Yesterday morning I submitted a copyright infringement complain to YouTube complaining that the Super PAC “American Bridge 21st Century” had stolen clips from two of my productions. Twenty four hours later, which is quite a bit more of a delay than I had ever encountered before, the infringing video has been re-edited to remove my content — but the video mysteriously retains the same URL. The ability to replace a video file has never been a feature of YouTube, yet at least in this one case a well-heeled Democratic Super PAC has managed to get access to features that the rest of us aren’t allowed to even know about, all in order to cover up unlawful behavior by liberals.
Being able to replace a video file and not break the link to the video is a pretty big deal, something that has allowed competitors like Vimeo to gain some ground on YouTube, which has never allowed it. It lets producers update a video to fix problems that are discovered later on, or simply provide an updated version. On Vimeo, when you replace a video file the user statistics remain, so you don’t get the view counter reset to zero or lose any of the benefits that accrue when your video starts to gain popularity. Not having that feature on YouTube means that every time you need to push a different version up you start from scratch and end up with two videos on your channel and then have to decide whether you delete the original and try to update all the embedded video links, or just have duplicate content cluttering your channel.
“American Bridge”, a Super PAC established by the founders of the liberal “Media Matters,” somehow doesn’t have to play by those rules. They get their own rules that you and I can’t benefit from.
Normally when I submit a copyright complaint YouTube responds within a couple of hours and takes down the infringing content. In this case, 24 hours later I get this message:
We require a more detailed description of your copyrighted work. The content will remain live on YouTube until you have provided us with this information.
We encourage you to provide whatever specifics you feel will be most useful. Information such as the title of the work, its author’s name, the date of creation of the work, a copyright registration number (if the work is registered), and/or the specific timestamps at which your work appears in the video in question will greatly assist us in processing your request.
Thank you very much for your cooperation. We look forward to hearing from you.
- The YouTube Team
I’ve never seen anyone getting a message like this before. What details could YouTube possibly require apart from the timecodes in the infringing content where my material is used, the links to my material, and the timecodes where those specific clips appear? As I once again plow through the “American Bridge” video I immediately notice that my material isn’t there anymore. I check the URL to make sure I’m looking at the right video, I go to Ben Tribbett’s facebook update where he links the video, and amazingly I’m looking at the correct link, but the content is different.
Now I begin to understand what the delay was all about. It takes a bit of time for YouTube to reach out to “American Bridge” to have them re-cut their video, get the video file, import it into the system in some way that you and I aren’t allowed to do, then send out this silly “please provide more information” email so they can claim I made some sort of mistake. “See, you were mistaken. There’s no reason for you to try to apply the law towards these fine folks who smear Republicans.”
Only I had the foresight to download the original video, just in case something unusual happened. I have both versions and can absolutely prove the extremes to which YouTube will go to protect the interests of big money Democratic Party Super PACs when they break the law and steal from small business owners.
UPDATE: Apparently I have hit quite a nerve with YouTube which is now making thinly-veiled legal threats in their emails. Sure, let’s beat on the aggrieved party some more. That’s how the liberals do it, right?
We are very concerned that your copyright notification may not be valid for some or all of the videos identified in your notification.
We remind you that in your allegation of copyright infringement, you stated under penalty of perjury that:
1. You acknowledge that under Section 512(f) any person who knowingly materially misrepresents that material or activity is infringing may be subject to liability for damages.
2. You understand that abuse of this form will result in termination of your YouTube account.
For each video in question, please provide precise identification of the particular copyrighted work(s) allegedly infringed and the basis for asserting that claim.
- The YouTube Team
My response isn’t quite to the level yet of “bite me”, although I’m rapidly approaching that point. Here’s the kind note I sent back to them.
I am actually quite concerned that somehow you allowed “American Bridge 21st Century” to alter the content of their video in a fashion that you do not allow other YouTube users to enjoy. I have evidence of the original file as well as the updated file as well as documentation of how the URL for the video has not changed. All of that information is being forwarded to my attorney as I type this.
If you choose to threaten me with allegations that I have somehow committed perjury in pursuing my legitimate intellectual property interests, please don’t bother. I am not in any way intimidated by such empty threats.
The opinions expressed here are solely the views of the author, and not representative of the position of any organization, political party, doughnut shop, knitting guild, or waste recycling facility, but may be correctly attributed to the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. If anything in the above article has offended you, please click here to receive an immediate apology.
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