back to article Sci-Fi fans blow stacks at copybot attacks

Ustream has rained on the science fiction world’s big event, with its copyright enforcement bots unplugging the Hugo awards for showing winners’ clips. We’ll never know just how many award-winners planned to commit “fair use” by accepting their awards in front of screenings of snippets of their work, because a brainless pre- …


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  1. LaeMing

    Film Studios

    Bum? Meet Bite. He just came back.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Film Studios

      Indeed, they brought this upon themselves.

      Maybe now they'll reconsider their position.

      1. g e

        Re: Film Studios

        Only if there's money in doing so

      2. Tom 35

        Re: Film Studios

        The Film Studios (and Andrew Orlowski) will say, see it works! Lets make everyone use the automatic censor bots. A few faults positives is a small price to pay (since they pay nothing) to protect jobs, and creators bla bla bla...

        They will just look at you funny if you say this is a bad thing.

  2. Chris 171

    First they came for the Sci-Fi fans....

    R.O.T.M icon

  3. tkioz

    Just like what happened to NASA recently with news agencies pulling NASAs own footage, something needs to be done. The law should be written that if you want to pull something down, a human being needs to be see the content in question, and if you make a mistake you get fined!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Memo to Pentagon

    Maybe rethink that "strictly adheres to specifications" M61 Vulcan-toting autonomous killbot thing, because, y'know, shit does happen.

  5. Terry Cloth
    Big Brother

    Real-time scanner?

    Let me get this straight. Vobile is fed (allegedly---remember NASA) copyrighted materials, and it's able to, in real time, determine whether a random video stream replicates some snatch of said vast store of materials?

    a) that's the most impressive capability I've read about, Google's setup not withstanding, and

    b) our cheerful belief that the NSA couldn't possibly deal with its gargantuan data feed in such a way as to worry the average Joe is probably blown to Hell.

  6. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Why does that event use "ustream" (and what is that and what is it good for?)

    Do I invite Mullah Omar to show clips of a late-night party? No. So here.

    1. dotdavid
      Thumb Up

      If I were the Hugo award organisers I'd stop paying them as they're not providing the streaming service they claim to be providing.

      I'm sure there are other streaming video providers who would be happy for the good publicity if the Hugos switched to them.

      I note on that IO9 article that uStream's CEO has said they're turning off the automatic ban functionality until they can "recalibrate" it - but of course recalibrated autoban bots can be as wrong as the originals. Why take the chance in trusting they'll get it right next time?

    2. Anonymous Coward

      you get what you pay for

      A very valid point. Until this contretemps I'd never even heard of this mob. A bit like booking an overseas jaunt with some no-name cheapo airline and then complaining when the flight is cancelled.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Hopefully someone will slip a dragon into their data networks and scare all the bots away.

    (A bit deep, but a few SciFi fans should get it).

    (OK, Its VERY DEEP, you need to have read a particular short story by a famous author)

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon


      Anything to do with Prime?

      1. Martin Lyne

        Re: Sir

        I love the skin suits.

  9. Aussie Brusader

    More of this high visibility FUBAR is needed.

  10. WatAWorld
    Big Brother

    He who lives by the automatic take down bot, dies by the automatic take down bot

    It was complaints by these TV and movie producing companies that caused these automatic take-down bots to be created, and to be set to monitor for copyrighted material.

    If they industry hadn't fought so hard to prohibit fair usage they would not have had this problem, which they created.

  11. Nick Ryan Silver badge


    So let me try to understand this... For a live presentation event, some dickhead decided to stream content down from the Internet somewhere rather than download everything in advance, checking that it all works, is high quality video and audio, the audio balanced to the correct levels and without adverts or anything else unwanted in the streams?

    1. g e

      Re: Huh?

      Yes. Because that is pretty much what 'Live' means.

      However if you're able to download a whole live event from beginning to end, check it then re-transmit it in realtime with the actual event in this spacetime then Google would dearly love to talk with you.

      1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        Re: Huh?

        I took it that the video was just a background behind projected various folk being given awards.

        Or was it that it was the entire award ceremony itself that was being streamed and then blocked?

    2. Tom 13

      Re: Huh?

      the only way to present a LIVE event is to stream it to the people who want to watch it and can't be there. The awards at the convention proper probably went off without a hitch.

      Fail for a complete failure to understand plain English (and in this instance it really doesn't matter WHICH side of the pond you are on).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Some of the inappropriate up/down votes above are mine. After first read of the article i assumed that someone came to try and 'present' a clip off ustream during a live event only to find it and been removed by the bot. As the OP said, that seemed like bad planning on their part.

        After i read the follow-up comments i realised i'd completely missed the point as a live feed was actually cut mid-transmission.

        WTF? The reason that entered my head as it makes no sense. Do they really have bots like this watching these feeds? Why does ustream or anyone else have copyright bots watching live feeds anyway? Do they have a major problem with people live streaming their recordings of lost (of whatever)?

        I've learnt something today - didnt know anyone did this sort of monitoring on live streams, i thought it was all bots running over uploaded content

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    On the plus side it meant that no one saw Neil Gaiman telling the world how great he is and how he's mates with loads of famous people, etc, etc, etc. Like your work Neil, hate your smug, self aggrandising, pompous attitude.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Kneel Gay Man

      Is that even a real name ? I thought it was a stunt name .. like Bigus Dickus ...

    2. Tom Maddox Silver badge

      Re: Still

      "hate your smug, self aggrandising, pompous attitude."

      Clue meter reading: 0

      Irony meter: exploded

  13. hugo tyson

    Download in advance (Re: Huh?) / Film of film assumed to be ripoff?

    It's not the streams of video being shown in the background at the event that were shut off, I agree they would be downloaded &c in advance.

    It's the live stream to a worldwide audience of the event itself that was shut off, because it had other video in the background. Isn't it? For "Copyright reasons"?

    So, what caused this? Is it because the live stream, with some people talking a bit and video in the background, kind-of resembles a ripped off video of a current movie that someone recorded with their phone in the cinema? Do we think they detect video of a projected film sort of thing by whatever artefacts you get, and *assume* that's a copyright violation? Looks like it to me. Arses.

  14. Crisp

    We're all pirates now.

    Fair use of clips?

    That's a paddling.

  15. hitmouse

    Would that be the io9 whose columnists steal material from commentors' posts and then ban the commentors from the forum to remove evidence of the posts? I have no sympathy.

  16. mhenriday

    Is this not merely yet more evidence to the effect

    that it's about time that copyright law was modified in accordance with a famous (here slightly paraphrased) document : «... whenever any Law becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Law, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness» ? The present situation is more than reasonably absurd....


    1. Tom 13

      Re: Is this not merely yet more evidence to the effect


      The problem of course is that in the current situation, the rewrite would be done by the same people who gave us the current situation. Only this time, without the hinderence of historical precedents.

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