
    The YouTube Team

    Share

Comments have been disabled for this post