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Brad Weiss
Jan-18-2009, 6:47pm
Hey, has this happened to anyone else here? One of my videos got pulled from Youtube by Warner Music Group for copyright infringement. I always suspected it would be a jazz lover challenging me for taste infringement, but no matter. I'm surprised because I figured these were not reproducible postings, clearly not for profit, and - frankly - there's millions of posts out there in the same boat (unless they're all paying royalties). What's anyone else's experience with this?

Ken Olmstead
Jan-18-2009, 6:59pm
Brad, what did they actually pull? Was it you playing a copy written song or did you post something from a commercially produced video? Also, you can easily capture youtube videos and save them to play on DVD. Why anyone would try and do anything with such a lowgrade clip is beyond me?

Brad Weiss
Jan-18-2009, 7:40pm
They pulled just lil ol' me playing "S'Wonderful," which makes me wonder if the other Gershwin tunes are about to get the axe. It seemed very odd to single out the one tune- I know the Gershwin estate is vigilant (try finding free charts for their tunes- good luck!), but, as I said, how many covers are up on UTube??

Ken Olmstead
Jan-18-2009, 8:01pm
Wow, they are of course within their right but I can't imagine that we are taking any food out of their mouths. My guess is that they just take a sample, do a search and nail them to let us know they are watching. If they really cracked down on them, youtube would be nothing but a bunch of people blogging about what happened on the bus, politics and other useless rants! Oh well, everything cool gets ruined sooner or later!

Arto
Jan-19-2009, 12:39pm
Also, you can easily capture youtube videos and save them to play on DVD. Why anyone would try and do anything with such a lowgrade clip is beyond me?

Ken, please tell me how you do that? (Im a moron what comes to computers and my son has lost hope on me... :redface:) YouTube is full of old historical film clips of great music performers of all genres and it would great to save those - maybe some day we`ll have no YouTube any longer and its all gone. No problem with low quality.

thanks, Arto

clem
Jan-19-2009, 1:08pm
Hopefully without opening this can of worms/Pandora's box even farther, the issue is not you playing S'Wonderful, its the video (e.g. synchronized music and video image), which requires a "synch license" to be legal AND a synch license is not mandatory but instead lies in the sole discretion of the publisher/copyright holder.

mandopete
Jan-19-2009, 1:39pm
Where does he say this was a "sync video" ?

foldedpath
Jan-19-2009, 1:51pm
The good news for this particular song, is that it showed up in the musical Funny Face in 1927 (according to Wiki). So unless I'm mistaken about current cut-off dates, and unless they change the U.S. law and grant a Disney-type universal extension again, it will go into public domain in about 4 years!

There's a lot of very good music slowly going public. The 20's and 30's were great years for songwriting.

MikeEdgerton
Jan-19-2009, 1:59pm
The Youtube Copyright issue hasn't been discussed in quite a while but I seem to recall there was some sort of agreement with the media companies regarding certain catalogs of music. I'm drawing a blank trying to remeber where that was.

In any event, here (http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?t=31446&highlight=youtube+copyright) is a large and long posting about the Youtube copyright issue that took place a while back.

Mike Bullard
Jan-19-2009, 2:00pm
My experience has been that anything in color is a copyright infringement or at least that was my dealing with CBS. I went through and posted all of the Darlin's videos of just the music playing parts from the Andy Griffith show and thought all was OK until they deleted the one color video of Salty Dog of which happened to be there last time on the show. So I figured one out of that many wasn't so bad. If they go and delete all the B/W ones then we are all at a loss....Nothing sweeter than Charlene singing "There is a time".

In other words....If I didn't make it then I don't upload it anymore. Enjoy the Darlin's while they last.

Brad Weiss
Jan-19-2009, 2:19pm
Thanks for the input. Have yet to look at the long thread Mike cites- but just to be clear this is (was) a video of ME playing this tune- not something clipped from some copyrighted release. That is, I DID make it, and uploaded it and- pfft. And why just this video???

JeffD
Jan-19-2009, 2:27pm
Nothing sweeter than Charlene singing "There is a time".





I remember that - and Andy falling in love with her - I was in my young teens when I saw that for the first time, and I remember thinking that there was more to watching tv than I thought.

Bill Snyder
Jan-19-2009, 9:27pm
I have several of those Darlin appearances on Andy Griffith show DVD's and FWIW, Andy never fell in love with her. She did get kinda flirty with him though. He tried to make it clear he had no interest in her. :)

Ken Olmstead
Jan-19-2009, 10:38pm
Ken, please tell me how you do that? (Im a moron what comes to computers and my son has lost hope on me... :redface:) YouTube is full of old historical film clips of great music performers of all genres and it would great to save those - maybe some day we`ll have no YouTube any longer and its all gone. No problem with low quality.

thanks, Arto

I stink at computer stuff too! I don't know how but I know that it is possible with certain video capture software. The abundance of techies around here may chime in, wish I could help you!

Bill Snyder
Jan-19-2009, 11:50pm
If you are using a PC (I don't know about the Mac) and you have the latest version of Real Player (it is free) when you play a You Tube video if you put your arrow anywhere over the video and little popup appears to the right just above the video. Click it and the video will download to your computer. Burning it to DVD depends on your equipment so I can't help you with that one.
See attached for example of the popup.

Tom Smart
Jan-20-2009, 1:58pm
...just to be clear this is (was) a video of ME playing this tune- not something clipped from some copyrighted release. That is, I DID make it, and uploaded it and- pfft. And why just this video???

It's a video of you playing a tune that someone else owns the copyright to. Copyright applies to any reproduction, re-creation or even derivation of the original work, not just to particular "releases" of the work.

It's no different than if you had recorded a CD that included songs under copyright, but failed to pay royalties for those songs.

By the way, I think today's copyright laws are seriously screwed up in the way that they continue to profit publishers--who had nothing to do with creating the original work--for many, many decades after the original author has died. But like it or not, that's the law.

Write your congressman and tell him or her that it was a mistake to let Disney, the Gershwin estate and Sonny Bono rewrite the laws to their personal benefit, when the law was perfectly good the way it was before.

MikeEdgerton
Jan-20-2009, 2:15pm
I don't think Sonny is still doing that.

EdSherry
Jan-20-2009, 2:35pm
WARNING: No mandolin content!

Tom -- Nowadays, copyright generally lasts for the composer's (songwriter's) lifetime plus 75 years. Unless the song was written as a "work for hire," music publishers are generally contractually required to pay the composer's estate the writer's share of any royalties collected even after the composer dies. In other words, both of the Gershwin brothers are long dead, but their estates still get paid their share (presumaby -- I've never seen the contracts the Gershwins signed).

The debate about the right "split" between the author and the music publisher (company) is a long and acrimonious one. But it has nothing to do with the copyright laws per se -- it's a matter of contractual agreement between the author and the publisher. For many years the "standard" split was 50/50, but that seems to be changing as the nature of "publishing" changes.

Tom Smart
Jan-21-2009, 12:11pm
Mike--Of course Sonny is no longer doing it; that's why I said it "was" a mistake. I was referring, of course, to the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, also known informally as the Mickey Mouse Forever Act.

Ed--Assuming that the copyright hasn't been sold to the publisher outright, you're correct that the estate should be paid its share. What I object to is the "lifetime plus 70 years," (or in the case of a corporate work, 120 years from original creation), with no renewal required. That's far in excess of the "for a limited time" envisioned by the copyright clause in the Constitution. The original purpose of copyright was to ensure that the creator of an original work would be compensated for his or her efforts, while also ensuring that the work would eventually benefit the public as a whole by entering the public domain. It was never intended to secure virtually unlimited private ownership along the lines of trademark law. The first copyright law enacted by the U.S. Congress only provided for 14 years, plus an additional 14 years if you were still alive and explicitly renewed your claim. Later, that was lengthened to 28 years plus 28 more if explicitly renewed. That seems closer to fair than the current law, in my opinion.

As 2019 approaches, and Mickey Mouse is once again approaching the public domain, look for a very old and decrepit, but impeccably well-dressed Sen. Orrin Hatch to introduce yet another 20-year extension.

foldedpath
Jan-21-2009, 1:10pm
Ed--Assuming that the copyright hasn't been sold to the publisher outright, you're correct that the estate should be paid its share. What I object to is the "lifetime plus 70 years," (or in the case of a corporate work, 120 years from original creation), with no renewal required. That's far in excess of the "for a limited time" envisioned by the copyright clause in the Constitution. The original purpose of copyright was to ensure that the creator of an original work would be compensated for his or her efforts, while also ensuring that the work would eventually benefit the public as a whole by entering the public domain. It was never intended to secure virtually unlimited private ownership along the lines of trademark law.

There's one further intent for the extension past the artist's lifetime, and that's to provide (at least for a short period of time) the same protection for intellectual property that is applied to other "real" property like business assets or real estate. We don't demand that entrepreneurs like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs surrender their business creations to the public domain after death, or that a real estate developer has to turn over his property to become public parks without compensation. We do demand that from artists and their intellectual "property." It's an asymmetric view of commercial value.

A reasonable extension past the artist's death helps compensate for this. It provides time to convert revenue from the sale of art into a "real" asset like real estate, stocks, or whatever, that can benefit the artist's family in the same way that others who create commercial value are able to. There's more to copyright law and intent than this, but it's one aspect that is often overlooked in discussions like this.

Tom Smart
Jan-21-2009, 6:33pm
We do demand that from artists and their intellectual "property." It's an asymmetric view of commercial value.

Foldedpath, you are correct, but it should be asymmetric because there is a big difference between real property and intellectual "property." (The quotation marks are entirely appropriate.) The point of copyright law is both to provide an incentive for creators to create by allowing them the exclusive right to profit from their creations for a limited time, and to add to the commonwealth by eventually releasing those creations to the public.

If patents could be exclusively controlled forever, there would be no Apple Computer, no General Motors, and so on. Only the company that owned the patents to microchips and internal combustion engines would be able to make products derived from those inventions. Progress in the arts would be similarly stifled. Real property can be literally staked out. Ideas are much more "in the air"--almost always based on previous ideas and often emerging in multiple minds at the same time. What a shame it would be for one person to have the legal ability to forever lock up the ability to use an idea.

Bill Snyder
Jan-21-2009, 10:55pm
...We don't demand that entrepreneurs like... a real estate developer has to turn over his property to become public parks without compensation.

I don't know about where you live, but some of our local towns in Texas do, at least for residential developers.

TomTyrrell
Jan-22-2009, 2:07pm
Lots of misinformation here. Copyrights do not protect ideas, only the description or expression of those ideas in fixed form. Patents protect inventions for a limited period of time and exist as an incentive for inventors to make the details of their inventions public. The formula for Coca-Cola is not patented, they don't want to tell the world their formula.

As far as YouTube goes, posting videos that you don't own is against the Terms of Use. A video of you playing a song that someone else owns the copyright to would be an infringement of the copyright owner's rights unless you have permission from the copyright owner.

From YouTube: "YouTube is committed to helping copyright holders find and remove allegedly infringing content from our site. To that end, we have created a Copyright Verification Tool that assists copyright owners in searching for material that they believe to be infringing and providing YouTube with reasonably sufficient information to allow us to locate that material.
This tool is designed especially for copyright-holding companies to issue multiple removal requests."

All the big publishers use this tool. They have people who search YouTube all day every day and every violation of any of their copyrights is reported to YouTube. It is an uphill battle for them but they won't stop.

BTW, downloading videos from YouTube is also a violation of the Terms of Use but YouTube doesn't seem to be doing anything to stop it.

Tom Smart
Jan-22-2009, 7:33pm
Lots of misinformation here. Copyrights do not protect ideas, only the description or expression of those ideas in fixed form. Patents protect inventions for a limited period of time and exist as an incentive for inventors to make the details of their inventions public. The formula for Coca-Cola is not patented, they don't want to tell the world their formula.

I could have stated it better, and it's kind of splitting hairs, but it's true that you have to express your ideas in a fixed form (recording, sheet music, etc.) in order to establish your copyright. Once you have established that right, you have the legal ability to control presentation of that idea whether in fixed form or not. In other words, I can't put your song on my CD (fixed form) without paying royalties, and I can't perform it on stage (not a fixed form) without the venue paying royalties.

Copyrights and patents are similar enough in concept that they're both covered in the same sentence of the U.S. Constitution. In fact, the terms "copyright" and "patent" aren't even used. The finer points of distinction between the two were established in subsequent legislation. In both cases, there is an incentive to the individual creator balanced by a benefit to the public at large.

TomTyrrell
Jan-23-2009, 10:34am
<< Once you have established that right, you have the legal ability to control presentation of that idea whether in fixed form or not. >>

That is decidedly not true. Once you have expressed your idea in fixed form you control that expression of the idea, not the idea itself. Anyone is free to express the very same idea in a different form.

Tom Smart
Jan-23-2009, 12:41pm
<< Once you have established that right, you have the legal ability to control presentation of that idea whether in fixed form or not. >>

That is decidedly not true. Once you have expressed your idea in fixed form you control that expression of the idea, not the idea itself. Anyone is free to express the very same idea in a different form.

I'm not sure we're even disagreeing here. To say I have the right to control the expression of and idea, but not the presentation of the same idea, seems like a razor-thin semantic distinction.

Let's say I've written a stage play. It's about a solar system far, far away. An evil emperor, who is secretly the father of our hero, is building a giant "death satellite" in order to crush a rebellion, and he has captured the beautiful queen who had stolen the plans to the death satellite. The hero, drawing upon a power called "the energy," goes to battle against his own father using a "laser blade".... And so on.

The play incorporates lots of loosely related ideas that have obviously been "expressed" and "presented" before. It's not a movie, so it's a different form from the previous presentation. A stage performance isn't even a "fixed form." I might try to mount the production on a completely bare stage using naked actors in order to avoid any of the superficial trappings of the original presentation. I could even completely change the ending so that the evil father kills the heroic son, and the beautiful queen decides to go over to the "murky side."

Any attempt to "express" or "present" these derivative ideas would get me sued for big bucks in short order. And I'd have to wait 70 years after the demise of George Lucas to either "express" or "present" any of it legally. Since I don't expect to be around that long, it's effectively a total ban on my using those ideas.

That seems to me excessive, especially given that the patent on R2D2 ran out long ago.

TomTyrrell
Jan-23-2009, 2:27pm
Presentation and expression are the same thing.

Actions such as those you describe happen all the time. Star Wars was a very derivative work itself. A lot of Flash and Ming in that story.

Tom Smart
Jan-23-2009, 4:31pm
Presentation and expression are the same thing.

But the words "presentation" and "expression" are the only difference in the statement I made, which you said "is decidedly not true," and your counter-statement.


Actions such as those you describe happen all the time. Star Wars was a very derivative work itself. A lot of Flash and Ming in that story.

ALL art is influenced by previous art. "Derivative" is a narrower category than "influenced by." The former is explicitly covered by copyright law; the latter is not. I'm in favor of widening spheres of "influence" that one can claim without the threat of litigation.

It seems like we're in fundamental agreement that "ideas" are not the same as "property," and only disagreeing about the extent to which the law sees them (or should see them) as comparable. So we're kind of going around in circles. We both essentially promoting the free flow of ideas, no?

The only difference is that I believe the law is more restrictive than you seem to believe, but I wish it were more in line with your view. Perhaps we'd both enjoy my proposed play, if only it were possible to stage it.

EdSherry
Jan-23-2009, 5:14pm
Warning: No mandolin content.

Tom S -- The current "life of the author plus 75 years" IS a "limited term," at least according to the Supreme Court, which in 2003 rejected (by a 7-2 decision) a constitutional challenge to the Sonny Bono Act (Eldred v. Ashcroft).

You may think that the term is too long. I know many who agree with you. But Congress voted to extend it to its current length. You're perfectly free to lobby Congress to change the law to shorten the term, just as others (notably Disney) lobbied Congress to extend the term.

Again, that has nothing to do with the "split" as between the author and the publisher.

As for the "idea vs. expression" issue, the difficulty is knowing just how closely one work has to resemble another before it is found to infringe the other's copyright. You can't copyright "boy meets girl," and thousands of works have been written on that general theme. But the closer your work comes to incorporating key elements of another's work, the greater a risk you face that your work will be found to infringe.

Suppose I write a play in English, and someone translates it into Japanese. Even though the words are entirely different (being in two different languages), the translation still infringes.

Other examples are less clear-cut -- your Star Wars-clone stage play example, for instance.
It's clearly debatable whether a court would find that your proposed stage play was sufficiently derivative from Star Wars as to infringe the Lucas copyright. (Personally, I wouldn't want to risk it.) So what? If your play is a parody of Star Wars, it's protected. If not -- if you ripped off the entire plot, merely changing the characters' names and the literal text (but not the sense of the story) -- I fail to see why your proposed stage play should be found not to infringe.

TomTyrrell
Jan-23-2009, 5:27pm
<< But the words "presentation" and "expression" are the only difference in the statement I made, which you said "is decidedly not true," and your counter-statement. >>

No, you said "Once you have established that right, you have the legal ability to control presentation of that idea whether in fixed form or not."

You don't have the legal ability to control presentation of the idea. You have the legal ability to control YOUR presentation of the idea. Others are free to present the exact same idea in a different way.

Copyright law makes a very solid distinction between the idea and the presentation or expression of the idea.

But wouldn't the art be better served if everyone came up with their own idea and presented that rather than just rehash something that has already been done?

Arve Hermundstad
Jan-23-2009, 5:40pm
Who's controlling the idea of the I IV V progression.....?:popcorn:
Really enjoy this thread. Go for it!!!!

Tom Smart
Jan-23-2009, 6:24pm
EdSherry, I agree with everything you said in your post. Thanks for adding some clarity and nuance with regard to the fuzzy line between influence vs. derivation, parody vs. ripoff, etc. I'll just add that I originally jumped into the conversation to say (paraphrasing), "if you don't like having your Gershwin cover censored, I don't blame you. If you agree with me that the Sonny Bono Act was a ripoff of the public's interests, write your congressman."


Others are free to present the exact same idea in a different way.

This is a very broad statement, and I think Ed's post hints at some of the range. Presenting the exact same idea in a different way could get you sued in some cases and could be protected speech in others. It depends on what the "idea" is (e.g., Star Wars vs. Boy Meets Girl) and what the presentation is (e.g. ripoff vs. parody). I think we're arguing semantics, and I'll take the blame for stating a few things poorly.


But wouldn't the art be better served if everyone came up with their own idea and presented that rather than just rehash something that has already been done?

I actually think this would be impossible. No Homer = no Virgil = no Dante = no Milton = no Melville, etc. There would be no traditions upon which to base new creations that could be understood by an audience. This gets to the essence of why I think today's intellectual "property" laws go too far and actually stifle creativity. It also takes this discussion beyond the law and into the realm of philosophy, so I'll leave it at that.

Thanks for the lively discussion, fellas.

JeffD
Jan-25-2009, 12:42pm
She did get kinda flirty with him though. He tried to make it clear he had no interest in her. :)

I remember that too. But at the moment when she sang "There is a Time" he was falling.